Isolation.

Covid-19 pandemic and the social changes made me realise a lot about myself and my isolated life. In the initial days of the lockdown, I read a lot on how people are finding it difficult to stay isolated. Some people were caught in all sorts of unwanted situations like staying with abusive partners, narcissistic parents etc. The whole world was somehow connected and ideas to stay connected were everywhere. Podcasts were advising people on managing loneliness, keeping fit, keeping your mental health in check, eating healthy and so on.

None of the above things mattered to me. “Why didn’t I get any help or have awareness on all these when I had been living in isolation for so long?”, was the only question I kept asking myself. I kind of felt betrayed and angry. On whom, I have no idea. Mostly on myself for not being aware at all as to how deep I was sinking and that I didn’t even realise that I was isolated. I felt relieved when I finally had enough validation from the world that it was indeed difficult to live like I did. I was able to hate myself a little less.

But the isolation wasn’t something I wanted or did with an intention either. It just happened. I moved out of my parents house and moved in with my partner five years ago. I wanted to get out of my parents place for some reason. I had not realised then as to why I couldn’t stand living with my parents. Now I know better. I was fine during the first year after I moved out but then things started going south after I failed in an exam in the first attempt. It usually takes at least 2 to 4 years to clear this exam but I was made to believe that I was done for.

My self-esteem plummeted. It has always been low but I managed all these years. Now I was faced with the reality for the first time ever. I felt immense anxiety about everything and anything and literally had no confidence to do anything with my life. I fell into deep depression and I did not realise that I was suffering from all these mental health issues. I just stayed like a zombie for three long years. I blamed myself for everything and I struggled with suicidal ideation too. No one came to my rescue and when I shared something I was blamed for it too.

I was not accepted by my parents (though they will never admit to this) because they acted as if the failure hurt them more than it hurt me. They did not value me without a proper job. For them,trying after a failed attempt did not matter. I stopped visiting them for my own mental health. When I told them about my depression, they refused to believe me. So I totally avoid talking about anything with them nowadays. Living together with your partner before marriage comes with its own isolation in a country like India. My parents pretend like I don’t have a partner and lie to my relatives that I refuse to get married to save their face. So it created a deep sense of shame in me.

The only person I relied on in all through this was my boyfriend and it has taken a toll on the relationship too I believe. I recently got to know that he never felt attracted to me. I have no idea as to why someone will go through life with me for five long years and drop this bomb. The loneliness I felt after that was immense. It was as if the five years were a blur and did not mean anything at all.

So yes, when covid-19 happened and people felt isolated, I felt relieved because I was not crazy for feeling the way I did and that now my experiences were shared by all. I am now preparing myself to get out after this lockdown and figure out life for myself. Facing all my insecurities and living comfortably in my own skin and if possible with the right people is the thing I look forward to in life.

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