BPD AND THE STRUGGLE TO DISAGREE

I hate disagreeing with people, it brings up intense anxiety and panic in me, especially if I like the person and want them to like me. It’s always been hard for me to comprehend how people can disagree on things and still have a good relationship. I’ve always thought of disagreements as a way of damaging a relationship. The only time I feel able to openly disagree with someone is if I’m really angry and believe I’m right then I tend to get destructive and withdraw from the relationship as I suddenly despise the person and want nothing to do with them. I think this is called ‘splitting’ which I’ll probably write a full post about another time.

With more awareness of my problems with emotional regulation and lack of interpersonal skills, I’ve been consciously trying to remain calm when disagreeing with someone. It’s not easy though as my value of being true to my beliefs conflicts with the disorder’s desire to be loved and accepted by all. I want to be honest and stand up for what I believe in but I also want to just agree with the person so they won’t hate me. As, for me, disagreements turn to hatred fast. I try to remember that not everyone thinks this way and its okay to disagree. It’s all about finding a balance of validating the other person’s feelings while also validating your own and that’s been a difficult balance to find.

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When someone disagrees with me, it feels like an attack and fight or flight kicks in where I either panic, backtrack what I said and apologize (even if I have nothing to apologize for) or get so aggressively angry and defensive that I push the person away and cut them off completely. Because why would I want to be associated with someone I disagree with? and vice versa. I couldn’t see why someone would want to associate with me if we didn’t see eye to eye on everything. If I was in a relationship with someone I thought we’d have to be an exact reflection of each other and want the same things otherwise we couldn’t stay together. I just didn’t see how it could work. I’d do whatever the other person wanted me to and act how I think I should because I didn’t want to upset them in any way.

This people pleasing tendency often leads me to feel bitter and resentful, like I bend over backwards for these people and they don’t treat me the same in return (because everyone is different and shows love in different ways). Inevitably the other person would do or say something that would push me over the edge and I would snap. It would come out of nowhere for the other party involved but for me it would have been building up over time and I just couldn’t take the pressure anymore. The term “treading on eggshells” is used a lot by people when describing their relationship with someone with BPD which I can understand but, at least for me, it would go the other way too. I felt I had to be so careful in everything I said and did so people wouldn’t get angry with me.

I hate when people are angry with me it makes me feel like I did something wrong and with BPD making a mistake and being a bad person are the same thing. Only bad people do bad things and it can be hard for us to comprehend that those who love us can say nasty things when angry. As far as we’re concerned they hate us because why would they say those things unless they hate us? It goes the other way around for me too. I once got into a fight with my mum and I told her I wished she was dead because I was so angry I thought I hated her at the time. When we both calmed down and I apologized I didn’t understand how she could still love me and forgive me after I said something so awful because doesn’t that make ME awful?

In conflict, especially with BPD, it can be hard to accept other perspectives in a situation because of ‘black and white’ thinking. You’re either wrong or right, good or bad, when I try to see another POV I get really distressed because if the other person makes a valid point does that make everything I believe wrong and them right? No, because the world is rarely black and white but shades of grey 😉 sometimes we don’t want to listen or validate the other person’s argument as it can feel like a betrayal to our own values and community. Like with extreme feminism/anti feminism or religion, we can develop an “us or them” mentality “you’re either with us or against us” no in-between or middle ground because the community can shun you for not completely agreeing with or obeying/believing them. It’s why I don’t really get involved in politics or label myself with any religion as it feels very much like having to pick a side and close myself off to other perspectives

Anyway, recently I had a DBT session about interpersonal effectiveness and I realized its not the fact we disagree that’s the problem, it’s the way we disagree with each-other that’s the issue. I see it a lot, especially online, when people disagree with each-other and they yell, treat each-other with aggression and no respect. Insults and swear words are thrown around which gets neither party anywhere. Its fair that, when someone calls you a “piece of shit” for not sharing their views , you want to fight back and defend yourself but you can’t fight fire with fire. My therapist taught me a DBT skill called GIVE which I think even those without BPD could do with learning.

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G stands for GENTLE- Treat the other person with kindness and respect (I know this can be hard especially if you consider their actions and statements to be immoral but they’re more likely to listen to you if you don’t attack them)

INTERESTED- act interested in what the other person is saying by making eye contact, keeping your attention on what the other person is saying without interrupting them. Nod from time to time as they talk to show you’re listening.

VALIDATE- What the other person has said and how they’re feeling by saying things like “I see this is important to you” or “I understand that you’re angry” try to understand where they’re coming from and work from there. This is NOT the same as agreeing with the other person but showing compassion for them is more likely to calm them down and get them to listen to you rather than shouting or insulting them.

