Growing Up With BPD

Trigger warning: This post talks about self harm and suicidal behaviours

When I was diagnosed with BPD at age 18 a lot of things fell into place. When I showed my mum a leaflet about the diagnosis she was able to link a lot of my behavior to the disorder. Fair to say we both agreed with the diagnosis, in hindsight the signs were there all along but professionals are reluctant to diagnose children and teens with BPD as the mood swings and unsure identity could be put down to growing up. They tend to wait until you’re 18 or older to diagnose you but I think if someone had picked up on the signs at an early stage I might have got better but instead the symptoms got progressively worse.

For as long as I can remember intense emotions have affected my life. When I was in nursery and primary school I would get so distressed about going and being separated from my mum that I would cry, scream and put myself at risk to avoid going. I’d run away from home or undo my seat belt in the car in the hopes that we would crash and I would get hurt or die so I wouldn’t have to go to school.

I would cry out of nowhere even if, like a minute ago, I was laughing I could suddenly start crying or get angry at the drop of a hat. Attachments were an obvious issue for me as well, not just being overly attached to my mum but I would get attached to toys and games, getting incredibly upset if they broke. At the age of 10 I was in therapy for anger management problems. I only got six sessions with the therapists but when they “dropped” me I felt unwanted, unimportant and abandoned.

I used to go horse riding every week which I enjoyed but from one week to the next I could feel completely different about it. I remember looking forward to this special riding party with other kids but on the day of the party I was crying and screaming like I was being forced to go to school.

My friendships were very unstable in my primary school/early high school life. I would get angry easily for reasons that not even I knew sometimes but it meant a fight nearly every other day. We would always make up and be good friends until the next time I got upset with them. Being friends with me was like trying to handle a ticking time bomb that could go off at any minute or with even a slight wrong touch. There are a lot of diary entries from my first year of high school talking about this one girl and each entry would be either about how bad of a friend she was or how we made up after a fight… Again.

Suicidal ideation was around from a young age too. I wrote in my diary about how I hurt a friend and how I felt so guilty that if she didn’t forgive me I might as well end my life. This may all sound dramatic but this was how I was genuinely feeling at the time. I was considered a drama queen and a crybaby for years because of this emotional intensity.

I was bullied as I wore my heart on my sleeve and it was obvious there was something wrong with me as I was able to go from laughing to crying to lashing out in a matter of minutes. I was aware of how my emotional sensitivity was a problem but I didn’t know how to control it. In my teen years these erratic emotions morphed into severe depression and anxiety.

I was crying almost every night and having a panic attack nearly everyday, I’d also learned how to self harm and that became my way of releasing my emotional pain and self hatred. I eventually got counselling and group therapy for these things which helped a little but as the disorder could not yet be diagnosed, the issues were still there. I just became better at hiding/suppressing my emotions at school and with family, saving my “meltdowns” for when I was alone.

I changed my mind a lot too, picking my subjects to take at GCSE was a nightmare as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do or what I wanted to be when I got older. My aspirations would change nearly every week and I went to the office multiple times to change my options, I eventually settled for Drama, Art and Child development as, for a short while, I wanted to be a social worker,that dream changed quickly though.

In college things seemed to be looking up, I was happier there but underneath the cheeriness was the fear that if I let my “true” self show everyone would hate me and I would be bullied again so I played up the happy/hyperactive persona as that is the side of me people seemed to prefer. However, this escalated into mania that would last a couple of hours but by the end of the day I was emotionally and physically drained from all the hyperactivity. If something went wrong during the day or I perceived someone as being upset with me, my mood would quickly change to depressed and distressed.

So you see, when I was a child, I had no pause button on my emotional reactions. Whenever I felt overwhelmed I didn’t know how to stop the tears or the rage, I didn’t know how to react to these intense emotions in a healthy way or communicate how I was feeling to others appropriately so very soon a wedge was driven between me and the other kids. It was when I started being bullied more severely in high school that I learned to not let my feelings show, bottling them up and suppressing them as much as I could but even then some of it would show, especially the rage.

The emotional intensity, mood swings, unstable relationships, attachment issues and lack of identity were there with me from a very early age. Things have improved since I got neurofeedback, DBT therapy and medication but there are definitely things I need to work on like resolving my trauma and coming to terms with the way my life is now because of said trauma. I understand why professionals are reluctant to diagnose people with the disorder before 18 but I think early intervention is key for BPD. I think there is a term called ’emerging personality disorder” that identifies symptoms of a personality disorder in young people without actually diagnosing them. I think this would have been useful for me as it would have got me treated sooner and improved my school life but alas that was not the case. I do think it would be a good idea to teach children about how to deal with difficult emotions and how to look after their mental health, not necessarily if they show signs of mental illness but in general.

