Thursday, February 26, 2015

The War

Thing are starting to settle down. I've moved in with a friend, and it's been a much more comfortable environment. He's known me for a few years and knows what I deal with. He's understanding and in fact told me I'm much more chill in person (ha!). In retrospect I should have made this move a while ago, but I hate change. I was comfortable where I was, but I wasn't happy. There was nothing for me and it was time to move on and be where I belong. Things have moved along well and I've been able to situate myself quicker than I expected. Right now my biggest worry is finding a job.

But that's not what this post is about. This post is about Pete, a new boy, and the extreme inner conflict I feel.

Pete abandon me, he cut off contact with me, and he left me confused and hurt. We are not together and I certainly owe him nothing. I can be with who I want, kiss who I want, date who I want, flirt with who I want. I. Owe. Pete. Nothing. At least that's the logical thought process, but do you really think it's that simple? If you did, then please start this BPD journey with me over again ;)

My roommate and I have fooled around a few times. Nothing too far; kissing, some light touching, semi-naked cuddling. When we're doing it, it feels great and I like it a lot; even want to do more, but then emotion mind sets in and all hell breaks lose in my head. Bullet point thought time!

  • This used to be what Pete and I did (Really? Cause I'm never cuddled with anyone but him ::eye roll).
  • What if Pete finds out and I've ruined my only chance of him ever talking to me again?
  • ::All memories of Pete come flooding into my head::
Next I get sad, depressed, have nighmaresI long for Pete, I break promises (I told myself I wouldn't contact him until 3/1 and I caved), and in an extreme case I disassociated and almost self-harmed (I started to). This is what people don't understand. The people who tell me to just, "move on." They don't understand the horrible inner conflict I deal with. Then what ends up happening is I feel like I've forced myself to do something when I'm not ready. It took me a year to be intimate with someone else when J broke up with me, and I was ready and I didn't feel like I was forcing myself to do it cause everyone around me said I should.

But deep down I know what this is about. It's about letting go. It's about knowing deep down that's I'm letting go of Pete, at least part of me is; but part of me isn't ready for that and I'm willing to bet you know which part. She's clinging, fighting, screaming, and refuses to accept this.

This is the war. This is the battle. In my head. Every day.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Accentuate the Positive

My emotion mind has really been fighting with my wise mind these past few days. For this post I am going to focus on the positive and only the positive.

  • As of now the only monthly expense I have is my phone and T pass
  • I no longer have a car which means I no longer have a huge monthly car payment. If  I really need to get some place where I need a car there are options (such as Zip Car or even Uber). I am no stranger to public transit and though it can be stressful, it also gives me more time to read
  • I'm doing more writing. I wrote This Yesterday
  • I've started doing a 30 day yoga challenge (I've been doing yoga daily, but this is a specific challenge).
  • Every night I write in my journal
  • I have a short term and long term goal
  • I'm living with a friend who knows about my Borderline, and is understanding (and my age!)
  • I've gotten a lot of stuff done in only a few days (and with the weather)!
Positive. Wise mind. I can do this.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Understanding: A Poem

Electronic support rapidly shows on a screen
Thousands of people understand, so they claim
Their words are pure, their intentions keen
Yet for me the feeling remains the same

One on one, in a close friend I should confide
Someone who's words are comforting and genuine
But my true thoughts I hide
Passing up the chance of a therapeutic regimen

On screen or in flesh, neither one matters
What's the use, they'd never understand
In the end it's all just idle chatter
All that I think, no one could withstand

So everyday I fight constant mental adrenaline
Whether one or a thousand, I'm still on my own
In my mind's eye, a constant swinging pendulum
Because in my head is the only place that I'm not alone


Often times people with BPD are accused of being manipulative. We are, but not on purpose.

Remember I talked about those "frantic efforts"? That's where manipulation comes in. We will stop at nothing to avoid abandonment and it often comes across as manipulation, but I promise we aren't doing it on purpose and we are not always aware. You see when we are in emotion mind we suffer from dissociation and memory lapses.

We also feel regret and guilt over our actions easily and because of the memory issues it can come across as if we are lying and trying to cover up.

I delete stuff online because I am often regretful, but to try and explain my actions would both be difficult and illicit more guilt.

The other issue is I have issues reading long comments online (especially when using my phone) & everything gets confusing and overwhelming and leads to me deleting things or flipping out.

I've been dealing with target 1 behavior, lying about hurting myself, and being in the ER.

It's not manipulation. It's literally BPD at work. It's frantic efforts, emotion mind going haywire.