EASY MANNER- Notice your body language, voice and choice of words; make sure you are not shutting the other person out by crossing your arms, raising your voice or belittling them. You can smile and use humor (if appropriate) to ease the tension as well.

Related Resources:

https://www.phumlanikango.com/mental-health/2018/7/31/bpd-relationships-understanding-what-goes-on-in-our-minds

‘Don’t Disagree or They’ll Hate You’: My Guide to Friendship With BPD

How I’ve Learned to Manage Conflict in Life With Borderline Personality Disorder

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Mental health and Medication

There’s some debate across the mental health community whether or not we should take meds to treat our mental illness. I personally take (quite a lot) of medication. I must admit I myself had some reservations about taking medication to treat my issues, like what if I end up being on them all my life? What if I will forever rely on them to keep me well? and “what would other people think”. I was once on this meditation app where you could talk to others and I briefly mentioned being on sleeping pills (for insomnia and depression) to which he told me that’s bad and I shouldn’t be on them.

My neurofeedback therapist would promise me a recovery miracle and that I could ween myself off meds, before leaving me for another project. We live in a world where taking medication for physical illness is considered necessary but meds for mental illness is shameful and I don’t think it should be. When I studied psychology in college we discussed the topic of taking medication for things like depression, both the benefits and the risk, we were encouraged to try and take a balanced point of view in essays. So, while I do take medication and don’t feel ashamed of it, I will try to tell you all I know about meds both the good and the bad.

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MY MEDICATION STORY

I first started taking medication in 2015/16 as I had severe depression to the point I felt stuck in life and that I may be better off dead. I was in college at the time and it was my final year so the pressure was on with coursework, exams, university applications and other responsibilities. Because of all this work and pressure I felt I didn’t have time for therapy or the time to properly take care of my mental health. So, after scrawling “I NEED FUCKING MEDS” as well as other angry writings on my bedroom wall, I went to the doctor to talk about the possibility of getting medication for my depression. After a long few months where I felt hopeful that things were looking up, the suicidality came back to the point I was fantasizing about suicide during lessons. I eventually quit college.

Quitting college took some pressure off of me and I started seeing a counsellor but after experiencing a traumatic event my mental health declined again and it was decided my issues were too severe for the type of counselling I was getting. So I was left with nothing but an increased dose of Fluoxetine and some melatonin to help me sleep. During the summer of 2016  I ended up in the hospital psych ward and  was prescribed 25mg of lamotrigine which is traditionally used to treat bipolar but can help with BPD mood swings.

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Haejin Park

 

For the next year I was in and out of A&E with suicidal thoughts but didn’t get admitted again. When my dad saw just how bad my mental health was he got me to see a private therapist who treated me with neurofeedback which helped a lot but I was still struggling with insomnia and PMS problems. For the insomnia I was originally prescribed melatonin but we found it wasn’t strong enough so it was replaced with mirtazapine. This is a sleeping pill as well as an antidepressant that has worked wonders in getting me to sleep at night where I used to really struggle before. Nonetheless a few weeks before my red visitor came along I would experience more emotional instability, fragility and suicidal tendencies that not even all my meds could help with so about two months ago I was put on the pill. Now my period actually starts near the right time and I don’t experience such severe PMS for so long now which is awesome.

I’d say that fluoxetine has helped me more with my anxiety and OCD symptoms rather than depression. Before fluoxetine I would obsess about being clean, smelling nice, germs and what other people thought of me but with fluoxetine that’s calmed down. With lamotrigine my mood swings are less frantic and more stable. You’d definitely notice a difference in my behavior if I forgot to take it. The downside though is that it has given me more weird, vivid dreams at night. Like I said, Mirtazapine has really helped  improve my sleep pattern. However a side effect of it is increased appetite so I’ve rapidly gained weight while I’ve been taking it, but for me that was a good thing as I was very underweight, I do need to get my appetite under control though.

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THE BENEFITS

If your mental illness is mainly chemical or hormone based, meds can really help. For example the Pill can be good at regulating hormones during PMS while antidepressants/anxiety meds can help increase the brain’s intake of serotonin.

Medication can help stabilize your brain enough so that you can handle therapy. My psychology teacher once said that medication works well with therapy as you may be too emotionally unbalanced for the treatment to really work, but medication can help you find that balance. Lamotrogine helped me in this case.

It’s a good alternative if you can’t afford, don’t have access to, or just don’t have the time for therapy. As I mentioned before, I started taking meds because I didn’t think I had the time for therapy. Medication can take up to 2 weeks to take effect but its quicker and easier to take a pill as you rush off to work or school than have to take time away from those things for therapy.

