Any Other Way

It has been quite awhile since I felt the urge to post but I recognize the desire to post. It’s been on my mind for awhile and it’s like I have to work up the courage to put what’s going on out there. Strike that. It’s not lack of courage at all. It’s a desire to have the words and get things right. I had no idea how much forethought can go into what seems a simple blog post. Maybe that’s why I consider many of my posts weak and shallow. Honesty. What would I do without it?

I’m not quite sure where we left off in the saga that has been my 34 years. Somewhere around my DBT group therapy and my individual therapist having to go on maternity leave. It’s possible I also posted about my med prescriber not being available until August (yes I have an appointment to see him. S for those paying attention). Other than a memory of saying DBT was working and was wonderful, I don’t think I went much farther. It’s now the beginning of July (happy 4th of July everyone!!! Celebrate freedom!!!) and I’m in a better place.

I completed six months of DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy); once a week, an hour and forty-five minutes each. I missed one session and while I hade intended to make every one it didn’t work out that way but that’s ok. My therapist said I still was the person who has attended the most meetings. I’m proud of that. I’m proud I completed the program. The things I learned, I won’t say I have a mastery over. I will say that I learned a lot of valuable skills that I can use everyday for the rest of my life to make situations I encounter easier than they would have been had I not learned these tools; these ideas, these ways of changing my perspective, reframing the situation. I’m forever grateful to all my instructors and teachers. Each one brought a different element and style that enhanced my experience.

From this chapter I’ve moved on. It’s through the lens of a newly shifted paradigm with which I am trying to view this new world. A world in which I don’t hate myself. A world in which I am just as worthy as anyone else, and I do mean anyone else, of deserving happiness and success.

I no longer wake up every day and wish I were dead. I don’t imagine a world without me and think of how everyone would move on just fine, continue on with life and never give my death a second thought. That’s not true. My life matters. To me. I matter. To other people. It’s so fulfilling!

I’ll be honest. It was tough in the beginning. I wanted to dive in head first and tackle the big stuff. I know now that I didn’t posses the skills to embrace and confront my past. It would have steamrolled me and put me in a worse place. I’m glad I had good people watching out for me. I’m at a place now where I’m thinking about my past differently than I did before. Objectiveness is easier to obtain. I’m not saying it’s all flowers and cupcakes. But it’s utterly freeing. The more you experience it the more you want to feel it again.

I’ve found my “center”, my ground. Duh. Gardening. I can’t spend enough time with my plants and gardens. I have something to look forward to on my days off. My time away from work is spent not thinking about going back to my job but how to take care of my plants. How to spend time centering myself and doing something that brings me happiness, something that brings me joy. Something that fulfills me. Something, that without trying, brings me entirely into the present and I think about one thing. Not all the crap that happened to me. Not all the bullshit I put myself through. The thoughts of self hatred and destruction are replaced by connecting with living things and caring for something other than myself. I’m not worrying about my job when I’m in my gardens. I’m not doing anything other than being present and grounded in the moment and for the first time in my life I loose myself in anything and am just myself. It’s an incredible sensation.

It may not last forever. It may be the wine. It may be the “controlled mania” I’ve decided to endure (by taking an antidepressant that brings me up to touch mania and then stop it enough so it drops me a tiny bit before depression) but anything, and I mean anything, is better than the crippling depression I went through for almost 6 years. I never want to be there again. Mania is no good. I know that. It’s not healthy and I don’t think it is beneficial to be there. But I will never go back to that depression. NEVER. I’ve always felt it’s important to feel and truly feel your emotions. And it is. But I can’t let them control me. That kind of depression is controlling. There is no pushing through the day and putting a happy face on. You can’t even get out of bed to use the bathroom and you just hope that work understands when you call them next week and explain why you didn’t show up for three straight shifts in a row. Never again will I ever let it get that bad. NEVER.

