Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016-The Year in Review/2017 Life Lessons and Goals

1. Daniel and I got back together, and I love and feel so loved by him. I got to go to his camp for the first time, and met his sister and friends for the first time (though some have just been e-meets).We baked a lot, went blueberry picking, went to the Sandwich Fair, went to the Halloweeniversary together, went deep sea fishing (and even though it was a terrible experience for me, I'm glad I did it. Especially cause it was Daniel's birthday gift), planned a trip to Canada, and lots of other adventures that helped us grow closer.
2. I joined a UU church, and found a positive community that has done a lot of good for me.
3. My sister got married in Jamaica, and I got to go.
4. I saw Hamilton and got to meet some of the cast.
5. I discovered the EMK.
6. I was employed all but one month out of the year.
7. I got back into DBT and did the women's program.
8. I saw Tyler, Meghan, and Brett perform in 1776 and Assasins, and Tyler and Meghan in Pirates of Penzance.
9. Hamiltunes
10. I went to my first Boston Pride Parade (I had been to the rally, but never the parade).
11. I went to NYC several times, and went to museums for the first time, a Mets game, walked around Central park, and discovered other places for the first time thanks to Larry.
12. I went to the Boston Marathon for the first time, and got to hang out with Kenny for a bit.
13. I moved into a great place with two awesome roommates.
14. Castle Island.
15. I went to two Red Sox games, and one of them I was able to get into the Rooters Club.
16. I was over $400 on a horse racing bet (and I went to live racing a couple of times).
17. Pokemon Go walks with Corey, Adriana, and co.
18. I got to spend lots of time with my nephew, and be part of his life.
19. I became more involved in activism; specifically Standing Rock and the Yes on 2 campaign.
20. I was able to explore my spirituality more.

Those who have been around my Facebook the past several years are aware that instead of resolutions, I do "life lessons." Mantras, quotes, anecdotes, etc that I try to live by throughout the year. The reason I don't do resolutions is because they always seem so concrete or too abstract ("I will lose 20lbs by March", "I will be more healthy this year.") What happens if you don't lose the weight? More healthy how? Also, I tend to get really down on myself if I feel like I've failed. Nevertheless, there are some things I would like to try and achieve this year. I tried my best to make my goals not too vague, but not too concrete. For example, instead of, "publish my books," I did, "work on my books." So, here are my 2017 life lessons and goals.

Life Lessons:
  • Kill yourself with kindness (be kind to me, even when my disorder says no)
  • Write your way out (write when I am feeling dysregulated. Write my way out of strong emotions. Just, write)
  • All you need is love (because we will need a lot of it this year. I gotta remember to love, it's the greatest weapon I have).
Goals:
  • Donate $12 a month to a different charity or organization
  • Work on my books
  • Work on going back to school
  • Try to do yoga daily
  • Save for a car
  • Get more involved with activism (sign petitions, go to rally's and vigils, write letters. I've already started this in 2016, and it will continue with Daniel and I going to the Women's March on Washington)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Being Mindful

One of the hardest things for me is accepting I'm struggling or I've stumbled. Not in a, "I can't admit when I've messed up" kind of way, but in a, "I'm going to beat myself up and dwell on this for days, maybe weeks." As I mentioned in my last blog, I'm really trying to work on my anger. In the past few days I've started doing yoga 1-2 times a day, practicing mindful walking whenever I can, and doing my best to avoid things I know will irritate/frustrate me and lead into anger. I've also struggled. I got into Facebook debates when I should have stayed away, and tonight I let self-hatred consume me until I was angry and disgusted with myself. I'm trying to be kind to myself, mindful, and move on. There's a saying in DBT, "don't judge your judging," and people don't realize how difficult that can be. One of the things I struggle with is staying away from Facebook debates. I'll see a comment that is just so ignorant that I have to comment. It usually just causes me stress. I need to get better at avoiding those.

Sigh....

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

On Taming the Red Lantern

One thing I want to work on in 2017 (and really, starting now) is my anger. It's no secret that one of the traits of BPD is, "Inappropriate, intense or uncontrollable anger—often followed by shame and guilt," and it's one of the traits that I struggle the most with*. What makes it so difficult for me to control, is the impulsiveness that also comes with BPD. Often, by the time I feel an outburst coming on it's too late to catch it. There are certain situations where my anger is hardest control, and please understand it takes me a lot to admit some of the stuff I am about to share. The feeling of shame and guilt that come after an anger outburst do not fade easily, and can be rehashed immediately.


