A few days ago I returned from a trip to visit family in the province east of me. As usual, I have returned home completely depressed. This has been a pattern since my mental illness. They don't accept it very well.
I have to be honest: I do not enjoy my visits to family – ever. I live alone, and have for decades since my marriage of 2 1/2 years ended long ago. I didn't have any children, and so don't have any grandchildren to lavish with affection. I missed out on the growth I believe I would have experienced had I had children. So, I find it very difficult to spend 24/7 with people, even if they are siblings, nieces, nephews, great-nephews, and aunts and uncles, and my mother.
I am a very lonely person. (No doubt :|) I don't have friends at home. None at all. At 65 years old it's very difficult to make friends. Since my diagnosis of suicidal depression 17 years ago, followed by diagnoses of bi-polar, cyclothymia, and borderline personality disorder, I haven't worked, missing out on the socializing that work entails. At first, I did volunteer work and made a few friends through that. In the past nine years, however, after moving to another small city, I haven't been able to make friends here. I have done volunteer work here until a back injury forced me to quit. Afterwards,whenmy health improved, I lost the wherewithal to seek even volunteer work . I've lost my confidence in my skills; I've completely lost my social skills. The latter is one of the reasons I failed so miserably in relating to my family members.
I tried twice to volunteer, and both times I quit after one day because I couldn't handle the social aspects of working. I felt 'not good enough' because of my mental illness and because of my loss of social skills. I know that there are lifeskills programs out there that could be helpful. However, I've taken those kinds of courses and programs ad nauseum since 1997, and at age 65, they're becoming tiresome. Been there; done that.
Since 2008, I haven't had any therapy at all because my psychiatrist dropped me off her caseload (after the diagnosis of BPD) and other shrinks in my city are not taking new patients. I don't even have a physician. I see different docs at a walk-in clinic for my prescriptions of Seroquel. Until 2008, I went to out-patient psych groups of all sorts.
I spend my time listening to public radio, reading, writing, and playing computer word games and spider solitaire. What a life for an old lady. (I don't cry anymore; Seroquel works.) I hardly cook anymore because I'm addicted to my computer. It's no fun to be lonely.