So we’re here. The present. I’m happy. For whatever reason. I’m gonna enjoy it. I’ll take this for everything it is, as long as it lasts. I won’t fake it. I won’t lie. When my downhill comes I won’t deny it. I won’t bring it on though. I won’t dwell on everything that brings me down. I’ll deal with what I can and won’t worry about things that I have no control over. It’s impossible to take everything on at once so I’ll take it slow and realize it took time to get here and it will take time to get out. For the first time the word recovery makes sense to me, for me, on my journey. It doesn’t mean I’m there. But it makes sense.

My journey is far from over. It’s already started but I have plenty far to go.

I truly and honestly wouldn’t want or have it any other way.

ūüėÉ

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What’s the difference?

I was just thinking to myself about how to explain something relating to the use of my DBT skills to my therapist. I anticipated she would ask me how the skill I’m using does work. And I came up with a really good explanation. When I was done explaining this out in my head so I’d have a story ready when needed I had a thought jump into my mind. Man, I’m good. Even I believed it. I knew it wasn’t true for me but it had all the right words and it made sense. It made it seem as though I am using a skill that really should be helpful and that it was really working marking some proof or evidence that all this therapy is actually helping. I just sorta asked myself what that meant. That if I knew it was a lie, what did that say about me? Am I capable of coming up with these stories so quickly that were everything the truth should be but weren’t and using them everyday with everyone? When was I being real and when was I saying what I knew I should be? It’s a little alarming and frightening. Makes me wonder if I can really feel anything. Man. What a wicked night.

Why I hate life.

(Trigger warning. I wrote this awhile ago. I’m fine, read: fucked up insecure neurotic and emotional, and I’m safe now but I really wanted to post this. Maybe someone else can relate and won’t have to feel so alone like I did when I wrote this.)

 

 

Just go fucking do it. Quit whining about it and do it. Even if you only take enough to fuck you up as a cry for help.¬†I don’t know how else to ask for help.¬†I can’t articulate my problems any better to explain what is wrong with me and I just feel like I’m not getting the help that I need. Medications. Fuck off medications. I can’t see not taking you but I despise you and I can’t tell if you’re working. Therapy. Yea therapy and DBT is starting to help but eh fuck it. You look back on hopeful years and think it can all just be lost and gone seemingly overnight so why not wipe this slate clean too.

Then you think of your family and someone having to find you and how when you found someone it forever changed you and forever turned you into a headcase. That you can’t move on from that point and that nothing you have ever done has ever helped that. Knowing I’d be ruining my mothers life is enough, for now. It makes me sick literally to think that I have to be walking around this planet for the foreseeable future. It only adds to my depression and makes me spiral more.

I can’t share this. I can’t share any of this. People would know. I mean sure they know now but they just see me as this weird 33 year old boy who has made poor life choices and can’t seem to get his shit together. Behind the scenes he’s been working hard to change things but things just aren’t changing. I’m still horribly and miserably and exhaustedly and utterly truly depressed. That’s a lot of ‘ly’s’! That looks weird.

I’m trying. I’m really trying this time. I spent two three! years with a psychiatrist for fucks sake and even she didn’t know what the fuck was wrong with me. After weekly sessions for months! One consultation basically and wham my entire life is upside down, again. It wasn’t bad enough to get the bipolar disorder diagnosis, no I had to go and grab onto a personality disorder too. Great. Thanks mom and dad, really love being alive. Lets get PTSD along the way but stop you at 16 cuz that’s a great age to be as an adult. I can’t do anything. I don’t know anything. I’m not good at anything.

I need to refill my saphris. I didn’t take it last night because I haven’t filled it in time. Why is this not more important. You hate feeling this way and there seems to actually be an answer and yet you deny yourself the very privilege of taking the pill. It doesn’t make any sense. You’re just trying to prove that you can do it without the help of pills but just fucking admit it. You can’t and you won’t. Give in already. It’s a terrorizing thought having to take pills forever. Forever means forever. Or as long as I can afford insurance. I refilled my saphris just now. I’ll be taking one tonight.

