When You Deal With Your Depression By Pulling Away From People

Its no secret that I work through mental health issues every day. Its something Im incredibly proud of – not in some weird, misinformed WOOHOO, DEPRESSION IS A BLAST way, but just that Im happy to speak up about something people have been shamed into silence about for so long. If Im going to share myself so publicly, I want to show the not-so cute parts. The dirtiness. The times I was not a person I like very much.

I was first diagnosed with clinical depression when I was 14, but Im pretty sure it made its grand appearance about two years earlier. Ive been an anxious thing since birth. I didnt even recognize that those weird moments of nausea, heart palpitations, and dizziness were actually panic attacks until I went away for college. And the bipolar II diagnosis came in college too.

Part of getting older and discovering more about myself (including those things I dont like) has been learning about my coping mechanisms, how I deal, why I do the things I do. Im the biggest self-analyzer youll meet. I like to play therapist to myself (not that it should ever take the place of a professional.) Maybe its fucked, but I get a sick joy unlocking new answers as to why Im fucked up about something. I get to be a neurotic Sherlock, and my own goddamn mind is the case Im trying to crack.

Ive always been withdrawn. As a kid, I rarely made it through the night at sleepovers. I would end up calling my mom at 2 am asking her to pick me up. Its like I couldnt settle until I was alone again. Even with people I loved, I kept watch on the clock. I routinely made up excuses as to why I couldnt attend social events. I had my handful of friends and never really cared to expand it much. Even now, my social circle is TINY. Today I thought, Wow, if I ever threw a party who would I even fucking invite? My mom? My dog?

I think that might surprise a lot of the online community Ive created. Ive been told I come across as very bubbly, super open, basically a golden retriever in human form. Sure, theres some truth in those statements – I get very excited and passionate about seemingly small things. Im a hugger. My natural instinct is to believe in people. I trust everyone. I give second chances. And thirds. And fourths.

But Ill always be the first one to leave the party. Its difficult to know if this is because of anxiety or if its just a personality trait. Maybe the two arent mutually exclusive.

I think one of the hard parts of loving someone who struggles is that even though they dont intend to, they hurt you. Even when you’re just the bystander.

I know when I withdraw, when I stop returning texts, when I ghost from peoples lives like I was never even there to begin with, it’s something that stings. And every time I wake up and discover, Oh shit, Ive been in hiding for a few months I feel terrible. But its a cyclical process. It’s a hard thing to change when it feels like it’s part of who you are.

I dont ever mean to pull away. Its never malicious. It isnt because I hate someone, or that Ive decided my life is better without them. Its because my fucking brain says, Youre done for a while. Go hibernate, ya weirdo. So I do. I hibernate. I’m a hibernating human.

What Im saying is Im still here. Despite writing endless poems about it, I am not good at telling people when Im hurting, so I hide. I avoid. I ignore. And none of it is good.

But Im still alive.

Sometimes, I just need to escape for a bit. But I come back. I promise, Ill always come back.

Read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/ari-eastman/2016/05/when-you-deal-with-your-depression-by-pulling-away-from-people/