I Choose To Survive (Battling anxiety, depression & avpd)
I believe that I wasn’t meant for this world. I feel misunderstood by those around me. I feel I am a burden. But I choose to survive for my husband.
So a little about me... I’m 35, married to my soul mate - he is my everything. No kids (yet... maybe ever due to my physical and mental health).
2013 is that year... that year that marks the before and the after. Experienced my first ever panic attack whilst away celebrating my 30th birthday. The attacks continued (still do) and in June 2013 my GP prescribed me with anti-depressants and referred me to a psychologist. My psychologist diagnosed me with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) & depression. I was told I have no self-worth or self-confidence and a fear of rejection & abandonment. My world grew dark.. very dark. I wanted out!
Anxiety has always played its part in my life, possibly a genetic predisposition as there’s much history of mental illness within our family. I’ve lost my Pop & Uncle to suicide and my dear Grandma suffered many years with agoraphobia (something I’m developing tendencies of).
Then tragically in 2014 my mother died very suddenly, she’d not been ill. My world fell apart. I retreated from everyone and everything. Had to quit my job as my GP and psychologist were concerned I’d have a breakdown. Some days I wouldn’t leave the safety of my bedroom, wouldn’t shower, wouldn’t even brush my teeth! My husband had to help dress me on my really bad days.
Having made little progress with my psychologist I was further referred to a psychiatrist. He reviewed my medication, also diagnosed me with avoidant personality disorder (AvPD) and I opened up about self harm behaviours I’ve battled with for quite some time.
It’s been almost 5 years of battling my demons. I need to work on the past traumas that have caused this, but I’ve been told I’m not strong enough yet. I still see my psychologist & psychiatrist each month and still take my medications. I know this is just my life now.
I’ve come back to beyond blue as I’m needing a safe place to talk and some support... I’m not doing too well. Life is pushing down on me once again and I feel like I can’t breathe.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, it means a lot.
I think the BB forums are full of “worthwhile ramblings”. People come here for support so what they have to say is ALWAYS valid, no matter how muddled etc. It means something to them
“In so many events in my life I’ve been left to feel that I don’t matter. I suppose after a while you just believe it.”....wow Emmy, I think you've written what SO many people here (including me) feel. It smacked me between the eyes, that's for sure.
welcome back to the forum. I had noticed some of your very supportive posts and was wondering why I hadn't see your name before.
I found this thread and was moved by your story.
I have not heard of AvPD.
I am sorry your mother died. Have you ever seen a grief counsellor?This is just a suggestion
and may not suit you. I think in our society we dont acknowledge the importance of grief and often sweep it under the carpet.
Emmy you write so well and communicate your emotions so well. Do you enjoy writing. Do you write in a journal?
Partly tagging this thread so that I can follow up later on. Like most/all here was moved by your story...
I would like to encourage you to continue writing on BB, both your own story, and if you feel up to it elsewhere. Writing can be a healing process, at least it is for me. It can be a way of getting those negative thoughts out of your mind. And of course you can have the added benefit of replies from others here. Of course what I write here is not exactly what I write in a journal - some things are reserved for me and my psych. How much we decide to put out there ???
On rambling... Go for it! If I am rambling it generally means there is a lot that I want to get out of my head. Is it the same for you? And maybe when you are rambling you might get so insight into what you are thinking also.
Peace and strength to you.
Hi SN. Thanks for saying my thoughts and feelings are valid. Sometimes you’ve got to just get it out of your head hey.
Sorry that you can relate to feeling like nothing. It’s hard when you lose all self worth and confidence, and that it’s lost by the doing of someone else. If they had the power to take it away how can I ever have the power to get it back. I do hold onto hope but sometimes it just feels all consuming. Like there is no end to this tunnel. This is my lot in life. This is what I deserve.
You asked about learning an instrument ... I’d love to learn to play the piano or the guitar. I did take one lesson for the piano but freaked out at having to try to learn to read music. There’s two lines - one for each hand. That’s tough. Lol. Can you play any instruments?
