I sometimes think that I have been suffering from depression ever since moving here from Milwaukee 2.5 years ago.  Nothing really brings me TRUE joy any more.  I used to be active, a do-er, a get-things-done kind of person, one who smiled, who left the house, who enjoyed showering, picking up the house, putting myself together, who laughed loud, who made others laugh.  There have been spurts of a few months here or there where I can make some of those things happen- I remember the few months before I “found out” about my husband in December, I was frantically sprinting around the half hour before the kids got home cleaning the house, squeezing all housework and cuteness into that short time.  When my husband got home I would be dressed, hair done, makeup done, looking hot, with a clean house.  I didn’t feel happy though.

I haven’t felt happiness in my heart in a long time.  Well, I don’t know.  I feel very… up and down.  I’m not bipolar, but a less drastic version maybe.  I do feel intense gratitude and sometimes I feel intense LOVE for my children, my husband, my life in general, but then it drops away and I feel so alone and empty and pointless.  15 years ago I was diagnosed with cyclothymia (?) which is a very mild version of the mood swings/up and down of bipolar.  This is just a phase of downness.

I’ve been on Celexa ever since giving birth 20 months ago to help avoid PPD.  I doubled the dosage about 6 months ago and now have switched to Paxil for more benefits hopefully.  Increasing the dosage of the Celexa helped me feel less groggy and tired, but nothing lifts the haze of heavy yuckiness from my entire being.

I see my therapist, talk about not feeling happy, learn how to try to focus on the positives, let the conveyor belt go by, I try to be active but it’s just so much damn work.  Getting off the couch is so much work.  Getting dressed… everything.  So much work lately.

Now with my on and off anxiety attacks and hysteria and physical compulsions, I have Xanax to try.  I haven’t taken it yet.  I’m so anxious about so many things.  I don’t worry about my husband/relationship as much as one would think, I just feel kind of… overly attached to my family, my house, being HERE, always.  I don’t like to get out, go anywhere, do anything.

Nor do I care to or find myself easily able to do anything here at home.  I just want to sit and lie down.  It’s become a joke of me being lazy, except that it’s not really a joke to me.  I know I need help, I need a new therapist maybe, one who can help me with the depression more than my current lady, but it seems so ridiculously overwhelming to start over.  My lady has been great in helping guide me through my marriage problems, my self worth issues, but she isn’t quite getting it on the depression & compulsions thing.

Compulsions: self injuring.  I self injured as a child 14ish through age 20, usually with cigarettes- never cutting, but I’d burn myself.  Gross and sad and weird, I know.  I pick the skin off my liips such that they scab up and puff to twice their size after they’re done pouring blood.  I bite through the inside of my mouth.  I pick my toenails off, yes, I remove them from the nail bed.  I pull the edges of my fingernails down to the knuckle.  My body is constantly under attack.  We call these things compulsions.  I have struggled with binge eating, but that is always pretty short lived in comparison.  A year here or there of struggling with it doesn’t compare to constantness of the other things.  No one knows these things.  Over the past 20 years I’ve become adept at covering up my injuries.  I know I need to cancel seeing people when my face is a mess, when my hands look like I’ve been attacked.  I hide my burns, my scars when they’re fresh, I wear non-toe showing sandals in the summer.  No one knows I do these things.  I seem normal, healthy, fine.  My husband doesn’t even know the severity.  My body is amazing.  It heals quickly and scars minimally.  When I get into a “episode” I become in a trance almost and it is URGENT that I pick or pull or bite or burn incessantly, for about an hour at a time.  I will be taking a Xanax when that begins next time, plus will try to distract myself, be kind to myself, etc etc., most things don’t work.

I am having a hard time.  Intense anxiety lately about all my travels.  My husband is being wonderful.  He is abstaining from porn, women, masturbation, etc.  Polygraph after polygraph proves this, but his ACTIONS really prove it.  He is a different person.  His face is even different.  I think for the decade he lied to me and kept secrets from me, it changed the way he held himself, carried himself, the expressions on his face.  I see it in pictures from before, his pain, his sadness, his shame.

I now see, in real life and in new photos, a different man.  Not like, he is acting like a different man now but he LOOKS different and he IS different.  I am so thankful to have him, despite it all.  I love my children so so so much.  I am so thankful to God and the universe for them.  My infant brings me endless love and joy and smiles, when I am open to smiling.  Sometimes my mouth won’t smile.

All that we went through, that he put me through- brought me to where I am and who I am.  It brought me to the universe, to myself, to the world.  I have much more work to do.

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