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{January 23, 2014}   1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

Confused. Very confused. I suppose that happens after you’ve seen 3 psychiatrists, 1 psychiatric nurse, 2 emergency room doctors and your psychologist in the span of 3 weeks and tried to kill yourself and cut yourself.

That, all that, in itself is a lot of noises, voices, thoughts coupled in with well-meaning friends and family advice.

I saw a new psych today who thinks that on top of BPD, a lot in itself, I could also have depression on top of that. That’s just depressing, no pun intended. So, my medications have been mixed a little to see if it makes a difference, more bupropion, cipralex and trazadone. Yes, I am hoping it works and at the same time I am heaving a sigh of almost giving up. Can it get any harder?

depressionMeeting a new psych is also hard, new everything, start again, how do I compress 12 years into one hour and have you UNDERSTAND me. Then see you in a month and almost start again. I realize this is how psychiatrists work, especially govt run psyches, though when I had my first brush with death, I saw mine almost every week till life turned a corner.

I am still in home jail because I am volatile, to myself, being a quiet borderline and all. I’m prickly, sensitive and my mother poked me with a red-hot poker yesterday which induced a few steps backwards in the hockey pokey dance and involved some broken glass and cutting. I feel like a vibrating energy line loose from its pole, just on the verge of electrocuting.

I dont know what im supposed to do, stay where, do what, see whom, what do I want? One step at the time, I get it, but which path and which direction am I stepping? Am I going to live at my mother’s house and be visited by the psych nurse and another pysch every week, not guaranteed the same person each week, but they are just there to keep me safe, sane and stable. Then go see my psychologist. Then drive 40min to see the new psych I saw today once a month, plus the ones that see me every week, and attend DBT “light” classes once a week also 40min away from town, though without the 24 hour access to the therapists I had w my private program. I am already feeling crazier than the crazy I am. Maybe I should call the 1-800-SUICIDE line.

Safety plan, make my safety plan. And that includes who? It seems like a lot of people, professional people but other than there’s H and… 911 and some sedatives. SAD.

God, I have no idea what to do, why the fuck am I here, this is ridiculous, stupid, a waste of time, and I am miserable. Why does everyone have to be miserable along with me? It feels like playing a game with parts from other games thrown in, so nothing

stock-photo-close-up-shot-of-old-soccer-ball-basketball-baseball-football-bat-hockey-stick-baseball-glove-50956663quite fits together or plays together and you can’t win the game with mixing a basketball with hockey player with a soccer net on an football field. Yes, they’re all sports but which sports team am I playing with?

My head hurts, my heart hurts, my brain hurts and people wonder why I just want to go to sleep, this is so fucked the hell up. 

 

 

 



I have been trying to work my episodes out using my DBT skills the last 6 months, and its been very good for me but I have missed writing and putting my soul out on paper. Today the jarring lightening bolt strikes on the side of my head are piercing and I need a little old-fashioned written therapy. The pains up and down my side, the jerks of pain on the left side of my head and the incessant chiming and evil merry-go-round in my head has been palpitating for days and even for all my skills its muted till I relax or am alone in bed and the voices will not stop. This morning I was frozen to the bed, listening to my litany of abhorrent thoughts duck and dive through me with the icicle of sharpness scraping through my head.

In a relationship, if I can call what I have a relationship, I vacillate on taking my cues from DBT class which is to assess what the relationship means to you and act according to the charts, whether you stand your ground to make your point with little emotional investment in the relationship or acquiesce without harming oneself to maintain the relationship, of course, bringing in all the emotional and distress coping skills to not take oneself down the wrong path.

