borderline personality disorder · bpd · mental health

How my dad’s BPD led to mine.

A big statement. But a very true statement; my dad has been untreated his whole life. Sure, it’s calmed down for the most part now that he’s in his 60’s but is it enough to simply ‘act out less?’ I would say no. It’s not enough to stop acting out when what you say can be just as damaging – the thought processes, the ‘verbal’ acting out is still there.

My mum’s away for a couple of weeks so it means I have to be around him a lot more than I am when she’s here. Even the way he talks to her is not OK but she has accepted a lot of his behaviours and just smiles or ignores it. As someone who went on to develop (now, traits of BPD) I can’t just ignore what he says.

Anyway, last night I had a bit of a go at him, and in my eyes, rightly so. I am going in to work late as I type this, because I was playing it out in my head this morning (and I’m not that well as it is) to see how I could have changed my behaviour if I needed to. This is how it went down:

We went to my sisters last night and ordered take out as we’re making it a weekly thing to do that. He came by in a suit which is very unlike him. We asked him about it and he joked saying that it was because last time I called him scruffy (he had his hood up of his hoodie tight so you couldn’t really see his face so he looked like a bit of a thug). Apparently I asked him again in the evening but I don’t remember really.

On the way back to the car. I asked him again as a joke/conversation. ‘So what was the real reason you wore that suit?’ I thought he may have visited his lawyer as he has an ongoing legal battle that, or he went to visit someone… just a bit of topic of conversation. He fell back and started talking to my sister/complaining that I’ve already asked him 3 times, I don’t have to believe him if I don’t want to, it’s because he didn’t have anything else to wear.. it goes on. She kind of dodged it and asked if he’s staying around to which he said ‘no last time I stayed your sister came down at 9 had a go at me to stop being loud because she had work, it doesn’t feel right, I don’t feel right.’

This, obviously got to me. Really, how dare he. It’s super hurtful that out of his own misinterpretation he assumed that my asking about the suit meant that I was ‘criticising him’ or ‘not believing him’ when actually I was just trying to talk to him. (This is why I usually don’t bother). Then to talk about it right behind me to my little sister, leaving me to walk on my own and alienate me. In the car I got in and said ‘I was just asking you about the suit as conversation’ he kept defending himself and I just said ‘sorry I even asked a question.’ He still didn’t apologise/feel anything bad about it or notice that he upset me. Everyone’s meant to tread around his outbursts.

He was lieing about it being 9pm. It was around 10:40pm and I know because I saw the clock on my way down before I asked him to be quiet. My ‘go’ at him was : ‘can you talk quietly please I have to sleep for work and I can hear you.’ It wasn’t in a sweet tone, sure, but I wasn’t shouting either. And with his door closed and mine and him being downstairs he obviously wasn’t as ‘quiet’ as he thought he was. And as someone with mental health I need my flipping sleep. I have a strict schedule for a reason. Not that he knows or cares.

I’m hormonal, was in pain and exhausted and already trying not to split with my sister who was smoking while with us. I told her not to, she can do that in her own private time but she didn’t listen to me. Which is fine, I can’t control her and I’m trying to notice when I ‘split’ and start villifying her in my brain just because she isn’t doing something I want her to. I can’t control her life. I have to accept that sometimes people will do what they want even if you ask them effectively. Your nearest and dearest will not always listen to you. I’m not her mother and she’s old enough I know, I just struggle with not seeing her as ‘all bad’ at those times. I’m trying to see that she’s a mixture, a mixture who I love as a whole even though sometimes she may really piss me off. We’re fine today, and I’m not splitting on her today, because the event has passed. So I feel like in those times when I see her as ‘so bad/disrespectful/stubborn’ or whatever it is that I’m splitting her into in my mind, I need to try to remind myself that I won’t be thinking like that perhaps even in an hour or two’s time. It’s during those moments that I find it really tough to remember that. But today, it’s back to seeing her as my normal everyday sister. I know we have quite different personalities and views on things but if I want to get better I have to accept that as well.

