The things you learn from isolation

Posted on August 7, 2016



Cryptobiosis (n.) – a physiological state in which metabolic activity is reduced to an undetectable level without disappearing altogether. It is known that certain plant and animal groups have adapted to survive periods of extremely dry conditions.

That’s a new word I learned today. I read it in an article about water bears. Apparently Japanese researchers have unfrozen these organisms which have remained dormant for 30 years. These organisms have survived the harshest environmental conditions.

Like a water bear, I too shut down in harsh conditions.

As you may have known from my previous blog post, I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I guess it took me a while to get a professional diagnosis on what I seem to have known for a long time now.

Lately, I’ve been having episodes again. It’s partly my fault I guess, I stopped taking meds about a week ago. It’s a stupid decision, but I guess it’s because I wanted to see if I don’t need them anymore. It’s partly out of cynicism, but mostly out of idiocy.

Now I’m back in that state of perpetual tiredness where isolation has become my comfort zone. And no one can pull me out of it.

Isolation can bring out the best and worst out of you. I can’t decide right now if I’m at either side. I’m guessing it’s the worst.

As much as it gets torturous sometimes, I like my isolation. And I’m not even sorry anymore.

Sometimes it’s okay to shut everyone out. When you’re sad, people talk about how you should get out and into the world instead of wallowing in your comfort zone. They talk about how you should “be more social” or “see your friends” or “meet new people”. They talk about how you should never be alone with your own thoughts because that will only destroy you. From their perspective, the only way to ease the sadness is to be with other people. For them, this will purge your loneliness and chase the sadness away.

They don’t know how fucking hard that is for someone with anxiety and depression.

Sometimes you just get too tired of getting overwhelmed with your own thoughts and constantly having to assure yourself that everything’s fine. You get tired of having to think about something and having it bother you for the rest of the day. You get tired of always feeling out of control, always having to guard yourself out of fear of letting your crazy slip out for other people to judge. You get tired of having to pretend that everything’s okay when it’s not. You get tired of always feeling like you’re drowning and everything is out of your control and you’re trying your hardest but nothing seems good enough and nothing is working out. You get tired of constantly fearing for your future and worrying about things that you don’t even know exist. You get tired of always feeling insecure and never good enough for anyone to love and never leave. You get tired of always feeling like you’re making a big deal out of nothing and how people have bigger problems and worse issues and histories. You get tired of every single fucking thing and you just shut everyone out because it’s better to be by yourself where no one will judge you and you don’t have to explain anything to anyone.

You’re tired, absolutely tired, and you don’t want to go out into the world where people don’t understand how tired you are.

I understand why people suggest going out into the world and meeting others to be happy. Maddening as the world can become, isolation multiplies that by a hundred as you are confronted by your own thoughts.

Every single one of them, magnified and pulsating. Every single one of them rushing through you, bringing discomfort when you’re supposed to be physically comfortable. Every single thought, every single feeling you’ve pushed back while you were out there in the world trying to function normally, every single worry rearing its ugly head towards you as you struggle to escape.

Everything you’re trying to forget is being hurled back at you.

It’s torture, but I guess it can also be freeing.

In my isolation, I have learned what exactly I have been pushing back towards the deep recesses of my mind. I have discovered, and am still discovering, who I am – all the good and bad parts. I am, in a way, discovering what I am supposed to be doing with my life – and what I’m doing wrong with it.

In my isolation, I have learned to let everything out and come to terms with all the monsters and ghosts hiding inside my mind.

All my life, I have always been comfortable being alone. I’m not afraid to do things by myself and rely on myself to get things done. I guess I felt a little alone back then, but now I’m feeling more alone than ever. It’s worse when someone makes you feel less alone and then they disappear. It’s slow mental torture.

One of these days, I’ll get better enough to get back out there and function normally. At least, kind of normally. I am currently coming to terms with the fact that I will never be like the other normal girls my age. I guess you could say that I’m getting there.

I am a water bear still frozen in ice, waiting to function again in a better environment. By then, I’ll be a species stronger than I was before. Right now, I’m still fighting.