Join Date: Mar 2008
Does anyone else feel like me?
I've put a few posts on this forum since I joined it 4 years ago, but this is the reason I joined. Although I put a similar post in reply to another member, I've only recently been able to muster the concentration to finish it and post it separately:
I just want to lie on my bed and vegetate. I don't want to die, but I have no interest in the rest of my life.
I first began to feel this way a few years ago, in early 2004. I would come home from my part-time job at the end of the week and collapse onto my sofa, which was then serving as my bed. All the following day I would lie there under the blankets, drifting into and out of sleep, sometimes watching the television, then drifting off to sleep again. Often I didn't even want to eat. I would only stir myself to go to the bathroom. This happened for several weekends.
I was at a very low point in my life. My obsessive-compulsive disorder had overwhelmed me. All my mental energy and time was spent in needlessly checking and rechecking documents (what the documents were is not relevant), to the exclusion of any work in the house. I was living on my own, and was doing no housework. Everything which should have been thrown away was accumulating inside the house, so I was living in squalor.
Then I had a car accident, and spent months in hospital. I went into a state of euphoria, because I was thrust from a lonely existence into a bustling ward where I was surrounded by people. If I wanted to talk, I only had to call a nurse, or ask to see the hospital chaplain. I'm not a religious person, but it helped to talk to someone with some kind of spiritual outlook.
From hospital I went to a nursing home, as I am tetraplegic as a result of the accident. I became depressed again, because I found I couldn't relate to the staff there in the same way as I could with the nurses and physios in the hospital, and the other residents had profound brain injuries, so there was no-one else I could talk to. However, I started to look forward, with thoughts of finding a girlfriend, and getting my own flat. But then, inexplicably, the feeling of wanting to withdraw from life came back. Again, all I want to do is lie on my bed and vegetate. This is not as easy to do in a nursing home as one might think, because I am continually being encouraged to better my situation, become more independent, because of my stated aim to get my own flat. But every so often I lapse into a state of - well, of withdrawal. I melt into my bed and pull the bedclothes over my head, my mind disappearing into a depressive sleep. This can last all day, maybe two. And I don't eat. (Another term I have used for this is 'going into hibernation').
I have no interest in the rest of my life. I don't even want to find a girlfriend, as that would prevent me from withdrawing from life. And I have no desire for a social life. But I don't want to die. I used to be an energetic and dynamic person. I had my own small business, which I ran while I looked after my mother before she died. I was very much a social animal, I used to invite relatives and friends around for home entertaining.
Another aspect of this is that, when I sink into these episodes of withdrawal, they are accompanied by a feeling of a loss of identity, a loss of certainty about the kind of person I really am. My personality and character, all those qualities that give me a sense of self, melt into a formless fluid, and I feel I could be anyone, could have been anyone. And I have never felt like that before, in all my 49 years. I have always been a strong-minded individual, with a very strong sense of the kind of person I am. I don't understand why this should change now. I have read that this can be a symptom of borderline personality disorder, though I'm sure I don't have that. There are too many other symptoms which go with that which I don't have.
These feelings are preventing me from living my life fully. I'm operating on one cylinder, doing only what is necessary to keep the wheels of life ticking over - keeping on top of paperwork, keeping my finances in order, with which I receive a great deal of help from my sister. They sap my confidence and ability to assert myself. None of my family know about these feelings, nor any-one in the nursing home. I feel embarrassed to tell them about it. Why? Because my subconscious or whatever presents it to me as a choice - a lifestyle choice - and I am choosing withdrawal. I am not saying to myself 'I want to get out of this and on the road to recovery, I want to engage with life again'. And I don't understand why this is. As I said, I used to be energetic, dynamic. The 'me' I know now is not someone I recognise.
I don't see a way out.
Last edited by bluefinch; 07-14-2012 at 09:32 AM.
Reason: Clearer separation of paragraphs