Monday, 25 July 2011


After months of medication and therapy, I'm not feeling ANY better. 

I've tried everything can think of:
  • Trying a gluten-free, dairy-free, beef-free diet
  • Exercising five days a week; sessions last anywhere from a half hour to an hour (most of them last an hour)
  • Getting as much Vitamin D as possible
  • Participating in group therapy sessions for an hour each week day
  • Taking my medication as prescribed
  • Meditating when I can
  • Practicing being 'present' in the moment
  • Going out with my son as much as possible
  • Maintaining a routine, where I still go to the Market, run errands etc.
Unfortunately, I'm still sleeping excessively and feel NOTHING positive. Now, thanks to my medication, I'm also not feeling anything negative - just ongoing apathy.  At least the panic and social anxiety isn't bad.  It doesn't exist.  I just feel ghost-like.

I met with a team consisiting with a psychiatrist, a medical doctor and the nurse who leads group therapy today.  We've decided to switch medications to see if there is any difference.  My fingers are crossed that it will make a difference.  I'm extremely frustrated by the lack of progress.

Sunday, 17 July 2011


I just got an android phone and discovered a couple of motivational quotes aps.  Here are some of the ones that stood out today:

"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced."
Soren Kierkegarrd

"Everything that is happening at this moment is a result of the choices you've made in the past."
Deepak Chopra

"Live out of your imagination, not your history."
Stephen Covey

"There are no accidents... there is only some purpose that we haven't yet understood."
Deepak Chopra

"Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the ris to be alove and express who we really are."
Don Miguel Ruiz

"You can have anything you want, if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold onto that desire with a singleness of purpose."
Abraham Lincoln

"No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again."

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the futrure, nor anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly."

"Some complain that rises have thorns others rejoice that thorns have roses!"
Author Unknown

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


Numbness is amongst one of the worst parts of anhedonia... or whatever I'm experiencing.  I'm not engaged in my own life; I'm just watching it, not experiencing it.

It's frustrating.  The greatest gifts I could ever ask for - my husband and my son - lack emotional meaning.  Why???  It makes me angry. Extremely angry.  I finally have everything I've wanted, and now I am not a part of it.

I am alone.

Monday, 11 July 2011


Today in group like they do in every session, they asked us to describe how we were feeling.  I said I felt like hibernating.

Too much stimulation over the weekend meant that I needed a break.  A break from talking. A break from being.  Unfortunately, as soon as I explained my feelings, they started asking questions. I couldn't hibernate like I wanted to.

I know I'm an introvert. So, when things are busy, I know I need a break from people.  I don't get a break very often.  In fact, it hadn't happened regularly for about a year.  If I don't get a chance to recharge my batteries, I get sick... and become unable to do anything.  Unable to function.

Despite my need to hide today, I did meet a dear friend whom I haven't seen in a couple of years.  I was tempted to say no to her, but I knew that our visits are few and far between now that she's living in another part of the country.  She was as lovely as usual.  I didn't feel anything.  I didn't feel the connection.  And, that made me sad.

Then, I decided to go swimming, something I haven't done in more than four years.  Truth be told, I swim like a hammer.  I did it though.  I swam eight entire laps.  Not an accomplishment for most people, but for me it was, especially given how I am feeling today.  Thankfully, swimming can be very solitary, and that's exactly what I needed today.

Not sure what tomorrow will bring. My Mom suggested we go shopping after my session.  I thought it would be too much, so I suggested we do it on Wednesday instead.

I wish I could hide.  I wish I could vanish for a little while and not worry about anyone else for a day. Unrealistic... Sigh.

Saturday, 9 July 2011


Crowds make me anxious and afraid... especially lately with everything I am experiencing.

This morning, my husband, son and I attended an event with approximately 1,000 people.  I was scared, and now that anxiety is radiating through me, filling me with dread as we're about to go to a festival in our city which 10's of thousands of people are expected to attend.

Normally, I look forward to this event.  It's usually way too expensive, very loud and very crowded, but lots of fun. 

I know I need to be strong for my son... as my childhood memories of this event are filled with happiness and excitement (not that I can recreate this in my soul right now... I just remember I was happy...).  And, I want him to feel the same way.

I am scared.  I hope we don't bump into anyone I know.  I hope to remain quietly anonymous... just another face in the crowd.  I don't want to say anything to anyone.  Just be.  Please let tomorrow be okay.


The word 'feelings' brings to mind a song from the seventies that was oh-so-popular with beauty queen talent-shows.  Sigh.  But, feelings are so important.

It's odd... When it comes to expressing gratitude towards other people, it's easy.  I'm the one who always notices new haircuts, outfits and remember special days.  I even recognise the positives in strangers. I always say 'thanks', and I have an outwardly positive attitude.  And, I'm - for the most part - sincere in my words (not that I feel them anymore).

However... and this is a big HOWEVER... I have significant difficulties talking about my dark feelings... expressing sadness or any negative feelings.  They become buried in my body... trapped.  It seems inappropriate to share my sadness... out loud...with folks.  I never want to be a 'Debbie downer."  Even my brother noted I never talk about my inner darkness - only the positives.

So, where does this come from? Well, it could be that whenever I try to express anger or frustration to my Mom, she interrupts me and tells me what is 'good' about the situation.  Basically, I'm not 'allowed to share anything bad that I'm feeling.  I often joke that if she came face-to-face with the devil, she would find something nice to say about him.  This means that I've been conditioned to not share more negative emotions with my mother - or others.

There's also the bit about socialising... People want to be with people who make them feel good, not energy vampires. So, I don't bring stuff up because I don't want to scare people away.  This also means I find it difficult to be around people, for fear I'll share something that makes them not like me.

It's also this feeling that I don't want to be perceived as imperfect... flawed... and talked about.  This probably comes from my Mom as well.  This fear of  "What will people say?" has been embedded in my brain.  (When I talk about being on sick leave, I usually blame another one of my medical conditions and don't mention the emotional toll - for fear of being stigmatised).

So, I am in this shadow of darkness... hiding my true feelings... and trapped.  I am grateful for the ability to share anonymously through this blog, where I feel safe and invisible.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Group therapy

My psychiatrist recommended I try group therapy.  So, every weekday this summer, I'll be spending an hour as an out patient attending a therapy session.

It started on Tuesday, and the participants seemed nice enough.  It made me sad that so many wonderful people are experiencing such darkness.  I sat and cried as people shared their stories.

Today, the facilitators asked me to share some of my experiences.  It was easy at the time, but afterwards I felt bitterly sad.  I am terrified of tomorrow's session.  I don't want to talk. I'm content sitting in the background, listening to the others.

I worry that I'm the worst off in the group.  That my dark side, which remains hidden for the most part, is more dire than other members can ever dream.  My thing is that I 'project well'... I've become so adept at hiding my feelings that I seem to be very normal... even cheerful.  Of course, that makes it difficult to get help or show that I need help.

The one thing I can say is that I'm very grateful I'm not alone... but devastated that such wonderful, hard-working people are experiencing similar things.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

I can't sing anymore...

Singing once made me incredibly happy.  I would sing and connect to music, and it was amazing.  Amazing not because I had a good or even passable singing voice, but because I loved music - the subtleties that make a great song.

Not anymore.  After being unable to experience any positive emotion or any connection to joy for several months, today I realised that I don't even want to sing.  It's almost like I can't sing any more.  My voice is gone.

Perhaps its the frustration of not connecting to music any more.  If I can't feel it anymore, why bother?

None of this is a concious choice.  It's all unconcious.  When I try to sing, it feels strange... like singing on Good Friday.  I don't understand.  When will I be back to myself again?