Labelling, self-labelling I mean, can be extraordinarily useful. I was struggling with the Black Dog - and thank you so much to all those who commented in support. It is remarkable how the ether world and caring others in the real world can offer so much comfort and understanding.
A man I worked with said to me he was going to this six part workshop on chronic conditions.
(of an illness) persisting for a long time or constantly recurring.
synonyms: persistent, long-standing, long-term; More
"a chronic illness"
•(of a person) having an illness persisting for a long time or constantly recurring.
"a chronic asthmatic"
•(of a problem) long-lasting and difficult to eradicate.
"the school suffers from chronic overcrowding"
synonyms: constant, continuing, ceaseless, unabating, unending, persistent, long-lasting;
I asked him what his condition was if he felt comfortable telling me and he said "Anxiety" - he's had this basically non-stop since brutal orphanage days (Five years old at incarceration - Sweet Jaysus).
I thought for a minute and said: I have a chronic condition too.
And then: I think I'll go too.
So there. Just affixing the label to myself I felt a load lift off me. And the workshop? I can't say enough about it. 2-3 hours each. All of us (Including the two facilitators) have chronic conditions. All of us suffer periodic depression. All of us had difficulty labelling ourselves.
There is such solace in just saying it out loud to a bunch who totally understand. And boy, are there degrees of "chronic".
I got off lightly.
More on this in the next few weeks as I learn more.