I was just on Pinterest, debating on if I wanted to scroll my cursor over this tab, click the “New Post” button and write. Obviously, I did. I debated because I’m not really sure I want to see what I have to say on paper yet. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to say this. I think I’m sabotaging myself on purpose. I mean, I’m not doing it consciously. Well, I sort of am. Okay, for example. I got up this morning, ate breakfast, watched a little TV, and then went and took a shower. I debated for a while about what to do after that so I went downstairs, had lunch, watched an episode of Star Trek. Then, I got bored. Rather than take a walk, clean my room, decorate the Christmas tree, or some combination of the aforementioned options, do you know what I did? I took a nap. I went upstairs and climbed right into the bed I had vacated only a few hours before. I slept for two hours before I had to pick Thomas up and head to reflexology. If I didn’t have an appointment today, I highly doubt I would’ve done anything productive. I don’t know what to do with my time now that I’m not in school. Like tomorrow. I’m seriously wigging out about tomorrow. I have Group (big G- Group is important!) tomorrow but I’m riding with Allison. She’s a girl who’s in Group that lives near me so I told her I’d give her a ride. It means I’ll be sitting there a little early since she has a previous engagement but that is perfectly okay. It gets me out of the house and in the company of other people, which seems really important right now. I’m not sure if it’s the holidays that are stressing me out or if it’s the empty void of time and space that I have in my life thanks to school bowing out. For some reason, doing anything more complicated than staring at a computer/TV screen, sleeping or eating is suddenly impossible. I can’t take it! And Montreal. Don’t get me started. I stopped texting him a few days ago (I think I stopped on Saturday…it’s Thursday!) because he was being clingy again. I can’t stand the “I miss you and love you so much” texts, especially when they’re being sent every hour. And I know it was a little immature to just stop texting him but for me to start talking to him was going to lead to conversation, something I desperately didn’t want to have. But instead of leaving me alone like he normally does, the messages kept coming. It was a text every few hours. It was a message on Facebook, then another. Then, a tweet, directly to me, calling me “[his] baby.” Oh my God, that one made my stomach turn. It’s not that I don’t want him to call me baby or anything, and I’m not ashamed to be in a relationship with him but the directness and public affection is too much, especially when I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that I’m in this relationship for the long haul. That seems so impossible to me. I really don’t think I can do it. Every time we have a good time, it’s followed by a sudden and impulsive urge to run, screaming in the opposite direction. It’s just something about committing to someone, to making that final decision, that is so petrifying. And honestly, this might seem like a stretch but I think it can be related to my irrational fear of death. Okay, hear me out. Think about it. Death is final. I believe in the afterlife and heaven and everything but death is definitely the finite end to life on this Earth. There is no turning back. That’s why it’s so scary for me when I think of my family dying. If my dad dies (oh my God, even talking about this seems like a horribly bad idea. I’m going to have to atone for this atrocity in a few minutes or whenever I’m done blogging this entry. If I remember, I’ll let you know about it in the next entry), there is no more talking to him, no more hearing his laugh, no more seeing his eyes light up when he smiles. It would be the end of my life as I know it. The same goes for my mom. If she were to die, there would be no more hearing her soothing voice, feeling her gentle touch or being wrapped up in her warmth. It would be over. And if I lost Thomas? Well, let’s just say I would absolutely lose my mind even further than I’ve already lost it. Oh great, now I’m crying. Glad I’m typing this in the comfort and safety of my bedroom and not in my usual hangout (the library). Back to my point. If I lost any of them, it would be final. And being in a relationship works the same way. Committing to someone, whether it be marriage, dating, having children, whatever, means that my life is permanently changed. And I’m not sure I can handle that. So when he publicly posts things like “how’s my baby doing?”, I naturally freak out. My knee-jerk reaction is to abandon ship and swim to the opposite shore. I know the cure would be a little OA (opposite action!). I still haven’t sketched that superhero I told Allister I’d make him. Maybe I’ll do that tonight and give it to him tomorrow as a little Christmas present. OA usually comes to my rescue, and it surprises me every time when it works (I don’t know why, I should come to expect these things) but for some reason, this time OA hasn’t come to save me. I guess I just haven’t been fighting my instincts long enough. Talking about all of this was a little bit of OA because I don’t like talking about it. It’s difficult, even when I’m with Allister. I feel as though my words will bring about whatever I’m talking about it. Like if I’m talking about the death of my parents, somehow that will come to fruition because I said it. I know I’m not that powerful but is it worth risking it? Like what if I do have some cosmic karma that’s just waiting for me to slip up? There’s just so much uncertainty. I think I’m going to work on that opposite action superhero drawing now, just to get my mind off of things.