  1. On Facebook. I have had to block several people because I couldn't control my anger during a debate/comment exchange/what-have-you. Not only have I had outbursts on people, but I've made sure I got the last word in by private messaging them and saying something nasty before blocking them. I block because I am ashamed of myself and my behavior, but by the time I realize it I'm in too deep.
  2. Dealing with customer service. I've talked about this before. When I have to deal with customer service at a company, the more complicated things get the more frustrated I become. I hate having unresolved issues, and so even if I'm fuming I will keep calling back until the problem is fixed. However, because it takes me longer to get back to baseline, I'm usually fuming and screaming by the time I get to someone who can help me. I especially have trouble controlling my anger if I have to repeat myself several times.
  3. Sudden frustrations. I don't deal well with sudden changes or wrenches in my routine. A missed bus, spilled coffee, someone cutting in front of me on the bus. For these particular instances my reaction depends on, 1. the mood I'm currently in and 2. how quickly it comes about. Unfortunately, because it takes me longer to get back to baseline, something small can alter my entire day.
I really want to try and work on my anger. Constantly feeling frustrated, having over the top reactions, and giving into my anger leaves me feeling stressed, frustrated (an emotion that fuels angers), annoyed, ashamed, guilty, and other bad juju feelings. I've also pushed a lot of people away (some recently). Here is my plan for helping my anger.

1.Yoga in the morning and before bed, even if it's just a 10 minute video.
1A. Once I do the bed time one, NO GOING ONLINE.
2. Writing more. Let my anger out through a pen.
3. Avoiding any Facebook debate for at least a month; whether it's on my own status, a friend's, or a stranger's who just said something dumb and I HAVE to comment. In a month, I will see if I can better handle intelligent debate without flipping out.
4. When it comes to the small, everyday things; take a breath and practice some form of mindfulness. For me, this will most likely be making commentary about stuff around me.

The most important factor, is forgiving myself if a struggle or mess up. Staying present, not judging my judging, and moving forward.

*please do not comment with advice unless you've specifically dealt with anger as a Borderline.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Hopeful

Some of you reading this are aware of the struggles my boyfriend and I have had in the past. If you're not, here is a brief summary; he broke up with me, ghosted me several times, constantly avoided me when he had to tell me bad news, and had trouble making any sort of real commitment. In general he avoided and ghosted pretty much everyone for long periods of time, not just me. He has always had a very hard time making commitments and long term plans. He broke up with me because he couldn't see himself with anyone. He had a lot of self-doubt, and basically felt he wasn't worth it. He avoided officially getting back together with me because he, "couldn't see himself marrying [me]." Which, pretty much translated to he couldn't see himself marrying anyone (not cause he didn't want to, but because he didn't think anyone should have to deal with him). Last year he got interviewed for a local college magazine. This part sums up a lot of his issues pretty well,

"It’s the little things that trip Daniel up. The stuff of sticky notes. To-do lists, people whose names become to-do lists, copied and pasted forward to another day, another month, another year, another time in which he hopes to become someone different. It’s the little productive things. The emails that don’t seem important enough to write. The emails that become too important to write. The ticket he got for having an outdated registration, the one Daniel put on his windshield, the $50 ticket for which he wrote the check but for which he didn’t buy a stamp, the one he never mailed, the one that became a court case for driving on a suspended license. It’s the small, productive things that get him down."

Knowing all this, it's probably easier to understand the meaning and  happiness I feel regarding our current relationship. He has been making plans weeks, months in advance with me (he used to wait until last minute). If he needs to cancel, he actual calls or at least texts me and tells me. He told me he's getting more and more excited for our future. Recently we've started talking about the possibility of moving in together someday. Considering his struggles, this is a pretty big deal. We obviously aren't planning anything right now, but just the fact he can see it in our future means a lot. I talked to him about my worries as to where we would live. He has always talked about wanting to live in Stoddard, a town close to where he lives. I want to go back to school and get my teaching license, and would have to stay at my job so I could get tuition reimbursement. Even with a car, the commute would be too long (I've assumed that if we did move in together I'd go to him since he hates the city). He told me that the Stoddard thing would be eventually, but not right away. Then today he told me it's not set in stone, and he'd consider moving close to me if he got a good job offer. Another reason he broke up with me and wouldn't commit again for a long time is because he couldn't see himself having kids in the next 5-6 years (I'll be 40 in six years, and would like to have kid(s) before then). Today he told me he wants to figure out what he wants to do next as far as going back to school because, "I don't want to have a family and be makings [low about of money] a year." I know this wasn't directly related to me, but it says a lot; it says he's thinking about the future. He also told me that even if he's not ready, it wouldn't mean we would break up.

He's definitely come a long way,