The situation with my dad didn’t go well after that. I felt a sting of pain and I wanted to cry in the car. It was in that moment that it made so much sense to me that I would have, as a child, developed BPD traits. It could even explain the social anxiety. It’s the unpredictability. If you’re having a regular conversation with someone/joking around and they misinterpret the situation and start talking about you/complaining/arguing it makes sense that you’re going to be afraid/unsure/anxious in your future interactions with people. I have learnt to be unsure of what to expect. It’s why I’m always second guessing how someone meant something, or whether if I’m assertive I might get an ‘angry response’ or shut down or rejected. Because I’ve grown up in a house where I wasn’t getting a ‘normal’ response. It would just depend on his mood and the dysfunctional  way he interpreted things. I mean hell, he would even flip at my mum asking her ‘why are you looking at me like that?’ when I remember, she would be looking at him the way all people look at eachother, but he had found a way of turning it into a threat and argue with her about it. It was, no doubt, truly, messed up. Not to mention it led him to physically beat her so many times.

Anyway, moving on from that. I decided not to cry but I was going to get my point across. I’ve grown weary of letting him say and do what he pleases and it goes uncorrected. ‘I was asking you normally about the suit, you know just to talk, and it wasn’t 9pm it was 10:40 and I didn’t have a go at you or say you can’t stay round at all so don’t make it sound like I did’. I mean he still didn’t apologise.

This is where my anger started to mess with me and my taking care of myself. He diverted the topic and carried on talking to my sister, ignoring me or my existence. I was still mad when I got home and went back out to his car. I told him/shouted that he didn’t need to talk about me behind my back to my sister, that it’s not nice, it’s actually hurtful and not to make it sound like I’m not letting him stay. That it was out of order how he did that. He told me: ‘I don’t have time for this’ and drove off.

Of course, he never has time for any of this. He never actually has had time for my emotional responses. I’ve had to work on in therapy one particular instance from when I was about as young as 7 where I was crying and all he did was make fun of me. So, you know, the parenting skills/emotional availability just aren’t there.

I’ve learnt a lot from this incident and mulling it over.

  1. That I have to be careful not to split on my loved ones, and when I have, to notice that’s what’s happening (something I’ve been doing more of recently) and to give it time to pass. I was able to not to get into an argument with my sister and make the house awkward over her smoking. I’ve also realised it’s important to remember that even if I do ask someone for something, they can say no, and that I can’t control her/anyone else. If I still feel a certain way after I’ve come out of ‘split’ mode I can always bring it up in a mature conversation. This act of noticing yesterday saved me from ruining a relationship I have had to work to get back.
  2. It’s not my dad’s misinterpretation that hurts, it’s okay to misinterpret situations but he should have asked for clarity. He could have asked me what I meant by that question and it would have opened up the conversation for me to explain I was just curious/joking, he could have saved himself an argument that came about from his own judgements. For myself, if I feel like I’m interpreting something negatively, I’m going to ask ‘What did you mean by that?’ or ‘Why did you ask?’ or ‘Could you explain a little more?’ I might sound a little bimbo’y in asking but it’s better than the alternative and at least I can give the other person a chance to explain.
  3. This is probably why I am nervous in social interactions, or one of the reasons at least.
  4. It was good that I stuck up for myself instead of letting him bull-doze his anger over me and accuse me of something that just isn’t true.
  5. I didn’t need to run to the car and have a go at him. It only hurt me more than him. I can voice my opinion but it doesn’t mean the other person will be sorry/care. I would have had a more productive time engaging in self-care and calming myself down and then perhaps in a day or two if I felt I still needed to say more, I could say more. What is most important in these situations is that I take care of myself and bring myself down.
  6. Some people will not realise, or acknowledge their part in the situation. You can only voice your opinion skillfully.

I was raging a little in the house, for about a minute or two and then I went to my room to calm down. I realised I don’t want that kind of environment at home. I grew up in that kind of angry/scary environment because of my dads moods. I’m not repeating that. I know I’m only human and it was okay to be angry but it’s not nice for me or my brother and sister to see it at home. So I regulated myself and then got talking to my brother and sister as usual because I want them to feel comfortable at home. I especially don’t want them to be afraid of me, even if my anger isn’t directed at them.

In a way I realise now how important it is for me to be as emotionally regulated as possible. I want my home to be peaceful. I want everyone at home to feel safe and happy and know that despite my mental health struggles, they are okay with me. If I ever get married I would want the same in that house too.

I also want that for myself. I don’t want to be ranting and raging because someone said something to upset me. I want to put myself as first priority and my self-care as first priority. I will stick up for myself but I am not going to chase or force an apology out of someone, I can’t get someone to say sorry, or feel sorry. That is on them.

