No longer together
"To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think."
That sounds just awful. FFS, you can't spend the rest of your life in your apartment. I can sympathize but not relate, not sure I've ever felt anxious, I'm the fearless "leap before you look" type.
Our MC would probably ask, "So what would happen if you saw AP? Or your coworkers?" It would hurt, or feel embarrassing or shameful, but you wouldn't spontaneously combust, or become a pillar of salt. You'd survive, right? I don't have any sage advice, here, but clearly you're torturing yourself with fear of seeing AP, and I hate to see you do that. It's like, you're inflicting pain on yourself from an imaginary event hasn't even happened.
I've been chewing on it, and all I've come up with is a completely irrational fear of people knowing that I'm a horrible person. That, and I hate triggers. And it's like my brain actively seeks them out. Then the spiral. Then more anxiety and panic. And then I can't get home fast enough.
My apologies, that was a long way around to saying I understand anxiety and reclusiveness.
What are you doing at this point about your depression and anxiety?
Mindfulness has done wonders for my anxiety. I was pretty reclusive for a while there. It was irritating to knight because I didn't want to go shopping, out to eat, to the movies or anywhere. It was rough. I only felt safe at home and I wanted to stay in my bedroom when home. That wasn't working.
There is a lot of free information online for Minfulness and there are a few free apps that really help with practicing as well.
I edit often because I make a lot of typos. ☺️
I'm going to be a slight voice of dissent here in saying that I've completely flipped from being an extroverted "go everywhere" guy to a completely introverted "stay home" guy. My reasoning is that I can't be a help to my family when I'm apart from my family.
I only say this because it's not always a bad thing that one takes stock of one's desires in the world and finds everything he or she wants has been at home all along.
That said, the anxiety you're feeling can probably be helped, but I'm saying that, in the bigger picture, being someone who prefers to be at home rather than not isn't necessarily a bad thing.