I’m good. I feel better. Kinda. Better enough to make it through tonight and then with work tomorrow its basically automatic. Thank God for an anxiety driven start to my day. Nothing like what feels to be some good ol adrenaline to help wake you up. I’ll linger in bed longer than I want to but that’s just how shit is gonna be. I’ll snuggle my pups extra close tonight so I can feel their love but I know I’ll be crying myself to sleep. Like I’m crying now. Tears streaming down my face, leaving fat wet drops where they land.

Can’t live can’t die truly stuck and I hate it.

Titles are hard.

Finding a therapist that you like and have a good rapport with can be frustrating. I’ve been pretty lucky and only have had to try a few. I’ve heard stories and read a lot of blogs that deal with this issue. Trusting can be tough. Sharing isn’t always easy. So when you find someone you get on with it is super wonderful. Sometimes I wonder if because of my lack of experience with therapists I’ve found the right one or simply one that will do. Either way I got some news about mine the other day and it got to me more than I expected.

I was at my therapists office and decided to schedule a few appointments while I could partly because it’s just better to get the dates planned and partly because it can be tough to get into my therapist. I figured why not get ahead and just schedule as many as I could. I now have appointments scheduled all the way until May 1st. Which I like. But, and there’s most often times a but, I found out my therapist sometime after my last appointment is going on maternity leave. I don’t know for how long and exactly when as I haven’t seen my therapist in a few weeks but I will find out when we have our next appointment.

What I wasn’t expecting was all the emotions that came along with actually hearing this. Sure I know she’s pregnant. It’s not as though it’s a secret. However, I stood there at the appointment window and was face to face with this fact and all of a sudden the wind was gone from my sails. Immediately I had these thoughts of things like, “See, I told you she would just bounce as soon as she got the chance” and “I guess no one really wants to help me.” I felt suddenly suicidal. Like I haven’t felt in awhile. “If she’s gonna do this then what’s the point in any of it?” Therapy. Living. Everything just went sideways in my mind. Why am I gonna put in all this hard work and make efforts to better my life if the people who are supposed to help me are just gonna take off? All the rest of the day and night it was foremost in my mind. “Give up.” “No one wants to help you.” “Everyone else has left, it makes sense she would too.” I couldn’t stop the thoughts. I want to say I tried using some emotion regulation skills I’ve learned in DBT but that wouldn’t be true. In the moment, and for many hours after, all I could think was how pointless therapy is now; that this was just one more person making a quiet exit from my life. Quiet, but an exit nonetheless. Add another to the ever growing list of people who have found some reason, some excuse, to not be around anymore.

I was angry with her. Angry for working so honestly and openly. Angry with her for getting pregnant. “Who does she think she is? I can’t see another therapist.” Not when I actually feel like¬†some progress is being made. Not right now.

I was sad. Sad that my abandonment issues were not only real but hitting me like a ton of bricks. I’ve been fearful forever about people leaving me but not like this. This is uncertainty. This is not knowing. “Will she come back?” “What if she decides being a mom is more important than working?”¬† I felt like throwing my hands up and just going home, skipping my weekly DBT group therapy so I could crawl into bed and cry myself to sleep.

I’m not one to think of my therapist like I hear and read about how other people think and feel about theirs. At least, I don’t think so. I don’t see her as someone who loves me or cares for me in any other way except a therapeutic one. I don’t believe I have attachment issues. I don’t yearn for my therapist like so many others do. It doesn’t light up my week to see her. What we do, what we work on, that’s what lights me up. Maybe I’m more attached to that than to her. I’ve gone a month without seeing her and other than feeling like my individual therapy is kinda stalled it doesn’t cause me any of this when I know there may be some time between appointments.

What I didn’t take into account at the time, and it did take some thinking and sorting through my own mind, was that just like everyone else my therapist is a¬†person. A real life human being with wants, hopes, dreams and desires just like the rest of us. She has a life outside our small room. How could I have been so selfish? What kind of person only thinks about themselves when in fact it is someone or something else that should be congratulated? Again the thoughts turned towards myself. “What a horrible, selfish person you are.” “Why can’t you be happy for someone else’s happiness?” I hate the way my brain works sometimes.