There’s a lot more I could say but I will leave it there for now. Mainly because I want all of this to sink in for me. I was musing on a lot more today, and have emailed another psychiatrist to see if I can try some meds again, will report back on that another time.

Have a lovely evening guys. xx

 

 

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borderline personality disorder · bpd · dating

Mutual end!

There has been a lot to think about today and a lot of lessons learned, of the psychological kind, (always the best). I was a little distressed this afternoon (I say a little, but I mean a lot, like damn just keep pretend shopping until therapy, just make it through until therapy, gaaah I can’t wait to make it home, wow– therapy feels like home?!).

Yesterday went OK, as in, we had fun and I didn’t hate him.

When I got into the house, dropping the roses, chocolates and perfume onto the bed, to see the expectant faces of my mother and sister who were both dieing to know the deets, I immediately said ‘no’.

That should have been sign enough but it took me most of today to be sure. 

He’s a very nice person in general, caring, almost to a fault. I just didn’t feel any attraction to him. We didn’t have too much to talk about and our lives are quite different, being a city girl who has always wanted to live in the country, now I’m wondering whether that’s the right choice – his lifestyle just seemed so sheltered compared to everything I get to do now. Do I really want to leave? Maybe the move has to happen a lot later than I imagined, maybe I am learning the difference between what I thought I want and need to what I actually want and need? The meal at the restaurant was awkward as hell because he doesn’t experiment much (as in, reaaaallly sticks to one thing), we don’t have any similar hobbies, interests, movie taste, shows, style (I thought we did, we don’t).

I spent most of today juggling around in my head how to end it, whether I should end it, questioning if it’s my BPD pushing someone away, whether I’m afraid of getting close to someone or whether it’s the fact that I now finally have some kind of filter in my brain that can actually turn people down for healthy reasons. All my life, up until these last 2 years and especially this year, I haven’t been able to do that. Most of my relationships should never have happened and they were because of the lack of said filter so this new ‘standard’ and this ‘selecting’ strategy that I have is only now something I am using and starting to gradually feel more and more confident in. I hope I’m making sense, I’m writing this before bed so I’m really not sure whether this is truly reflecting the inner workings of my mind or if I’m rambling, (lol).

I started wondering whether it is me being too picky, of being doomed to a life of singledom and rejections and rejecting forever. I couldn’t wait to get into therapy today to hash it all out.

Therapy is my saviour, what keeps me grounded to reality and keeps me heading in the right direction without taking stupid left turns into dead-end relationships or self sabotaging or leaving my job which is so so tempting at the moment.

And it did help today, it helped because my psychologist agreed that I am actually benefitting a lot from these dating experiences. Not in terms of the hunt of finding the one, or the romance of it, so to speak, but I am learning so much in terms of social interactions, interpersonal relationships and navigating them. This whole ‘filter’ thing for example, would never have come about if it wasn’t for all of this, nor would all of this new thought about my self-worth and how I want people to view me and treat me. So I am happy and grateful that this is accelerating my growth and giving me more situations to hash over in therapy. I don’t feel stagnant I guess. 

I also realised I wasn’t being too picky, he said maybe I could be too ‘strict’ on my criteria at the moment but that maybe I need to give myself some time to learn and adjust it along the way, as I used to be so ‘open’ before and that didn’t do me good so I guess he means I will find a middle ground in my own time and so far, I think that rings true. I told him about all the things I didn’t like and that I didn’t have in common with my date and he agreed that these are all practical reasons not to go ahead with something but perhaps, most importantly, he told me to trust my feelings.

Trust your feelings, guys – you’re welcome.

On a gut level, I came into the house and said ‘no’.  I realise, I shouldn’t feel that way, I should be feeling the post-date joy, the excitement, the butterflies, the wanting to see him again. Today, I wanted to talk to him less, spent the day busy doing other things and then waited til I was free in the evening to talk to him on the phone. It hit home, that it felt like I was talking to a friend. He could talk about his day, I could talk about mine, it was pleasant, good to check-in, that was it, really. I wanted to get off the phone soon and read my new book that I’m obsessed with and blog on here.

