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Finding too much talking a strain - becoming reclusive

(56 Posts)
Skydancer Sat 25-Sep-21 11:22:06

I've never been a chatterbox. But now I find talking a strain. Yesterday we visited relatives for 2 hours and I felt exhausted and just wanted to go outside in the fresh air. I've been under immense stress for a couple of years - though the cause of this has largely gone now - but I can't seem to quieten my mind. All I want to do is sit in bed with my book and for people to leave me alone. Is it stress or depression and what on earth can I do to help myself? Has anyone else felt like this?

TillyTrotter Sat 25-Sep-21 11:26:23

I’m sad to hear that Skydancer. I think we all find we tire quickly in company as we are not used to it, but maybe a word with your Doctor might be a good idea as we cannot tell you if you are suffering stress or depression, only a someone in the medical profession can. Good Luck 💐

MayBeMaw Sat 25-Sep-21 11:28:04

Lockdown has a lot to answer for!
I can find being around groups of people quite exhausting and as for the pace of life where my GC are concerned….😱😱😱

henetha Sat 25-Sep-21 11:30:13

Yes, Skydancer. (love the name) . I have a problem with this too, my whole jaw seems to set. The less I talk the more I find it difficult. I have been told that it's part of my depression problems. I hope you can get some help.

Namsnanny Sat 25-Sep-21 11:44:20

For what it's worth, it doesnt sound like depression to me.
You seem to be quite happy to read and cope otherwise.
Depression prohibits these self supporting activities.
You sound exactly as you describe, stressed and exhausted.
In your position I wouldn't add to all the feelings you are coping with by worrying about this.
Try to organise short events with others until you feel able to do otherwise.
Put yourself 1st.

Daisend1 Sat 25-Sep-21 12:10:28

I challenge any one who can. since covid came on the scene, say they have not at some time felt as you are feeling now.
There is help so don't fight your feelings or hesitate to ask for support in getting back to the real you not the person you have become.

Kim19 Sat 25-Sep-21 12:14:09

Challenge away. I've never experienced these sensations. So glad to be socialising again in a way that is normal for me.

BlueSky Sat 25-Sep-21 12:28:27

Skydancer that’s me! But I’ve always been the same, so I hardly noticed lockdown. But do you want to change? If you are happier in your own company then carry on.

3dognight Sat 25-Sep-21 12:34:40

Sky dancer, I could have just written your post.

I’m quiet too, and only ever surround myself with company I feel totally confident in ( at the moment).

Little steps is all you need, to get your confidence back. When you have had a little achievement treat yourself in some small way. For instance last week I cycled into town, first time since lockdown. I was abit scared but I did it, so I had a coffee in town and a magazine!

A year ago I would have nearly had a panic attack just being in town!

Baby steps, and as someone has said upthread ‘lockdown has alot to answer for’.

DiscoDancer1975 Sat 25-Sep-21 12:38:56

I’ve always talked a lot. In fact it was my trademark! Lately though...I know what you mean. Especially around the kids/ grandchildren when everyone talks at once. It is lively and I’d miss it if they weren’t like it, but grief....sometimes I just want to be still...and quiet. So know exactly where you’re coming from. It must be even harder if you’ve never been one to talk.

The trouble is, because I’ve always been loud, the minute I’m quiet...or it’s noticed I haven’t said anything because everyone else is talking....all at once, someone will say...” you alright mum, you haven’t said anything”.

Also, other people talking now makes my head thump, and my ears ring, if it’s too much. My poor husband often gets told to stop talking..and he was always so quiet...bless him.

I blame the menopause. I blame everything on that. To answer your question....yes, without a doubt🤪

Skydancer Sat 25-Sep-21 14:24:50

Thank you so much, everyone. Your helpful replies make me feel as if I'm not going mad. Henetha I'm glad you like my Gransnet name. It's actually the nickname for a Hen Harrier and as I love birds that's why I chose it.

MerylStreep Sat 25-Sep-21 14:39:04

Daisend1
Challenge me. I never stopped seeing my daughter and grandchildren. My daughters mental health was far more important to me than catching the virus. I’ve supported an elderly neighbour who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
I’ve carried on doing the gardens of 2 elderly/disabled people who were let down by their regular gardeners.
Because we have low garden fences we laugh and joke with our neighbours all the time.
Our small close has had regular street / garden get togethers.
So no, I’ve never felt like the OP because I wasn’t going to let the situation do that to me and mine.

Scones Sat 25-Sep-21 14:46:10

I have always been a solitary and peaceful person but have 'made the effort' to fit in and socialise as that's kind of what society expects of a person. In company I find it impossible to be myself. I feel the need to entertain and put my own desires secondary. It's exhausting.

Lockdown freed up the true me and let me enjoy my quiet solitude without the pressure to conform.

Having realised the joy of just being me and doing things my way I could never go back.

