Venturing out

I’ve really fallen into depression. I can’t say I’m processing stuff either, as happens with therapy. Just miserable. I want to lie down all the time, sometimes I fall asleep. I remember this depression so well – I suffered from it for years, and I haven’t had it for a long time. It seems impossible to fight because I just feel so fatigued.

I was thinking maybe the kid was unhappy. I haven’t been doing much for her. I tried watching some cartoons, but stayed sad. I ate ice cream. OK, I can eat it, but it doesn’t make me happy.

I wonder if it’s sheer sorrow that Ron has left? He is coming back after all. One definition of depression is mourning for a loss, so maybe I’m mourning.

Dinner last night was tolerable I suppose. I can really see how I have changed after a year of therapy and group. My tolerance for this group of people is actually less than it was. It’s a social anxiety group. I was seated near people who were pretty new. All men – the group is 90% men. I talked to them a bit, but I have to say, every single overture was from my end. I wasn’t asked a single question about myself. I’d ask one of them a question, they’d answer for a bit, I’d try desperately to find some common ground, not really succeeding, and that would be that. End of conversation.

I don’t care enough to keep trying with people like that. I was thinking, my God, what am I doing here? If I’m going to go out with people I don’t know, why not try to go out with people who don’t have social anxiety? They would be a million times easier to talk to.

I guess if I had something in common with anyone from dinner last night, I wouldn’t mind the effort so much. But I don’t. So why bother.

That said, it was OK anyway. The food was good. I had a beer. I left right after the dinner, so it didn’t take up much of my evening.

Today I went to church. Also fine. I’m not a believer, but I’m willing to believe. Sometimes I enjoy the ritual and the music. I would stay away from any kind of conservative beliefs, but this church seems pretty open and socially aware. One of the priests talked about being out as a gay man for instance – not the focus of his sermon, but he just mentioned that. I liked that.

Should have stayed for coffee time but chickened out.

This afternoon I will meet a friend and we will go to a movie.

I need to at least do some laundry and cooking before I leave. I am completely lethargic and unmotivated. Everything is too much trouble.

I wish I knew what was wrong but I don’t. I’ve been doubting whether therapy is helping me at all. Really interesting though that I could see how I’ve changed at that dinner. I no longer blame myself for difficult social interactions and I really want more out of them now, which is new.

Oh and I went to my 12-step group again – Emotions Anonymous. Rather guiltily, as I’m using them as a drop-in rather than diligently working the steps. I see the group differently now too. I can really see how people bring up topics, and share, which provides a certain relief for sure. But then, they do not go deeper, and I can see now where they could go deeper. And where I could go deeper.

Those groups are not really set up for actual therapy of course. But I never really saw before how there’s a difference between kind of stating your issue, and trying to work it through. The group is not enough to work things through I think.

Going did make me feel better though. It’s lovely to just be able to speak a bit of the truth of how I’m feeling, even without working anything through. And going out for a snack afterwards was good – you can get to know your fellow group members. I want to keep going.

I feel a kind of a wall that stops me from going to things. This last week, I got so fed up with myself for avoiding everything, I was determined to go out. I ended up taking some xanax just to get my bum out the door. That works pretty well. It’s an anxiety wall, even though it manifests as disinterest, thinking I need to rest, thinking of all the difficulty of going out. Nope, it’s fear.

  1. Could it be Ron’s vacation and the lack of facing and dealing with your issues that puts you into a depressed state?

    • Ellen said:

      I’m assuming it’s Ron’s absence. Maybe younger parts of me freaking out. I’ve only missed one session so far, so I don’t think it can be not dealing with things. I hate to be so dependent on a T. Thx

  2. Bourbon said:

    I’m sorry you are so low. I hope it is because of Ron and that upon his return you regain some energy and life. Thats preferable to it being a more long term thing ay. Sending some warm thoughts xx

    • Ellen said:

      That is definitely preferable Bourbon. I do tend to switch of things. Now I went to a very good movie and I feel better again for instance. Thanks for the warm thoughts!

  3. attached said:

    It probably does have to do with Ron’s absence. Unfortunately feelings aren’t rational and even though you know he is coming back the feeling doesn’t evaporate. I get hating to be a dependent on a T. I don’t even like being dependent on my husband. I think it is great that you did so much this weekend. You went out a lot and got through those events even though some were better (or easier) than others.

  4. I can relate to a lot of what you’ve mentioned, particularly have to push so hard to get out of the house. Also, your small comment about “being too chicken to stay for coffee.” I have a social anxiety thing that keeps me from interacting with others, too. The fear is overwhelming. I have no idea where it originates from, it’s very chemical – it’s not like I’m thinking negative thoughts, it becomes a sort of panic (and often an attack) that I can’t wriggle myself out of. A mild form of it for me is blushing when someone interacts with me, like briefly, saying “can I help you find something?” at a grocery store, but progresses into a full-blown issue if someone touches me, or anything more interactive. I’ve been extensively sexually-abused, so maybe it’s part of the PTSD-pattern, but it’s really getting in the way of me doing anything.

    Do you find yourself dissociating time away? Being awake for hours, but sitting in a chair, wandering through your mind, wondering where the time has gone, being overwhelmed with sadness and anger, but now knowing why? Is that a depression symptom you’ve experienced, or is it a dissociation thing? What’s been your experience? (I have DID, so that’s likely a contributing issue – yet, I’d like to know what you’ve experienced, out of interest.)

    Thank you for posting all of this. I found your blog through Catherine at OneBraveDuck – I’m so glad I did.

    • Ellen said:

      Hi Penney – It’s great to meet you. I know what you mean about the social anxiety – it can just become automatic. It’s frustrating for sure.

      I am overwhelmed sometimes with anger / sadness, which I think is PTSD. As to dissociation, the closest I come to what you’re describing is what I call blankness – I’ll stare out the window for a couple of hours without really thinking anything. This happens to me when my issues are triggered, sometimes by therapy.


  5. Also, I’ve never heard of Emotions Anonymous. I’ll have to look into it further – thanks for bringing it up.

    • Ellen said:

      There are fewer EA groups than AA, but I think they exist in most cities. I find the meetings helpful, up to a point.

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