I’ve lost track of how long I’ve been in self-isolation because of the pandemic. But one thing is clear: the effects of isolation are starting to add up. This became evident recently when the tension grew and exploded between my grandfather and I.
I’ve been living with my grandfather for a while now and, for the most part, I love it. However, my depression has caused me to become self-absorbed lately and it began taking a toll on him. This can happen to me sometimes and I need a reality check to get back on the right path.
We had a big argument the other night because he felt I wasn’t doing enough to help around the house. He’s right – I’m not. I didn’t react well at first, but it sunk in pretty soon afterwards. In recovery, we talk about self-centeredness being one of our primary character defects. It can creep up very slowly and it can become insidious.
A chain reaction
I believe this has been happening to me lately. When I get depressed, I tend to wallow in it. I feel the anger and I turn it inwards. Lately, that’s meant I haven’t been a good housemate. I suppose I’m writing this confessional-type post to keep myself honest and accountable.
My perfectionism gets the best of me sometimes – I believe I have to do this or that flawlessly. Then if I fall short, I beat myself up. It’s a vicious cycle. How does this relate to the conflict and tension? I believe when I beat myself up the way I do, it triggers a chain reaction. I go deeper into myself and stop thinking about others and their needs and feelings.
I woke up the next day and decided to give myself a break, but to also be more considerate – just for that day. There’s only so much I can do, but I can try to empathize with others better, especially the ones I’m closest to.