We all need alone time once in a while. Between school, work, extracurricular activities, church and bible studies, friends, family, and other obligations, sometimes we feel like we need a little space. But what happens when we distance ourselves too much?
I’ve been struggling with mood disorders for a long time now. Sparing you the wookie-hairy details, one of the things that goes along with these issues of mine is I tend to isolate myself in the thick of it. When I’m in a mood, I want to hide from everyone I know, including my husband, who is honestly one of the few people I feel like I can spend time with on a regular basis.
When I’m in this malcontent head-space, becoming a recluse seems to be the most logical solution to the problem at hand. However, I’ve come to realize when I get all up in my feelings and shut everyone out, I’m shutting myself in and away from potential lifelines.
God does not want us to be alone, at least not the majority of the time. In the beginning, He looked at Adam and literally said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) and thus he created Eve to be a helper, or companion to Adam. We were designed from the beginning for fellowship and to help one another because, when it’s all said and done, we alone cannot truly help ourselves.
A lot of times when I get into my hermit mode, I feel by doing so I’m helping people. I know I’m not good company when I get like that, so I spare other people my unpleasantness. I think I’m doing everyone I know a service by doing this, because why would someone want to spend their time trying to fix this hot mess?
And yet, I look at myself and realize if the situation was reversed, even though I often feel I’m not much help when it comes to comforting other people, I would try my best to be there for my loved ones. After all, helping to carry the burdens of our loved ones and even strangers is what Christ wants us to do (Galatians 6:2), even if we don’t necessarily know how to help.
God uses us to help others in need and vice versa. So by me turning away the people who want to help me, in a way I’m also turning away God, and as Sonic says, “That’s No Good!”
I’ve found in the past when I do finally come out of my shell and let other people help me through my mood, though I feel a little lighter afterwards, I often don’t feel completely #overit. During these times, I tend to seek my fortress of solitude yet again to consider what is wrong with me. In these moments, I had failed to consider the obvious: it’s not more me-time I need, but God and me time.
Despite the fact that we weren’t made to be solitary creatures, we do need alone time with God from time to time. To make the best out of my sessions with friends after my many mood relapses, I should always have followed up with prayer to thank God for working through my loved ones and asked for His guidance to apply these lessons to my life in a way that best pleases Him. I should always do my homework to make sure I can continue doing what I’m supposed to.
I may always be this way. Depression, anxiety, etc, will likely always be a part of me, but it is the way God made me, and with His help, through others and otherwise, I know I can work through this–and I don’t have to do it alone.