Posts Tagged ‘change’

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Borderline feels like I’m going to lose my mind

May 24, 2016

So May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month, among other things. And that got me thinking maybe i should write something. It’s funny though, i wholly believe that mental health is something that we need to address in a new and different way in our society. i think the stigma attached is shitty and perpetuates the cycle. But here i am wondering whether or not i should keep writing because i don’t know if i want this piece of me out there for the world to see. If it were something like a cold or sinus infection or even my migraines i wouldn’t be embarrassed. And i’ve talked enough about my depression monster. But there is something different about BPD.

 

There’s a lot of literature out there about BPD, i’ve only read a small fraction. But most of it is ridiculously negative. It talks about how manipulative BPD’s are, how even therapists don’t want to work with us.

 

But i don’t want to talk about the negative stuff out there, i want to talk about me and my experience. Because before i was diagnosed BPD was something i knew of but it didn’t live with me. Now that it does it doesn’t feel fair to keep that to myself as scary as sharing it is. This is who i am and i’m trying to be better. i can only do that with help.

 

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For those of you not familiar, to be considered Borderline you “must show ‘a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following’:

  1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation
  3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self
  4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., substance abuse, binge eating, spending sprees, unsafe sex, and reckless driving)
  5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
  6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
  7. Chronic feelings of emptiness
  8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
  9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms”

(from the DSM-V)

i’m in a class/group currently where they prefer the term Emotional Intensity Disorder rather than Borderline Personality Disorder because so much of what we deal with is our emotions not working in the same way as other people’s. There has been research to show that our brains are actually wired differently.

 

But like i said, i’m here to talk about my experience. Usually i would say that putting a name on something doesn’t change anything. This time it did for me. Before being diagnosed i knew i had issues with my emotions, i knew that i fell into five or more of the DSM-V symptoms. But i didn’t know that’s what they were. i thought that’s just who i was and that it wasn’t part of anything. Now that i understand it, that it’s part of something bigger, every single feeling i have feels like work. i don’t say that in a way to complain or whine. i just mean, now that i’m aware of things, and growing more aware, i find myself having to examine every feeling i have to see if it is too intense, if it comes from a distorted thought, what kind of filters i’m seeing the world through at that moment. And i’m trying to learn to do all of that quickly enough to not look like i have to sit down and study for finals every single time a strong emotion hits me.

 

i worry about hurting my friends because i haven’t figured everything out yet. i know, realistically, that they don’t expect me to have everything figured out. But emotions can suck. They can be big fucking balls of suck. And they can hurt people when you least mean to. i find myself feeling guilty for either having feelings in the first place or for not knowing how to deal with them. Throw in a very real fear of abandonment and i seem to fight this recipe for disaster over and over again.

 

Because i’ve been so incredibly lucky, my friends who i’ve opened up to have been so supportive. They tell me constantly how proud they are of me for trying to fight this and for dealing with therapy when i’m frustrated and just want to curl into a ball and disappear. They make me laugh when i think i don’t know how anymore. And they listen to me when i cry over things that logically probably don’t need to be cried about. But there is always that tiny cruel voice that reminds me that it could all go away. And i just know the wrong outburst of emotion could make it happen.

 

So where does that leave me? Grasping at tiny silver friends i don’t actually want in my life? Sometimes. Not talking to anyone? Often. Trying to understand how to manage these shitballs of feelings? You bet.

 

i could say more. And maybe you want to know more. Let me know. But for now that’s all folks.

 

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Saying goodbye to the biggest piece of my heart.

October 15, 2015

i’ve talked before about how i believe the world works the way it is supposed to.

i’m having more than a little trouble understanding it at the moment. i know we aren’t always going to understand- and it may take time to see the big picture. But quite honestly, at this moment in time, i don’t want a big picture, i don’t want the future to come with answers, all i want is to turn back time.

September 12 was one of the worst days of my life. And i am trying to constantly remind myself of the year and a half of magic that led up to that day.

You see, 2013 was a year of ginormous changes in my life. They were good changes but hard ones. They happened in a way that i wasn’t emotionally prepared for and the depression monster became my closest frienemy. But in December of that year while i was struggling to make it through each day i learned that there might be a light in my future in the form of an emotional support animal.

i have always had a connection with animals- dogs especially. Growing up in the household i did my dogs were my protectors, my confidantes, and the greatest source of love. In college i had a pet fish who died, some friends wanted to know what would make me feel better as i sobbed. All i wanted was my dog. They couldn’t give me this so they went and bought me one of those electronic dogs that was so popular for a bit.

i spoke with my doctor, she agreed this was a good plan and something that would help me. And at some point in January of 2014, i started seriously looking at Petfinder to see who was out there. i saw so many faces and stories that touched my heart and then one night i stopped. i saw a face looking at me and i knew. i knew with no doubt i had found the answer i had been looking for.

