As I said earlier, My name is Joshua. I am currently 29 years old. I have been suffering from Dysthymia and Avoidant Personality Disorder my entire life. I was "officially" diagnosed in early 1992. I managed to miss the diagnosis in my medical record however, and in a series of tragic mistakes did not find out that they were my diagnosis' until 2001. I actually diagnosed myself through the research that I have been doing and came to the same conclusion that my doctor had come to over 10 years ago. Talk about irony.
I wish that I could say that I am close to beating this thing but the truth is that I am still plagued by mini-panic attacks and a severe lack of confidence in just about everything. I can cope due to some classes that I was subjected to that have made it easier for me to talk to people and converse in large crowds, but truthfully, I am still using the same imagination techniques to get through it.
I still imagine that I am someone else in order to relax. It is usually someone that I have elaborately created, down to his name, personality, and manerisms. I simply become him. It has helped me to cope, but I am tiring of it.
I am becoming more and more irritable in situations where I am challenged and have to face confrontation. I have been consumed with intense rage on the last few occasions and always in the back of my head is the voice.
I hear it calling to me and telling me that I am useless, worthless, and a coward. That no one likes me and that God is angry with me for what I have done to my children.
(Just this last year I divorced my wife and lost my children to her.)
I spent the better half of my adolescance locked away in my room reading my books because I was too scared to go out. I never considered myself to be a truly special person. I had always wished to be special. I longed to be loved for my uniqueness; something that I sometimes felt was mis-understood by those I cared for. I ached to walk among the accepted masses, to wade through the popularity and grasp that invisible shield of self-confidence, and make it my own.
I managed to reach the age of 28 before I committed my fathers sins of abandonment against my own kids. I dont necessarily believe that we are all doomed to re-visit the wrongs of our parents but, that being said, I do believe that we have the capability of not learning from the past and allowing ourselves to believe that we are unable to change how we react to the same stimuli.
I loved my kids. Hell, I still love them. The problem is, Love is, (In complete disregard for the Hollywood glamour and hype),simply not enough. Or maybe it was. The Joshua Jury is still out on that one. I believe that I am where I am today because I loved them enough not to put them through years and years of mediocrity and dissatisfaction.
I also believe now, that it was an incredibly insensitive and selfish thing to do to them. In the case of my marriage I regret two things. One, that I didnt try harder or learn enough about relationships to fix what was wrong with us. (I always felt that marriages were supposed to last. Divorces were wrong. I concluded that lazy people who never cared for their spouse resorted to divorce). Two, I regret that I married so early.
what have I learned since? Only that sometimes if a marriage was contracted for the wrong reasons, out of need and immature naivete, then it is sometimes humane to cut it off. Like an infectious cancerous sore. Just gut it and watch it die.
God it hurts though. I often times find myself late at night aching and itching to scratch the phantoms of my past. The echo of my childrens laughter, and the image of those smiles haunting my soul. I ache impossibly inside and I lack the resources or the network of friends or available relatives with which to share it. The wound spreads easily, tearing with each passing day, and increasing the pain associated with it. I long to stop the pain and ease my own suffering. I ask myself constantly what my life would be like had I done things differently. God I sometimes wish I still had my family or at least my kids and their familiarity. I often feel like I have nothing now, that any good that I possess resides within my own subconscious and means less since there is no effort involved with its manifestation.
I am tired of trying desperately to gather around me the last vestiges of my wounded pride. I am not sure what I am, except that it is less than what I want to be.
I have managed in the last year to divorce my wife of eight years, lose my children, consume myself with debt, and alienate any and all of my closest friends. My family wont come over to see me, I've given up my cats and my best friend hates me because I caused he and his girlfriend to split up.
I am in the middle of one of my depressed cycles and I feel it all around me. I feel it inside of my head, whispering to me, calling to me, telling me that I am worthless and hopeless. It is an enemy and a friend. I hate it and yet it is so much more known than the voice that tries to tell me that I am worth something.
I feel like I am hurting the people I do love so much and the people I am angry with would only yell at me for trying to talk to them about all of this and accuse me of seeking attention. Which isn't that far from the truth to be honest. God I would love for someone to at least tell me:
"Hey man, I know that must hurt, or wow it really sucks man I'm here if you need to talk"
Contrary to popular opinion, I am not looking for a way to "dodge my responsibility" I am merely looking for a way to talk about it without being attacked and having someone tell me that I am responsible. I mean, really, do they think that I don't know that? Hell, what else would be causing me all of this anxiety? People are so damned ridiculous sometimes. Even the ones that say they care.
The only thing that I have going for me at this point is the rocky relationship that I have with my fiance right now. We are doing well right now and God willing will stay that way. I love her to death and she is trying very hard with me to make this work, hell she made me cookies to cheer me up the other day and she never bakes. (Which is an untold service to the world let me tell you. Think of all of the unknown suffering she avoids inflicting on the muddled masses every night just by allowing me to cook. She's a saint I tell you.)
She is constantly assuring me and complimenting me. I like it. I've never had that before and I'ts a real novelty but she is so far from where I am right now with my mentality that I doubt that this is something that she can face right now. She is just not comfortable with weakness of any sort, and mental weakness is a liability that she seems to look down on as laziness and an unwillingness to simply move on with life. I love her but I question wether or not she is able to handle this on top of my other issues. Could I have any thing else wrong? I don't have the answers, but I know that they are out there and there is light at the end of the tunnel...there always is. I shall continue to fight the fight until I have reached that light...
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