Yesterday I had an energetic epiphany and decided to take a shower for the first time in a while. I will refrain from saying how long because it’s sad, and I don’t want to be sad. Suffice it to say this was an accomplishment for me, and I feel better for it. I had my cousin over for hang-out time last night and that was refreshing as well. We goofed around on my Ukulele (which I’ve been spelling wrong forever??). Today I got up and actually went to CVS to pick up my meds. It was the first time I’d left the apartment in over a week. It was nice to be a part of the world again. Sometimes I forget that it’s not the end of the world to leave.
Sometimes I feel as though my mental health issues rule my life. Bipolar can take over whenever it feels like it, sending me into spirals of mania or depression of its own will. I do lots of preventative things, like taking my meds, going to therapy regularly, sleeping appropriately, etc. But that doesn’t always keep the demons at bay. BPD is similar, because the rapid cycling moods and sensitivity can be more than I feel like I can handle. It makes it easy to write a blog about mental health because mine is constantly shifting, but it doesn’t make it easy to live in the world. It’s hard not to get my identity wrapped up in these diagnoses. For one, as someone with BPD I’m prone to an unstable sense of self, so sometimes identifying with a disorder is grounding, but it can become all encompassing. I want to remember that I am ME in all of my flawed glory. I am more than these disorders.
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.
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”
I am lucky in more ways that I can explain. My family and friends support me through light and dark times, I have the ability to chase my desires, and others recognize my strengths and reward them. My latest dream is going back to school so I can get my life started again, begin a true career path. Luckily I have the first step down: actually being accepted into an appropriate program. So I was looking through all the requirements and what classes I would be taking first, and I’m so out of touch with math and science that I really need to do some serious review. Continue reading “Happy 2017! Now make it awesome.”
My emotions are always running high. I can feel my brain twisting and shaping my experiences, thoughts, and interactions, often to my detriment and those around me. Any fight can start out innocuously and turn into a very real fear of total abandonment. It is an annoying situation to be in when I really don’t like to depend on anyone. So I’m of two minds, the desire to depend on people and the terror of losing that support, which makes relationships very complicated. The book “I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me” sums it up well. Both of those things can be true at the same time, and they very often are. This makes for a tumultuous home life. I love Husband, but sometimes I hate him and I am also deeply shaken by a fear of him leaving. There are still a lot of unresolved issues from the last few years, things we haven’t had time or weren’t ready to work through. Continue reading “I hate you, don’t leave me”
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”
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”