My boyfriend who is a good person, he is a good person, he gives and he is thoughtful and will physically be there for you. The caveat is on his terms, which is fair, his body, his life, his terms and one is taught to have no expectations and the only actions controllable are your own. Choose to accept or to walk away but not to blame or expect. If I need help moving, if I need financial assistance, if I need external distraction 150%.

domestic-violenceBut the rules reside in his court and his alone. I am the flawed one and in accordance with that I don’t get a full vote on anything, not even on my own feelings. I am told regularly what a sacrifice having a relationship with me is, that the fact that this is not a “normal” relationship taxes him and by that fact I owe him appreciation and that I have no right to have issues with him to discuss or even mention if my feelings are marred. So we are on different ground, I am the adopted stray or the half price item on the shelf that can be returned anytime if malfunctioning, or if your stray acts badly sent back to the kennel. That I need to keep this in mind when I have an episode, that he can only take so much and that my “acting” this way warrants my being given a warning that our relationship is predicated on my controlling my mental health and never voicing any hurt or injuries I may feel against him because for all he does for me, I have no right and if I do they are caused by my actions, my flaws and my inability to understand him which then “disappoints” him because stupid, mentally flawed me is “disappointing” for not understanding, for not appreciating, for not knowing that how I thing is wrong, that by not seeing it “the correct way”, marks another ground for dismissing me for being a lesser human being because there is only one way, his way.

My boyfriend is perfect. Not once in 2 years have I been able to bring up injured feelings or hurts without being lambasted about how I bring it on, I cause things to happen, I am the one at fault. There has never been an apology from his side, not once, not once has there been an acknowledgment that I can have a say in the relationship without being warned that any more of this nonsense from me predicates him leaving. All our talks round back to, because of my disadvantages, I need to be grateful for what I am given and for my flaws and disappointments, I need to behave. That the way he conducts himself with me is all for my benefit and how dare I ever mar the surface of his world by bringing my trivialities to the table. That he has enough on his plate that I should know that having a life threatening mental illness that needs support taxes him and I am to take it outside of our sphere because he has enough to worry about and my job is to make sure our relationship is an asset of positivity for him or he will discard me.perfect_boyfriend-379561

And I have tried to swallow and I will continue to swallow the hurts and bruised feelings that I have, which is normal in any relationship but ours, because he is perfect, there is no possible way his mind he can be less than so in a relationship as he says all the time, “he knows people” and he knows himself. Yes, he is a bit full on that front, there is no teaching an old dog new tricks, it is what it is, so anything I see I try to shut up. However, should I disrespect him, say something off colour, make a comment that makes him feel hurt, I am lectured till I am on my knees begging forgiveness. If the tables were turned and I felt an injustice, it is my fault, my doing, my making and he is not wrong, not liable, not ever possible he could have done anything less than perfect, because do remember I am being given a favour so suck it up and don’t be a “disappointment” for thinking he could ever cause me any hurt feelings.

He planned a week vacation with his brother and family, and I am all for family, its great, took the time off, put it together, and his brother, due to a mental illness of his own, had to cancel the day before. So he had the week free and I had a week in Paris with accommodations and food paid for so I invited him, to no avail he had to work and the plane ticket was too much. Though then he did take 3 days and went off on a trip of his own. But of course it was only 3 days and I am sure he spent less than the $600 ticket to Paris. You think?

When we are together his work is paramount and he is busy, all the time, no time and I do understand, so I shush, all the time shush. But if a friend wants to go roller blading, he will find the time, if friends want to go out on his boat he will find the time. If I go out-of-town, he will always go away on a trip but when I come back, he’s busy, too busy.

He said he was busy this week, had to get his things sorted out, two days after I left town, he’s going away for 4 days. We had a week planned together next week which got put on hold for a friends party but that still leaves us 4 days, I am pretty sure he will be too busy for that, I will let you know. So when I am in town it’s always busy, when I am out-of-town, all of a sudden its free for him to go away, no phones, no computers, inviting friends.

