I live in New York City, which is the worst place to be around Christmas time. Midtown, Times Square, Rockefeller Plaza, and now, mostly because of Trump, 5th avenue are all tourist traps and full of people both flocking home for the holidays and on vacation. It is mayhem and misery for those of us who actually need to do stuff in that area of town. Traffic is insane so it takes so much time to get anywhere, and the subways are crowded and uncomfortable (even more than their normal crowded and uncomfortable). Plus it’s freezing outside so it will be hot and sticky in the subway, or expensive in a cab or Uber. Whine whine whine. First world problems. I say all this to lead into my quandry of the day: can I get out of the apartment. I’m supposed to get to midtown to see Therapist this afternoon but I am feeling less and less disposed to going out. Part of me is just nervous because there are a lot of unknown factors this time of year. Then I’m also out of the habit of leaving so it’s fairly overwhelming just on a basic level. I also know what Therapist and I will end up talking about and I think I’d like to avoid it. Because I’m having a hard time going out, I’ve had a hard time getting to family and friend events, even holiday gatherings. With Christmas coming up, I have to face a whole other social world and schedule that I am not used to and very uncomfortable with.
Last year I didn’t really have winter holidays. I was broken and in the hospital for Thanksgiving, so we had it in my unit’s common area with my family bringing in Tupperware. So nice of them to accommodate me like that. They didn’t have to. So sweet. Then I was still in the psych ward for Christmas and New Year’s. I missed the holiday season in a very real way. I think it switched something for me and now I feel like I don’t have holidays. It made it feel normal. Sometimes I think being at home is a way of replicating the “safe” environment of a hospital because I am protecting myself from a lot of stimuli that might trigger me. In the end I understand that this makes me more sensitive, but I also think that I heal best with time. I’ve pseudo locked myself away for like six months, and now I’ve kind of forgotten and don’t really care to rejoin the day to day, for the moment. Part of the reason I started blogging was because I was really, really bored. Which is a good sign. That means that my brain wants to do stuff, which means stuff will be less scary and seem more feasible (re: 98% no fear sharing all of this on the spooky scary Internet).
MY POINT, if I can get there eventually, is that I feel stuck today, scared of the holidays, and so bored as to be insanely indecisive. Lately when I feel like this I turn to writing, so, let’s go prompts!
Authors are judged by strange capricious rules. The great ones are thought mad, the small ones fools. (Alexander Pope, prologue to Three Hours after Marriage (1717))
I like to share these days with folks because I know everyone has trouble getting up and out sometimes. I think it’s good to see that we all have good days and bad days. It’s also fun to watch how a person with BPD thinks because we vacillate thoughts so much. If I live blogged a whole day in my life, start to finish, noticing every time thoughts ran through my head, you would be shocked to see how much happens for me every day. And if something dramatic happens, like a fight with Husband, oh watch out because that version of me is NUTS. Maybe I’ll make that a goal for part of today. Just keep updating this post. We’ll see.
I ordered food so that probably means I’m not going to go. I honestly don’t want to have to talk about Christmas and why I don’t want to go. I was doing better last week, but now I haven’t showered in a while and I am relying on Xanax at least once a day to get me through, which is higher than usual. So embarrassing to admit these things but it’s got to be more common than I think it is. I hope you’re out there, other person who’s having this moment with me, not wanting to do anything except be at home and fret about what to be doing.
I have self harm thoughts swirling today. Let me explain what that actually means. I think because I’ve been rereading my journal and reliving some of the most recent hospital experiences it’s been on my mind. Self harm is a habit, an addiction, like any other. It is hard to quit. I’ve quit the actions for over a year but the thoughts haven’t quit me. That is a deep habit, one that has been very active since I was a teenager. I understand now that they are just thoughts. “I want to take that razor and do something painful with it.” While I think that, I don’t actually want it. It’s reactionary. If I feel a certain way (guilty, upset, confused, numb, dissociated) those self harm thoughts pop up because they always have. As Therapist says, it’s part of my story. But I can rewrite it, and I have been. I don’t think about it nearly as much any more and when I do I can immediately switch into self talk to rationalize the sensation and avert any potential actions.
I really want to shop today. That’s another reason I don’t want to go out. I might end up going shopping and then I’d be in trouble. It’s bad enough I bought a bunch of Christmas presents for my non-blood niece on Amazon. Which reminds me I need to buy them for my actual niece and nephews.
So far the reactions to the blog have been overwhelmingly positive. Granted my sample audience has been small and some were biased but I hold out hope that maybe others will also like this. Is it narcissism? It’s got a strong vein of altruism because while I think that what I think is unique and possibly of interest to others, I also think my train wreck of a world could be helpful to others. Schadenfreude: happiness at the misfortune of others. Maybe that also applies in the camaraderie sense.
I took a nap because of course I took a nap. When I got up I got a message on FB that someone who was friends with people I knew from one of the psych wards had died. Last year this week another person, who I knew, had died. This is a hard time of year for people who are depressed. I think statistically more suicides happen in the holiday season than any other time of year. This makes sense to me because it is easiest to feel alone when society bombards you with togetherness. When you are depressed, you tend to feel alone anyway, so it’s a double whammy. It’s also dark and cold out which doesn’t help.
I also feel like a hypocrite when I comfort people who have lost someone to suicide. I feel the shame, the guilt, of my own attempt. I know it’s confusing and heartbreaking to lose someone, and I know that’s what I would have done to my family and loved ones had I not survived my fall (which is actually miraculous…I mean, how do you shatter part of your neck and walk away unscathed: no paralysis, no lasting nerve damage that I know of, and it may have actually corrected a curvature of my neck that always caused me pain).
Ok, I’ve somehow reached the end of the day. I feel really shitty for not being able to get out of the apartment to my appointment. I know I’m doing what I can but it doesn’t feel good enough. I feel sad for the fellow psych ward patient that we lost, for what his friends and family must be going through right now. I’m a little lonely because online people haven’t been around much today and Husband was at school all day. I feel slightly accomplished because I did manage to write quite a bit today, but at what cost? I didn’t go out. I chose instead to stay in my head.