5 months in to the new year and change is in the air, like Spring, there is a sense that there may be a sense of renewal. I get scared to write things down, positive things, like in some way I may jinx it by saying it loud. That there is an almighty evil residing not only inside of me but around the corner that senses positivity and will come down with a mighty roar of Thor’s hammer. It’s been 5 months of step by step, eyes to the ground, one foot in font of the other. I did things for myself, i went away, i took a good girlfriend and got to know her better, i lived in the moment in my happy place, and it’s made a difference. In my low times, i bring up that trip, the sun, the freedom, the immense sense of joy of being somewhere i love and it’s carried me through some hard welling of emotion that have stopped me in my tracks the last couple of months.
It’s been a jigsaw, 1000s of pieces slowly fitting together, many times not fitting and coming back to try again. My emotions are very strong now since I stopped my medication but I am stronger for having the control. I can 95% of the time feel the trigger impulse and squash if not deflect, or realize when i need to duck and hide, retreat.
There’s been a village of assistance with my psychiatrist back from maternity leave. I was scared to tell her that i cold turkey stopped my medications because I needed to work through the pain of separation, feel it, hurt through it and beat the BPD bastard so I knew I could live through not just this break up but any others to come, that I had the strength, in me, and just me, no medications, no fall backs. Hallelujah to her for understanding and supporting me and truly if she was around I may not have done it, but now that I have I’m a poster child. My counsellor has been a Godsend, a true godsend. My life is an open book in counselling and in class, i live through a village of guidance, nothing is sacred. I’d rather have it all out there and let’s help me live all together, because that is the point, for me to live, no matter what it takes.
Class gives me perspective in pain, that we all sit in there suffering through this pain of mental health. I am so honoured to be with people who are fighting just as hard with just as much stigma as I face. Judgement, it’s there all the time, from people you work with, unwitting friends, boyfriends, friends, exes. Like my life is a game, that somehow they have a right to weigh in with judgement or comments or think they know. It’s when I sit in class and hear the stories that I realize I am not alone, others face the same judgements and stigmas from loved ones and strangers alike and it gives me the push to ignore the people who want to derail and push my triggers. Don’t judge me unless you are me, I can’t even begin to think I can understand a fellow BPD pain but I can contextualize it far more than anyone else can.
I still struggle and tomorrow is still a scary place, as is next week, next month. There is never a sense of security, i feel the bottom could drop out at anytime. Small steps, forward. At least I know where bottom is and if I have pockets of up, I should enjoy them no matter what as my counsellor says, let myself revel in it for as long as I can.
I felt so guilty for a while of so many things, of finally making that stand that I needed to take time for myself to get out of this town. I’ve said it over and over again through the years, get out every 2 months and yet guilt and shame from others made me feel like i was joy riding rather than doing something for my health. Now that I am alone, and I have done it and seen the rejuvenation, the spring I can pull from, please let me have the strength to continue to defy those that guilt me for doing so.
Work, it doesn’t help, but we all know this, counsellors, psychs, peers, we all know that work and BPD, stress and BPD is like feeding crack to an addict, it helps but it doesn’t help. It gives a purpose but it comes with its strings. It reminds me of being in a batting cage with the ball machine on the fritz, swinging that bat wildly to ensure you don’t get knocked out cold. You score some home runs but it’s not relaxing. My counsellor asked me if I wanted a career, and the truth is, no, I don’t. I have no desire to grow bigger and add-on additional stress or more eyeballs. I’m here because I need to pay the bills but truth be told, if I could leave this town and move somewhere more open and meaningful where i was working and accomplishing but not dealing with the shit race of life, take me there. I need to get out of this town and it’s plastic pretences, fear of transparency and lack of balls. People in this town are all about smoke and mirrors, just get over yourselves and your judgements, wrapped up in a pretty bow of perfection.
Dating, it’s been a hot topic at therapy and group. So, we have all started dating. I say “we” because it has become a dating by consensus, even though it’s just me on the front line. I like it, it’s like having all your friends watch your back and I don’t have to make any decisions on my own and it makes me feel more secure that there is a check and balance built into me. It’s been fun bringing everything to the mental health table every week for group discussion. That word “fun”, makes me cringe most times. This life is the furthest thing from fun. The furthest thing from “happy”. Two most dreaded words I hate to hear people ask me, “are you happy?”, fuck no, but I am alive and I have good moments. Happy, go ram that up your ass, I haven’t found happy in 15 years for more than a few hours.
Dating. It’s meticulous. Dating the correct BPD way, maybe I can start a manual. Everything close to your chest and make sure you put out all the disclaimers and warnings right off the bat, here it is, read it and proceed at your own risk. Makes me laugh. So stressed the first time and now, I don’t care if people know I have a mental health disease. Would I judge someone for cancer, no, I’d empathize. My ex-DBF used to care so much about perception and what people thought that it made me almost ashamed of my BPD and my scars. This is me, through and through, I am not afraid to tell someone what I am and what I have been through, yes I cut myself, you can see it, and I am alive. You have an issue, it’s not my problem, its yours. Second thing, past the warning, it’s not about my health, no day-to-day health or stress sharing, that’s my game and my game alone. I deal with my issues, it stays on this side of the pie chart, dating on the other, the two do not co-mingle. It’s been weird but good, it’s likely obvious I am withholding things but I’ve gotten good at working through my troubles alone or in group or with counselling, no need for a layperson that doesn’t understand to get into the mix. I don’t need another person to handhold my BPD, I have a village behind me for that and some awesome friends to call. Dating stays in the neutral zone, no need to get deep, three’s a crowd, BPD can stay home and join me later.
So, step by step, health first, kids next, everything else is tertiary. I say that mantra to myself everyday I step out the door and to work. I know what I need for my health, I’ve made some big changes on my own, so tune out the naysayers and the judgements and stigma and one step in front of the other.