The Whole Ugly Story…

After repeating in detail what happened last weekend to about a dozen different people, I am just too fucking tired to do it again. I do, however, want to document this somewhere so that it never, ever happens again.

So, instead of having to say it ALL OVER AGAIN, I’ll just paste in an email I sent to my dad earlier tonight. My mom and him have been in Europe for six weeks. They only know I was in the hospital and it was serious, not how it happened. Whatever is not clearly stated (since it’s a letter to my dad) is easy to infer, I’d think. Only thing really to know is that Ryan is my husband. So, yeah.

*Trigger Warning*

Hi..
I’m not sure why but I didn’t get that email until just as I started writing this email.. so, sorry.

I’ve not really wanted to talk to anyone lately besides Ryan. I don’t want to field questions about what happened. I was grilled and grilled at the hospital and the honest-to-God truth is I don’t cohesively remember. Just pieces and fragments. Even then, I have no idea what’s real and what I hallucinated.

I’ll tell you what I do know…

Ryan and I were separated for the weekend. We had a huge fight over something and I needed space from him. I was already considering divorce. We were both an emotional mess. I haven’t been sleeping. I get insomnia really bad at night, jittery, anxious, usually clean or sit at the computer for hours just to pass time. I also ran out of weed that week and had no way to calm my emotions down.

Saturday night, having not eaten or slept in two days, I stupidly decided to have a few drinks to “take the edge off.” Didn’t take much because according to my Twitter, which I’d still apparently been updating throughout this shit, I was piss drunk and started cutting. Furiously. After that, I remember laying in the shower covered in blood wishing I would die. Then I blacked out. I woke up in the middle of the night have what I now know was a seizure. I started begging for help from Ryan, who was still in the hotel, but I swore (until the cops told me otherwise) that he was in the house. Asleep, on the couch, only feet from me. I started getting immediately nauseous and tried to get out of the recliner, which I’d somehow ended up in. I couldn’t pull the handle to get out and ended up rolling off. I tried to stand and fell face first into the floor. Hard. I slid to the bathroom, unable to lift any part of my body, where I violently threw up and seized on the floor, banging my head uncontrollably. I screamed at the top of my lungs wondering why Ryan wouldn’t get up. (He wasn’t there.) I screamed for you and mom for hours, banging and flailing, before I blacked out again. The same thing repeated well into the morning as I slid around the house trying to bang, crush, make any noise possible to wake the “people” in the house. At one point, I woke in the kitchen with broken plates shattered everywhere. I couldn’t see. I didn’t have my glasses and I had horrible double vision. I screamed and cried for Ryan, before realizing at this point that if I didn’t find a phone, I was going to die.

I didn’t want to die. I wanted to live. Something did. I spent I don’t know how long dragging my near-paralyzed body to the closest phone in the master bedroom. I curled up on the side of the bed and frantically tried over and over to dial your number but I was so confused that I couldn’t remember. I tried dialing any number I could but the phone kept saying invalid. That’s when I called 911. I told the operator in a very slurred voice that I needed an ambulance. She asked if anyone was there and I kept saying, “Yes yes, my husband is here but he won’t help me! He’s been giving me the ‘silent treatment’ all morning! I don’t know what’s wrong but I need help, I can’t move!” The operator told me to keep calling for Ryan because the door was locked and the paramedics couldn’t get to me. They were about to break a window when I heard the deadbolt unlock and they came in. I was still shaking and couldn’t move at all. They had to lift me on a gerney. I don’t remember much after except being very cold and having excrutiating pain in my back, which ultimately took five doses of morphine to subside. The paramedics kept asking me who did this, who did this. Apparently my injuries rose suspicions of domestic violence and they thought RYAN did it. I kept saying no, no, I did it to myself, I couldn’t stop, but they just repeated that I have to be honest with them. When I got to the hospital, the nurses, doctors, police, and a detective asked me over and over, saying “Tell the truth.” The truth was I didn’t know.

My eye was swollen shut and my double vision made it impossible to see anyways, so I closed my eyes most of the day. As the detective questioned me, I found myself getting confused on dates and times. I had no idea where Ryan was until they told me he was in a hotel. I had no idea where you guys were until much later in the day when I kept asking the nurse to call you and then I remembered Europe. I couldn’t tell anyone what happened because I everything I DID remember wasnt really there. The detective asked to search the house, which I first declined since they couldn’t promise not to arrest Ryan, who I was convinced was still there. After they told me he was at the hospital and talked to the detective himself, I agreed to the search. When the detective came back, he asked me again what happened and said he found empty alcohol cans and empty pill bottles, along with blood and vomit everywhere. Again, I tried to piece back my memory and vaguely remember it but distant, like a bad dream. After that, the detective seemed satisfied that there was no crime committed and left. When Ryan came in… I’ve never seen him like that. Right then I knew, even though I hadn’t seen my face, that it was bad. I also knew for sure that there was absolutely no way he was at that house during all this and felt horrible for even thinking that he wouldn’t help me…

Although the detective had made what happened clear to me, I was very careful about my wording to the doctors. The last thing I wanted was another psych ward visit. I told them about the alcohol, seizures, and everything else I remembered, but didn’t say it was a suicide attempt. That’s why I didn’t want to talk to you while I was in the hospital…

Ryan barely left me for a second, only long enough to drive back and forth to take care of Oakley. He kept me sane in there. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy. Like I would fracture my nose and beat my own face to a pulp ON PURPOSE. And before you even ask, No. I did not. Not that anyone will believe me.

