Yes, I’m an addict. Addicted to what? Isolation. This is a topic I’ve been meaning to write about but it was a post on someone else s blog that inspired me to finally write it. As I wrote in one (or many) of my back entries, I made an effort this last summer to become more social. And while I did that, rarely saying “no” to getting together with my group of friends even if it was going somewhere or being with someone I wasn’t comfortable with. As I wrote, this didn’t make me feel better and I couldn’t figure out why. When I brought this up to a doctor he said simply “you’re an addict and that addiction is to isolation. Welcome to withdrawal.” Wow! I never would have looked at it that way but as I started to think it made sense. I “liked” isolation. I was comfortable and I knew it and there were no expectations. The idea and lifestyle consumed me to the point I didn’t even see how bad it got. The advice I was given was to push through it like getting over any addiction and the horrible feelings would eventually disappear. I kept chugging along and the feeling back in Springfield started to go away LITTLE BY LITTLE. It was still there when I finally left to come to DC and I still had the problem of not reaching out beyond my small group of friends but I was feeling stronger and able to fight it. Unfortunately, DC put me in to a “relapse” so we’ll see if I can fight it off again. It’s easy to be optimistic right before bed or right when you wake up, that brief moment when your body is awake but mind is asleep. Before the reality and expectations of having to apply that optimism to real life hits.
The moral of the story and something I, myself, seem to keep forgetting is the isolation felt isn’t just a symptom but also an addiction and as long as you think of it as an addiction it can be fought. I wish it was as easy to do as it was to write about and I wish I had the strength to beat it myself but it’s a tiring fight, a rough fight, and a dangerous fight. All that said, it’s a fight worth fighting.