I’m still wrestling with the idea that for an unknown period of time not only will my access to my therapist be gone but someone else who doesn’t know me, who doesn’t have the same passion and drive in them that I see in my therapist, will be “taking over”. I know I won’t be left out in the cold completely; that my therapists patients will most likely be shuffled around to other providers in the office. I still feel uncertainty as I don’t have an appointment for almost another two weeks.

I do feel a little more calm about the whole situation after writing and reading this. It helps. If nothing else it gives me something to talk about with my therapist next session, which I’m pretty sure is unavoidable at this point.

Maybe I have more attachment issues than I realize. Maybe I’m just over dramatizing the entire situation. Who knows.

 

 

Make This Last Forever.

I don’t always like writing when I’m sad. It tends to make me feel like I’m whining but then again I guess that’s just me judging me, which we know is bad so enough of that. I had a good today so I’m gonna write about it gosh darn it.

Today started out remarkably anxiety free given I had called out yesterday for some silly reason and I was afraid my boss would be mad at me (great now no one I work with can read this. Yay!). Which I noticed because it felt strange. Odd. Unfamiliar. But I went about my day anyway, maybe with an extra pep in my step.

I didn’t eat once I got to work like I normally do (I had eaten before work, somewhere else) to keep up the sham and I miserably grimaced “Hello” as I passed by people. I thought if I kept up the act of not feeling well people would believe my ruse. I got to the back and was getting ready and my boss said hello and I said my hello and we exchanged pleasantries and that was all. No firing as I had obviously catastrophized about (but was strangely having zero anxiety over).

My work day began and it was lighter. It just sorta felt a little less gloom and doom. Work did get pretty stressful but I managed and even was able to work with some DBT skills when things got rough. Some I had to try and use. Some I did automatically. At the end of the night when I sat down to fill out my diary card I reflected back on my day and was happy with myself. Sure, I still had a crummy dead end job going absolutely nowhere but at least today it felt good to have it.

Afterwards I socialized more and later than I normally would have done. For the first time in awhile I felt like I was sorta connected to these other people; that we had gone through the same thing and survived. I was also maybe a little in the Christmas (because that’s the side of the argument that I stand on) spirit and felt a little jolly. It was nice. The whole night was like a nice date that was near perfect. Weird way to think of it. I left work feeling like I had when I woke up only better. Sometimes I think I need a reminder that no matter what I’m doing work is important and gives me some purpose even when I fell I have none of my own.

Too often times when the dark days outnumber the good we forget happier moments. This is my way to have a reminder that when things get crappy there is still hope because even if for just a day or two you can be happier, less anxiety ridden, it worth it.

It was a good day today and I am happy about that right now.

A little bit lonely…

How can one person be so lonely. So solitary that it hurts. Even for just someone to text with whenever would bring a so much needed connection to another person. It’s strange. It wasn’t always like this. I used to be part of the in crowd in my twenties. Friends with everyone. All types of people to do all different sorts of things with. But somehow over the years I’ve alienated them, they’ve moved away and even a few have died. I don’t have people in my life. I have pretty much no one. And that makes me sad tonight. I’m fighting back the urge to curl up in bed and cry myself to sleep so that’s probably the¬† reason I’m even writing this. This life thing is hard.

My thoughts.

I just had a few thoughts. Thoughts that I don’t want to forget.

I was thinking about my week coming up. On Monday it’s an appointment with my therapist. Tuesday is a real winner. I meet with¬† my ‘med nurse’ and have group therapy. What stellar days off I have planned! Now my best friend wants to hang out on Sunday. I told myself¬†Wow that doesn’t leave a lot of time to just veg.