Tests concluded I had an abnormal air pocket around my heart that needed to be looked at. They put me under, scoped it (it was fine), stitched me up, and sent me to a recovery room. Two days and numerous promises that ‘No, I’m not suicidal,’ and ‘Yes, I do have a therapist,’ later, I’m allowed to go home.

Ryan cleaned the entire house back to new before I ever got home so I don’t really know how bad it was. And for what its worth, I’m sorry for trashing your house. I thought I was dying and trying to get help…

So. That’s the whole ugly story. I’m really trying to just move on with a somewhat positive outlook and not think about what happened. Since getting home, my insomnia has increased, my anxiety is through the fucking roof, I’m afraid of the dark, being alone, being in recliner chairs, sleeping… I’m afraid I’m going to wake up screaming and alone again.

The only thing I have to hold on to is the fact that this sick fucked incident made Ryan and I cling to each other, thankful for each precious moment, and agreed to forgive and work thing out…And the fact that I’m alive, and want to stay that way. I want to get better. More than ever. I feel like my nine lives are running out and if I don’t do something, change SOMETHING, then I will die. I don’t know what that is though. I thought I was doing better…

Yes, I’m quitting drinking for good, don’t waste your breath. I’m hoping to start AA meetings soon. I started looking for work; was even supposed to have an interview today at Subway but the interviewer never showed up. It was all the way in Medford, she knew I was coming from Cave Junction and didn’t even bother to call and cancel/change/let me fucking know at all. Classy, huh? I gave Ryan my last hidden blade in the house to toss. I’ll be resisting the temptation, and using alternate methods of stress relief. We found a couple apartments we like and hope to save enough to be out by the beginning of August at the very latest…

They say every addict has to hit rock bottom before they can get better. I’d say this about takes the cake. And I am so done with all this nonsense. I know what I want.

I don’t know what else to tell you. I’m sorry. Like always, I’m sorry I fucked up. I’m sorry I have weird fucked-up problems that nobody understands. I’m sorry you have to keep dealing with this.

I wished I never had to tell you any of this, but you deserved to know. I don’t want to talk about it ever again. I want to let the remainder of my fractured memories fade until I never have to be afraid to close my eyes again.

-A

Mindful Eating

In the mishmash of worlds I belong to with my variety of disorders, one topic I keep coming back to in recovery is mindful eating. This is an important recovery skill in eating-disordered world, which heavily trespasses into BPD-land, where, time and time again, I see many strugglers of over-eating. Mindful eating. Whether you’re ‘mentally ill’ or ‘sane’, whether you’re in recovery or still knee-deep in shit, learning to eat mindfully is probably one of the most powerful self-care tools you can ever learn.

This difficult but amazing skill is something I’ve set on mastering. Despite being in recovery, I know I’m still very disordered in my thoughts and actions around eating and weight loss, but it’s all about control. It always has been. If I can learn to control myself when I eat, and possibly even learn to enjoy it, life might not always be about weight and food and calories. Maybe I can find a deeper meaning, a deeper purpose, and reclaim my appreciation for my existence instead of always wishing it would end.

At this point in time, I don’t really schedule time to practice skills or specifically to be mindful, it just happens. My brain has turned into something of an internal alarm clock, more and more adept and alert to my every action and thought. For example, instead of a negative thought invading and immediately flourishing in my sad, pessimistic mind, I now am fully alerted to the fact that it is a negative thought and I don’t have to agree with it. More and more often now, another voice, one I never knew existed, is peeking up to challenge them. Rather than reveling in my pain, I am able to move forward more quickly. Baby steps.