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THE DOWNFALLS

There can be side effects that make your problems worse; lamotrigine can give me weird dreams/nightmares and fluoxetine can make depressive symptoms, such as suicidal or self harm thoughts, worse in young people. Other mental health medications can be addictive too and anti-psychotics, which are mainly used to treat schizophrenia, can cause problems such as tremors.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all treatment, finding which type of medication and which dose works best for you is a pain. You may suffer side effects or no effects at all which can be incredibly frustrating. It’s not a quick fix either as, like I mentioned earlier, medication can take up to two weeks or longer to really change anything.

Admitting you may need medication can feel like admitting defeat to your demons as there is so much shame around the concept and the “just get over it” “think positively” attitude can hurt us more than medication will as we’re taught to power through our problems instead of address them which can make people less likely to go to therapy anyway.

Medication doesn’t deal with the cause of your mental health problems, only the symptoms. Unless your problems with mental health are solely based on chemicals and hormones, the problem will not be dealt with by medication. If your mental illness is the result of trauma or negative thought patterns its best to get therapy to help process and truly recover. I am attending DBT and teaching myself CBT as well as taking medication, the combination of the two is helping.

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MY THOUGHTS and ADVICE

Now I’m not saying that you should go on medication. I don’t know you or your life so meds may not even be right for you and that’s okay but only you can decide that for yourself. You know how it feels to be you, live in your mind and body so only you will know what’s right for them. I would like to give you some advice if you are considering taking medication.

RESEARCH what your doctor wants to prescribe you, really look at the leaflet provided as well as online. It can be good to get other people’s personal experience with the meds as well.

Keep in touch with your GP/psychiatrist. When you’re first put on medication your doctor should book you in for a review in about two weeks to check on you and how the medication is affecting you, please attend these reviews. If they were prescribed to you by a psychiatrist they should do the same but it may take several months to get a review from them. If you start experiencing problems/side effects then please consult with either of them ASAP.

GET ADVICE- if your  GP hasn’t mentioned meds to you but you think it could be useful then be sure to bring it up with them and get their advice. If you have access to a psychologist then you could get their input too.

IN SUMMARY

For those of you who don’t have mental illnesses or don’t need to take medication I’m going to use an analogy to explain what taking meds for mental illness is like for me. My mum once described MH meds as a safety cushion or blanket that softens your landing when you fall, so when your mental health goes down hill, it doesn’t go down as hard or fast as it would without medication. I would also describe my meds as armbands or a life jacket keeping me afloat in the ocean of life as I learn to swim without drowning or getting overwhelmed. I hope that makes sense to you and if you read all the way through to this bit thank you! I know this blog post was rather long so thanks for sticking with me. If you have any questions or thoughts on mental health and medication then please don’t hesitate to let me know. Thanks for reading ❤

More about MH and Meds:

https://www.headmeds.org.uk/

32 Things About Taking Medication for Mental Illness People Don’t Talk About

MEDICATION IS THE NEW MENTAL ASYLUM

Mental Health Medication – Why So Much Stigma?

https://byrslf.co/why-i-refuse-to-take-medication-for-mental-health-c66e38f4d5f3

I tried to come off my mental health medication and failed – here’s how I accepted that it’s OK

Musical inspiration:

Medicate By Gabbie Hanna (TheGabbieshow)

 

 

Narcissism Vs BPD

Recently I got into a bit of a fight on twitter after someone claimed that people with BPD are narcisstic and can’t form attachments, of course there was uproar. I can admit that SOME people with BPD can be abusive and perhaps narcisstic but that’s a small portion, like not all people with schizophrenia are violent. Most of the people I know with BPD are kind and loving and just want to help and be helped.

Now BPD, I’ve been told, uses the term borderline as we can display symptoms of other disorders. For example I’m borderline OCD which means I have symptoms of the disorder but not enough to be officially diagnosed with it. The disorder also can have co-occuring disorders such as depression and anxiety. If you have BPD the chances are you have another diagnosis linked with it. Everyone with BPD is different based on their life experience, personalities, co-occuring disorders and their symptoms. This means that a SMALL number of those of us with BPD can have NPD or narcissistic traits but not all of us.

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Though, to outsiders our symptoms can be mistaken for narcissism. For example threats of self harm or suicide could be seen as manipulative but we don’t have the intention to manipulate, its an unhealthy way of expressing how we feel (doesn’t make this behavior okay and its important to get professional help at this stage.) I understand why some people might tar us with the same brush as those with NPD but the difference is our inner world. We do things with other reasons and feel differently to those with narcissism.

For example we engage in risky behaviours because we feel manic or impulsive, not because we don’t care about the consequences of our behavior. We often do, but the urge or emotion is so strong we need to perform these acts for the feeling to stop and will probably later, when we’ve calmed down, come to regret it.

