You’re Blurry.

So I have been going to the gym this last month- I know, I am surprised myself.

Surprised or not, I am constantly noticing that I am judging myself for how fat I am and how ugly I look. I also imagine that because of how I think I look, that other people must see me in the same way.

So yesterday, I went swimming and as I walked onto the wet pool deck into the warm atmosphere, I was self-conscious that my bathing suit barley covered my boobs (neither do turtlenecks) and that my bathing suit is literally falling apart. I got into the pool fast so no one could see anything. My bathing suit is black and because of my weight, I think I look like an orca whale sloshing around the water. The movie should have been titled, Free Ally instead of Free Willy.

As I am bobbing around in the deep end, I realized that this was the first time that I haven’t put in my contacts and basically the whole world was blurry. It was so blurry in fact that I couldn’t see people’s faces, their expressions and I barely knew what genders were surrounding me as the water sloshed back and forth. At first, it made me angry because I am so self-conscious that I feel like I am constantly checking people’s facial expressions to see if they hate me as much as I hate me. However, I then realized what a great relief it was not to have that pressure for an hour straight. Then it hit me; this is how I should live my life.

I want to live my life legally blind, so to speak. I want to live my life three feet in front of my face and not worry about what happened in the past and what is going to happen in the future. I want to live my life in the present.

Having Borderline Personality Disorder, I am constantly worried about who was in my life five years ago and why they left or who will love me enough to be in my life in the next five years. And being legally blind in the pool, I realized that I couldn’t worry about what has happened in the past and I can’t obsess about what is going to happen in the future because all I have is here and now. And if I need to look at life through a blurry lens to keep my focus on the now, then that’s how I have to live my life.

The people that are going to matter will be in my life in my future and the people that will be exiting my life will either leave quietly or leave with a bang. But either way, I will pick up the pieces and live my life the way it was meant to be lived; in the here and now and three feet in front of my face.

Until next time,

Allison

Special thanks to my therapist who constantly tells me to live my life this way and constantly reminds me to focus on the present when I lose my way.

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May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month. Let Me Educate You.

May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month and I thought that now was the time to open up and bare it all- I don’t have anything to lose.

I feel like this blog is important to write because it will give you insight on my disorder and perhaps make you aware of the issues that I deal with every minute of every day.

I know what you are thinking, ‘it can’t always be like this,’ and you are partially right. However, know this, my mind and my actions drift through this disorder like a ship during a hurricane with a side of tsunami. The only way I make it safely to land is through hard work, skills and my amazing therapist. I practice DBT Skills every day. DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy. There are major skills that go into DBT in order for me to try to live the greatest life possible.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness has the following symptoms. I am putting the symptoms in bold, and then explaining to you how these symptom affect me.

