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?”
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”
I spent several years going through some deep troubles including two miscarriages, a suicide attempt and several hospitalizations. This is a record of some of my time during that period.
[Some abbreviations used: 9 Garden North, 9GN, a psych unit; CO, constant or 1:1 observation; SHH, Silver Hill Hospital; NYPres is New York Presbyterian Hospitals; MHW, mental health worker; pdoc, psychiatrist]
Last night I dreamt, wildly. Dr. DeWitt was in my dream and other people from 9GN, where I find myself once again. Today we talked about Husband and how he’s probably withdrawing from school for the semester. I feel guilty about it even though he tells me not to. I can’t help it. All I want to do is cry and give up. I told them (Dr. D and Jodie) that I was feeling rather suicidal. I think it has to do with PMS but who knows. I feel massively dissociated. I can’t get in touch with myself. I’m not even sure I know what’s wrong or why I came back here. The ECT has destroyed my memory.
This is the song stuck in my head: twenty one pilots: Stressed Out . It speaks to me on a couple of levels, the first being that I simply like the sound of it. Second, I have been hiding myself quite a bit, because I care what people think. Part of Borderline Personality Disorder means being extra sensitive about things. I’ve heard it put as “walking on eggshells,” both by literature, the internet, my mother, and my husband. It’s difficult to manage day to day stresses as it is without having a total meltdown, which is what I am constantly fighting off to varying degrees of success. Last year I did not succeed.
Almost exactly a year ago, I tried to kill myself. I was incredibly depressed after two miscarriages, the second resulting in a D&E because I was at 17 weeks. I never bounced back. I was in the hospital (9GN) for the fifth or sixth time within that last year, and I finally just got so mixed and overwhelmed and caught up that I climbed up on a dresser in my bedroom there and jumped off onto my head. I broke my neck, shattering my C5 vertebrae, which they later reconstructed with mesh and bolts, and my back, fracturing my T6 in three places. I had the surgery for my neck and now I have a scar on both the front and a huge one on the back. I am constantly playing with it and it reminds me of everything that happened.
There is no easy fix for depression. There is no cure for BPII, or BPD, or GAD, etc–only treatments that can ease the pain and hopefully keep people mostly happy and functional. Honestly I just aim for happy at the moment. I need that first. I’m working on functional. I keep saying this to my therapist, but it’s so hard to try and live well when a year ago you were trying not to live at all. It takes me a very long time to process and recover in general. I’ve never had to recover from something like this before. I understand the whole situation leading up to the event, but this post-suicide life is distinctly weird, unplanned, and almost surreal.