I have registered for the NAMI Walk. For anyone who doesn’t know, NAMI stands for National Alliance for Mental Illness. I’m trying to raise money, and all of it goes to NAMI! As I don’t know a lot of people in real time, I thought that I would reach out to those of you who followed my blog. All of you would understand the toll mental illness takes on the person suffering and the surrounding friends and family members. You don’t need to pledge much to sponsor me. Every little bit helps! If you’re willing to donate to this awesome cause, please visit my NAMI sponsorship page HERE. Thanks, everyone!!
**There was some kind of issue with the link to my new blog. I’ve fixed it, and wanted to repost this with the correct site.
After a lot of careful thought, consideration, and prayer, I have started a new WordPress site. I said that I would share my site with the followers of strugglingwithbpd when, and if, I made the decision to start a new blog. I may still blog on here from time to time, but it will be rare.
My new site is GOD’s Beautiful Sovereignty. As I’m sure you can tell, it will be about GOD/religion/Christianity/the Bible/etc. I will be discussing the active role that GOD takes in our lives. Feel free to check it out if you want. If this doesn’t sound like something you’re interested in, no worries!
Thanks to everyone who has followed my crazy journey the past two years plus years on this site. I may still have a thing or two to post about recovering from BPD in the future.
I forgive you for your constant criticisms and put downs of me. I now know that you hated yourself, and were only able to see the negative aspects of others. It somehow made your failings and short comings seem smaller. I understand that making other people feel badly made you feel better.
I forgive you for focusing so much on my weight, even though you filled the house with junk food, sugar, and pizza. I now know that you had your own issues with food. You felt better about indulging when I did it with you, and it gave you a chance to unleash the guilt and shame you felt towards yourself onto another. Somehow, if I overate with you, it made you feel not as bad. By telling me I was too fat, you were able to safely express the feelings you felt towards yourself.
I forgive you for constantly trying to control and micromanage my life. I now know that you felt your life had been spiraling out of control for a long, long time. By clamping down on me, you were able to feel you had a handle on things without making any difficult changes in your life.
I forgive you for making me always feel inferior to everyone and everything. I now know you struggled with feelings of self-worth, but weren’t strong enough to overcome them. I understand how that can make a person feel like they’re drowning, and without hope.
I forgive you for making me believe that my thoughts and feelings didn’t matter. I now know you felt that you didn’t matter, and you had no idea how to express it. I understand you projected your feelings onto me. I know how you had been stepped on by life.
I forgive you for making me feel unloved. I now know you had no experience of self-love. I can also imagine how difficult it was to cope with the fact that your husband preferred your eldest daughter over yourself. I understand you didn’t feel loved for most of your life, and you felt I had taken the only person who had any chance of really loving you. I forgive you for making it obvious that you favored my siblings over me. I now know you felt that I received more “love” than I deserved. I know how that hurt you. I know you didn’t know what to do.
I forgive you for not protecting me when you should have. I now know that you, yourself, were a victim of your choices and circumstances. I understand you were too weak to shield me from the dangers of this world.
I forgive you for making me think all of the above was my fault. I now know these problems were a direct result of the unresolved issues in your life. In your soul. This was always about you, and never about me. I understand I was a child with no control, and you were the adult.
I forgive you, and I pity you. I am strong. I have overcome. You are not. You cannot. You truly are a prisoner. May you find peace one day.
“I guess we are who we are / Headlights shining in the dark night I drive on…” ~Eminem ‘Headlights’
I have decided that this will be my last post on my Struggling With BPD blog. I have been blogging under this address for almost two years. When I originally started this blog, I was trying to work out my many mental and emotional issues, and I was hoping this would be a therapeutic way to deal with my borderline personality disorder. It seems that this blog has fulfilled its purpose. According to the standards set forth in the DSM-IV, I no longer meet the criteria for BPD, and I haven’t for several months. I feel that I can no longer blog under this address, and am considering starting a different blog. I don’t know the topic of my next blog, or even if there will be one, but as soon as I’ve made the decision, I will post the address, just in case anyone who has been following me is interested.
I have been contemplating the decision to write my final post on this blog for several weeks. I have noticed that I have not been writing in the past six months nearly as much as I have in the past. To be honest, I just haven’t felt like writing about something that would “fit” into this blog. I am at a different place in my life than I was when I started this, and my head is not nearly as muddled as it used to be, so I haven’t felt the need to post.
I have enjoyed blogging here, and I very much appreciate all the comments and advice I have received. I will keep this blog address public, and will respond to comments as they come. I hope everyone is able to find peace and happiness. I’ve learned it’s a hard life if those things are lacking.
The future is good. I look forward with hope and happiness.
AWESOME post! Nice reminder that WE are in control, and cannot put the responsibility for our happiness, or the blame for our pain, on other people. Don’t place your expectations on others. Remember that one only has control over their reaction to a situation…not the situation itself. There are valuable lessons to be learned by all in this post. Thank you, rebeccainspiresnow!
