A gif of a person anxiously wiggling while being cramped inside their home.

The Anxiety That Comes With Being Homebound

One way in which disability has greatly impacted me is how much anxiety it has caused, specifically in social settings. I’ve always been a shy individual—carefully trying to find the balance between giving myself the freedom to be who I am without standing out too much, while also simultaneously blending in with the rest of the crowd. Despite this, I’m a natural social butterfly who likes to really get to roots of who people are. Becoming homebound has robbed me of this.

I lost my confidence in groups of people

I worked so hard to get myself to a place where I was confident in myself and my ability to make conversation with large groups of people or strangers. It took me years to get to this point after struggling socially in high school. Working at my previous job really helped me strengthen those muscles and keep me in an environment that expected that of me. Well, after becoming ill, having to quit my job and became homebound, I slowly began to watch my confidence slip when I did eventually get to be in those social circumstances.

I feel hidden from the world

First and foremost, when you hide away from the world, it only makes sense that eventually you will forget what it’s like to converse with other people—but add on top of this feeling as though you can’t relate to anybody around you anymore. I felt like I couldn’t connect with the people I was once closest with. And I can totally understand how this came about.

I was oh-so-suddenly stripped away from society after COVID hit and my disabling symptoms left me homebound. It took away my ability to do so much of what I love and then set fuel to the fire by losing the things that made me and those people connect in the first place.

I’m constantly overthinking

Being homebound has made it overthink everything. Am I oversharing? Am I talking about my illness too much? Do my friends think I’m boring now? I know I’m not the same person I was before I was ill, and I am always so worried that it reflects outwardly and that because of this, people may not want to be around me. I am so self-aware of this and the idea that so much of my life is different and uneventful in comparison to those around me. I often find myself wondering if I’m either too much or not enough.

I’ve been working on calming the storm

Being a self-aware individual can either be the best thing or the worst thing for you. Seen in the right light, it can help us in bettering ourselves and getting the help we need. I wish I didn’t have these struggles but being self-aware of it affecting my life as much as it does, I am working towards actively strengthening those social muscles again and calming the anxiety in my mind.

I know I’m enough, and I know that those who want to be a part of my life will still be here no matter what stage of my life I am in or how much my illness is impacting me. I just need to remind myself of this in those anxiety-consuming moments.

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