Whoa. So I toats owe anyone out in the cosmos who reads these mindless musings an apology for basically falling out of existence for the past month. Albeit, February is the shortest month of the year so technically…alright, alright, it’s been a while. And what a long trip it has been. So, this whole business of working for Billy Goat has come to an abrupt and almost bitter end. Now, now, nothing serious has happened to her. But, last week, on my day off, I get a call from her saying that her ostomy bag is leaking. Okay, I tell her, I’ll be up in a second to change it. Well, when I get there, I find out that she had put her wound vacuum in the refrigerator the night before and severed the chemo cord that was not supposed to be removed under any circumstance until several hours later that day by a professional (I am trained and certified but not in chemo removal). Well, after a frantic search for the chemo container and a rather sloppy disposal, me and her roommate got her cleaned up and immediately took her to the hospital that is currently treating her. She was loopy. BG was making statements that would make anyone worry. We didn’t have a choice. And while we were there, I sort of knew that this was the beginning of the end. They admitted her and now, to sort of fast-forward the story, she is moving to assisted living, where she’ll have to stay until…well, I don’t even know how to finish that sentence. I told you the ending sucked. So, I basically lost my job. But, that’s not even the best part of this little story. Somewhere in the midst of all of this chaos, a friend text me and said that she had Facebooked this friend and pleaded for my number, saying that it was an emergency. I thought about it, and I must say, in my defense, that with this whole job situation, my self-confidence was really good. I felt powerful and sure. I knew what to say and how to say it and I wasn’t afraid of the consequences of my actions. So I told this friend to pass my number along. Maybe not my wisest move. While I waited for the initial contact, I thought I was going to throw up. So many emotions were reeling through my head. I didn’t know what to do. Was it a good move? Was it stupid? What the hell was I going to say to her? And what the hell was she calling me for? I mean, I have had literally no contact with her in 2 whole years! Why now, all of a sudden, you want to call me and shoot the breeze? But, as I’m spinning in circles, my phone rings. Did the whole cliche where I dramatically look down and pause for a moment before answering, but when I did, this inexplicable calmness came over me. We sort of slide into this tense distant conversation. She starts explaining this dramatic situation that I’m not even going to bother repeating here, crying and asking for my help. I maintained my distance and tried to be as stoic and third-party-with-no-personal-interest-in-the-matter about it. And, at the time, I think I did pretty well. Now…not so much. After we had that conversation (oh, and somewhere in there, she apologized to me. Yea! The words “I’m sorry” came out of her mouth! Of course, it was immediately negated by “I’m not sure I should even be apologizing” so it doesn’t really count but for that brief second, the sun did shine), I was fine. I went home, told my parents about it, actually managed to forget to tell Craig at that next session and then…well, then came the whammy. The next week, it was like she was a poison slowly leaking into my tissues. You know on TV when they show a snake bite infecting someone’s muscles and veins, or when a vampire bites a victim and they zoom into the victim’s internals and you can see their body physically changing from what has been injected into them? Well, that’s what happened to me. When I answered that phone call, she bit me. And from then on, the poison was invading my tissues. Every night I dreamed about her. Every time I was in the car, I was driving a little faster because I couldn’t stop thinking about how pissed I was at her. Every time I went to the gas station or a store, I thought she was around every corner. Every time my phone chimed, I would swear it was her. The quicksand was up to my chest and I seemed to keep struggling despite the knowledge that struggling made it worse. I sank deeper and deeper. Knowing that I wouldn’t work for BG anymore, knowing that my life had returned to the Nothingness: the friendless, workless, pointless void that my existence is, I was really depressed. I slept all day…well, you know the whole bit. Shit, why am I wasting my time explaining it to you? A few days ago, I was in the car and my hand was on the phone, I was so ready to call her and cuss her out. I wanted to yell and scream and tell her every hateful thing that has ever burned my tongue, wanting to spit it in her face (well, technically her ear). I had that burst of self-confidence where I didn’t care about the consequences, and it was foolish (obviously) and may not have even been self-confidence (simply anger) but I was full of it. I was speeding down the road, with no destination in mind and I truly felt like a matador bull on ‘roids. So, I did the only thing I thought would calm me down. I called my dad. We met and I explained everything. The call, the poison, the constant presence in my life and how I thought I was so over this. I thought that after 2 years it would be over and done. That I could wash my hands and have the red come off, but it still stains my skin. Last session, I told Craig the same thing. And we established this: I was in an abusive relationship. I was never physically abused but the constant belittling and mental strain was enough that it was traumatic for me. And trauma for everyone is different. This isn’t a 2-year fix. It took a long ass time to get this way so it’s going to take a long time to undo this mess but, and that’s a huge BUT, it can be done. I can…and will..get over this. The mountain peak was hiding behind the clouds. That’s all. I just didn’t see how tall it was.
