View Full Version : resurrecting friendships after self isolating


peripatetic
05-29-17, 10:10 PM
so, this probably isn't related to my adhd diagnosis and could've gone into other co existing conditions, but i suspect those with only adhd or adhd and things i don't have might encounter this problem as well. that's why i put it here.

i have a problem doing this. a lot of it, in my case, stems from times i'm unwell or hospitalised...and to be frank, i also self isolate when i'm suicidal.

the positive is that i'm feeling much better at the moment. i do fear i've burned bridges though with people. every time i self isolate, i lose someone. and i don't really know how to stop that from happening.

does this happen to others? or something similar? how do you maintain relationships?

this isn't just offline either. even online ones have fallen apart because of it.

cheers in advance for any insight on this. xx

namazu
05-29-17, 10:34 PM
Me, too. No good advice to offer, alas!

RobotInDisguise
05-29-17, 11:20 PM
no advice to offer as it's something I want to work on as well but hugs and power to us all. for me it's a really bad depressive phase and period of acting pratty and acting out and I guess I walked away with the realization I want to be kind to everyone wo any conditions or strings attached.

dvdnvwls
05-30-17, 12:34 AM
I don't think there's any formula. I've done this very badly and far too many times.

The main thing that I know is that a lot of my friends have been surprisingly kind about it.

sarahsweets
05-30-17, 03:46 AM
I have tried to apologize and own my part when this has happened to me. I explain why I was MIA but offer no further excuses.

Unmanagable
05-30-17, 09:13 AM
I don't know how to maintain ongoing healthy relationships outside of self other than just interact when it feels it right, come straight from the heart, and try to communicate as kindly as possible when things don't feel right, which sometimes means simply remaining quiet and moving on.

Then there's the days of ongoing filter malfunctions when the verbal vomit potential is in full force and many things get said that probably shouldn't, creating even more awkward dynamics to navigate. Still searching for that "off/on" switch.

Feeling accepted, welcomed, and liked one day, then feeling cast aside the next and not feeling a genuine bond for whatever reason makes for even more isolating moments, especially once the mind gets a hold of those feelings and runs with it, as it so often loves to do.

Emotional regulation issues just adds more perplexing layers to peel back in our attempts to work through it all. Add multiple traumas to the mix and it gets even more interesting. We think being bullied by others is a b****, but we rarely recognize we are actively bullying our selves via our own self-talk.

It's grown to where I now prefer isolation more often than not. Isolation, to me, meaning living here in the forest and fully immersing myself in nature and trying to learn how to provide better self-care.

It doesn't feel like a bad or prohibitive thing at all, most days, rather it feels like the best nurturing time I've got, and it gives me a chance to grow lots of things, which is an area I struggled in for much of my life. I've switched my focus from people to plants, both of which can be strong medicine for the other.

So I guess my final answer is, hell if I know. lol

stef
05-30-17, 09:17 AM
I would happily welcome back any friend, online or IRL, who was absent or had isolated themselves for whatever reason :grouphug:

ginniebean
05-30-17, 06:49 PM
I have this same issue. I isolate in extreme ways. I try and fight it and then find myself fleeing into safety of aloneness all over again. I too feel I've burned bridges. I don't know how to fix this. I wish I did.

Fuzzy12
05-30-17, 07:49 PM
I do this as well. It's not really related to bad periods or anything but for a lot of the time I just can't mister the 4ffort it takes (for me) to maintain a friendship with anyone.