On January 14 i drove about an hour and a half, it had snowed recently. Usually i am terrified to drive on slippery roads, i’ll avoid it at all costs but it felt like the middle of summer to me that day. When i pulled up to the shelter my heart was pounding in my ears, my mouth felt dry. i was anxious and excited. i started panicking that someone had come for her earlier that morning.

i walked in and let them know which dog i was there to see and the woman said, “Are you sure?” She went on to tell me how this dog was too wild for all the people who had come for her before. How she had been at the shelter for over 6 months- had had a major surgery. She finally let me know she would bring her out and i could see what i thought, she had a look of doubt and amusement on her face. Like she knew once i saw this animal i would turn around and walk out the door.

They brought her out and she jumped up to sniff me, i sat on the ground and she crawled into my lap, rolled on her back and looked up like she were saying, “rub my tummy and let’s go home.” And that’s what we did.

In the car she was nervous at first, she didn’t want to explore anything but the floor of the passenger’s seat. And then i started singing along with my music. She crawled up to the seat and started licking my face, she would stop and stare when a song changed and when i started singing more kisses. She started watching the other cars on the road- she loved them. Even when we stopped to pick her up some new treats and toys she wanted to stay in the parking lot and just watch the cars driving.

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The next day i gave her a bath and she fell asleep in my arms while drying off. i knew that this was the best relationship i had ever opened the door to.

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My Maguire was named after Robin Williams’ character in Good Will Hunting. Those of you who have read my previous posts know how much that movie means to me. Sean Maguire says things that hit my brain in ways other words have never been able to. And since she was my emotional support dog she was like a little therapist herself. i thought it was fitting.

The difference in my well being was astronomical. There are so many people who can tell you this. Not only did i have someone constantly beside me to face whatever demons crawled into my head but i had someone there who i knew i had to be there for. i had to get up each day to get food and water and trips outside. i couldn’t hide away the way i could before.

When i tore my ACL Maguire would greet me like normal but when it came time to snuggle she would rest with her head on my knee like she was protecting it from anything else happening. We practiced jumping through a hula hoop while i was recovering from surgery so she would still get exercise and fun while i wasn’t able to do as much.

She loved her aunties. One day one of them came to visit and i kept trying to do other things so Maguire would spend time with her. It wasn’t until i sat down and she was able to fully greet me and make sure i was okay that she went and crawled into someone else’s lap.

She refused to sleep without touching me. In the winter she was under the blankets curled up right next to me and in the summer when she got warm, she would stretch her paws so they were touching part of me and then fall asleep.

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To say i was in love would be an understatement. My heart has never been filled with the love and magical-ness of anything like this before. At my college reunion people commented about her in the same way i asked and commented about their children. i was so proud. My Girl Scouts would ask to see pictures. And almost everyone i ran into at work mentioned her. She was my world, my light, my heart.

So when i got home on September 12, i didn’t know that my world was going to change. Maguire greeted me like always- we had our mom just got home from work talk and snuggle in her chair and then came to snuggle more in bed. About an hour or so later everything changed. i knew something was wrong, i thought maybe she had a tummy bug. We went to the vet and by the time we arrived she had gotten even worse. After way to much time waiting and running tests they suggested i take her to the emergency vet. We sped out there to find that no one had any answers. She was deteriorating more and more and i was trying to be strong but i couldn’t stop crying. We decided to try a course of treatment and see what happened. A few hours later i got a call telling me that she had only gotten worse. The doctor said she had never seen anything like it in a dog. Whatever was happening was in her brain and it wasn’t stopping. My heart was breaking- i’ve never felt anything like it. And i said yes when she asked if i wanted to stop her suffering. i drove out in a blur of tears and they brought her in on a table, she couldn’t walk anymore, she was blind in one eye. She was trying to dig into the air as they put her on the ground and told me i could have as much time with her as i wanted. i curled up next to her and started talking while the tears poured out. Her paws stopped and rested on my tummy. i apologized to her for the day and for anything else i might have done to cause her suffering like this. i told her how much i loved her over and over and over again. i gave her kisses and i hid my face in her neck and sobbed while begging her not to leave me. i don’t know how long i was there- it never would have been enough time. i got up to get the doctor and she started digging again. The doctor came in and i curled up next to her again and held her while the shot was injected. i held her after. i didn’t know if i was going to be able to let go.

