This archived article was written by: Nikkita Blain
I have spent the majority of the semester in my room, guarded by comfortably familiar walls and away from people. It’s not a new thing for me to do.
There was a time about a year ago when I hid myself away. I realized I was no longer the same bubbly, outgoing and mostly confident person I had once seemed to be. I had become overly self-aware, I struggled with depression and a sudden case of social anxiety. I decided that I, and everybody else, would be better off if I retreated into my home to attempt to conquer my newfound emotional problems alone.
I thought I could fix them by doing a ton of thinking. It seemed to me that I was somehow contagious, like the awkward would “catch,” or that I would spread the depression and anxiety like an infectious disease. Obviously, this isn’t true in a physical sense. A person can’t “catch” emotional issues. However, I do know that moods do have a rather large affect on others. It’s difficult to be happy around someone who is crying, or staying calm around someone who is angry.
It became obvious that I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I didn’t feel as though I should be around other people because I didn’t want to affect them negatively with my difficult emotions. However, I came to realize that months had gone by, and I couldn’t account for doing much of anything in that time!
Most of my high school friends from Price had left for college. I had a few new friends (including my roommates) which was lucky, but for the most part, all I had accomplished was to sink further into self-depreciation as well as complete a few seasons of my favorite TV show. No longer were classes important to me and I didn’t stay out late with my friends as often as I used to. I began to realize that I was, essentially, a hermit.
It took a while for me to realize this, but once I did, I knew something had to change. I went to a church activity one Monday night. They were playing sports, which I am not confident in, but I knew I had to try. One of my roommates came with me and we ended up finding a few of my friends from my freshman year of college as well as a couple new guys that would stay good friends clear until now.
It just took that one step and slowly my friend group began to build itself back up. I began to realize that I wasn’t as “contagious” as I once thought. Life started becoming more joyful, and I began to smile more and stay out with friends longer.
Reaching out is frightening, especially when you feel like something is wrong inside. Social stress is awful, depression is so debilitating, and anxiety makes it extremely difficult to function properly. However, I’ve learned you can’t skip out on life until you’re emotionally well.
I repeat. You cannot, absolutely cannot, skip out on life until you feel like you’re okay. We can’t wait until we’re cured to go live our lives, because often the things that we are tempted to avoid are exactly the things that will help us through our hardships.
Being at home can be good but if we stay secluded too long we start to wither. So don’t let your life pass you by because you’re scared, or because you don’t feel good enough. It’s important to take time to be well, to take time to rest, but we also need to take time to make the memories that make life worth living.