Well, things have certainly flipped around within the last two weeks. It’s a little incredible actually. The plans for ECT were changed after my doctor decidedly retracted her previous statement and said it wasn’t a good idea. She declared that she no longer supported the decision and wouldn’t write the referral. Pissed off my parents and I were. But the same day she told us this, we had a family meeting with Craig and that diffused the tension a little bit. We ended up right back where we started. I was depressed, we hadn’t talked about any medication changes or options for a different approach for my depression so things were at a standstill. Moving out was mentioned more than once but we couldn’t wrap the financials around it so that idea was sort of abandoned. And admittedly, the crippling, suicidal, I-want-the-world-to-crush-me-into-oblivion depression started to lift just the slightest bit. I was making plans with a very good friend. I was going to therapy more than once a week. I was engaging with my family. But people were missing the point. When in crisis, everyone can acknowledge and see the depression. But after the crisis is over, people forget the depression ever existed in the first place. They just expect everything to snap back into place and everything to be fine. The thing is though, that’s not how it works. My problem is that, even though, with the crisis over, I still have an underlying depression. I dip lower when I’m in crisis but I never come completely back to the surface. But…things did slightly turn around. I was able to sort of snap back into perspective. I took some action and got information I needed about my Social Security. I edited my resume. I actively stayed in touch with friends. I stayed physically active. And then, I got a phone call. My old softball coach and sort of pseudo-Mom called and said she had a family friend living with her. We’ll call her Billy Goat. Ms. Sue (my extra Mom) informed me that they were having a rough time with Billy Goat’s home health aide because she was from an agency, they didn’t personally know her and she was really only in it for the money. Aunt Sue (again, my extra Mom. She’ll be either Ms. or Aunt) said she wanted someone she could trust caring for Billy Goat. I have certifications and she knows me, trusts me and knows that 99% of the time I’m not doing much of anything (not to be offensive). And you know what I did? I took the job. I’m being paid to act as a caretaker for a family friend of a family friend. It’s emotional and intense but I like it. It’s a distraction from my own life and a reflection into someone else’s. This week has been stressful because it’s a transition. We’re switching from the home health aide to me and things in her treatment plan are moving forward. I adjusted my schedule to make sure she was comfortable this week, to give her some stability and to make sure she knew I was supporting her. And I know it will be rough the sicker she gets, and the more time I spend with her, but I think I can handle it. When I was with Uncle Joe, there were times when I had to leave the room and take a walk. I had to breathe some fresh air and remind myself that I wasn’t the one dying, he was. I had to remember that this is the life cycle, that it’s not an omen or anything like that. It’s just life. And I think this will be good for both her and me. She’ll be getting the perspective of someone who’s sort of seen this first hand before and I’ll be getting some, well, exposure therapy to one of, if not my biggest, fears. Plus, having a relationship that this so inclusive will give me a chance to exercise some boundaries. I’ll be able to practice being my own person and knowing that I am not her, she is not me and we do not have to be the same person. I think this will work. I hope this will work. We watched the end of The Breakfast Club yesterday. We caught the part where they’re all leaving the building and the letter they wrote to the principal is being read. “Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it is that we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us: in the simplest and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of is…a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club.” And it’s true. People don’t care what you think of yourself, they’ve already got what their own perceptions of you. But that’s not what matters. And that’s the point. The Breakfast Club knew what happened in that library. We know what happens in our own lives. We know what goes on in our own heads. Admitting things, coming to term with things, all of that, is up to you, not someone else. Convincing Billy Goat of that, I sometimes I feel like I’m convincing myself. But that’s okay. I think the crisis has been averted. Now, that doesn’t mean the war is over, but as of right now, the battle has been won.
