For many years, it felt better for me not to talk. At all. About anything. To anyone.
Between my undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder, my deeply embedded toxic shame, and my indoctrination from my family of origin, it felt “natural” AND “comfortable” to stuff my feelings, keep my thoughts to myself, refrain from expressing my needs or wants, and keep up my guard to avoid intimacy.
This type of isolation a miserable way to live, for anyone. And it’s hard to imagine a human being wanting to live this way.
But for those of us with a mental illness, isolating exacerbates our diseases and symptoms ten-fold. It is like dousing a raging fire with gasoline.
Bereft of human interaction, compassion, love, and support, we quickly sucomb to our distorted thinking, self-hatred, mania, depression, hallucinations, addictions, self-harm, psychoses, eating disorders, and/or a bevy of other self-destructive manifestations of our maladies.
One of the essential aspects of my Recovery has been human interaction through therapy, AA Fellowship, continuing at my job through crises and rock bottoms, family and friends, and peer support.
In AA we say that “Alcoholics are the only people who treat loneliness with isolation.”
Stay connected! Even if it’s uncomfortable until you get adjusted to it!