Have you ever been at a function where you have to wear the “Hello, my name is…”tags? Or maybe tried a dating service? What if real life was like a dating service? I mean, what if we had a description… A profile that was presented to everyone before the actually met us. Would it work in your favour? Truthfully? I’ve thought of this lots lately… And I really don’t like it.
My profile: I’m a 34 year old husband and father of 3, a 9 year old daughter, a 4 year old son, and a son we lost 6 years ago. I have as long as I can remember struggled with anxiety and depression, and in the last year gotten the following resume of diagnosis: Clinical Depression, Advanced Social Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I am a carpenter, however with weekly talk-therapy, bi-weekly couples counselling, weekly group-counselling, and psychiatrist appointments I’m only able to work about 60-75%. I love sports, especially hockey… however because of trouble controlling my anxiety I had to quit playing this year…it was just too hard. I love watching my kids play hockey. I even help coach my sons hockey team. Well, I did. But it got to be too hard. I would go home and crash, it was so mentally exhausting. I have pretty much only been able to be a half-time dad it feels like, I have to miss so much. I am considered extreme high risk of suicide. Basically what this means is that if I go to the doctor for a runny nose I get asked if there’s firearms in the house. I have attempted suicide…my file says seven times since last March, and what the file says matters more than what I say. I have been hospitalized at the Dubè Centre. This is where I got my initial diagnosis. I cut myself. Lots. I have cuts more often than I don’t. I used to hide my scars. Even though I’m extremely embarrassed about them, they’re what I am. I can’t just hide all the time. The last 20-25 years I have hidden my depression/anxiety. I’ve made a life out of bottling feelings and emotions. I have EXTREME trust issues. I trust very reluctantly, and I have most definitely been burnt in the past. I dissociate, regularly. Sometimes for seconds, sometimes for hours. I am haunted by thoughts and dreams. Every. Single. Day. I dream vividly, both good dreams and nightmares. I get tremors. I have anxious twitches. I battle my thoughts all day, every day. Oh yeah, and I’m pretty heavily medicated.
So… What do you think. Those of you that know me are quite likely surprised to read all that. You’re likely saying ” yeah, but there’s way more to you than that…” And I do know there’s way more to me than that. But the thing is, my mind has a whole lot of control. I’m working at fixing that, but when I look at myself, that is what I see. The description I wrote is all that I see. That is why it’s so hard for people to understand. It’s not that I don’t know the “truth”. It’s kind of like the kid who is tormented by bullies. Emotionally he gets beaten down and beaten down until he mentally gives in. He starts seeing himself the way the bullies see him. As worthless. It’s the same with me. Only the “bully” is my mind, and I can never get away from it. I’m learning methods to cope, but it’s still very natural to resort to self-harm. I believe that I’m worthless. I tell myself everyone would be better off if I was dead. And I often convince myself it’s true.
I think that’s where most people get hung up. “How can you hate yourself so much?” I don’t want to. It sucks! But when that’s what I am being told, you break down. You give in. You fight like hell not to give up.