BPD · Feelings · Life

A gentle time is needed

I think I have had sufficient self-reflection to this point to be able to recognize what my problem is. I am well-versed enough in my own emotions to see what has been happening. There are two levels to this.

Level one: Why am I not feeling better yet? Having recently been released from hospital gives the impression of being “cured”, which, I am learning, is TOTALLY UNTRUE. You can’t see the damage done to my brain, but I can feel it. Right now, I can’t concentrate enough to sit and read like I normally can. Knitting patterns are too hard for me to comprehend. Work is just too overwhelming. So I must make accommodations for my healing brain. Read something short and incredibly engaging (inspirational poetry). Knit something simple, like a sock with no bells for whistles – nothing fancy right now. DON’T go to work until your glass can handle the sheer volume of living that is required of a functional human being. Be gentle with yourself Jenna. You deserve all the kindness in the world.

Besides my over-eagerness to be a “normal” person, my medication may have been playing a role in my failing neurotransmitters. You know how doctors ALWAYS warn you that in the first few weeks of starting or increasing antidepressants, you may feel actually more depressed and suicidal than before? Well, this is what has been happening to me. After my doubling of my prozac, I expected to feel way better, right away. And when this didn’t happen, I lost hope: thinking that nothing was ever going to change, that I would always be this much of a fuckup.

Not true, not in the slightest. The way I know this is through the eyes of my boyfriend. He sees someone valuable, someone unique and full of life. I feel deserving when I’m with him. I feel like I’m enough.

On this note, I must change some of my habits surrounding my boyfriend: this brings us to level two of my current depression.

Ever since moving to Victoria, I have been floundering. At first it was fine, I was enjoying the splashing around in the waters. But I began to get tired. With my particular case of borderline personality disorder, I find myself questioning my identity A LOT. I will often feel like I don’t exist on my own, that without another person to validate my existence, I’m not even a real person. So instead of rebelling against this identity disturbance, I fell into its clutches. I faded into my boyfriends life and became an extension of him. My definition was that I was his girlfriend. I ceased to be an actual person. My own life had disappeared. I already felt lost on my own, and this situation just aggravated my sense of non-existence. When he was at work, I would simply stop everything. I lost touch with myself in those moments.

What I need now is to remember who Jenna is. I need to read, and write, and knit and dream and live and remember that living is amazing and that sometimes, so am I.

So that is what I shall do for the next little while. I will be the most Jenna that i can imagine. I will start a new notebook, and fill it with all the minutia that makes me happy, so I don’t forget it all. I will watch all of the harry potter movies again, just so that I can recite all of the lines to myself. I will knit a sock. I will read Kurt Vonnegut letters. I will ride the bus and look out the windows as we move. I will keep my room tidy. I will do my makeup in the mornings.

I will remember myself again. I still exist, I know I do. I feel more like myself already. Today is a good day. Tomorrow will be better.

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BPD · Feelings · Life

That is a blog post that I nearly posted yesterday afternoon.

I think I’ve figured out why I don’t just DO IT already.

I’m, ultimately, not hopeless. Not without hope. I’ll be sitting there with a literal bottle of advil – 28,800 mg of ibuprofen in my grasp – note already ready, it’s been ready for weeks – and I won’t do it. I tell myself that I’m completely ready.

I just keep putting it off, like an addict trying to quit smoking: “I’ll do it after the laundry is done”, “I’ll do it after I’ve eaten this orange”, “After my nap”. Those are, quite literally, my thoughts.

But then a glimpse of hope will somehow creep into my brain. Some little glimmer. I’ll remember a time when I laughed, I’ll take a sip of perfectly steeped tea, I’ll watch a great singer on the voice get a four chair turn. And I’ll realize, once again, that my life is precious.

There seem to always be a crushing amount of reasons to give up, to give in, to let go – a world full of pain and despair. A box doesn’t fit on the shelves at work, I may as well be dead. My dress has a tear. Three people are dead. I finished drinking an iced latte. These all seem to be perfectly sane reasons to die.

But I’m still here. I still have that one little flame of hope to live for: the joy of living itself. I might just make it through until tomorrow, to see the sun again. And I will cling to that hope with the skin of my teeth because that is literally all that I have. And in the end, that will have been enough. That I have tried with all my might, to live a good and happy life.

(Don’t worry about me, right now I’m completely safe, safer than I’ve been in weeks).

Feelings · Life

I smile. Another diagnosis. Just keep ’em coming.

I write this while in a very strange state of mind. I am on the edge between hypomanic and real fucking crazy.  This has thus led my psychiatrist to the conclusion that I, in fact, am Bipolar (of some sort).

It all started with the addition of prozac to my medication diet. It was necessary to calm the shit-storm of my eating disorder. However, this little bit of extra antidepressant took its toll and shifted my mood up. Way up.

Imagine the best day of your life. Now intensify that (because of my BPD – feeling emotions intensely). Then replay that heart-fluttery, floating feeling again and again. Then you might  be close to how I am feeling currently.

Apparently I have been hypomanic for a solid couple of weeks. Dressing up and going out, drinking amazing amounts of coffee, sleeping less and less but having tons more energy and motivation, dancing around my room alone to a soundtrack of Disney music, spending all of my money  and more.

At this moment I keep having to pause and erase what I’ve just written as my fingers are simply flying across the keyboard and paying no attention to spelling. My heart pounds, my eyes flutter, my hands have so much energy, my thoughts race. I’ve never quite felt this high before in my life. And I’m not even technically high off of anything at the moment. I’m drowning myself in sound – BLASTING Disney music in my eardrums. I’m so eager for this day to get going that I can’t even sit still. I don’t know how I’m even going to finish this blog post. Perhaps this shall be the end of it, for simplicity’s sake.