Am I condoning the behavior? No, just that I am still working on controlling parts of my disorder. I had a plan with my therapist for DBT, but now I can no longer to through with it. And that is devastating. Especially with everything going on. A DBT refresher would have done me well.

I was accused of running scams because I had multiple GoFundMe accounts. This is because I've deleted emails attached and forgot logins. My situation has changed so much and even for me it's hard to keep track in a linear fashion.

Everything in my head is in overdrive, I'm overwhelmed and very emotionally vulnerable.

From the Beginning

I just spent about an hour typing up this long explanation of my situation and proof gone so already I'm pissed. Let's try this again.

I was dating this guy who was a dry drunk (dry 4 years now). He had tremendous depression and anxiety issues that went untreated. He would sleep for hours a day, cancel plans last minute, & told me that he has avoided talking to people he has not spoken to in years because he's ashamed he hasn't replied to them in so long (ie-people he knew in Cameroon and England).

Up until the day he broke up with me he made me believe everything was fine (he wanted me to be as happy as long as possible). He even lied about the weekend he was going to Utah to visit his family because it was the same weekend we were supposed to go away for the weekend. He told me it was the weekend before and so I spent that entire weekend believing he was in Utah. The Thursday before we were supposed to go away I was at his house, but he said I couldn't stay over cause his sister was staying so she could meet up with friends the next day. The next day (Fri) the day we were supposed to leave for our trip, I heard nothing from him until I got a FB message stating he was in Utah and had lied about the weekend and broke up with me.

I talked to him a few days later and forgave him and we continued to hang out a few days later as intimate friends. He moved about an hour and a half away on Dec 1st (back to his parent's) & I was worried I wouldn't see him as much (I was only 20 mins away before). So of course I needed constant reassurance.

We ended up hanging out at his place around Dec 13th. This was after a week of him avoiding communication because stuff had gone wrong and instead of communicating he avoided. We ended up having a nice time despite all that. We made possible plans for the following Thursday and he said to call him Mon (12/15). I heard nothing from him until Tues & he said he avoided me cause he got a job which started weds which meant he had to cancel our plans. I was annoyed because he was supposed to help me move.

He knows he has issues and I think he gets more ashamed when I point out stuff. So the next day we talk again (my birthday) & after that I hear nothing for days. Im extremely concerned because he had always been good at telling me when he needed space or was not doing well. Finally he replied and said that he couldn't deal with my intensity and I cared too much and he needed space. I asked him how long and he told me to give him about a week.

The next time we spoke was new years eve and we caught up. He told me we could hang out by the end of Jan and told me to call him that Fri. That's the last time I heard from him.

Of course in true BPD fashion I sent him multiple texts pleading with him to say something. Going between begging for mercy and being angry. No reply even when it was business related or I was in the hospital. I would then go days with no contact & even sent a card to his house as "closure". But then I texted him more and even contacted his friends and family (they all said he was doing fine).

On Feb 5th I had a severe breakdown (due to many things) & ended up inpatient for a night. When I got out I commited to not trying to contact him until 3/1 (small goals). I even Shipped his stuff back to him. I texted him once (from my new number) on 2/14 with a simple "happy valentines day" & did not say it was me.

Then things got really bad. Car taken away, kicked out, forced to move to a different state, no job, no money or income, friends who I thought were supportive abandoning me & I can no longer begin the year long DBT I had commited and signed a contract for (note: I have been through DBT multiple times, know many skills, have incredible awareness and insight of my disorder, & have been in individual therapy. Despite what people think ive made tremendous progression. Of course the fact I have reflective clarity and am able to discuss which symptoms of my disorder are affecting me it means im using it as a crutch. I know when my BPD affects my behavior and I often feel tremendous regret and talked about it in therapy. I often know when I'm doing something wrong but that emotion mind takes over and I still struggle in the moment. But after I can discuss it very well. Of course I feel shame, guilt, & embarrassment.)

So I gave in. I sent him this text last night:

"Hi this is ____ I got a new number. I don't expect you to reply, but I at least wanted you to have my new number. Things are bad, no, more crazy and stressful and bad. I'm trying to handle it as best I can, but it seems like the universe keeps s******* on me. I sent you your stuff. I hope you got it. I wasn't going to try and text you until March, but I feel so alone right now I wish I had you to talk to. I suspect you have problems of your own. I just could use a friend, I've been abandoned by people I thought were my friends. I probably did some stupid things that caused you to be irritated with me, and I'm sorry. I've just been dealing with a lot, probably the worst time in my life in years and I wasn't always thinking clearly. I hope you can forgive me. anyway, I hope you will consider talking to me I could use a miracle right now or something good to happen to me. Because some really bad stuff has been happening to me. Well anyway, hope you are well and work is good. "

He hasn't responded, & I don't know why I am surprised. He didn't even respond when I told him I was in the emergency room. Now, this is not the first time that I've been through something where people have stopped talking to me for long amounts of time. The difference is those other people I either knew why or they told me. And they certainly didn't end our last interaction by telling me "let's get together and let's talk by the end of the week" and making me believe everything was okay.

