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.