How do I find the motivation to leave the house?
July 31, 2009 8:39 PM Subscribe
Long-term cabin fever, please help me get out of the house.
posted by Danila to human relations (17 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I have a long history of depression and social anxiety, both before and after the onset of bipolar II disorder. Over the past 18 months, through medication and therapy, I have made tremendous strides in nearly every area of my life: mentally, emotionally, socially, intellectually, and spiritually. I am also very much an introvert and that won't be changing, but I have been able to sustain friendships and I have grown significantly closer to the people in my life.
The one thing that really nags at me right now is the fact that I still spend the vast majority of my time in my home. I'm more willing and certainly more able to go out, but I have very little desire to do so. In fact, I think I might go out of the house less now than I did when I was depressed.
Through the keeping of mood journals and regular discussions with my therapist, I really don't think I'm depressed. In fact, within my home I am quite active. I spend hours composing music in fruity loops, studying for college and posting messages back and forth with other students (it's online), talking on the phone with friends, reading, researching, etc. I watch very little tv although if I'm feeling physically sick (which is sadly often, due to severe allergies, PCOS, and migraines) I do tend to watch marathons and movies. Yet mentally I feel active, and I feel involved in the lives of others. And I feel good emotionally, in ways I never have before. I've also fixed my sleep schedule so I sleep at night now, and I'm awake during the day (a major victory for me).
But there's a whole world out there. I think some of the problem is that I'm just not used to going out. I have been sick in a number of ways since I was in grade school, and had to have a teacher sent to my home when I was in high school because I couldn't go (eventually dropped out). Before the onset of bipolar I did work, but that was only about a year before I became sick. I have worked and struggled to get the health care I need in spite of my limitations, to earn my diploma and associate's degree, and to rebuild my relationships.
Eventually, I would like to return to work (or continue my education at a brick and mortar school, because I realize I really like school). My therapist and I agree that I'm not quite ready for work yet, not even part time, but surely there's another way to leave the house. I don't even know how to do it, really, like how to establish that kind of routine and I'd appreciate some advice.