I'm really struggling a lot with this. Partly because I feel weak for giving in, partly because I miss him a lot, and partly because I don't want him knowing that I'm doing so bad. Because I have no idea what's going on with him I just picture him thriving and doing well and me not doing so well and him rubbing it in. Now let me make this perfectly clear he is not that type of person at all, in fact he's not a bad person at all. He has a lot of issues and he knows that I struggle with stuff and when he can he's been supportive. And I've been very supportive of him. Probably a little bit too supportive.

It's just really difficult. Because of course now I am beating myself up for giving in and for letting him know that I'm not doing well because I don't want him to have that satisfaction. And I miss him a lot. This is the part of my disorder that affects me the most and that I have the biggest struggle with, abandonment issues. So I guess that's what's been going on I'm sorry if any of this is confusing and if you have questions I'll be glad to answer. But the one thing I am asking is please do not bad mouth him or trash him because he's not a bad person I promise.

I've been doing things like yoga and writing in my journal and my blog, but because things are so bad right now I've been very vulnerable lately and it's easier for me to give into temptation. Especially in the moment especially when there are no distractions.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Looking at the Glass

Life is full of contradictions, and for someone like me that can be very frustrating.

"Stay in the moment" vs "things will get better"

I can't both stay in the moment and hope for a better future. I'm too black and white, I am trying to find that gray area.

Glass half empty: I have to surrender my car, I have no money, no job, I had to give up the therapy I was supposed to start, I'm being forced to move to a different state, and I have no income.

Glass half full: Surrendering my car will free up a huge bill for me monthly, I'll have one less thing to do when I move (switching my registration and plates), I am very used to taking public transit to jobs, I have a place to stay and it's not with a stranger but with a friend, the only bill I have is my phone ($45 a month) so I have a lot more space to save.

This is why life is contradictory. Because being "in the moment" means thinking about the glass being half empty. In order to think more positive I need to think ahead.

Sigh, I think too much.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Straight up or Sideways

It's been said that when you hit rock bottom there's only two ways you can go, straight up or sideways. I want to believe that, but it often feels that right when I have hit my lowest, the floor drops from underneath me. That's what it feels like now for me.

This morning I was forced to pack my stuff and leave the place I had been staying at. The reasoning is complicated, but part of it had to do with me being accused of things I wasn't doing. Also, I'm going to be honest. If you don't get mental illness, especially BPD, then I am a difficult person to live with. I'm not difficult in the sense I'm mean or I cause trouble; no it's much more trivial stuff. This is something I recently talked to my therapist about, and I will try and explain it to you guys.

Sometimes my mind gets so overwhelmed and so filled with anxiety that smaller and more trivial things may slip my mind. I know this is going to make me sound lazy and immature, but I sometime need prompts. If I'm not helping out around the house it's not because I don't want to, it's because my mind is either in complete anxiety ridden overdrive or I'm so beaten down that my capacity for dealing with anything other than knowing my name is very slim; so, sometimes I need to be asked/told to do something. Like I said, I don't kicked out cause I'm threatening people or stealing or anything like that. I get kicked out cause I don't help out enough (and when I do stuff it usually goes unnoticed), and because whoever I live with usually doesn't understand the extent of my disorder.

It's my fault. It's my fault because I put myself into situations where I live with strangers I meet on the internet. It's my fault for thinking I can do more than I can handle. It's my fault for not having better control of my disorder sooner. I've lived (if my count is right) in 12 different places since November, 2011. I don't even know how many jobs I've gone through.  I still struggle though. I just experienced one of the worst breakdowns I've had in six or seven years. I've had no real stability in a long time. Sure, I've come a long way with my disorder. I am able to control it better, I have learned so many skills, and I'm incredibly insightful and reflective. I've picked myself back up so many times, but I've also lost so many friends and gotten myself into bad situation after bad situation.

