Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 486336

Shown: posts 1 to 12 of 12. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Isolating

Posted by fallsfall on April 19, 2005, at 7:52:10

Daisy said: I've really regressed into old isolating behavoirs right now. How is it that you help yourself not do that?

This is one of those "you have to force yourself" things. First, recognize that you *are* isolating (this may be sleeping more, avoiding people by walking a different way, not being where you usually are when you are usually there, pretending to be too busy to talk, cancelling social engagements etc.). Then you need to tell yourself (very sternly) that isolating is NOT good for you. It allows the ruminations in your mind to fester on their own, without any input of reality from the outside. It means that you aren't adding anyone else's positive spark to your negative mood. It means you are focusing entirely on your own issues - you aren't giving anyone the chance to help you to see that the whole world has issues (and sometimes you can help other people, even when you are down) - this means there is no variety to your thoughts. You are removing any possibility that you might be able to feel better by doing something (even very small) for someone else.

How do you get out of it? Well, I am a champion isolater, so I can give you my tricks of the trade.

1. Decide who the least threatening person you know is. Call them. Make up some lame excuse for the very brief call, "How 'bout them <fill in name of local baseball team>?" (you don't have to tell them that you are feeling lousy). All you need to do is to have a brief connection so you can realize that connections don't have to be dangerous. Then congratulate yourself - I eat ice cream.

2. Take a deep breath.

3. Go out in public, like shopping, where there are people, but you don't really have to interact with them, except for an occasional smile or "excuse me". Just be in a place where there are people.

4. Tell a good friend that you want to go for coffee, but that you really only want to talk about mundane things. And then do that.

I guess the key is that you don't have to spill your soul (which is, I am guessing, why you are isolating). Just keep connected in even superficial ways to other humans. Each encounter will take effort, but it will get easier.

And (at least around here) it is spring! At least get some sunshine, even if you aren't ready for people.

 

Re: Isolating is sometimes best fallsfall

Posted by sunny10 on April 19, 2005, at 13:42:04

In reply to Isolating, posted by fallsfall on April 19, 2005, at 7:52:10

I find that even trying to be here at Babble instead of isolating is very hard.

I have had to apologize after almost every post.

Sometimes it is best to let an injured dog alone to lick its wounds instead of it biting those who try to help which only pushes others farther away by hurting them, too....

 

Re: Isolating

Posted by antigua on April 19, 2005, at 14:33:16

In reply to Isolating, posted by fallsfall on April 19, 2005, at 7:52:10

Wow, great advice. I'm a great isolator, but sometimes I don't notice it until I'm in deep. I like the ice cream idea. Today is free Ben & Jerry's day around here.
antigua

 

Re: Isolating fallsfall

Posted by littleone on April 19, 2005, at 16:02:32

In reply to Isolating, posted by fallsfall on April 19, 2005, at 7:52:10

Thank you for sharing that falls. It was very helpful.

> 1. Decide who the least threatening person you know is. Call them. Make up some lame excuse for the very brief call, "How 'bout them <fill in name of local baseball team>?" (you don't have to tell them that you are feeling lousy). All you need to do is to have a brief connection so you can realize that connections don't have to be dangerous.

This is a great idea, but it's kind of scary for me. I'm not much of a chatter at all. If I called someone up to talk about a baseball game (or whatever) then hung up, I'm sure they'd be left thinking "what the hell was that about?"

But I'm guessing it doesn't really play out like that for you. Are you a good chatter? Do you do this often?

> Then congratulate yourself - I eat ice cream.

Can I just skip straight to the ice cream part? ;)

 

Re: Isolating is sometimes best sunny10

Posted by fallsfall on April 19, 2005, at 16:19:39

In reply to Re: Isolating is sometimes best fallsfall, posted by sunny10 on April 19, 2005, at 13:42:04

Yes, sometimes we do need to have some space to recover from things. I'm talking more about when we use it in a pathological way. It can be tricky to tell one from the other.

 

Re: Isolating antigua

Posted by fallsfall on April 19, 2005, at 16:20:19

In reply to Re: Isolating, posted by antigua on April 19, 2005, at 14:33:16

Nobody told me about free ice cream!!!

 

Re: Isolating littleone

Posted by fallsfall on April 19, 2005, at 16:24:25

In reply to Re: Isolating fallsfall, posted by littleone on April 19, 2005, at 16:02:32

No, the ice cream is the reward for having the conversation.

I wouldn't call someone up to talk about baseball. But I might call a friend and ask how she is doing - like how a particular event she told me was coming up had gone. Or tell her a silly story about my dogs or something. It doesn't really matter what you say. The point is that you reached out - you *did* something to stop your isolation. The first step is the hardest, so whatever you can do to take that first step is wonderful.

And I do have friends who I can call and say "I'm having a rough time, I don't want to talk about it now, but I'd love to hear you talk about something - anything at all".

 

Re: Isolating is sometimes best

Posted by Dinah on April 19, 2005, at 19:15:55

In reply to Re: Isolating is sometimes best sunny10, posted by fallsfall on April 19, 2005, at 16:19:39

Sometimes Babble is good in another way. When I'm feeling too rotten to post much, or feel my posts would be way too cross to make other people endure, I can always read. That pulls me out of myself some, and I remember that there are other people in the world with their own lives. But unlike real life, I can be a silent onlooker for a while without making anyone feel bad.

 

Re: Isolating is sometimes best

Posted by daisym on April 20, 2005, at 2:16:54

In reply to Re: Isolating is sometimes best, posted by Dinah on April 19, 2005, at 19:15:55

I like all of your ideas, Falls, but I also agree with Dinah. Sometimes there is no energy to post, OR, with me, I want to post 10,000 word essays about what I'm thinking or feeling or doing.

