Hold On Love

I recently read an article about how people with BPD develop an affinity for a “favorite person”. It was insanely accurate but also a bit disheartening. For those afflicted, being in love works differently than it does for other people. We latch on intensely and quickly and we probably enjoy and appreciate it more than anyone else could or even imagine to. But it also opens us up to a terrifying world that we’re not sure how to navigate.

It’s like discovering the woods for the first time; surrounded by beauty and wonder and this overwhelming sense of peace. Your mind finally goes quiet and you can focus on your true feelings, not the ones the illness creates. You finally start to see your future self and gain a sense of who that person could be. You finally decide that it’s worth it to find the motivation to cultivate that person. It’s the most spectacular thing you could possibly experience, and the best part? Just before you wandered into this awe-inducing environment, you were convinced it didn’t exist. But as you explore, you find train tracks. And then things get tricky.

Suddenly, there’s a blaring horn interrupting your warm and fuzzy attitude. The beauty is shattered by this intrusive and ugly collection of metal and chaos. And you can think of nothing else. Your peace is left by the wayside because all of your energy is now put into resisting the irrational urge to curse the train or throw rocks at it. The worst part? You know those things won’t do any good. They won’t make the train go faster. And you know it will pass. But you can’t stop the anger and irritation that it came through and demolished your armistice with your dark passenger to begin with. You can’t dodge the fear that it will be longer than you can handle before it passes, if it ever does.

In those moments, you long for a whisper from your harmonious safe haven. A simple brush that says “I am still here”; something to remind you that this new world you love was not obliterated by the rush of something out of place and unfamiliar. You need to know that it’s there, in the background still, waiting for the pandemonium to subside so that you can revel in it once again.

The problem is that this train has no schedule. And so your bliss isn’t sure when it’s supposed to offer those hums of comfort. All it can do is wait until the calamity begins and try to tempt you back to felicity. But it’s so busy being beautiful and dazzling that it doesn’t always see the cue. And then you feel slighted and you decide that it’s no longer as stunning.

Whether you choose to exit the forest or the forest spits you back out onto the busy and loud streets of your mind, it always goes the same way. You look at your familiar, but tumultuous surroundings and you’re overcome with guilt. Because you knew it was better where you were. And you let it all disappear because of some boisterous caravan and it’s irregular agenda.

It might be bearable if you knew that the forest would let you in again. But we would rather be in front of that rushing convoy that so easily ruined everything than be rejected by something we had such an adulation for.

So we hope that next time, the forest will hear the deafening signs of the oncoming and place a gentle hand on our shoulder to guide us away from the tracks. And in the meantime, we apologize for the indirect manner in which we ask for this assistance.

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I Swear It’s Not Contagious

Now, while the days and months following my catastrophic episode are a bit more uplifting than that entire last post, I should advise that this is not a fairy tale. I don’t get the guy in the end and I’m not a war hero coming home from some epic, gladiatorial like battle. That does not make my story any less valid or important.

My second day in the unit is when everything begins to get much more clear. It was the first time I had been truly lucid in quite some time. I went to breakfast awkwardly, checked the group schedule awkwardly, and went to every group awkwardly (at first). Medication regimens were assigned and I was given a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, a diagnosis that was hard for me to understand at first, and even harder for me to explain to other people. But the people in the unit with me didn’t need an explanation and I discovered how easy it was to fall in love in seven days. Of course, I don’t mean romantic love. But before that moment, there was always a part of me that no one could ever get close to. Not because they didn’t want to, not because they didn’t try. But because, unless you also suffer from one of these insidious comorbid illnesses, you honestly will never be able to understand entirely. So being surrounded by people who had been living their lives so similar to the way I had been living mine was refreshing. It was the first time in my life that I had ever truly been understood by another human being and we bonded. We bonded over silly bed noises and getting the last of the coffee. We bonded over emotions and life experiences. Some I still talk to and some I may never see again but I carry a piece of each of them in my heart every day.

