Tag Archives: panic attacks

Addicted to Solitude

Coming in on a Friday evening from a busy week with no plans for the weekend and you’re absolutely fine with that. Plans will be made if need be, theres no rush.

Now it’s Sunday and you’ve barely done anything but sleep, relax and do as you please – again, you’re fine with that. Its just what you needed.

That was three weeks ago and you’ve done pretty much the same thing every week since.

Am I becoming addicted to solitude?

There is nothing I love more than my own company. As I grow older, I have learnt and appreciate that my own company is what I enjoy more than anything. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, and I’m pleased I’m at a point in life that I don’t have to rely on any one person or group of friends to gain happiness or joy.

Recently however, I kind of regret my seclusion and feel my anxiety rising. The thought of going out, getting ready, planning the wheres, hows and whats just makes me really stressed and the thought of it all just makes me throw in the towel. Previous readers of other personal blogs I’ve written will know struggles I’ve faced. I have always been keen to be the one planning events or nights out so that I remain the one in control of situations, but getting so used to doing nothing has made me not even want to do that.

Feeling like this has made me keen to explore the addiction of loneliness, solitude and seclusion. Just how many of us feel like this? Are we truly happy, or are we just hiding away, masking depression, anxiety and other struggles we aren’t looking to face right now?

Having fewer human interaction on days where it’s not needed in this day and age of constantly communicating and being so readily available all the time is something we all must appreciate when we can take it. Having down-time to destress after a long day or week is key to mental stability and self care. Full time work and seeing people everyday, forced into being happy, approachable and always communicating can put strain on someone when they don’t feel up to it. Its exhausting and by the end of the week, being home alone on a Friday night is blissful.

I love a Friday evening of a takeaway, some Greys Anatomy catch up and maybe a glass of wine. No pressure to entertain, look good or act in a certain way. Just me, and my pleasures and comforts. “I’ll make plans tomorrow” I always say to myself. Then the morning comes, and a few cups of tea later, a nice breakfast and Saturday morning telly, I realise I’m quite content and would rather just stay cocooned in the spot I’m in and not move. I have supplies, I have Netflix and I can communicate with the whole world by my phone. Lonely? Me? Pah! I’m loving life.

Genuinely, I am. I love my cosy weekends at home and it really recharges my batteries. Too much of it though, I feel is starting to become unhealthy.

A few years ago, I would go days (many, many days) without leaving the house, sometimes didn’t even want to leave my room, and since then I have promised myself I would never fall back into such a depressive regime. The last few weeks, I’ve seen this creep back in and I’m not entirely sure why. My job isn’t overly stressful and I don’t have a decline in friendships, I just don’t feel up to doing anything. I’m definitely not depressed like I was, and even though I still struggle with the odd day here and there, I’m happier than I have been in a long time. I just can’t seem to understand why I have become so addicted to staying in and, why now, I struggle to want to do anything other than stay in.

This weekend, I had the opportunity to see one of my best friends, whom, because of having different working patterns, we hardly see each other. However, the effort of going out really put me off. My mind suddenly turned into a to-do-list nightmare which I suddenly couldn’t cope with. Where will we go? What shall I wear? Who else is going? How will I get there? A snowball effect of excuses and worry which inevitably stopped me from seeing them. I don’t feel guilty about it, and I know they won’t be offended, but after seeing a quote by Jim Carrey later that day, I really got thinking about how I have become a bit of a recluse.

“Solitude is dangerous. It’s very addictive. It becomes a habit after you realise how peaceful and calm it is. It’s like you don’t want to deal with people anymore because they drain your energy.” – Jim Carrey

He’s right. It is dangerous, it is addictive and it is rapidly becoming a dangerous habit for my mental wellbeing. This quote made me realise that I’m shutting people out for no reason. As much as I enjoy my own company, it’s not what I want and it’s not what I should be doing week in and week out. Yes, after a long draining week, having some some peace, self care and meditating in whichever way you see fit, is good to have, but I feel I have to force myself to ensure I don’t fall into bad habits which will probably swing me back into a state of mind which wasn’t healthy for me before. I need to ensure I take control of this and take small steps into doing the things I enjoy. It may not be easy, and I may struggle, but I know the life of solitude is a lonely one, and that is something I most definitely don’t want to be forever.

If you get a random text off me to meet up for a drink soon, now you know why!

If you feel like you can relate to the above, or are struggling with loneliness, message me on Twitter – @putasinghonit

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Storms over

Warning: This is a very “me, me, me!” post. I don’t expect many people to read it all, but I really feel it’s important for myself to write it for my own personal growth.

