Trapped In A Cycle of Self-Isolation

  • 8 Replies
  • 618 Views
*

plantsandworms

  • Member
  • 70
    • View Profile
Trapped In A Cycle of Self-Isolation
« on: January 30, 2019, 05:23:55 PM »
I'm only in my late 20s but the self-isolating behavior I've always had has gotten worse and worse and worse. I go days and days without leaving my house or speaking to anyone. I ignore all my messages, calls, emails. When I hear the calls coming in or see the texts I feel an intense feeling I can only describe as "MAKE EVERYTHING STOP RIGHT NOW." I feel exhausted like I need rest but no amount of rest or alone time rejuvenates me. When I fight through the isolation and go out in the world or talk to a friend, I return feeling drained and wishing I hadn't overextended myself. I'm pouring from an empty cup day in, day out, with nothing to replenish me.

The worst part is that this behavior is also a trigger for me. My dad has lived in a basement his whole life and has never had a job. He just sleeps all the time. I'm terrified that what small life I am able to live will slip away soon and I'll be trapped in the same waking nightmare that my dad lives in every day. I want more in my life than this but I don't know how to get out of this feedback loop. I don't know how to access connection or joy. I'm in therapy and it helps with a lot of things, but I feel like I'm hitting a wall with this. I need help.

*

Blueberry

  • Member
  • 5883
  • Baby steps count!
    • View Profile
Re: Trapped In A Cycle of Self-Isolation
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2019, 10:18:11 AM »
I'm sorry plantsandworms! Just writing how you feel about it all on here is maybe one step out of the isolation? I know we're not people you can see and listen to our voices on here, but we are real and we're reading about how you feel.

You write that you're feeling exhausted but no amount of sleep can take away the exhaustion. Could that be an EF?

Does your therapist know how you feel about this? At least you are making progress in other areas. ime that means you could make progress in this area too when things are correctly aligned. It could be you need some other progress, e.g. feeling less exhausted, before you can end the isolation. I felt terribly exhausted for years. The exhaustion has been slowly lifting in the past couple of years. I can't even say exactly how. 

I can understand feeling worried you might end up like your dad. But is he working on healing in any way? Is he moving forwards at all? If not, then your position is different from his and you won't necessarily end up like him at all.

Healing from cptsd often goes in small stages, also 2 steps forward, 1 step back. I used to not see any progress in myself, but other people like docs and therapists and sometimes even friends saw it. You see progress in yourself :yes:
Keep on keeping on! It does get better. :hug:

*

Kizzie

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • 7346
    • View Profile
Re: Trapped In A Cycle of Self-Isolation
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2019, 06:21:41 PM »
Do you have a therapist PlantsandWorms? It might also be an idea to let your doctor know what's going on as I know when I was really depressed I felt very much like you do.

In the meantime perhaps by continuing to post here you can get at the underlying reason you are feeling as you are. Even making a virtual connection with others who get what you're writing about can help  :yes:

*

beachtrip

  • Member
  • 4
    • View Profile
Re: Trapped In A Cycle of Self-Isolation
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2019, 12:44:04 AM »
I don't have any words of wisdom but how you are feeling is very relatable and know you're not the only one.

*

Kizzie

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • 7346
    • View Profile
Re: Trapped In A Cycle of Self-Isolation
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2019, 03:06:28 PM »
How are things now P&W?

*

plantsandworms

  • Member
  • 70
    • View Profile
Re: Trapped In A Cycle of Self-Isolation
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2019, 03:59:24 PM »
Hi all, thanks very much for your replies and for checking in with me. I am still plodding along, trying to fight through isolation and depression to make forward motion in my life. The warmer weather has been helping, because it means I'm spending more time outside planting in my garden. But other than those small cyclical changes, things feel very much the same.

I've been thinking about the origin of this isolating behavior and realized I have always done it for as long as I can remember. I was truant all the time from school beginning in early grade school (2nd grade or so), staying home under the covers all day because I "felt sick" (really just nausea from anxiety and an inability to get out of bed from depression). In college, I ended up going to class less and less until I dropped out. I've leaned heavily on sick/vacation time policies of every place I've worked - I never really get to take a vacation because I use up all my leave time on days I can't get out of bed. When I think about how long this has been going on, I feel shocked that I've made it this far and afraid that things will never be different for me. I realize that I don't have a very strong attachment to my life and always feel like I'm "just passing through" whatever my current circumstances might be. Each day feels like a thing to be endured so I can survive til tomorrow.

