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I haven’t written absolutely anything anywhere for a while, a couple of months.

Fact is, I don’t know what I should write about.

In my head, this space was to be used as a chalkboard. The place where you can get the big picture from the scraps of ideas that are swimming freely in your brain. It did serve its purpose in the beginning.

But then it became the notorious emotional dustbin. The only place where I could basically whine and put into words my worst thoughts. I think I wanted to be inspirational. But at some point along the way, I realised it wasn’t working. It felt as if I had stopped working towards an end, a goal.

It feels as if I have lost my goal: finding sanity. Somewhere along the road I lost hope, I lost the strength to fight, so if there was no future to tend to, writing wasn’t going to be of any use anymore. It would only make me observe my uncertainty. And I didn’t want to look.

I just wanted to exist and maintain my unstable balance as long as I could.

I still want to.

But there are major differences now, I suppose. When I lost hope, I thought there would be no end to the state of numbness and hopelessness I was in. I thought it was the end, that there was no other way out, that every day from that moment on would be just the echo of a resigned acceptance to mere survival. Every day.

It turns out, it’s really not like that. I have realised that there are good days and bad. It sounds obvious, but it’s not. Every time it’s a red day, it feels like it lasts forever, it feels like a vortex dragging you down which will never cease. But it ceases alright. Then come the orange days, the yellow days and even the green days. Lots of them, not just once a fortnight.

And when lost in a red sea, I only wish I could discharge the feeling of oppression that blocks my lungs, but writing isn’t the answer. Writing propagates the pain. Makes me focus on the pain. So I don’t. Nobody wants to hear about the pain anyway. Not even me.

I haven’t stopped rummaging my thoughts and trying to figure out a way out of this though. It felt as if I had, but it was just running in the background. Until I came to a basic but fundamental knowledge: I can pinpoint exactly the source of all my issues. I know all the answers to questions such as why, where does all this come from, why do I react this way, why am I suffering. My very personal answer is a deeply rooted lack of self-confidence and self-love in very specific sections of my life.

People say that the first step towards solving a problem is finding out what the problem is. True, but…

True, because I now fully realise that it wouldn’t have been possible to try to tackle this problem before my years of therapy. Which maybe didn’t “cure” me but certainly let me open up myself enough to look at the problem in the eyes, analyse it, interpret it and recognise it for what it is.

But… because the same years of therapy, or I should say analysis, led me to see the problem but provided no weapon whatsoever to fight it, to uproot it, discard it and build again.

It took me years to finally find the source of the leak, now that I have, I see very clearly that I need two types of tools: rugs to prevent the flood from spilling any further and a wrench to replace the broken pipe. In other words, I’d like to find a way to snap out of my bad days when they come, or at least prevent being overwhelmed by them and to build the confidence I lack and overwrite my negative thought patterns.

This I believe to be a milestone.

But more than that I was propelled to write today because of this video.

I feel that shame. I never talk about what I’m going through. I may talk about the fact that depression is there, and that I do things because of it, but what actually goes on in my mind and how it affects many of the things I do, many of the reactions I have, many of the choices I make… no, that I do not speak about.

I joined group therapy sessions, because I was hoping I could do that. Not to dwell on self-pity all together but to hear a second opinion from someone who’s been there, who is there now, who knows what I am talking about. But it’s really not working like that. I still don’t know if it’s because they are holding back since I’m new or if it’s just not their thing.

So how? How do I beat shame, how can I begin talking about this to people who don’t understand? I have talked to Maddy during my “attacks” sometimes and she means well, but she just doesn’t get it. She doesn’t get to the source, she stops at the surface. And getting the wrong response might be worse than getting none at all, because it only makes you feel more misunderstood and alone.

Do I have to give up to the idea that as long as my “attacks” come I’ll just have to handle it by myself and wait it out and that I will get relief only as they become less frequent?

I am missing a diagnosis. I used to ignore this bit, I’ve never given it a lot of importance, but now I feel this lack. It’s not because I need to know what’s wrong with me, it’s because I need to know what to do and what to expect to get out of it.

I’m not sure if I fit into a specific diagnosis, most of the times it feels like no description fits me like a glove, while I pick single pieces from here and there forming an unknown melting pot.

But not knowing, or not naming it, prevents me from researching, from finding additional work for me to do in order to overcome it all. It prevents me from recognising my resources. It prevents me from having expectations regarding my possible recovery.

Of course, my tendency towards hypochondria leads me to believe I fit diagnoses which aren’t really my case. This is why I have started reading a lot of blogs of people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. I don’t have BPD, I would have been diagnosed by now if I did and I would feel much worse, I suspect. I wouldn’t have been able to do without medicines, I probably would have attempted suicide, I would have self harmed. Still, I read about it, because there’s always something to learn.

One of these things is how, when you have a specific condition, your doctor tells you what to expect, whether or not you are going to fully recover and how long it’s going to take. When recovery is possible, they talk about a few years. Of course, recovery is much like skating: you can’t tell how long it’s going to take for you to learn, because each and every one of us moves at their own pace. Some are gifted and spring forward, others need to strive a little more.

Still, I feel like I don’t have this at all. I feel alone even in my own condition. If you know you have a specific condition, you automatically enter a set: of all people, of all patients, of all of those who struggle with mental illnesses, you fall into the set of [enter your condition here]. There are others like you, others who have walked the same way before you, others you can compare yourself to, others you can learn from and can help you leading the way. Others who write their story on the Internet, others who found self-help groups, others who put their voices out there to inspire and guide anyone who still feels lost.

