Mental Illness

NAMI Walk


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!!

Categories: Anxiety, Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Child Abuse, Depression, Health, Mental Illness, OCD, PTSD | 3 Comments

My New Blog – GOD’s Beautiful Sovereignty


**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.

Categories: Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Depression, God, Healing, Health, Mental Illness, PTSD, Religion | Leave a comment

My Final Post


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.

Categories: Affirmations, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Healing, Life, Mental Illness, Thoughts | 12 Comments

Today’s Affirmation


“I am wonderful and I feel great.  I am grateful for my life.”

I really like this affirmation.  It takes care of three separate issues with only two short sentences.

“I am wonderful…”  This part just makes me smile, and reinforces the good feelings I have towards myself.  If someone told you that you were wonderful, wouldn’t that just make your day?  I don’t discount this statement just because it’s coming from myself.  I am just as important and what I say holds just as much weight as everyone else.  I am wonderful!!

“…and I feel great.”  This helps me keep up not only the good emotional feelings, but also helps me feel physically well.  If I focus on the fact that it’s early, I’m tired, I have a full day ahead, I’ll be bogged down with stress, etc, then I will start to feel poor physically.  My head will start to hurt and my stomach will tie itself in knots.  I believe that a lot of the negative physical things we feel are a direct result of how we feel emotionally, or in our heads, about ourselves.  Think of that old commercial for depression:  “Who does depression hurt?  Everyone.  WHERE does depression hurt?  Everywhere.”  If you feel badly about yourself, your body will start to manifest this physically.

“I am grateful for my life.”  Of course, this sentence helps to remind me of all the blessings I have in my life (my husband, my dogs, my job, my vehicle, my house, food in my belly, money for bills…I could go on and on!).  It’s easy to think about the BAD parts of what should be a blessing:  The car breaking down, the fights with your spouse, the stress at work, the annoying kids, the bills bills bills!  Focusing on the negative parts will make you miss the blessing.  God has blessed me tremendously, and I don’t want to forget it!

I really like affirmations that I feel work on several different levels.  I like to dissect the affirmations I say so that I truly understand what I am saying, what I am believing, and what I am putting out into the world (or the Universe, if you will).  Just saying fluffy, feel-good words over and over won’t do anything.  In order to make affirmations work for you, you have to really understand and believe what you are saying.

I’m going to have a marvelous day today.  I hope everyone else does, too!

Categories: Affirmations, Borderline Personality Disorder, Daily Life, Healing, Health, Life, Mental Illness, Thoughts | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Back from the Borderline


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.

Categories: Anger, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Daily Life, Healing, Mental Illness, Therapy, Thoughts | Tags: | 12 Comments

Self-Hatred


“Self-hatred is only hating a thought you have about yourself, and thoughts can be changed.”

-Louise Hay, “You Can Heal Your Life”

Categories: Anger, Anxiety, Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Child Abuse, Depression, Mental Illness, Self Harm, Thoughts | 3 Comments

Ignorant


I don’t know how to love with my whole heart.

How could I?  Raised in an uncaring home,

Affection was foreign.  Coldness I knew.

I learned to be critical and hate-filled.

I lived on anger and disappointment.

Resentment and hurt were my company.

Loving touches, hugs, kisses, “I love you”

Were not what I knew.  Harsh words, angry stares –

These were my normal.  A life lacking warmth.

I felt like a stranger in my own home.

The child who could not understand love

Grew to the woman who could not show love.

I stay withdrawn and reserved.  Scared.  Hiding.

Even if I wanted to venture out,

I’m ignorant of how to show I care.

Unsure of what to do or how to act.

I sit to the side.  Alienated.

I ache to reach out from behind this wall.

I long to show you the love I feel.

Categories: Abuse, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Child Abuse, Family, Life, Mental Illness, Poetry, Relationships | 2 Comments

Exhausted


I’m starting to think that I’m not cut out to be in any kind of personal relationship with any person (dogs are ok!).  This is problematic as I’ve been married for the past 10 years.  I can interact with people on a professional level, and I can interact with the check-out girl at Walmart.  Other than that, no one should come near me.  I do not know how to have an interpersonal relationship.  I didn’t have any good examples growing up of how healthy people treat each other.  I don’t know how to talk to people without being harsh, demanding, negative, and instructive.  I’m told I treat people close to me like employees.  Though the people I work with think I’m sweet and quiet LOL.  I don’t know how to be open and honestly express my feelings, and what I want, so I come off as sneaky and manipulative.  I don’t know how to show affection or be loving, so I come off as cold and uncaring.  I don’t know how to have a conversation without offending or being offended, so I tend to keep my mouth shut, which makes me seem withdrawn and aloof.  I come off ok on paper or through email.  Of course, it takes me more time than most to compose an email.  I read over it numerous times to make sure it says what I want, and that I am not coming off in an offensive manner.  Too bad that doesn’t work in life or in real time.

Crazy Jay and I have had various marital issues throughout the ten years we’ve been together.  I used to think the problems were all his.  It wasn’t until he and I sobered up a few years ago that I realized a lot of the problems we have are coming from ME.  I don’t want to end my marriage.  Not at all.  Not even close.  I just wish I could snap my fingers and change the old tapes that keep running through my head.  I notice some of what I am doing, but still probably not everything.  I am told all the time that I am doing and saying things that I don’t think I’m doing or saying.  I have a hard time wrapping my mind around something that I absolutely do NOT think I’m doing when the person accusing me is crazier than I am.  Then again, what he says makes sense.

I really do not know what to do.  I am seeing a therapist, and going through a couple books.  I am trying to change as best I can, but it is slow going.  REALLY slow going.  It seems that no matter what I do that I think is right, and no matter how hard I try to do and say the right thing, I am always wrong.  I try “A”, and am told I need to do “B”.  I do “B”, and then find out that I’m not doing “B” right.  Or, I can do something “technically” right, but because I do not seem to have the appropriate emotional response or feeling to put behind it, I’m wrong again.

