My therapist brought up agency the other day. I have a tendency to say, “Oh, things will change,” instead of “Oh, I will change things.” I need to get my shit together. I know the things that will fix this low mood but that doesn’t help me when I can’t motivate enough to get anything done. I thought she had a good point though. I have to maintain my agency and say that I can do things instead of waiting around for things to happen to me. I always say there will be a catalyst that spurs me into action (and for the most part that’s been true), but what if I could shift it so that the catalyst was just me? Can I do that? Will these disorders let me? Will I let myself? Continue reading “Get Your Shit Together”
I asked my Twitter community if it was possible to be in denial about depression, and the consensus was yes. I am experiencing a depression without my most typical depression symptoms. I have some of the normal ones: difficulty showering, isolation, trouble getting out of the apartment, lack of affect. But I don’t have my usual sadness, hopelessness, lack of appetite, increased or decreased sleeping. What I’ve concluded is that I might be in a mild depression. My therapist has been pointing me in that direction. It’s not hindering my life too much right now, but she worries that it will continue to worsen until I’m not functional at all any more. I worry about that too but I don’t see it happening right now. I’m generally in too good of a mood.
Continue reading “Depressed?”
Typically when I write, I end up crying. It doesn’t matter if I’m in an episode or not. Something about the process is so deep and raw that I always end up welling up with tears. Sometimes Husband will look over at me with surprise and ask what’s wrong, but all I have to say now is, “I’m writing,” and he understands.
I’ve always loved to write. I’ve kept journals since I was 10 or 11 and my favorite genre to read is memoir. I’ve wanted to blog for a long time but I didn’t know what to say. When I decided to transcribe my journal last year, it made me think, as Hemingway said, “Write what you know.” I have tried to follow those words as much as I can because I believe that the best writing comes from the heart and we can only heartfully share that which we know ourselves. This blog is a collection of my truths. Not all of them, but as many as I can share with you. Continue reading “Tears and what I know”
I read a post by Giving Voice to Depression about the phrase “a cry for help,” and it got me thinking. The phrase itself should be a benign request for assistance, with no judgement tacked on whatsoever, but that’s not the case. It has this pitiable sense, as if we are to automatically feel bad for someone asking for help. Stigma has coopted the phrase to the point where a lot of people say “cry for help” with a dismissive, even patronizing affect. To me, a “cry for help” is just the manifestation of a person’s pain in whatever way they know how to express themselves at the moment, which often isn’t in words. When your head is all scrambled up from mental illness, it can be nigh on impossible to express yourself sensibly. Sometimes a half-hearted attempt at suicide is the only way one knows to get the medical attention one needs. You’ve simply forgotten how to say the words.
This post contains some potentially triggering self-harm and suicidal imagery.
Continue reading “Something to hold on to”
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.
Continue reading “Night Falls Fast”
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.
Continue reading ““There is a crack in everything””
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.
Continue reading “Staying Afloat”