Tonight was just such an occurrence. I’d just finished preparing and recording my carefully prepared meal of 6oz frozen cooked shrimp with lightly sauced Italian green beans and steamed carrots. (I can hear the calculators of disordered brains clicking away now…) I carried it into the study to sit in front of my computer, per usual ritual. As I was about to sit down, my alarm clock thoughts rang. Eat mindfully. Go sit in the kitchen. I considered this thought for a moment, looked at my husband who was already halfway through his plate and deeply engrossed in his computer screen, and already annoyed, decided to try it. I walked back to the kitchen and cleared a small opening on the cluttered dining table to set my plate down. I sat down and reviewed my place. Water. I got up to get my water bottle and pour some fresh, before sitting back down and staring at my meal. Just do the best you can, I reminded myself as I picked up my fork and took my first bite. I tried to focus on the flavours and textures hitting my tongue, the softness of the carrots, the crunch of the green bean, the sweetness of the buttery sauce. My enjoyment from the sauce brought up anxiety before I reminded myself of the miniscule calories in the dish and my planned workout for later in the evening. I’m safe. This is okay to eat. This is okay to enjoy. I put another solo carrot in my mouth. I focused on every flavour in the carrot, savouring the fact that it was solitary rather than in a mash of other food stuffed into my mouth. Every time I started letting my thoughts wander, I slowly refocused back to my meal. When my hand started to speed up, I paused and put my fork down to take a drink of water. I savoured the fact that I could eat in quiet. I savoured the fact that I didn’t have to see my husband playing video games out of the corner of my eye. I savoured that I could afford this time to take for myself to eat even just the simplest of meals. As I reached over and picked up a limp shrimp, I was reminded of Buddha and respecting all beings. I studied the shrimp. Thank you, shrimp. Thank you for giving your life to give my body nourishment, I thought before nodding and taking a bite, letting all judgement of how silly it is that I just thanked a dead shrimp wash away. I felt hypersensitive, like a vampire, or a cat. My taste buds exploded with fishy shrimp flavour. I noticed the chewiness and feel saliva leaking from the corner of my mouth. I listened to the nothing around me but my rhythmic bites. Bite, chew, chew, chew, chew. So loud. Chew, chew, chew, chew. Swallow. Ahh…

I was surprised at how much taking a bit of time to just be and eat and not do anything else increased my enjoyment of what has for so long been such a loathsome act. However, it wasn’t all easy. Aside from finding my thoughts wandering, I found myself getting restless and was relieved when about halfway through my dog came to investigate the situation. The latter half of my “exercise”, I was petting my dog with one hand while eating with the other, even though I was still focused on my eating. It just felt nice to feel his presence there, so I knew I wasn’t alone. (Which isn’t to say I wanted anyone else there since I was still enjoying my alone time.)

I definitely will try this again, and I encourage anyone struggling with any kind of eating issues to try it. It doesn’t have to be a full meal, it can be something small like a piece of fruit or candy.

Whatever you do, remember to take a moment for yourself. ❤

A Bipolar, Hyperactive, Attention-Deficit Fruit Loop

I’ve been avoiding my blog the last few days. I’ve been avoiding thinking. Rather, I’ve been attempting to avoid thinking since it hasn’t been working.

Let me start over.

Last Tuesday was the day that had my anxiety doing roller coasters on me for days. I had an appointment with a new psychiatrist. After disclosing my previous love-affair with Adderall to my therapist, who’s become a–dare I say it?–trusted ally lately, she let on that my reaction combined with the flurry of attention and focus issues I’d been having increasingly getting worse could be attributed to a real ADD diagnosis. While I was initially thrilled to be able to qualify for my own ‘miracle-drug’, it began to sink in the amount of steps I’ll have to take. More new doctors, diagnoses, medication-rotation, and let’s not forget, money, money, money. No medical insurance means cash out of pocket for every appointment. But, with the smallest bit of courage and rather high hopes despite my addiction history, I went to my appointment. Right on time.

I started out okay going in, introducing myself fine, and she seemed nice. Definitely not a monster, and much more personal than other psychiatrists I’d seen. (I found out after that she’s actually a psychiatric nurse, which my therapist said is why I had such a long and personable session, and why the center [I go to] likes them so much.) She handed me the initial paperwork, which I read slowly. That’s when I first noticed my concentration problems coming back full force. It took me several minutes just to fill out my personal information, even with my giving up and skipping reading any of the paperwork. I handed it over hesitantly as the doctor smiled and gave me a questionnaire. It read, “…something ADHD something test…” She explained that she knows it’s long but just to do my best. There were two columns next to statements. She said one column was for when I was in elementary/middle school and the other is now. I eyed the small text carefully and sighed. 35 statements. I had to not only worry about being able to assess and understand what I was reading, but I had to also recall memories from my childhood, a skill not easily done by me. For unknown reasons, I have a very selective memory. I can recall some events as clear as videos playing in my head; others are a foggy distant picture, squinting to see even the edges. The doctor and I spoke a bit during this. It made it harder to concentrate on the task at hand, but the silence was unbearable, I had to say something. I mentioned specific moments in my childhood that the questionnaire reminded me of, such as being heckled by the other children for shaking the school bus with my uncontrollable leg fidgeting. When I finally reached the bottom of the test, I was about to hand it back when I caught sight of the back. I flipped it over to find the rest. 35 more questions. I sighed, when she turned around and exclaimed, “Oh, you’re only just now getting to the back? Oh! I’m so sorry!” Great, I thought. I’m failing at doing the evaluation for ADHD because I can’t focus. I couldn’t tell if it was a twist of ironic fate or just perfect enough to be prophetic. Which isn’t to say I was enjoying it. At all.

