Monthly Archives: June 2019

what makes me happy

when i came home from work last night, i was sad. all i could think that would make me happy was reading a book. i read murder mystery almost exclusively. lately it has been set in regency england. and, i am embarrassed to say, i seem to read those with a male and female lead that end up romantically connected. (don’t worry, i am not reading bodice rippers. i have no interest in reading sex scenes.) i like hearing about relationships that work. (somehow, couples i know that have relationships that work just make me sad).

it seemed wrong that the only thing i could imagine that would make me happy was escaping reality to a book. set in a different century. with people i don’t know. that don’t actually exist.

tonight when i came home, i thought to myself, “nothing has changed since i left this morning”. and that is because i live alone. and i am single. and i have 2 cats. (ok, it is a LITTLE different when i get home because i DO have cats. they didn’t fold my laundry though.) (which is actually good, because i really enjoy folding laundry. weird, i know.) that felt weird. i won’t go as far as to say it felt wrong, but it didn’t feel right.

i am seeing a new therapist who specializes in grief. my old therapist suggested i see a grief therapist because of Lucy.

my new therapist and i talked about the difference between demoralization and depression. have i mentioned this before? she thinks that perhaps i am more demoralized than depressed. (below is a blurb from a study, albeit old an old one, 2007, that helps to define the difference). we talked about my life in general (i am very practiced at this story) and she said, “you have a lot of grief in your life. not just Lucy.” she was referring to the things that i have lost and/or have never had (and i am not saying, neither was she, that this is all someone else’s fault, a lot of it i did to myself, or with someone else, but not all of it.) but, the two big things, lately, are my job and Lucy. we talked about how demoralizing my job is (how much it has caused me to become demoralized? how does one work that?) and when Lucy died, it pushed me over the edge into depression.

In 1975, Schildkraut and Klein3 defined demoralization as a state separate from depression. Whereas patients with depression experienced anhedonia, patients with demoralization lost their sense of efficacy. In the 1980s and 1990s, Frank and De Figueiredo further refined the meaning of demoralization.4The term demoralization remained distinct from depression and was characterized by 2 states: distress and a sense of incompetence that results from an uncertainty about which direction to take. Individuals with depression and those with anhedonia cannot act (even if they know the proper direction to take).

i think i have struggled a lot longer than i realized. a LOT longer. and that struggle is even some of the reason why i have lost things. is this too vague? i have been so many things most of my life that i don’t think i realized. like adjectives. sad, angry, depressed, frustrated, scared, embarrassed (actually, i think i always know when i am embarrassed, it is a state i have had to master), hopeless, happy. i am not even sure i realized when i was happy. like inside happy, not laughing with friends happy. that sounds crazy though. therapists ask you “what are you feeling right now” when you share something traumatic or get tearful (sometimes when i get angry, but not as much as when i am sad) i often say “i don’t know”. and i don’t. maybe that is new? i always felt like i over shared how i felt. then after my divorce, i stopped sharing, and maybe i stopped feeling? and maybe i am just turning 50 in august, am single and have 2 cats. (i don’t want to be a stereotypical single 50-year-old woman. i don’t want to become a “get off my lawn” Xer. but maybe that is exactly what this is? i hope not. if i am, i almost feel more hopeless. i don’t want to be that woman, in that episode of “6 feet under”, who died and no one really realized it)

i feel the weight now though. i thought to myself this morning, before work, i don’t want to go and get beaten-up. i had a therapist, when i was in college, that said to me, “if you know, if you go there you are going to get beaten up, don’t go”. that has always stuck with me. i think it has taken me a long time to realize (sometimes) i was feeling beaten up. (my dad sent me to this therapist after my step-mother tried to kill me. sounds extreme, i know, but my youth was weird). it seems now like i am feeling it and it is overwhelming. like put my hands over my eyes and push back the hurt so i can go back to work, overwhelming.

we have changed my meds twice since april. it isn’t working yet. but maybe it won’t, really. maybe the help is to change what started this all in the first place. not an easy change. NOT AT ALL.

a volunteer at work, today, told me that i reminded her of Exene Cervenka. i was SO flattered! OMG! to be compared to Exene?! dream come true.