For some time I was questioning whether or not I was a narcissist. I have a family member who’s narcissistic and abusive so I figured, having someone like that in my blood, there’s a chance I could be too. I would question basically everything I did, am I playing the victim? Am I being emotionally manipulative? and on the questions would go until I realized that someone narcissistic probably wouldn’t care so much about being a narcissist. I’ve never consciously tried to manipulate someone. Maybe my behaviour could seem like I was but it would never be my intention. I would just be overshadowed by rage and anxious desperation.

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The person I fought with on twitter mentioned that they seem to be dropped by those with BPD quickly and freely, she thought that people with BPD couldn’t get attached because of this and that’s just not true. If anything those of us with BPD can get attached too fast too much. If I met someone online I would immediately want them to be my friend and get low if I didn’t hear from them again. I have a bit of a rocky relationship history with therapists. I would get along with them and feel really positive about them the first few weeks but then they would say something I didn’t like or push me to go where I didn’t want to and I would switch to hating them and feel unsafe seeing them as they might make me talk about or bring up emotions I couldn’t deal with.

This happened a couple of weeks back and I took a break from seeing my therapist last week but knew I would have to face her again if I wanted the most out of the treatment. I saw her today and felt really on edge and defensive the whole time. I think this can happen with a lot of BPD sufferers and their therapists. It seemed to happen often with this lady on twitter and her BPD clients. Probably because she saw and spoke about those of us with BPD in a very negative and ignorant way. Granted we probably shouldn’t “ditch” or “drop” people so quickly and I can understand why it may seem we don’t care but we do care a lot, too much and we often don’t know how to express ourselves in a healthy manner, even with therapists, so we push away or leave people fast as not to be hurt or have our trust broken again, its self preservation not indifference despite appearances.

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I’m aware that people with BPD can have very high standards as with narcissism but the difference is that we also hold ourselves to that high standard as well. When someone hurts us or makes a mistake it can be very difficult for us to see past their wrongs and forgive them but it also goes vice versa, if we make a mistake we can feel terrible about it, like we’re bad people and undeserving of love. Whereas with a narcissist they believe they are superior and can do no wrong while everyone else can’t meet their standards.

Now let’s address the manipulative behaviors that both conditions can display. People with BPD tend to overdo the chameleon effect where we basically take on other people’s body language and views, I understand how this can be taken as manipulative but unlike those with narcissism, we don’t do it to make people like us so we can use them for our own gain, people with BPD don’t really have a strong sense of self or identity so when we’re around certain types of people we can “try on” their identities, we don’t do this intentionally though.

Personally, I hate when this happens and I’m very selective of who I spend most of my time with as, some people, I really don’t want to become; I hang out with people I feel good and safe around, people with traits I admire and don’t mind taking on. With BPD its an automatic thing, whether to get a sense of identity or to survive. The mirroring and changes in behavior depending on where we are and who we’re with are not intentional, we often hate saying and doing things just to fit in but the overwhelming fear of rejection and abandonment as well as the lack of identity can mean we genuinely believe in what we’re saying and doing, at least until we leave those people and that environment or become aware of our disorder. Since being diagnosed I’m hyper aware of my behaviour with different people, its not easy to change it though as its pretty much automatic now and I still don’t have a strong understanding of who I am, I’m trying though.

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I could probably go on but this post is already one of my longest yet so I think I’ll leave it there now but please keep in mind that people with BPD are all different, this is just my story and others might have different views because we are more than our diagnosis. What I will say though is that, from what I learned, both BPD and NPD can be the result of trauma and fear of abandonment, we just deal with it differently so I can’t help but have some empathy for those with NPD and hope that they can get treatment and recover even though it’s difficult. Take care ❤

Recommended Reading:

https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/blog/understanding-bpd-emotional-manipulation-techniques-and-how-treatment-can-help/

https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-differences-between-abusers-with-narcissistic-personality-disorder-vs-borderline-personality-disorder/

https://www.verywellmind.com/narcissistic-personality-disorder-425426

https://www.clearviewwomenscenter.com/blog/bpd-npd/

Photography by: Unknown

DBT DIARY: MINDFULNESS

DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy and its mainly used to treat Borderline Personality Disorder. I honestly don’t have a complete understanding of the therapy and its relation to BPD but I’m learning more as I go to each therapy session. My therapy is split into parts; Distress Tolerance, Emotional regulation and interpersonal skills. I did distress tolerance in group therapy (which I believed I made a couple of posts about somewhere lol) but I didn’t find group therapy to be helpful so I went on a waiting list for individual therapy instead. After a few months of waiting I was at the top of the list and able to start the therapy in the new year. So far I have had 3 DBT sessions once a week and here’s my experience of the first two which were focused on Emotional Regulation.

