Isn’t it funny how we thought 2020 was the worst possible year of our lives? Of course, that was until 2021 came along. And while I didn’t enjoy 2020, 2021 made my anxiety go through the roof!
Yes, I had a terrible time last year too. But we’re only in May right now, and I already wish we could go back to the year before. See how insane that sounds? But truth be told, despite the various mental breakdowns, I’ve come to realise that isolation does have a positive aspect to it.
The Sun Ain’t Shining No More
Regardless of how bad the storm is, I’ve always believed that the sun will always shine on us. But lately, it doesn’t feel that way at all.
The pandemic (this year and last) has shown us that we don’t like the idea of being trapped in the comfort of our own homes. Not only does it drive us crazy, but it also gave way to a lot of reckless behaviour. A large majority of us couldn’t deal with staying at home, either with family or by ourselves. So we’d find ways to escape the harsh reality for a few hours by choosing to carefully ignore it.
And regardless of how short that time was, it made us feel free. As Katy Perry asked: Do you ever feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind, wanting to start again? And oddly enough, in those fleeting moments, I did. That didn’t last very long though, did it?
And while escaping our reality was exhilarating for a bit, it felt that way only because of the people I chose to get away with. That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy staying at home as much. It just means that seeing my best friend at every chance I got was essential for me.
However, the lockdown couldn’t have come at a better time for me.
Tea For One
Big crowds have always made me uncomfortable. And while I looked forward to seeing my friends as often as I could, I’d rather have a lazy day at home. And I did. With every passing day, I got lazier, and it wasn’t all that bad at first.
But I don’t deserve to have stable mental health. So the anxiety grew at an alarming rate. And while I have a few ways to cope with it, all I wanted to do was ride it out. Here’s where things get tricky though, some people are okay with you taking your time, but some would think that having that time to yourself isn’t a wise decision.
Why do people think shutting down isn’t healthy?
The argument is a dangerously slippery slope. And while I don’t usually do well by myself, various breakdowns and depression naps help. But that isn’t an ideal technique for me on most days. Why do people think shutting down isn’t healthy?
However, I have a few days where I’d rather take some alone time than getting hounded on for having an anxiety attack. It’s not like I have multiple people pestering me during a depressive phase. All I’m saying is sometimes I just don’t have the patience or the energy to deal with anyone, regardless of how pure their intentions are.
If You Could Read My Mind
Taking a certain amount of time for yourself shouldn’t feel illegal or wrong. But whenever I’ve tried taking time for myself, it’s always felt that way. Not only have I got shit for trying to do that [for various reasons], the reaction it receives has almost always made me feel worse. But, instead of doing what’s best for ME, I’ve had to consistently defend myself and my actions which then makes my anxiety and self-loathing far worse.
But Simone, why should I be held responsible for your anxiety and inability to handle them in a healthy way?
I’m probably exaggerating, but I’ve had a few people say this to me. A lot of times, people believe that by helping us, they’re making things better. On most of these occasions, it almost always does the opposite. Any time I’ve heard someone say “I get it”, they don’t.
I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but most people don’t realise that they’re extremely toxic. Yes, they might have been good to me otherwise, but on days where I’m at my lowest, there’s a reason why I’m avoiding you.
No, this doesn’t mean that you’re responsible for my anxiety. But talking to you isn’t going to make me feel any better. And if you’re unable to deal with that, then shaming me for it isn’t helping the situation either.
Spell For Reality
Mental health is such an important topic, and we’ve done nothing but merely scratch the surface. Most of the times, I come across many talking about how they’re here for someone or how they could provide a safe space for anyone going through something right now.
But what many don’t realise that they romanticize depression and anxiety time and again, and they aren’t the only illnesses people have. An individual might believe that they’re providing a safe space, but due to their inability (not their fault) of dealing with something correctly, they’re enabling an unsafe environment instead.
So we come back to this question: Why do people think shutting down isn’t healthy?
The answer to this question could differ from person to person, and none of those answers would be incorrect. But if someone or something makes you feel unsafe, shutting down to many may seem like the only possible option. And if you disagree with that behaviour, don’t approach it with negativity. However, if they choose to shut your efforts down, leave them be and give them the time they need. It’s not an attack on you.
Dancing With Myself
Being by myself has been the only way I’ve dealt with any attacks in the past. And it hasn’t been the most effective way to handle things, but I continue doing it because personally, it’s just a lot easier.
Don’t get me wrong, talking about it has helped at times, but it almost always depends on who I’m speaking to and how they deal with it. Many would suggest therapy, while a few would ask me to grow up. But sometimes, all you could do instead is listen and acknowledge their issues. That’s it.
That doesn’t mean that they would approach you every time they have an attack, but knowing that they’re acknowledged and safe in your presence does so much for them.
And it’s odd how I make every possible post about myself, yet somehow I prefer shutting down IRL solely because I can’t even. I believe that this post has been long overdue. Why? Because while it is something I have gone through, it’s also common for many to feel this way.
I’ve always wanted to create a safe space for anyone that needs it. So if you happen to find yourself in a similar situation, you will always be safe with me.
And if you enjoyed this piece and want to read more of my work, you can find them here.