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.
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 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.”
I didn’t always have it like I do now. I had poor vision, could barely see clearly a foot in front of my face. I lived in glasses and contacts, got used to dry eye and headaches, all the usual run around for those of us genetically blessed. But when I hit my mid 20s I was eligible for Lasik. Your eyes stop changing around 24-25 so professionals are willing to do corrective surgery when you reach that age. I can’t remember what the specific year is. It’s been a while. So instead of Lasik I opted for something called PRK. The difference is with Lasik they make an incision and lift a flap of tissue to get the laser in to the deeper level of the eye. With PRK it’s more like they use the laser as a sandblaster, no incision, and they wear down the outside of the eye through to the lower levels. Continue reading “20/20”
20) What is some of the best advice you have ever received?
On my first day of college my adviser said to us, “Don’t worry about what you say. Everyone else is as concerned with what they have to say, so no one is as focused on you as you think. Don’t be afraid to speak.” Continue reading “Some advice and wise mind”
Reading really helped me get through my times in the hospital. Our apartment is littered with books because one day I was manic and decided to order everything I might want to read while I was away at the new psych unit. When I was able to focus, when the meds weren’t draining my brain so much that I couldn’t make sense of the words, I ate books. They were great escapes. They let me leave the walls of the psych ward, escape the eyes of the staff, forget that I was feeling trapped in my own feelings. I like to read memoirs in particular. Continue reading “Great Escapes and Silver Linings”
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?”
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”