Hope you liked this post, do feel free to let me know what you think or share your experience with a personality disorder in childhood. Thanks for reading.

NI2M ❤

19 Signs You Grew Up With Borderline Personality Disorder

18 Signs You Grew Up With ‘Quiet Borderline Personality Disorder’

https://thetab.com/uk/sheffield/2018/10/11/this-is-what-it-is-really-like-growing-up-with-borderline-personality-disorder-36588

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BPD Obsessions

A while ago I was really into the sims and I’m talking OBSESSED with it to the point that I could barely think of anything else. I couldn’t afford the actual PC version but I made do with the Create-A-Sim demo, the mobile version and youtube videos. It got to the point that, when I tried to do something else, I would get agitated and itch to get back to the sims like withdrawal symptoms of an addiction. I would daydream about owning The sims on PC and create storylines for my characters. When my phone got stolen I became really distressed as it meant I lost all my Sims mobile progress and the characters I created and loved were gone. It’s sad I know but I think at the time the game was the only thing making me happy.

This happened other times as I grew up as well, when I was in year 10 I became obsessed with this online game called Poptropica, I would play it for hours in my spare time and then talk about my adventures in the game with my friends the next day. It was actually one of them that pointed out how obsessed I can get with things. I didn’t think anything of it at the time and just put it down to me being my weird self but once I was diagnosed with BPD a lot of the behaviors like this started making sense. The sudden attachment I would get to these things that made me feel happy the way I couldn’t seem to control and got addicted to the euphoric feeling, spending as much time on that thing as possible until I eventually got bored of it.

disorder-personality-4I guess, for me, these things are a form of escapism, especially if I’m going through a time where I feel particularly lonely and depressed. When I found something that made me feel excited and happy I would cling on to it and consume my life with it. It’s not just games I can get obsessed with but also ideas, TV shows, books and even people.

With people though it tends not to be someone I know in real life as I’m afraid of intimacy or overstepping boundaries so I tend to get attached to far away people I won’t ever meet like celebrities and youtubers. I had a crush on Jacksepticeye for a while and would watch his videos for hours a day until I just found I lost interest again. I do this with other youtubers, but I don’t usually develop crushes, just rather enjoy their content and enjoy how happy they make me.

About a year ago, I became obsessed with crystals, angels and general spirituality. Whenever I went out I became fixated on buying everything I ‘needed’ to be spiritual. I spent a lot of money buying as many books about crystals, angels, etc as possible. I collected things to put on my altar/sacred space. I joined online groups about witchcraft and other such things. I even attended workshops to learn to read tarot and changed my diet. After a few months, when my contract for my first job ended, my obsession seemed to die down however I felt guilty for buying all the things and not using them so I still practice when I feel the need to.

There are other obsessions I had that are still part of my life today. When I was about 14 I got really into the music of the band EVANESCENCE. I learned all the words to nearly all their songs, Idolized Amy Lee and got my dad to take me to see them in concert… twice. I found Evanescence and Amy Lee could put words to how I was feeling in a way that I couldn’t and, even though their songs were dark, it made me happy to pretend I was on stage singing their songs. I’ve got nearly all their albums and some merch, some recent as I still love them over 5 years later.

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Around the same time I developed an interest in Evanescence, I started watching BBC Merlin and loved it. The show was about three seasons in when I joined the fandom so there were school nights spent having Merlin Marathons to catch up and, while I waited for the fourth and fifth seasons, I’d watch sneak peeks of the new episodes, watch and read fan-made content and get as much memorabilia as I could. Even though it was cancelled years ago I still come up with my own fan stories, own everything I bought for it and even still dream about the show!

Its fair to say that although my obsessions with Evanescence, Merlin and spirituality have died down they are still a part of what makes me who I am. Not all of my obsessions have continued this way though, like I mentioned with the sims, I can be really into something for a while until I exhaust myself day and night with it and lose interest. I think this has a lot to do with ‘all or nothing’ thinking where we either really care about something or have no interest in it at all. When we do care about something we can be incredibly passionate and go overboard with our interest as we struggle to regulate our intense emotions. When obsessed with something like a hobby it can consume our minds and lives so much that it feels like our identity as well.

