"This article is my life. I am desperately trying to have a life, to not isolate myself. I understand positive coping skills, & support system increase well-being & decrease pain. My friends are long gone. My family is quite a distance away, & my husband of 30+ happy yrs refuses to understand or acknowledge how difficult my life is. And like the article described-I no longer share my feelings.
I would appreciate any encouragement or advice.
First let me say thank you for writing me, unfortunately though, I may not have the answers you're needing to hear right now. What I can tell you is that you aren't alone. Isolating ourselves is all too common and not the easiest of our pain behaviours to break, as you may already be painfully aware.
Self isolation is one of mine too and I don't always handle it in the best ways either. When our emotional and mental pain is raging, and our bodies are weak, it's all too easy sometimes to become isolated. The weather doesn't help much right now either. There are many reasons why we do this BUT....
speak to your doctor - is there a medical reason? sometimes with depression and/or anxiety, self isolation comes easily - what can your doctor recommend to help...medication - counselling etc.
counselling - sometimes we need someone to talk to...someone who isn't family and who isn't close to our lives. There are real benefits to talk therapy, being able to share your thoughts with someone who will not judge you and someone who has the skills and capabilities to help you find other people who may also be able to help - reaching out can be scary but there is help
understand why - why do you isolate yourself? ask yourself the hard question why and see what your answer is - once we understand why we do something we have a better chance of changing it
what do you like doing? is there an activity or hobby that you could join a group with? sometimes doing what we love with other people who love it too, brings us together meeting new people, making new friends
have goals and dreams - even little ones...and pursue them...what have you always wanted to do?
get out of the house - even if you go alone...one of the things that was recommended to me was to get out of my house and go do the things I enjoyed before my pain...to go see a movie, to listen to live music, to go for a walk in nature, to even go out for dinner
don't beat yourself up for feeling this way - the words we use when we're feeling down can either keep us there or it can lift us up...be gentle with you
surround yourself with the people in your life who can make you smile even when you don't feel like it - give them a call...invite them over or perhaps even go see them...pick up the phone just to hear their voice and talk
Isolating ourselves is often a difficult thing to break but do please keep in mind that there are times when it may be needed. When you need to be away from the stresses of life and just unwind and refocus yourself. It's not always a bad thing to step away for a little bit just don't forget to rejoin your life again okay?
take good care of you