Feelings · Life

A progression of events

It all started with a handshake…

That is how I introduced myself to Brodie. He went for a hug and I countered with a formal handshake. And this would then start a chain of events, ending, I don’t have a clue where.

If you aren’t familiar with some of the psychology of BPD, often what happens is a thinking pattern called “splitting”. This means that you see thinks in black and white. This splitting leads to the perception of certain people as being “all good” or “all bad”. There is no in between. So, occasionally, I totally idealize people, or devalue them, depending on my perception of them. The idealized people then take a position in my brain called FP (favorite person), where they can do no wrong in my eyes.

So, the first thing that happened when I met Brodie, is my entire interpersonal clock got reset. He usurped the place of my top FP and is now my most favorite person in the world, despite only having met once (thank goodness, because I think my family was getting sick of my constant clinging and dependency).

This complete takeover of FP led to much more. My adjustment disorder took a say; explaining that we can’t just DEAL with changes, we have to freak the hell out about them – despite the change being very awesome. This is just how my adjustment disorder works. Even if it were the best change that could have ever happened, I still will want to stay stuck in my old habits because I can’t handle the change. But in this case, I am welcoming my adjustment disorder with open arms, meeting her halfway, listening to her tales and woes, inviting her in for a nice hot cup of tea. I needed this change. I needed to become unstuck. Brodie’s sudden introduction has gotten me unstuck for the first time in years.

This change means that I have to be totally gentle with myself in the coming week or so. I must be careful, lest my emotionality take hold and drive me off a cliff – as it so loves to do.

 

Feelings · Life

Why is it that I cannot have a normal conversation with people about non-mental illness related topics? For what reason do I find it necessary to bring forth the subject, putting myself and the relationship in harms way to needlessly sprout my theories about my own psychology? Is this simply my ego taking control?

It’s because, dear Jenna, your mental illnesses have taken over your life. Not necessarily in a bad way, but just because your brain is scrabbling to try and make sense of the mental turmoil that’s going on inside. You are a deeply intellectual individual, and the fact that you cannot make sense of this phenomenon has you very concerned, and leads to obsessing over it. Thinking constantly about it. Writing about it always. This is fine. This is necessary even.

Bringing it up with other people, being truly open about your mental state, is also fine. You just need to be somewhat guarded with whom you share things with. But, sharing is also a totally normal thing. I crave connection and validation. These are my main motivators in life, along with my self-image. So it is unsurprising that I would bring up the subject of my mental health regularly – I am looking for CONNECTION with others. Waiting for someone to say “yes, I understand”. I will elaborate on this need in further posts. For now, just bear with me when I talk about my mental illness – it is literally all I can do to cope with it.

Feelings · Life

What’s going on?!

As has been previously demonstrated, I have a certain delusion regarding myself and my place in the world. I have a belief that I am simply not “good” enough. This story is one that originated in childhood. Somehow my underdeveloped brain decided that it was advantageous to think of myself as a lesser being, perhaps because it served as an excuse or a crutch to help me handle my intense feelings, and for when failure inevitably struck. Anyways, my thought process is thus: everything that happens is because I’m not “good” enough. Somehow I messed it all up.

I’m not good enough? Who defined “good”? What authority decides on “enough”? I allowed the media to help define these things, and the media is a harsh judge. It said that I wasn’t skinny enough to be “pretty”, wasn’t smart enough to be “clever”. And the worst of it? I believed all these false standards put in place, practically brainwashed into me, by the mainstream media.

So this is the current paradigm that I am trying to shift. Understanding that the people who defined “good” and “enough” know nothing of my life and thus cannot be the judge of me.

This is me, redefining good. Taking control over my own definition. From now on, I will be “good”. “Good” is whatever you make it out to be. From my unsightly scars to my bulging thighs: good. My quirky brain with its myriad of mental illnesses? Good. All that I am, is, in fact, good.

Goodness is totally subjective. I will evaluate good to be joyful, kind, compassionate, confident, truthful. Good is not perfect. There is no such thing as perfect anyways. I’m not buying into that bullcrap anymore. I’m not going to let a piddly little amount of self esteem spoil my fun in life any longer. As I let this go, I will make room for more of what truly matters to me, and what aligns with my values. No more of these superficial, judgmental, awful, unlivable and unattainable standards. Only peace and love is left.

(I think I might be turning buddhist guys).

Feelings · Life

Sitting back in bed, with little Pip snuggled on top of my feet, things don’t seem all that terrible anymore.

I have just evaded one of the worst nights ever. Which is saying something considering my recent history. I think, despite this dramatic labeling, that it could easily have been true. I was this close to running off into the night, with nothing but the clothes on my back. I was this close to downing a bottle of Advil. I was this close to doing something that I really would have regretted. Looking at me, you’d barely know anything was wrong, let alone that there was really a war being waged inside my head: me fighting against me, trying insanely to just end my own suffering, while simultaneously being the cause of it all in the first place.

And yet, the night has ended peacefully. Somehow, I have avoided the dread, and have managed to keep my head in spite of everything that was trying to pull me under. Somehow, I will allow myself to try and “sleep it off”. Somehow, I will keep going. Tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow will be better. I have to believe this, even though its never proven to be true yet. My tomorrows are all the same, and I never get better. But I will, for now, pretend that isn’t the case. I will close my eyes to the truth. I will plug my nose to the stench. I will turn up the volume on my music and I will tune out the rest of the world. Just for tonight, I will be normal. I will be sane.