I think I’ve taught my dog all the tricks I can... hehe. He’s got a funny little personality. Everything’s got to be on his terms. So if he doesn’t want to do something he won’t. He’s the best though! Don’t know what I’d do without him. Hubby works evenings so I’m home alone. He stays by my side and knows when I’m doing it tough some days. Animals are amazing aren’t they. Do you notice that with your horses? That they can sense things??
I’d really like to take up tai chi as another form of exercise... its meant to be very relaxing. And just some good old walks is good. Just have to get motivated sometimes. Catch 22 right. Exercise helps with anxiety and depression yet I don’t want to leave the house!
Feel free to talk on my thread about any of your issues too. You’d never be “taking over” hun. But I understand too. I should check in on your thread to see how you are.
Hope you’ve had a nice weekend. I’ll see you on your thread xx
Hi Quirky. Nice to meet you. I was on the forum a while ago, took a break but have felt that I need to come back here for support. To connect with others who can relate.
A bit about avoidant personality disorder... avpd is characterised by a hypersensitivity to rejection and criticism, feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, intense self loathing and a strong desire for isolation.
I’ve never had any grief counselling since losing my Mum. It’ll be four years next month so too much time has probably passed now. I miss her everyday. We didn’t have the greatest relationship... don’t get my wrong I loved her so dearly and I know she loved me but she had a tendency to put me down a lot - tell me what a bad person I was. I know these were her own demons that she was placing onto me but after a while you do start believing it don’t you. (Plus other traumas in my life that have happened left me feeling like nothing.) I started putting up boudaries around our relationship and I regret that everyday now. Who was I to think I mattered. Now look. I did that and she’s gone.
I love journalling but don’t do it enough. Tell me ... do you have your own thread where I can come and say hi to you. Let me know what it’s called.
Thanks for your message. It means a lot. Emmy
Hi Smallwolf. Thanks for posting a message on my thread. Like I asked quirky above... do you have your own thread where I can stop by and say hello and check in on you.
I really like writing. I can purge. Get so much out onto paper (or internet lol). I like writing poetry but I showed some to my psychiatrist once and he told me to stop. That I wasn’t strong enough to be reliving past hurts. He said we’d eventually work on it. Who knows when. I’ll share one with you if you’d like.
Struggling to exist in a world not made for me,
Everyday my wish is to be set free.
The demons have consumed my soul,
They haunt my thoughts, have full control.
The beauty of life fades away,
Leaving only darkness, night and day.
Darkness finds me in my dreams,
Sleep broken by my frightened screams.
Shapes shift and change to confuse my mind,
I search for safety but cannot find.
I no longer recognise my face,
It's haunted, scared, its lost its grace.
I don't deserve a life of peace,
This is my penance it will not cease.
So I must continue here,
Live out my days with all the fear.
Just a simple poem. My hubby made me change the ending to this ...
I've paid my penance can this now cease,
I do deserve a life of peace.
I'll fight these demons and try to cope,
By holding on to faith and hope.
(I don’t believe in this ending.)
Currently at the shopping centre waiting for my psych appointment...
My thread is "a common story?"
When I came here, I didn't know what to write and read for a bit and could see parts of myself in other stories. Which is probably true for all of us. Yet my story has evolved into (content wise) my unique story, again later like everyone else here.
Your poem... Wow! Incredibly dark. But that summed up me recently - I have just started on anti depressants, and the side effects.
Going to pick on your title now... I like it. Shows courage and determination and strength. I choose to live, despite the thoughts that tell us otherwise. And when (not if) I get through this my story might be able to give others hope. Full of myself there,yeah I know but there is nothing worse at least in my mind of the thoughts of crushing defeat which MIs push us to.
Not quite sure how my reply ended there. Anyway, I am ever hopeful we will (all) make it through, via discussion, exploration and professional help, so that we will come to a place rolling hills covered in grasses and flowers and gentle breezes.
Til next time.