buddhist-monk-with-orange-robe-pray-in-temple-with-hands-claspedAnd the Buddhist way is to understand that you cannot control anyones actions but of course it hurts, hurts a lot. And I made the mistake of bringing it up, knowing all that I have written above, you know, I know, I needed to shut up and just carry on. But with a rough previous week, PMS and just coming off the pill, poor sleep, an episode was eminent and I could not control myself and out it all came. I know better, I know better that talking always makes it worse because on top of my hurt, I will not get understanding, I will find out all I am wrong, all I need to be grateful for and get a warning that any more episodes and I am on the street. It also feeds into my episode hearing how I am wrong, how I am unappreciative, how I am disappointing, how I have only a few chances left which is cocaine to the episode, sending it even further down and the pain is excruciating. Once the mental pain starts, the physical pain starts to set in and then it is past any relationship woes, its down to BPD survival and managing the episode as it crests (and LOL God forbid I ask support from him to make it through, I am meant to make our relationship an oasis of positivity and asset), chanting to myself everyday that this too shall pass, just a few more days, clutching and un-clutching the knife wanting to cut, deriving all my emotion regulation and distress tolerance skills I learned (in the class he paid for, I told you he was there physically).

Don’t get me wrong, I know it sounds horrible and on that level it is. I think I stay because I do love him (love never enters his equation so it will not be said) and I do feel like the charity case, that I deserve this coming from the half off bin. The other piece is, other than the ultimatums, I can handle the rest by off setting it with the 90% good and knowing that I can control yourself by walking away and not engaging. Buddhism teaches not to blame the other person, I am in control of how I feel and I need to take responsibility for my hurts and not place it on someone else, I have the choice to step away from conflict.

The ultimatums make me wonder if the work going into this and I have done a lot of work will ever go to somewhere solid. It takes a lot to bring yourself back from the brink of death twice. To find a reason to live everyday and to beat the monsters back everyday. But it comes down to the fact you can’t see mental illness, crazy is crazy regardless of whether its an illness. I know he doesn’t believe I am sick and I know he doesn’t believe that all of this is not just a figment of psychiatry. How I would wish him into my head one day so he could run screaming by what he could hear and see. I will never make him understand and I need to accept that. Any argument we have will always be an oxymoron that though he doesn’t believe I really have an illness, he will use my ilness  to let me know how much I need to appreciate what he gives to my non-illness. The end is I need to always know that though I am working to make this last forever regardless of everything above, his link to me is on a tether based on my “good” behaviour, having him in a relationship is a right that can be revoked at any time, it is not through good times and bad or in sickness or in health.

child_abuse

I feel better, writing therapy is always good. Shut up, soldier on, stay true to the fact that the goal is to be healthy, not rely on others and be OK alone. Have no expectations and mitigate my hurts to myself and my therapy.



{October 19, 2012}   Judged and Damned

BPD relationships or at least my relationship reminds me of the scales of justice, with weight tipping from one side to another and the challenge is to keep it level or be judged and damned, gavel to the head.

It is so easy to tip too far in one direction, which for me is wanting and needing to spend time with him excluding everything else. The issue is, when the scale tips too far over I am overwhelmed with my own emotion and feel like I am losing myself. I have a little voice that tells me to divide my time, stay home, do something for myself, pace myself but the lure of closeness is a drug, I fear if I don’t get as much as I can he will go away or worse yet, find something better. Sometimes it is as base as I am swept by the tide and I cannot swim against it so when I finally hit shore, I am exhausted.

What my head doesn’t always realize is we (head and I) need space and we need to trust that just because he is out of sight does not mean I am out of his mind, and find the trust to function with faith he will be there the next hour, the next day and not be done with me. Easier said then done because I love the time but the more time I spend the more attuned I get to little ticks and sensitivities, and my emotions get heightened where the tiniest bit of an argument, disagreement, or even a look will pop the balloon.

Popping the balloon is not a good place, it weeps of instability, fragility and an open sore of vulnerability. Once popped, it’s just a pain trying t get it back together again, everything is a lip quivering, heart thudding, anxiety that is tremulous to control and takes days to right.

So I speak from experience as this is what happened to me this week. Overdose and now facing the withdrawal symptoms while simultaneously wondering if he thinks I am a psychotic mess to be breaking down at the drop of a pin (straight into my balloon).



{October 19, 2012}   Step by step

Been absent from this space for a while.

My apologies.

I have been working hard on my DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy) and surprise-surprise I feel a difference in my ability to control some of my triggers, moods and episodes. A lot of what I am learning in group class I have ascribed to before but another part of the learning is being in a group, knowing that I am not alone, and though it sounds, strange, watching others face the same trials and tribulations I do. We are a very eclectic and varied group of people, and just like me, from the outside you would never know how much we suffer.

