I often have absurdly vivid dreams. Last night was one of those nights. They make me feel like I haven’t slept at all. It has taken me hours to wake up. And now I couldn’t even tell you what these dreams were about, just that they were exhausting. I used to have nightmares, recurring horrors that would sometimes cause me to wake in a cold sweat. After I was hospitalized when I was 14, I had a recurring nightmare about being in a hospital chased by a faceless someone or someones. For the last 18 years I’ve had that dream, which is not uncommon for someone reacting to trauma. And man was that traumatic. I was always so frustrated because I can’t really do anything about dreaming, only my waking mind. The nightmares have subsided but even Thursday night I had dreams about being chased, and I think they all go back to my first hospitalization.
If you’re ever thinking about going into a psych hospital, I would 1) recommend doing research on where you’ll be going, and 2) definitely do it if you’re feeling unsafe. Psych wards can be tremendously helpful. I’ve been in a few that helped me and kept me safe and didn’t treat me like garbage. (Though treatment varies from person to person, even in the same unit.) Honestly, I’m a terrible patient. The BPD in me (and the fact that I’m often too smart for my handlers) makes me the worst. I am the first to admit this. I hate, hate, hate being contained. But I also knew at times that I had to be if I was going to stay alive. If I had leapt from my balcony instead of an armoire, I would be dead, hands down. So I was lucky that my suicidal psychosis overtook me while I was at NYPres. It probably saved my life (that, and pure luck).
I talk lightly about these things because they are a known part of my world but I don’t mean to make light of anything. These are very deadly, serious issues that, if you are struggling, you should take seriously. Being suicidal is not a game, it’s not a cry for attention, it’s a deep, heavy, sinking emotion that is attempting to drag the sufferer out of this world. Anyone who tells you otherwise has never felt what it’s like. For me, being suicidal is like being in the center of a cactus that’s been turned inside out. All the prickly bits are trying to get me no matter which way I go and finally all I want to do is throw myself on the spines, just to end the pain. I haven’t felt that way since Nov. 2015, not in any real way, but I remember it vividly.
Talking to someone who’s suicidal can be frustrating because you “just want them to understand” that life will be OK. But for the suicidal brain nothing is OK, nothing has been OK, and nothing will be OK. Unfortunately for the suicidal brain, it simply cannot comprehend that anything will improve and will sometimes go to great lengths to create logic that supports this notion. I remember thinking that everyone was wrong, that my brain was right, that there was no point to living and no one could convince me otherwise. But at the time time I also recognized that there was something flawed with my thinking, which is why I deferred to my doctors and went inpatient multiple times.
I am a person who has been chronically suicidal. It wasn’t just a one-off thing for me: a precipitating event and suicidality as a result. No, starting when I was about 13 I would simply devolve into these massively depressed phases and would begin losing hope that anything would or could get better. And this happened over, and over, and over again. I honestly could not tell you how much of my life I’ve spent considering suicide as a serious option. The only things that have helped are ECT, meds, and years, years, and years, of therapy. I still have days where everything seems bleak and I just want to die. But it’s my default mode. “I’m having a shitty day. I should probably kill myself.” I don’t usually mean it seriously any more, and haven’t for a while, but it’s SO ingrained as a way of thinking that I haven’t been able to avoid it completely. I am able to say, “There I go again. That’s just my old thinking. I don’t have to listen. Everything will be ok.”
IF you are feeling suicidal, please check out the resources that I have linked at the top of the page. Ask for help. Suicidal is a feeling, it does not have to be the end.
I’m already running into the same problem that I did before school started: I’m bored. I don’t know what to do with myself. I have things to take care of in the apartment but I need something to stimulate the intellectual part of my brain or I start to go quietly, and then not so quietly, insane. I know BPD boredom is a thing, but this just seems like a combination of lack of schedule and lack of stimulation. I finished class on Thursday night. This is too quick to be bored.
I’m thinking about taking an online course in something before classes pick up again in September just to keep myself occupied. There are things I could do independently but I’m not great at functioning when I don’t have a schedule. Something melts inside of me and I become mental mush. Goals people, I need goals.