And now there is nothing. No clicking of nails on the wood floor. No protective barking when the neighbors get loud. Everywhere i look is a reminder. And all i can think is, why? Why her? Why me? Why in that way?  Because as whiny and cliche as it sounds, it isn’t fair. And the truth is, i need her. i still need her so much.

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Sometimes i have a good day, or hour, or few minutes, and then something reminds me and i can feel my heart being torn all over again. It never stops hurting.

Some people don’t understand, to them she was a dog. She wasn’t a dog to me. She was everything. You don’t ask someone who has lost a spouse or a child if they are going to go find a new one but they ask me that. i can’t look at a picture of any dog without making comparisons to Maguire or cursing it for not being her right now- i know that in time my heart will be open again but right now it is grieving and i don’t know when my next step in that process is.

It’s taken a few times sitting in front of this screen to be able to get this far. It has been a daily struggle to deal with the world and my own brain. i don’t have a pair of paws jumping onto my tummy in the morning to force me out of bed. i don’t have eyes looking at me or a body getting comfy on my head when i want to reach for a sharp object. And thus far i’ve been able to avoid those objects but i worry about how long that will last.

i’ve been shutting the world out, shutting people out. It isn’t so much that i want to be alone, though that is the only way i know how to put words to it. It is more like none of the world is Maguire and i don’t know how to talk about everything very well yet. All the words and the emotions feel like mush and i don’t know how to take that mush and turn it into a conversation or a moment in time with another being.

i’ve talked in the past about fighting this monster- there is a part of me, right now, that thinks. . . what’s the point? Because the things and people i love all just go away. Everybody leaves, my heart is always going to be crushed over and over and over again. So why try and fight? Why ask for help when i’m just going to end up alone anyway?

i’m lucky to have people in my life who don’t let me listen to that very long. But it’s a struggle. It’s hard work to fight while you feel so defeated. And hard to push through when you don’t see anything at the end to be fighting for. No amount of hard work or fight will bring Maguire back.

So i struggle, every single day. And this along with my fucking uterus has made for one of the most mentally and physically painful months that i can remember. i’ve been trying to take each day one moment at a time- that’s all i can do right now. Grief takes time. Our society doesn’t allow for that. We hear time and time again that you can take as much time as you need, and that in time things will feel better but there is no magic Delorean out there providing this time for us. We are expected to take that time around the schedule of everyone else- grieve as long as you want, as long as you don’t miss work and perform to normal standards. Grieve in your way, as long as you are still a functioning member of society. The pressure is enormous and makes my head want to explode.

i’m not saying this to call out any particular person or group. But it is hard enough to deal with mental health bullshit every single day. There are still so many taboos and fears. When you add a traumatic experience on top and are made to feel like those things don’t matter- that you just aren’t strong enough or trying hard enough it’s a recipe for disaster. i know this, i’ve eaten disaster more times than i’d like to remember.

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i’ve taken some steps to get help through all this and i’m trying to be proud of myself for that. i know Maguire would be.

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Sometimes the keyboard is mightier than the blade

February 26, 2015

i haven’t posted in forever because i’ve been feeling trapped. Trapped in my head, in my apartment, in my job, in this state, in certain relationships, and on and on and on. It seems like no matter where i turn to try and escape everything gets a little smaller. And this isn’t like a claustrophobic thing. The walls aren’t closing in on me. It’s more like a cartoon quicksand thing i guess. . . i keep trying to get away from everything and going under faster and faster. But i don’t know that the cartoon idea of holding still would make things any better either.

This monster is cruel. Because it is still there even when i feel strong. The anxiety, the panic, the doubt, and everything else that spirals into that dark place that i can’t ever fucking seem to get away from.

None of these words are right and if i feel trapped by my words i don’t know what i have left. i’ve been lying to so many people. Either by omission or flat out. Well enough that someone said to me something along the lines of i’ve seen you when you are depressed and this is definitely something different. And i guess it is different. Because i was asking for help and i was writing it out and that turned on me, again. i don’t want to have one more person get close to me just so they can rip it all away. And people say those people don’t deserve me in their lives and maybe that’s true but it can only happen so many times before you start to see all the things they said you were.

And then it’s only a matter of time for me before it feels like the only real friends i have, who will always be there, are small and silver and sharp. Then those scars start to look like comfort again and not like battle wounds. And i did. i fell off my streak, yet again while i’ve not been posting, because i can’t seem to do anything without fucking it up.