By the time I finished the questionnaire, of which I felt I was trying to hard since I had such high marks but reassured myself that I was only being honest, I was near a full social anxiety attack. I didn’t like being outside. I didn’t like talking to this new person. I didn’t like that she was asking about my past. I was trying to hard not to completely unravel as I answered each of her questions. I was very careful with each word so not to include any incriminating street drug history as I detailed my mental health history and the last 18 months of hospital-medication-diagnoses-ring-around. She nodded as I spoke, asking follow-up questions, until my life weaved out like a poorly made poncho of sadness and crazy. The entire session, she seemed to understand and accept my story as truth, no doubts. Finally she spoke the words I’d been waiting for: “Well, I think you definitely have ADHD.” Yes! “But you also have bipolar disorder.” Wait, what?

I was taken aback. Just a few days before that, I’d taken bipolar disorder off my long list of standing diagnoses because when I was diagnosed as bipolar (II) it was predating my BPD diagnosis. Since the two are very synonymic and I’ve never had the manic episodes associated with bipolar, I assumed it was another misdiagnosis. Here we are again. I’ve been on a variety of different mood stabilizers in the past, including straight-up Lithium, and nothing helped, which I told her. No avail. She’s convinced. Here’s the kicker: She said because “I’m bipolar”, she cannot prescribe the traditional stimulant medication. My heart sank. No Adderall? What? WHAT?! WHY! Because, she says, it could send me into mania or psychosis. What? I backpedal fast, saying that it’s my BPD, I don’t need a mood stabilizer, I’m doing fine, just fine, all while I’m starting to shake more and more. She started going into some medication options, all mood stabilizers or anti-depressants that have “increased cognitive function”. I’m on the verge of turning 5-years-old and throwing a full-fledged tantrum, but I control myself, spinning of in my head. Bipolar, I’m not bipolar! Am I? The mood stabilizers never worked before! Maybe because I didn’t take them long enough? NO! I don’t need it! I’m getting better! Then why are you here? NO!!! I’M FINE, I’M JUST FINE!!

By the end of our time together, I’d not come any closer to accepting what was being offered and the doctor was not budging on either her diagnosis or medication suggestions. She wrote down her five suggested medications for me to think about and show my therapist for her opinion. Even though I’d have to pay another office fee to see her again, I was not willing to admit defeat just yet. So I left with nothing but a knotted stomach, tears rolling down my hot, shamed cheeks, and a list. I felt no closer to resolving my concentration and focus issues and more broken than ever.

Since then, I’ve went through crying in pity to rebelling therapy to eating my feelings away to talking/screaming/bitching/raging to doing skills, skills, and more skills to doing anything but think about the appointment. My therapist, who agreed with me and my own assessment but also says that maybe trying one of these wouldn’t be so bad, told me that I should express my thoughts to her as part of building that relationship, but ultimately that I have two options: pick one of the suggestions or find a new doctor. That’s really it. She said she knows of another psychiatrist in the area that specifically deals with low-income patients (like myself) that I could see. I said that I should at least try one of these and if they don’t work, I can either then push for a more direct ADHD medication, or then see a new doctor, having already been diagnosed and tried a medicine, it will make it look far less suspicious and that will make me feel better. The real problem is that because I know I am a drug addict, I’m constantly afraid that that’s what the doctors will see even if I really have the disorder. Because of that, I’m always checking myself, making sure I’m being honest and honouring my integrity. It’s something I’m just going to have to deal with.

I’ve written down the message I plan to leave for the doctor but I haven’t called her yet. I’m still petrified. I will eventually, but there’s no rush since I can’t afford to go back yet anyways. I’m still deciding between the top two suggestions for medication: Latuda, or Abilify. Latuda was the number one because it doesn’t have any weight gain side effects. (I didn’t even say anything regarding weight. I didn’t want her knowing about my eating disorder to restrict the stimulants. She’s the one that brought this up, saying it was important to a lot of young people. Damn straight! Thank you!) Weight gain is admittedly the number one reason I stop taking medications. I don’t even wait to see if it happens. If it’s a side effect, I toss them. Done. The problem with Latuda is that it causes painful nausea apparently if you don’t take it with 350 calories in the morning. I hardly ever eat regularly, let alone that much in one sitting, so it would be something I’d have to endure. Abilify is the second and the one recommended by my therapist only because she’s heard of it and hasn’t the other. She apparently has patients who take Abilify for ADHD. So that was encouraging to hear, I guess, but I don’t know if it causes weight gain in adults (I read it did in children). I’m also still not happy that these, like all mood stabilizers, will take weeks to take effect versus the near immediateness of stimulants, but we’ll see. If they don’t work, or cause nasty side effects, that’s when I can go back and possibly talk about moving to something different.

The only issue still haunting the whole situation is that the more I have to go back and see her, the more I have to pay. $120 for every session. So if I pay another $120 to get the prescription, then a week later have to be changed due to nausea or whatever, that’s another $120, not to mention all the costs that go along with each medication as well. I’m pushing Husband into another possible firefighter position that would pay decently and have full benefits, I’m sure, but that’s still weeks away if he were to even get it. I can’t keep waiting around for recovery opportunities. I don’t know what to do at this point. I need money. And a lot. I’ve even started applying to work. I don’t even know how I’ll handle it, but I’ll just deal. I’ll have to. God help us.