All those awful dinner parties and social occasions I've suffered over the years!! I wish I'd had the courage to just say no years ago. From what I gather on here lots of people are feeling just like you Skydancer.

FarNorth Sat 25-Sep-21 14:46:50

That's nice for you MerylStreep but you sound a bit smug, on a thread where the OP was just looking for some helpful input.

Scones Sat 25-Sep-21 14:50:42

Those people who are taking up Daisyend1's challenge are socialising in a way that is right for them. That doesn't mean it's right for Skydancer.

Saying 'look at me, I'm a social whirl of a battler and a coper' isn't really very helpful in this situation is it?

MayBeMaw Sat 25-Sep-21 15:46:08

MerylStreep

Daisend1
Challenge me. I never stopped seeing my daughter and grandchildren. My daughters mental health was far more important to me than catching the virus. I’ve supported an elderly neighbour who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
I’ve carried on doing the gardens of 2 elderly/disabled people who were let down by their regular gardeners.
Because we have low garden fences we laugh and joke with our neighbours all the time.
Our small close has had regular street / garden get togethers.
So no, I’ve never felt like the OP because I wasn’t going to let the situation do that to me and mine.

You were lucky.
Like many people my children and grandchildren were 75 miles away in different directions.
Under lockdown regulations we were not meant to socialise in person at all initially - no rule of 6 or outdoors only. If you remember it was one hours outdoor exercise and not walking with others either. No impromptu cuppas with a friend or neighbour
Apart from the phone, zoom, and FaceTime it was a solitary existence for those who live alone. Laughing and joking with the neighbours was sporadic if at all - gin by the bins, drinks on the drive, but always sitting the regulation 2 m apart .
I entirely see where Skydancer is coming from.

BlueSky Sat 25-Sep-21 17:14:10

I’m with you Maw. Still haven’t met my family and don’t know when that will be.

Caleo Sat 25-Sep-21 18:17:10

Skydancer, it's not depression if you don't feel sad. Many people do sap one's energy . Restful or stimulating people may be what you would like.

User7777 Sat 25-Sep-21 18:49:15

I sense that when we are younger, we race towards other people. But as we age we become more insular. I loved lockdown, the quiet, still, days we almost never had before. I could never understand my mothers keenness to be gardening. I definitely know now.

annodomini Sat 25-Sep-21 18:55:42

Caleo, I disagree with you. Depression is not the same as feeling sad. Depression is a mixture of feelings and is not necessarily caused by anything sad. Loneliness is a contributor, but even lonely people don't always have depression which is a state that can be clinically described. It often involves listlessness and an inability to crack on with tasks, however necessary they may be. In fact, it can even make one unable to feel sadness or other emotions - life becomes simply grey; you're at the bottom of a hole you can't get out of.

Hetty58 Sat 25-Sep-21 19:09:06

Skydancer, I don't see it as a medical problem that needs addressing. Right now, you crave peace and quiet and you don't want the pressure of socialising and conversing for two solid hours. Join our club!

I'd say go for what feels right to you. Keep meetings short, allow plenty of time to relax and have patience with yourself. Your mind is telling you to take things easy for now. You're recovering from the stressful time.

M0nica Sat 25-Sep-21 19:39:14

Skydancer, you have been through a very stressful period, so simply step back for a while and give yourself time to reccover.

I had to deal with two members of my family in succession being dangerously ill. DH was in hospital for 8 weeks and was discharged early because they needed his bed for COVID patients. All that ended nearly six months ago, yet I am still recovering from it, and I think that is your problem.
It takes at least a year to recover from a long stressful period like yours.

Skydancer Sat 25-Sep-21 21:53:10

M0nica your last sentence was extremely helpful. I imagined that once the stress had gone I'd feel okay and I didn't. It's so reassuring to know it can take time. Nobody has ever told me that before and I really thought there was something wrong with me. I now realise it will take longer than I thought. Thanks again to everyone for their kindness.

Bridgeit Sat 25-Sep-21 21:57:30

You have reached overload, now your body is warning you to take care of yourself ,physically & mentally you need to step back.
You say all,you want to do is sit in bed with a book, so that is what you need to do, without feeling guilty & without worrying about others. Be as kind to yourself as you have been to others.
Not wishing to scare you , but if you don’t take care of yourself now, your health will suffer, best wishes .

Shandy57 Sun 26-Sep-21 00:34:46

Lockdown has made me realise that I am happier alone here. A friend, and I use the term loosely, got in touch recently, I haven't seen her since January 2020, and asked me to go for coffee. Unfortunately my memories of our pre lockdown friendship were of me always having to pay, plus disappointment caused by her cancelling on me at the last minute - or I'd already be at the agreed meeting place when she cancelled. Happened too many times. I thanked her for her kind invitation but said I'd got used to, and liked, my solitary life. I got a very snarly reply but I feel freed from an uncomfortable acquaintance.