I don’t have that. I don’t know who I can look up to. I feel like I am the only one with my mix of ingredients and like I am the only one who can figure out how to get out of it. With one major exception: if no one has walked this road before, no one will ever tell me how long I’ll have to walk before I arrive, or if. The if is one of my biggest fears right now. People can recover from BPD, people can recover from OCD, from Depression, from Panic Attacks… can I recover from whatever-the-hell-it-is-I-have?

Sometimes, having a less debilitating condition is not always luck. Because it’s like having a rare disease. Cancer is hell, but it’s cancer, everyone knows cancer, there are statistics, cures, factsheets; that doesn’t mean it’s better than other diseases, because it’s not, but there is a specific course to follow. You do your radio therapy, you do chemo, you do this and that. If you’re lucky, it works just fine. You go through your own slice of hell and come out alive. Just like my father did. Twice.

If you have Tinnitus, it’s different. Your life is by no means at stake, it’s not even remotely life threatening, but at the same time, chances are you won’t be able to do absolutely anything about it. Because nobody know enough about it to cure it. And you start feeling like your life is a nightmare.

This is the way I feel. Absurdly, if I just had Depression I would have probably been cured long ago. My ex-husband had a major depressive episode, and in 6 months he was back on his feet just like nothing ever happened.

I’ve been in therapy for more than three years now. I feel the difference, I do, but it’s not enough. It’s so not enough, I can’t help but wonder how long is it still going to take. I may have started very slow, I admit that. I was completely unable to see my inner self, anything that was wrong could come out solely as anger, anxiety and control issues. The problem is, I’ve learned to uncover everything, I see the issues, I see my weaknesses, I recognise separate feelings… but it feels like I’ve been left here bare naked just looking at myself. Now is the time when I’m supposed to start working on my issues, and it feels like I’m not doing this at all.

The fact that I had to wait for 6 months to start group sessions hasn’t helped. I keep feeling on pause. Waiting for something to come, while my life is wasted away.

It also feels like everyday some new issue arises. There must be some eternal well throwing up shit inside myself, and every time I dig deeper I find larger shit fields. I wonder if I actually invent them, if I have my little illegal shit plantation with irrigation systems, red light lamps and all. First came insecurity, then mommy issues, then guilt for my divorce, then love addiction. They may all stem from the same fountain, but I’m no closer to finding a solution, now that they have been uncovered.

I read. That’s my personal, self-managed therapy. And oh, the pages I have read! It seems that experts are only ever interested in teaching. You can find hundreds of pages describing conditions, and not a single one offering solutions. I read the most exhilarating today. Well, no exhilarating is unfair, it’s good advice, it’s just so useless for me. They connect love addiction to low self-esteem (okay) and basically tell you that in order to defy the addiction you have to believe in yourself. Now, there may be some people out there who have never actually thought about this before and needed someone to tell them, but it feels like someone telling me that water is wet. Mmm, gee, I hadn’t thought of that, now that you tell me I’ll start believing in myself!!

And it goes on saying how you can start believing in yourself and building your confidence by doing things, by seeing how you can do things that matter to you and feel stronger seing results. And this feels like having my leg pulled.

This may be my very personal problem, but I don’t have issues with what I do. I have issues with what I am.

I’m good at my job, when my mind isn’t preoccupied with all this mental nonsense, I’m a good skater, I’m a good photographer, I’m a good singer,  I bake wonderful cakes, I have a gift for languages, I park my car like a pro even though I’m a woman, I’m a half genius for anything practical and problem solving. But that is just what I do, it’s not what I am. What I am, what I feel, that’s wrong, that’s what’s missing, that’s what makes me feel inadequate.

I’ve been bombarded with this idea that anything good would come from an education, that my practical, intelligent mind is all I’ve ever grown and nurtured. I felt I could be appreciated only if I did good and that’s what I’ve always tried to do. Even now, after… all, I still want people to appreciate me for what I do. Because I try to compensate what I am now with what I do.

Reading about women with love addiction… it feels like I’ll never get out of it. It makes me angry that once again I have to thank my parents for this wonderful gift, it makes me angry to see how long it’s going to take to get better and that most of the times what happens is that women get out of relationships only to become addicted to the groups themselves.

And yet, I know this profile doesn’t fit me either. It’s always like I only reflect the image of the initial phases, I never get to the bone. Which is good, I suppose, because I’ve never been in a co-dependent relationship, I never let anyone mistreat me or hurt me physically, I realised years ago how love didn’t have to hurt. All in all, I chose my partners wisely. I may have stuck with some people longer than I should have, but never really to a fault. I still maintain my boyfriends were all decent or good.

That in itself would be praised as a very good starting point. I know, I see it that way too. Fact is, I want more.

I suspect, that the status in which I am in is the aim of several people with much greater issues than mine. Which I still don’t know if it’s possible to consider a good thing. I’m afraid it works like a diet. It’s easy to shed pounds when you start a diet, when your weight is so excessive that just a minor reduction in food intake brings along very visible results. Then you get to the point when you’re not so excessively fat anymore, but you’re not slender either and pounds just won’t leave you anymore.

I also always tend to succumb to exhaustion when I’m really close to the destination. I’m no good with last efforts. I hope this is it.