So I ‘fessed up. In the nicest possible way, I guess I was trying to say we don’t have that ‘chemistry’ there. That’s the only way I can put it. The line from ‘friends’ to ‘partners’ was never crossed. He breathed what sounded like a sigh of relief and said he was glad I said it because he was trying to think of a way of telling me the same thing. That he felt like he had gone out with a friend. He told me he’s happy he got to meet me and know me and that he still wishes me the best, that I’m a nice ‘lass’ (in his northern words) which is good to hear from someone who’s dated you, even if it’s just once, guess it brings home that I’m not nasty or stuck up when I meet new people. We wished eachother the best in finding the right person, to keep in touch and said goodnight. 

I felt amazed. I had actually called it! Not only that, but I called it right, said my truth and, I didn’t keep going just because he hadn’t said anything, waiting for him to call it as I used to (does he like me/not like me/does he want to continue/not continue?) dragging myself along hoping I feel more attraction to them just like I did in September. But to top it off, he felt the same!

I never thought I would be happy about someone feeling mutual lack of chemistry but there are so many firsts to experience!

I still have a lot of stuff to juggle the next few weeks, including the house and some issues at work, but I feel so good about what’s happened here, that it was another step in the right direction. I am realising I need my ‘breaks’ from looking to be more than therapy and just passing time, I am going to try to book a spiritual retreat or weekend classes.

For whatever reason, I feel like the next step is nurturing my soul for a little while.

 

borderline personality disorder · bpd · dating

Lantern festival date.

Starting to feel the BPD pang in my conversations with him now. We can talk for ages on the phone and not get bored. We’re talking about 3/4 hours every night and it’s before bedtime so we’re not messing up our work routine. It goes from anything random to the deepest insecurities we have and we haven’t even met yet. He is just such a gent, not for one moment has he made me feel like I don’t deserve the respect that any other woman does. No crude mannerisms, no asking me about my body size, feet, p*rn, ‘getting up to something when we meet’. This alone makes me feel so much safer when I’m talking to him. I felt comfortable enough to tell him about a lot of my past trauma, the abuse, how I grew up and he told me he found me more attractive in that I had been through so much and am now such a strong person. His reaction says a lot about him. Usually, I worry that when I go over my mental health and how I’m still in therapy that it would put someone off. Ben had said ‘potential problems with my sensitivity’ as one of the reasons for us not to pursue a relationship. But with him, he said it’s just made him want to take care of me even more, guess it brings out some instinct to protect or something? Lol, I don’t know, but it is sweet.

‘Such a strong person’, whenever you are told that, do you ever really believe it? I never feel like a strong person. I don’t think I focus on strength at all. I know I can focus on my achievements, but not on my strength in general, if I even have that. I actually spend most of my working days and mornings feeling like I don’t have my act together. Bustling around, just about managing to have breakfast and lunch (which I am stressing out about in the back of my mind, trying not to count calories) and get in for a reasonable time.

All in all, it is going well. I’ve planned the ins and outs of Sunday. We’re going to the Chinese lantern festival!

wow

It is so beautiful. I went last year too, In a way I can’t believe it’s been a year already. So much has and hasn’t happened. Well, I am looking forward to it and the lanterns should be fun enough to distract from my nerves and from attention from other people who will be too busy to realise this is a first date. (That’s where the social anxiety bit lies, in other people’s reaction).

But I am starting to think the worst, and worrying about emotional connection. Am I cutting myself off? What about the days when he sees me in my moods (basically, everyday)? Does he have any idea what he could be getting into? He hasn’t seen me when I’m mad, or upset, or in a super stressful situation, will he really be able to handle it, more importantly, love me through it?

I feel like I am finding excuses to say no prematurely, ‘we don’t have much in common’ hobbies wise – as if a relationship end all and be all really has to do with hobbies (it doesn’t, right, at least it hasn’t been for me, so far?). Our texting conversations pale in comparison to our phone conversations – does that show a lack of connection? What if I’m not as physically attracted to him in person as I am from what I’ve seen in pictures? How much of an instant connection is there meant to be? With him, I didn’t leap for joy at the first site of his profile, is that immature or a sign that we’re not as good as we should be? Maybe it’s meant to take time as it is so far?

I don’t want my BPD to try to cut it off before it has a chance. I am resisting that so far but it is there. I am feeling emotions for him but the closer he gets, the more I can feel the worry and fear kicking in.

borderline personality disorder · bpd · mental health · therapy

Exploration and new possibilities.