Perhaps I'm not giving myself enough credit though. I'm an incredibly relentless person and I am a fighter. I also know what I need to work on, and there are a lot of people with BPD who don't even realize what their symptoms are. Not only do I know them, but I can describe them and give personal examples. I think that's saying a lot. I know I need to work on my relationship vulnerability, I know I need to work on coping in the moment, I know I need to work on controlling my anger.

You know what, though? I really am not giving myself enough credit. To a lot of people it may seem like I have no made progress, but let's put things into perspective:

T Breakup (6 years ago): Drove to his house in the middle of the night, texted/called him 50+ times in 5 hours, threatened to kill myself, quit my job, and basically flipped out on everyone that came near me.
Pete Breakup: Tried contacting him (not as much as T), cried, called friends, vented on FB, went to be with family

Anger (6 years ago): Threatening people online, saying things like "I hope you get raped", spitting on people, throwing things at people, screaming. It was also never my fault.
Anger Now: I still yell if I feel like I'm not being heard. I've also flipped out online. However, I haven't said anything close to what I used to. I also feel remorseful now, will delete it and apologize and then work through it with my therapist.

Now I have my self-sooth kit, now I'm able to recognize my flaws and take responsibility for them. It may seem that I just flip out, but what people don't see is me being incredibly remorseful and understanding my disorder is affecting me. That's not using it as an excuse, that's being aware. If I was using my disorder as an excuse then I'd wouldn't be wanting to start DBT. In fact, I'd probably be dead.

Yes, I've pushed a lot of people away. You know what, though? It's not always my fault. Sometimes it simply comes down to the fact people can't handle me and my illness at it's worst. Am I blaming them? No. I'm incredibly difficult to deal with. I'm just saying it's not always because I was a bad friend, sometimes it's that I was simply too intense. Trust me though, I know when I've been a bad friend, and I am in no way saying my actions have never caused loss relationships.

I've also had to deal with tremendous amounts of stigma; I've had to deal with being accused of things I didn't do or I wasn't, I've had to deal with being called a liar, I've had to deal with people thinking my disorder was just a cry for attention or a reason to be a drama queen, I've had to deal with tremendous bullying, and most of all I've had to deal with all the shame and regret and remorse that comes with this disorder.

I haven't had stability in a while, but it's not because I'm a bad person. It's not because I'm not a good worker or that I'm a bad house mate. It's that I am still growing, I am still progressing. But society needs to progress as well. Society needs to be more educated on mental illness. If I had cancer, it's not your fault I have cancer, but if you treat me like less than or abandon me when my cancer gets bad and tell me I brought it upon myself; then that's a huge problem. This is what happens with mental illness.

Right now I'm in a situation where I got kicked out of house today (literally had to pack everything), my car could be taken away any day, I have about $100 to my name, and I can no longer start the critical and extensive therapy I was supposed to. You know what I did?

I found a place to stay for a couple of days, I'm moving in with a friend this weekend, I already put in a call to the mental health center near where I'll be living, and I'm supposed to be hearing back from a couple of jobs this week.

For someone with BPD who is going through what I am, that shows a lot of courage and resilience. There's a reason there is a Phoenix on my back.

Finally, as a note. If you hear stories about a person maybe try confronting them instead of automatically believing what you hear. Unfortunately if people want to they can use my disorder to make me look like an evil, ungrateful, lying, attention seeking bitch. I asked my friends what they thought of me and the replies I got were, "empathetic," "high level of intelligence," "profound openness," "resilient," "soulful," "caring," "kind," "compassionate." The point I'm trying to make is that I shouldn't be judged by what people who do not understand have to say about me.

I know I have a long way to go and things seem dark right now, but as I always say "compare me to me" and the me now is a lot different and a lot further a long than the me a few years ago. Back then I would not have bounced back so quickly. I'm obviously upset about what happened today, but I actually feel positive and hopeful now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Let's Get Real (TW-Suicide)

I started off today pretty frustrated. I had found out that a friend of mine had removed me from their FB. This wasn't a random acquaintance, but rather someone I thought was a good support for me. I messaged them to ask if I had angered them or done something wrong. They replied with,

"You didn't anger me, I just don't think it was okay to go to al-anon meetings which is supposed to be a safe space without the best intentions"

(for those unaware al-anon is not AA it is meetings for friends and family members of alcoholics). Confused, I asked her if she could explain what she meant. I told her that because of my disorder I have memory issues, and I wasn't trying to "play dumb" or pick a fight. I genuinely was trying to understand what she meant. Her reply?

 "Look, it's clear you can't understand that your actions have consequences, and I can't further deal with this." 