Oh my God. I am having some serious issues right now. There was a shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. The gunman’s mother worked there. He, supposedly with the help of his younger brother, walked into the school, opened fire and injured 20 people. He killed 20 more, all of whom were children before turning the gun on himself. Stories are still breaking about it because it happened earlier today and I can’t shake the feeling that it’s my fault. I want to cry for those families and those poor innocent children but the tears won’t come. I don’t know why. There is so much evil and hatred in the world that I’m not sure I want to be a part of it anymore. Those deaths, the deaths of innocent and pure souls, is so tragic. And I couldn’t do anything to stop it. How sick is that? And my mom and I were discussing what I’m going to do over winter break since I don’t function well without a schedule. She suggested I spend some extra time at Uncle Fish’s. We’re visiting him for New Year’s since we usually spend Christmas alone and she was saying I should stick around after they leave to visit. That would normally be ideal but Uncle Fish is dying of lung cancer, remember? I don’t know if I could handle being around him for New Year’s with my family, let alone being around him without them there. It’s just so tragic. I feel like I should be mourning him and he’s not even gone yet. It’s so sick. I don’t want him to leave us. And I don’t know what it’s going to do to my dad. He keeps everything in because he was raised under the belief that men don’t cry but we all know that it isn’t healthy to hold in your feelings. He looks up to Uncle Fish so much, I mean he’s his big brother! And Uncle Fish is going to one day leave us. I can’t handle this. I don’t know what I’m going to do when it happens. The doctors only gave him 6-18 months to live. And that was in August.
I typed that last night before going out to dinner and a movie with Thomas. And let me just say, that was a much needed movie. We saw Life of Pi. It’s about this boy whose family owns a zoo in India. The economy is changing so they plan to move to Canada and sell the animals to different zoos in North America. They get passage on a freighter and while they’re sailing over the Mariana Trench, there’s this horrible storm. The ship sinks, except Pi and a few animals from the zoo make it onto a life boat. I’m not going to get into more detail just in case those of you who read this plan on seeing the movie. Let me just say though, that movie was a like a sign from God. There’s one part where Pi is explaining how hard it was to not be able to say goodbye to those you love. Letting go isn’t the hard part. It’s not being able to say goodbye that makes it hard to live with. And that was exactly what I needed to hear last night. My fears about Uncle Fish are well-founded, well sort of. I mean, it’s my OCD, what can I say? But not being able to say goodbye would be more than devastating. Despite my fears, I think I’m going down there during winter break. I’ll stay as long as I can tolerate it but like I said, that movie last night was a sign from God. That was exactly what I needed to hear. It was a really good movie. Particularly emotional for me because of what Pi goes through (I cried more than once) but it was beautiful. I had dreams of getting lost at sea last night but I didn’t wake up with the normal dread that I do when I have nightmares (which lately, has been every night). I’m not saying that I hope I get lost at sea one day but if I ever did, I know I have God with me. Mental illness can lead people to do selfish things. Even people who aren’t naturally self-centered, tend to envelope themselves in their own affairs. I think that’s what happens when I get particularly upset about one thing or another. But when it comes to visiting Uncle Fish and making sure he sees his family as much as possible in the time to come, I can’t do that. I can’t focus on myself. I need to focus on him and his comfort. It’s not going to be easy (God, that sounds so terrible. “It’s not going to be easy being selfless.” You’re such a prick) but it needs to be done. It’s 8:40 on a Saturday morning and already my mind is reeling about life’s deep and existential questions. I hate when I get like this.