So I had my second assessment today. I was super frustrated with them as I was so clear from the beginning of this year that I wanted to be referred for DBT and that was it. They had a whole discussion about my case and called me back telling me that they could do that for me. I had an hour long grilling (‘assessment’) a couple of weeks back and then I asked again whether I would be getting DBT because that is what I was told. She said yes they would look over my case and then Id have another assessment and then be referred onto a trainee DBT therapist. I come to my assessment today (assessment number 2) only to find Ive been referred to another team in the same building (confused yet?) and they dont offer DBT. Basically, they’re not bloody listening. So I was super agitated. I told the therapist that I know it’s not her fault but I’m angry that Ive been pretty much lied to as I was specifically told I would start DBT after this assessment. With a trainee.

Well, now that I was there, I couldn’t exactly do anything about it. I was there in office with her, so I might as well get talking as Ive waited this long. This service, she told me, offers CBT and Psychodynamic therapy. I’ve had both. CBT didn’t do sh** for me a couple of years back so I am not a fan. Not to say it doesn’t work for people or certain situations but this is my own experience with it. I’ve also had psychodynamic based therapy with three different therapists now. I really don’t feel like going over my whole life story with another person. I’m also just not really at that stage anymore. I’ve gone over my traumas, I’ve come to terms with a lot of them. I know what’s left of my symptoms. A kind of constant management. I’ve learnt so much over this year. In fact I almost feel too recovered to go to this therapy anymore.

The rest of the session was almost a reflective session. It was oddly helpful I realised by the end of it. Even the therapist noticed that I had a lot of self awareness and was able to reflect on where Ive made progress and where I may still be struggling. I did tell her, in great detail.

This is where I’m currently at:

Still some identity issues- I know what field I am interested in pursuing but my day to day work is not reflecting my passion. I’m working just for money atm. But I am able to work full-time. I haven’t discovered a hobby I am ‘in love’ with or that takes me out of my head and focused enough for times when I’m feeling low. I also just want to say I have a passion, other than you know, obsessively reading about mental health and recovery.

Interpersonal difficulties- I’m not lashing out, slipping on boundaries or anything major but I do have to put in work, often ‘on the spot’ in a conversation I have to think about what someone said, how they meant it, what an appropriate response is. This can sometimes tick over in my brain in the space of a second. I have to still do this because I can feel the familiar ‘anger/fear’ response in my body and this is when I know I could be interpreting the situation based on impulse/BPD type thinking. When Im stressed and angry I also have to put in work not to take it out on my loved ones as it’s nothing to do with them and it only alienates me in the long run.

Emotion regulation – I’m still daily managing this one. I still get hit with random bad moods, though this past week not as often as I’ve been too busy, really, to stop and think about it. I also have to regulate anger/stress/anxiety often too. This is usually tied into my ridicolously long commute to work everyday which I really need to do something about. I have techniques though and she too noted that I have picked up a lot and am applying it to my life. Honestly, a lot of my emotions I feel are now within the normal range of what anyone else would experience in the situations I am in.

Romantic boundaries – I am not obsessive anymore (I have only just realised that as Ive typed this!, yay!). I also do not get overly excited when talking to someone new. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the conversation, late night calls and all that jazz but I no longer jump at feeling ‘complete’ or the chance to feel complete straight away. I actually find myself wanting to take things slow. Finding things out slowly, refusing to make anything ‘official’ straight away and asking lots of quesions. I am also now very wary of how someone makes me feel and whether or not they respect me and my past. I no longer wish to be someone or entertain someone who cannot do that.

I think as I am writing this, that I am going to say goodbye to the sessions. I cannot wait another couple of weeks or months after another session only to find myself in front of another therapist talking about my past all over again whilst I have so much insight already and am seeing somebody else, who is, pretty damn good at what he does IMO. He cares about me, I know that, and even he was excited for me at my last session. He can tell I have made so much progress.

I just lost my shit at home earlier, shouting, how typical! Lol. Luckily, I dont think it was too bad and I wasnt the only one at fault. I just have to be constantly vigilant and try to be the best version of myself

 

 

bpd · Uncategorized

On being the Heartbreaker.

As always, my life has been a little bizarre hidden under the daily guise of ‘normal’. I haven’t written much lately mostly because I wanted to have something new to say. Well here it is, complete with many a lesson to learn.