The fog was thick as I came down here. My arms sting but I’ve sort of been enjoying the pain. It’s something to feel other than this dark, twisted hole that has replaced my innards. “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay came on my iPod while I was driving. Actually, every song that could’ve fit the mood I’m in came on my iPod right when I needed it. It’s like it was tuned in to what I was feeling. But I’ve never listened to those lyrics with ears veiled in depression and despair. Those lyrics, even if I wasn’t looking through gloomy glasses, fit my life to a T. “For some reason I can’t explain; I know Saint Peter won’t call my name; Never an honest word; But that was when I ruled the world.” I know you aren’t supposed to take song lyrics literally but the way this works is perfect. I used to feel invincible and untouchable by everything and anything. I wasn’t me. It wasn’t honest. I wasn’t being true to myself or who I was. Plus, every word out of my mouth (to anyone, let it be my parents, my teachers, anybody) was literally a lie. It was a faucet I couldn’t turn off. “For reasons I can’t explain; I know Saint Peter won’t call my name.” I think that’s kind of the reason I’m not dead yet. I feel like that’s the reason I haven’t actually carried out any plans (well, except for that one time. But it didn’t work, so does it count?). I don’t think I’m going to heaven. I’m not receiving any sort of retribution for what I’ve done on Earth. It has to catch up to me eventually, right? People don’t get free passes. Everyone knows that. Cultures throughout history have, like, never given free passes to people. Hindus and Buddhists are reincarnated until they reach the ultimate understanding of the universe. Jews have been treated like dirt basically by everybody for, well, forever. Christians had to kill the son of God before they could get off without a punishment and even then, they still have to live by His law and do decent things. Extreme Muslims believe in jihads and stuff so they go and blow themselves up to reach the blessed afterlife! I don’t know where that leaves me. I want to be here for Thomas. I want to be here to help anyone that is going through the same shit I am because I know what it feels like. I want to get a psychology degree because that’s the only way I know how to do the aforementioned. I don’t want to disappoint my parents anymore. I don’t want to feel like a failure. I want to love myself: body, mind, and spirit. I want to be proud of my “accomplishments.” I want to feel like a relatively normal young adult instead of a freak. I want to take responsibility for anyone and everyone I hurt throughout my life. I told Craig on Thursday that children weren’t really people because they hadn’t experienced anything in life. They hadn’t had their hearts broken or been denied anything (except maybe Second Breakfast). They hadn’t known true pain. But I was wrong. I think children are the most real people out of anyone on this planet. That’s the point. When they know pain for the first time, even if it’s something that seems trivial to us (adults, that is), that is the most powerful force in the world. When they know joy, even if it’s something that seems trivial (you guessed it, to us, adults, that is), that is the happiest, brightest, most vibrant shade of joy that can ever exist in one space. Our life sort of goes down hill from that. (But don’t be upset, no! Just keep reading!) And I think people with depression are more in-tune to that than other people. Not to say that others don’t feel anything, but when you’ve known your entire life (like I have) that you felt things more strongly than other people, that you were different from your family because you could literally feel emotions coming off of people like vibrations from a cell phone, it sort of becomes a problem. Because you spend the rest of your life living to find that first-discovered joy again. You want to experience that first heartbreak, that first sadness, that first moment of pure rage…because at that moment, it meant you were feeling something. Now? My world is covered in bloody cuts, covered by long sleeves, covered by a sweatshirt, even though it’s uncomfortably warm in here. Part of me wants to linger in this space. This little 2×2 section of the galaxy because I know this place. I’ve paced this little cell, I’ve touched every pore and crevice of these walls. But I’ve grown too big for this cave. I need to come into the light. I need to see, once again, what children see, just through a different lens. Children know pure emotion but the part of growing up is being able to hold onto that experience, being able to learn and grow from that and become someone from it. Instead, I chose to linger on it and crush it like someone who was too excited about having a new flower. But you know what the nice thing about flowers is? Once the seed has been planted, they tend to regrow.
