One is the loneliest number

Having a mental illness can be such a lonely and isolating experience. This can be due to self-inflicted loneliness such as isolating yourself from others/pushing people away or feeling that no-one understands what you’re going through, especially those who do not have a mental illness themselves (however hard they may try to understand). 

Since the start of the year I’ve been isolating myself more and more, avoiding people, hiding away, cancelling meet-ups. I’ve also felt very alone in my struggle with mental illness. Even though I’m not the only person with a mental illness, it often feels like it. 

I’m not sure what’s causing this behaviour, whether it’s depression, anxiety or both. It concerns me a great deal though. 

I’m not a complete recluse. Thankfully I have a lovely PA, a kind social worker and a new tenancy support worker who help to get me out of the house. I also have an online messaging service on my phone called Whatsapp which helps me to keep in touch with friends and family when face-to-face meet-ups are difficult due to distance, health problems or lack of time. This helps me to still feel connected. As well as this I have this blog, my other blogs and social media such as Twitter and Instagram, all of which help me to feel less alone. 

It doesn’t change the fact that I am isolated though. I am increasingly paranoid and increasingly frustrated and depressed. 

I am due to see my psychiatrist on Tuesday to discuss whether or not my bloods are ok enough for me to start lithium. I’m absolutely desperate to return to some form of stability so that I can make decisions that need to be made, do things that I keep putting off and begin to work out who I really am and what I want. 

I’m sick of struggling to get out of bed in the morning and I’m tired of being held back creatively when there are posts I want to create and books that I want to write as well as photos that I want to take. I mention photos because I was supposed to attend a photography session at a free arts centre not far from me. My PA was working that day and could have taken me but instead I freaked out about the fact that there would be people I didn’t know there and decided at the last minute not to go. Now the soonest I can go with someone will probably be the week after next. I just hope that I’m feeling strong enough to face it by then. 

On the plus side I have started going to Slimming World meetings. I’m determined to lose 5 stone as soon as is healthily possible and I have started to make changes to my diet and exercise. 

Exercise is one of the few things keeping me going at the moment. It seems to lift my mood a bit as well as giving me a sense of achievement. I just wish that I could do more. Again though, exercise is an isolated experience for me as I don’t go to classes or groups at the moment although I am thinking about starting Aquafit classes once I can get over my lack of confidence about other people seeing me in a swimming costume. 

I’m trying my best to make sure that I leave the house every chance that I get, as long as I feel secure enough to. This is usually when I’m with my PA, social worker or tenancy support worker and usually involves shopping. I desperately need other activities in my life. 

When I was reading on  a regular basis I joined two book groups but now I’m struggling to even get through my magazines. The photography group sounds interesting as does some form of group exercise/physiotherapy. At the moment though just surviving day by day is the best that I can hope for. 

Does anyone else struggle with loneliness or isolation? How do you cope with it? Please feel free to get in touch either on here, Twitter @spursbythebeach, Instagram @spursbythebeach or email I look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions.

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About brokenglassshimmers

I’m 30 and have BPD and arthritis. This website will detail how I deal with my health issues, reading and writing. I am in the process of writing books and I will keep you posted about how that is going. I also want to run an online book club and writer’s circle. Please feel free to comment on the site and to let me know if there are any improvements or changes you would like to see. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

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