In my first session of DBT, my therapist introduced Mindfulness to me. Well I already had an awareness of mindfulness, even practised while at work but in the new year I stopped. One of the good habits I probably should have made a new years resolution to do everyday but even out of work I still couldn’t (or wouldn’t!) Find the time to be mindful.

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In the waiting room I was reading the first chapter of STRONGER THAN BPD and the author talks about the essentialness of mindfulness in DBT and emotional regulation. My therapist and I spoke about my feelings of unhealthy guilt, anger/resentment and even panic, how mindfulness can help me hit that pause button before I act on those feelings and when I have a memory of something bad or imagine a devastating future scenario I can use mindfulness to bring me back to the present and remember that those things are not happening right now.

We also discussed WISE mind which balances out the emotional and reasonable parts of the brain. She gave me an example; if you were to buy a house and buy it simply because you loved it, you would be acting from emotional mind or if you bought it because it meets your needs but you don’t have good feelings about it you would be acting solely with reasonable mind. Balancing out emotion with reason is acting from the wise mind which everybody has and it could be considered intuition which you can become more attuned to through mindfulness/meditation.

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Other systems like this I have come across are Parent, Adult, Child and Id, ego, superego. All of them have roughly the same premise.

Soon after my session I had to start putting wise mind to the test as after it I was hungry and recently comfort eating has been a thing for me so I wanted food from a little café I like and they had loads of sweet treats that I wanted, causing feelings of delight and excitement but reason told me that a lot of these foods would probably increase my stomach problems.

After a lot of thinking I went for a dairy free banana and coconut muffin, a plain croissant and a smoothie which was much healthier than the alternative I felt like getting which was a choc chip muffin (and various others) and hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows; while I did really want those things I knew it would cause more IBS symptoms for me and make me put on more weight than I have already both of which would make me even more emotionally upset but the option I went for was just as good taste wise, for my bank account and my body.

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My second session, we continued the mindfulness work. This time looking at the concept of Observe, Describe, Participate. The three steps of mindfulness. Observe being you just letting yourself notice the things around you or the sensations you feel without labelling them or judging them. Describe is where you put names and labels to what you are seeing or experiencing while keeping an open mind and Participate is where you get involved in what’s going on effectively and being fully present.

For me mindfulness, especially with breathing techniques, has been hard, I feel forced to do it which leads to me getting frustrated and impatient with the process. I tried doing some mindfulness to overcome emotional distress recently but it didn’t go too well, I ended up thinking it was stupid and I couldn’t get through even 5minutes of meditation. I’m thinking of looking into more movement based mindfulness instead of formal sit down types. It might be easier for me and my hyperactive self.

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I suggest to you and to myself to start practicing mindfulness when you’re feeling decently calm already, it may seem pointless as you need it more for emotional distress but I’ve found those times hard to do mindfulness. So I think it’s best to practice when you don’t need it at first so you can build up and practice the skills easier until it becomes pretty much your first response to stress or it may make you less easily stressed but I’ll have to keep practicing to really feel the benefits.

Thanks for reading this post, sorry it was so long but hope its helped you somehow 🙂

NI2M ❤

THE BEST OF 2018

This year was a year of change for me, I feel I’ve changed a lot from who I was at the start of this year. The change started when I started receiving treatment for my borderline personality disorder. Over time with this treatment I found fear, anxiety, resentment and just about every emotion stopped consuming me. I still take my medication and plan to have some counselling in the new year but things have definitely improved with me.

I’ve lost a lot but also gained a lot this year. It’s been very up and down as I struggled to find my own identity (which I’m still not sure of but I’m getting there). I thought I would end this year on a positive note and remember how good this year has been for me, not easy and sometimes painful but everything happened for the best at the end of the day. So here we go;

  1. I got my first paid job– It was temporary but it was a job I always dreamed of getting, I was a bookseller at my favourite bookstore which I loved (not just because of the 50% staff discount lol) it was challenging but I managed to pull through
  2. I gained more courage– A lot of things happened to me this year that past me would have been SHOOK over, maybe even suicidal but this time that wasn’t the case, I still have suicidal and self harm tendencies but those ways of coping are a last resort for me. I only turn to those things if my new and more healthy coping mechanisms don’t work (writing, drawing etc) but circumstances didn’t break me so much this time, I grieved but I also believed that better days were coming and that the time of mourning would be over eventually
  3. I met new people– At work I was so lucky to work with the people I did, they were so loving and friendly I just wanted to give them all a hug and I did. On the day I finally opened up to my manager about my problems she was so nice and gave me a hug which I then passed on to all my colleagues XD
  4. I am not perfect but I am much better than I was– As I said earlier I still have issues but they don’t overwhelm me as much as they used to anymore. In fact I have been working on writing a story based on trauma from my childhood as a way of processing it, I never would even consider that a few months ago!
  5. Trying new things– recently I’ve been getting into spirituality and wicca which has been helping me a lot, I’ve started a blog about it lol. I’m not saying that you should be more spiritual but I suggest trying new things that you’ve considered but were too wary of trying, it might end up being your new “thing”
  6. I’m learning to love myself more– I used to be hard on myself about EVERYTHING, mistakes were more of an unforgivable sin to me but working has made me put self blame and hatred aside. Mistakes are what you learn from, we are human beings and we can get things wrong, it doesn’t make you “bad” or “stupid” I’ve learned to go easy on myself and preach the same self love to others. Self care isn’t selfish and self love is not the same as arrogance. I believe  it is important to love and take care of yourself so you can show the same love and care to others as I learned if you’re hard on yourself, you’ll be hard on others too.

