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.

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Trigger Warning: Suicide

I just wanted to give everyone a fair warning that this blog is going to be straight up honest and blunt.

I have a mental illness. I am not shy about sharing it because I hope that it will help others be brave enough to share or to get the help and support they need.

In case you are wondering, this is what I have: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I basically am like a buffet of issues- a little of this and a little of that. It’s like going to a Chinese buffet that has pizza and chicken nuggets.

Either way, I have discovered something about mental illness that made me so angry that I can’t be silent anymore. I was asked today why I am on intermittent FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act).

I am on FMLA because of my PTSD which was a direct result of an active shooter drill that one of the high schools did where I used to work. The school I worked at brought in three men with assault rifles, shot up the school with blanks and they had people banging on the door screaming to let them in because the ‘shooter had a gun and we are going to fucking die.’

So yeah, getting up and going to work is hard because I am going to a place that doesn’t feel safe and although feelings can feel real, they are usually not true. And as much as my mind understands that, my PTSD and Trauma brain does not.

When I was questioned about it today, I was open and honest. I mean I write a blog for God’s sake. But then this person, who is extremely kind but I feel like doesn’t realize how they come off, said that they ‘understand people that are on FMLA because they need medical treatment but they…

And that’s when it hit me. I told this person that just because this other persons pain is physical and can be seen, doesn’t mean that my disability doesn’t exist because it can’t be seen.

And that’s when I realized, in order for people to believe that you are in fact sick, you have to have physical problems. So it makes me sad but I believe the only way people will know that I suffer and that I am sick is if I self-harm and develop physical scars or if I just can’t put up with life anymore and decide to kill myself.

So do all of us who have mental illness a favor and believe that we are suffering. Believe that we are hurting. Believe that we are scared. Believe that we are triggered. Believe us when we say that we are trying to get better.

We don’t ask someone with cancer to show the results of the tests that changed their lives forever. You don’t ask a diabetic to show their pricked finger or their empty needles. You don’t ask a person in a wheelchair to walk just to be sure that they would fall. Why is mental illness different? I am fighting battles that you will never know anything about and for that I am brave. For that, we are all brave.

Until next time,

Allison

If you are suicidal and need someone to talk to, contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Is this Cheers?

So, you want everyone to know your name right? Just like in the old sitcom, Cheers.

I always thought it would be so cool if I could just enter a bar and everyone screamed out ‘Allison!’

Woo! I got so close…

So earlier this week, I went to the pharmacy and the woman asked for my name and I started spelling it and she said, ‘I know who you are and you are the teacher right?’

Well, it finally happened. Someone knows my name… maybe she can be my best friend now… I mean she knows my medical history and all.

So why is this such a different experience than Cheers? I will tell you using my all mighty list.

1) She knows my name from all my antipsychotic meds. Just kidding, they aren’t antipsychotic… at least, I don’t think they are.

2) She remembers that I am a teacher. It must be the bitch face I have going on.

3) She asked me which medication I was looking for and how many… so she has good attention to detail.

4) We bonded in the drive-thru about our crazy classes, (she is also a teacher).

5) We discussed how it would be beneficial to have a bottle of wine in your desk drawer so you can drink before classes.

6) My pharmacist understood me and is aware that you shouldn’t mix alcohol with medication but here she is, supporting me 100%.

7) She didn’t care that the pharmacy drive-thru was getting long because we were having a deep discussion about how we can’t wait till we retire.

8) I think I found my best friend in the pharmacy drive-thru.

9) She doesn’t know it yet that we are best friends but I feel like when my medication is ready, I will ask her out on a best friends date. I mean, I have BPD so boundaries are a non-issue for me.

10) And just like Cheers, I am happy to go where this woman knows my name, knows my medication and still likes me enough to hold up the drive-thru. That’s real friendship right there.

Until next time,

🎡🎢🎡Don’t you wanna go where everybody knows your name? And they are always glad you came… as long as you are still taking your anxiety medication. 🎡🎢🎡

I’m Great and You Can Fuck Off

I haven’t written in a while because nothing has really been going on but I am writing today because I am so pissed off that some people think that being depressed is a choice. If you do, you can fuck off.