Filling The Emptiness & Re-Focusing My Focus

After spending some time talking a girl on Twitter through the introduction of borderline personality disorder and recommending she read a few blogs written by borderlines, I realized I’d been neglecting my own blog a bit. I’m trying to get myself back into the habit of just writing to write and not worrying about punctuation, grammar, or impressive word-use. I want to focus more on the content and less on the structure since I’d been feeling that my blogs were falling flat. It’s just always that endless question: What the hell do I write about? I’m drifting through life like a nothing. I barely do anything at all, let alone anything interesting enough to blog about. And if I don’t write, my life is even that much more empty. It’s depressing.

So I logged in, did a quick search to follow a few more blogs to inspire me, and updated my “About Me” section a little. It sounded so depressing, which albeit matched my mood when I wrote it, but now needed updating. I’ll probably end up rewriting the whole thing within the next day or two to give a totally fresh feel, but right now the words have yet to come. How do you describe yourself when you don’t know who you are? How do you describe your life when your tap-dancing on the border between complete recovery and total self-destruction? (Hey, maybe that’s why they call us borderlines, ha-ha!) Like a poem, the perfect rhythm of letters will consume me soon enough. They always do. And on-paper, I have to say, I rather like myself. I can sound sophisticated and cultured. I can sound artistic and graceful. I can sound composed and stable. I can sound… beautiful. Perhaps that’s the words taking the form of my masks. Perhaps they’re just words. Perhaps I’m just mad! But that’s the beauty of it: Here, it doesn’t matter. Here, I am faceless, and nameless, and you may compile your own facts and assumptions. And so can I.

For example, I have no idea where that last paragraph came from, but it is there. God, I love writing.

Since I’ve not been writing lately, I want to tell you why. I explained briefly before that nothing of interest is happening but let me tell you what I have been doing. You can decide for yourself whether or not the blatherings are worth reading.

I don’t work. It’s partially that I can’t since I’m an emotionally unstable nutcase, can’t pass a drug test, and have no real way of getting to work, but also that I’m just lazy. I’m enjoying making my husband do all the grunt work since he seemingly does little else to help out. It’s my normal passive-aggressiveness again, I suppose. My husband works early mornings roughly four to five days a week, so I get to be alone until eleven am or noon on those days. During that time, I usually turn my music up really loud, dance around my house singing totally out of tune, and do something productive, like doing the dishes or laundry. I do yoga and dance workouts in my study (since they’re on my computer) and take bubble baths with, again, the music at blaring levels. I sing in the mirror and smile and laugh. It’s like a high. The time I get away from him is so rare, and we’ve been together almost non-stop for over six months, that when I do get it, I just explode. Then when he comes home, unless he is accompanied by donuts or Dutch Bro’s, it’s like the black clouds roll into my world. I resent him for that. Then I resent myself because that’s not fair. (Donuts every day is not an answer either because that brings a whole new set of problems…)

When my husband is home, we’re both usually (read 99% of time, if not sleeping) in the study. Smartie-pants-me *sarcasm* hooked up both our computers in the same 12’x12′ room, next to the television. We knew we’d be staying here a while, so I got really comfy and pulled in my mom’s La-Z-Boy recliner as my computer chair, put in blue overhead lights, and added eclipse shades to darken the room. It’s really nice in here, a perfectly decked out game room. The only problem is that with both of us in here all the fucking time, it’s so crowded. I feel like a little kid in the back seat next to my brother. He’s sitting on his side, but his mere presence is just like nails on a chalkboard. I can’t stand it. The close proximity is perfect when we’re co-oping games together. And when we are, it’s awesome, like a beautiful blend of fireworks. Unfortunately, more often than not we’re doing our own thing. For me, this usually means music, Twitter, TV on in the background, and doing something on the computer to keep from slitting my wrists out of boredom. For my husband, this means playing Left 4 Dead 2. All day. All night. I. Hate. That. Game. I hate that game having never played it, and now never will, because of this obsession that he has with it. Any other game, I can talk to him and get his attention, no problem. Something about that fucking Left 4 Dead game is just like crack to him. He can’t/won’t/refuses to stop. Even for a moment. For anything. I swear, I could set a fire right in front of him and if the computer is still working, he’ll still be sitting there. This disgusting obsession along with the proximity is completely unbearable. He makes me crazy, seeing him out of the corner of my eye all day as our dog gets neglected to go out and I’m screaming at him to spend time with me, something, anything, other than that game. Basically, I’m saying my sanctuary, where I listen to my music and do my yoga, is infested with a big-ass cockroach. That has a thirst for zombies, apparently.