As of last week I got talking to someone online and spent the most part of my weekend talking to him. He called when he said he would, text to let me know when he couldn’t. Great. Only he has a mental health diagnosis of his own. Im wary of sharing something personal that isn’t about me so I won’t say what it is. Suffice it to say, the two of us juggling our conditions and a relationship would be a little too tricky for me. I was still in two minds about it yesterday and discussed how I was going to navigate our courtship  with my psychologist but after feeling a little invalidated in a late night interaction in which I shared most of the tragedies of my teenage years and onwards, he had nothing to say. This wasn’t out of spite he explained, more than the fact that he didn’t know what to say, but still, I could feel my vulnerability mixed in with anger, feeling invalidated. This, along with worrying about his wellbeing throughout the day, and his fast attachment to me meant that this was already becoming too much.

I am not against dating someone with mental illness at all (that would be pretty damn hypocritical dont you think?) but I do think its crucial that both individuals are in treatment and are able to manage their lives to a certain extent. Boundaries have to be clear, self-care needs to be there, there’s a lot.

In our situation, I could feel some of my BPD language coming out and in his childlike innocence, his confusion, his saying things that make it worse, and there was more. There have been a few things around sexual boundaries and he had actually made a statement that was really out of line – that I should be willing to give it up because I’ve already done that before – (really?!) (maybe another post/rant for that) but I had somehow brushed it off, with him saying sorry and my pourous boundaries, I let it slide. Now I see I shouldn’t have.

It’s tough for people to let go of someone they care about regardless of any diagnoses involved – it’s even tougher when you have BPD and your natural instinct is to cling. After all, I want attachment, on a deep level I crave attachment because of all the trauma. However, Im just learning the hard way over the last two years and through dating that just because you want to attach it doesn’t always mean you should. That just because they care about you is the best person for you.

He is under it all, a sweet and innocent, kind person who has just been through so much and struggles with a few things (don’t we all?) for some people those things might be a back problem, for others, that thing might be delusional beliefs, it doesn’t matter, we are who we are inside of all that, past all of that. We just weren’t a good mix.

I had a tough conversation in which I had to let him know this. He’s struggling, still trying to convince me to change my mind. I told him I’m still here for him but romantically I can’t be. I had to have a cry in the work cubicles because it just felt awful letting someone down and then letting someone down who has so much difficulty in their life. I feel like this relationship was meant to be a saving grace of sorts. It sucked to take that away. It was even more difficult not to split on myself and view myself as ‘all bad’ for making this choice. Difficult to fight the urges to cling just to get my needs met. I had to be strong, I could feel the potential for self-hatred and excessively beating myself up but I didn’t. I’m growing. I got through it, even my tears were not a sign of a breakdown, but a healthy outlet for an emotionally charged situation.

I have to keep to my boundaries today as he hasn’t really understood that I’m not planning on changing my mind. Here goes. Pain is growth.

 

borderline personality disorder · bpd · Mental health culture

Opposites & Cracking the work dilemma.

I have news! That is so bizarre in contrast that I feel weird and very much like I would soon end up with alternating ‘modes’ if I’m not careful. I don’t want to end up as ‘me the patient/service user’ and ‘me the mental health professional’ because that’s kind of what was happening today. I don’t have a problem with either, but in therapy I’m learning to be flexible and integrate a little more, not split up further.

A dream opportunity came up today at work. I’ve been offered to go for a job supporting Psychologists where I’m working, with a payrise. I will still have to go through an interview by the sounds of it but not as formal as what they would normally be, I believe. I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much, but at the same time I really hope I get it! It would just tie in so neatly with everything I’ve been doing and everything I’ve discovered about myself at work.

A while back I posted about how I was stuck in my working life, doing things I don’t enjoy and not knowing what it is that I do enjoy BUT I found a little insight at my session yesterday which has been super helpful. So while I don’t really need to vent about this, I want to share it incase it helps someone else who might be wondering about their worklife too. At first, I was always trying to pinpoint what I would like to do by sector – design, media, teaching etc. but while I’m still not quite there with that one, I have found out more about myself and my work preference in my current job. Which is kind of neat, because it means anyone could use their current job to kind of pinpoint things aswell.

Well, for starters –  I was working in a department where I would be doing the same thing all day, zoned out, even though I had enough work for the day – it  would leave me bored, struggling to concentrate and if my moods were fluctuating – I would find it even more difficult to settle as I was understimulated. My psychologist congratulated me (yay!) for having made a proactive decision in my life by leaving the place. I am happy that I did that and was able to make a healthy decision for myself. I now have been able to leave that post as I really want to make myself happier and stop working for the sake of working – I’ve been doing that for too long.

