How have we been? Tired. Always tired. Always tired, but now tired and disappointed because I have had the first treatment for my blood disorder and if it was going to make a difference to my energy levels I'm pretty sure it would have by now. I know the doctors all said my tiredness and pains were not likely to be the result of the disorder (even though the disorder is known for having those symptoms) and that it was likely I have chronic fatigue syndrome as well, but I hoped. I knew it was not likely, but I hoped they were wrong. Now I have to face it that they were right: I have a blood disorder and a bloody useless diagnosis of CFS which basically means 'we don't really know what is wrong with you but you're really tired'.
Last week in psychology we talked about the tiredness. It seemed that NP just wanted to gather information: she asked lots of questions about how it affects me. I told her about 'good days' and 'bad days' and she wanted to know what I did on my last good day. She suggested that I perhaps need to pace myself a bit and not do as much as I have been doing when I'm feeling good, because perhaps it makes me feel worse the next day. I said I would try to 'pace myself' but it's really hard to do that when you want to make the most of feeling like a normal person.
We talked about how I've been feeling detached and unreal lately. She asked what it is like. I said "It's like I'm not really real... I'm far away in the background... it's hard to explain. Like either I'm not real: I don't feel attached to my body and sometimes the rest of the world isn't real. It's hard to believe that this is actually happening right now. I feel like I'm stuck in a bubble" I gestured around myself to help her visualise the bubble that I was in.
NP said there is a name for both of these: that feeling separate from myself is depersonalisation and that the feeling that the world isn't real is derealisation. I already knew this as I have read (unsurprisingly) a bit about my condition since I was diagnosed, but I don't mind hearing it again. It's good to know that she knows it too. Most people you meet don't understand these things.
Feeling dissociated in this way, as I said is not the hardest way to be but it can be frustrating because it's harder to function and my thinking is not clear. I also tend to feel like my life is drifting by and I'm not getting the benefit of my days on earth. More and more now I look in the mirror and panic about the age of the person I see looking at me and the dread that soon I will be looking at an old, old woman and I will wonder where my days went and why I couldn't have embraced my time on earth. But it's easier said than done just to 'move on' and 'seize the day'. I feel so affected by the past and so affected by my health in the present.
I am still off work. I have now been on sick leave for five weeks. I have avoided thinking about work, but having the time off and being over the awful crisis that I was initially in, although I'm still feeling pretty 'down', I have been able to reflect a bit more lately and am realising that although I can't change the past, there are some things about my 'present' that I need to deal with. These are things I can change but have been avoiding facing because they are so painful. Last week I wrote a list of the main issues affecting my life. My past and DID were only two of the issues on the list. There were a lot of other things that are dragging me down. The top three things that I need to address are: my relationship with my father, my work and my religious beliefs.
There's not an awful lot I can do about my work, but I have at least acknowledged that I am not coping with the heavier than reasonable workload and that I need to be more assertive in dealing with this. The other two need posts of their own, but to put it in a nutshell: I avoid thinking about God and assessing what I believe now because I feel so confused about it all. I need to address this and find some kind of peace about where I stand. I may never get answers but if I'm honest with myself, I live with the belief, in the back of my mind, that I am evil and going to burn in Hell for eternity. This is what I was told many times. It's no wonder I find it hard to enjoy life when this belief about myself is hanging over my head. I need to review my beliefs and assess if they are reasonable and if so, what I am going to do about it.
The dad thing... well. How do you put that in a nutshell? It's been a long, slow process but I feel I am finally coming to the stage of realising that I can't expect him to be different and I need to cut him from my life/let him go for my own good. It's very hard when I feel like I might hurt him in the process but he constantly reminds me that he spares no thought for how he has hurt me, or how he continues to do so and can I really justify sacrificing my own peace for the sake of someone who has caused me so much pain without regret? I'm coming to the stage of accepting that I don't owe him anything. Part of me still thinks I do, but maybe that will never change. I've reached the point of knowing and am standing on the ledge, ready to take a leap and move on. I'm procrastinating about doing this too. Every day I advise myself that I can do it today: write the letter to end it all. But I find a million and one other things to do each time it comes to mind. I will get there though and when I do, I think it could be huge for me to be free from him.