I think EFs are definitely playing a role, but I'm having trouble specifically identifying the source. I keep my therapist updated on how I'm feeling, and she usually recommends things that feel too tall an order for my perpetual state of exhaustion, like joining a weekly group therapy. I did finally get up the energy to try out one group, but it turned out to be a bad fit and definitely left me feeling more depleted.

I also notice that I don't have a vision of myself in the future and I wonder if somehow cultivating one could help me feel more connection to my present. And definitely part of this is that I have such a hard time being present in my body - maybe I am experiencing a low level disassociation at all times? Maybe if I valued myself and my life, being present in my body could be more possible? These all feel like very big questions and big problems...

*

SharpAndBlunt

  • Member
  • 368
    • View Profile
Re: Trapped In A Cycle of Self-Isolation
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2019, 01:23:46 PM »
Dear plantsandworms, depression and disassociation have been a big problem for me too. Combined they seem to drain the colour from life and I totally understand about feeling exhausted all the time. Sleep never used to help me with that either. Visualising the future has also been impossible for me. I've talked about this with friends before. It's a hard one for people to understand.

I think maybe that EFs do play a big role. I am learning how to identify those and triggers too. It's not easy.

I always thought if I looked outwards things would improve but it's inside I need to look. I'm not used to that.

Like others I want to encourage you that you're doing well by working on yourself and you have an awareness. I think this determination is very important at sticking with improving things, which you are clearly doing.

Wishing you strength.

SaB

*

Kizzie

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • 7346
    • View Profile
Re: Trapped In A Cycle of Self-Isolation
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2019, 03:58:37 PM »
Quote
When I think about how long this has been going on, I feel shocked that I've made it this far and afraid that things will never be different for me. I realize that I don't have a very strong attachment to my life and always feel like I'm "just passing through" whatever my current circumstances might be. Each day feels like a thing to be endured so I can survive til tomorrow.

CPTSD at its worst really can be debilitating. Six years ago I fell apart and had trouble even getting out of bed, but with therapy, medication and coming here I'm not in that dark place any more. I hope you will take my experience as hope for your own recovery and future. 

Quote
I also notice that I don't have a vision of myself in the future and I wonder if somehow cultivating one could help me feel more connection to my present.


Working with your T to image what a happier, healthier future might look like for you could be a positive strategy to counterbalance/counteract being stuck in trauma time (i.e., uses  the brain in different ways than recycling the past?).  I don't know so might be good to talk about this w/your T.

Based on my experience, my caution would be to understand and accept that recovery takes time, otherwise it may be frustrating/ discouraging when you don't get to that stage of recovery quickly. I started out wanting to "rip the bandaid off" but that did not happen and for good reason. Too much too soon is overwhelming as I found so I had to go more slowly.  That said, having something positive and realistic to aim for beyond surviving the day might be a helpful strategy for you. 
« Last Edit: April 30, 2019, 04:09:54 PM by Kizzie »

*

Blueberry

  • Member
  • 5883
  • Baby steps count!
    • View Profile
Re: Trapped In A Cycle of Self-Isolation
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2019, 05:48:11 PM »
The warmer weather has been helping, because it means I'm spending more time outside planting in my garden.

Doing things in my garden, even very small things, was / is something that kept me going / keeps me going. Some of my "vision for the future" has been tied up in my garden. Things to try, things to learn. Learn things like plant identification, or the uses of 'weeds'. Plant things outside which have been in the kitchen on my window ledge for a while. Try out those aged seeds, maybe they'll grow after all.

But it's also a thing to concentrate on in the present, a way to ground myself and simply enjoy the feel of the earth, the feel of plants in my fingers, the smell of the earth after rain, the scent of herbs and flowers, watching the bees stocking up on pollen - and hey those flowers I have they're good for the bees! So I'm providing somebody with something vital. And that all helps me keep going.

Hoping that may help you too.