I hadn’t realized, until I did research for this post, that as BPD sufferers we can become obsessive over thoughts and memories. I always put this down to having a bit of OCD or an overly analytical mind but it’s actually a BPD thing. Where if something particularly distressing happens I will overthink, analyze and obsess about it until my brain seems to finally let go. For example, when I fall out with friends I obsessively think and write about what happened from multiple angles, picking apart the event, what they said as well as what I said. How they made me feel and how I imagine I made them feel. Its basically like beating a dead horse but my brain can’t seem to let go until I’ve exhausted all realms of possibilities or it gets distracted for a while.

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There are also obsessions with a crush/romantic partner we can have but I don’t really have experience in that department. I guess my brain just feels safer attaching itself to fiction and things rather than real life people but if you have any experience with BPD obsessions romantic or otherwise then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Thank you for reading, take care ❤

BPD and Obsessions

When BPD Makes You Obsessed With Trying New and Interesting Hobbies

13 ‘Obsessive’ Things People With Borderline Personality Disorder Do

BPD and Commitment/Consistency Issues

I’ve honestly lost count of the amount of projects I’ve started but haven’t finished. The would be bestsellers left incomplete and unpublished.  The art project I did one piece for but haven’t continued, even courses I didn’t finish studying as well as youtube channels discontinued and deleted.

I have days of creative inspiration and want to get my ideas out there and I do really well for a few days or weeks but then the inspiration dies and I no longer have the motivation to do the things I set out to do.

I think this blog is the only thing I’ve commited to properly and even then there are big dips in my productivity for months after a phase of doing really well with posts. So what causes me to discontinue things I was so passionate about?

Disappointment. 

When I’m in a euphoric BPD mood I can feel on top of the world and have high hopes for what I do. Like I could totally be a viral sensation or I imagine doing these things as fantastic and feeling good doing them but when it actually comes to doing these things, its not as good as I’d hoped. Like an art piece doesn’t look as good as it did in my head. I get disappointed, feel hopeless and like I failed and this causes me to give up on the dream I had for the idea.

MOOD SWINGS

With BPD I don’t know what mood I’m going to be in from hour to hour or day to day. I’m more stabilized and my moods change less frequently and quickly with my meds but its still a problem for me. Like I said I can have periods of time feeling motivated, hopeful and inspired but a few hours later I can be depressed and disinterested in everything that interested me before. It gets worse when PMS hits, I can have days and weeks of feeling down and my brain being too hazy to create anything. I can be really motivated to do something at night but when I wake up in the morning I don’t want to do it anymore for whatever reason, usually a lack of energy.

PERSONALITY SHIFTS

Like my mood, my personality can experience changes. I find youtube hard to do as I feel the pressure to have some sort of identity and a consistent personality throughout videos but that’s not the case for me. It usually depends on my environment what kind of person I feel like. For example I was in a bookshop and there I suddenly felt a passion for reading and wanted to start writing a story, then I went into a spiritual shop where I then felt tranquil, I wanted to meditate and do yoga. I do still like these things but when I’m at home I don’t feel as inspired to do these things regularly.

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I’ve recently finished DBT therapy and even that was hard to do consistently, every week I’d feel  different about it. When I first started the treatment I was so hopeful and committed to getting better that going to therapy each week seemed exciting until it wasn’t. I got tired of fighting the disorder and just wanted to get on with life like a normal person. When my therapist upset me by making me talk about my trauma and I stopped wanting to see her as I felt hurt and betrayed. I believe I missed at least 3 sessions and we skipped quite a lot of the skills so the treatment could finish in the three months it needed to be done. I think that’s one of the reasons BPD can be hard to treat because we can find it hard to attend sessions consistently for the reasons listed above(mood, disillusion and personality changes). I have learned a lot and I think enough to get me by for the next 6months-year before I can go to DBT group so the struggle was worth it 🙂

Its been hard for me to even start anything because I don’t see the point as I probably won’t continue/finish it anyway. However I do have some ideas as to what works for me in getting me to be more consistent with things and to stop being hard on myself when I miss a week of doing something. These are the ideas:

Managing Expectations– I found when starting something or first meeting someone my imagination would run wild with all the great possibilities of what would happen. This would lead me to expect unrealistically great things of myself and others. For example “I could make a really good art project even though I haven’t done art for months” I’d expect too much of myself and others too fast so would end up disappointed when it didn’t work out how I hoped. When I find this happening mindfulness can be a good way to ground myself and stop from running with excitement and fantasy. Making notes of the facts can help as well like yes I could do these things but I’m out of practice so its best to start with something simple.

