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8:56 p.m. - 2015-07-19
My shrink lady thinks I have a pretty good chance of someday not being completely miserable because I am high-functioning miserable person-- something that had never occurred to me before.

"I think I've probably been clinically depressed since I was about 5," I told her. "That's 30 years. What do you think the odds are of someone who has been depressed for 30 years ever becoming 'healthy'? I've been on every anti-depressant on the market and nothing worked. My arms are a freak show and I've had an eating disorder for 20 years. I'm not the expert here --you are -- but statistically, I don't think the odds are very good."

"Statistically, you're not like most people who have been depressed for 30 years."

"How so?"

"You have a family. You went to nursing school. You've accomplished a lot. Your problems have hampered you, but they haven't stopped you."

"That's because I have obligations and I refuse to become someone else's problem. I don't have the luxury of moving into my mom's basement and sitting around being depressed all day. I have kids, and my mom would never let me move into her basement."

"Even so, you're not the norm."

I argue that there are probably lots of miserable people out there who honor their obligations and refuse to become someone else's problem, but I have to say, I'm willing to imagine she might be right. It is true that I convincingly mimic normalcy, and even overachieve, while being batshit crazy.

Maybe I haven't completely blown my life; maybe if I was mentally healthier I'd still be able to achieve the things I used to dream of, like traveling the world, speaking 10 languages and saving kids from starvation. I still score in the 99th percentile on (literally) every standardized test I've ever taken, and I do have binders with study materials for six different languages sitting on my kitchen table.

I'm pretty sure that's not the norm -- for people who are sane or batshit crazy.



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