I’ve published 25 blogs. I feel like confetti cannons and streamers should’ve gone off when I hit the ‘publish’ button last week but alas, no such fanfare occurred. I’m in the library (as usual) supposedly studying. I had to finish a project that I never started over the weekend that’s due today for Medical Assisting Fundamentals. Our last class was last week (Wednesday) but I was absent the day she assigned in (in Philadelphia getting my heart checked out for approval for ketamine treatments) and when I returned to class, it was due so she gave me until today to do it. The only problem is that over the weekend I was busy with a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra show, visiting the Maryland Science Center with Ty and finishing 5 hours worth of Information Science homework that was due last night at midnight. My plate is really full with finals. It’s kind of a relief to have most of these projects done but now I have to worry about the tests. I have until Wednesday to take my Medical Terms and Ethics final, one that I’m really nervous for. Speaking of which I have to do the weekly assignment for that by midnight tonight. I’m going to finish talking to you kitty cats first though. I’ve been noticing lately that when I’m under stress, even the good kind, my BPD symptoms really, um, I don’t know what to call it, flare? Exhibit themselves? So last night or the night before, I was really stressing about that assignment for Information Science (the one that took 5 hours). My dad was trying to comfort me and calm me down a little and I totally bit his head off. Normally, like under less stressful circumstances, if the same situation had occurred, I think it’s safe to say that I wouldn’t have responded that way. My old self might have. The one that was out of control and terribly self-destructive might’ve bit his head off, then returned for seconds. But honestly, since I’ve been in group and therapy, those types of outbursts have subsided. Don’t get me wrong, they still happen on occasion (like the other day…PS- I always always always spell occasion wrong, except for just then because I cheated and checked spellcheck!) but for the most part, they’re under control. I guess it’s all part and parcel of me getting better. I don’t know if I described it on here or not, but I’m terrified of getting better. Okay, I checked, I’m not going to beat a dead horse and start talking recovery again (yay!). It’s just weird to think that I can clearly see a difference between my behavior now and my behavior then. And all the little hiccups in between. I don’t know if my parents have noticed but I’m a little scared to bring it up for fear that I’ll subconsciously start acting erratic and out of control again. I have a really good habit of self-sabotage. Like yesterday, I went to the Science Center with Ty to do a little extra credit for Sociology (extra credit I’m not going to even get a chance to do because I have so much other stuff that isn’t extra credit that needs to be done). We saw the exhibit we were supposed to see, then headed to lunch. We ate at Hooter’s (she wanted wings and I wanted to watch the game!) and that’s when I realized, the whole entire time, I’d been telling little white lies. I don’t know why I do it but lately, I’ve been really good at telling the truth. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect but it’s better than it was. And now all of a sudden I’m lying? And it’s always about little insignificant stuff, stuff that doesn’t really warrant a lie. And I don’t know why I do it! But I find when I’m stressed (which I will be until December 17th, the last day of Finals!) I drop lies like they’re hot potatoes! It only leads me to assume that it’s another BPD symptom that’s only present when I’m stressed. I wish I could get this stuff under control so it wouldn’t happen at the most inconvenient times (another word I always spell wrong! inconvenient, not times). I’ve got to get cracking on this homework. With the amount of stress I’m under, I’ll probably be posting a blog a day!
This week has been absolutely insane. I’ve had papers due, projects to turn in, assignments to finish and finals to study for. I can’t handle the pressure! No but seriously, I’ve been working my ass off trying to get it all done. I just finished my 5-page research paper that I thought was going to be a piece of cake. Turns out, there was a lot more to do than I originally anticipated so I was up until 11:30 last night working on it. I didn’t actually finish until a few minutes ago! Okay, here’s a list of everything I still have to do.