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • An intense fear of abandonment, even going to extreme measures to avoid real or imagined separation or rejection -BPD does develop even before you are able to talk and abandonment is my biggest fear. If I feel like I screwed up in a relationship, even if it is a strong relationship like me and my husband, I automatically assume he will leave and divorce me. It’s not once and a while, it’s a fear that is ongoing in my home life but is also evident in my daily work life as well.
  • A pattern of unstable intense relationships, such as idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn’t care enough or is cruel – My most stable relationship, and one that I am forever thankful for is my husband, Joe. However, my other relationships usually end on a bad note, either I get too clingy or I get scared and push away. Either way, the outcome is usually the same which is that the relationship ended on bad terms.
  • Rapid changes in self-identity and self-image that include shifting goals and values, and seeing yourself as bad or as if you don’t exist at all -This is something that I fight with everyday. I view myself as an unworthy, bad person. I don’t know my own identity. I tend to take on my surroundings like a chameleon in the rainforest. The rainforest is the world and I am a chameleon that doesn’t know what color to be because I just want to fit in. I don’t feel like I even fit in with myself.
  • Periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality, lasting from a few minutes to a few hours -I catastrophize every and all situations. If Joe goes to work, I think he will die in the 1.2 mile car ride there. To give a more extreme example is that I also have PTSD from an active shooter drill that my school made us participate in in 2013. It has been five years since that drill but everyday I kiss my own kids goodbye, for what I think will be the last time, because I think they will die at their school. When I would walk into my school I would take a big breath in thinking that this would indeed be my last day. Part of that is the paranoia and a giant part of it is the PTSD but either way, it gives you a glimpse into how I think.
  • Impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling, reckless driving, unsafe sex, spending sprees, binge eating or drug abuse, or sabotaging success by suddenly quitting a good job or ending a positive relationship -So, yeah, I drive recklessly especially when I am angry. I pray to God that another driver will kill me in the process because I don’t have the guts to do it on my own and I don’t think I am worthy enough to live. However, I am aware enough not to do this with my kids in the car because I love them too much. I also enjoy drinking, sometimes in excess. And it’s not because I like to be wasted but I use this as a coping mechanism. I use it as an escape. I need to escape and this is how I do it. Luckily, in this category I only have those two things. I am fortunate enough that I made the decision to only have one partner. I was a virgin when I got married and that was a conscious and religious choice and I am glad I followed through because that is something I am proud of. I don’t gamble because teachers don’t have money. I have never even tried drugs and never had the desire to so that’s out. I do spend money but not to excess and if you checked out this body, you would see that I like binge eating.
  • Suicidal threats or behavior or self-injury, often in response to fear of separation or rejection -This is a sensitive subject for anyone but one that still needs to be talked about despite the uncomfortableness of the subject. I do a lot of things that fall under self-harm. It’s not that I necessarily want to die, it’s that the pain inside me is so severe that self-harming is a way to feel. It’s hard to explain but it’s like feeling like I am dead inside already and I do it to feel any type of life within me. Last year, I got a tattoo on my wrist to remind me to Just Breathe. It’s a way to help me drop that pill bottle when the pain gets to overwhelming and the demons in my head tell me that I am not good enough anyway. (The demons are metaphorical… I don’t actually hear voices. )
  • Wide mood swings lasting from a few hours to a few days, which can include intense happiness, irritability, shame or anxiety -Yes, I am all of these things. I could be in the best mood and something will trigger something so deep within me that I snap into a whirlwind of other emotions. I have many triggers but to give you an idea of how quickly, and what you would think is so minor, something can set me off, is actually being called stupid. When I was younger, I wasn’t good at school, not because I didn’t try but because I was labeled as stupid. I was taught that I would never be smart, especially at math or science and that’s how I grew up, with a label so simple and so hurtful as, stupid. And that word sends me into a blind rage.
  • Ongoing feelings of emptiness-I am basically Swiss cheese. I have so many holes that are empty and they long to be filled and I am just not able to fill them on my own. I tend to look towards others to understand and to realize if I am worthy enough. And even if that validation is given to me, the moment and the feeling is fleeting and the hole returns. I have to learn to fill it for myself which is what therapy is for and why I depend on such an amazing therapist. She helps me to fill in my holes with love and validation and I can depend on her.
  • Inappropriate, intense anger, such as frequently losing your temper, being sarcastic or bitter, or having physical fights -Well, you all know I am sarcastic if you read my blogs or if you know me in real life. A lot of people say that they can’t take me seriously because of my sarcasm but what regular people don’t know is that my sarcasm is my defense mechanism. I need to beat you to the proverbial punch in the face. I insult myself before you have a chance. Then onto anger, I am angry person. I rage. I throw things and if I am really mad I will leave the house just to keep myself from raging in front of my family. Don’t worry, Joe is with the kids. But I don’t want to be that person and because of my intense therapy, I have become so much better. My levels of rage have diminished and I am like a new person. I can’t thank my therapist enough.

I want to thank you for reading about me and for taking the time to educate yourself. I am not a crazy person but a person who has a deep fear of abandonment and emptiness. It will take a lifetime of healing and patience but I am in this for life. I can’t give up now because I want to see tomorrow.

Until next time,

Allison

If you are suffering and are thinking about harming yourself, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

All information was from: http://www.mayoclinic.org.

A List of Clichés That Make Me Want to Punch You.

People are getting on my nerves so I have developed a list for the people that don’t have a mental illness. Study it. There will be a test douche bag.

Here is a list of what not to do with someone with depression or, in my case, Borderline Personality Disorder:

1) I don’t want you to tell me that I have a good life. I have eyes asshole, I know that I have a good life.