Small Goals– Leading on from that, when I have an idea or desire to do something I like to plan how I’m going to do it, thing is I tend not to stick to the plan as it is unrealistic. I can still think of a step by step plan but It’s better to make the first step manageable and then gradually build up like levels of a video game. Its best for me not to set time limits or plan when I’m going to do these things as my brain tends to not conform to schedules For example I want to practice meditation everyday in order to reduce emotional suffering. It would be unrealistic for me to expect myself to be able to do 30 minutes of meditation at the same time everyday. Therefore the first step to being that good at meditation could be to spend two minutes meditating every other day. Then once I’ve got the hang of that I can slowly increase the time and frequency until I reach my goal.

Sticking to Values– In DBT you’re taught how to gain more of a sense of self by making note of your values, what you believe is most important to you. When I first did this, it was hard for me to think of anything as I felt I had no real values but over time I looked at what made me feel passionate or angry. My trigger for anger is when I see people being treated unfairly so I figured one of my core values is JUSTICE and EQUALITY. When deciding on your goals its good to remember your values and work with them instead of working towards goals that you think you should because of someone else. For me this would mean I’m more likely to stick to the goal I set as its true to myself whereas I don’t feel comfortable with conformity so to set a goal based on someone else’s values would go against my own and I’d be more likely to “rebel” and go my own way.

Thank you for reading, I hope this post was insightful, there’s no resources this time as I couldn’t seem to find much about this topic but if you happen to know of any articles or videos that could be useful then please feel free to comment the links or just let me know your experience with changing hobbies and interests. thanks again. hopefully see you in the next one xx

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Hope Of Recovery?

I’ve heard people refer to BPD as a “dead end diagnosis” that its not treatable or even a mental illness. I’ve also had people tell me that’s bullshit and recovery from BPD is possible. It’s hard to handle these conflicting POVs especially when they come from mental health professionals. BPD is a controversial topic in psychology, some psychiatrists/psychologists believe that people with BPD don’t have empathy while others believe they do. It’s pretty much the same in all round psychology, when I studied it in college, there was always a case for a theory but also a case against it so it all boils down to the professional’s personal perspective.

Now, I can’t speak for everyone with the disorder as we’re still individuals so we may or may not believe in recovery, taking medication or that the diagnosis is a real one. Again, it really depends on who you ask. Mental illness is a personal battle that we fight in whatever way works best for us. I believe that we can research and theorize about the human mind all we want but not everyone can fit the label or box that we tend to get put in with a diagnosis. This is my story so far but don’t think you have to feel the way I did or do the things I did because you’re an individual, much more than your diagnosis.

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Personally, I was relieved to have the diagnosis of BPD as it meant I finally had an explanation for what’s wrong with me. This was before I realized how negatively stigmatized the disorder is and how invalidating people can be because you have BPD. I once had a psychiatrist ask if I attempted suicide for attention, when I brought it up with the crisis team (which I’ll talk about in another post) they just said its the diagnosis and unfortunately even professionals are going to be dicks about it (ok that wasn’t their exact words but you get the gist). I mean, how can professionals talk down to and about their clients because of something they are supposed to understand but clearly don’t?

I’ve been lucky compared to most though, I managed to get access to neurofeedback therapy and I’m now doing DBT therapy thanks to my supportive parents. I know not everyone with mental illness has such a supportive family. In fact,even now, mental illness is still met with ignorance from friends, family and professionals so, how the hell are we supposed to recover from BPD when met with such stigma? When we’re told by professionals that what we’re experiencing is a stupid diagnosis and there is no hope of recovery?

tumblr_n49jkd8fYm1tz8okxo1_500Can I recover from it? to be honest I’m not sure I could ever recover completely but I have been learning to manage it through DBT and my mental state has improved after roughly 6 months of neurofeedback therapy and the right medication. Things aren’t perfect by any means. I’ve definitely not fully recovered but things are better than they were last year. I’m better at processing things and calming myself down when things get bad. Doing my own reading about it and connecting with others who have BPD online has been a sort of self help/ peer support therapy for me.

The diagnosis can be isolating and lonely when you think that no one understands how you feel and people IRL can make you feel worse because of misconceptions they have about the disorder. So meeting people experiencing similar issues can be really uplifting. Honestly I think if it wasn’t for this blog or the people I’ve met on twitter I would still be so incredibly lonely and ashamed. But reading about others’ experience gives me hope and a reason to fight despite people telling me there is no hope for people like me.

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As I said before, your journey is a personal one so if you can find a way to recover from the disorder completely, that’s awesome. If not and you’re just managing to get through each day that’s okay, I’m still learning too so I don’t want to preach a certain way of life like its the cure-all.. The best I can do is encourage you to try different things and not give up on yourself even if others try to shame you or say you’re hopeless. Only you can decide what works best for you and recovery looks different for everyone.