- Keyboarding Basics weekly assignment
- Medical Assisting Fundamentals chapter reviews and final project
- Sociology study guide for final
- Intro to Information Science online assignments
- Medical Terms and Ethics weekly assignment and quiz
Okay, typed out and organized like that it doesn’t look like a lot but I swear it is! I’m not just complaining for fun! As you can see from my previous entry, I cut last Thursday in a desperate attempt to both protect my family from imminent danger and to alleviate the stress that is building on my shoulders. It was a rush that I haven’t experienced in nearly 3 months. As you can imagine, I was both disappointed and riddled with guilt at my actions. Last night, the same feeling swept over me but Opposite Action and Mindfulness came to the rescue and I resisted successfully. I still haven’t drawn my comic book superhero Opposite Action but I need to get on that. Seriously, that one skill has helped me so much. And after last night, I finally understand how building on these skills and stacking them together helps to calm you and keep you from harming yourself. I’ve been doing DBT for 6 months now and I’m just now understanding. Man, am I dense or what? But that’s okay, as long as I get it in the end. That’s all that matters. Montreal and I are enjoying the bliss of romance. I saw him yesterday and we spent a fabulous day together. I got a little Christmas shopping done, made out with him for a while, took some pictures with him and then took him home so he could go to work. The day was cut short by him having to work and me having to go to group but it was worth the few hours we spent together. I think I needed that month I hardly talked to him to understand that this relationship was healthy for me. I was eager to break it off because I was petrified that it would turn into the same emotionally abusive and stressful relationships that I was accustomed to. Now I realize though, that it was fear driving me. Montreal was being his typical supportive and loving self. I was the one who was resistant to the idea and thus hesitant to open up to him. But now I’m glad I have. Besides my parents, no one has been this supportive of me. He helps me through anything and is willing to listen to what I have to say. Don’t get me wrong, the idea still freaks me out but I’m getting used to it. The idea of this winter break on the other hand, is a whole other story. I won’t be working over winter break (which is a month and a half long) so I don’t know what I’m going to do. Of course, some of my time will be spent with Montreal and family (I think we’re going down to Virginia for New Year’s) but the rest of the time is open and free. And that scares the crap out of me. Having free time when you have depression or any other kind of mental illness is a huge mistake. It gives you time to ruminate and brood over the dark and racing thoughts that cloud your mind and judgment. This break is like a huge storm cloud looming over the horizon. It’s not quite here yet and you aren’t sure what you’re going to do when it gets here. Of course, my raincoat and umbrella is DBT and having someone like Montreal to talk to. But this storm may be too much for an umbrella to handle. I’m not going to lie. I think ultimately, the thing that I’m afraid of the most is recovery. Even saying the R word sends chills down my spine and makes my stomach knot up. Looking back, I think I’ve battled depression and anxiety my entire life. Coupled with the Borderline Personality Disorder, things have been pretty tumultuous on the mental health front. I can safely say that I’ve never lived a normal life. It’s been health crises, mental health wars, school stress and murky, unsafe friendships for as long as I can remember. But lately, that cloud has been lifted. I’ve got healthy relationships with the people in my life. I’m on a path in school that will one day land me a solid job and pave the way for my career to take shape. My RSD is safely under control and will be even more so when I start the ketamine treatments. That leaves the mental health side of things. I’m in therapy with Allister and of course there’s the DBT group with all of its fabulous ladies. I’ve got nothing to complain or stress about. And that’s just it. There’s nothing that says I should be upset or in upheaval right now but I am. I’m confused, scared and lost. I don’t know what I’m doing. This, this healthy relationship with life has got me turned inside out and backwards. Therapy and DBT says that I should trust myself (something I’ve never, ever done), that I should expose my weaknesses and trust that others will tread lightly (again, something that is nearly impossible for the most guarded person in the world to do, AKA me). But I’m doing it. I haven’t had severe symptoms of depression in months. My BPD, for the most part, is under control. Every now and again (like last night), I can easily identify my symptoms and acknowledge my behavior objectively. That doesn’t prevent me from behaving that way, but at least I see it. My OCD and anxiety have been a little more active than usual, but I think part of that is because everyone is throwing the R word around. I’ve never known what it’s like to live a normal, healthy life. And that’s scary as fuck. I want to retreat to the Shadows. I want the company and solace that the darkness brings. But Allister, my family and Montreal are pulling me away from all of that, into the light where I’m naked, fully exposed, and forced to live my life according to their rules. What if I don’t like it? What if I’m suddenly spiraling into another crisis and thrown back into the hospital? DBT says that you shouldn’t look at the what ifs. You need to look at the finite things. The concrete and sturdy, the secure and solid in life is what you need to survive. But with my life being up in the air, a balloon with no sense of direction and no way to change the winds that control it, I’ve trusted and come to find comfort in the unpredictability of my predestined life. Predestined as in, meant to live a life of chaos and unruliness. That’s why the R word is so horrifying. Recovery takes away every aspect of my life that mental illness has touched, cleans it up and hands it back to me as something buffed, polished and new. What am I supposed to do with this now clean life? What am I supposed to do with this grime-free life when I’m still pretty dirty myself? It doesn’t make sense. And I worry that it never will.