borderline personality disorder · sex and love addiction · Uncategorized

Dating and Dreams.

Ahem, I was saying. I have made the decision to start dating again. Not like tomorrow soon, but another month or 2 soon. I talked about it with my psych on Monday and we looked at the why’s and a little bit about how it used to go vs. how I want it to go now.

Some of it is because I think it’ll be a great chance to practice more of my skills I’ve picked up. I know I used some of my DBT skills in my last relationship and they worked well, helping me break up with very little self destructive or other-destructive behaviour. I treated myself well afterwards and my only regret was that I never told him how much the relationship meant to me and how great a person he truly is. My thoughts of him are very fleeting and rare now, compared to the times I thought of him everyday.

Another reason is, it helps me tackle my social anxiety. Now, there a lot of other ways to do that but first dates are one way. They force me out of my comfort zone bubble and get me talking. Once I’m over the nerves and  the – I’m going to turn back the other way and go home RIGHT NOW – moment I always have just before I meet them, I’m OK and it’s usually fun, or funny, depending on how it went.

I want to be able to practice all that I’ve been learning about boundaries too, it’s interesting to me how I’ve been out in the world dating without them. I mean, I did relatively OK, but it feels like I’ve been walking around with no armour. Now, I’m hoping I will be able to set much clearer, firmer boundaries a lot earlier and keep myself safer and if I’m not feeling safe, I am hoping I will have insight to look into the problem areas and then speak up. 

This is the first time I’ll be in therapy while starting the dating process too, so it feels reassuring to be in the process with my psychologist and it may well give us a lot more to work with. This ties into the fact that my BPD manifests the strongest in romantic relationships, my emotions are quadrupled too, so I feel like it’ll reveal a lot more to my psych and help me heal in a lot of ways.

My sponsor in the SLAA program is also going to help me make a ‘dating plan’ which makes me feel a lot safer. It’s like I’ll have a map to get me through the woods. I had to write ‘bottom lines’ in the program which are behaviours that are unacceptable to me and that I want to absolutely avoid (major no no – dating someone I don’t even like?!). Just having them written down means I have a clearer idea of what I do and don’t want to do when I start dating and when getting into a relationship. I can always call her when I’m stuck or in a really tricky situation too, so it feels nice to know I’m not going through it alone and can get guidance. Plus, I have you guys too who are all super supportive and wise 🙂 ❤

I’ve also been in recovery without major lapses for 16/17 months so I feel stable enough in my day to day as a single person. I want to push myself in recovery and see if I can add more relationships to my life through that. 

The most obvious reason is obviously that I really do hope to find someone who is loving, gentle, patient and who can understand and care about me – BPD and all. I will tell anyone who I resonate with about my BPD, if they can’t accept that or support me with that, then it’s ta-ta.

My psychologist said it seems I have put some thought into it and that I seem sensible enough about it. He pointed out something to be wary of – which I am grateful he did. It was about not attracting a ‘certain type’ of person – the dyfunctional type. He said with borderline personality, I have a kind of ’emotional charge’ and so I look for the same in relationships. When I’m interacting with people I am looking for an emotional intensity to match my own, so regular, ‘nice’ guys can seem kind of boring in comparison. Since regular, healthy guys are living day – to – day normal lives without major emotional highs and lows, when I’m talking to them I don’t get that same ‘rush’ or excitement so, I don’t take it further. But, those who do have that kind of emotional intensity, usually have some kind of emotional problems of their own. I hadn’t thought about it before but I am definetly going to pay attention to it. That’s not to say that I didn’t like one or two guys who seemed ‘stable’ enough, it’s just that life happened and we didn’t take things further.

I did have an unfortunate experience exactly like this so I know he’s right – but I’ll make that another post!

I had a dream last night. I had re-married my ex-husband (not even if he was the last man on earth – Lord knows what got me to do that in my dream but hey, let’s roll with it). We slept in different beds for the wedding night and when I woke up I was asking him what he was up to. He was on his tablet, busy (something he did a lot). I kind of looked around, wondering what to do since he obviously wasn’t going to spend time with me ( a HUGE issue in our whole relationship ) bored and frustrated, I held my breath and realised he hadn’t changed at all and this is what it would be like, AGAIN. I sat alone, and noticed how he didn’t want to hold me either, nothing had changed there either. I felt hopeless and woke up.

I know the obvious meaning to this dream is that I’m afraid I’m going to find someone and end up in exactly the same position – feeling unloved, feeling like I’m with someone who doesn’t care or doesn’t want the same things as me. That I’ll be left on my own while he’s busy and I’ll be in that same hopeless position of wondering how I got here and feeling like it’s too late to get out (symbolised by the being ‘married again’ as opposed to dating which is a lot easier to leave).  But I’m going to talk about it on Monday anyway because dreams have a lot more to them than the obvious, I’m sure he’ll reveal more to me. Better that it all comes out now than before I start dating.