Of course now I am racking my brain trying to think of what she meant. I had missed a couple meetings, but that was due to lack of gas and the weather. I had walked out of a couple, but I was experiencing high anxiety and the best thing is for me to remove myself from the situation. These are not reasons to accuse someone of not having the "best intentions." I don't speak about Al-Anon unless it's in regards to me (which is allowed, I checked). I don't name people I see at meetings or even meeting locations (though it's very easy to find meeting locations with a simple Google search). I continued to try and understand what she was talking about, and I probably let my frustration show a bit and came across hostile the more she ignored me. But I was honestly trying to understand and have a conversation. I once again explained that I have memory issues caused by my disorder. Her final message before blocking me was,

"Okay, seriously, this is all too much. You can't just use your mental illness as a catch all to excuse your actions, and expect people to just accept it."

This is a tremendous pet peeve of mine, but I'm going to come back to it in a second. I want to first share some stuff my therapist told me during my session today.

"People with Borderline Personality Disorder understand and experience consequences more deeply than most of the general population because of the nature of the disorder."

"It's not that I use my diagnosis as an excuse to behave the way I do. I behave the way I do because I have BPD."

Let's say I started sneezing, coughing, and looked run down. Chances are you would say, "hey looks like you have some cold symptoms!" Those cold symptoms may cause me to not want to get out of bed, blow my nose a lot, use cough drops. If I said to you, "oh man, this runny nose is causing me to go through so many tissues!" you wouldn't reply with, "you can't just use your runny nose as an excuse to use tissues!" Do you see what I'm getting at?

I have an illness. That illness has symptoms. Those symptoms cause certain behaviors. Yes I can learn to manage and control it and learn skills, but would you expect someone who got over a cold to never have a cold again in their lives? No? So why would you condemn a person with a mental illness for being affected by the symptoms of their illness?

According to my therapist and many professionals BPD is one of the most, if not the most, difficult disorder to treat. It's because there is no pill for BPD; it's skills based and the person has to be willing to change. We are also extremely high risk (I think we have one of the highest suicide rates). Change is incredibly difficult and the best hope we have is DBT which means committing to a year of intensive therapy.

Also, according to my therapist when a person is in very high emotion mind it is very common for us to experience memory lapses. That's not an excuse, it's literally a fact.

I think people mistake being insightful and aware for excuses. If I have a broken leg and I am aware that walking on it will cause me problems does that mean if I refuse to run a race I am using my broken leg as an excuse? I think (and my therapist agrees) that being able to not only recognize when my BPD is affecting me, but also to be able to clearly reflect and point out which part of the disorder caused my behavior shows tremendous awareness and insight. To me that's not using it as an excuse, to me that is using it to better myself.

But, I'm still stuck on how someone would think that stating something a symptom does is, "using my disorder as an excuse." If I wasn't affected by the symptoms of my disorder then I wouldn't have it.  Using my disorder as an excuse would be not accepting I have it; saying, "I have BPD so I'm gonna be an ass to you!", or denying my behaviors are an issue. As my therapist and I talked about people with BPD feel tremendous guilt and remorse. If I flip out I spend a lot of time beating myself up and feeling remorseful. I put it on my diary card, I talk about it in therapy. This is not "using my disorder as an excuse."

"Ugh just get up and walk! Stop using your wheelchair as an excuse for immobility"

"Oh god, Tina called out again. Probably another chemotherapy appointment. She's always using her breast cancer as an excuse to get out of work!"

"Do you really need to take insulin? Stop using your diabetes as an excuse to inconvenience our meal!"

These all sound pretty ridiculous, right? So why do we do it with mental illness?

I get that my behaviors have caused problems, have pushed people away, and I can be difficult to deal with; but you know what? It's not always my fault. You know what's funny? I've had the fact I have a mental disorder used as an "excuse"

-To warrant being abused
-To blame me for every conflict I have 
-To get out of explaining stuff to me (like a super vague comment)

My illness has been used to gas light me so many times.

So tell me, who's using my illness as an excuse?

Monday, February 9, 2015

What's The Tally Count?

I really getting sick of this shit. I feel like people are constantly abandoning me. Fist it was Pete and now I find out two friends I really thought I could count on are giving up on me. At least that's what it feels like.

The first friend doesn't feel "safe" because of some stuff I posted. Most people who know me, know I post to vent and I would never hurt anyone. So what did she do? Just cut off contact without warning or talking to me or explaining. She said, "when you repeatedly exhibit behaviors which are dangerous to yourself when you are around me, I question how beneficial I am to you."