I haven’t been posting on here lately, mainly because I haven’t really felt like it, you see I come to this blog when I’m struggling but a lot of my struggles seem to have been repeating themselves in a cycle, more and more posts just felt more like a rehash of another but this blog has helped me so much and I hope its helped you too, know that whatever you’re struggling with you are not alone. Thank you so much for coming on this journey with me, I’ve grown a lot but it wouldn’t have been without your love and support. This may or may not be my last post on this site, we’ll just have to see what the new year brings, lets hope its a good one 😉

 

Happy New year, Much love

NI2M ❤

 

Self Pity or Compassion?

I did some research into what self pity is and, while it is generally seen as feeling sorry for one’s self and something that should not be done because it is “weak” or “pathetic”, it is actually something that many of us should practise in small doses.

You see, if you are as empathetic as I am you have probably found yourself crying at a sad scene in movies or unable to watch the news because of how upset seeing others suffer makes you feel. That is compassion yet we are taught not to extend the same compassion to ourselves because it is “selfish” and self pity

I’ve tried to explain to people many times to try and get them to understand what goes on inside my head but a lot of people who view this as self pity do not show compassion for themselves so how can they show any for me?

Feeling sorry for yourself is okay because it’s a cruel world out there and sometimes all you’ve got is yourself.

Only you can truly understand what you are going through so it is up to you to show yourself the kindness and compassion that others may not have shown you.

That being said it is important not to “wallow” in self pity I think just enough to make yourself cry so you can release your stress hormones and then move on.

It is important to practise the compassion we show others on ourselves. So treat yourself like you would treat another person in the same situation (assuming that would be with kindness and empathy)

How you treat others is a reflection of how you treat yourself so how you treat yourself has a great affect on others, treat yourself with love and kindness and others will feel it too.

Thanks for reading,

NI2M ❤️

Practicing Positivity for Job Success

For a long time I had an aggressive mentality, it got me through high school and got me working hard… Too hard. You see, I would criticize myself and push myself too much so I could do more because then I thought that would mean I would deserve more but nothing I ever did was good enough for me, I was always comparing myself to others especially on YouTube. I deleted my old channel because “it wasn’t as good as others” and I was always thinking “why can’t you be more like them?” I was like a critical parent and while this attitude did make me more productive it destroyed me emotionally.

I had a friend who was the same, I remember him being angry at himself for not having a job and he said he wouldn’t go on benefits because he was  “better than that” me and my family were on benefits (not by choice!) But instead of defending myself telling him why he was wrong for thinking like that I started to get angry at myself for not having a job and being on benefits

I remember asking my mum if I could get a job working in college and she said no because then I wouldn’t get the funds needed for my studies, I was really furious about that but in hindsight it was a good thing I didn’t get the job because I was struggling enough as it was. I blamed my emotional distress on not having a job or working. I thought if I work and earn money then I’ll be contributing more and be more worthy.

I was stuck with this mentality for months. Always thinking “my mental health and self esteem will get better if I have a job”

After leaving college due to severe depression I didn’t give myself a break, I didn’t think I deserved one for being “lazy” a “quitter” and a “failure” instead I went straight into an internship that lasted roughly 6 months.

I thought it would be easy to get a job after that… It wasn’t. I grew frustrated with myself as I attached my self worth to whether or not I had a job. I was growing desperate. My ex friend signed me up to work at McDonald’s as a joke but honestly at that point if they wanted me I would have taken it because it was better than nothing. If you work at McDonald’s by the way I admire you, fast food seems like a difficult job and you deserve more credit and pay. Even if you don’t have a job and are on benefits that’s okay as well just don’t beat yourself up about it, my friends just had a really unhealthy attitude towards work like I used to.

Anyway I got desperate enough that I found myself working in a restaurant with a manager who liked to exploit her staff. Making them work nearly 9 hours without a break. Making them do things and not paying them for their work. I hated it, I felt like crying the entire time I was there but I was desperate so stayed another day. I trialed 2 days but left when I realised just how much I was compromising myself just for money. I was tired, depressed and lied to impress the people there so they would like me ( (I hate lying) I left after the second day and cried my eyes out in a church because I felt like a failure.