Every day I wake up knowing that nothing awaits me. Knowing that I have to fill every second of every day myself. No one is entertaining me, no one is babysitting me. I took this time off work so that I could not stress so much (achieved, for the most part) and to focus on my recovery and therapy. I’m in therapy three times a week, so I don’t know how much more focus I can get. I try to keep up with my homework, diary cards, and readings, even when I don’t feel like it. The rest of my time is pretty much leisure (not all it’s cracked up to be). Trying to find things that I enjoy and excite me again. When nothing arouses your interests and you don’t enjoy the things you used to, life can become really, really boring, especially with copious amounts of time. I’ve been trying anything to keep me upbeat and positive. I’m having to reteach myself to complete daily tasks such as showering or brushing my teeth. There were weeks and weeks towards the beginning of this year when the only day I showered or dressed was Tuesday, the one day I went to therapy. Now, I shower every other day or so, minimum, brush my teeth at least once a day, wash my face and hands frequently, use lotion and put makeup on every few days, and even do my own at-home hair treatment once to twice a week. Anything I can do to make myself feel better or smile more I’m working on incorporating into my daily routine. Some times, like the last two days, I don’t quite keep up with myself. I forget. I’m willful. I mess up. But I just try and do it again the next day.

Besides juggling my husband and fine-tuning an extensive daily regiment, I otherwise focus a lot on my eating and exercise. (Need I say, duh…) I think I’m actually happy to finally announce that I’m purge-free. I have been about a month now (aside from one slip-up) but I wasn’t sure if I was happy about it or not. I definitely didn’t brag about it. My husband didn’t mention it. We just never talked about it. It’s interesting, and sick, that I’d rather brag about eating crumbs for days than admit I stopped an extremely self-destructive habit. It’s the same feeling as my resistance to recovery from BPD. Since I stopped laxative/diuretic use a few weeks before that, I now no longer qualify for bulimia. Bulimia, though I rarely spoke of it specifically, was one of my names, one of my identities. Who am I without it? I know I still show very strong eating disordered traits, and since I’m not underweight, does that make me EDNOS? Why does this matter so much to me? Why does specifying each disorder and putting it next to my name so important to me? Because they describe me? They tell me who I am, I guess. Anyways, back to the facts. I stopped purging. Yay me. Whatever, moving on. I binged off/on for a few weeks, but recently, I’ve found a nice little niche for myself. I don’t know what changed, or even if anything did, but I’m becoming much more successful at controlling my eating lately. Not to the point that I feel I was at during my losing months last year, but close. Considering I’m not purging, I call that a win. I’m not really happy with my eating, exercising, or weight, but I am eating less (generally) and losing again (finally), so I’m just trying to stay positive. Unfortunately, I’m still petrifyingly conscientious working out in front of my husband, so I only do my workouts and yoga when he’s asleep or at work (also the only time I get the study to myself). It’s really limiting. A lot of the time, I find myself with the energy to work out but my black cloud/cockroach infestation just puts a big fucking downer on it. When I do get to, I usually do as much as I can either until I’m interrupted or, more often, when my body gives up and can’t do any more. When that happens, it puts the whole day is this glowing light, like I’m floating. It’s euphoric. Completely addicting. I want more. I need more. I wish so often I just lived alone. But deep down I know this wouldn’t work. I’d become so depressed and probably kill myself. It’s hard to remember that when I’m so so sick of having husband around all the damn time, but being alone all the time isn’t the answer… unfortunately. Sigh.

My days go to the rhythm of my recovery. Sometimes I’m making myself happy; sometimes I’m making myself starve. Some days are like finding a C-note on the road; some days are like drowning in quicksand. But every day I make the decision to keep trying, keep moving, keep baby-stepping, keep faith and hope and positivity that good things are finally coming my way. Keep on keepin’ on.

The Buddha & The Borderline – BPD Recovery Book Quotes

In The Buddha & The Borderline Covermy search for spirituality and more recovery information, I’ve had my nose deep in a new book lately. I cannot express how much I love and identify with this memoir!! I’m reading it clutching tightly screaming, “YES, YES, THAT’S ME!” I’m once again baffled how deeply personality disorders truly run, and thus how many experiences are almost mirror images from my own history. I’ve shared a little of this excitement with others, but only sharers of Borderline could really understand, so I wanted to quote a few paragraphs that I personally identified with.

These excerpts are from the book The Buddha & The Borderline: A Memoir by Kiera Van Gelder.

I also fantasize about my death. The image of Bennet finding me on his bed, dead from an overdose, flashes through my mind more and more often, especially when I’m in the shower. There, under the hot water, I’m confronted by my body, a pale, hairy thing that feels rubbery and unreal half the time. I can so easily imagine it sprawled out lifeless and rigid, with a note that says, “See what you’ve done to me?” [Chapter 1, page 9]

 

“The reason I haven’t killed myself yet is because of what it would do to my family,” I tell him.

“So you love your family a lot.”