So my Psychologist pointed out something that I was missing – I don’t like routine things that are repetitive and I like working on ‘new’ things where I have to take time to learn about what it is I’m doing (I see it as building my skill-set but most likely the learning aspect too as I’ve always been quite academic and enjoy studying in general) I have taken on a lot more responsibility which I think I need no matter how my mental health is – as during the time of my divorce I had a management position and no matter how crazy my personal life was I still enjoyed that and was able to continue in that position right until my move back home.

I’m responsible for my own schedule which is turning out to be almost a must for me as it allows me to take care of myself mentally. I’m working on longer term projects which suits me really well as it adds to the novelty of what I’m doing and mixes my days up. I also enjoy meeting and talking to different people, scheduling appointments to sit with them and attending meetings so there’s that aspect of not working alongside someone all day but still working with others at some point during the day. I kind of knew that from my research as when I searched through jobs I found most of the jobs I was interested in involved this element of ‘alone at desk time’ and ‘person focused’ time. So this ties in neatly.

I feel happier about discovering aspects of work that I enjoy as opposed to a whole sector, as I could use this understanding across all of them. After all, two jobs in one field can be so different so I could be in the right ‘area’ and still hate what I’m doing if my daily tasks don’t match up to this.

I came across some more inspiring stories in my online googling, and a lot of people are doing really well – having gone through or still maintaining a treatment program and with support they are in jobs they enjoy and work well for them with their diagnosis.                                                                                                                                               It seems to be a balance of outside support – whether that’s therapy, medication, supportive people in your life, self-care and self-awareness, finding the right work environment that fits your personality and/or how your diagnosis manifests itself. Someone who works as a director mentioned that he might work from home on days that he finds himself struggling with BPD and doesn’t want it to manifest at work so that’s a possibility too (man, I would love work from home days…ah the dream).

It also seems to be the case that ‘low-stress’ jobs do not always work for everyone as some people need structure, others need flexibility and some people thrive in high stress, busy environments while others found it stressed them out even more. My point being, I personally had this idea that the simpler, slower-paced, the work the better it would be for me in recovery and I find for people with mental health diagnoses that’s usually what is ‘touted’ as ‘what’s best’ well, it obviously isn’t always the case from actual experiences. It’s an individual thing and we will have to discover what we like ourselves.  It might even change over time, I know it has for me.

I just wanted to share someone’s account that inspired me (among many, I love reading these) it helps me realise that the work will pay-off and has paid off for so many people. It’s only a matter of persistence and time.

”[–]BPwhowantstheD 4 points

I am by most professional measures what most people would consider a “success.” Most of my career is IT based (with occasional sojourns into other fields), and I’m currently moving into more managerial roles.

My BPD these days doesn’t really impact me professionally, but it’s taken a lot of work on my end to get to that point.

The way I’d put it is that BPD creates some hurdles. If you learn to clear the hurdles, you’re in better shape than someone who never had to put in the work. The hurdles never really go away, but you learn to jump them without thinking, so they no longer slow you down.”

 

On top of this insight, I’m learning to trust my gut. The ‘healthy mind’ and ‘destructive mind’ analogy still really helps me. If I’m getting bored and frustrated, it means the work isn’t enough for me and shouldn’t be something I seek to do long-term. If I’m able to focus, feeling productive and rewarded it means I’m enjoying it and I should be seeking out more of the same. I’m definetly going to try keep rolling with this for now and see where it takes me.

The psych / nurse who did my assessment rang me and told me I may be able to start DBT as soon as a months’ time! Which would be even better as I want to take on more in my life, the added support makes me feel like I have back-up and I can keep learning about DBT skills to apply. On top of that, I’ll be having individual therapy and be signed up to group therapy where I thought I would only be getting one or the other, so I’m so grateful for that. If I do end up in group sooner rather than later (she said there’s a longer wait), I might start a whole little section for that on the site, if I can help others with it, I will! This was the part where I felt strange, on one hand I could be working in the mental health field and on another day I’ll be a patient coming to them. It’s a weird feeling trying to reconcile the two but I don’t mind at the moment, I would be grateful with both.

I hope this helped in some way, I know it organises my thoughts but I really wanted to share what I learnt.

