Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum

What the hell is wrong with me?


What the hell is wrong with me?

Okay.  Light bulb moment. I have known from D-day, but especially once things “settled down” a little, maybe a year later, and on, that I have been mentally unwell.  I did attempt suicide twice! I have been crying out for help, visiting psychologists, counsellors, hypnotherapists, a psychiatrist, a sex therapist, my GP, you name it, I have spent money and time on it! I have tried various forms of talk therapy, CBT, ACT, The Crucible Approach, EFT, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah.  Yesterday I found something I had never heard of.  

And I self-diagnosed (oh Lord, I really am doo-lally – now I am using webMD to give names to the things I am feeling!)

I think what I have, is called dysthymia.  Or chronic depression.  Or dysthymic disorder.

It means there are others out there who feel this way. I know, I am a freak, but not a lonesome one! 

To explain further, I have had an overwhelming sense of futility, darkness, aloneness and a lack of being able to FEEL anything for years now, ever since the love of my life (okay, what even is that???) was uncovered as a cheat. A liar. A disease-infested man-whore. I cannot feel any pleasure in anything. I don’t enjoy food or cooking quite the way I once did. I certainly can’t enjoy my body or anything sexual. I can’t enjoy movies the way I used to. I don’t even feel the same about my lovely kids. Decisions. Ha!!! In short, I have had my pleasure, joy, happiness and contentment supply cut off. And this description of the “condition” – which let’s face it is just pretty words for a generally sad old woman – is perfect. So perfect. I can tick every single one of the boxes on the online test about the disorder.  I have lost my zest for life. And I rage against the machine for that loss! I was a happy, capable, realistic-yet-loved/loving woman who got stuck into life, took great bites out of it. Now I am a fraction of that person. I survive on crumbs. I am completely socially isolated and only see workmates and uni students, who I rarely talk to. I have wondered who the hell I am, and where did I put the girl called Paula who LOVED life? Well, here it is. I have chronic depression. And the likelihood of me getting better gets less and less. I mean they say the treatment is a combination of meds and therapy. Well. I think I’ve tried every combination of those, and none of it helped me. 

Roger read the definition last night. He was transfixed. Then he looked at me sadly and said, “holy hell, this is what I unleashed on you. You poor thing. You don’t deserve this hell of a life. But I get it now. I have known there was something, but this is it, isn’t it? Your dad is this too, and now I started it off in you. Fuck! I guess that seals it, I can’t fix it for you. You have tried to fix it, but can’t. I don’t know where to go from here.” I just told him that I feel all I can do is release him from living this way, that he needs to learn to disconnect from me, to save himself. So, I have a self-diagnosed label, and it only helps me to try to help the man I love from throwing the rest of his life away on someone who will never feel happiness, or any amount of wholeness ever again. 

Thanks Rog. Thanks for giving me chlamydia, HPV (and it’s attendant cervical cancerous growths that required over a year of pretty yuck treatment for, and still six monthly monitoring) and dysthymia.  At least I can’t say you never gave me anything.

BTW, click on the title, and you get the wikipedia (yeah, I know) definition.


7 thoughts on “What the hell is wrong with me?

  1. I’ve been trying to find an article written by a man with Dysthymia. I read it when I was looking into my depression and trying to decide how much a part depression played in my husband’s behavior. I can’t find it, but I remember wondering if that is what I had been dealing with. I think you are on to something here. While googling I did see some blogs about depression. Maybe they would be worth a read? Thinking of you, Paula. I’m not sure my depression will ever be really gone, but it is manageable at this point. I hope it gets that way for you too.

    • Hi jules. You poor thing! I didn’t have depression before Roger’s affair. But at around the two to three year mark I knew there was more to this than “I’m still really sad about his affair.” I know it is absolutely the catalyst. But all my past demons came out to play. I had coped beautifully with so much. He admired my strength and resilience. I think that may have helped him convince himself (during his madness) that if I discovered him I would be fine. He really believed that shit. Then. I have read a lot about depression. That is part of the reason I was convinced I wasn’t suffering from classic depression when I was referred to a psychiatrist. I described it as drawn out grief (complicated grief.)

      • No more poor me than anyone else, Paula. If I find the article,then I’ll send you the link. Living in gray is not fair to you. I don’t know that my depression will ever go completely away, but life is much brighter than it used to be. I just wish it hadn’t come at such a huge cost. Keep searching for your way out, with or without Roger. I want you to sparkle again!

  2. Much love to you, Paula ! Does having a name/diagnosis (self diagnosis = intuitional) help? Must, at some level, I would think!

    Crazy question (but then again, I remember that nothing is crazy to ask on our blogs): have you thought about electroshock therapy? I guess my “must fix it” personality is rearing it’s big, fat head here but, I was just wondering.

    • Thanks tempted. Not really. That was one of the things we said, “cool, I have a label, how does that help Paula?” I think it might help Rog though.

      I am a little surprised it has never come up in all the fucking counselling and therapy I/we have undertaken these past five years.

      Wow! Electroshock therapy? I thought that died out decades ago? And it sounds scary-as-fuck! (Not the shocks, physical pain is a release for me, the results, I have this idea of it as being something that can go either way, create a zombie, or a nervy basketcase. I will do some research, as I thought this was completely outdated and proven to be useless? But I know what you mean, I have hoped every time I have started a new “theory” of mind-doctoring that THIS might help, obviously with ever decreasing amounts of hope with every round of throwing-money-at-therapists we have embarked on 😉

  3. Never a fool, tempted! I will check it out, thanks.

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