TW: This next part contains reference to suicidal ideation and self  harm

For example, recently I had a terrible interview that left me wanting to die and cut myself.  It was hard battling that storm of self hatred and rage and I ended up snapping a hairband on my skin. This may not seem that much of a change to you, you may even consider this a relapse but considering that I’d been dealing with the urge to self harm on and off for weeks and at that point gave in to temptation, that’s pretty good for me. Even in crisis I resisted the urge to the point I couldn’t take anymore but instead of grabbing something sharp I went for the hairband which caused significantly less damage while also satisfying the urge. It may not be as good as not self harming at all or going for a run instead but it is an improvement for me 🙂

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Thanks for reading and do feel free to let me know your experience with BPD ❤

 

Recommended Reading:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/borderline-personality-disorder-bpd/treatment-and-support/#.XJ0YB_ZFzIU

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/both-sides-the-couch/201309/borderline-personality-disorder-the-power-recovery

https://bpdtransformation.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/how-did-i-recover-from-borderline-personality-disorder/

http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/visions/borderline-personality-disorder-vol7/borderline-personality-disorder

https://themighty.com/2017/04/my-journey-borderline-personality-disorder-treatment-and-recovery/

 

REJECTION WITH BPD

I’ve lost count how many jobs I applied for and times I got rejected before I finally got a really good job. It was a temporary contract though so now I’m back on the market looking for a new job. After my previous success I had high hopes for the next application I made, only to get rejected again. I found it hard to cope after that, I felt like my world had been rocked but I didn’t really pay attention to those feelings until my most recent job application.

I’d wanted to do some prep before the interview but when I tried to research and prepare my answers thoughts such as “this is pointless” “I’m not good enough” and “what’s the point in trying if they’re just going to reject me” started invading my mind. I got really upset and abandoned the mission. I struggled to understand why I was suddenly so depressed when just a month ago I was so hopeful and happy to get a new job. Then after my latest interview it hit me. Rejection.

I hadn’t realised until then just how much my BPD still affects me. The reason I was so hopeful back in January was because of my previous success but then I got rejected and that affected my mood.

You see, people with BPD try so hard to be accepted, to avoid rejection from people as well as abandonment. I knew that application rejections happen all the time to everyone but that didn’t stop the hurt. Feeling like I wasn’t good enough or disliked. It was worse when the interviewers would reject me without giving a reason or feedback, so I didn’t know what I did wrong and how I could fix it to be accepted next time.

The job applications, interviews and rejections were a long, disappointing, depressing process. I imagine it would be rough for a “normal” person but everything seems X10 worse when you have BPD. I’m happy I had at least that one successful time though, it has helped me feel more optimistic that someone somewhere will like and accept me. It just feels like finding a needle in a haystack and the harder and longer I have to look the more hopeless and frustrated I get.

Every rejection feels like a slap in the face, even though I know it can’t be personal and questions start swarming my headspace “why didn’t they like me?” “Why do I even bother trying?” “What did I do wrong?” “Why do they hate me?” And on it goes. The other side to how I would react to rejection was blaming “the powers that be” in the company, I remember getting rejected after a trial shift and thinking “that shift leader was a bitch, she probably talked shit about me to the managers” even though she would have been reprimanded for doing something like that so she probably didn’t. I still held a grudge against that poor girl for months.

The first company I ever applied for also rejected me after a trial shift, not long after that they ended up being shut down and I celebrated like “that’s what you get for rejecting me, assholes” as if they rejected me because of some personal vendetta they had against me. I used to take job rejection way too personally so how have I managed to not crumble from all this rejection?

Well, firstly, I’ve been trying to change my concept of rejection, instead of thinking “I wasn’t right for the job” I try thinking “Maybe the job wasn’t right for me”. Thinking this way has helped heal the hurt I felt after being rejected so many times. I also use my free time to plan and do other things I enjoy so I don’t get too bored or isolated. I’ve been going to groups at my local wellbeing centre as well as attending DBT sessions weekly and doing voluntary work on Saturdays. I’d like to start doing more soon to prepare me for paid work again as, when I worked as a Christmas temp, the time and the energy required was overwhelming considering it was my first paid job. Recently I’ve come to accept that I may not be ready for paid work and I should stop pushing myself so hard for a while. For now I think I need to focus on my recovery and hopefully I’ll be able to work in the future.

