So…it’s been 1 year and 18 days since I last wrote a blog. I dare not check if I still have any followers left but if you’re reading this thank you for bearing with me.
It’s been a heck of a year. Since last posting I’ve probably had both the lowest point of my illness so far, involving several sections and despair it hurts to even bring back to mind and yet also my most well period so far.
My mind is now a bit of a mess, something I’m trying to be accepting of. But I’m, in all honesty, desperate to express what’s going on for me.
I’m dipping my toe back into the world of spoken word and poetry nervously…terrified my medication really has trampled on my creativity in that area. I’ve been working on my art (shameless plug: check out my art Instagram on the side of this page!) And hey, why not throw blogging in the mix again!?
God, I feel like I sound like such a twat on this.
So where am I at right now then?
My mental health problems are still the centre of my life. One slip and I easily become very unwell again as I’ve learnt the hard way the last few weeks/months. I am frustrated I’m not moving forward at the pace of many I see and am inspired by, on social media particularly. But this said, I do think I see things with much more clarity than I did. Although I still almost constantly hear a voice telling me I should kill myself and hurling insults about ‘what I’m really like’ beneath the facade along with graphic self destructive images, I’m much better at challenging them or at least ignoring them until they quieten. I’m self harming much less. And when I get suicidal I try to ‘put it off’ until the urges lessen. Something that just wasn’t possible before. The pitfall of having had this happening for a while now though is that when I get suicidal I am much more serious and thought through about it because, I suppose it’s like, ‘I’ve given the other alternatives (i.e hospital, medication, therapy, hope, faith, cries for help) a try already.’ I’m trying to work on keeping well rather than just surviving the crises, which includes a tally chart I’ve created for myself per week where I aim to do things like stay hydrated, do art, have chats with supportive people etc a certain amount of times a week. And I have noticed it’s when I don’t keep this up that I get more vulnerable…or perhaps, it’s the other way round I’m not sure.
I feel I’m back properly socialising occasionally and working on my relationships with friends in a more stable way. I’m doing lots of bits and pieces of work and volunteering with various organisations. And being contacted/asked to do different bits and pieces, although frustrated I’m not ready for most of them emotionally despite having the ability to do them practically 😦
My biggest hurdle at the moment is isolation. Face to face I’d rarely admit it in such a raw way (or not cover it with a joke of some sort) but I am really desperately lonely. My close friends have productive lives of some sort or another and none of the work I’ve been doing involves ongoing social relationships or an office I can go into more than half a day a week.
I’ve started seeing a therapist which seems to be messing with my attachments, one minute I’m cool-it’s all ok and the next I’m getting angry telling myself the professionals in my life are not friends or mentors…as sad as that sounds. With friendships or any social situations I worry others are doing it out of charity. With professionals, well, I must be just another one on their case-load but to me I’m frustrated that if I get on with someone (in any professional capacity not just those actually ‘treating’ me) and there’s a connection there- I’m a ‘service user’ so that’s that. When I care for someone I really care for them. I hide it all sorts of ways and many wouldn’t know it but my heart is super soft. (My unwell head is killing me for using that term like they are all going to laugh at you, and roll their eyes and point and blablabla- well fuck it, if so this will be a feast for them.) I cringe when I use the term ‘my therapist’…in my head I sound like that american show with rich mums whining about their minor problems on TV… But ah well. I think my therapist is encouraging me not to have such tight restrictions on what I show to people, and I am starting to see how it’s a problem. I’m honest but very very calculated with anyone who’s not in my close close network. And I think the trouble is I fool people as well. I’m praised for being genuine and open and brave for sharing and being transparent and I got caught up believing that was what I was actually being. But honestly, before these past few weeks- if I knew I was starting to get attached to someone, in other words making an honest connection or saying something that would make me seem properly vulnerable, I would run a mile. Not because I was scared of them but because I was scared of me. I’ve seen others I know with BPD who show that side and get needy or cross or insecure ‘on show.’ And the others in their life slowly disappear- it certainly doesn’t get people to trust or take them seriously in a lot of situations. So, I very carefully don’t let it get to that point. If I’m being a burden on friends I’ll remove myself. If I’m imagining spending time with anyone, like oh we could go do this together or let me look them up on Facebook (this is professionals included) I will do my best not to see them again or if I have to, I will keep myself strictly controlled and basically not say anything unless directly asked. My sexuality was dead. My creativity was floundering and I was feeling stable but stuck and lonely. And now I’m letting go of control or having the reigns tugged out of my hands a bit by recovery, and it’s all mixed up. My sexuality is occasionally hinting its way in- I thought I was straight and now God knows. My friendships, professional/service user relationships and everything-apart-from-family relationships. They’re all over the place in my head. I’m worried I’m falling in love with people one minute and missing people and worrying they’ll abandon me and running from them and not caring much either way all at the same time. All only in my head of course. Obvs! (laugh cry) But occasionally my emotions are leaking out. Like in therapy. Oh my God. So I’m used to strictly structured DBT and this is not it. I’m crying in it! I don’t cry in front of people. I don’t let myself because when I start to cry I don’t stop and I just want to scream and scream and scream. I mean I don’t scream unless I’m really really unwell but it feels like my souls screaming inside of me. But she, my therapist, seems to be pointing toward the fact I probably get that distressed because it’s when the emotions get to bursting point. Like tears letting them out. (Going to try and draw that image now I’ve said it.) Sure the tears are coming out in the sessions but silently and not without as much lip-biting-resistance as possible. Those damn tears- I don’t know whether I’m bring sarcastic with that or not!