Sometimes just too much time has passed and I just never see them again but sometimes I just do contact them. I normally start these contact attempts with apologising for not being in touch. Most people are quite forgiving but close relationships do suffer I think in the sense that we might just not be thst close anymore after so much time has passed

I think they probably might understand or rather accept that sometimes you go missing and that that is ok abd doesn't mean you don't dare about them

peripatetic
05-30-17, 10:23 PM
Isolation, to me, meaning living here in the forest and fully immersing myself in nature and trying to learn how to provide better self-care.

when i self isolate, i have horrible self care practices. i definitely immerse myself in things, but they're not nature. more....thought patterns that aren't highly considered.

there's a word for it, i just am not going to say it. but, yes...i think if i managed self care whilst self isolating it'd be a whole different story. i also tend to stop leaving my house. and a lot of things. anyway...i think of what you wrote as "solitude", not isolation.:)

finallyfound10
06-04-17, 12:31 PM
I've been wondering the same thing. I cut off every single one of my friends starting in 2009 when I really started to go downhill. I contemplate getting back in touch but I'm not totally ready yet and even when I am, I'm not sure that I would.

I don't have any advice at all. I hope things work out for you and your friendships!

Abi
06-04-17, 02:09 PM
Same

We are all the same

There is a strange comfort in that.

dvdnvwls
06-04-17, 04:30 PM
Isolation is one of the conditions needed to allow solitude, but solitude needs other conditions at the same time. When you have isolation, but solitude's other conditions are not met, then you get... something else.

Solitude includes continuing confidence in the rest of humanity, and continuing confidence in one's own belonging in society - not a "me against them" or "them against me" situation.

sarahsweets
06-05-17, 04:34 AM
Its also hard when you are having a mental health issue that is reoccurring and even though you have explained it to a friend they still get upset with you for dropping off the planet.

peripatetic
06-05-17, 11:02 AM
Its also hard when you are having a mental health issue that is reoccurring and even though you have explained it to a friend they still get upset with you for dropping off the planet.

true... i think it's also hard for others to really grasp the nature of some chronic conditions. i think i've burned some bridges, too. what i mean by that is that i'm not entirely innocent in all cases. but then some...i don't know.

ToneTone
06-05-17, 10:24 PM
Wow great posts.

I remember having to tell a high school buddy of mine (we had kept in touch over many years) why I hadn't returned some of his phone calls ... I just owned up to depression ....

ADHD and life can be exhausting and some of us find rest in retreating from social interaction .... And social interaction can be tiring unless you regulate yourself a certain way (which I'm still learning) while in the presence of others.

One good thing ... as people get older, they don't expect you to stay in touch consistently like when you're in say, high school. So you have some leeway to just call someone out of blue ...

People get married ... disappear ... have kids and retreat from social life ... get fired ... move ... so I'm not sure it's as weird to suddenly try to resume friendship as we might at first think.

Tone

peripatetic
06-06-17, 09:40 AM
I would happily welcome back any friend, online or IRL, who was absent or had isolated themselves for whatever reason :grouphug:

this is undoubtedly the kindest thing i've seen on this thread. you are such a gentle, caring person, stef. xx


I remember having to tell a high school buddy of mine (we had kept in touch over many years) why I hadn't returned some of his phone calls ... I just owned up to depression ....

i think, for me, owning up to my mental illnesses is challenging. i don't always believe they're real, despite them doing real damage. but then even people who know, i think sometimes it's a matter of self preservation on their part or on mine. sometimes the mental illness win, i guess you could say.


unrelated to quotations pasted above:
and i've heard the standard, they weren't really your friends to begin with if they don't understand, but i don't think that's really the case. not necessarily. in some instances, i'm sure. but then sometimes i think it's hard to watch. being on the other side of my situation, i'd like to think, and having some amount of insight, i do get that. it's hard to watch. and it can be incredibly draining on me; i'm sure it's draining on others.

anyway, now i'm babbling a bit waiting for my small girl to awaken and for the day to be filled with joy until PHP. she's so wonderful. i hope she doesn't get tired of me in these ways. but it seem inevitable.

psychopathetic
06-06-17, 09:58 AM
Yeah same here.

I've lost some amazing friendships from it :*(. And some of them want to know why...why I never reached out to them during my isolating, or why I didn't let them know before hand. I never have any answers for them :(.

