I am filled with the first hope I have had in ages, that something might shift, to heal what is broken and not working in me any longer.
My therapist, who has a unique background that is not only in therapy (specifically trauma), social work, but also nursing, is the first person who sees the complexity of what I am trying to navigate through, often alone, due to her dual background in medicine and mental health.
There are so many things I know. She seemed to think that I was dead-on in feeling that the complexity lies in the combination of medical and life trauma: the post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that will never leave, therefore, forever altering my nervous system, to the chronic illness and medical procedures, that would rattle even a healthy nervous system.
The PTSD originally comes from multiple experiences of violent crime, many years in my past—unearthed and allowed out of its cage, due to specific medical procedures that continue to disturb the delicate balance of that permanently altered nervous system, in addition to the incredible amount of ongoing stress, (due to losing my business, which I am still dealing with the fallout from, over two years later). Add to that the relatively new diagnosis of an auto-immune disease and the physical and emotional toll that has taken in recent months.
This is not to say that there isn’t more that can be done to alleviate the difficulty of living with PTSD, just that it alters our physiology on a permanent, cellular level.
The greatest wish I had upon entering her office was that I would somehow find a more sustainable way of keeping depression and anxiety, brought on by all the above, at bay, because when it resurfaces, it always comes with an enormous price.
It’s a price I am not willing to accept or live with and simply, must find a solution for.
In my case, the damage comes in the loss of love in my life, as a result of the weight this issue brings to a relationship.
It is easy, on the sidelines, to say a person who loves you, should be able to be there through things, no matter what but in real life, I imagine that is a more difficult thing to find. I have lost my love this time, I am certain, due to the growing sadness I had been expressing and the inability, once again, to see the writing on the wall as it was happening.
Don’t get me wrong—that isn’t to say he doesn’t bring something to the picture that contributed to our demise. Inability to truly commit to another person, fear, frustration at not being able to help or fix it, who knows? There is a huge correlation in my life with my bouts of depression, brought on by various triggers and this type of loss. So I am guessing that it must be brutal on the person that loves you, too.
My heart is in pieces, because I thought I had found the person I would have my second chance at love with. My happy ending. Or maybe I did, but lost it.
Either way, I have felt a loss greater than I was prepared for and am now trying to take a step back and see how to never find myself in that position again—at least from the perspective of feeling that my depression and health issues might be at the root of it. I can’t control what the other person brings to the table but I am hoping to find a better solution for my own stuff, in order to change patterns and have new outcomes.
I write about depression and PTSD openly, because I know the embarrassment attached to it. I know the shame that can come with it.
I don’t believe people should feel this way but it is such an uncomfortable subject, still, that I throw it out into the universe in hopes of helping others and maybe heal myself a little in the process, too. It’s not that I don’t feel those same things—I do, sometimes. It is just that I have a greater need to offer insight to others and feel something positive come from it all. Each time I have written about my experiences, someone in my life comes forward, because they are also struggling or knows someone who is.
By nature, I am a joyful, goofy, happy person—to the core. That is another part of the struggle. When that shifts and the depression returns, I don’t know myself. It isn’t me.
It is an invader of this normally, shining spirit.
I resent the intrusion and have difficulty feeling anything but fear and anger at its return. It is not welcome.
And so, as I started to say, I left my new therapist’s office today with the first hope I have had in ages, that something might be able to shift; I am in search of my sparkle. I am ready for this.
Post script: Thank you to my dear circle of friends that have stood by my side, held my hand and wiped my tears, through the very unattractive reality of it all.
Deb Caplin is an “entrepreneur.” Your guess of what that means is as good as hers. A Miami native, deeply unable to shake her love of all teams Miami and University of Florida—go Gators! Deb has lived in Boulder for 11 years, where she is currently working on the reinvention of her lingerie business: The T*Bar 3.0. She not only thinks that everyone deserves hot lingerie, but believes deeply in the power of women, feels it’s perfectly okay to carry a cape in your purse and maintains that Scorpios are a grossly misunderstood bunch. “Passionate, dynamic and loyal,” Deb writes, “we are an emotional check-in for the rest of the planet.” When she’s not hiking, skiing or fishing, Deb is indulging in a not-so-secret love affair with her road bike. You can follow Deb or the progress of The T*Bar and upcoming Talk project or just go find her at Snooze eating pancakes most mornings.
Editor: Olga Feingold