She told me she loved me at one point. We were talking about boundaries. Generally, not because I’d done anything to make a discussion needed. And she said boundaries do not mean that she cares any less or likes me any less or loves me any less. Man… that was when I looked up at the ceiling and the elephant tears came a-pouring. I was holding my breath trying not to give in but I’ve never heard a professional say that to me before. Or a friend I don’t think, when in real life rather than a text, or without it being lots of love to you or love you lots or something like that you say to not have to say I love you but whilst still letting them know you care. I’ve never had someone other than my parents I guess look at me-in my eyes, let alone when I’m crying, and say that. And my mind was taking that to all sorts of places, getting tingly in the wrong places- from mother to lover to friend all in the space of a second. But my heart wasn’t. I knew it was her as someone who has been to trained to help me with my head telling me she saw me and she cared deeply. And that is why she does her job. But I was ashamed of my thoughts. I remember asking my mum in my early teens something along the lines of whether teachers taught out of love or Counsellors counselled out of love, friends befriended out of love? I think she hesitated and said something like no, but compassion hopefully. I wasn’t really satisfied with that but I wondered it even more so when I found out how many different words the ancient greeks had for love (where the heck I found that out from I don’t know.) I was going to wing it but I just cheated and looked them up on google to be sure. Eros- is sexual passion, Philia- is deep friendship, ludus- is playful love (between an adult or a child, or laughing/teasing/dancing with friends or flirting of lovers.) Agape- is selfless love/unconditional love for everyone, pragma- is longstanding love (like the work and patience that married couples develop), and Philautia- is self love (they specify between narcissism and a self love that gives you security and increases your capacity to love others.) Here’s the link FYI
Maybe because my emotions are escaping all my loves are being mixed up? I don’t know. That would reassure me rather than just feeling completely messed up and despicable.
All I know is that I feel compassion but it’s love that drives me. And I feel love a lot. And it worries me that others don’t feel that same way back to me or that feeling this way is wrong. I’m a love-er, (I’m trying to make it so that I’m not a lover as that has sexual connotations, although maybe I could be a lover too to someone once I get my head more sorted.)
When I work I want to work where I love any vulnerable people I’m engaging with.
I love my actual friends (not just those people I refer to as friends who are more just people I know.) I really love and care deeply about them in a way I don’t know how to express using any language I know.
I must love others/everyone because when I hear about what’s going on in parts of the world for people it hurts me, sometimes overwhelmingly- it’s a physical sensation, and I get frustrated with my laziness at not doing anything more than ‘giving to charity’ and a bit of volunteering in areas around me.
Relationships/dates wise, anything post puberty drama has been fuelled by insecurity and lust and has ended up at best not a particularly comfortable experience for me and at worst non-consensual violation. But if I were to open up and feel safe to be vulnerable with someone, to love someone in that way, I’d do my best to give them everything and my full commitment. And I could see me making someone feel loved and happy I guess.
As for kids, I don’t see it and at times I have sworn not to curse a kid by passing on part of myself to them but my Mum’s always said to me she thinks I’d be an amazing Mum and maybe that’s because of my capacity to love?
So..Maybe I’ll start thinking in terms of these loves because it’s the only thing that normalises my experience for me and doesn’t make me feel like when I’m real I’m too sensitive for this world and when I’m not I’m trapped and mentally unwell. Charity or compassion certainly don’t cut it for me though.
That’s who I am. I feel things deeply. Take it or leave it (ha, now this voice is like leave it referring to killing myself there and its chattering away.) But deep down I feel there is something powerful I could do with that capacity for rawness and I have those ambitions. Really and truly, I must have this crazy strong survival extinct because how else could I have survived having ‘tried to die’ so many times. Or maybe I’m just giddy with this all. I am actually also physically ill right now and dizzy whenever I move so who knows.
I certainly don’t know- those are where my thoughts end right now but any thoughts/comments you have (be gentle with me please!) would be appreciated and thank you if you’ve managed to read to this last sentence of this self obsessed thesis.