I wonder, if you were told that you had contracted a disease or illness and that was harmful to others, how keen you would be to interact with people, to socialize etc?
I would like to think that whilst you may desire to do so you would in fact isolate yourself until the disease/illness could be cured or at least managed to such a level where it was no longer harmful to others.
But what if that illness was not physical but instead was psychological? What if your mental health presented situations where your reactions, your comments, your behavior sometimes caused harm or offense to others?
See here is the deal, whilst I am fully aware of my mental illness and indeed the potential for it to affect the way I perceive things and thus how I react I was under the impression that I had a pretty good grasp on it and thereby it was not impacting others in an adverse way.
But it seems that this is not true and, if what I am told by my pastor is correct, actually there have been times when I have reacted or said things that have caused hurt or offense to others. This means that my mental health is not only affecting me but is also affecting others and I just cannot allow that. I see no reason why others should suffer my illness.
So I need to do what I can to address this and to do so without hurting people. The difficulty is that whilst my pastor was willing to point out that I have reacted or said things that have caused hurt or offense to others, he wasn’t so forth coming with specifics. So I don’t even know what they were, how or when.
Because of this I have become somewhat of a recluse and have isolated myself as much as possible. I need so badly to get a handle on these thoughts and voices and to be able to control them at least enough to know that they are not damaging things.
It is interesting – at least to me – that of the few memories that I have I do recall my father coming home from work, sitting in his arm-chair and basically zoning out for the rest of the day with hardly any interaction. At the time I paid little mind to it or to what caused him to do this and in fact it became more a matte of amusement than of concern. We would turn the television over and wait for several minutes before he suddenly barked the order for us to turn it back as “he was watching that program.” The fact that several minutes had passed before he had even noticed proved to us that he wasn’t really watching it and that was the amusing part for us. That and the fact that although he was obviously “zoned out” you only had to mention a cup of tea or putting the kettle on and he would instantly say he wanted one.
As I said, at the time this was more a source of amusement than it was a source of concern, but interestingly I now find myself doing the self-same thing, It seems that hours can go past before I look at the clock and realize that I too have been “zoned out” for all that time. I think I am entering into an internal dialogue with the thoughts and voices, more the thoughts I would say and that leads me to a place where the rest of the world just doesn’t exist. But how do I stop this when the thoughts alone and often the voices also are ever at me and when the self-doubt and the harmfulness are ubiquitous within them?
I need to find peace – but at what cost? In truth I could ask for the Effexor (my antidepressant) and the Respiridone (the anti-psychotic that I am on) to be increased but my experience of this is that is simply chemically zombifies me and I cannot function even enough to pray or to worship or to focus enough to read my bible. I just cannot live like that and whilst I am finding each of those thing harder and harder and whilst I am “zoning out” more and more I do still have periods of lucidity like now.
Is the self-imposed isolation harmful to me? Possibly so but I would rather have that than put others in a position where I can offend or hurt them by what I say. Either way, I need to find an answer to these ever-present thoughts and dialogues that I am having with myself and I would rather harm myself than harm others.