I think part of my problem is that I don’t have any good emotional feelings to put behind my actions, making everything seem forced and hollow.  I feel so numb and beaten down by life, I don’t have a clue as to how to show the emotion.  Not to mention that, a lot of the time, I’m not even FEELING the emotion I should be feeling.  I don’t have soft or warm and fuzzy feelings, so I can’t act on them.  I don’t even know how to express what I AM feeling.  Every time I try to talk about what I am thinking, feeling, or what is going on in my head, it comes out all wrong.  I come off as complaining and accusatory, though I don’t know how that happens when I am only talking about myself and not another person.  I know that I have stopped expressing myself because it always starts a fight.  It doesn’t even feel worth it.  It seems it would be better for me to suffer in silence and try to deal with things on my own than cause any more trouble.

Things really do feel hopeless sometimes, though I know that they’re not.  It seems that when I don’t try to amend my behavior, I am wrong and that causes a lot of problems.  However, when I DO try to amend my behavior, I am still wrong, and still causing a lot of problems.  I feel like there’s no point in trying.  Why add failure and frustration to my already negative feelings?  If I try and am still wrong, why bother trying?  Why turn myself into a failure?  I feel like I am at an impasse, and I don’t know how to get around it.  This life is exhausting me.

Categories: Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Depression, Friendship, Health, Marriage, Mental Illness, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | 2 Comments

She is Not Me – With Picture


Who is this girl in the photo?  Not me.
She looks ahead.  Innocent eyes.  Wide grin.
She is ignorant of events to come.
She has not been broken.  Used.  Defiled.
She does not yet know the world hates her.
Still so full of hope and expectations.
Wide open.  Still trusting those in her life.
Not knowing the hurt and pain they will cause.
They wouldn’t do that.  They say they love her.
She hasn’t yet learned the horrors of love.
She will soon find that love morphs to evil.
Everyone uses love as a weapon.
Trying to beat her down.  To make her bleed.
She will soon feel worthless.  She is trash.
She won’t recover.  Her soul feels dead.
She’s condemned to a life trapped by her past.
But not yet.  Today still carefree.  Happy.
She’s not me.  I’m not her.  Impossible.

Image

Categories: Abuse, Anger, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Depression, Dissociation, Life, Mental Illness, Poetry, PTSD | 6 Comments

Reaching Out to Little Meg


Crazy Jay and I met with our therapist last night.  I’ve been calling her “new age therapist”, or something like that.  I think I’m going to change to “unconventional”, instead.  Anyway, we were talking about how a lot of the issues Jay and I both have now are a result of things done to us throughout childhood.  Unconventional Therapist was telling us that we need to go back and heal our inner child so that our adult selves can be healed.  Now, this is the kind of thing that I used to think was complete B.S.  “Heal your inner child”?  Gimme a break!!  What kind of mumbo-jumbo is that?  Just be an adult and deal with this!!

Of course, that could be (and probably is) the voice of the fuckers who raised me.  They didn’t believe in therapy.  They weren’t convinced of the legitimacy of They looked down on people with mental disorders, telling me that if I was depressed, it’s because I “wasn’t trusting God enough”.  That’s nice.  And so helpful.  Way to make a person who already feels shitty into even MORE of a failure.

Moving on…

I think Unconventional Therapist is absolutely right that Jay and I need to heal our inner child.  I mean, the way we react to things now is directly related to our experiences in childhood.  Jay tells me all the time he feels like a financial burden, even though I keep telling him to shut his whore mouth.  I have never thought of him as a burden, and I hope I don’t ACT like I think he’s a burden.  It clicked for us last night, though, that Jay’s father always made money an issue when Jay was growing up.  His father was constantly talking about how much things that Jay needed cost.  No wonder he now sees that he is using money and not putting any in the kitty, so he equates that with being a burden.

My distaste of being touched stems from my childhood sexual abuse.  I feel hands on me now and essentially think I am a child, being abused and touched against my will.  Of course, that is not a conscious thought, but that is why I don’t like hands on me now.  The thoughts, feelings and ideas we have reinforced as children come out when we’re adults.  I have so many more examples of how things in childhood shape my thoughts and actions now, but I think I’ve made my point.

Jay told Unconventional Therapist that he didn’t know how to heal his inner child.  That he didn’t even know what this looked like.  I’ve had several weeks to digest the “heal your inner child” thing, but this may be the first time Jay tried to apply it to himself.  I told him that his inner child and my inner child (Little Jay and Little Meg) should have a play date this week.  Do something childlike and silly.  I suggested going to a playground and swinging.  The teeter-tooter would be fun, too!  Unconventional Therapist suggested we may like to try some art projects since we both thought coloring in coloring books would be enjoyable.  Art projects may be too lofty of a goal, but I could sure mess around with some Play-Dough!!

This week Jay and I are both going to focus on “going back” and taking care of Little Jay and Little Meg.  Unconventional Therapist said our goal is to “go back”, “pick up” our little inner selves, and tell him or her that we will protect them.  That we are there to take care of them.  We aren’t terribly sure how to attempt that quite yet, but apparently the first step is doing activities our inner child would enjoy…hence the play date.  It was also suggested that we go to the children’s section of the library and check out some kid books, but then that would entail brushing elbows with ACTUAL children.

I’m looking forward to letting out Little Meg.  I think this could be fun.  It will be nice to focus on small enjoyable activities throughout the day instead of the many stresses of life.

 

Categories: Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Child Abuse, Daily Life, Depression, Marriage, Mental Illness, PTSD, Stress | 9 Comments

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