Having a reminder every week to practice, to think, to read helps maintain the DBT at top of my mind when situations and/or triggers arise. Not to say that all is well and swell 🙂 A lot more ahead but this is a twinkle in the eye of recovery.

Heading up to the inferno

This week had been a surprisingly hard week but on the flip side a good week. I say this because this would be the kind of week that would send me straight down into the pits of BPD hell and damnation. Every button, every push has compounded one on top of the other that its been a tightrope of a dance, spins, cartwheels. I call it my staircase, wach little trigger, though it may seem inconsequential on its own takes me one more step up the flight of stairs. For instance, I had a minor operation at the beginning of the week that though not threatening was stressful (1 step), scheduling for an event got very mixed up with lots of parties looking at me (2 steps), my car battery died in the rain and wind (3 steps up), bad sleep (higher we go), had a birthday party to arrange… Imagine each step gets closer to a burning inferno and so each step gets hotter and hotter and you react stronger and  hurt more and more and the final few steps, though they are the same height as the ones you took early on, you are now much higher and almost on fire.

 

I pretty much was close to diving into the inferno earlier in the week, and I have taken a few steps back down but a series of charged scenarios this weekend threaten to send me back up. My goal is to come all the way back down the flight but that will take a heck of a lot of distress tolerance skills and calmness around me. The good part is, I have come down a few steps and though I keep stepping up and down, at least I can come down a little, versus in the past where I would be hurling up 2 steps at a time.

I don’t know what the end of this weekend will bring, but I hope it send me to the basement.

 



{August 31, 2012}   Are you Embarrassed of Me?

I think Hugh is embarrassed of me. This could be paranoia on my part but there is a part of me that believes he’s uncomfortable letting people he knows or we know that we are dating. If he does anything with friends it is without me, I can understand solo time with your friends, but all the time and them not knowing you are dating someone after almost 10 months of off and on dating? If I invite him to do anything with my friends or family, I already know its an assured no, or more so , a question on why? why cant i see them alone, why dont i enjoy them without him? why dont i go have fun he can take care of himself? maybe im proud of him? maybe i want to share? what  a concept…

Somehow, i feel guilty for even asking him and feeling inadequate for asking. now if this happened once in a while, ok, but all the time, leads me to think, hugh doesn’t want to be seen in public together or be associated with anyone, or is it just me he doesn’t want to be associated with.

yes, he is private, very private, just getting him to tell me about his day seems like an invasion of privacy. don’t normal people do that, share? thats always been my history, you want to share with someone you are close to.

its an outside looking in perpective, like im asking for permission and tentatively working around  the stainless steel door in case it falls over and smashes me into the ground without a second thought, because i dont exist in that world.

so is he embarrassed of me? he’s amazingly loving and caring when we are together, as long as we are alone or with strangers. he would never think to invite me to something he’s been invited to (party, dinner, get together), normally i have to invite myself which is beginning to make me feel pathetic, for pete’s sake if he wants me there he’s invite me, as opposed to my being the sad case that has to invite myself and twist his arm and then spend the whole time thinking im a dead weight.

i remember before we started dating he’d bring dates to joint events we would see each other at, i wonder if he still does that, with other women not me. i dont think he’s sexual with them, he’d just rather bring someone else other than me who he isn’t dating.

the other reason i can think he’s not proud of me is that ive dated 2 of his other friends which makes him seem like he’s got the cast off girl, embarrassing to admit  that he’s somehow dating me too, that in boy world, like im sloppy seconds or thirds. wow, that makes me feel terrific. didn’t we go steady withpeople in high school and university that your friends or acquaintances had dated?

this is me the pariah, hide me in the shadows and only bring me out with the crappy friends we have in common who’s opinions we dont give a shit about.

i have low self esteem, i know i do, I just push hard to hide it and put that face forward that makes everyone see confidence, where inside i pray and hope no one calls me on it. I guess this just reinforces that never quite good enough feeling.

yesterday i was at a work event for a wedding consult and i felt like the plainest, ugliest, shortest chubbiest woman there amongst all the women. if i could have been a dull wallflower i would have blended in perfect. my insecurity was at an all time high and without work to focus on it would have been tragic.