I do have a group of friends that have somehow stuck with me over the years though. I'll hang out with them quite a bit for awhile, then I just drop off the planet to them for months upon months.
Then we get back together randomly, catch up with each other, find that over all...not a whole heck of a lot has changed, and then it's just like old times lol.

I'm thinking of starting to hang out with them again here shortly. I'm lucky to have these guys. They never question why I dropped off the face of the earth. They never fuss over it.
It's nice not being questioned. It's nice not having to come up with answer that simply don't exist. To be liked enough that it doesn't matter.

peripatetic
06-06-17, 10:03 AM
Yeah same here.

I've lost some amazing friendships from it :*(. And some of them want to know why...why I never reached out to them during my isolating, or why I didn't let them know before hand. I never have any answers for them :(.


I'm lucky to have these guys. They never question why I dropped off the face of the earth. They never fuss over it.

It's nice not being questioned. It's nice not having to come up with answer that simply don't exist. To be liked enough that it doesn't matter.

that would be nice :) and i do have a couple of people like that.

i think maybe it's harder when the other people have mental health issues, too. it seems like it'd be easier, but it's not always. i think there's this idea that ...hmm... i have to think more on how to express what i'm thinking. but someone can understand the criteria for something in the DSM and still not have any preparedness for what that's going to look like in the person before you.

i hate being questioned, too. mostly because it's so hard to explain without sounding like a "crazy person" and the other problem is that once i start talking about it, i can get stuck in it again. it's...complicated.

Lloyd_
06-06-17, 11:07 PM
so, this probably isn't related to my adhd diagnosis and could've gone into other co existing conditions, but i suspect those with only adhd or adhd and things i don't have might encounter this problem as well. that's why i put it here.

i have a problem doing this. a lot of it, in my case, stems from times i'm unwell or hospitalised...and to be frank, i also self isolate when i'm suicidal.

the positive is that i'm feeling much better at the moment. i do fear i've burned bridges though with people. every time i self isolate, i lose someone. and i don't really know how to stop that from happening.

does this happen to others? or something similar? how do you maintain relationships?

this isn't just offline either. even online ones have fallen apart because of it.

cheers in advance for any insight on this. xx

Wow this is exactly what happened to me and I was just reflecting on this the other day thinking about some of my few friends over the years that I've lost contact with because of going on about 10 years now of self isolation. Perhaps it's not entirely the co condition of 'self isolation' but rather that feeling of not wanting to socialize due to ****ty job situation or the demands of school.


I for one am besides myself and even though in some ways I have a better handle on my anxiety and depression now I am more detached but at least back then I would just hide my depression and try to have fun but now that I am getting older it isn't working as well anymore.

finallyfound10
06-10-17, 02:17 PM
true... i think it's also hard for others to really grasp the nature of some chronic conditions. i think i've burned some bridges, too. what i mean by that is that i'm not entirely innocent in all cases. but then some...i don't know.

I've "burned some bridges" too. I haven't done anything but drop off the face of the earth not tell a friend/friends to f-off.

Interestingly, the people who I think that I've burned bridges with are not as emotionally, mentally and spiritually mature as the ones who I think would be welcoming and empathetic. Those people are emotionally, mentally and spiritually mature.

Could the way we a think a friend/friends would react to us getting in touch and telling the truth about ourselves, be how we use the phrase burning bridges?? For me, it is and I'm not sure that is even the correct usages of the idiom in that case.

userguide
06-10-17, 03:59 PM
I didn't read the whole thread carefully, so I might have missed something, but...


I remmeber a thread where a girl asked for advice on whether an ADHD bf,
who seems to be about to "burn the bridge" to her is really isolating or busy or bored or what,
and people said something along the lines of "If he's not initiating contact, maybe he's not into you any more and deal with it"

So why can't we be treated so liberally when it comes to friends and we feel guilty for losing them ?