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Birthdays, weight gain, dating.

(You don’t need to commend me on the creativity of the title, I already know, thanks)

So I am officially 27 (waay) I rounded up when I started the blog because who cares about being something and a half years old, unless you’re like 6 and you’re being picked on by your older brother who says you’re too ‘small’ to play with that toy because you’re 6 and he’s 7 in which case, being 6 and a half is a massive game changer and you should definetly point it out. I don’t know whether it’ll change his mind at all, but you know, at least you tried. (Not that I feel your pain, because, I am the eldest sibling, aka. the one with all the power – hashtag eldest siblings conquer all).

I am on my period. So if I ramble the way that I did, well, I’m allowed. I’m allowed because I have a monster raging in my uterus and beyond which has rendered me incapable of moving. I feel like a wounded animal who wants to attack and crush the poor souls that cross her path.  But, I won’t. I’ll probably just eat chocolate cake for breakfast, swear too many times, play with my neice and stay in bed with this hot water bottle which is now my love for the day.

On a more serious note, I worry about my mental health more during this time, one for the obvious reasons of the hormones playing their games during this time but also because the pain and emotions make it that much harder to be on ‘top’ of my BPD. I feel like I’m more vulnerable to my old ways. I’m clingier, crier and sometimes, meaner. Maybe something akin to an angry foetus?

In other news, I am very close to being back to a healthy weight, aka. not underweight. I maintained a steady ‘underweight’ for months now, and, I have been happy with it. I’m probably not totally out of the woods with my anorexic thinking? The thing is, I check the mirror a lot and from what I see, I just like the look of being at a certain weight, so what if it’s not disordered? What if I just prefer the way I look then? I’m not trying to continuously lose, and I do eat ( a lot these days ) but then there must be something about hitting a healthy weight and how uncomfortable I am with it that tells me something’s still up. *siiigh* I don’t know, it’s all a bit confusing.

Another major – I have made the decision to get back into dating soon. But I am going to make a whole other post about that, because I can OK? OK?!

Bisous x

 

 

 

body image · mental health

How to speak up without flipping out or running away.

Or more precisely, hiding away into the chair, even though they can still see you, at least you avoided confrontation right?

I had another little ‘moment’ today. One of those moments that makes me think ‘yes! – this is different!’ Infact, I’ve had about 3 of those moments over the last 3 days. So, the reading, the blogging, the therapy is really doing something. I am not acting in the ways I used to and the outcome is goood.

I had to go to a dinner party yesterday evening and while I was a little hesitant for my own reasons (more on that later), I was in a fairly good mood and even state of mind. It was during this party though that an unexpected event occurred and I had a welcome response to it.

For those of you who suffer from poor boundaries, anger issues or emotional sensitivity – where your emotions are just 100mph ahead of you and feel so strong and intense that you end up imploding or exploding before you even had a chance to realise wtf just happened – this is probably something that you’ll understand.

Sitting next to a distant family member, my sister comes over for conversation politely asking her questions to which she was met with a rude, ruthless weight comment (meanwhile my brain is thinking; why are some women so bitchy??). As it’s not the first time she’s said something like that my sister tries to tell her to shut up by saying ‘that’s not the first time you’ve said that. But no, that didn’t stop this mean girl, she went in with ‘yes but you’ve gone MORE BIG’. Immediately, I felt the anger surge, you know the ‘rush’ in your body that forces you to do something in response to whatever’s just happened? In DBT they teach you to notice the physical sensations because they are the ‘signals’ tied to the emotions. This ‘rush’ tells me ‘I am angry’ and I am angry because something has happened. Now in the past, I would end up outbursting, or being so afraid of my outburts, I would stay quiet and stew in my own rage silently for hours, replaying whatever someone had ‘said’ or ‘did’ that made me that way. Either way, it was unhealthy.

If you suffer from ‘anger issues’ it’s never about removing anger, or never experiencing it again, it’s what you do with it. So what my surge of anger would have had me do was yell out: HEY! DON’T BE A BITCH! What I actually did was: Notice the anger, realise this was a situation that needed dealing with and whispered into mean girls ear ‘Don’t say things like that to her because it upsets her.’ To which she acted surprised and went quiet. While I got to walk away with a (try to say something now psshhhh).

Being able to stick up for yourself and for others in situations is so important and for so many years my mental state hasn’t let me do that in an effective way. Today was one of the first times I’ve been able to do that and without it being planned.

And, I am damn glad that I did.