Sitting in Barnes and Noble, you see the funniest characters. There was once an episode of Family Guy, where they were making fun of people who go to Starbucks and places like this to be seen using their laptops in public. They’re hipsters. They aren’t really doing anything useful or important, they just want to seem like they are so they go to a public place that most people perceive as cool or like upper-class and sit there and pretend to be watching their stocks grow or pegging their investments. I’m sitting in a Barnes and Noble, the same one I was in yesterday and the same one I’m in every Thursday with my laptop, waiting for my appointments with Craig and Dr. Wahls. There’s an elderly couple here, talking and laughing over pastries and coffee. They’re some of the smallest older people I’ve seem and the man has a bit of a ducktail (something Thomas would be proud of). But they seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves. There are a few people (including me) on laptops, with headphones in, all with drinks of different kinds, doing God knows what. Actually, a lot of the laptop people are peering around at the rest of their cafe mates. There are a few odd couples here: two women who look like they might be on an interview, a man and a woman that might be studying for something. And of course, the slew of single people, all doing random things like talking on the phone, juggling the cutest little girl in the world while reading a magazine about vintage cars, staring out the window at the passing cars instead of at their computer screen. Or simply staring at nothing in particular while sipping their coffee, with their sophisticated headphones around their neck instead of over their ears. It’s really interesting what kind of people this places attracts. And I think that’s part of the reason when I run away from home, when I try to escape and leave all my problems behind, I come here. Part of the reason is because it’s far away and I know the area. I’m pretty comfortable with the streets and the roads down here. Albeit, I still get lost like it’s nobody’s business, but down here, it’s a little trickier to do that. Partially, also, because I always hope that if I pop over to Hunt Valley, if I swing down the winding, curving roads that are super dangerous but overly thrilling, I’ll find my grandmother, waiting on the porch for me. I’ll find my childhood on pause, waiting for me to step back into it. But when I get there, when I pull up in front of the house, I find someone else there. I find someone else’s cars, their stuff, and I have to speed off before they see me and think I’m a creeper. Even trying to reconnect with an old friend, the boy who lived in the next house over, is difficult. We’ve gone on and lived our separate lives. We’ve grown up. We’ve done things and met people and moved on. Something that seems totally impossible for me to do. Candace (I know, totally random) stole the last year of middle school, all of my high school and a good portion of my college life. And right now, I’m sort of stuck on the fact that I won’t be getting that back. I won’t get to repeat that stuff. I won’t be able to take those memories of prom and graduation and scrub them clean of her disease and filth. I can’t undo what was done. Everyone says I should forgive myself and that I am forgiven but I can’t believe that. The crime was so heinous and there is no punishment for it. Except this mental one. This mental prison that I’ve locked myself in. I’ve been trying to run from the responsibility I know face since graduation. I’m supposed to find a job, supposed to be a productive member of society until I can start on my bachelor’s program in the fall. And no one, no one, thinks I did this the wrong way. No one thinks I did this backwards, or out of order or anything. And I can’t get around that. How is that possible? There is an order to life. We’re supposed to do things in a certain sequence, and I royally fucked things up by being Candace’s “friend” but no one thinks I deserve any retribution for it. My dad, whenever he talks about his mother, always says that when he got a job or was in school, he would help her pay the bills because his father wasn’t there. Of course, she was noble beyond all reason and didn’t spend a lick of what he gave her, but the point is is that my father was an adult. He grew up. He accepted his responsibility and moved on. He didn’t fuck shit up like I did. My mom, when Laura said she wouldn’t be her friend anymore, just sort of moved on. She didn’t linger, she didn’t let it destroy her life. I did. My brother has the reflexes of someone who’s been abused because of the way Candace and I used to attack him. We used to physically beat Thomas for fun. Not like, until he was unconscious or anything, but he definitely had to defend himself. And because of that, Thomas’s reflexes are freakishly fast. He doesn’t hesitate to tell me that either. I don’t think he knows what he’s saying is hurting me, otherwise, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t say it, but still. It drives the knife in that much deeper every single time. These people sitting in Barnes and Noble with me…they don’t see Candace. They see a girl with makeup on her face, a teal dress on, gray boots, a sweater, jewelry…it’s a nice facade. I look normal. “If you hear horses in Central Park…” But I’m not a horse, I’m a zebra. And making people understand that is impossible. I can’t keep blaming her for my mistakes. People tried to tell me over and over again that she was bad news and I didn’t listen. This whole situation, this whole undoing of my life is my fault. I was telling Sarah how depressed I was yesterday and she was sympathetic. I was saying that no one does that anymore because people expect this to go away sort of like a broken leg. It’s there and then after a while, it’s not. It’s not supposed to be an ongoing problem. Yesterday, it definitely was. I was suicidal, cutting, depressed, reckless. You name it, I was feeling it. Except happy, don’t name that. I wasn’t reaching out to anyone either. DBT was there but it was on the back burner. I told you, I feel like my life is just crumbling around me and I don’t even have the energy to blame someone else. I don’t feel like I have the right to blame someone else. This was my doing. I made this bed and now I have to lie in it. But how easy is it to say that when you’re simply looking at the bed, or thinking about it? When you’re actually lying in it and it’s itchy and your back hurts and it’s uncomfortable, you want more than anything to be in Fiji, soaking up sun and drinking mojitos out of a coconut with Hugh Jackman next to you telling you he signed the divorce papers this morning and that he is officially a single man. I guess the whole point of this runaround story is that I’m sort of coming to realize…this is my life. This is what it is and this is what it always will be. An endless stretch of days and nights, an endless sea of ups and downs, darkness and light, varying shades of gray, never a glimpse of white but always flashes of black. And I have no one to blame but myself.
