Posts Tagged ‘generalized anxiety disorder’


I am coming to the end of my first year as a Providence Associate. It has been more of a inward journey than an outward expression. I have finally begun to come to terms with my personality quirks. I still struggle with those quirks, but I am learning to not be so hard on myself. I am learning to accept myself as I am, quirks and all. I decided to post this reflection letter to the associate directors because I could not express my struggles any better than I did in the letter. I am slowly revealing my soul through this blog. My prayer is that it will help someone in some way. If you are reading this and you are struggling, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! There are more of us than you know. Tell me how I can pray for you. So, below is my reflection letter:

My first year as a Providence Associate is coming to an end. As I reflect over the last year, I realize that I have had ups and downs. As I have been called to be part of this community, I have struggled with the resurgence of my schizoid personality disorder. I was diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder and generalized anxiety disorder when I was 17 and living in foster care in Los Angeles County, California. Schizoid personality is simply an avoidance of social situations and a lack of desire to want to form close relationships with others. It makes us somewhat socially awkward and as much as we know we need community, we don’t desire community. We desire solitude and isolation.

As a single mom for 18 years, my kids have been the center of my life. They are now growing up and moving on to lives of their own. It is hard for me, because I also suffer from constant anxiety which leaves me with a fear of being abandoned. As much as I desire solitude, I am terrified of being left alone. I need that circle of support that my kids provide and having that vanish has thrown me mentally and emotionally. I struggle every day I have to work. I love the Sisters, but I have to force myself out of bed to be at work because of the constant anxiety and the sometimes overwhelming desire to run away and hide. I live with my daughter, son-in-law and 4 grandchildren. I love them and I need them, but even then, I spend a lot of time in my room, isolated. I know I need community, but I don’t desire relationships. I have 1 friend. My ex-husband’s wife is my best friend. My ex-husband once told me that during our marriage he always felt that I had a wall up that he could never break through. I see the truth in that. Many schizoids don’t marry at all, because we have no desire for that close of a relationship with anyone. It is extremely hard to know I need community, but not desire community in any way. I become hard on myself and try to push myself beyond what I am capable and it creates further anxiety to the point of the inability to function at all. Thus, there is constant chaos in my mind. It isn’t something that can be “fixed”. We learn to cope the best we can.

I am sharing all this in my effort to share more about myself and to bring awareness of those who do suffer from mental illness. My quirks are what make me the special person that I am. I have to learn to only do what I am capable of doing and not push myself to the point of being overwhelmed by life. It is an ongoing struggle to balance it all and to keep the noise in my head at a manageable level.

I want to renew my commitment as a Providence Associate. I want to be more transparent about my struggles in an effort to bring awareness of those who struggle with mental illness. I want to share my struggle with the Sisters because I know that they love me as I am and will accept me, quirks and all. It is important for others to know that there are those who suffer in silence. The rate of suicide is increasing. People are ending their own lives because they feel hopeless. Suicide is not a choice made by someone who is thinking straight. It is made by someone who has lost the battle to the chaos in their minds and has become overwhelmed to the point of ending the noise in any way that they can. I struggle, but I survive. I survive because I have a provident God who has heard my cries of desperation and keeps me alive to share my story. As hard as sharing my story is, I must share it. I know that surrounded by the love of the Sisters, I can find the strength and courage to do this.

In Love, Justice and Mercy,

Patti Burris


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