 



{August 23, 2012}   Hold the Ice

My insides are burning and I can barely gasp for breathe, my chest hurts and the air is searing through my lungs, breathing so hard I want to pass out. I have to swallow all the judgement to make it go away, I feel like my father is standing over me again finding every fault and flaw he can to beat me down, to show me I can never be good enough, that no matter what I do its wrong. I want to scream, claw and cry the pain out, even when I havent done anything wrong somehow I am wrong. I cant seem to get past the legacy of never feeling like I can do anything right. I don’t know why I try, no one notices when I try, they only notice what they judge is wrong. I have been working so hard, so fucking hard that my head hurts everyday from the sheer volume of exertion to get better. But no one sees it, all they see is bad, always bad.

I cant let other people’s judgments take me down, I need to hold on to what I know is right, I cannot hold it inside of me, I cannot internalize the pain, I cannot hurt myself based on other people’s opinions, I need to fight this off, I will not cut, I didn’t do anything bad. I am not bad. I AM NOT BAD.

I can feel those dark hands coming up against my throat, winding around me, roots pulling me down, please stop, I can’t go there. I will not sink, I will not let words hurt me, my intentions were not calculated, no matter how twisted into ugly people want to view me, there was nothing but me, standing there, naked, open to flagellation. So, I’m beaten and now I have to beat the darkness that I let in, to get up off the floor, to stop these cries, to stop claws, to stop the tears on my words as I write. Find the breath. Find the soothing. Do not cut, you are not ugly, there is nothing to cut.

I need to sedate and work through what we learned in class today. Today I told the class I had BPD, today I talked about cutting. Today has been a big emotional day. I knew what was going to be thrown down on me, I knew it would be negative, and I need to remember that all I can do is listen, I cannot change people’s impressions of me, everyone is entitled to an opinion and if I internalize every negative I will hurt myself. DBT says I need to hold onto me, know me. If I know who I am it shouldn’t matter what people say, Amanda will not be allowed to come to play. Fuck you Amanda, you can’t use those words because they are untrue. Opinions. Opinions are not truths.

I am going to hold some ice.



{August 19, 2012}   Positivity!

I don’t have a bad life, outside of the calamities caused by my BPD, it is pretty amazing and I need to find the appreciation and moments to soak in days like these. If I could bottle the days of true joy to breathe in during the darkness how therapeutic that would be.

The groundwork I used the last few days to not obsess and tangent over work and Hugh surprised me. Surprised me tremendously how in the moment I was able to keep myself in, especially on a 5 hour drive to the cabin! I will digress to let you know, the thoughts that could intrude into my mind is that I made a few small mistakes at work the last couple of days which my boss pointed out and Hugh got annoyed at me for my lack of awareness. Which would lead me to- I am a disappointment at work and Hugh is going to break up with me and tell me again how he does not want any ties to me. BUT- right now, I am not a knotted up, gnarled, dark and stormy bundle of evil darkness washing across my happy.

My job is perfect for me, I don’t make a lot of money but the freedom that it gives me to be able to have time and space to balance my BPD is hard to find. I am given an inordinate amount of trust by my boss and the company as a whole. It’s also in an ideal location so I am not commuting and wasting parts of my life in a car. Where else could I work to let me be sitting here now writing.

Hugh, I think Hugh is amazing. Of course there are things about him that make me stop short but I am far from perfect and some of the things that frustrate me I also admire because they make him who he is. Yes, they can be unreasonable and hurt, but one has to weigh the pros and cons and the pros outweigh the cons and in those moments I have to take that internal mind breath and remember that relationships are compromise and work and we are different people, he cannot be me though there are times that I want to beat Buddhism into him, lol, which of course, goes against the grain of Buddhism. He’s great, I think we work well, and on the off moments I need to give him space and take mine as well.