“Don’t let me down.” Remember that time when you believed that someone held the answer to your happiness? Remember when you had expectations and people met them? Hopefully you grew up with food, shelter and love. Some of us didn’t get all three at the same time. And it was then that don-don-don-doooooon, we were disappointed!
Thus began the hunt for people you could depend upon and trust. Your best friend. Your teacher. Your first love. Your spouse. And then, they showed their humanity, made mistakes and let you down. Now you are self-reliant and subscribe to the best approach: “I”ll just do it myself, it’s faster/better/easier/safer that way.”
Alas, it’s exhausting to live like that, isn’t it?
Expectations: To paraphrase author Elizabeth Gilbert in her TED talk about the weight of creative genius, she said that expecting someone to take responsibility for that genius is like, “asking someone to…
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His look of love makes me feel secure.
He softly, slowly kisses my forehead.
His gentle caress leaves me wanting more.
My happiest day was the day we wed.
Suddenly, he’s cruelly ripped from my arms.
The Monkey drags him, kicking and screaming.
Happened so fast, guess I missed the alarms.
Watching him go, I feel tears streaming.
My love’s gone. Here’s a stranger with his face.
His heart now dark, his anger rends my soul.
His nasty words I wish I could erase.
This vile Monkey is out of control.
I ache for my husband and miss him so.
He’ll come back, but he’ll leave again, I know.
Crazy Jay and I got into it a little last night. Overreaction on his part led to overreaction on my part until it was a much bigger mess than it needed to be. I’m trying not to be upset at myself over my part in the fight and continued escalation. The situation is passed, so there is no sense in me brooding over it all day, and making myself feel worse. I have assessed the situation, and decided what I need to do differently in the future. I am not beating myself up, but finding a lesson in this experience.
I have been feeling a little down today because of last night, and then having no contact with Jay this morning. I wrote down my affirmation of the day on a sticky note and placed it on my desk. Every time I want to feel sorry for myself, or angry at Crazy Jay, or angry at MYSELF, I repeat the affirmation at least once.
“I am the only power in my world, and I create a peaceful, loving, joyful, fulfilling life.”
No matter what happens, no matter who says or does what to me, I am the one who decides how I feel, and what I want to focus on. I do not want a sub par day, thinking about the fight from the night before. This is the only moment I can live in, and I choose to make it wonderful.
For at least the past four years, I’ve been considered to have borderline personality disorder. I believe I was showing signs of it many years before, but it’s only been in the past four years that I’ve been diagnosed as such. As recently as the beginning of August, I was on Wikipedia, comparing my symptoms to those listed in the DSM IV. After reviewing the criteria for BPD those couple months ago, I reported back to Crazy Jay that I still exhibited about 95% of the symptoms. I was actually pleased back in August to see that I would still be considered a raging borderline. I was still crazy. Whew. What a relief. At that time, I believed that if I clung to the borderline personality diagnosis hard enough, I wouldn’t have to do anything to change my behavior. Don’t get me wrong: I WANTED to change. I felt miserable. My life was chaotic. I was depressed and contemplating suicide…again. I had purchased new tools to self harm…again. My problem was that I didn’t know HOW to change. In fact, I was at a point where I really thought it was next to impossible for me to make any positive changes. I tried pharmaceuticals. I tried trusting God to change me. I’d attended dialectical behavioral therapy and tried to study Marsha Linehan’s approach to helping those with BPD. I tried drinking my troubles away. I had numerous individual therapists. I tried reading books on the subject. Nothing really seemed to help me. Oh, I may have gotten better for a couple days, but I wasn’t able to hold onto the “change” for very long at all. That’s because it wasn’t a real change. I was trying to force my mind to do and believe things that went against my very core. Of course, what I believed in my core was wrong, but it still makes it difficult to change one’s behavior if old beliefs are held onto.
Jay and I started seeing a therapist together this past May. Since we both had pretty much hit rock bottom personally, our marriage was showing signs of distress. The therapist we saw was unlike any other we had sought help from in the past. If you’ve been following Crazy Jay’s and my blogs, I have been calling her “Unconventional Therapist”, and Jay has been calling her “New Age Therapy Chick”, or NATC. She focuses more on Eastern philosophies. She introduced us to the Emotional Freedom Technique which involves tapping on pressure points of the body while repeating affirmations. She uses oil remedies for emotional and physical issues. She focuses on being in the moment instead of brooding about the past or pondering the future. She also led me to the book that I feel completely changed my perspective on life in general, my attitude, and how I need be living. “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay has taught me that loving myself can go a long way in helping me feel better. Focusing on the negative will bring negative into my life. Sending negative thoughts/comments/actions into the world towards others will bring negative into my life. The best thing I can do for myself, and for everyone else is to love, respect, and forgive myself. If I am able to do that for myself, it will be much easier to do that for other people.
