I’m completing my graduate certificate online. In some ways, it’s great: I get less anxiety interacting with my peers and teachers, I create my own schedule (for the most part), and I don’t have to put on pants to go to school! Also, I don’t have to leave my house. This is both a pro and a con. It’s nice that I don’t have to leave the house if I don’t want to (Who among us hasn’t had days where they’ve gone “I don’t want to go anywhere today!”?), but I think being forced to leave the house has its good points too. If you have to go out to get to work, or school, or the gym, or something (anything), then you’re still out there in the world, perhaps getting some face-to-face interactions, seeing the sun, etc..
I don’t have to go out, so I don’t. I do get out once in a while to do a bit of shopping, so it isn’t as though I am a complete shut-in. However, most of the time, I shop with my brother. I’ve only been out on my own 3 or 4 times in 3 months. Some people might not think anything of this, but it’s not my norm.
Here’s what I’ve noticed. I’ve started to become avoidant and perhaps even a bit agoraphobic about going out. I got some anxiety just from taking trash outside. There is a nearby store I’ve wanted to check out, but it hasn’t seemed like ‘the right time’ (it’s a store – if it’s open, and you have the time and money, it’s the right time!). I’ve considered taking a walk, but always find an excuse not to. I’ve never been like this before! I assume it is from spending so much time in the house. If so, what a vicious circle: don’t go out, become afraid of going out; be afraid of going out, don’t go out; rinse and repeat!
I’ve been more depressed as well. I don’t know if that’s from my reclusive ways or if it’s just because I have depression. I suspect it’s all sort of part and parcel, like the anxiety. What a mess!
Sometimes I feel like I’m going a bit stir-crazy. I think to myself from time to time “If I don’t go outside and get some social interaction today, I will lose my mind!”. Once, I followed this up by going to buy milk. The rest of the time, I just sort of wait about for my brother to get home from college so I have somebody to talk to.
I recognize that this isn’t a very good way to live, not for me. I’m still hoping to go out and go for some walks, and to check out that store. I don’t know when I’ll motivate myself to, but hopefully it will be soon.
If it’s any consolation, I’m going out to shop today. Not on my own, but it’s better than nothing.
Maybe I’ll take a walk today.