Wednesday, February 28, 2018

March Forward

Most people who have known me for at least 10 years (jeez, has it been that long) know that March is my least favorite month of the year, and March 15th my least favorite day. Obviously "bad" stuff happens throughout the year, but there are certain things that stick out in March. The focus being my first suicide attempt (2004), and my first major psychological breakdown (2008). It would be the latter that would affect me emotionally, mentally, physically, financially, and socially in the months after. I won't tell the story again, but in March of 2008 my then boyfriend broke up with me. I was not yet diagnosed with BPD, and if you know anything about BPD (if you don't look back in this blog, or google), then you know it was not something I handled well. I still struggle when I lose someone today, and I've had years of therapy and a chance to build skills. Image me not having any skills or even knowing what was going on. So how bad was it? I quit my job, I screamed and begged, I threatened to kill myself, I have panic attack after panic attack, I obsessively called him and showed up at his house. I'm not proud of all this, but I've never hidden it.

In the months that would follow I'd lose friends, get kicked out of my apartment, and have night after night of night terrors; waking up in a panic. I didn't know I had one of the most severe mental illnesses in the DSM, I didn't know what I was dealing with, and I didn't know how to handle it. More than likely I disassociated (more than once). That experience is scary enough when you know about it in detail, imagine having never have heard of it. It would be about a year and a half before my ex even uttered a word to me. I spent most of that time obsessively wondering when he'd contact me.

For years I viewed March in a negative light. I dreaded it.  Over the past couple of years, however, I've tried to view it in a different way. It's still my least favorite month, and that weekend in 2008 is still one of the worst experiences of my life, but it was also the beginning of my journey to better mental health. At the time I was no stranger to therapy, I had been going on and off since I was 14. However, I was being treated for all the wrong things. Bipolar II, ADHD, a kid having a tough time. The thing about Borderlines is we need specific therapy, we need to learn specific skills. It was my friend, Tiffany, who first pointed out what I might be dealing with, and it was not long after that I started Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). The therapy designed by someone with BPD specifically for people with BPD. Of course life happens, and it would take me until 2016 to successfully complete a DBT program, but sometimes things don't come easy, and though I'd experience heartbreak, depression, anxiety, breakdowns, abuse, and hard times over the years; each month, each year that passed I would gain more skills, more practice, and more awareness.

I try to have a positive outlook when March comes around. I always say, "compare me to me," and if I compare the me now to the me in 2008, I see two different people. I have a more stable life now; a great job, nice living space & roommates, I've rekindled friendships that were lost during that time, and if my ex never broke up with me I would not have met Daniel; whom I am so in love with. Have I been an angel since then? You've read my past blogs, of course not. The difference now? I'm aware of the why, I have an immense inner perspective, and I have the skills to (most of the time) react to it in a non-harmful way.

I can't control how my thoughts react to March, but I can control how I react to my thoughts. March is a major self-care month for me. For at least one month; I stay out of debates, spend a little less time online, read more, focus more on my prana, focus more on how my body feels, &and love myself just a little extra. I can't change the past, but I can change how I react to the past. 

Ready? Set. March.

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