 

 

 

borderline personality disorder · bpd · mental health · Mental health culture · Uncategorized

Girl, Interrupted.

So the book finally arrived yesterday and I finished it by, well, yesterday. I want to share my thoughts about it, especially in terms of BPD recovery.

The book gripped me from the beginning, maybe because I enjoy books and films on mental health or those written off as ‘insane’. Anything that has anything to do with mental wards and psychiatry and you can count me in! The whole thing just fascinates me, but also because Susanna is a very talented writer. She adds a unique touch which makes the whole thing more relatable – snippets of her case notes from her time of admittance to discharge, between chapters of the book. I don’t feel so alone in my BPD anymore but something about seeing the ‘concrete hard’ evidence of her time made it seem so real. This is a writer who has lived it, and is still living it. This is someone who has ventured to a place I have not been and is back, writing this book. How awesome is that?

I wanted to read this initially because my psychologist told me her BPD manifested in terms of some psychotic symptoms (seeing things that aren’t there) and while she describes it a a little, I was hoping for more detail. I was also hoping for the slow progression to recovery which gives me a lot of hope, insight and determination to keep going. Rachel’s ‘Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder’ takes you through that journey and truly leaves you believing that if she can do it, so can you. I don’t think that was the purpose of this book which did leave me a little disappointed. It would have been nice to understand how during her 18 month stay at the hospital she started to feel better. Which therapists/nurses supported her? What activities made her change her outlook on things or did she leave feeling pretty much the same? All I was really left with was understanding that her time at the hospital did help, but on discharge she was in remission rather than recovery and the real work probably began once she left the hospital and began her adult life.

On the upside, Susanna has a very quirky, at times – sarcastic and witty outlook on things and, as if right on time in my life, she too questions the diagnosis.

‘What does borderline personality mean, anyhow?…to quote my post-Melvin psychiatrist: “It’s what they call people whose lifestyles bother them.”

“The person often experiences this instability of self-image as chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom.” My chronic feelings of emptiness and boredom came from the fact that I was living a life based on my incapacities, which were numerous.’

And what were the capacities she wanted to live her life based on you may ask?

“Boyfriends and literature: How can you make a life out of those two things? As it turns out, I did.”

There were also points during the book where she described her experience so accurately, in such a well-thought out and vivid manner that I just had to pause and contemplate.

“Something had been peeled back, a covering or shell that works to protect us. I couldn’t decide whether the covering was something on me or something attached to every thing in the world. It didn’t matter, really; wherever it had been, it wasn’t there anymore.

And this was the main precondition, that anything might be something else. Once I’d accepted that, it followed I might be mad, or that someone might think me mad. How could I say for certain that I wasn’t, if I couldn’t say for certain that a curtain wasn’t a mountain range?

I have to admit, though, that I knew I wasn’t mad.”

The whole thing does make me laugh at the same time. If not a ‘recovery’ book, it is entertaining, thought-provoking and proof that those with mental illness can live a fulfilling life outside the diagnosis. Susanna is proof of that.

 

 

 

 

 

borderline personality disorder · bpd · mental health

BPD Resources

I want to share with you all, a range of things I have found, from Youtube vlogs, to insta pages, to research books written by clinicians in the field. Luckily, some amazing men have put themselves out there as well, so I’ve included that too. Of course, if you can add to this list, please do it will help me too 🙂

Let’s begin!

A site for free downloadable psychotherapy books, from this page I downloaded two recommended books (both of which give insight into the treatment of BPD by therapists):

http://freepsychotherapybooks.org/psychoanalysis/product/listing

The two books are (I haven’t read these yet but another blogger found them helpful in recovery.)

Borderline Pscyhopathology and it’s treatment – Gerald Adler

Six steps in the treatment of Borderline Personality Organization – Vamik Volkan.

The next ‘resource’ I will mention is a youtuber who isn’t as active now as he was before, but has really shed light on BPD, BPD recovery and relates his experiences in a really down-to-earth, light-hearted way. His channel’s called ‘MeAndMyBlackTable‘ what’s really interesting is that he has been for quite some time, in a successful LTR with someone who is also diagnosed with BPD – and they say it can’t be done! (Recovery tip: anything is possible).

Another great youtube channel: ‘Silencewithinme’ previously diagnosed with BPD (and other things) I found his channel helpful in the sense of feeling not so alone. He has also suffered from social anxiety and whilst not exclusive to the disorder, I know a lot of people experience this.

‘BPD transformation’ is another wordpress blogger who talks about how they recovered from BPD and also their views on the diagnosis. It was through this site I found out about the books.

Youtuber Daniz also blogged her recovery from BPD and various addictions. What I like about her videos is you can see the relationship between the desire to get well and relapsing, it is also inspiring to see her progression over time, giving others much needed hope.

