Every so often I go into "cave mode".
I leave my house only for work and grocery shopping. I stop answering the phone except for the Top Three (Mom, Dad and Val). I sleep way too much on my days off and can't get any sleep on the days when I have to work. My world shrinks down to something safe and semi-controllable.
It is at once comforting and uncomfortable. I am all alone with myself. I can play Civ IV for hours or read cheesy romance novels or dance around my apartment to In The Heights. I can eat weird pastas that I make up and watch Project Runway marathons and search for Guy Fieri recipes online. All the things that I might not do if I was out having a life.
But... I am all alone with myself. Scenes from past breakups play in my head. Fights with my parents or friends, secrets I've kept, lies I've told keep me up at night even if they are years or decades old. I am restless and oversensitive. I cry for no reason and every reason. I don't pick up my apartment and it starts to look as cluttered as I feel.
Then, slowly, things start to turn around. I start feeling better. I clean. I forgive myself. I laugh again instead of just pretending. I go to the movies or wander the aisles in bookstores. I people watch at the mall or catch up on all the gossip by the pool.
I realize that this may not be 'normal'. I know that part of it is a reaction to how cut off I am here in VA - from family and friends. But part of it is the darkness that I have always carried with me and that I sometimes tire of fighting.
This is the first time that I can remember trying to fight the urge to burrow. To shrink my world down into my little cave and stay there. I'm making vague plans to get out and about in the next few days. Little things like washing my car and cleaning my apartment. Going to Target and having a couple of people over for dinner. I'm trying to start small.
I'll keep you posted.