Two days after the fallout. Christmas has been over for two days and people are still running around like mad, still shopping and stealing parking places like they’ve lost their minds. They’re still cutting you in line so they can get the best deal on wrapping paper before the store sells out. The TV is still flooding your room with merchandise and sales. It’s utterly insane. Welcome to Corporate America. And for me, for people like me, the ones who have spending problems, the ones who struggle with this forced happiness and pretend merriment because you are really trying to steal that last copy of The Hobbit before the bitch next to you gets it for 70% off, this sort of time is like Hell. It’s pure torture. That’s why the day before Christmas, I spent my day in bed, claiming my stomach hurt until I psychosomatically made it hurt. I even skipped Christmas Eve church service, which is like one of my favorite services of the year. I was supposed to participate in it this year and instead, Thomas read my part because I claimed I couldn’t get out of bed. And yesterday, I skipped seeing Saving Mr. Banks with my mom because I was too depressed to function. My dad came home from work and, upon hearing this proclamation, stormed into my room, flicked the light on and proceeded to drill me with questions about why I was depressed and what was wrong and if I was cutting. At the time, I didn’t appreciate it. But after he took my mom to the movies, I greatly appreciated what he did and dragged my sorry ass out of bed. I started a new medication last night that is supposed to help with…well, you know, I don’t even know what it’s supposed to help with at this point. I can’t keep up anymore. But this holiday season, it’s so weird for me. I don’t have a bunch of friends to blow tons of cash on. I don’t have tons of parties to go to, or places to visit with people other than my family. I don’t have people to celebrate the new year with and get drunk. I don’t have anything exciting to look forward to. I mean, I went to Ms. Sue’s holiday party, and I hung out with Sarah, but that was the extent of it. Of course, I had a good time with my family on Christmas day: we took Poco to the beach, where he practically lost his mind. It was hilarious. Anyway, like I said, this constant up and down, this constantly trying to gauge the rest of the world’s mood and balancing mine against that is so confusing. And I shouldn’t be doing it like that but that’s sort of how things work. I’m sinking lower and lower, even with the beginning of a new year coming towards me. The promising and prosperous start of a new time, a new chance and a new beginning, and I still feel like killing myself. Yea, it’s that extreme. It’s ridiculous. I know I can fall farther. I know I can sink deeper. I know this water can get thicker. But I’m losing my will to swim already. It’s pathetic. Maybe I can convince my parents to let me go for a drive. I don’t feel like writing anymore.