I’ve made it no secret that the last few years haven’t been my best. At times I’ve masked over a lot of hurt, pain and a very bruised self-esteem. Compared to the man I was in 2010, the last six years have been pretty much awful. With moments of blessings and things to be ever so grateful for, I was hiding a deep sadness stemming from years and years of anger, hate and abuse. In the last three years however, this really took its toll on me. I changed as a person. I was no longer my confident, outgoing, bubbly self and I was sometimes afraid to even leave my house. I was a totally different person.

Most people put this down to my size and claimed that I was ashamed of myself and that I was being lazy, embarrassed or seeking attention by playing the victim card. Truthfully, I wasn’t. I’ve always been big, and it’s never really bothered me as it’s never stopped me from doing what I wanted. I had great friends, an amazing university life and I was always going out to events. Frankly, I was a hoot. A right treat to have as a friend.

Without dwelling too much on the past (maybe for another blog, one day) I was definitely depressed for the last few years. My anxiety and stress levels in the most basic situations sky rocketed, I was having dark thoughts about harming myself, I sometimes didn’t leave the house for days and there were days where I didn’t even want to get out of bed. I had hit rock bottom.

Whilst working for a family business for a few years as a means to get me out of the house and make me feel better, I was doing long hours, sometimes without time off for two weeks. It was horrendous and made my personal situation worse. I ended up bottling in so much hurt that I was basically a zombie, work, sleep, eat, and repeat. It was here that I put on a lot of weight, got into bad habits and really made myself unhealthy. I didn’t like my way of life. I was in a live to work situation rather than a work to live and at my age, I was resenting my friends who had the freedom to do what they wanted. I hated myself for that. I owe my closest friends apologies for the rest of their life for putting up with me during that time. Looking back, I was such a pain, and I’m grateful that they are still around for me to show them the change I am going through.

Last year, on the first day of September, it was my first day of freedom. I was officially unemployed and vowed to make the next year all about me. I was hoping to get a job, sort my health out and concentrate on rebuilding relationships with people who I truly care about. It was all about working on my Mind, Body and Soul. For my mind, I was going to seek help and concentrate on controlling what I was going through without the use of medication. I knew it was possible for me, personally, as just getting myself into a good place was the best medication to start off with. To work on body, I was going to eat healthier and exercise and without dieting, really just kick start a different way of life where I was no longer eating out of boredom, stress and self-loathing. To work on soul, I was going to work my way towards getting a job, doing things I enjoyed once again and to contribute to charity when and wherever possible.

It wasn’t easy.

I had some of the best days in the last year, but also some of the worst. I’d set myself little challenges, some of which were really frightening for me to do. I went to a concert on my own, I went out to restaurants and cafes again, I went to public parks with my nephew, I travelled on public transport and I even went to a gym. These are some of the things which I wouldn’t even consider thinking about doing just a few years ago. In the last year though, I’ve cried, I’ve still had panic attacks and I’ve been crippled with anxiety where I’ve been forced to cancel on plans with people in fear of being around people I don’t know. It’s really been a mix match year of emotions where I’ve been forced to deal with problems and issues head on. I’ve been really grateful for those low moments as I’ve dealt with and spoken about them rather than keeping it all bottled in.

I’ve really put in some hard work, personally to change and turn my life around for the better. These have all been very personal goals of mine which many won’t have been aware of, but I’ve done so well. I’m so proud of myself for what I’ve managed to achieve and even though I know I will still have dark days and times where I won’t be feeling my best, I’m not afraid anymore. I’m taking things day by day and it seems to be working. I go out every day now, sometimes to see friends, family and I even go to the gym. I’ve lost nearly five stone in the last year, feel healthier and I feel I have rebuilt relationships with those who matter the most to me. I also start a new job next week. Life seems to be falling back into place for me, very slowly but ever so surely. I’m not a different person, but I’ve learnt a lot about myself and I’m a better me now than what I was a few years ago.

If you’re wondering why I’m writing this, don’t worry, I’m asking myself the same question. I suppose it’s for anyone who needs to read it, or for anyone who is going through a really awful time right now and needs to know that it can improve. I used to really hate when people said “It gets better” like they were a walking, talking tumblr reblog. Truth is, it doesn’t always get better. You just learn to live regardless of how you feel. I will still have days where I have panic attacks and anxiety, but this year has taught me that I don’t have to be a victim of it anymore. I don’t have to let it cripple me to the point of ruining my life. I own me. I make the rules of what I can and can’t do. Screw you depression, I’ve got this.

 

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