The things that are always happy in my life, my children, my amazing, beautiful, sweet and kind children. Though life is much harder on my BPD for having them, they are now the guiding life of my BPD. I could not hope for more empathetic and gentle souls as they are.

Future, that scary far off nebula of fire. If I can keep this path I have set with the doctors, to concentrate on health first and foremost, the children and Hugh next, I see that tiny spark of a star.My gosh its work and I am exhausted by the amount of day to day focus and maintenance it is taking, and to make it succeed I have to watch that I take those mental breaks every few months to not let the strain trip me the tight rope. I can tell the DBT classes are going to help, and I thank and thank again that Hugh is here to help me with them or the chances of my being able to take them would be slim. I see a sliver, a fission of hope that I can do the work to take that next step.

Disclaimer, it is one step at a time. I am still not good at reaching out, at explaining, at not beating myself up. Do you have days that you wonder what you would be like without BPD? Would I lose my joie de vivre for the simple child like things, the spontaneity, that when I love you I love you beyond belief, that I will not fight. These are all things that are good, that my BPD enhances. Yes, there is the flip side of all of those items but we’re on POSITIVE today.



{August 17, 2012}   Dog’s Ass

I don’t understand how I am always the shit.

I so wanted to meet up with Hugh last night, he texted me at 11:25pm to meet him. I said good bye to friends, kisses, etc and texted him back at 11:47pm I was grabbing a cab and he pretty much said too late, i blew him off (he waited an hour and a half for me- huh? 47-25= 22 minutes?). I waited wondering if he would text me tell me where he was going and when he didn’t I went home and now I am the dog’s ass feeling like the shit hole who screwed up by wanting to see him.

Yeah, hurt, feel like crud. Trying to breathe, stay in the moment, not let that ugly take hold. Participate and non judge which I just failed at by judging myself as a dog’s ass. Don’t want to see him because its going to hurt but its going to smart for a few anyways regardless and I need to get my car.



{June 6, 2012}   The Verdict Handed Down

I am calm right now, had some seroquel force fed into me.

im at a loss for words, truly at a loss for words, feeling quite numb, probably from the drug and so much i want to write before i forget or fall back into the low again once the meds subside.

shocking, but given the last few days not shocking, very upsetting, not sure how to cope, i have been given 4 weeks off work. im not sure what that means, bills, money, need to claim disability, something, cant deal with it now, i cant take 4 weeks off and may have to ignore that order. 4 weeks off means i’ll have every creditor in the city after me.

my medications have been curtailed to two weeks at a time, just in case, i you know… limited supply on hand.

however, not on suicide watch!

been put on clonazepam for a little while till i can get a better handle and work through this period. i havent figured out how i am going to get myself to the pharmacy without breaking down sobbing at the counter since just getting to the hospital was a shaky affair. i should get it tonight but i know its not going to happen, i cant do it. i made it 3 nights, i can make it 4.

too many things at the same time, my regulation shut down, overloaded, depression. constant tension at work made me have to put so much energy into staying even and managing the barbs and lost a safe place, having 8 hours of my day fraught just elevated my stress, i didn’t take proper breaks to re-charge, my mother’s little dynamo of a secret rocked a fragile space with no resolution and festered, and hugh pretty much jumping ship and declaring me unworthy of anything further due to my BPD tendencies and not sticking by or believing me when the first true ugliness of my BPD came through when i had put my trust into him pretty much hit the last trigger of abandonment and rejection.  Then my own guilt and self recrimination, thinking that i must have been wrong and bad, could have done better, why am I such an awful person… and the rest is history

i got validation, my disassociation while traveling was not because i was a loose provocateur. given the history and the tension, plus the trauma of history, my outlet for pain was not available, and to fend of an episode my mind disassociated to cope. It is not a facet of my morality but as he put it, a multiplication of historical factors that would be hard for any BPD sufferer to handle even with DBT training and unlikely for all those triggers to happen simultaneously again as they were historically based on the volatility of the relationship. Like a cub protecting her young, i acquiesced to protect my mind and that was the right thing to do, in a weird warped clinical way i am sure no sane person could understand.

