Monday, June 1, 2015

Things Suck and That's Okay

Yesterday I admitted that I'm not doing well, and doing so was really empowering for me. I often feel as though I need to put up a front. I feel that if I'm not acting as if everything is fine and I'm happy, then it's going to discredit any work I've done or progress I've made. Actually, it's more that I worry about what other people think. Unfortunately there are people who have me (or really anyone struggling with the same issues I do) under a microscope . They are there to point out my faults as if to say, "see, I told you she hasn't changed."

Admitting that things aren't great right now was such a load off of my shoulders. Because you know what? That's life. Life isn't rainbows and roses all of the time. What's important is that I am taking steps to improve my situation. Of course having a lot of stressors affects me differently than it would someone without BPD. I've noticed certain things I've done recently that to someone who doesn't understand, wouldn't see them as achievements.

  1. I have not walked out of my job yet: "Big deal," you're thinking right? Work sucks sometimes, but I'm an adult and need to deal with it. Well, that may be true, but for someone with BPD that's a lot more difficult. As I've talked a lot about in this blog, Borderlines operate in a a very black and white world. Employment is not immune to this. It is not uncommon for someone with BPD to jump from job to job, spontaneously quitting or sabotaging their employment at the first sign of stress. I am certainly a culprit of this. Right now I don't like my job at all, and there have been many times I've thought about walking out, but I haven't. There have been times in the past where that thought would have impulsively become action very easily. Showing the type of self-control I have been is a huge step for me and it shows a really good control of the impulsive nature of someone with Borderline.
  2. I cut myself, and I was okay with it: Wait what? Why would I be okay with cutting myself? Well, technically I'm not. I recognize I shouldn't have done it, but here is where the progress was made. People with BPD often struggle with judging themselves or "judging their judging," In the past after cutting I would go into a spiral of self-hate, guilt, judging; and then I would judge that self-hate, guilt, and judging. This time after I did it, I accepted it and I forgave myself. 
  3. I get into wise mind quicker. To someone who doesn't have or understand BPD it may be difficult to get why it's a note-worthy achievement that I was able to practice skills after an incident.  It's because for me getting back to "baseline" can be really difficult. I tend to "come down" slower, and if I'm even the tiniest bit escalated anything can set me off and catapult me back into melt down mode. It has been pointed out to me that I have an easier time getting into wise mind; a task that at one point was either unattainable or would literally take me days.
I know that people don't really understand why I'm proud of certain achievements. What they don't understand is that the world of a Borderline is a lot different than the world of a non-borderline. The best way I can explain it is this; walking is something that is easy and natural for people, unless you're someone in a wheel chair or even with a broken leg. Mental illness works the same way. Something that seems easy or common sense may not come so natural to a person who is battling with their brain. So it makes sense that a person who feels and experiences things at a frequency that's ten times more intense than the average person who struggle with something like impulsivity. So, like a person who walks again after years of being immobile, a person with BPD who achieves wise mind quickly is worthy of praise.

But really in the end it's about self-validation. There are always going to be people who just don't get it, and that's why being able to validate and praise myself is the biggest (and hardest) achievement of all. 

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