When Isolation becomes your best friend

By Wr. Njeri Macharia

A couple of days ago I felt so lonely. It broke my heart. I broke down and I cried to my mom and I told her, “Mom, I don’t think I have any friends anymore.” She said, “No, that’s not true. You have a lot of friends. You have just been so withdrawn and isolated for so many years which doesn’t seem to bother you or so I see it that way but all I know is that every now and then I get to watch you break down over this. I may not ask you to get out there because I have no slightest idea how it feels to be you but I can assure you that you do have a lot of friends and am also here for you.”

This melted my heart and it got me thinking how true her words are…


Any sickness can be very isolating. Whether it’s HIV, diabetes…you name them, even a simple cold. It’s that feeling that you are different. With bipolar (insert mental illness) you get to have heaps of both internal and external isolation. The feeling that you are the “craziest” and a freak among your peers. The feeling that you are not worthy, not worthy of friendship or love, leads to internal isolation. The feeling that nobody could possibly be sharing your experiences and the fear of social relationships (even work related) lead to external isolation.


Every now and then I have gotten past that fear and I can assure you I always go back to my haven (isolation) deeply wounded and worse than the previous experience. Mostly it’s love related but this time round a friend told it to my face that they didn’t come to visit me because they “feared me”. I don’t like people awakening those demons in me because I always feel like now I should just give them a reason to. Another time someone called me a “killer”…oh Lord did I want to slit his throat….honestly, on what grounds? Just because am crazy doesn’t mean am not human but because am crazy please don’t go there. So yeah, basically being alone helps me avoid all these and swallow that bitter pill whenever it hits me that am so lonely.


I know I have friends, I have just been too withdrawn.


#mentalillnessawareness #bipolar #isolation #lonely



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