So why am i posting now? Because i was dumb enough to watch a movie on Netflix that i’ve been wanting to see since i heard they were making it Call Me Crazy: A Five Film and of course it triggered a shit ton of everything. Because each short had bits and pieces of my life flashing before me and i wanted to throw up but i couldn’t stop watching.

So i remembered a few things, however softly the message was whispered through the din of negativity that slams around in my head.

First of all this mental health shit wants us to feel alone. That’s why they are monsters. Because we aren’t alone. Even if we haven’t found our people in front of us they are out there because someone out there felt enough of what i feel to make me feel like a bit of my life was in that short.

And secondly i don’t want to live my life being a lesser version of myself. i don’t want to lie to people or feel like i can’t contribute to a conversation because some negative voice inside is telling me that i’m not worthy enough to participate. i don’t want to hold the people closest to me at arm’s length so they can’t see what is really happening with me. The things i love most about my friends and my chosen family are some of their quirks- not their perfection. i shouldn’t hold myself to any different standard.

So once again, here i go on this journey. Right now i don’t particularly want to be anywhere but as i don’t have that choice i’ll try not to disappear.

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People don’t completely suck and some of them are pretty amazing.

August 20, 2014

i have been reminded today that as much doubt, emptiness, fear, anger, and whatever else i’m feeling right now, depression really does lie.

 

i was reminded that some gifts are non-returnable. So even if connections with people are broken and severed, the lessons i learned and the challenges i overcame because of those people can never be taken away from me. It might be hard for me to realize the integrity of those gifts may not have been as pure as i had thought but they’re mine now nonetheless. 

 

i still want to find a cave right now. But at least i know i have some really good stuff waiting when i come out. 

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We’re all mad here, just not necessarily at the right people

August 19, 2014

There are things in the world right now that i want to be angry with. People i want to be angry at. But the depression monster likes to lie. So instead i’m just angry at myself right now. 

 

i’m angry because people tell me i need to not be so hard on myself right now and i can’t seem to even do that when i need to most of all. i’m angry because i just want to push everyone away and be alone. And because i don’t want to be alone either but i can’t figure out what i do want. i’m so mad because i have some of the most incredible people in my life and i don’t know how to handle that right now because i don’t think i’ve ever had so much support, sad and mad because it took this long to find that support.  i’m pissy because my knee hurts right now and because i didn’t go to physical therapy today. 

 

A lot of that is just surface stuff. i can’t seem to stop there. i can feel rage and a barrage of questions, why couldn’t i be the daughter/friend/girlfriend/person  X wanted? Why did i have to fuck everything up all over again? Why can’t i just shut up right now? When will i ever not think about picking up a razor blade to fix things? 

 

i’m trying to step out of my head and tell myself that every moment that i am here, writing, being, whatevering is something for me to not be angry about. But anger is something i need help with. i wasn’t allowed to express anger growing up so it all turned inward. i know that. So now i still have problems figuring out how to express anger and direct it places other than at me. And i am angry at the depression monster but depression is part of me so i just get stuck in a limbo. 

 

When someone does something to make me mad, i turn it around that i shouldn’t have trusted/connected/believed/etc. i should have known better. What is the use at being angry at that person because i can’t change that person- i can try to change me so i should be mad at me. But being mad at myself isn’t productive. It doesn’t get me anywhere except further info the vortex of negative voices in my head. So where do i put these emotions? How do they work? And can i retrain myself to figure this out? i really don’t like me right now- i don’t want to be around me right now so how do i reconcile all that anger i have toward myself and trying to keep holding onto the desire to wade through all this shittiness and come out stronger for next time? 

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Peering around corners, facing changes, and finding a new home.

August 27, 2013

The tears are still lurking behind my eyes and my heart is still aching. i have received words of wisdom from some reliable sources and while i am scared and worried i know they are right. However, i couldn’t tackle any of it right now. i needed some time where, even though there is still a weight on my shoulders, i could just have some time filled with things that make me smile. i don’t want to get trapped in a hole i don’t know how to get out of.

 

i’ve gotten better at taking care of myself but i’m still not great at it. i’m still working at it. i don’t like change but it is so often exactly what we need. Sometimes we can’t picture what something would be like differently than we know it. We think that there is no possible way that we could relate/love/care about/interact with/etc things or people in the same way when they have changed. And sadly, sometimes that is the case. But more often what we don’t realize is how much we have changed alongside whatever it is. We live with ourselves every day all the time- we don’t see ourselves the same way other people do. When i look in the mirror i think i look fat and ugly. When i think about myself academically i think that i’m decently smart but there are so many people i know who are absolutely brilliant. When i think about myself emotionally i think i’m slower than remedial. But when i got out of my car the other day wearing my new cowboy boots and the best dress ever feeling super worried that i looked disgusting and that the bottom of the dress would slide up and show my scars Bri was there telling me i looked hot. Other people will tell me they never thought of something the way i did. In my last work review my new supervisor told me what a quick learner i was.