Ummmm, I remember having a panic attack (which I can't control) and my friend helping me get through it. She actually was beneficial to me since she was probably the only nearby friend I had. It also feels like she's telling me, "I'm judging you by your struggle, not by the progress you've made." She claims she's proud she's proud I'm making strides to better myself. Yet, she can't be my friend right now or we need to "take a step back" as she says.

Then I find out today that another friend I thought understood me has unfriended me. She claims, "I just don't think it was okay to go to al anon meetings which is supposed to be a safe space without the best intentions." WTF? This is actually really offensive to me. I've been nothing but positive about going and having it help me. Is it cause I walked out because I was too anxious? Is it cause I'm choosing to make DBT a priority? Why would someone say something like that?

This angers me because this is now two people who have unfriended me without warning or explanation when they both know how I'm going through with Pete. I'm sure I'm overreacting, but it just feels like more abandonment than I can deal with right now.

This is what I am talking about. I hit a rough patch and suddenly all of my progress is erased. Well you know what? "The only person who has the right to judge my progress is me." If I allow others to validate me I am going to end up very unhappy.

BPD is a lonely disorder. I've lost so many close friends just in the past few years. Right now it feels like getting kicked while I'm down.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Making Decisions

I've been going to Al-Anon meetings and a Big Book studying meeting. I thought that working the 12 steps would be helpful to me, but it's DBT that's going to help me. While I know the 12 steps have worked wonders for people and I can certainly relate to them, I just can't get past all the Christian undertones (even if they do welcome all religions and spirituality). My sponsor agrees that it's best I focus on DBT right now.

I started going to Al-Anon because it was suggested to help me deal with my Mom being an Alcoholic, but then I ended up continuing to go because of Pete (who is a dry drunk). However while it can be helpful to hear other's talk about their experiences with alcoholics, I need much more. I need to learn skills that DBT is going to teach me. My difficulty coping with Pete's absence in very much a Borderline thing and that is not something Al-Anon can help with.  I feel that by focusing on things like Al-Anon and 12 steps I am focusing on Pete and Pete's issues. By that I mean that I am focusing on just one aspect of my life giving me trouble when really it's a smaller part of a bigger issue. My issues with relationships and abandonment.

DBT is what I need to work on and focus on. Especially now that I'm doing full DBT. I have very little gas and no money coming in and I need to use the gas I have to get to therapy. Once I get income I do want to go to some Al-Anon meetings since it can be helpful hearing other people's stories, but as far as working the steps; it's just not for me. To put it bluntly, I don't need it.

DBT is what I need and what I need to focus on. I do also want to continue going to this mental illness support group that I'm part of. That's helpful cause it focuses more on various situations and I can talk more broadly about me and my issues rather than just my issues with alcoholics in my life. My issues are far bigger than that.

Also not to sound conceited, but a lot of what 12 step teaches I've already learned. I need DBT skills, I need to learn new skills, to hone the ones I have.

Lamenting Frustrations

As someone with mental illness these are some of the things that frustrate me. Some are specific to BPD and some are mental illness in general.

  • The feeling that I'm not allowed to struggle. Too many times I've hit a rough patch, and people have treated me (or implied) like all the progress I had made is now null and void. It's like I hit the "go back to start space" on a board game. Judge me by the long run, not the short spurts.
  • When people don't explain why they are upset with me. Look, it may seem like I'm trying to play dumb, but I have severe memory issues. A lot of times I won't exactly black out, but I will sort of disassociate. This means after when my mind is clear I may not remember something I said or did. If I ask please explain. Please do not say something like, "you know what you did!" I also have issues with retreating memory in a linear way. So while it may seem like I'm lying it's just that I'm having trouble remembering things in order.
  • People who do things knowing it's going to trigger my BPD. If I'm dealing with someone who just cut off contact with me for know reason and you know I need support, please don't go and do the same exact thing to me!
I recently got the "Self-Care" journal by Rachelle Abellar. It's filled with exercises for creativity, self-esteem, coping skills, and more. I've been working on a few pages each day and night. I really like it a lot!

I start my group DBT this coming week. I've had a rough month, but I'm hopeful things will get better soon. I think maybe I needed to go through a breakdown to have more clarity? I'm a strong person and I've been through a lot on my own, but I always make it through. I'm proud of that. I'm proud of how far I've come. Even if other people don't recognize it.