My fear of emergency, the fact that I didn’t go to emergency for fear of them throwing me back into the psych ward and not letting me out based on my history was calmed. Repeat after him, do not be afraid of the system, they are here to help me. My psychiatrist swore to me up and down that if I ended up there, to have his card, drop his name, he would come, he knows that i am very high functioning, this was a dip in the road, they would not hold me. I am “a great model of a recovering BPD patient”

it was ok that i called no one or asked for help. Because my trust was broken, it would have been hard for me to not have been caged about letting someone in to help for fear of them disappointing me. My cutting was moderate, i think they didn’t want to berate me, given that i was  about to collapse, and i had managed to come for help, which was a step in the right direction.

This does not mean I am not still here, lying on the floor, struggling, crying and panicking. I should go get the clonazepam but i cant, just like i cant go to work, i cant get up again, once was enough, and coming back home after some rest and a sedative im just calm and regulated enough right now to write this before we repeat the cycle for the next few days. Going to stay bad, the depression they say will be at least a few more days but if i get on the meds, focus and work hard on getting back in control i should be in a better place by Monday.

no one said anything about a support system, my babbling and crying about trust and fear in people perhaps made them think i could go this on my own for a little while to gain some strength before letting anyone in in case they imbalance me. If i get too scared alone i am to go to emergency and ask them to admit me till i feel calm again.

i can feel the drugs wearing off and the anxiety starting again. my head hurts. i havent eaten but the nausea of self loathing is still present. im jittery, trying to count the slats in the wood, feeling my twinkling shards of pain surfacing, i missed the shadows coming through, and its very quiet. regardless of what they say, the damage is still tight in my gut, and if i could shed this life and person for another, i would.



DBT: How emotion impacts thinking, self, and relationships

Posted on April 12, 2011 by rhoekstra

One of the theories behind DBT is that emotions interfere with other aspects of functioning. If emotional arousal is high it has the capacity to interfere with thinking, experience of self, actions, and relationships. This may be especially true for people that are sensitive to emotions, experience emotions as strong and intense, and have difficulty getting emotional arousal down.

For instance, if you are feeling extremely threatened you may have a tendency to argue, attack, avoid or withdraw, attempt to problem-solve or fix by ruminating on past or recent interactions. You may become preoccupied with the event(s) in which you became threatened in the first place. When your thoughts become preoccupied with the threatening situation, it is hard to be “in-the-moment” in other areas of your life. (For instance, it is really hard to “be” with friends when your attention is clearly somewhere else).

Because people sometimes behave in out-of-control ways when they are under emotional threat, a person may experience him or herself as out-of-control of undesirable actions. Actions may temporarily reduce or control strong emotions, but most of the time lead to unwanted long-term consequences.

People who have difficulty with strong emotions often believe that emotions “come out of nowhere.” When emotions “come out of nowhere”, it is difficult to predict when they will show up. If a person can’t predict when emotions show up, and if strong emotions lead to out-of-control type actions (or interactions!)- a person will not experience a high degree of self-control. This may lead to confusion about experience, difficulty organizing or “knowing” oneself, or problems following through on tasks or activities. Intentions may not get carried out because 1) emotional arousal is already high 2) when emotional arousal is high, the person has a lower tolerance or threshold for new emotional stimuli 3) the environment will continue to make demands/ expect things of a person. Thus, one’s attention and energy can be so pre-occupied that one may lose all sense of purpose and direction.

Mindfulness is considered to be a “core skill” in DBT. As abstract as it sometimes sounds, the concept of mindfulness has to do with the ability to be centered, grounded, attentive, “real”, and connected. Mindfulness has to do keeping all the impinging emotional extremes manageable. One of the purposes of being mindful is to decrease confusion about oneself. “Knowing oneself” is a benefit of showing up, paying attention, and taking notice. It is extremely hard to do, takes a lot of hard work, and can be really frustrating to “get”. It is also really hard to think of how it applies, and can take considerable patience in terms of getting it “work.” It really does work, though!



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