(This part will tie in to the rest in just a second)

I’m always tired of working. I only work three days a week and by the third day I feel like I’ve worked 10 in a row and will go out of my mind soon. My job isn’t really, in the grand scheme of things, very stressful. Sure it has it’s moments. Remembering things is important. I have memory issues (be it from my medications or organic) which can make things rough. It’s face-paced and high energy so at times I struggle. (Oh, today is the end of the third day – very freeing but I’m exhausted!)

Then I was thinking about hanging out with my best friend. I mean, would do anything for, love with all my soul, always there for you type of best friend. The kind that doesn’t come along often. We’ve been friends for close to 15 years and I couldn’t see my life without her in some way. But I thought to myself, in a little dark small and sad corner of my mind,¬†No don’t make plans to hang out with her. It’ll just be less time to veg out. And I got to thinking. Why is it that I wouldn’t want to hang out with this person? Literally, they are your very best friend in the entire world! I don’t have any kind of social life and am desperately lonely. It only makes sense that this person who loves you, who cares for you unconditionally and¬†wants¬†to hang out with you, is someone you should be running towards every chance you get. I’m honestly a little mad at myself for how I’ve shut her out of my life the past few years and could deal with a little closeness.

(This is where the part I said would tie in ties in)

I realized as I pondered all this, all these things will make me tired. They are just like work. In fact, I’m going so far as to say, they are work (for me at least). So basically it feels to me like I’ll be working a lot this week. And just like actual work, working in the real world is just as tiring. All these things that are supposed to help me to get better and enable me to make a life worth living are just draining as shit and wearing me out. I thought deeper and it just sorta popped into my mind that if I’m ever going to really open up and let people in who can help, who will help, who¬†want to help, it will break me. I’d have to let all my vulnerabilities be vulnerable and that would hurt. I’d have to stop doing and saying what I think (keywords: I think) other people want me to. I’d have to make decisions of all kinds that I just don’t know how or want to make.

Maybe this is a crack starting to form. Maybe this is the beginning of something in my mind. Maybe I’m ready to get better. This could be mania or hypomania. An hour from now I could decide that it will all be too much and I will cancel on my friend. I could always try and give away my shifts at work (financially that would be tough though) just so I could have the “needed” time off.

I couldn’t really say. I don’t know what any of this means. These are just my thoughts.

-A

Are we there yet?

I’m so frustrated right now. And anxious. Always full of anxiety. The kind that keeps you up way to late and then races your mind awake hours after falling asleep. Thank goodness for those little pills or I wouldn’t get any sleep.

There is no way to, I feel, accurately describe the emptiness and numbness inside of me right now. Not happy. Not sad. Just numb. But the lack of feelings almost causes me to feel pain and misery. Not sure how that works but it’s annoying, only feeling empty and miserable. I couldn’t force a smile if I tried so I won’t.

I read other blogs and people’s experience with their own BPD and how well they can articulate themselves, how well they know themselves, or at least their disorder. My words will never be as powerful and I feel that I will never know myself (or my disorder) that well to put it down so people understand it. My thoughts and ideas will float off into space and just bounce around, never sticking to anything. Sure I can tell you what I have learned, what I do feel about myself but I never feel like I’m doing it well.

Lately I’ve just wanted to curl up into a ball and die. The constant nothingness of my crappy, little, pathetic life is too much. Imagine that. Nothing being too much. I can hardly stand days off because I don’t do anything. I don’t have any friends, save maybe 2 people, which makes life not very fun. The idea of having to face the world almost totally alone is petrifying. I know I’m not really totally alone but it sure feels like that most days. Sometimes it’s what keeps me in bed or on the couch. The loneliness causes more loneliness through isolation and it’s just a big vicious cycle.

I don’t/can’t? relate to people or my surroundings. During Thanksgiving I was just sitting there, watching my family talk and enjoy one another’s company but I felt helpless to connect with these people. People that I’ve literally known for my entire life and are some of the few that love me, good and bad. Simple things like opening up to those that will support and care for me are impossible. I can’t say I’m afraid of rejection or have very much shame associated with that part of my life but for some reason something keeps me shut down and locked up tight. Disassociation is something new I’m reading into and while it isn’t a foreign concept, the idea of it applying to me is something new. Something to go over in therapy I guess.

