Isolation does something to a persons mental state. I’m sure you’ve already figured this out as we are a month into this social distancing endeavor. It truly depends on your personality to know how you will react in these situations.
As an introvert, I thought I was THRIVING. I was getting things done. Projects, books, cleaning, all the things. I was finishing everything. I felt like I finally was getting my crap together. This COVID thing wasn’t going to be so bad after all. But then my husband and I were having a conversation and everything started crashing around me with 6 innocent little words.
I told him that he was my best friend. That he is my most favorite human to spend time with. Then he said it.
“I wish you would show me.”
Boom. There it was. All the things I had been accomplishing had come at a price. I had begun to neglect my husband and probably my children because I had taken self-isolation to an extreme. The call to self-isolate was permission for my introverted heart to sequester itself away from everything in the earth. To focus solely on me. Ignore everyone else. Everything has a cost.
For me, isolation meant I no longer had to think about anyone else – no out of the home human interaction meant that I was allowed to live within my own thoughts and not think about how others view me. I buried myself into my projects so that I didn’t have to deal with the reality of our world. And the changes happening in my soul. Usually, a couple of days of this is no big deal. You get over the funk of being stuck in yourself and go on with your life and see friends and move on. But we’ve been doing this isolation thing for a month. A WHOLE MONTH.
A month of me being alone with me. And as it turns out – I am my own worst critic. My own worst enemy. Satan has begun to find the cracks in my plans – where my plans were my own and not Gods and he was trying to slime his way into them. Filling my heart with the darkness that is self-doubt.
You might have even noticed. I stopped writing. I stopped going live with my art. Stopped making new art. Stopped striving to be the best version of myself. The me that God has been working so diligently to mold into His own image. I stopped being me. I was starting to become a shell of myself. Who filled her time with things that don’t really matter but make her feel accomplished. I really thought I had my act together. But you see, I was neglecting those who need me the most. My family.
Now, don’t worry. Everyone was being bathed and fed. But my heart wasn’t in it. I wasn’t giving them as much of myself as should be. I started noticing it with their attitudes and their lack of discipline. The emotional messes began piling up. But my husband, he noticed me – me losing my attitude and my discipline. He saw me losing my passion. He saw my selfishness. And he did the right thing – he pointed it out to me without hurting me. He was gentle.
Because that’s the thing about being an introvert -Once you start closing into yourself. You cannot be FORCED out of the hole you created. It takes gentle, truly genuine care to coax you out. When Jacob started to coax me out of my darkness – I found Jesus there next to him. Waiting for me to begin my journey again. You see, I’d kind of closed myself off from Him too. I didn’t mean to. It was definitely not intentional – but when you leave the Jesus space open in your heart – it lets the Enemy come in and push HIM out even more.
I want to tell you that I’m 100% back to normal. That I am A-Okay and that this was just a passing phase – but friends, this is a daily battle. I have to choose DAILY to come out of my shell and participate in life. It is HARD. Some days, I kind of want to cry or nap… or both. I’ve started drinking coffee all day just to feel alive. (This is BIG because I had cut back to one cup of coffee PER WEEK!) I am making a billion face masks for the hospital just to feel needed. I clean the house daily just to see I accomplished something.
I am not okay. And that’s okay. It’s okay if you’re not okay. But we need to be honest. With ourselves. And with each other. When someone asks me how I am doing – I want to feel like I am allowed to say “THIS REALLY EFFING SUCKS!” And then burst into tears. I don’t want to lie anymore and tell everyone that I am doing just fine because * Jokingly * My craft supply has been preparing me for this moment of my whole life. I want to say I am lonely. And I miss you. And I miss me.