I felt like it was hopeless but I wasn’t going to give up so I tried a different approach. I tried positive affirmations, giving myself compliments and imagining the best outcome in my job applications. I spent an entire afternoon fantasizing about having my dream job which was to be a bookseller, I recited positive affirmations like they were lines from a script. Guess what? I got a job interview with my favourite bookshop! I continued my positive work for the interview and while I did nearly have a panic attack I repeated to myself “I can do this” and I did it and guess what? I GOT THE JOB!!!

My dream job and I didn’t get it by hating myself I got it by practicing kindness on myself, it made me feel better and confident which must have come across in my interview. I’m so happy. It wasn’t easy though as, when you’ve been stuck with a negative mentality for years its hard to break out of that pattern so it really takes practice to think and feel better.

I recommend reading You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay and The Power by Rhonda Byrne as they really helped me but I’ll also link some videos that helped as well 🙂

Thanks for reading

much love ❤

Changing My Judgement

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One of the many problems with BPD is the tendency to think that someone is either good or bad with no in-between and although my BPD is much less intense than it was a few months ago I found myself dealing with this problem again during the week.

Thing is I don’t just apply it to other people, I apply it to thoughts, feelings and actions. There isn’t a problem with anyone or thing I judge as good, its when I judge someone or something as bad that problems arise. From a young age I have had anger problems and at the age of 10 I remember drawing a diagram of my brain with two smaller brains inside, good brain and bad brain. This was how I differentiated between good actions and bad.

I was talking to child counsellors about this and said something like “when I’m angry bad brain takes control and I do bad things” thing is I believed that bad things needed to be punished hence my anger issues, a few years later I started self harming to punish myself for the “bad” thoughts and things I had done no matter how small it was.

When applying this to other people I would get so bitter and angry that if the name was mentioned I would go into an anger frenzy. All because that person did a bad thing and they needed to be punished, so I would ruminate on revenge fantasies but not actually do anything because I would be “just as bad as them”

This belief really came to light a few days ago. You may remember a friend of mine who had been in an abusive relationship with a guy who had also abused me, well she told me she was back in touch with him and I flipped out, full blown anger to the point that I nearly killed myself because I didn’t want to live in a world where people as bad as him could get what they want and their crimes go unpunished.

I was terrified she would go running back to him and turn on me but I was also angry with her for not calling the police and saying she still loves a man who had done such unspeakable things; in my mind she was just as bad as him for giving him the contact he wanted and not punishing him because what he did to me was an old crime but with her its happening right now so why the fuck isn’t she doing anything about it!

I sent her a long message basically saying she was being a classic abuse victim and I wouldn’t be able to trust her while she was talking to him; she’s in denial said she wants a friendship with him and that she still loves him and I was frankly disgusted but then when I had a meltdown and my mum asked her what was happening she denied saying anything like that, contradicting herself. It seemed all too familiar to another situation I believe I mentioned when someone twisted the story to their own agenda, to make it look like I was the one in the wrong for feeling and reacting a certain way.

Well I blocked her and she unsubscribed to my channel (much like anther girl who took down a website she built for me because we fell out as if to say that’s the end of it and they have the final say). I’m still fuming a bit but I’m more disappointed in her that she would fight to get back with an abuser and not fight at all for our friendship. In hindsight our friendship was doomed from the start, we both knew each other through him (lets call him A for now) and our friendship was based on our mutual history with A. So, yeah the foundation of our friendship was the guy who gave us Post Traumatic Stress, really not good especially if it can send me into meltdowns like that.

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I guess I was hoping I could help her, I always cared for her even before we knew the truth, a part of me wants to try our friendship again but then I would be acting like her, clinging on to hope that there can be something good there (or in him) when there just isn’t.

I digress, the inner child insists on hating him and her for hurting me so much. Honestly I did feel pretty fucked over but I’ve also got to understand that it took me ten years to start my healing work from what happened with him. Her trauma is still pretty raw and I can’t force her to heal and move on, she needs to do that in her own way, in her own time, I’m at a different healing stage to her and that’s okay. She’s not a bad person just unhealthy, good people can be unhealthy.

I was back into voluntary work yesterday and found myself panicking over getting things “wrong” and making mistakes because my belief is that mistakes are bad and make me look bad but in reality everyone makes mistakes and mistakes can be good for learning so I tried thinking to myself “mistakes are good”. I repeated it a few times and it really helped me calm down and ironically make less mistakes lol but it was this that got me thinking about how I judge myself and others. For example (lets call my abused ex friend G) G, I judged her decision and actions as bad because, well, shit would probably hit the fan if she got too close to him again but I refuse to think of her as a bad person that would just make me angry and I’ll end up punishing myself most likely; besides its not her fault that he has such a strong hold on her, it’s what abusers do and I hope to the powers that be I will never have to experience an abusive relationship like that.

