I spend a lot of time in my own head. This is not good. It leads me to overthink things to such an extent that I can become paralyzed and as a result unable to fix a problem or make a decision, or whatever is needed at the time. Sometimes, however, it works in my favor. Near constant analysis (which is only a slight exaggeration), can lead me to make sense of behaviors that on the surface make absolutely no sense.
An example of this occurred recently. While I know pretty well what will help relieve my stress in a healthy way, I very often fall into destructive behaviors. I’m fairly certain this does not only apply to me. But when this happened to me during a period where I was feeling really good, I became determined to find out why.
Sadness is Normal
My destructive behavior is seeking isolation. I will gradually stop talking to others until I have very little contact with friends and family. I don’t know very many people who do the same thing, so I don’t know how common this is.
I think some people seek out others when they don’t feel good in order to talk about it. This is the case for me when I am angry. But in times of depression I simply want to be alone. However, recently I did this during a time where I was very happy. I had accomplished several long-term goals, but still sought out loneliness and isolation. It confused me for a while, but I think it has more to do with feeling comfortable.
(This has a happy ending, I swear).
I’ve spent the better part of the last decade in a state of general sadness, and at times deep depression. I’ve dwelt on a lot of things that I felt should be happening in my life but weren’t, like having a steady job, graduating from college, and even having friends.
Recently overcoming many of the issues I’ve struggled with for so long initially made me very happy. This is very logical. But I slowly for reasons I did not understand changed that.
Sadness is Comfort?
I did not understand why I would isolate myself for a while in times of joy. I later realized that isolation causes sadness and sometimes depression, which is comforting for me. It’s what I’ve experienced for the last 10 years. It’s what I know and what my mind understands. (Again, I swear this has a happy ending). A sudden change to this is not only uncomfortable, but scary.
So, I sought it out. And it lead to a lot of other problems that come with having far too much time to think about your own life, like self-doubt and fear of failure.
There is something I am extremely grateful for, and that is having family and friends who know what is normal for me. They know that not talking to them for a couple of days is a problem, and will bother me until I do. To those people (they know who they are): thank you.