Suicide and mental health have been taboo for ages. Tomes have been written about their respective histories. Much of it depressing and even gruesome. People who committed suicide were shunned and often the body was desecrated. Dante left a special place in hell for those who died by their own hand. They became trees who were constantly eaten by harpies, the only inhabitants to be denied their human forms. In some places services were held for the survivors, but not the victim. Sometimes bodies were buried with the a stake through their hearts, at a crossroads so the body couldn’t make its way back home. These archaic practices have lasted well into the 21st century. Until 1993, suicide was illegal in Ireland. In her book Night Falls Fast, Kay Jamison writes, “The harshness of centuries-old views of suicide still touches the present, both in social policy and in more personal ways” (18). In her estimation, these age-old links still inform our beliefs, which we can see clearly when we encounter the stigma around mental health and suicide.
Today I had an astrology reading done based on my birthday, where I was born, and what time I was born. This was the result, which for people who know me will know is absolutely accurate. Done by the awesome Sarah Fader. If you find her on Twitter she’ll do yours too. And she reads Tarot!
“You have the sun in Pisces and the Moon in Capricorn. This means that you are a super empathetic person but you are not afraid to tell people some hard truths to help them. This is especially true because you also have Mercury in Aries. You are blunt when you need to be but only to help people with their problems and life challenges. You are about your loved ones and want to see them making good decisions. You have Venus in Aries, which means that in romantic relationships you are fiercely loyal to your partner. When you don’t hear from your partner, you become worried and may obsessively text or call. However, when you are done with someone you are done. You have no trouble cutting the cord. You have Mars in Taurus which means that you would do well to own your own business. You are probably quite good with finances. Your ascendant is in Cancer, which means that people see you as a nurturer and someone who is warm and cares for others. You can be self-sacrificial at times. Remember to take care of yourself before others. Put your oxygen mask on first. ;)” Continue reading “Astrology Reading”
I am flawed. You are flawed. No one alive exists without flaws. But some of us actually feel broken. This quote by Leonard Cohen, “There is a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in,” has really struck me. I’ve felt broken for as long as I can remember, with fleeting moments of certainty and wholeness that never last and leave echoes behind, tantalizing echoes of stable feelings and confidence. I am learning, however, that it’s my broken parts that allow the most wisdom to seep in. Without these breaks in my personality, life, experiences, mental health, what have you, I wouldn’t have learned what I’ve learned and accrued the emotional and intellectual knowledge that I have now, which I really wouldn’t trade for anything else.
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. Continue reading “Dreams, Suicide, and Boredom”
One of the alternate names for Borderline Personality Disorder (which comes from the archaic delineation between Psychosis and Neurosis), is Emotional Regulation (or Dysregulation) Disorder. Having BPD is like having all of your emotional protection stripped off, which makes every event a REALLY big deal, even the little ones that shouldn’t. Yesterday I had a fight with Husband, and it was mildly devastating. I don’t like to talk about our fights here because I don’t think it’s fair, but I will in the context of how it affects me and why.
With BPD I overthink everything and I, though I hate this word, tend to overreact to most things. I am very emotionally sensitive. A comment that might roll off your back sits in my psyche percolating until I am so convinced that I am a worthless human being that I feel like I might explode just from the pressure of pent up sadness and frustration. BPD has high octane feelings: they’re quick to spark, intense, and long-lasting. This becomes an issue when you actually have to live in the real world the rest of the time. Continue reading “BPD and Reactivity”
In times of trouble, I always find myself writing. I journal, I write to people, I blog, I tweet, I go on Facebook, etc. Written words are how I exhale my feelings. I can process them because I put names to faceless feelings and give them life. It allows for a conversation instead of a monologue. It’s the best way I know to work on feeling better.
Yesterday I used a lot of words. I wrote, I talked to people, I saw my therapist, I was honest about the place I was in and the needs I had and it paid off. I feel better today. This is probably also because I’ve been taking my Xanax every day and doubled up on my Abilify, but I’m also sure that it’s a combination of me actively working to feel better and my meds helping me to get there.
Right now I am just afloat, waiting to see how functional I can be. I’ve talked to some incredibly thoughtful people in the last few days and they have helped support me tremendously. Even a bunch of likes on Twitter makes me feel better because I know I am connected to somebody (somebodies) and I’m not alone in my struggles. I want to help people, but sometimes I have to ask for help.
I fell asleep listening to Neil DeGrasse Tyson teaching me about astrophysics (for people in a hurry). I had dreams that everyone hated me. And I woke up on the verge of tears. I’ve already begun to cry a handful of times in the last hour, and this would confuse me except that it happens like clockwork every month.
I’ve talked about this before but it bears repeating because it repeats on me. Most women get PMS but a smaller proportion suffer from PMDD (Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder). It basically means that I go absolutely crazy once a month, with episodes lasting a day to a week, depending on cosmic forces being kind to me, I guess. The loathsome aspect is that it often occurs at the least useful times, and then screws everything up. This is my last week of classes so of course, the universe says to me: let’s go nuts!! Continue reading “PMDD and Me”