Goodnight x x

 

 

borderline personality disorder · bpd · mental health · Uncategorized

Work work work

Hate that song! Anyway so I thought I would update you all on how things are going plus I feel like it’s part of my routine writing on here. Things have been productive, but boring. I have been a little non-stop since the beginning of the week but I mean, nothing happens if nothing gets done so I don’t mind. Just a little tired. I applied for some more jobs (I did get an invite to apply after applying for the last job I mentioned and found out it was 2 hours away! 😦 ). Applied for some more after work during the week and went to the charity evening. I loved it. I did feel apprehensive while I was there – I flitted between feeling like ‘this is finally going to be the place where my personality and emotions will be useful and beneficial!’ to ‘what if I’m not cut out for this at all? what if it drains me?’ Maybe a little black and white thinking? I think what makes it a little more intimidating was the fact that most of the people who want to get involved already are working in mental health in some way. Plus, they interview you to see if you’re suited for it and the questions are going to be personal. 

I’m undecided about revealing my diagnosis – in one way I hope they don’t discriminate if I do reveal it and decide I’m not fit to volunteer no matter who I am as a person. On the other hand I feel like if I don’t talk about it I’m just adding to the stigma surrounding it – that it ‘should’ be kept quiet or that I’m ashamed of it – I’m not. What do you guys think?

I feel like things have been difficult for me even during recovery – (next week is my 18 months in!) I know I have to be patient and keep letting things improve at the rate that they are meant to but I don’t feel like I’m at the stage of enjoying life or feeling stable. I still feel like im surviving, usually broke, still needing therapy, not too outgoing and sociable and still feeling a little bit like my head is just above water. No longer in terms of worrying about being aggressive and losing my shit or about breaking up relationships but more in terms of feeling depressed or hopeless, that things will never change. It’s a place I feel is in the background in my mind, tempting to listen to, to fall into, I’m just holding on to see if it’s not the case. Let’s say I’m interested to see how the next year pans out and whether things keep going uphill.

I am at a healthy weight I think, I’m avoiding the scales but from what I see I think I’ve reached it. I am uncomfortable with it, I’m just trying not to be and not to think about losing. Maybe it’s a good thing that I’ve had a few family events the past 2 weeks so I’ve been eating more than usual. 

I’m still noticing differences between my old relationship tendencies and how I’m thinking now. Me and the guy I’ve been talking to for the last 2 weeks got to talking on the phone last night. I made up a nickname for him to blog about it on here but it ended up being his actual name haha. So I’m making up another one –  James. He is a pretty interesting, lively personality from what I can tell, we talked for quite a while last night but I’m not sure what he’s made of me so far, he’s quite good at not being too obvious about it. But then at the same time, it is early days so I guess there isn’t much to make of things yet.

I remember in the past I would be super excited and feel myself getting prematurely attached. I’d think about them a lot, fantasize, wonder what they’re up to, and now I realise that that isn’t healthy for me, leads me into my own world and usually doesn’t match up to the reality of what is actually going on. So now I’m wary of thinking too much about him or how things are, whether it could be good between us, I have no expectations really and I think it’s a lot better this way. It’s not to say I haven’t thought like that at all but I catch myself a lot quicker.

I definetly would hinge most of my happiness on a relationship and talking to/being with that person. I am starting to see how unrealistic this is and how I need to make sure I have my own happiness and things going on, while I’m dating but also in life in general. Whether I’m in a relationship, married, single it doesn’t matter – I need my own life, hobbies, passions, non-romantic relationships. I am glad I can at least see that now.

Speaking of hobbies, I don’t know if it’s just me but I feel like a lot of advice that’s out there revolves around telling people to get out more, do things, be busy, have a ‘life’- but what if that’s just not you? I have things I enjoy but a lot of them can be done indoors, I have a social life it’s just not ‘busy’ or an everyday thing and I am starting to wonder whether this is just another ‘ideal’ or expectation of modern society.  I know I’m not the only person like this, not everyone is a social butterfly, going to a million and one events and not everyone wants to be – surely I don’t need to be moulding myself into this to be more ‘attractive’ or to seem ‘healthy’ as a person? Just something that’s been on my mind lately.

I got a call from IMPART and they scheduled to see me for my assessment in 5 weeks time so hopefully I can get myself into some more treatment pretty soon. The assessment will be 2 hours long (yikes!) not looking forward to that so much.