2) Don’t ask me what is wrong and then when I say ‘nothing’… don’t act like something is wrong anyway. It’s just my bitch face.

3) And even if it’s not my bitch face, did you ever think that I don’t want to share my feelings with you because I am sick of hearing myself talk about why I don’t understand why I am depressed? Or maybe it’s that I don’t feel like hearing your broken record telling me that, ‘I should be happy.’

4) Don’t tell me that if I exercise, I will feel better. When would you like me to do that? Between my full time job, being a mom or going to therapy three times a week? When I am not doing the above, I want to do something for me and that is not the gym. And why is it not the gym? Because the gym smells like sadness and despair.

5) Don’t tell me that things will get better in time. Shut. Up. Like seriously, do you have a book of clichés?

6) Don’t tell me to use therapeutic skills. Do you know what I want to do when I am in a rage of emotion? It’s not to use skills… it’s to do the opposite. It is just to sit there and wonder why the hell I have to be the one to use skills to regulate emotions. Maybe you need to use skills because you are pissing me off.

7) Don’t tell me that if I eat better, I will feel better from the inside out. I will tell you what will make me feel better. It’s a few eggrolls, a whole pizza and ice cream, you clean, eating, health hippie. Go hug a tree while eating granola.

8) Don’t tell me that I am thinking too emotionally. You know why? Because I can’t control my emotions… that is part of being a Borderline you ass.

9) Don’t tell me to take a deep breath. I will tell you why, because when I take a deep breath, it only helps me to channel my energy into pummeling you to the ground.

10) Don’t tell me to enjoy what is around and take in the moment. I want to get out of the moment and I want to run. I want to run but I am fat because I don’t exercise because of my emotions which is part of my disorder which is part of who I am which is part of what I can’t control which is why I have my problems in the first place, hence the therapy. Jerk.

So, remember people… think before you speak. Don’t give us the clichés. Just sit with us because we just want to be with people that are comfortable with being in our presence.

Until next time,

This is not a multiple choice test.

 

I Can’t See You

I need an escape. I clawl my way from the bottom, trying to get to the top and I can’t seem to get a grip. I slide down the sides of these walls because there is no solid ground. It’s like an avalanche all around me and the bottom is filling quickly. Soon I will run out of air but I don’t even know if that will bother me.

I see you above me; holding a rope. You are screaming at me to hold on. Your words fall on deaf ears. I see you and I understand what you are saying but I am not worth it. There are so many other people you can give your rope to; help them.

At the last moment I lunge for the rope. Too scared to go under. The rope feels good in my hands as you try to pull me out. I’m too heavy; too much borderline. The rope is slipping through my hands causing dust and dirt to fly through the air. Just as the dirt and dust go all around me, so do my thoughts. ‘How did I get to this point?,’ I think.

And just as quickly as the rope leaves my hands, I see you disappearing from my view. Everything is black.

Until next time,

Allison

You Can Sit in the Front

Being a person with Borderline Personality Disorder is like being on a rollercoaster. Everyday has an up and down; even if my day is going well, you don’t know what is setting me off and going on in my head.

Waking up is like taking a ride everyday; the ride looks great from afar- it starts with waiting in line and waiting for your turn and once you are at the front of the line you need to take that ride… after all, all your friends are doing it.

I get on the rollercoaster and take the first seat available; the front seat. That’s it, I crave the thrill of the ride. I feel nauseous but I am anticipating the seat belt check and the team member to give us the ‘go ahead.’ This time I am going to make it.

Click, click, click… I can feel the ride and the day starting off bumpy. My whole body shakes with the click, click, click of the tracks. My day starts off with not wanting to go to work because I don’t feel like I am making an impact; but I stay in my seat till I reach the top.

Just as fast as I get to the top, something sets me off and I am plummeting to the ground; a thought, a feeling, a memory. I try to open my eyes but the flashes in my head are too fast and I just tightly grab the bar and close my eyes. I don’t want to be in my head.

The twists and turns come as fast as the initial drop and my head is making things up about me. Telling me that I am not good enough and that I don’t belong.

