I can see clearly now the rain has gone

30 Jun

So, after a bit of a crazy couple of months, things are finally clear.
The post I put on here back in April was a foolish act, borne of desperation at the situation in which I found myself.
Now I have a proper diagnosis, I find myself feeling both relieved and sad in equal measure; the realisation that how I have felt and reacted to situations for the entirety of my adult life can be described as part of a treatable (or at least manageable)disorder, means that the prospect of a life sentence of bouts of crushing depression is now far less likely.
On the other hand, the dawning awareness of just what effect my actions have had on those around me, and how I have pushed away and ostracised so many people over the years is extremely painful.
When you come to realise that so many life decisions have been made through a fog of internal critical voices, it starts to raise the question of how much of what I say, do or even feel is actually “me”, and how much is symptomatic of a condition caused by my early childhood experiences?
Reading back over my earlier blog posts this week, it has struck me that I must have been aware of all of the symptoms, albeit on a subconscious level, but did not connect them up into a cohesive format. Disassociative behaviours, suicidal ideation, feelings of immense worthlessness and the ability to fall apart at the mere suggestion of alienation or abandonment of any kind with alarming frequency, have all been there as the soundtrack to my life for as long as I can remember.
So finally, I know I have a form of post traumatic stress disorder. Yes, certainly there is some depression there as well, but as part and parcel of something far more deep rooted, not a stand alone illness.
With this knowledge, I am now at least able to know my enemy; the battle has raged for so many years now, and I have fought the shame and guilt of feeling bad, knowing full well that I want to feel good, and do good. I have been like some sort of toxic Ying and Yang, permanently entwined, with neither side of my persona appearing to be able to dominate the other. At times, it has felt as if both Holmes and Moriarty have to fall into the water in order to resolve this psychological warfare.
However, after 18 months of intensive counselling therapy, I finally feel completely present in the here and now, almost all of the time. Disturbing flashbacks and recollections are still there, but I can now see them in the context of what they really are. In place of irrational fear and untrammelled anger and bitterness at an internal adversary, I now find myself acknowledging that a scared and frightened young kid “shut down” many years ago, and has been clamouring for my attention for some time. I have ignored this at my own detriment, as well as that of the people around me whom I care about and love.
To get to this point has taken a gradual peeling back of the layers, bringing with it a great deal of rawness and vulnerability. At the risk of sounding like a pretentious git, I feel like I have spent the past 3 months as Odysseus, strapped to the mast, being tormented by the song of the sirens, while the rest of the world rows on around me oblivious, ears stuffed with wax.
To feel emotions properly for the first time I can ever recall is an immense sensation. To be in the moment, and truly appreciate that people DO care, and DO love me is a liberating feeling. It is therefore with horror that I realise that reciprocally, what I have demonstrated to the people around me is a polar opposite response, and given that they do feel emotions, I have deeply hurt and saddened them with my self destructive and negative, tunnel visioned approach to life.
I now realise that I successfully destroyed the best relationship I ever had with another person in my life, no mean feat, to say that we were together for more than a decade. I have lost very good friends, and have only recently managed to decimate one of the best friendships I have known, purely through fear of rejection and grinding down. Your mates don’t tell you they love you very often (not in blokes, anyway), so when they do, it is best not to jettison such a bond. No prizes for guessing what I’ve done, then….
I wish I’d known that this was what was wrong all along, but in the nature of the beast, the denouement comes in the aftermath of the devastation, sadly not at the point where disaster can be averted.
So, now is the time when, finally free from the demons and ties to the past, and unlocked from the place I’ve been inhabiting for the past 30 years (literally and metaphorically), I know that my actions are entirely my own, and responsibility for them lies with me, and no hangovers or hang ups from the past.
I think this is commonly known as living, and its about time I started doing it properly!

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