If lovers get boring and fade away, can't frends do so as well ?

dvdnvwls
06-10-17, 04:27 PM
Burning bridges means leaving and then afterwards acting in ways that make it impossible to return. It means if you had just left but not done the stupid action then things might still have had a chance.

peripatetic
06-12-17, 04:14 PM
Could the way we a think a friend/friends would react to us getting in touch and telling the truth about ourselves, be how we use the phrase burning bridges?? For me, it is and I'm not sure that is even the correct usages of the idiom in that case.

it can mean to do so unintentionally and i certainly meant it in that way. sorta. my symptoms can result in my tampering with wires, for example, and accusing people of wiretapping me.

people don't necessarily enjoy being falsely accused of something only to find that i've cut their phone line thinking they were trying to access neurotechnological implants i think are in my head. or i'll refuse to eat food outside of this homemade yoghurt concoction which means i won't go out places...

it's complicated, is my point. but i think you have a better idea of what i mean than some standard idiomatic phrase used xyz way. i just mean, i'm not perfect and the way my symptoms manifest i will often self isolate and cut off all communication, sometimes for months, sometimes longer. sometimes shorter...but that's less frequently the case.

i have to get to group now...but that's my deal ;)

20thcenturyfox
06-16-17, 02:09 AM
Interesting time for me to see this thread...after just not having the energy or persistence to maintain much communication with anyone, I am just starting to come out of my foxhole more regularly and for longer periods.

To start with I just began returning more often to just one of my former activities. Initially I did not push myself to socialize beyond just being pleasant, definitely not to try to "reconnect" with anyone or start answering the phone, or create any other social expectations. Yet, somewhat in spite of myself, gradually I started making more effort to take calls from 2 people (who were not pressuring me), and it has really mushroomed from there. I'm still not 100% comfortable talking on the phone, but I must be making and taking 50 or 100 times the calls I was a year ago.

Over this period I've made some new friends who are tolerant of my failings and seem to be encouraging me to "make a come back." Besides being a precious lifeline to the outside world, I think these new friends have probably given me some "wiggle room" and more confidence about possibly running into older friends who have fallen by the wayside. Although I may still need to retreat now and then, I don't feel like such an incompetent failure as I did. As for explaining, I haven't done much, but I try to be both light and serious by saying that I'm trying to come back from a deep slump, and this or that person has been a huge help. Then I move on but also watch to gauge what level of insight or empathy might be there before I would say any more.

Since my progress has been extremely slow, I don't know that I should actually recommend any of this to anyone else. It could be that I should be taking advice, not offering it.

DJ Bill
06-16-17, 10:15 AM
When you are strong enough to initiate contact...do it in the least threatening way you can.. Perhaps a letter, email, or text, then call.

Usually it is not as bad as you might think....our crystal balls are really defective with the disorders we have. (Add a few addictions to the mix and our view of the future gets really distorted. )

I've got the same thing to do with neighbors where I used to live. At the moment everyone thinks I am very ill. I'll let them think that for now. After all, I am under a doctors care and on medication.

And some friends, may not have been friends in the first place, so they won't all reply. That is ok too. You have done your part, and it is up to them to contact you if they would like to restart the relationship.

And if you are in a nasty mood and they call, if you can't put on a good face, either don't take the call or take it and say I can't talk where I am right now, may I call you back?

Best of luck.

dvdnvwls
06-16-17, 12:51 PM
This may have been said already, but I was going to lose the thought if I didn't write it out quickly.

One of the difficulties for me is "How much of my 'stuff' does this person know?"