I get really upset and distant when people say that what I am going through is a choice; I personally want to crawl out of my skin because that is how much pain I am in. I hope you never have to experience this type of pain. So before you judge someone with mental illness, maybe you should stop and put yourself in there shoes and think before you talk and hurt their feelings.

From now on, don’t ask me if I am ok because from now on, I am great! It’s a choice right? Just don’t ask me. You can call me stubborn or willful or whatever but from now on I will be the only one that knows how I feel and from now on, you don’t have to worry about me because I am fine.

Peace out,

G.R.E.A.T

The Rabbit Hole

My breath is shallow and my mind is lost. I try to focus but at what cost? I can’t hear and I can’t see, I just see a black tunnel and at the end is a silhouette of me. I stand there still, unable to move. It’s like I’m watching a movie and my life becomes the story. 

I can’t tell you my secrets because you will judge me and I know the reason is because I already judge myself. 

In this hole, in this tunnel there is nothing but darkness. They say there is a light attached at the end of the tunnel but that’s a lie. The truth is at the end you just die. But when will death come? When will death come for some? When will death come for me because I don’t want to sit here waiting on this bended knee. 

I sit here and wait in this tunnel so dark, it’s as dark as the corners of my mind- a place I don’t invite you because I am too kind. 

You will never know what it’s like to be in here. My brain shouts to be free. I bang on the walls of my brain but the neurons fire so fast I know that I can’t last this way. The neurons fire and the desire is great, I need to get out before I collapse to my feet. 

I lay here wondering who will be toeing this line…following me down this rabbit hole- don’t worry I’m fine? 

I don’t want you there, I want to be alone. I don’t invite you because you aren’t as strong. I think you would be scared, I think you would run and I would still be here, my silhouette outlined in the darkness. 

Run I say. Run like you do because I won’t chase you. I can’t make you stay, I can let you run. Run as fast , you can and don’t look back. You can’t save me; let my world turn black. 
Until next time,

Just let me write

I Can See Them Circling

Some days I am a fawn jumping in the lush meadow. I don’t have a care in the world except for the wet, morning dew on the small pads on the bottom of my feet. 

I feel like that sometimes; I am just prancing around, loving life and loving most of the people that I surround myself with. I can feel the sun on my face, the warmth and the heat. I can see how bright the sun makes the meadow around me; it is bright and full of life- the tall grass sways gently in the morning breeze. I feel at home here and I feel alive and happy but deep inside of myself, I also feel vulnerable.

Other days, on the hardest days, I can feel that hunter stalking me in the woods. It’s not a regular hunter; it’s emptiness, embarrassment and shame. The hunter is the feeling that I am not good enough and not feeling like I am worthy of other people’s love and affection; and worse yet, their time.

I can feel myself cautiously moving through the trees. The temperature drops a good ten degrees as I carefully move through the wooded forest. Somehow, I feel safer in the cover of the trees, less vulnerable I guess, than in the open meadow. The trees provide a sanctuary for me and I can feel their protection but of course, I am alone. In the meadow, I may be happier but I am scared and I am cautious because out in the open field, other deer can see me and I feel like my every move is being judged.

In the thick forest, I hear a crack of the wood, I hear the bend of the bow and just as fast as my heartbeats, I take a gasping breath; the first arrow strikes me. The arrow is embarrassment and shame for what type of fawn I have become. A young deer that is young only emotionally. A young deer that only has a perspective from a fawn’s eyes.

Just as fast as the first bow comes, I can hear the breaking of the wooden bow and the swoosh of the second arrow. It feels slow at first and it’s like I am just waiting to die and then it hits. It doesn’t hurt as bad as one would think because I am so used to these arrows all the time. This arrow is judgement. I condemn myself to death because of what type of dependent fawn I have become to those around me.

I am lifeless on the ground. And as I lay there, I can hear the swoosh of bird wings. The vultures are beginning to circle and soon I will be no more.

Those moments in the meadow are few and fleeting. They are few and fleeting right now but I am hoping over time, I will find myself in the meadow more often, prancing along in the morning dew and hearing the whistling of the wind through the trees and the birds chirping their morning song.

I need to steer clear of the hunter and I need to accept myself; flaws and goodness and all the problems that I face daily. I have to stop being who I am in this stage of my life and become an adult.

My death, my suffering is only caused by the hunter. I am the hunter.

Until next time,

It is time to put my bow and arrow in the shop and live life in the open meadow.