And just like that, something changes. You read your post in progress and you’re sad. You’re sad for yourself and for your existence. Knowing I’ve carved out almost nothing in this world for myself is depressing, on top of the depression that’s already there.

Then you get angry, clenched fists/jaw angry simply because your dog was whining to be fed (2 hours early mind you).

It’s days, or times rather, like this when my thoughts turn towards suicide. You are nothing, you’ll be nothing, you have nothing. These thoughts. Thoughts that the world would be a better place without me, if even just a few people missed me. Illusions float inside my mind at times like these and they’re almost hypnotic. You start to believe the little voice telling you all these things; you start to see them all as true.

I’m in a place of darkness right now and just needed to get it out. Maybe I’m not numb. Maybe I’m full of emotions and feelings. I don’t know.¬† I started off this post about how numb I was but suddenly I feel sad and angry. Still empty. I’m so ready for this to be over with.

 

Sad way to end the day.

I hate feeling like this.

Angry. Rage angry. Seeing red angry.

At work a coworker said something that I felt was a personal attack meant to belittle me and it triggered it. It just springs to life out of the middle of your chest and rushes to your head and all you wanna do is yell and get in their face. This happened hours ago and I still can’t calm myself.

Then, there’s this depression that’s directing your inner voice to yell at yourself. Telling you how stupid you are. How you’d be better off dead. And it’s so loud. And scary.

I reach out but get nothing back. I wonder why these people who say they love me and miss me suddenly disappear when I need them. I know I need to find some new friends but small steps and I don’t think I’m ready for that. Sometimes I wonder if my therapist really knows how screwed up inside I am.

The Thanksgiving holiday wasn’t bad. Wasn’t good particularly either. I sat there for most of the day, feeling as though everything was just happening and I wasn’t a part of it. I felt really disconnected and wanting to be around family like I do, it hurt. I was bothered that I wasn’t taking the opportunity to really spend time with my family. But what did I do to change that other than feel sorry for myself – nothing of course! Sigh, another holiday gone and all I feel inside is empty and numb.

I hope tomorrow will be better and that I’ll find the energy and motivation to do something, anything really but I know I probably won’t. I’ll see the next few days off fly by and then be anxiety ridden when my weekend is over. This is a sad way to live.

Nothing.

Everyday is the same. I wake up, let the dogs out and smoke a cigarette, open an energy drink and then….nothing. No plans (usually). Nothing to do. Nowhere to be or go. My only relief comes on Tuesdays, mostly, because that’s when my therapy appointments are (sometimes Mondays). Oh and work. Not sure that counts as relief though since it adds an amount of anxiety I’d rather not endure.

I long for the day when I wake up and have something to do. I could work more days but that would increase my stress which would increase my anxiety and I’d probably start swinging with my mood, back and forth, between some really low lows and some medium sloped highs. Plus by the 4th day I’d be as pissy as hell, like someone who had no days off. Listen to me, complaining about working 3 days again. Oh when will I ever be happy with what I have?

Thanksgiving. Everyone posts about the holidays; I guess I shouldn’t break that little train. I simultaneously look forward to and dread them at the same time. My parents are divorced. Which during this season is a bit tricky. We’ve been lucky enough to be able to all get together (yes, both mom and dad and his wife and all that family that so quickly left my mom through the divorce) and enjoy a nice day. It’s still stressful. It’s obvious why my parents divorced now as they have become different apart from who they were together. My anxiety still rides high though. There will be an extra Klonopin in it for me because I can’t deal¬† if I’m a real good boy! I get to see a lot of my family and spend time with them though, so I guess it’s a trade off. By the end of they day I’m ready to crash and not talk to anyone for a week.

I’m not even thinking about Christmas yet. Just not gonna.