blog-0-tron9000 v2.0

a runthrough
04 September, 2008: [247/365], 11:35.10 [Thursday]
Filed under: Anxiety, Depression, Life

Gotta get this out of the way.

As many people do, I have to deal with mental illnesses. My own potential downfall: double depression and generalized anxiety.

‘Double depression’ is actually dysthymia, a ‘mild’ (believe me, it’s not mild in the sense you’d think it would be) chronic depressive mood disorder, superimposed by acute episodes of major depression. GAD is a relatively rare anxiety disorder in which those with it contend with excessive, debilitating worry, far disproportionate to the source of that worry (if it’s even real, and not simply perceived in the first place).

For twenty years now, I’ve been in a hole, unable to properly express myself, to sleep, to relate to others. I believed that everyone who meets me, hates me, but it turns out that that sentiment is merely a projection of my self-image onto others. Because I believed I was worthless, naturally, everyone else does as well.

But that’s just self-defeating maladaptive thought. I can learn to cope with that (as I am now). What made this impossible to handle was the anxiety. I rarely had a clear coherent thought throughout my childhood, because I was plagued with worry. I constantly ruminated on things, dwelling in the past and predicting catastrophe in the future. I could go days, up to a week at a time without sleeping, and when I did sleep, it was always restless. I’d frequently cause myself to go into panic — headaches would last for weeks, my stomach was always burning, I’d have dizzy spells, and sometimes, I could become completely detached from reality. I would be observing life, rather than living it, through a thick, distorted wall of glass. It was a totally unnerving feeling, and just made me freak out more. Nobody really knew about this stuff because I would never talk about it. Of course, it didn’t help that I didn’t understand it.

Looking back, I have no idea how the hell I got through all of this. My mere existence was a paradox. I had absolutely no energy to do anything, yet I was taking on more and more activity as time marched on, especially in the last three years: full-time student, 32-hour work schedule, keeping a marriage going [which is probably the easy part (I love you, Jen)], and dealing with all of the abject nonsense going through my head. I shouldn’t have been able to get through any of this.

Yet, here I am, getting through it, and with relative success, given the circumstances. I have a 3.99x GPA, and I’ll be going off to become a doctor in the next few years. I’ve regained a lot of lucidity, thanks to medication and therapy (I can’t recommend it enough). And I’ve learned a lot about my own nature, that ultimately, I just want to do what I can to make others’ lives better.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbow unicorn piss, of course. I have my spells, senses of abandonment (which is still a huge issue for me), nihilistic periods of utter self-hatred, even times where I give in to passive suicidality. It gets dark, sometimes utterly frightening in my head. Worst of all, chances are that I will never fully beat this, and it’s just a part of what I am.

But things are getting better, nonetheless. I am learning to cope with it, and my personal achievements in the last few years have given me some of the self-respect that I should have had twenty years ago.

This, and my past, are themes I will frequently visit here. They form the basis of my behaviors and actions, and the force that drives me to do what it is I am trying to accomplish with my life. My illness is the most vicious, difficult thing I have ever had to face, but without it, I would not be what I am today.


1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

Just thought I would say hi, and I checked this place out. I am off to school now 🙂

Comment by Cory

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: