It’s week 15 of Beckie’s mental health matters prompt series over at Beckie’s Mental Mess. Please visit her post for details on how to participate.
This week’s topic is isolation and introversion.
Prompt #1 Questions:
- Are you more Isolated or Introverted? I’ve always been introverted; it’s part of who I am. Depression makes me isolate, and currently that probably has more of an influence on my behaviour than my introversion does.
- Do you feel that there is a difference between the two? Definitely. Introversion is a stable personality trait, and the only reason for it to be distressing is if there’s a lot of external pressure to behave in a manner that’s more consistent with extroversion. I see isolation as either a behaviour response, typically to something distressing or something that’s imposed because of external conditions (such as lacking a social support network). The difference is somewhat akin to the idea of being alone vs. lonely.
- What are the causes of being Isolated or Introverted? Like any personality trait, introversion doesn’t have a specific known cause. Mental illness can be very isolating. Same goes for people with other chronic illnesses or mobility problems. The elderly can easily become isolated as well.
- Does your family/friends/co-workers question your behavior when you crave alone time and/or do not want to be bothered? Not really. I think there was some level of expectation that I go to things like birthday parties that I had no interest in going to, but no one seemed too bothered by the fact that I would show up, make an appearance, and leave after an hour.
- Have you spoken to a therapist/psychiatrist in regards to being Isolated/Introverted? My introversion may have happened to come up in passing, but it wasn’t something I deliberately raised because it’s not related to my illness. The isolation may have come up, but the depression is the core problem, so I’m not particularly focused on the isolation of its own accord.
- What is a normal day being in your shoes? I get up ridiculously early. I watch the previous night’s episode of The Daily Show while I’m having breakfast and my first cup of tea. I talk and/or text with my best friend every morning. I spend most of the day on my laptop at home. Excursions out of the house include the grocery store, massage, yoga, and work.
- If you were ever asked to go to dinner/party, would you go? If not, what kind of excuses have you made up to get out of going? In the past, I probably would have gone to the dinner (although not necessarily the part) and had an excuse planned out ahead of time to leave early if it was particularly painful. Now, it wouldn’t even come up because I don’t socialize, but if for some reason it did, I wouldn’t even bother with excuses. My response would be more along the lines of “are you f***ing kidding me?” And that would be the end of that.
Prompt #2 What Do you feel when you visualize this picture? (You can write exactly how you feel, or write a poem, poetry, and/or short prose).
To me this represents being discarded, being left behind by someone you trust. A teddy bear doesn’t get stuck in the mud on his own; someone dropped him there. And I think a lot of humans end up getting dropped in dark places by people they trusted.