Read how Val Prozorova overcame anger and fear of rejection while dealing with BPD:

https://themighty.com/2017/06/bpd-borderline-personality-disorder-rejection/

and check out Recovery Mum’s videos on BPD and Rejection:

More videos to show some love:

COPING IN A BPD CRISIS

TW: The contents of this post may trigger so please read with care

Last Friday I was in the hospital, dissociating badly, I was only partly aware of where I was and what was happening. I was very detached from reality and wrapped up in my thoughts of death and self harm. It had been a long time coming, you may remember in my previous post (A crazy life update) that I was experiencing a lot of stress for some time, not to mention that march is a tough month for me anyway as referred to in my post “the curse of march”so it was kind of inevitable really. I spoke to a lovely member of the mental health team that night who referred me to the crisis team, they visited my home on Saturday and discussed getting me an assessment for a care coordinator (which would be great) as well as a review with the psychiatrist about my medication.

That being said, although this crisis was expected I didn’t know how to stop it so instead I kept spiraling down and descending into derealization. On sundays there is a #bpdchat on twitter that I like to take part in when I can. This week I asked what people do to help themselves in a bpd crisis here are some of the responses, I’m @Addict2L btw if you want to follow me 😉

 

Just recently (yesterday in fact)I was heading for another bpd/pts meltdown, I found it hard to engage in therapy as I was so distracted by my emotions that were exhausting me, all I wanted to do was go home and cry myself to sleep as something had triggered me that morning, I wanted to self harm and started having thoughts about dying or acting out violently, I was basically a mess. When I got home though I decided to log my mood in a mental health app called Pacifica, it suggested a meditaton for me so I went to my Self-Soothe box and lit a scented candle, wrapped myself in a scarf and played the meditation. I wasn’t a 100% okay by the end of those few minutes but I didn’t feel as overwhelmed as before and I was able to keep myself safe that day.

A self-soothe box is another idea I got from twitter, its basically a box of stuff that can help you feel comforted and calm you down in a crisis. Mine is made out of a really nice gift box and inside is…

  • A Puzzle & Coloring book
  • Coloring pencils in a fluffy pencil case
  • A small soft toy
  • Scented candle with holder
  • a big scarf I use as a comfort blanket
  • Leaflets with information from MIND on how to deal with stress, anger and loneliness
  • A number for my local SAMARITANS
  • A book of positive mantras
  • Hand lotion/cream
  • A handout from DBT about “Riding the wave”

I do suggest making one yourself as it helps me feel more prepared for a crisis and safer when a crisis comes, yours may be totally different from mine, its just whatever helps/comforts you.

Thanks for reading and please do check out everyone’s twitter (@017kat @LadyAngrr @tothehospital) these people and so many others have been very helpful, remember that the #bpdchat is on every sunday 9pm UK time/ 4pm US time. Hope to see you there sometime and here’s a useful website for more ideas on coping with bpd: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/borderline-personality-disorder-bpd/self-care-for-bpd/#.XIFU-PZFxlY

and this post on supplies to pack in case you need to check in to hospital: http://wtfisbpd.tumblr.com/post/96439585776/bpd-crisis-kit

Hope you found this helpful,

NI2M ❤

A CRAZY LIFE UPDATE

I’ve spent longer away from blogging than I’d intended, I knew I was heading for a tough time because of my PMS but I had no idea how tough it would end up being. As I predicted PMS started affecting my ability to function ( I will explain in another post) days started getting hazy and my mood dipped lower more often than usual but it got so bad at last week ( a few days before my period started) that I was considering going to the hospital because I felt unsafe with myself but I ended up calling the Samaritans instead which helped but the next day I was back to feeling unsafe again. Even when my period finally started I still struggled badly, I still am but that could be because I forgot to take my medication… twice.

Speaking of medication I went to the doctor about my symptoms during PMS, she said that PMS affects women in different ways, some worse than others. She prescribed me a contraceptive pill that’s good for regulating hormones during a cycle, I’ve only been taking it for a few days so I’m not noticing much of a difference yet but then my period has finished so I may need to wait until the PMS stage to see whether the pill actually helps or not.

My phone got stolen last weekend, while I was doing voluntary work at a charity shop, I was annoyed with myself because there was someone hovering near the till where my phone was and glancing my way loads of times to see if I was watching him, I did have my guard up about him but I was more concerned about him stealing from the shop than me but I let myself get distracted anyway. When I realized what had happened I was so upset, I nearly had a panic attack but I managed to keep working, get the stolen phone blacklisted and report the incident to the police it was only when I got home I started crying, I spent basically the whole weekend crying, I know it may seem silly but that phone meant a lot to me. It had everything on there, my games, my mood trackers, my photos. I was in despair over losing it and so angry with myself for being so careless and the shitty person who stole my phone.