“Actually, I hate them a lot.”[Chapter 2, page 12]

 

There’s no question that the diagnosis fits. I have all the symptoms: I have chronic feelings of emptiness and an unstable sense of self. I’m suicidal and self-harming, and I frantically avoid abandonment and rejection no matter what the cost. My relationships are stormy and intense, and my perceptions can shift between black and white at the drop of a hat. My emotions are out of control, I freak out when stressed, and others often find my anger inappropriate. The Diagnositic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), the bible of psychiatry put out by the American Psychiatric Association, says this disorder develops in early adulthood, but it seems to me that this isn’t true. As I look back, I see that I’ve had these symptoms, in varying degrees, since I was eleven years old. To say that BPD starts in early adulthood is ridiculous. No one wakes up at age eighteen and is suddenly borderline.[Chapter 3, page 16]

 

I plow through the clinical articles from the hospital resource center, read I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me from cover to cover, and, like everyone else I’ve since met who’s been diagnosed with BPD, I go online to find help and support, with the hope of being understood and accepted. However, the first sites I come across aren’t run by doctors or the people with the disorder, but by those in relationships with borderlines. They call themselves “nons” (as in, “non-BPD”), and they are pissed. I come across a blog written by a mother who says her adult daughter has BPD. She describes her daughter as a chronic liar who abuses her verbally and lacks even a shred of empathy. The daughter rages, manipulates, destroys furniture, and wrecks dinner parties, and if she doesn’t get her way, she threatens to kill herself. The mother is at her wit’s end, in a constant battle to control her daughter, who refuses therapy and claims she’s not the crazy one–her mother is. [Chapter 3, page 19]

 

I dive in and read, and the first thing I notice is that anonymity is de rigueur. People post under names like “angelofdeath” and “criesforever.” I’m shocked by the sheer number of members who are registered to post—thousands of borderlines, from all over the world. And yet the countless messages, the voices of BPD, almost uniformly read like SOS signals: declarations of futility interspersed with cries for help. Unanswered questions cascade down the lines of postings: “I think I have this disorder.” “What is it?” “Why do I feel this way?” “How do I get better?” “Does anyone get better?”… There is a flurry of connectivity, as one person after another declares, “Yes! It’s like that! I’m so out of control! I can’t stop hurting myself either. It feels like everyone hates me and I’d rather be dead!”

There’s the balm of shared suffering: Oh thank god you understand. But then the bigger reality of these postings is how little help is available. I read how there are essentially no doctors willing to treat BPD, an almost total absence of programs for the disorder, and only a handful of programs based on dialectical behavior therapy. [Chapter 3, page 20-21]

 

And then, further down, I see that “stopthepain” stops posting. And “angelofdeath” announces that she will be killing herself. A handful of moderators plunge in with wads of advice to stop the hemorrhaging, but it isn’t enough. These boards feel neither safe nor hopeful for me. At the end of reading these messages, I’ve gone through ten tissues and feel more lost than ever. Crying for help among the helpless is like trying to get sober in a bar. If 12-step recovery has taught me one thing, it’s that to get better, you need to connect with someone who has gotten through it. To believe that you can survive, you need to see that someone else has done it. [Chapter 3, page 21]

 

Keeping old meds is BPD insurance. Even in times when I’m not seriously suicidal, I hold on to big bottles of pills. They have incredible appeal. Candy-sized, the pulls can be consumed instantly, and they’re also controllable, collectable, and not as messy or uncertain as other suicide techniques. [Chapter 6, page 42]

 

I come across “The Pain of Being Borderline,” an article written by another famous BPD clinician, Dr. Zanarini. It says that in comparison to people with other personality disorders, borderlines experience greater levels of worthlessness, anger, abandonment, and hopelessness–that more that others, we feel like bad, damaged children, shunned by the world and better off dead (Zanarini et al. 1998).

…As Marsha Linehan says, we’re like emotional burn victims (1993a)…We’re emotional epileptics, thrown from one fit of horrible suffering to another. Poisoned by what’s inside us, and vulnerable to anything outside us. I’ve spent my life chasing relief from this pain, only to find myself more deeply mired in it. How can it be that after all of this work, killing myself once again seems like the only option left? [Chapter 6, page 44]

 

I know that mental hospitals are supposed to be full of horrors, loss of human dignity, and bad starchy food, and that you shouldn’t feel such relief at having your freedom taken away, and yet… And yet when I climb into bed, the white hospital sheets feel as cool and fresh as peppermint. On some level, I am dangerous to myself. And yet… here I am not. [Chapter 7, page 46]

 

I’m starting to understand why people say that hospitalizing borderlines is a bad idea because we get addicted to the care. Of course we do! We’re watered, fed, and walked, and it is a balm to every aggravated nerve. Plus, for the first time in years I don’t have to put on a public face and pretend that everything is okay…The last thing I want to do is go home. [Chapter 7, page 47]

 

Many things can happen when you’re in a no-win situation: You can completely fall apart, feeling hopeless and victimized. You can run away and hope the world changes. Or you can rise like a fury, go dark, and be the pain–which I’ve done before. In tenth grade, I woke up one day, cut off all my hair, threw out my clothes, and wore only black. People said I was trying to get attention, that I was purposely oppositional and need more medication. But if the world is closed to you and all you feel is pain, why keep pretending? [Chapter 8, page 60]

I’m on chapter 10 now, about a third of the way through the book and, although my anxiety is following the roller coaster tempo, I’m still really enjoying it. It’s keeping me more hopeful and slowly baby-stepping my way towards recovery. READ IT! 🙂

Financial Asphyxiation

Honestly, I don’t really know how to start this blog. I wrote and scratched a few sentences before giving up and just starting. There’s been a few general updates in my life that I want to…blather about, for lack of a better term. It’s just after 2am, I finally got my computer back up and running after being down for a few days for a still-undetermined reason, and I’m too antsy to sleep yet. So here I am.

