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The Feelings My Mental Illness Robbed Me Of

I want them back.

By Corinne McCaffertyPublished 4 years ago 3 min read

It's been nearly two years since I went on antidepressants. It had gotten to the point where I wasn't leaving the house much and I cried several times a day over things that hadn't happened yet. I was paralyzed by dread that one day my loved ones would die and I'd be left all alone. I'd already lost someone, and I didn't know how I could go through that again and again and again. It was tearing me up and living away from home made me feel like I was wasting the time I had left. But you can't live like that. You have to live your life and not let fear hold you back. You have to build a life for yourself even if it means leaving people behind. So I went to the doctors and I went on antidepressants. Eventually, they numbed the fear and I could get back to living life, though everything was a little numb from then on.

I used to be an avid reader. I always had a book on the go. There was nothing better than getting lost in a story, telling yourself that you'll sleep after the next chapter... or maybe the next one. I always knew what was next on my reading list. But after going on antidepressants I lost my interest in reading. In the past two years, I've started reading around 20 books. I have finished two. Some of them I only made it through the first chapter. Some half-way. But I still just couldn't get into it. And the books weren't bad. If I'd been feeling myself I would have finished them all. I kept buying books, books I'd been excited for, books I'd pre-ordered way in advance. But still, I couldn't get into them. I could listen to some podcasts and audiobooks while doing other things, always doing many things at once. But it's not the same as reading it for yourself and being truly engrossed. I feel like my brain can't do that anymore. It just wanders away when I try to focus. I literally feel like I'm being pulled away from the pages whenever I try to read. I never saw myself becoming a "non-reader." It's just not me, and I miss being me.

It's the same with movies and TV shows. There's a big list of TV shows and movies I want to see. Yet I never feel mentally "there" enough to commit to watching them. Instead, I settle for shows and movies I've seen a hundred times so that I don't have to focus too hard.

I started writing a novel a few years ago, but I don't have the mental focus to get back to it. I feel like a failure for quitting. I want to get back to it but I'm just too numb.

I used to be a musician. I haven't touched my instruments in months, always making excuses to myself.

Dragging myself out the door to go out and life is still hard sometimes. I feel like I'm in chains sometimes.

Romance is maybe the hardest thing to lose. It's hard to fall in love when you feel numb. Even sex isn't as good when you feel a little dead inside, faking passion hoping that your brain will catch up with your body. But if it doesn't then you're left in the shallow end, longing for something deeper but unable to swim.

I want all the same things I wanted before. The desire hasn't gone away. But the motivation and drive to pursue them have gone. The passion has gone. A numbness has set in and it's not going away no matter how hard I try. I've lost it and I can't find it. I feel weighed down whenever I try to do anything.

I don't know if it's because of the anti-depressants or just because of the depression itself. Maybe it's dissociation, anxiety, or trauma. I don't know. But whatever it is, I feel robbed and I want it back.

I hope I'll get it back.


About the Creator

Corinne McCafferty

By day I work with vulnerable equines.

By night I write.

It's a wonderful life.

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