Over the past few days, I have thought a lot about what was going on in my life and what I need to live a healthy and stable life with my mental health disorders. Now if you have read any of my previous blog posts, you might no that I don’t really have friends and can crave spending time with people. So this may seem so absolutely out of character but here is my profound realization over the past few weeks: I need my time alone.
My parents were in town for about a week and they stayed at my place. Now, I live in a one bedroom apartment by myself and have been for about a year now. I have become very accustomed to being alone. I know that I complain that I don’t do anything a lot and I’m really lonely. So it was nice to have people around that I wasn’t only with because of work. However, after about two days of being with them, I realized one extremely important thing. I need my time alone desperately. For a week, I didn’t have any time to myself unless I caught a moment at work in my office. It was overstimulating for me. I work where my energy has to be up always. I work in a customer service based job so I am constantly interacting with people and raising my energy very high. As someone with anxiety and depression, it isn’t easy to keep level headed but also positive all the time at work. When I go home, I am honestly exhausted. Being at home alone allows me to decompress and bring my energy back down to where I am comfortable. I need that time to be away from people. For a week, I had no more than 10 minutes to myself at all times. I was constantly having to be around people, which causes my anxiety to be through the roof. I was getting so irritable and moody. Every time I wanted to be alone, I couldn’t and I was actually starting to get angry. It was not good. As much as I loved having my parents here, I was grateful to be able to just sit by myself for hours, not having to interact with anyone.
If there is one thing I have learned from this experience, I have come to appreciate the time I get to spend alone. It wasn’t until I didn’t have time to myself that I realized how incredibly important it is for me. I knew that being around people could be draining for me but I never knew how much. I know that being alone all the time is not good for my depression but being around people all the time is not good for my anxiety. I need to find a balance so I can manage both of my mental health disorders at the same time. So sometimes, I am going to be more than willing to go out and do things, especially on days that I have off like weekends. But after work, most likely I just can’t go out because I have spent too much time around people. If you have a mental health disorder, do not ever feel bad that you want to spend time by yourself every once in a while, or a lot of time by yourself. If it is what you need to do to manage your anxiety, it is what you need to do. I know that if I over exert myself and expend too much energy around people, I have to take a few hours to sit at home in my bed or my couch not talking to anyone. Do what you need to do and just realize, being alone is not so bad, in healthy amounts of course.