I managed to get my replacement on Monday and I had to start again with my apps and set up new accounts which was frustrating but I’m glad to have a phone again, it does make life easier for me. Without quick access to youtube or twitter I felt so isolated which didn’t help with my BPD meltdown. I ended up getting back into self harm and even now I feel so numb, fuzzy and I have the urge to hurt myself to feel something and ground myself, I’m trying not to though.

On a good note, in our previous two sessions my therapist and I have been talking about increasing the positive events in my life by making time for doing things I enjoy everyday, this motivated me to return to my local wellbeing centre and join a few group activities (music, art and a group for only women) It’s been fun and I’ve met some new and nice people, it’s helped me feel less alone, get out of the house and enjoy myself a bit more. Also,on the weekend my phone got stolen, I spent some of the free time reading and finally got a book finished. So it’s been really hard these past few weeks but I have found some things to be happy about 🙂

Thanks for reading,

NI2M ❤

 

Just a little Life update

Hi you may or may not have noticed that I’ve been uploading on a more regular basis (every other day) and that my writing style has changed. This has happened naturally without me really trying.

I just wanted to give a heads up that you might not hear from me for a while, this is because of a job interview I have to prepare for, some DBT homework I need to do and my period is coming up soon which heightens the strength of my mental illnesses making EVERYTHING harder to cope with (e.g.I got upset because my colouring pencils wouldn’t sharpen properly) if I tried to blog in my current state it would look a little like this…

I will still be working on blog posts behind the scenes, I have quite a few things I want to cover on this blog, it might just take a while maybe a week or so? I’m not sure, around this time of the month its harder than usual to predict what I’ll do when. If you’re interested in little tidbits about my life you can follow me on twitter! @Addict2L aka Redefine the borderline

But thank you to all my likers and followers, hope you can be patient with me as I go back into blogging hibernation for a while.

Thanks and hopefully see you soon ❤️

BPD’s NEED FOR ATTENTION AND VALIDATION

When you have BPD, your inner world can be in chaos and outsiders don’t often understand why we react the way we do to things. So the actions we take on our feelings can be considered dramatic, an over reaction or something we do for attention. I remember a psychiatrist asking me if I attempted suicide for attention. I don’t know if he thought this because I was a teen, or I have a sister with special needs or he was judging me based on the diagnosis of BPD. Whatever he thought… Fuck him.

Two of the common characteristics is threats of suicide or self harming behavior. When we’re in a fight with someone, we can turn to these behaviors (I once self harmed when my mum got angry with me as that is one of my triggers).  But we may not follow through with them and we often get dismissed as manipulative or attention seeking.

Growing up I was known for being a drama queen and I admit to being a bit of an attention whore, but not on purpose. You see my emotions run deep and they can be so intense they cause eruptive or “dramatic” reactions. What people don’t see however is the thoughts and things that lead up to that reaction.

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I tend to suppress my emotions for fear of them being “wrong”. Its like shaking up a fizzy drink bottle. All the bubbles popping and the pressure desperate to be released until eventually the lid is opened (something triggering happens) and the contents of the bottle (myself) explodes and spills out.

I react in extreme ways, attempting suicide or self harming, not with the intent to manipulate or get attention. But, the emotion that fizzled inside for some time grips me so intensely that suicide seems the best way out or self harm the best way to get relief. Logic really doesn’t get a look in at these times.

Sometimes though we can say what we’re going to do but not act on it. This is usually an act of desperation and fear.  Again, the emotions become so overwhelming that the person with BPD literally has to cry for help, but most of these cries fall on deaf ears and are met with labels of “attention seeker” or “manipulative”

“Attention-seekers like myself are written off as lost causes instead of treated like people who are seriously and constantly hurting, who are only “wasting your time” because they know their own is running out. I want your attention the same way a person drowning wants the attention of a lifeguard, but I can’t scream for help and raise my hand because instead of drowning in water I am drowning in my own heightened emotions.”

Quote from: https://themighty.com/2016/07/borderline-personality-disorder-and-attention-seeking/

Recently I have found myself craving attention and using a lot of social media to get it, trying not to go to extremes to get that attention though. I’d describe my BPD as a child that has been neglected. The disorder is significant as it can relate to past trauma that needs to be dealt with but not by ignoring it. I learned the hard way that pushing aside “negative” feelings is bad and forced positivity can be destructive for someone like me.

You see, a few months at the end of 2018 I decided to put all my focus on spirituality and “being a better person”. I even literally tried to “just think positively” and while it did help for a while there was always BPD, still there, just manifesting itself as obsessions with crystals, witchcraft and self help books. As well as underlying anxiety that if I don’t meditate or stick to a routine then I’m not living right.