I have been feeling tremendously wonderful this past month. I can’t believe it’s only been a month. I never thought I would feel a fraction of the joy and overall positivity I feel now. Daily stresses don’t seem to bother me. Jay and I have a much more peaceful, understanding relationship. My anxiety has decreased to almost nothing. My depression is gone. I am treating myself better, both physically and emotionally. I do still have issues to deal with, but I feel that I can now actually focus on that issue, and take care of it so that it does not pop up and bother me again. Three months ago, however, I wouldn’t have really been able to start working on this issue. It was too difficult stepping over the steaming piles of pain, anger and depression to focus on anything else.
Today I pulled up Wikipedia’s page on borderline personality disorder. Any guesses as to how many criteria I met? Let me start by saying that, at my worst, I knocked all nine outta the park. I won’t go into any more detail about how things were at my worst, but start reading through my early blog posts if you want a clear picture. Today, however, is a new day. Today, I do not meet ONE criterion. If I was examined by a shrink or some doctor today, I would NOT be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
I know that I have only been feeling exceptionally awesome for about a month, but I can tell this time is different. This time I have changed my way of thinking and my thoughts. This time when I am nice to Jay, it is not because I am clenching my teeth shut so I don’t spew venom. This time I’m nice to Jay because all I hold in my head are soft, loving thoughts about him. I don’t allow myself to think negative thoughts. Not about myself. Not about Jay. Not about my co-workers, or traffic, or the slower cashier at the grocery store. Not even about my birth family. I am in the process of forgiving all from my past that I feel have wronged me, and I feel free. I am happy. I am content. I’ve found a way of thinking that works for me.
In the past, my BPD would come in cycles, as I’m sure is the case for most. I would have a looooong string of bad days, with a couple good thrown in. The rare good days could last from one day to maybe four or five, if I was “lucky”. Even on those “good” days, I would struggle with my thoughts. I was ALWAYS at war with my thoughts. A “good” day meant I didn’t punch a hole in the wall. I would just go to my car and punch on it so I didn’t leave marks (well, not on the car, that is). A “good” day meant I was only mean and snarky for a small portion of the day instead of the entire thing. A “good” day meant I only picked the scabs off of my arms and legs instead of creating new cuts. Even my “good” days were bad days.
I don’t expect my life to be perfect now. Of course things will come up. Things HAVE been coming up. It’s important to keep in mind that things will ALWAYS come up. That is the way of life. What matters is not what happens, but how you deal with it. What matters is not what others say or do to you. What matters is how you choose to react and what you choose to believe about yourself. I choose to love myself, tell myself I’m wonderful, and have an amazing day.
I woke up this morning and made sure I had a good attitude. I affirmed that it would be a good day, and that I was excited about the upcoming possibilities. Sounds hokey, but it made me feel pretty good. Every time I’ve thought through that affirmation, I smile. I was grinning from ear to ear on the way to work. I’m sure I looked like a fool. I know I didn’t care.
I really am amazed at how well these silly sounding affirmations work. Yesterday evening had the potential to be disastrous. Instead of thinking, “Oh no! This is going to be a crappy, stressful night. I think I’ll stay late at work to avoid it.”, I ran through positive affirmations. All afternoon and all the way home from work, I was repeating to myself “All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Only good can come from this situation. I am safe.” After a few minutes, I wasn’t anxious about the upcoming evening. This affirmation can be used for anything, but seems to be good when one is worrying or anxious. Now, I don’t know if I yet believe that we create our experiences based on our thoughts, but I know that I FELT tremendously better than I would have if I was worrying and anxious all afternoon.
I think the whole idea is that how we THINK is really what shapes an experience. If we are constantly thinking negative thoughts, we will have a lot of negative experiences. If I went home last night with the thought in my head that it was going to be a difficult evening, I probably would have walked through the door on edge. If I had been edgy, that would have made the entire situation precarious, and, most likely, explosive. I went home thinking that everything was going to work out for my good (which is a Biblical principle, so not a huge stretch for me), and I had a very nice evening. This morning I started the day stating that I was excited for what could possibly happen, and that I would have a good day today. I know it’s not quite one o-clock, but so far a great day! I’m not feeling stressed, and the silly office bullshit I have to deal with isn’t bothering me in the slightest.
I know I’m not changing events with the power of my mind, but I am continuously surprised by how running positive thoughts through my head all day keeps me out of the low, angry moods I’m prone to. Bad things are going to continue to happen, but I don’t have to let them affect me like I have in the past. After all, it’s not what happens – it’s how we react to it.
This may all seem like a stretch, and I thought it was completely ridiculous when I started reading “You Can Heal Your Life”. However, constantly repeating to myself that I love and approve of myself started to turn my mood the very same day. I have a desire to feel stupid and silly while talking about all this positive affirmation stuff, but I can’t deny that it works. Read some of my many negative, angry, struggling past blog posts if you doubt me.
“I choose to feel good about myself. It does not matter what other people say. What matters is how I choose to react and what I choose to believe about myself.” – affirmation from “21 Days to Master Affirmations” by Louise Hay