What I Learned From Coming Out Of Isolation (or What To Expect As a Former Hikikomori)

The cloistered life is not for me.
Source: Arizona Capitol Times

Recently, as many of you are quite aware, I moved into a new apartment last week. I’ve made a new home with an old friend and things are going much better than planned.

In fact, making a home with people has made me realize what a toxic life I was living.

I’ve always said that I’m afraid of becoming isolated and withdrawing from humanity – becoming a Hikikomori to use modern parlance. But, in my efforts to focus on my own life so intensely so I can stabilize myself, I fell into that very trap I labored to avoid without even noticing.

I’ve gotten actual human interaction for the first time in what feels like years and I’m here to tell you how it feels.

The first thing I noticed was how strange and alien it felt being around people again. I was unsure of how to act or what to do around them. It lasted for only a short time, but thinking back on it reveals just how much of an other I felt like being around fellow humans.

The shock only increased when I realized that I had forgotten what it was like to share emotions with people. As I say, I was unsure of how to act around my friends at first. However, when I let go and allowed myself to be a part of the group again, I was overwhelmed. I started laughing with them and couldn’t stop. I almost wanted to cry because it felt like something was striping yards of chains off of me.

Like I said, I didn’t even notice that this was happening to me until I re-entered the social world. To me, that’s the scariest part. In a relatively short amount of time, I lost a major part of my personality that I’m only now starting to recover. Thank god that I have friends that were there to pull me out of that mire before it was too late. If you’re reading this, thank you.

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