My moods run the gamut of the emotional spectrum pretty much every day. Yesterday I went from extremely happy and calm to anxious and sad, to feeling suicidal and self-harm prone, and this was simply because someone said something mildly negative. It rewrote my whole story of self. My sense of self is tenuous at best. Some days it is more solidified than others but it doesn’t take much to unravel. When I first started reading about BPD, lack of sense of self was one of the diagnostic criteria that surprised me the most and eventually made the most sense. I would say most of the time I have a sense of self but all it takes is one uncomfortable situation and I start to question everything. Like yesterday I was convinced that I was in a positive place, that what I was doing was useful and well done, and then one line of text made everything I had believed true a minute before, completely false. Continue reading “The chaos of daily emotions and good news”
Reading really helped me get through my times in the hospital. Our apartment is littered with books because one day I was manic and decided to order everything I might want to read while I was away at the new psych unit. When I was able to focus, when the meds weren’t draining my brain so much that I couldn’t make sense of the words, I ate books. They were great escapes. They let me leave the walls of the psych ward, escape the eyes of the staff, forget that I was feeling trapped in my own feelings. I like to read memoirs in particular. Continue reading “Great Escapes and Silver Linings”
This is by no means comprehensive, but I thought I’d throw a little information out there.
What is a personality disorder? Most people could define a mood disorder like Bipolar I, at least in general terms. They understand that BPI has extremes of depression and mania, and sometimes people go psychotic or try to kill themselves. Often they are great artists and great sufferers. It has classically been the most recognizable psychological disorder to the point that it has been used colloquially to describe simple mood swings that everyone experiences. Despite our awareness, mental illness is still stigmatized and misjudged. I have Bipolar II, for instance, which presents differently (I don’t get full blown mania with psychotic symptoms usually), but simply by saying Bipolar, a lot of people just assume you’re “nuts.” Maybe I am, but I don’t swing cats around or believe in tinfoil hats or eat dryer sheets, and I don’t hurt anybody. We all have our own kind of nuts. Borderline is a lot like BPII, with mood swings and suicidality, but it is classified as a personality rather than a mood disorder. Continue reading “What is Borderline Personality Disorder?”
So, my memory isn’t exactly what it used to be. Between years of drugs, hardcore meds, and ECT, I am operating at a surprisingly high level of memory. However I do repeat myself, and for that I apologize in advance (or maybe I already said a lot of what I’m about to say, so in that case I apologize in retrospect). In many ways repetition is good. As Zenyatta says, “Repetition is the pathway to mastery.” Anyway, sorry if I repeat myself. I am trying to become excellent. Continue reading “Forgive me if I repeat myself”
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. Continue reading “O Rockefeller Christmas Tree, how you suck”
18) “At home find a keepsake or rummage through a ‘junk’ drawer and find something that has a sentimental meaning to you, write about it. What or who does it represent? Alternatively find some old photographs and tell me about one of them.”
I have a lot of keepsakes. I connect emotion with object very easily. I think that part of it is the Borderline tendency to be attracted to transitional objects (like a kid’s teddy bear or blanket that they can’t live without and represents constancy). I think the possession I would be most heartbroken to lose would be my childhood bear Huggie. My mother says I grabbed him from a shelf in Continent, a French department store like Walmart but you know, French, and would not let go of him. I was about a year and some old. I don’t know what Huggie used to look like but he has always been flat with two simple black eyes and a little black plastic nose. He has a ribbon around his neck that was, at one point, wide and wrapped into a bow. Now it is tattered and hangs sadly from his neck. Because he was attached to me, his fur is now matted and flat, but will still fluff up when you rub it. He has one silk tag that is so worn that nothing written on it is intelligible. He is blue and I think his original French name was something along the lines of “blue bear.” Continue reading “Grief and Borderline and Bears, oh my”
I’ve played video games since I was a kid, but I’ve played MMORPGs since 2007. Through them I met lots of friends and (ta da!) even my Husband. The wonderful thing about online gaming for someone with my issues is that it allows a serious sense of community and activity without actually having to go out and socialize, which is often too difficult for me to manage. For a long time after my suicide attempt I didn’t really know how to interact with people. How do you walk around in a back brace unable to explain honestly how you hurt yourself? I told a few people but not many. Continue reading “Video games, agoraphobia, recovery”
17) “Write about meeting someone you admire (real or fictional) in an empty elevator; you have 3 minutes to make conversation. What will you say? What do you want the outcome of the conversation to be? You could even write out the conversation in a script format.”
Gwen Stefani looks at me out of the corner of her eye, trying to assess if I’m going to be a crazy fan-girl. I probably will be. First I tell her that Tragic Kingdom was the first album that I learned from start to finish, that I traveled all over France with my discman listening to it. I’d explain that I decorated my walls with all the No Doubt magazine cutouts I could find. I’ve been to so many of their concerts and then her solo ones. I love collecting her memorabilia. I think she is a genius and has been such a powerful voice for women everywhere. I think the way she handled her latest obstacles is inspirational and a great example for women everywhere. She is iconic. I’d like to tell her that her music got me through some of the most difficult times, and that her music is the true soundtrack to my life. She made such a difference by demonstrating what a woman can do just by putting her mind to it (with talent to back it up). Her greatest songs are all about overcoming pain, putting difficult relationships behind. I would gush, I would want her to understand how much she meant to me, and then I would ask for an autograph, selfie, and a hug because I’m greedy. Continue reading “Heroes, Fears, ECT”
16) “If you could click your fingers and be anywhere else right now, where would you be and why? What would you be doing? What would you see, hear, smell and taste?”
I would be on the beach in a tropical location, lying on a beach chair, in a bathing suit, in the sun because it’s December, I hate the cold, the dark, and this season. Beaches make me happy, and I’d like to be happy. I would have a Pina Colada, a good book, a floppy hat, huge sunglasses, a sarong, a soft towel, and access to water sports. The sand would be white and clean, there would be palm trees at the edge of the beach lending a protective feeling. I could hear the soft rustling of the leaves complementing the gentle crash of the ocean waves. There’s a light, warm breeze, carrying the chatter of people up the beach and some music from a hotel or bar nearby. A few white clouds dot the sky but there are no rain clouds in sight. There are people in the water, splashing, diving, screaming with glee every once in a while. A jogger and her dog run by at the water’s edge. The air is soft and clean, it smells like ocean: seaweed, foam, salt. I sip my drink so coconut and pineapple are added to the beach flavor in the air. I’d probably get up eventually and go in the water, which would be the perfect temperature to just walk in and stay in. I’d bring my snorkel so I could watch for tropical fish and turtles and stingrays, etc. Maybe I’d see a lobster in the coral.
I don’t get out much these days, so even though it’s literally freezing outside, I’m sitting here on the couch in leggings and a tank top (and a beanie for comfort). Agoraphobia is a weird issue to deal with. Not a lot of people understand. It’s like the world outside is so oppressive that most of the time I can’t even think about going out there. It’s terrifying. Xanax has been the only thing to jumpstart me to get out the door. I hate having to rely on something like that but at the same time, it works so I might as well accept that and just use it until my skills get better. Continue reading “Pain has a way of making you think it’s part of you”