Friday, February 6, 2015

It Started With A Win

This is hard for me to talk about, but I want to be as open as possible in this blog. Before I go further, understand that some of what I write in this entry may be triggering. It includes suicidal ideation and self harm. This is probably going to be one of the realest and rawest entries I've ever written. For the most part I've kept my disorder under control for the past sever years, but this week things came to a head and fell apart. I fell apart. Where do I start? Well, let's start at the place that triggered it all; Super Bowl Sunday.

Pete hasn't spoken to me in over a month, and that right there is enough for me to have a really difficult time coping. However, what makes it extra difficult is the fact he gave me no warning (literally the last thing he told me was we could hang out soon and he told me to call him in a couple of days). Over the past month I've had a lot of different emotions; confusion, anger, sadness, and several combinations of those and others. I have been going back and forth between feeling hopeful and hopeless. So how does the Super Bowl play into this? Pete is a huge Pats fan, I mean huge. I was at a point where I was so upset that my brain switched to just wanting him to hurt as much as I was. I knew a Pats loss would upset him, and I wanted so bad for him to have a bad day. Obviously it was my emotion mind talking and taking over. So when they won, I lost it. I couldn't stand the thought of him being happy while I've been in so much pain and experiencing so much sadness. It's one thing to feel abandon, but to have no foundation; no reasoning; nothing to go on, that's unbearable.

On Sunday or Monday night I called emergency services at my therapist office and spoke to someone for a good while. We agreed the best option for me was to ask to be committed to a short term crisis stabilization center. It's an acute psychiatric center, and not as serious as in patient. So after talking with emergency services I had my roommate drive me to the ER to be evaluated the next day. After talking to several people it was determined that I wasn't going to be sent to the center, and instead I was to talk to my therapist about another option (a day program). I was disappointed to say the least.

The next day I had a therapy appointment. I walked into my therapist's office, opened my PRN's, dumped them into my hand, and told my therapist if she didn't send me to the center I would swallow them all. She talked to me, asked me what was going on, and I told her I've been having strong suicidal urges and thoughts. I told her about what happened at the ER, and I told her I needed to go some place to get regulated. She agreed that going to the center would be good for me, and told me if I went to the ER again I'd only need to get medical clearance and they had a bed waiting for me at the center. So I left and drove myself to the ER, and that's when things got worse.

I'm not going to lie, I'm addicted to my phone. I get anxious if I don't have it and if I can't check it on my terms. At the ER they had me change into scrubs and they locked my stuff up, including my phone. Right before they did, I got an email that I didn't get a chance to respond to. For some reason responding to it right away was really important. I asked if I could just check my phone, and I was denied. At this point I was on a stretcher in the hall, and the news that I couldn't have my phone; even for a second, did sit well with me.

I'm not proud of what happened next, but again I want to be honest. I started screaming, ripping off my scrubs, biting myself, throwing things, swearing at nurses. They gave me new scrubs and I ripped them off again. Finally after a while they put me in a room, only this time the room was different than the one they put me in the day before. This time they put me in a locked room under video surveillance. Even when my door was open, the hall was locked. I asked for my phone again, but the answer was still no. I screamed more, I tore the sheet off my mattress, I threw my mattress off my bed, and cried and wailed. Then a person from the mental health center came to talk to me, and I was confused. I was confused because I was just supposed to be medically cleared before going to the center. Then I was told the news, I was now on a involuntary petition to be committed to the state mental hospital.

I spent the night in the locked ER and over the next several hours went between being calm to completely freaking out (at one point I threw my mattress into the hallway). Finally on Thursday the sheriff's office came to take me to the hospital. They put cuffs and shackles on me; my wrists, my ankles, and my waist; then they put me in the back of a paddy wagon. I had no shoes and I was in scrubs. The next part is just a bunch of logistical stuff; checking in, talking to people, the boring stuff.

When I got onto the until I was lashing out at people and I wanted nothing to do with anybody. What I said isn't important, just that I was really nasty to people. So what happens when you're involuntary? You have to go in front of a judge within 72 business hours (a judge within the hospital, you're appointed an attorney as well). If they decide there was enough reason to commit you they can keep you for up to 10 business days. That night I went to bed depressed and I woke up depressed.

The next morning I didn't want to talk to anyone. I only came out of my room to eat or when I was obligated to (to talk to my treatment team and attorney). I calmed down a lot, but was mostly sad.  Then I lucked out. I lucked out because I already had a therapist, I was starting DBT in Thursday, and I had a plan that most people in the hospital didn't. So they contacted my therapist and I got to go home today (I was able to interact a bit and slowly came out of the deep depression that I was in). I went home around 4pm and I've been catching up since.