If I can see that there's a large gap in their knowledge or understanding, then I feel bad in many ways about reconnecting. Bad because I didn't tell them everything, bad because how will I tell them now, bad because having to try to explain myself discourages and embarrasses me, bad because I anticipate harsh judgment, ... Bad.

ginniebean
06-16-17, 01:21 PM
I have had time to think on this for awhile. I've been isolating for several years now. It's kind of amazing how my life changed even though I've had a propensity to self isolate my entire adult life. Mental illness is often not pretty, it's hard to sanitize for public consumption. In my case, there was nowhere to turn. In many ways I felt isolation was thrust upon me. Family, who while concerned about me, let me know in many ways that they thought I was crazy and anything I had to say was heard thru this filter. Friends would recoil if I started to try and talk about what was happening. The terror of realizing no one was on my side, help was not going to happen, left me feeling so alone, so stigmatized and so angry. The trauma that was ongoing in my offline life was intense.


My trauma caused me a lot of paranoia, a lot of frustration and I do believe I became very unpleasant to be around. It seems I am not good at quiet desperation but rather a dramatic, loud, angry and mistrustful desperation. The only way for me to deal with all these out of control emotions and fears was to isolate. To avoid being hurt, I truly could take no more. Along with this was the awareness of pain I inflicted and the crushing guilt and self loathing that came with it.

Being mentally I'll is really ******* hard, even surrounded by those with their own. Support is so important but there comes a time when it can't be received. Maybe due to our own overcharged defenses, and yeah, often the inability to relate or understand coming from others. This isn't any condemnation, everyone has limits and flaws.

It's a daily struggle, to walk thru the fear, the paranoia, with an overwhelmed and oversensitive mental system to be able to reach out, to even show up, seeming aloof and maybe even uncaring. This is mostly just stream of consciousness talking because I don't know how to bridge a treacherous landscape. I don't always have the bravery to try. I don't have the bravery to even be honest about it with others in a place I come to for support.

All I know is that making inroads into exposing my vulnerability, in ways that both expose and protect me, maybe vagueness, is all I can do. Not just for myself but for others. Coming forward and saying, yes I went quite far into the irrational world of mental illness I got lost will help in a tiny way to beat that stigma that is real and even in everyone.

I'd like to be my old self again but possibly that self is gone. A new sober and hardened by fire self is emerging. Quite a narrative, could be total bull. Maybe life is just hard and always will be for some.

Well, I exposed myself, as best I'm able, it doesn't feel good, much could be trite meaningless narrative I add as salve. Ymmv

dvdnvwls
06-16-17, 01:37 PM
Today, "concern" without compassion makes me sick. I'll feel better tomorrow I hope. But right now there are a few people IRL who I just want to yell at for a while: Your so-called concern is of no value except as a way to stroke your own ego.

Ugh. I'm probably wrong in my analysis anyway, but that's how I feel.

willow129
06-16-17, 02:09 PM
I know that my symptoms aren't as dramatic, but I think that since the 5 year relationship ended I've been dealing with isolating myself as well - aside from dating, and that's not really going that well. I have these moments of realizing when I have a problem I really don't know who I can talk to, cuz I've stopped talking to everyone it feels like. I didn't used to feel this way, so self conscious about initiating contact, I don't think so anyways. I've had circles of close friends, I always had someone who was a really best friend who I would talk to almost everyday, and I don't have that anymore. I just don't feel worthy of calling people, like they are busy and wouldn't want to hear from me anyways. Sometimes other reasons too....I have to fight with this quite a bit, it's so hard to get out of the hole and I feel crazy for it being so hard to just talk to someone or say hi in a way that's purely friendly.

I've been thinking about this for the summer and I think, like, getting back in touch with someone, someone who I feel really comfortable with, and maybe doing that by inviting them to do something, skype phone call tomorrow? I'm free after XYZ or meet up somewhere. I think inviting someone, it's like, doing some of the work and thinking and instinctively that maybe makes that person feel wanted. The other thing is, maybe instead of apologizing to them for your absence, or in addition, acknowledging that it happened and finding a way to thank them for understanding, or for not pressuring you, or for still wanting to talk after so long. I'm just suggesting a thanks instead of an apology so that we feel less guilt and beat ourselves up less, maybe could help to frame it a little differently.

