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Self-Isolation dressed up as Solitude: The cost is bigger than we realise.

Let's start with a couple of definitions, shall we?


Solitude


a beautiful place to feed mind-body-brain. It is a private space we choose to enter in a desire to deepen our connection to our inner self. We are here to nourish our mind-body-brain. We can use this space to relax, reflect, creatively explore or spiritually grow. It is leveraged for one's personal development. It is expansive. We come away with a greater degree of self-awareness and inner peace.


Solitude


Self-Isolation


a place we must go to if we are to cope with our overwhelm, frazzled energy, or mental madness. It is an escape from life, people and situations that can feel like they are crushing our chest, wrenching in our guts or locking our upper body into blocks of cement. We are here to calm down, and temper the inner conflict that has become too much to handle. Prolonged Self-Isolation can trick us into believing we simply prefer a life of Solitude as the less of life we engage with, the less overwhelm we feel.


The opposite of Self-Isolation is not Solitude, it is Social Connection.


Solitude


I'm willing to bet it is Solitude, if your life demonstrates 3 of the 4 following traits:


1. Harmony across 3 or more areas of life? Money, Vocation, Mental, Physical, Social, Family, Spiritual?


2. Long-term meaningful friendships with at least 2 others?


3. Joy and pleasure from certain activities or areas of learning, that they are consistently investing in?


4. A purpose that is guiding your life, and being used to help them make decisions on opportunities that come your way? (Eg, is it aligned with my purpose, or taking me away from my purpose?)


Solitude


The Cost of Self-Isolation


It really does permeate every area of life! Let's consider the cost in just 6 areas of life:


1.MENTALLY:


Perception is distorted, Perspective is from the basement window, Mental Health is tanking. You are living about 10 to 20% of your potential.


2.FINANCIALLY


Well, intermittent earning on a loop back to scarcity city, with the odd windfall that disappears as fast as it landed. You are earning about 15% of your potential.


3.VOCATIONALLY


Employed and dying in it, self-employed and paralysed by it, side hustling to run away from..., between jobs (again) or leaving corporate to become a founder of a company with no real plan because you prefer to ‘wing it’. You are within inches of your Purpose clouded in compromised 'seeing' leaving you feeling incongruent and not aligned.


4.SOCIALLY


We are social creatures for good reason. We need mirrors, sounding boards and friction to reveal the diamonds in the work-in-progress initiatives we want to put into the world. When Self-Isolation is dominating our life... well, your potential for greatness here is less than 5%.


5.SPIRITUALLY


We are not mind-brain-body connected. For many operating in Self-Isolation mode, we are head only. We are operating in the 2% or less area. The other 98% is at the door, waiting to be invited in.


6.PHYSICALLY


Self-Isolation is a hallmark trait of unresolved trauma. Unresolved trauma will stir in the body until it is deliberately facilitated out. If left there, we give our past the potential to show up in our future physically, with things like:


Solitude

  1. Mental Health Disorders:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Addiction

  • Dissociation

  1. Physical Health Issues:

  • Chronic pain and fibromyalgia

  • Cardiovascular problems, such as heart disease

  • Gastrointestinal issues, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

  • Autoimmune diseases

  • Sleep disorders, including insomnia and nightmares

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

  1. Cognitive and Emotional Issues:

  • Difficulty concentrating and memory problems

  • Emotional dysregulation, including intense anger or sadness

  • Difficulty in forming and maintaining relationships

  • Low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness

  • Persistent feelings of shame and guilt

  1. Behavioral Problems:

  • Avoidance of trauma reminders, leading to social withdrawal

  • Self-destructive or risky behaviors

  • Difficulty in coping with stress or changes

  1. Neurological Changes:

  • Altered brain and brain function in areas related to emotion regulation, memory, and cognition, planning, strategy, imagination, creativity


To wrap up


Solitude and Self-Isolation while easily confused, are very different. Self-Isolation is a coping strategy used when the Mind-Brain-Body are no longer able to self-regulate as a result of chronic stress. We can dress it up as Solitude to make us more socially acceptable and keep on, keeping on, but we do so at great cost to every area of our life.


The opposite of Self-Isolation is not Solitude, it is Social Connection.


The good news is that we can repair the mind-brain-body so Self-Regulation, a physiological setting within each of us, returns to healthy states. When we do this, the need for Self-Isolation falls away and the desire to have fun creating a life we love, emerges.


If you're seeing yourself in this (more than you'd like) than my book may be a helpful next step. 'C-PTSD at Work: Highly-Functioning, Secretly-in-Despair' Get a free PDF version at www.shannoneastman.com/cptsd-at-work





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