For those who are mothers with BPD: Borderline mama is a wordpress blogger with amazing insight into BPD and really informative articles.

On instagram I follow: borderlineandbaby who also has a youtube channel and is also in a good headspace (as far as I know) from her recovery from BPD.

Recovery Mum on youtube also has a great amount of insight and talks about things not often spoken about (BPD and sex for example?).

dbtselfhelp allows you to access a whole bunch of dbt worksheets for free and a youtuber has made videos for free access explaining the modules for those who can’t access DBT – DBT Peer Connections.

Besides watching youtubers and following accounts, I read a lot and I’m waiting for my Girl interrupted book to arrive so I can give my thoughts on that.

I hope this helped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Seeing the world through Rose coloured eyes.

Somethings been on my mind a lot lately, and that is exactly how much of my experience is down to sickness and how much actually has to do with my own unique way of looking at the world. In all the insanity and the darkness, not all of it feels dark. In fact, feeling things more than other people doesn’t feel like a downside at all. If it means I feel more alive, if it means I feel happier, if it means I love more intensely and hold onto the ones I love tighter, what’s so bad about that?  There are things I experience that I love:
When I see the face of the man I love, I feel as if my entire being is warmed by the sun.
When I sit in my garden watching my cat catching bees (or trying to) while sipping on my coffee I feel like I’m experiencing all the peace and joy the skies have to offer.
I have an insatiable desire to find meaning and purpose. Driving me to learn, to improve, to seek spirituality and for that I am so grateful.
I may be frustrated at work, but maybe that’s just because I want to help people and improve lives.
I am quicker to smile, quicker to humble myself and quicker to forgive. I know life can be tough, feeling so many things in any one given day has taught me that. 
I love being able to feel child-like joy just by watching animation on my laptop on a night in. 
I love that small things, just like seeing flowers in my room is enough to lift me up in a day. 
Becoming infuriated and angry at wrong-doings doesn’t always feel bad either, if you or people around you are being mistreated, I don’t always see what’s so wrong with being the one who acknowledges and acts on that. Too many evils have been left unchecked by people remaining silent. 
I’m sure there are a lot of other things I could add to this, maybe I will when they come to mind but for now, the most important thing to remember would be, we are not just our illness and not everything is ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ or needs to be ‘fixed’ maybe some of it is just ‘different’ and this world needs different. 

 

                                                                  Love, x

borderline personality disorder · bpd · mental health · Uncategorized

BPD and Work.

So my crash last week lasted several days. I ended up calling in sick and going in later the day after that. So it took me about two – three days to recover from some inexplicable mental exhaustion. I spent some of Saturday looking up how to cope with working full-time when you have BPD in the hopes of learning something new and to post on here but sadly, there isn’t that much. In handling my other issues – I found a lot on distress tolerance, or handling emotions etc. but not many tips on how to work full-time and not struggle.

The most of what I got was, some people are just managing to do it, or like me, are taking a lot of time off sick. On the other end of the spectrum, those who do manage to perform well working full-time or even longer hours in demanding jobs don’t always have their symptoms under control outside work, in short, their lives are just unhealthy in a different way. This is not to say everyones experience is like that – I have read enough accounts to know it can be done and whilst living a healthy lifestyle, it’s just that I still don’t have enough information on how it can be done.

I did thankfully get some answers to why I might be more exhausted, in therapy. I know in my experience of borderline personality disorder my inner life is a lot richer. There is so much more going on, granted mostly negative at the moment but – I have so many more thoughts, so much more emotion, so many more reactions than other people do, and I don’t entirely hate it, (in fact, sometimes the extra emotion doesn’t feel like a disorder at all but just another way of looking at the world). Plus, in recovery I am learning to adjust, to control, to express, to release, to be mindful, to assert at the right times, to separate and connect with others. In other words, below the surface I am doing a lot more than other people are in any given day. This was true for me just yesterday, I spent the whole day out in the City and there were times, in the crowds I was met with angry, snarky women making comments or hushing under their breath, I could feel the immediate physical sensation of anger come up, the flush of heat in my chest, and my voice tone switched where I was about to become defensive, I stopped before I could finish my sentence, took a breath and explained the situation in a calm, impersonal manner, which suited me alot better. This is just one example from one day. I can go through several incidents in one day – no wonder I’m tired by the end of it.

But, all in all, I had to practice asserting myself in the morning and face reality, I can’t work 5 days right now. I calmly explained my being sick is caused by me pushing myself too hard to work 5 days at the moment and I’d like to try 4. I don’t want this to be a permanent thing, but for now, this is what I need.