**hugs all**

E-Rock
06-20-17, 12:57 AM
I now preface any friendships with a disclaimer about how crap I am at responding to texts and how I'll sometimes fall off the face of the earth for a month or two.

The nice thing about adulthood is that you can choose to be friends with people who understand that sometimes you need to peace out for a while. I opened up to two friends about a year ago when I was having anxiety that disrupted my ability to socialize. One of them was a huge d-bag; the other totally understood. I dropped the former and picked right back up with the latter.

E-Rock
06-20-17, 01:13 AM
Thank you articulating this so well (and with some humor).



Being mentally I'll is really ******* hard, even surrounded by those with their own. Support is so important but there comes a time when it can't be received. Maybe due to our own overcharged defenses, and yeah, often the inability to relate or understand coming from others. This isn't any condemnation, everyone has limits and flaws.

It's a daily struggle, to walk thru the fear, the paranoia, with an overwhelmed and oversensitive mental system to be able to reach out, to even show up, seeming aloof and maybe even uncaring. This is mostly just stream of consciousness talking because I don't know how to bridge a treacherous landscape. I don't always have the bravery to try. I don't have the bravery to even be honest about it with others in a place I come to for support.

All I know is that making inroads into exposing my vulnerability, in ways that both expose and protect me, maybe vagueness, is all I can do. Not just for myself but for others. Coming forward and saying, yes I went quite far into the irrational world of mental illness I got lost will help in a tiny way to beat that stigma that is real and even in everyone.

I'd like to be my old self again but possibly that self is gone. A new sober and hardened by fire self is emerging. Quite a narrative, could be total bull. Maybe life is just hard and always will be for some.

Well, I exposed myself, as best I'm able, it doesn't feel good, much could be trite meaningless narrative I add as salve. Ymmv

Amphitrite
06-23-17, 04:52 AM
Wow, I am new to this forum and I have to say that it feels so incredibly comforting that other people exist in the world with the same issues that I'm struggling with!! Thank you all for sharing! I self-isolate a lot and have lost people and burned many bridges too. It used to bother me to the point where I would get extremly anxious and depressed but nowadays I am slowly trying to get used it and embrace it. I often have these periods of time when I feel any sort of social interaction is just too much, even reading comments on social media or replying to an e-mail, let alone talking to people in real life.

Andi
06-23-17, 09:45 AM
I guess I can be selfish in regards to this issue. If you're really my friend and you know anything about me, my true friends get that I can do this from time to time. For me, when I'm ready to come out of hiding and this is where my most meaningful, loving friendships are, although there are just a few that I am close to, I'll say hi, how ya doing and it's like no time has passed. I think this is where I tend to handle relationships more like some guys...I don't need to talk to you everyday to be a friend. We can be close, loving friends and still not talk daily. If you stop talking to me for awhile, I don't take it personally. I hope to have the same consideration when I back away too. Many hugs and much love my friend. Days, weeks, months, years...no matter how long you're gone, I'm always happy and feel blessed when you return.

Lloyd_
07-01-17, 04:05 PM
I would like to get back in contact with a few friends that I haven't spoken to, but I feel it's pointless because they probably have already moved on and have other things more important going on in their lives. :o

Lloyd_
07-01-17, 04:07 PM
Wow, I am new to this forum and I have to say that it feels so incredibly comforting that other people exist in the world with the same issues that I'm struggling with!! Thank you all for sharing! I self-isolate a lot and have lost people and burned many bridges too. It used to bother me to the point where I would get extremly anxious and depressed but nowadays I am slowly trying to get used it and embrace it. I often have these periods of time when I feel any sort of social interaction is just too much, even reading comments on social media or replying to an e-mail, let alone talking to people in real life.

Yeah, I kind of miss those days when I had a social life but as the years have passed I realize that most people you know end up getting married and having families of their own.

midnightstar
07-01-17, 04:09 PM
I don't think I've had a social life since childhood. What is a social life?

And peri I hope you can connect with your friends again :)