I think isolating, for me, is a way to look at how needy I've been and try to ease off. I don't think I know how to lean only a little bit. I seem to dump it all out there, on a few close friends, or keep it all in, with almost everyone else. I'm also struggling with this idea of sharing the depth of my pain with my spouse and my best friends. My therapist is encouraging it, he applaudes it. So is that a message that he is getting tired of being so much support? I worry...

It is also a way to stay numb. Being with people who care about me makes me aware that I want to be cared about. And I don't want to hurt them or disappoint them. I guess it is an old behavior to make yourself sort of disappear.

Hard not to, you know?

 

Re: Isolating is sometimes best daisym

Posted by Tamar on April 20, 2005, at 3:42:07

In reply to Re: Isolating is sometimes best, posted by daisym on April 20, 2005, at 2:16:54

> I like all of your ideas, Falls, but I also agree with Dinah. Sometimes there is no energy to post, OR, with me, I want to post 10,000 word essays about what I'm thinking or feeling or doing.

Oh yes. I am familiar with the urge to post long essays. Sometimes I write the long essay anyway and then summarise it before posting. Writing it all down helps me a lot.

> I think isolating, for me, is a way to look at how needy I've been and try to ease off. I don't think I know how to lean only a little bit. I seem to dump it all out there, on a few close friends, or keep it all in, with almost everyone else. I'm also struggling with this idea of sharing the depth of my pain with my spouse and my best friends. My therapist is encouraging it, he applaudes it. So is that a message that he is getting tired of being so much support? I worry...

Keep talking to your T about it! I find it impossible to believe that he is tired of being so much support. If he encourages you to talk to your friends, it's probably because he thinks it will be easier for you in the long run if you are able to be yourself outside the therapy room. Not because he's getting tired or less able to offer you as much support as you need.

> It is also a way to stay numb. Being with people who care about me makes me aware that I want to be cared about. And I don't want to hurt them or disappoint them. I guess it is an old behavior to make yourself sort of disappear.
>
> Hard not to, you know?

Yes. It's hard to be visible. But staying invisible is painful too. Some days I just don't want to leave the house, even though I know I feel better if I get up and get out. And wanting to be cared about is hard too, especially if I'm afraid of rejection. I'm constantly amazed when my friends continue to care about me, even if I'm not feeling good. I guess that's what makes them friends!

 

Re: Isolating is sometimes best daisym

Posted by fallsfall on April 20, 2005, at 7:43:02

In reply to Re: Isolating is sometimes best, posted by daisym on April 20, 2005, at 2:16:54

>Sometimes there is no energy to post,

*** This is what isolating is all about...

>OR, with me, I want to post 10,000 word essays about what I'm thinking or feeling or doing.

*** I'd read them...
>
> I think isolating, for me, is a way to look at how needy I've been and try to ease off.

*** I would encourage you to try to look objectively at this "how needy" thing. I'm not sure that your "neediness" is as much out of line as you think it is (I was going to say "is out of line like you think it is", but I knew that you wouldn't be willing to consider the possibility that your neediness is not unreasonable).

>I don't think I know how to lean only a little bit. I seem to dump it all out there, on a few close friends, or keep it all in, with almost everyone else.

*** Ah, yes. I know this one, too. But when you are as practiced as you are in being strong, leaning at all is a new behavior. So, it takes a little practice to figure out how to do it in the way you want to. The pendulum is swinging, but it will stabilize - However, if you *stop* the pendulum, at one of its heights, it won't have a chance to stabilize.

>I'm also struggling with this idea of sharing the depth of my pain with my spouse and my best friends. My therapist is encouraging it, he applaudes it. So is that a message that he is getting tired of being so much support? I worry...

*** I know you worry. No, he is not tired of being so much support. But he knows (and you know) that it is good for you to get support from a variety of sources. That people in your real (and cyber...) life can appropriately fill some of your needs. That if people IRL (like your husband) know what is going on, that they can help you - even in ways that he can't. He is encouraging you to share with people IRL because you are strong enough to do a little (not a lot - let's not get too black and white here) of this, and it will help you. It has to do with progressing to the next level (i.e. getting support in real life) rather than trying to stop the current support you have. He will continue to support you, even when you have IRL support. He is NOT sick of you.

>
> It is also a way to stay numb. Being with people who care about me makes me aware that I want to be cared about. And I don't want to hurt them or disappoint them.

*** Why would you wanting to be cared about hurt or disappoint someone else? Or ::gently:: do you not want to hurt or disappoint yourself if they don't care about you? (((Daisy)))


>I guess it is an old behavior to make yourself sort of disappear.

*** But the world loves it when you are visible!!!
>
> Hard not to, you know?

*** I know it is hard. Coming out of isolation is very difficult. Everything in your being tells you to stay hunkered down and protected. It is completely counter-intuitive to put yourself out there. But isolation is dangerous - particularly the part about not receiving other people's viewpoints. Hearing only our own voices can so easily spiral down into that big black pit. I want color for you - sanity marbles have color.

*** This post from you was reaching out of your isolation. Because you are (grudgingly) willing to hear alternative positions. I applaud you.

 

Re: Isolating or self-preservation

Posted by sunny10 on April 20, 2005, at 12:31:50

In reply to Re: Isolating is sometimes best daisym, posted by fallsfall on April 20, 2005, at 7:43:02

yes, tricky, tricky, tricky to tell where one stops and the other begins....

Too true, falls....but, as you can see, I'm fighting against doing it...


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