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Feeling guilty for not getting out


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I often get told to give myself praise for how far I've come in such a short period of time. In the last nine months I've gone from being a recluse, not ever talking to people, possibly psychotic and never going anywhere, to being fairly emotionally stable (at least in comparison), no real active psychotic symptoms - if I did even ever have any- , having two peer support groups I try to go to weekly and I don't live close to a town, and a voluntary job I go to once a week, I did want to work more but that couldn't offer me more hours. But still I battle with the thoughts that if I chose to have a day off from groups I'm somehow not helping myself enough. I guess I'm scared that I'll become lazy if I don't do these things weekly and not breaking the cycle of depressive and anxious thoughts fully. But often I just feel too tired to do the other thing, talking to people, making that thirty minute motorbike journey, dealing with anxiety provoking thoughts. 

I guess I just have to throw myself at my interests, distraction seems to work for me.

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You certainly have come a long away in just nine months. Congratulations! There is no reason to feel guilty period. You are not doing anything illegal or immoral by missing groups. However, you do want to watch yourself so that you don't end up missing more and more and find yourself isolating again. But missing groups here and there is no biggie. 

What I'm trying to say is that there is nothing to feel guilty about. All you want to do for the sake of your mental health is to watch that not going to events doesn't become a habit. I hope that no one at these groups lays the guilt trip on you. You are a free individual and can do what you want. If you don't feel like going here and there then do what you want. I'm just saying that you don't want to make it a habit to miss these events.

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Thank you for the kind words. I guess this is just depression trying to hang on for dear life. How do you stop this reflex like thinking of guilt?

So far I've been able to go to one of the peer support groups every week since starting it, the other only once or twice so far. Maybe I'm just pacing myself, and I'll be able to do a full weeks of activities sooner or later.

 

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I think there is always this pressure for introverts to be more like extroverts because extroversion sort of default setting for most people. Humans are social beings so most people happily build their lives around that. I don't think the guilt introverts feel about their preferences in life is intentional on the part of extroverts, it just happens because introverts have to live in a society that puts high value on behaviours comfortable for extroverts. I don't think either side should feel bad about what they are doing, its just how things are.

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Undue feelings of guilt can be a symptom of depression so you might be right and are still dealing with some unresolved depression. However, you have made tremendous progress in the last nine months. It's going to take time to get up to 100%. Life is often not easy for us with MI and has many bumps along the way, but that's ok. You will get where you want to be eventually. Just try not to add to your burden by placing guilt on yourself (which I know is easier said than done).

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7 hours ago, saintalto said:

I think there is always this pressure for introverts to be more like extroverts because extroversion sort of default setting for most people. Humans are social beings so most people happily build their lives around that. I don't think the guilt introverts feel about their preferences in life is intentional on the part of extroverts, it just happens because introverts have to live in a society that puts high value on behaviours comfortable for extroverts. I don't think either side should feel bad about what they are doing, its just how things are.

Have you ever read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking? It's an enjoyable little read.

To the original poster, I'm an introvert and I also have a tendency to isolate, which for me is a bad thing (to the extent I take it). And isolating has it's own inertia, so I agree with jt about just watching to make sure the isolating trend doesn't continue.

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22 minutes ago, Southern Discomfort said:

I can be my own worst critic at times.

That is true of everyone. We tend to accumulate every critical thing said to us over the years and play them back over and over. The trick is to turn off the critic and to become our own best advocate. It's very hard to do, but if we can do that then life becomes a whole lot easier. This is where therapy is very helpful.

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