My Life as a Hermit

her·mit

/ˈhərmit/
Noun
  1. A person living in solitude as a religious discipline.
  2. Any person living in solitude or seeking to do so.

While I don’t live in solitude for religious discipline, I do live find myself being a hermit lately… not all entirely by choice. I say by choice because a part of why I isolate is due to my depression. The worse my depression is, the deeper I go into that dark cave. Most of my adulthood I have danced a fine line between the outside world and that solitude. Solitude can be healthy at times but for me it too much of it can be a very bad thing and the longer I go without interaction from the outside world the harder it is to escape.

Seclusion for me was a way to protect myself from the deep hurt that the world had inflicted upon me. It was a way to block myself from the pain of it all. I find myself feeling like I am a million miles away from everyone I love, when they live upstairs from me. The deeper I go into that depressive hermit mode, the more I try to hide from others… to the point where I will only go upstairs when everyone else is sleeping. In the past I have intentionally went hungry because I didn’t want to face anyone. (the kitchen is upstairs) That tells you how severe my isolation gets at times.

When my Mom died in September I went back into hiding and I wasn’t sure if I would ever come out… nor was I sure I wanted to. Living a life of a hermit is a miserable existence but at least I don’t get hurt. This is how my mind works. I don’t realize that living this way is hurting me as well. I’ve gone weeks without leaving the house and usually only leave the house when I have to go to appointments. Honestly if it wasn’t for therapy and occasionally getting groceries I am not sure if I would leave.

I have been seeking refuge in this cave for many years. Usually I hit a point where the isolation becomes so unbearable that I must make a run for it. Picture a crazy person running on the streets, that’s me!!! 🙂 I’m getting to that point now, where boredom starts to sink in. You can only get on the internet, play games on your phone and watch tv only so much before it drives you mad.

With isolations comes deep loneliness and sadness. It’s not as if I want to be myself, it’s that I feel I have no other choice. I have to wonder how my feelings of worthlessness affects my need to isolate, like I don’t deserve to be around anything good. Those voices tell me I deserve to be alone. I have learned when you give people chances, they only hurt you. When they hurt me (deeply) I usually go running back to my cave. I have done this time and time again, like a broken record. 

Part of me feels like running again. Starting all over like I have done so many times before but I am tired of running. Tired of starting all over again.

I have to find balance and disconnect myself from other people’s feelings and actions. It is when I connect myself to them, that my life crashes and burns. It’s like I am constantly putting out fires and running in emergency mode. Danger, Danger!!!

I’m scared of the world. Scared of being hurt again. Scared of people dying. Scared. I live my life in fear and that is no way to live. That fear puts me behind bars every single time.

I often wonder when did I start this cycle of being a hermit. Was it when I was sexually abused? Honestly it probably has something to do with that. I can remember hiding beneath my pillow and praying that it would stop… I also did that when my father would go into his tyrants. I guess I learned to be a hermit very early on in my childhood. It was safer to be alone, in the comforts of my bed. I could just close my eyes and pretend the bad away. I guess I am trying to do that today but it just ain’t working and I’m failing miserably.

I wish I could just go out into the world bravely, standing tall and strong. Drowning out these fearful voices is difficult when they are so deafening loud. I wish I was more like Superman, who I grew up loving, and be able to face anything that came my way. Even Clark Kent gets out into the world. I just want to rip my shirt off and show the world that I am the man of steel but lately I feel like the man of cellophane.

I’m not sure why I am so scared to venture back into the world. Is it failure? success? fear of getting hurt again? It’s probably all of those and then some. Part of me wishes I could live like hermit forever but I know that isn’t possible since I’m not rich, nor do I have my own place in the woods. Honestly I’m not really a hermit and it doesn’t bring me an ounce of solitude. I force myself to live this way and I am learning to rewire my brain to believe otherwise.

 

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