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Isolation can be a State of Mind

Share your heart, share your story, share your passions. Surround yourself with a community that cares about who you are over what you do or what you bring. You are important. You are worth it.

My blog entries have a tendency to just hit me in the face…

For all the planning I try to do and as regimented as I try to be, I always seem to be deleting so many of my “well thought out” posts. But it is the momentary thoughts that bring me to my keyboard and keep me there until the words stop appearing on the page; they seem to move from my subconscious mind to my finger tips and even surprise me as they appear on the screen. (I’d call that “writer mumbo-jumbo”…but then again I’d need to be classified as a writer for that to be the case.)

One of my major thoughts in trying to handle my own anxiety and depression as well as help others to handle their own issues is that we need to seek out and be involved in community. This is the third in the trifecta I have developed of identity, priority, and community. This thought is based in the idea that so much surrounding anxiety and depression happens within our own minds and is almost always played out in isolation. Community helps us to battle that isolation, those over critical thoughts, and the misconceptions that we develop when we only see the world through our own slightly skewed point of view.

Community doesn’t have to be groups with fancy names or designated purposes. Those are incredibly helpful, but when I say community I mean having people around you that you interact with regularly and deeply. You don’t always have to pour your heart out every time you see them, but they know you on a core level and they know what you go through. You trust their opinions, in some circumstances even more than your own. These are people that will not only help you in your times of isolation, they will call you on it when you do isolate yourself (mentally or physically).

Despite my firm belief in the necessity of community I seem to fall victim to the isolation of my own mind far too often. It is only when I feel the support of the community around me that I begin to pull out of my own mental spiral that I so frequently feel helpless to resist. Twice in the last 24 hours I have had members of the community of those who struggle with anxiety and/or depression reach out to me to encourage me, to check on me, and to support me.

My community knows not only my issues, but my heart as well. They know I am not perfect and yet that in and of itself is sometimes the cause for my anxiety. They know I want people to be happy and that often pushes me into a pleasing mindset that turns me into someone willing to sacrifice myself at the altar of someone else’s convenience. They know that when I am hurting only those who know how to recognize that in me will see it through the smile that I wear. But most importantly, they know my heart. They know my faith is my foundation, my family is my rock, and my passions run deep.

More often than not the advice I receive is sound, but not ground breaking. But it’s not the advice that empowers me, it’s the community that surrounds me. It’s the check ins, the phone calls, the text messages. The “I just wanted to touch base”, the “what’s going on today”, and the “tell me what you’re thinking” that reminds me that I don’t go through life alone. None of us do. 99.9% of the time the state of being alone is a creation of our own mind. It may manifest itself in physical form because we tend to remove ourselves in those moments, but we don’t have to choose isolation. There are dozens of people that we interact with a day and a handful of those interactions are people with whom we have a very personal connection with.

Share your heart, share your story, share your passions. Surround yourself with a community that cares about who you are over what you do or what you bring. You are important. You are worth it.

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