Fighting the urge to isolate

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I am taking a class to get myself out into the community and to do something I'm interested in. It's a photography class. I need to go in an hour and I am feeling my usual fear about going. Every week I get overwhelmed by fear and a strong desire to skip the class. When I go, I am completely fine. I love the class and have a great time. I missed the last class, and I really want to use that as an excuse not to go this time. I have such an overwhelming desire to cancel the class. Just thought I would try this forum for some support.

good luck the same...tai chi is wednesday mornings at 10am.....i sooo need to go..and want to get back to far...after the school holidays i hope to start.........but will see........
I do the same thing. I have a exercise class that I love, but getting myself to go each time is torture. It's so hard to give myself that push, even when I know it'll make me feel better to go. So you're not alone with that. It's good that going to the class does make you feel good! Keep it up.
Ahh, good old avoidance. I find a million excuses to avoid situations, the fear and anxiety always convincing me that hiding out in my room will make me safe. Sometimes it gets the better of me, but I'm always so relieved and happy when I take control. First off, good for you for enrolling in a class. Photography is such a great hobby and easy to lose yourself in. Once you miss class once it's always easy to miss it again. Don't let yourself fall into that trap. I used to do this with my university classes so I would hold off for as long as possible before I would skip a class. You owe it to yourself to follow through with this! It sounds like such a positive and healthy thing for you to do. You have already made such a great step in the right direction, keep up the great work :D
I am so the same way. It's so hard the night before and the day of when I have to do something, even when part of me knows, just like you say, "I'll enjoy it once I'm there". And I am finding that things usually go better and I feel better than I would have predicted. Actually, that's what they call this habit, "Negative Prediction". Keep reminding yourself that it's actually easier on you to show up, than it is to sit at home, grinding your gears about it. And photography can be so enjoyable and rewarding. Even when I don't take a single picture, it still gets me out for a walk and some fresh air, and makes me feel lighter at heart.

We have to persevere, constantly correcting course as we go,
Oh yes...I do this very often! My head has a million reasons why I should not go....and it gets smarter by the minute...but sometimes I pretend that I am talking to my inner kid who is scared....and classes are fun....and yet is is so weird that the lonely dark sometimes feel more comfortable than the expansion of life. When I go out and have fun at a class or outing I forget I have PTSD (which is such a freakin' relief because it is like I am obsessed with it!) and I feel part of something bigger....

Best of luck and let us know how your class was :)

I am so glad you are fighting the urge to isolate. I did not and now the world has passed me by. Trying to re-enter is the most difficult thing I have ever tryed. Just going to the store for food puts me to bed for the rest of the day.

Fight this with all your might. I know it is hard.
I am so glad you are fighting the urge to isolate. I did not and now the world has passed me by. Trying to re-enter is the most difficult thing I have ever tryed. Just going to the store for food puts me to bed for the rest of the day.

Fight this with all your might. I know it is hard.

The hard thing for me right now is finding balance. My doctor has very strongly let me know that I also need to withdraw to a degree to rest. I have probably a dozen interactions each week and maybe three outings not including my doctor's visits twice a week. And on those days I go to my doctor, I also try and take a twenty minute walk either before or after through central park. The flowers help. Even when people upset me, I can focus on the flowers and trees.

But I've "come out" as PTSD to a few close friends. All of whom have been very supportive and surprisingly understanding. It's amazing how many families have been touched by this disorder (i.e. one friend has a brother with what he thinks is undiagnosed PTSD, someone else had an aunt with it, etc. etc.). And at least once every other week I'm trying to meet on of these said understanding friends for decaffeinated beverages somewheres in public, in a new location to me for a couple hours. These outings are ALWAYS exhausting at this point. But trying to stay socially limber enough so I can be more active when my own recovery progresses.

*sigh* Balance balance balance. Can't beat myself up about it and be unkind. But also need to push myself a little bit, even at this stage. But reading others stories of managing despite the struggle really does inspire and lend hope. Thanks for the hope everyone. I hope I too can pass it along some day. :smile:
I'm kind of wondering where I fit into all of this. While I'm out in social situations I usually have a good time, although I almost always spend the entire time at some level of dissociation and feel out of control.

But then I come home to 2-3 days of sheer hell. I experience intrusive thoughts until I'm in tears and irrational, obsessing over everything I said and did, eating compulsively, too wired to sleep but too exhausted to do anything else. I usually have to find something to completely detach my mind from reality for an extended period of time... This has gone on for years (a decade or more?)

So now, if I am too stressed before the occasion, I just don't go. I used to try and force myself to go anyway, but I never seem to get any better, only worse, so going through hell both BEFORE and AFTER the occasion just doesn't seem worth it to me. Definitely not the best solution, I know, but until I can find some better coping skills, it seems the best I can do.

yes, fighting that urge to isolate is really important and part of long term recovery. Obviously we need downtime too.

Why do I think it is important to overcome this for recovery?

1) Fighting the urge to isolate helps us to build behavioral patterns for the future.

2) We can trust people that have stuck through PTSD with us and they will provide invaluable support in the future.

3) Being connected to humanity helps... us and them...

I'm sure there are more points, but ultimately being in the world with good and safe people helps the process of healing.

yeap, i know all about isolation. I fight it big time. The world of people out there is unpredictable. I am proud that you are taking steps to get out and into life alittle.

I became a member of a local gym nearby where I live, and they offer a wide variety of different classes. I would like to go to one everyday, but my therapist said to make sure I stay well rested right now.

Going out to Starbucks for coffee was a good motivator and a reason I used to get out of the house, but now were pinching pennies so I get Starbucks 2 times a week.

Since my darn treadmill broke I am forced to get out and go to them gym, but I don't go as often as I should, but I do go.

I have to just keep pushing through this crap, so I can one day actually have a life. I want you to have a great life too. Use a dry erase marker and write something to motivate you to go to your photography class. Sounds like it would be lots of fun.
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