I don’t get it.
I’m supposed to be smart and well educated. I graduated from medical school, I am bilingual, have a wide knowledge about many things about the world and have always had a quick mind to understand new things and situations.
I haven’t measured my IQ officially, but it must be somewhere towards the right end of the Gaussian distribution.
However, when I talk to people, especially about my illness, I become a 5 year old who only knows how to mutter monosyllabic responses under her breath.
When I go outside, people tend to ask me where I’m working now or what I’m doing. I try to get away with it by saying “I’m between jobs right now” which slashes through my ego right there, but it’s even worse when they don’t go away and ask me what my latest job was. This is a normal question among “colleagues”, and most people I know are “colleagues”. I can’t lie without getting even more questions so I quietly say “I’ve been sick” hoping that it makes them go away.
But then it gets worse. They are doctors after all, and they want to know what kind of sickness has been bothering me. Then I go mute, lower my head, start sweating and almost crying. They get uncomfortable. I manage to get out “it’s mental”.
In these times I wish I had a huge sign on top of my head that explained things. How to explain them properly, anyway, when most people, even doctors, believe that depression is a transient, mild thing that would go away if I were stronger or more positive?
Sometimes I wish that my illness was named “Gorth” or something scary and totally different from anything that could be mistaken for normal human emotions. Then I’d be that person who has “Gorth” syndrome, and I’d have a whole load of new problems because of it but at least it’d be different.
Anyway, socializing like this is more exhausting than usual. And leaves me feeling pathetic, inept, disgusting and horrible, which in turns prevents me from trying any more socializing, and I end up living like I have for the past year or so. Housebound. Living off my parents. Feeling useless.
Sometimes I think my problems would be solved if I had a job. THESE problems could be solved perhaps. The big obstacle here is that I am not ready. Just talking to people is hard, how could I see patients with their own problems? Even if I were to look for a job disregarding everything I’ve studied, I can’t even keep a regular sleep schedule and I barely manage to attend my art classes, I don’t think I could handle a serious working schedule.
And it’s sad because only two years ago, I was working over 100 hours a week. I was completely messed up but I felt useful and proud.