I haven't been in a mental hospital in about 10 years, and I've never been involuntary committed, I hated it, I hated that they had to cuff me (I've never been cuffed before). That was extremely hard for me to deal with. I was set on telling my therapist on Monday to fuck off. I wanted to give it all up and tell them that because they didn't give me my phone, because they committed me, that they lost any chance they had of helping me.

But as I calmed down, I realized that what happened was no one's fault but my own. I'm having an incredibly difficult time coping to Pete's absence and I allowed it to let me have a severe mental breakdown  (after several mini ones). I realized that I can't be focusing on whether or not Pete talks to me again. I need to focus on myself, and keep faith that everything else will fall into place.

I start full DBT on Thursday and I'm going to talk to my psychiatrist about a med adjustment. I'm not quite at the point where I'm ready to let go of Pete completely. However, I mailed back the stuff I had of his at my place. It's a small step, but it's a step.

I want to get better. I know I can get better. I've never given up and I'm not about to.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Let It Go

For those unaware Pete has not spoken to me since NYE. While I'm sure it has to do with my "intensity" and "caring too much," he ceased speaking to me after reassuring me we were friends; stating, "let's plan to talk by the end of the week. Call me after work Friday."; and saying we could hang out by the end of January.
I feel like I did not fully enjoy the things I did in January because he was constantly in my head. I've sent him dozens upon dozens of text messages varying between angry, sad, confused, and desperate; I've sent him photos and video messages; I've messaged his friends (including her) and his family; and I've called him a tad bit less than I've text (though his vm isn't set up.) I even texted him from my other phone pretending to be someone else. Finally, I set a card to his house.
I've laid awake, barely sleeping; I've barely had the strength to get out of bed; I've ended up in the hospital; I've walked out of meetings; I flipped out in a therapy session. All because of him and the thoughts he brings me. I've tried many times to give it closure, to walk away and say "this is when I stop contacting him." But every time, I always go back. Usually when it's late at night, when I have nothing to distract from my thoughts. During the day is okay. There are some days I'm fine, and some days I'm just trying to fight to keep him off my mind and everything seems like a daze. I've tried to be consistent with my routine, but I haven't always been successful. I've heard nothing from him in a month, and the only way I know he's not dead is because of a friend that was kind enough to chat with me via text. I question everything now. Every word he said to me, every reassurance, everything he told me about his friendship, about us. I question it all.
Think I'm being a "nut job" or a "psycho ex." This is the disorder. This is the darkest parts of BPD. This is the main reason I'm in therapy, this is why I have night terrors, this is the part of my brain that I battle the hardest. He took the most vulnerable parts of this disorder and he toyed with them.
I'm an understanding person. I know he has issues of his own. I also know, however, that even when he was really low he still contacted me. He still said something. What he is doing now is the worst possible thing you can do to someone like me. After everything we've been through, after all I put up with, after all the times I stood by him (even when he himself said he didn't deserve it), after all the care I gave him, and after all the reassurance he gave me that we were still friends....he abandon me.
Was I perfect? No. I know I'm intense and draining and I push people away. But to lie to me after making me trust him again after the way he broke up with me? Then to just do this. I'm sorry, but it's just cruel. I don't want to call him that because I know he has severe issues. But it's to the point where I can't even stand to be alone. I go to my meetings because of him now (ironically he was the one who suggested them, but for other reasons). This is the part of my disorder that I am ashamed of, that has earned me names like, "attention whore," "stalker," psycho," and "drama queen." This is text book BPD.
So now I've decided no more. For real. It's a new month and I'm not going to continue to let my year be ruined by someone who isn't even here. Who didn't even reply when I was in the hospital. Who couldn't even tell a worried sick friend that he was okay and he just needed some space. He completely abandon me after making me trust him. After he knew how scared I was of losing him. I know people are going to say that I pushed him away, and maybe I did. The difference? Every person I ever pushed away at least said something to me, or I knew why.
So no more texting, no more contacting people he knows. Whatever they think of me is not my concern. It really says something when no one, not even his friends will let me know how he's doing or what's going on. I allowed him to take up too much of my mind when he was around and he caused me a lot of pain. I'm not going to allow him to do it when he's not even around. I have a big heart and I'm a forgiving person. If he chooses to speak to me again, I will certainly be open to it. But for now, I'm not going to chase him.
I'm just hurt, upset, angry, and confused. I'm having a lot of trouble letting go, but I know I have to. No matter how many times I cry myself to sleep, I have to let go.
I've sent apology emails to the people I've contacted, and tomorrow I'm mailing his belonging back to him.