I’ve taken most of the day to consider how to write this; I’m not even sure how to put a lot of what I think and feel into words. I’ve become very adept in saying what I know people want to hear, I am confident and assuring when I need to be, I am soft and questioning when I need to be. Because if I make waves, the response could be agitated. This requires a lot of work and energy on my part and can end badly regardless of what I do. All this has accumulated into a person who is not comfortable with introspection and cannot really express their own feelings well. Due to my general dysthymia and anhedonia (It’s doctor talk for depressed and cannot find joy in anything) I’ve begun therapy involving Bupropion. I’m going to diary my personal experiences with it, mostly to see if I am, in fact, making progress.
I suppose it’s best to preface this with saying that I’m not really sure if there is a history of mental disorders in my family. My mother can be unreasonable at times, but she’s firmly rooted in reality. My biological father, however, is another story entirely. The smallest things could send him off on rants and raves; he was always putting on a show. Continually he would accuse me of doing drugs (when I wasn’t) or having emotions that I didn’t have. He loved to dictate my emotions so much that I stopped believing that what I thought I was feeling was true. If I dared to contradict him then he would rail on me. Kindnesses from him were earned and never without a reason. I am no doctor. I do not want to say for a fact that he is/was mentally unwell. However, I feel like I need to be wary of schizophrenia and like disorders. He’s left a sort of impression on my mental landscape, we’ll leave it at that.
Other than the possible mental illness history, I’m otherwise in extremely good physical health aside from chronic asthma. I don’t take a lot of medication for it and I feel like other than a few seasonal flareups it is controlled. I’m an ex competitive athlete, I don’t smoke cigarettes often (maybe one a month, tops), the only thing I really do is drink. Boy-howdy can I drink. It’s one of the things I hope that therapy helps me with, to be honest.
I’m letting everyone know this in case someone reading wants to know how likely my results are for them. Everyone’s different and your mileage may vary, as they say.
What I really do like about my therapist is that she asks what my baseline is, what is normal for me. I, personally have not been a person of much emotion. I sometimes have people yell at me for “staring” at them when I didn’t even notice them in the first place. I have trouble noticing if people notice me as well. When I walk into a bar or open space I feel like I’m becoming one with a system, like a drop of water in a pool. Bluntly, I’m not very people focused. My girlfriend mentioned at a party once a girl was giving me nasty looks for talking to a boy she wanted to date and my response was “I didn’t notice she existed.” It’s not personal, I don’t HATE people. I really don’t. I just don’t notice them unless they interact with me.
I don’t want to change that. I AM that. Yes, it probably makes me difficult to work with (my girlfriend is a saint) but it’s who I am.
The problem and reason that I’m seeing a doctor now when I wasn’t before was that before while I’m in the mass of faceless people I could get into a group conversation and while I don’t feel what the others are feeling, I UNDERSTOOD the emotion. I could become involved and engaged in the conversation. Lately, I can’t. And now I’m becoming lonely. And so I go out and drink far too much in an attempt to FEEL SOMETHING. I even fall back on an old pattern of using other people to get that feeling, that physical sort of response in exchange for an emotional one. This is unhealthy and I can’t allow it to continue.
So this morning I set my alarm for my usual 5:45, reset it to 6:30, finally got out of bed at 6:50 (Did I mention being apathetic?) and forced myself to put on my work clothes and walk my dogs. Before that I popped one 100mg Bupropion and had a quick protein shake. Once at work I spent more time than I needed to freshening up in a locker room. However, at this point at the end of the day I do feel more engaged than I have been. I got a very large project completed and wasn’t dreading dealing with others. This is probably not the drug; I’m assuming I’m just hopeful because I’m DOING something about my problem.
We will see how the night goes.