The reality hit me when I started work. Interacting with people in a busy environment induced anxiety in me. I found getting up in the mornings hard. I felt out of control of my life and frustrated that I couldn’t “just be happy”. I mean I tried to do everything right! I was meditating, practicing positive affirmations and all that jazz but it wasn’t working and I hated it. I hated myself for not being happy and I ended up self harming badly again. Image result for bpd

BPD had come back like a bitch, I was depressed and dissociating while at work. I didn’t know what to do. I just wanted my colleagues to give me a hug and tell me everything was okay, but I didn’t want to seem needy so I kept quiet for a long time.

Now I’m paying the price as BPD consumes my every thought and action. I not only write blog posts about it but also poems and artwork to explore the depths of my madness. I hate feeling like this, like I’m nothing without the disorder or not important unless I’m struggling. I was getting sick and tired of my life revolving around the BPD which is why I tried so hard to change. Only to end up feeling isolated and grasping on to any scrap of affection I could get. There are times where I wish I had physical wounds from my pain and trauma that I could show people while screaming “LOOK AT ME”.  Trying to get them to understand what I’ve been through, as people seem to only believe what they see.

“One of my biggest BPD symptoms is talking too much about my illness. Because when I’m not talking about it, I feel a lot of negative emotions. I feel alone, unloved, worthless. When I’m talking about my mental health, it’s the only time I feel cared for. I need the attention, the sympathy — I crave it. This leads me to go totally over the top and talk about it constantly. And that drives people away. People feel I am relying on them too much and that I don’t care about them. It makes me appear self-absorbed. The trouble is, when people leave me because of this, it makes me hate myself even more and so I need the attention more than ever and want to talk about my illness more to get that. It’s a vicious cycle.”

Quote from: https://themighty.com/2018/01/attention-seeking-bpd-borderline-personality-disorder/

“The fact of the matter is, I can be a difficult person. I am have trouble regulating my moods, I have the emotional intensity of a toddler, – But when I’m at my worst, that’s when I need the most love and acceptance to help me out of that place. Because really, that’s all anyone with BPD wants, to be loved and accepted for who we are.” – Claire

Quote from: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/about-mental-health/types-problems/personality-disorders

DBT DIARY: EMOTIONS AND THEIR MYTHS

In DBT session 3, my therapist helped me look at emotions, the purpose of them and misconceptions I may have about them. The first thing we covered was identifying emotions as positive or negative for example ‘interest’ was positive, anger was negative but surprise could be either positive or negative depending on what the surprise is. I also learned about secondary emotions which are emotions that arise because of the main emotion being felt, for example, you could be angry and feel guilt for feeling that anger.

My therapist and I then looked at a myths about emotions worksheet, she went through the list of myths with me while I decided whether I believed in them or not and looked at how to challenge my beliefs, for example I have struggled with the belief that “negative emotions are bad and destructive” for years, I was ashamed of my anger because I knew the damage it could do.

1_9dctnzz9pxvr6dthunpkfq@2xThe example on how to challenge this belief on the worksheet was “negative feelings are natural” which is understandable but I would often struggle to understand whether my feelings were justified. This reminded me of what my neurofeedback therapist said about anger, she said that anger spurs us into action, if people like the suffragettes hadn’t got angry about the way things were nothing would have changed since the 1900s.

That’s also what we looked at in DBT, the purpose of our emotions and what they can motivate us to do. Anxiety would make us want to retreat to preserve ourselves, Anger would spur us into defense mode to protect ourselves or those we care about and guilt would make us look at our actions and realize what we could do better; the example my therapist gave me of guilt was if you were a parent and you were really busy working, you may feel guilt about not spending enough time with your children thus motivating you to perhaps make adjustments to your work schedule and spend more time with family.

We can also use emotions to communicate and influence others, this can be through tone of voice or body language, consciously or unconsciously we are always communicating our feelings with others and this can influence their behavior towards us.

38875036_288430361751853_4710511974662799360_nEmotions also are good communicators to ourselves and can act as indicators that something is wrong or say something about ourselves and what we like/don’t like. However, people tend to mistake their feelings as fact, especially if you feel so intensely that the objective situation is unclear. This would be where mindfulness skills come in, as it encourages us to look at our emotions with curiosity instead of judgement, allowing us to fully understand what the emotions are there for and deal with them appropriately.

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Thanks for reading ❤

You can also follow me on twitter: @Addict2L (Redefine The Borderline)