First thing that comes to mind is that my husband got a promotion at work. He works at McDonald’s, something I’d seriously expected to last very briefly. After having trouble finding anything, I encouraged him to accept anything he can get, even something such as a part-time, minimum-wage grill cook at McD’s. He reluctantly agreed. That was six weeks ago, and up until this point, he’d still been set on finding other work, even interviewing. He comes home last Saturday and randomly says he was promoted. He finally got a full-time position in maintenance like he’d been wanting. It not only gets him off the food tasks and working a set schedule, it also comes with a small raise ($0.35/hr). His buddy and partner in maintenance was telling him how he was going to be up to such-and-such pay by the end of the summer and he’ll be set and blah, blah, blah. Needless-to-say, my husband was thrilled. He was so excited when he talked about it and yeah, sure, it’s great. I’m sold now, I guess, after a long talk with him about what he really wants. He’s moving up fairly quickly and additionally, making strides to go to college next year. (I’ll believe that when I see it.)

The promotion is fine and dandy, but that means my husband is now pretty settled at McDonald’s and no longer looking for other work. Our problem now is that we still aren’t bringing in enough money to cover our monthly expenses. We’re not only not bringing in enough income, we’re basically hemorrhaging funds. My husband works in the closest city, 30 miles away. So that’s ~65miles five days a week (just the commute!) I go to therapy in the nearest major city, 70miles away, twice a week, then to a DBT class in a city a little farther than that, another 15miles, on one of those days, every week. So that’s approximately 635miles driven per week just to get to the places we absolutely have to go. This doesn’t include any other reason we may need to go into the city. (Read: Any reason I need to go into the city, besides my two therapy days, since my husband can obviously go before/after work any other day.) Our car is already totaled, door unable to fully close, and on it’s last limb. We’re living in my parent’s house, who’ll be back from business/vacation in five weeks. I’m about to start seeing another doctor, adding $120 a month in office visits, and another ~$30 a month in medication cost. My dog and two cats haven’t been on any preventative (flea/tick/heart worm) medicines recently and are all six months behind on shots. We’ve still made absolutely no progress on any of my $4k+ medical debt. We’ve eaten through both our tax refunds (over $2k total) already. We get $124 a month in food stamps. AND WE’RE STILL HEMORRHAGING MONEY! (Read: Spending more than we’re earning. A lot more.) Do you see a problem here? I do. My husband and I both have terrible control, although I’m definitely the loose-pocket in the family. I can’t seem to hold a dollar to save my fucking life. I keep getting more and more expenses and we’d literally need thousands of dollars more a month to start covering everything we need from monthly expenses, to long-term debt payments, to moving and a car. This is an obviously impossible scenario which means I either need to get some mad prioritizing skills, or win the lottery.

I’m really at a loss right now. Even if I could get working right now to help out, it would cost me more in gas to get to work than I’d be bringing home. I don’t see myself realistically being able to go back to work until we move to the city. We can’t move to city until we save some money. We don’t have enough money to save. I’ve been selling a few things on eBay and doing some micro jobs on Microworkers for a little here, a little there, but it’s not enough. Aside from robbing a bank, I’m officially out of ideas.

I feel like I’m drowning. I can barely afford to breathe anymore. What the hell am I doing?

Judgmental Thoughts

I decided recently that I’m going to institute a new morning ritual in an attempt to get back to recovery-like, or at least self-discovery, habits. Every morning, I’ll dedicate at least 15 uninterrupted minutes to journaling. Even if I can think of nothing else to write but, “I can’t think of anything,” over and over, the idea is to keep the pen moving. The hardest part about journaling for me, or really writing in general, is getting started. Figuring out what to talk about, constructing the first sentence, etc. But once I start, magic happens. Words I never knew I had start appearing before me.

As usual, my first journal entry was no different. Half the entry was pretty much the above paragraph, describing my new routine. During the last half of the exercise, however, I found it harder and harder to stay focused as my brief, flat topic lost momentum. Finally, when time was almost up, I angrily scribbled the most honest thing in the entry:

I’m feeling really judgmental right now. I’m finding myself counting the minutes left and negative thoughts are creeping in. “This is stupid.” “This will never work.” “Why do you even bother?” This is SILLY, not stupid. It CAN work if you want it to. I “bother” because I want a better life! I WANT A LIFE! And more importantly, I want to be my own knight in shining armour! I want to save MYSELF! I want to know I CAN do it.

Because I can.

And I will.

 

First 15 minutes done. I amaze myself sometimes.