So instead of saying something or someone is bad I say healthy or unhealthy. Saying someone did something or is bad implies, to me, that they need to be punished thus sending me into rage mode wanting to hurt them but ending up hurting myself because I thought of doing something bad to someone and must be punished. So the cycle of anger and self harm goes. Instead if I describe something or someone as unhealthy that only implies there is healing work that needs to be done and ,like I said, good people can get unhealthy so I feel no need to punish them and may help them if it is healthy for me to do so.

With G I tried my best to help her heal but it was starting to hurt me and I realized the friendship is unhealthy for both of us. Me because it kept retraumatizing me and bringing me back to that state of rage and unhealthy for her because I would just be pushing her too much to be who I wanted her to be most likely and she needs to take charge of her own destiny and learn her lessons when she is ready. Who knows, maybe in another ten years we’ll both be in much better places and be good friends based on our personalities and mutual interests, not our history.

Learning to accept myself

Growing up I never fit in at school or… Anywhere to be exact. I’ve spoken about this in previous posts but I’ve always been an outsider even with my group of friends. My views of the world differed from theirs and I was the weird kid that no one liked.

I was always made to think of this as a bad thing and I did for years. I hated myself, googling what was wrong with me and what I could fix about myself

Dumb, ugly, freak were words I had been called. It’s not until recently that I realized I’m not actually dumb, I just don’t pay attention because my brain is so wired to the imaginary. I’m not ugly, attractiveness is subjective and I’m teaching myself to love my appearance even though it’s not the norm.

I’m not a freak, I’m not weird, I’m different. I think differently, I feel differently and I act differently. Honestly I don’t care what you do as long as you’re not harming anybody and I never did, well apart from myself  really. The only thing about me that was “wrong” was my difference.

In school especially, fitting in is like a survival technique. High school is an age where we don’t know who we are but want to belong, and not stand out because standing out means being different and different means you get bullied to the point you want to jump off a bridge (and I nearly did)

In college the struggle of being different has come up again but I see it differently now, I’m older than most of the students there and the adults my age and older also spend a lot of time alone and I think that’s because as adults we think more for ourselves and fitting in becomes less important.

I’m in college to learn about business so that one day I can run my own, I’m really looking forward to lessons and studying and I think that’s how I should be. I should be happy to learn and I should not have to fear being seen as a loner or loser because I’m happier now than I was then, happier when I stopped worrying about the fight in my head of fitting in or being myself.

I’m still finding myself after being submerged in mental illness for so long and I find myself easier when I am alone. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks as long as I am happy. When someone is alone it doesn’t mean they’re not liked or loved, even “popular” people can be lonely, it just means they like their own company and I want everyone to like their own company and be proud of who they are, finding friends who are genuinely like them not just saying they are to fit in.

thanks for reading,

Ni2M ❤

 

I have a spending problem

Since I left my first college I’ve had a lot of free time. Free time for going out, having fun… And spending impulsively. I had quite a lot of money inherited from one of my aunts and well it’s not a lot anymore.

You see whenever I felt bad (which was most of the time) I would “treat myself” to something and when I felt good I wouldn’t be so worried about money and spend more.

I heard that this is a thing with BPD and although I’ve improved in many things recently, the spending is still a problem and my anxiety about it is getting worse as the number on my bank statement gets smaller and smaller.

I’ve had some ideas on how I could manage this;

  • Put a portion of the money into a savings account so it’s less easy accessable and it gains interest
  • Only buy from charity shops and small businesses that aren’t so obsessed with making money so it’s cheaper and I’m helping a good cause/helping a business grow (some positive karma for my future business hopefully lol)
  • A lot of my money has been spent on books but now I think I’ll make the most of my library card and borrow books only buying them if I really like them.
  • Set up an online account with eBay or etsy and sell the stuff I bought on impulse that I’m not actually bothered about now lol
  • Get a job (although this has been proving easier said than done
  • Have a set budget for the week. Say £20.00 and I spend that money on food from college then, if I have any money left I can choose to save it for next week, donate it to charity or treat myself depending on how much I have left.

I think the cause of this urge to spend is that I’m bad at self care because I often feel bad and I get a little surge of joy when I see something I like and buy it but then I feel bad again. I think instead of treating myself by buying things I should do other things like read a book I enjoy in a warm bath or just treat myself better in general really.

I don’t know whether any of these ideas will work but I will try and let you know how it goes further down the line 🙂

Thank you for reading,

NI2M ❤