Christmas is almost here. “You grew up hearing about it, but I never figured I’d be there.” I wrapped a ton of presents today and I’m actually still not finished. For a family that doesn’t place much value on material objects, we buy a lot of crap for each other. I’m stressed to the max though. Of course, like everyone else on the fucking planet, Lucy, duh. Gosh. No, but seriously. Like I said last time, the feelings of anxiousness and compulsion are super strong because if I stay still, all the darkness of every single molecule in time and space is closing in on me. I can’t describe it any better than that. And my mood swings, this all-or-nothing thinking. I can’t even wrap my brain around why this is happening. My mom said the usual: it’s stress, you just finished at the community college, you’re at a transition in your life, bla, bla, bla. But I don’t buy it. I don’t know why I can’t handle transitions like everyone else. Powerpoint presentations have an easier time transitioning and they aren’t even alive. And I’d like to think that I’m sort of, well not really but kind of, over the whole “self-sabotage” thing. I know I say it basically every time it happens, but that’s not what this feels like. God, I’m quoting and rolling my eyes at myself. Maybe that means that’s exactly what this is. I’ve been cutting practically every day for one reason or another. And usually, the reasons, in hindsight, are really stupid. But at the time, the feelings, the emotions are completely overwhelming and I feel like a supernova. The smallest thing will set me off. So I have to relieve the pressure. I look like I’m turning into a zebra. I thought I was making headway with the DBT skills. It was getting easier because rather than having to consciously think about using them, they would sort of just come to me. I could be like, “oh, I should be distracting myself right now,” or “I need to do some opposite action” and it would naturally occur. But then, all of a sudden, I’m slicing up my wrist like a Christmas ham and freaking out because I feel like everyone in the mall is staring at me accusingly. After all this time, after all this shit I’ve been doing, you’d think I’d have a handle on it by now. Part of me feels like this is bullshit. You know, the whole I’m-going-to-quit-therapy-and-go-join-a-commune. But then I’m like…nope, that thought doesn’t even finish. I can’t give myself credit for all the “work” I’ve done. Other people don’t have this problem. Other people don’t have to do this, so why should I celebrate what I’ve been through as an accomplishment and not some form of punishment for some crime in a past life. I talked to my dad a few mornings ago, and he said he was proud of me. And he acknowledged everything I went through. He told me that he knew it was difficult, and that with the hospitalizations and the therapy and the medications, he knew it was a struggle to complete school. But I did it. And that, that moment, right then, was the first and only time I’ve believed that my dad was actually proud of me. But, of course, the moment was more fleeting than a speck of dust in a tornado. I subconsciously reminded myself of everything I just said and it simply went “poof!” And now my parents are talking about sending me to get my bachelor’s degree while my brother is pursuing his. And they don’t think there’s anything wrong/weird about this at all. But I think it’s very, very weird. I mean, if the school has a good program then I want to attend, but I also want to preserve the relationship with my brother. I don’t know. Something about this, just doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re suggesting I go to the school that the favored child go to. Just like sloppy seconds. Again. When they suggested Thomas go to Rowan, the school of my choice if I hadn’t fucked up, I was crushed. Why would you send the child you prefer to the school of choice for the other child? Like that just seems really weird, twisted and messed up to me. But they don’t think this is strange in the slightest. I don’t know, I almost feel like they’re trying to turn me into Thomas. Like they’re trying to make me conform me into his little mold, hoping that if I fit, if they manage to stuff me in there and make it work, I’ll turn out like him. Of course, telling them this would be ridiculous. They wouldn’t listen. It would be me being ridiculous, me reading into things too much. I need a cigarette.
So…this week has been rather eventful. And it’s been swinging both ways. For some reason, my anxiety has been through the roof and my OCD has been spiraling out of control. I’m constantly cleaning and straightening things up, even when I’m not in my own house. It’s like I’m the Energizer bunny. I can’t stop moving, no matter what I’m doing or where I am. Even in the shower, which is usually my safe haven, I have to be dancing. This energy makes my mom happy because I’m cleaning but she knows that’s a fine line to walk because I’m becoming obsessive. And it’s not just about that. It’s about my weight too. I’ve lost 50 pounds since April and I plan on keeping it off. Being able to fit into my size 16 jeans was like the best feeling I’ve ever experienced. I like being able to shop in my own closet for clothes that are smaller than the ones I’ve been wearing for the last 6 months. But Dr. Wahls (my psychiatrist, in case you forgot. It’s been a while) increased my Lamictal (for picking/cutting) and my Seroquel (for the anxiety and depression), which she casually mentioned might cause weight gain. Of course, to her, that doesn’t mean anything. To