The ride is jolting me left and right no matter how many times I checked the seatbelt, I am still being pushed back and forth. I hold on as tight as I can but this skill doesn’t help. I hit my head on the side; I hit the side repeatedly and I can’t stop. It’s the way to make the thoughts stop so I just let it happen.

My day comes to a slow plateau when I pass Joe on the side of the rollercoaster. He is watching me and cheering for me on the side and telling me to hold on and he will be there at the end of the day; at the end of the ride.

The rollercoaster comes to a screeching halt and I hear, ‘click, click, click…whoosh.’ and that’s the end. I get out of the first car with bumps, bruises and a sense of accomplishment.

I made it another day; I made it another ride.

Until next time,

Wait for me at the end.

 

Please Stay with Me

My heart is aching, my body is breaking and I don’t know what to do. There are so many thoughts that go along with being like this. I am stupid, ungrateful and dumb but really all I feel is numb. You will never understand because your feet aren’t in the same place that I stand. I stand among you but you don’t know the thoughts that pass through my mind; the thoughts that come and go. My world is shifting and I tend to fall. I get up again and again but I am so tired and don’t stand as tall as you. I slouch and crouch down so I can’t be seen. I can’t let you see me and what this all means. I don’t understand it myself because I am so lost and it’s dark here. I want to be better but there feels like there is no end in sight. Some days are light but the darkness sets in and there is nothing in front of me or in back of me, just an abyss. You face the night but I face the darkness. I can’t see my hand in front of me because it is too dark. Even the bright white of my hand can’t be seen in front of my face. My thoughts are just as dark but I try not to let you see because how would you feel about me? If I really told you my thoughts I know you would run; run as far as you can because who wants to be next to me? Do you really want to walk by my side to go with me step by step? I am safe and I am not actively hurting myself; they are just thoughts and thoughts they will stay because I could never die that way. Please stay with me and see my thoughts. Please don’t leave me because I can’t take that loss. Please stay with me because I can’t be alone. Please stay with me because I can’t be left behind. Please stay with me until this passes. Please stay with me.

Until next time,

I wish I wasn’t a borderline

Red Tape

You ask me how I am doing and I say I am doing fine. You keep asking me because you know that it isn’t true. You ask me how I am doing- I give you more information, ‘not good’, I say; ‘it’s been a tough week.’

Again you ask because you truly want to help me, I tell you that I think about hurting myself and you get nervous. For you, this is new, something you didn’t know about me but for me, it’s every day life. Every second the thought passes through my mind like a rapid fire rifle.

You start to get uncomfortable and start to show me all the gifts I have in my life and how I would be leaving my family. I hear you but my mind is racing- perhaps I have shared too much? You are on high alert like the United States on a holiday.

I start to shut down. I start to shut down. I can’t talk to you about this because it’s not normal and you have every right to feel the way you do. You have every right to show me what I have and what I would be ‘giving up.’ However, I already know this information.

I start to shut down. My engine is out of gas. The gas light has come on but I have no desire to find a gas station. I have no desire to pump more gas. I can’t make you feel better and keep myself from rolling off the nearest cliff.

You care about me so much and I, you, but we shouldn’t talk about this anymore. You are trying so hard to ‘help’ and I am trying so hard not to shut down but it’s impossible.

From now on, I need to conform with the rules of society. I need to feel what is right even if it’s a lie. Bound my hands and mouth with red tape. I need to conform to societal norms.

And even if I am trying to conform to society, I am cheating myself because I am not validating myself; ‘it’s not me,’ I say, ‘it’s society.’ There is such a stigma on people like myself. We live in a world where we are not accepted and our thoughts and feelings are strange. We are dangerous to the normal society because our thoughts shake up what is considered normal.

I shake up society; much like an earthquake in southern California. The buildings around me our strong but my building is crumbling. No one knows why but my building is not as strong as yours. When an earthquake comes, I hurt people. Bound me in red tape; bound me in yellow caution tape. ‘Do Not Cross,’ it says. Yellow tape is everywhere. You can’t cross because you will see the mess I have become; the mess that I am.

I will rebuild. I will get stronger. I will cut the tape but I need to cut the tape alone. You can’t be there because you don’t have scissors.

Until next time,

Learn to use scissors.