 

All of that is stuff i might work for and strive for but don’t always see. i can see the change so easily in other things but not myself. But those changes in me make it possible to keep going as the world around me changes too. i’ve talked before about my childhood library. i could talk about that place for days. i could walk you through the layout and which shelf i found some of my favorite books on. i could tell you about the different chairs that i sat and read in or the different art pieces that came through. i could tell you about music i found there or movies i watched and the hours i spent studying. i felt like a part of me died when we lost our library in the flood. This weekend was the grand opening of our new library. i volunteered to help out on both days so i got to go in early for a tour and such so i would know what i was doing. i was terrified as i walked into the building. i thought that i would love it because it was a library but it would never feel like my library. And in a way that is true. No library will ever take the place of my childhood library. But this place is amazing and it definitely feels like MY library. (i may have threatened to give up my apartment and move in.) It almost felt like i couldn’t breathe because i was so overwhelmed. Our community has worked so hard for this and i know that there are other kids out there like me who are going to find safety and comfort and themselves within those walls.

 

When i was helping out on both days i felt so at home. There are times when i go out and i get looks or comments from people. Whether it is about the fact that i have a pink (or whatever colour) mohawk, or that i have 17 piercings all above my neck. Or maybe about my tattoos or the fact that they think i look queer. When i walked in for my volunteer training the coordinator’s first words were to thank me and then to tell me how much she loved my hair. The three other people i was with were all above 60 i think and they all just loved the fact that i grew up at the other library and knew so much about how the library worked. When i was greeting people to the children’s library on Sunday the only comments i got were positive but mostly people just saw me as someone who loved the library and could answer their questions or comment on the books they picked out. It was awesome. Libraries aren’t often thought of outside the box of a building with books and computers for a lot of people. But for me libraries are a place where you can just be you and no one judges you for it. i’ve moved all over and one of the first things i have always done is get my new library card because even though everything else feels new, that card makes me feel like i’m home and i can get through whatever i need to.

 

That plus chilling with some monsters, celebrating a birthday, and starting to rewatch Anne of Green Gables has made this a pretty okay weekend. i still have to deal with all the shitty stuff and i wasn’t trying to run from it at all, i just needed to remember that not everything is shitty stuff. It’s so easy to find myself with blinders on when i get caught in the claws of the depression beast.

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i’m looking for baggage that goes with mine

August 23, 2013

There are certain people in the world who can say things and they mean so much more than if someone else were to say them.

 

On the other hand those people tend to be able to hurt you more with the things they say or more often don’t say.

 

My heart hurts for so many reasons. i have decisions to make. i don’t want to make any of these decisions. i don’t want certain things to change. 

 

i know that is a pointless wish. Things change. Life is one big constant change. i am ever-changing so i can’t expect other people not to be. And while there are some people who i wish more than anything to change there are others who i want to stay the way they are so i can maintain the relationship i have with them in that moment when it feels right. 

 

And the thing is, i know that one of the best things about any relationship is how it changes and grows. It’s just that sometimes i feel like it grows faster than i do and i get left behind. 

 

Had a bit of a flash from my past today. It made me wonder what is wrong with me that some people come into my life and i think they are perfect (not literally, but you know) and things go horribly wrong. i do everything i can to fix things and these people just turn out to be not good people. i’m trying not to exagerate- i have multiple sources backing me up in the fact that these were really sort of shitty people. But i worked so hard to hold onto that relationship and make everything better because i thought that if i could just change something about me that things would be all better. And, of course, they weren’t and those people ended up out of my life. But then i see them or hear about them later on down the road and they seem to be different people and i wonder why they couldn’t be that with me. What did i do wrong that made them treat me like that and what didn’t i do that made it get better.

 

i know, and i’m grateful that these people aren’t in my life. i really am. But at the same time when i see them looking happy i feel a slight twinge of why isn’t that me? What is so wrong with me that i am still sitting here alone?

 

Honestly if i were anyone out there i probably wouldn’t want to come near me either. i’m fucked up. i know, i know. . . we’re all fucked up. But apparently i am more so and i wear it like a tattoo on my forehead. 

It’s hard to balance wanting to disappear and be alone with being so damn lonely. They aren’t conflicting desires. They sit alongside each other peacefully both tugging at my heart and brain equally.

 

Oh writing, you leave me tangled.