me, it means back into bigger clothes, eating more, hating myself more…it’s just an ugly cycle that I’d rather not repeat. Coupled with my anxiety, it’s led to constantly weighing myself, obsessively watching what I eat and constantly worrying about what I look like in my clothes. And then, when I sit still, when I slow down because there’s nothing left to clean, nothing left to do, the bottom falls out from underneath me. I am dropped into this dark abysmal place, where I can’t see anything, where I can’t breathe, where I can’t think of anything but no longer existing. I can’t help but think of terminating myself. And it’s exactly like that. Usually when I think of ending my life, it’s sort of this dramatic, operetta-type deal. I imagine the whole scene. But when this place swallows me, it’s not that…emotional. It’s cold and calculating. I am not important enough to have such a grand farewell. I don’t deserve to have a standing ovation upon my passing. I need to exit stage right like a shadow, like the set designers that organize the props for the next scene, dressed in all black and invisible to the crowd that is enthralled in the show going on around them. I go out more like a candle, than a 4-alarm blaze. But as soon as I’m up, as soon as I’m running around, doing things, occupying myself, I’m fine. It gets even better though. BPD has very distinct behaviors, just like every other personality disorder. And now that I am aware I have BPD, I can more easily recognize those behaviors. And lately, they’ve been rearing their ugly heads like snowflakes in winter. I can see myself doing it, I can see myself being manipulative and bitchy. I can see myself being defiant and switching between all-or-nothing. I can see myself behaving in this way that I’ve worked over a year to not behave in. And all of a sudden, it’s not working. It’s almost like I’m a third-party observer. I see what I’m doing, I realize how I’m acting, but I can’t stop myself. It’s greedy, and shameful and horrible. And the snowball keeps turning…I beat myself up for being a bitch, for being fat, for being energetic, for being on Earth. And the holidays are extra weird for me because I’m not used to going broke buying Christmas presents for people who aren’t family and treat me like dirt and then having to do the same thing in 2 weeks because it’s their birthday. Speaking of which, I did something the other day that even surprised me a little bit. I messaged Alexa on Facebook (since you can do that without being friends with someone) and apologized for being a horrible human being. We’ve been texting/talking ever since and we’re working through it. I had to recount my story for the millionth time but like I told her, that is my cross to bear. In order to repair the relationships that were severed by my stupidity, I’m going to have to tell that story a million more times. It’s good to know that I have someone like that playing on my team again. She was always a better friend than Candace ever was. But even with this type of healing going on, even with her hopefulness for the future of our relationship, I’m still dealing with the problems mentioned above. I’m still trying to figure out why I had a meltdown half an hour before my pinning ceremony last night and told my mom I wasn’t going to go, then completely changed the planned outfit and wore something totally different. I’m still trying to figure out why I was super conscious of what I ate for breakfast but then pigged out at lunch and am super worried about dinner because I’m supposed to be going out with Jon to eat tacos or something. Oh, and then there’s the problem with him. He lives a good bit away, which has been a strain on our relationship but it hasn’t been a major factor. We always seem to work things out. But lately, because my moods have been, well, BPD-ish, driving that far and committing to something that long-term (even though it’s only a few hours) is really hard. And even getting him to come out here and then sending him home after an hour or 2, would be really ridiculous! This relationship is literally the best I’ve ever been in in my entire life. My parents like him, I like him, I think his parents like me. I can see myself marrying him. I don’t want this to end but I don’t know how to get around this little snag. Because, of course, it’s my problem. Things are always my problem. It’s never someone else’s. And, of course, that’s a BPD standpoint. Things happen to me, not because of me. That’s the shit I’m talking about. I just sort of slip into it and by the time I realize I’m doing it, it’s too late. The behavior has started and it’s too late. The gasoline has been poured and the match is lit. I just feel so out of control. I don’t know how to stop it. I’ve been diligently taking my medicine; that’s never been anything I’ve struggled with. But this inconsistency in my moods, in my energy, in my anger…it’s ridiculous. And Dr. Wahls will probably try to say it’s Bipolar Disorder. I don’t have Bipolar Disorder. This is not a manic episode. I know my body and I know what I’m going through. I know enough about that disease to know that this isn’t that. I don’t have anything against people with Bipolar; I just know I don’t have it. If I’m slipping though, if this is the beginning of another end, I kind of need to brace myself. I can’t do that right now. I have to much shit to do. And I can’t handle that on top of everything else. That sounds so cold and heartless but it’s the truth. That’s how everyone else deals with me, so I’ll deal with me like that too. Easy enough, right?