When I first left, everything was being seen through a brand new pair of eyes. I finally understood myself and was willing to forgive my mistakes made while still asleep. I made the changes necessary to keep my happiness at a healthy level. Unfortunately, the illness, not unlike an auto-immune nightmare, begins to attack certain pieces of me until I barely know they exist anymore. In the unit, my bad days were guided to “okay” days with honest friends and sympathetic leaders. In the real world, its much harder to find that guidance when you’ve only just learned to look for it. Mood disorders come with such a stigma that it’s terrifying to ask for directions. In the months following my disaster, I feel like I’ve lost just as much as I did before, albeit for different reasons, each still hurting just as much. Each still giving my illness the validity it so desperately needs to carry on.

Every day is a struggle with the BPD. The poor impulse control makes it almost impossible for me not to turn just about anything into an addiction. The intense emotions expanding far beyond my own self; feeling euphoric when things are good with just a slight sense of dread that armageddon is just around the corner. The constant identity crises; who am I really? Where do I belong? And do I really belong there or have I simply created a false persona because I wanted to belong there? The severe fear of abandonment that only strengthens with each loss I experience. I spend so much time trying not to define myself by my illness that, at this point, I’m pretty sure the only person I’m still trying to convince is actually myself. I assume that as soon as someone discovers the littlest secret about my disorder, suddenly it means they know it all and I feel so uncomfortable that I become physically ill over it. My sick brain presents itself in every physical way it can and I can’t function some days.

So in light of recent events, I’ve decided to finally come out with it all. If I’m open about it then it’s not as likely to be used against me and maybe, when I’m in bed at night not sleeping, it won’t be because I’m terrified that someone knows something. Maybe I won’t have panic attacks at the thought that someone might have seen something I didn’t want them to see. Maybe I’ll help someone. Maybe it’ll be me.

If you were looking for a happy ending to this story, I’m sorry to disappoint you. But I did mention that this wasn’t a fairy tale. Maybe someday it could be. Maybe right now, there’s no happy ending because it isn’t over.

Suicide Is(n’t) Painless

It’s been a whole year and a few months since I’d even thought about this portion of my life I had promised I would be so dedicated to. To be honest, for a few minutes I couldn’t remember the site altogether. The last post would imply that things were not all sunshine and rainbows and the rest of the year really didn’t shape up to be any better.

 

Obviously, there was the breakup. Not only had I convinced myself I was going to marry this person, I was also in an awkward situation with my health. My lady doctor had discovered the presence of pre-cancerous cells in my cervix and it took a lot of testing and time to figure out if this was going to develop into a full blown cancer diagnosis. As one might imagine, I wasn’t feeling so chipper in the bedroom which lead to my apparent “unappreciation” for my someone special. And while most of that isn’t really relevant to the rest of the year, it meant that I began it with an extremely heightened sense of abandonment. This would become very prevalent later, I would discover.

After the breakup there was the hallmark birthday gone uncelebrated for someone that I would never have the opportunity to truly know and love but that’s another story for another topic. To put it simply, I was experiencing quite a bit of loss. But not enough. So come March, the universe decided to take my beloved job away too. I was blindsided and I lost my team, my friends, and my comfort in my field all at once. Somehow, however, I was still above the water and I began to tread, completely unaware of the fact that my legs would eventually become so exhausted that they would disappear entirely. After months of being blacklisted and ignored by potential employers, I found myself falling in with people that seemed to take everything away. Unemployed? Perfect! More time to party with the crew! Out of cash? No worries! We always have an excellent supply of booze and smokes to share. Sad? Come hang with us! We’ll relate to you so hard, you’ll have the opposite of an existential crisis. Not to mention the (eventually very empty) job offer in content writing and the promise that I would rise above and beyond in something that I thought I really loved.

For a few months, I felt okay. Things weren’t ideal but I was okay. I missed my job. I missed my friends but I loved my new ones. They were intriguing and talented, and each one somehow maintaining such uniqueness. I found instant connections with these people and they made me feel like I was something…just, something. I didn’t feel like a waste of space and they would make a point to be sure that I felt okay. I would have trusted them with my life. Until the day I needed to and everyone had gone.

That was the week I tried to kill myself. I’d wrapped myself up too deeply with some of the group and not enough with the others. Everything had gotten mixed up and I did what I do best; I pushed the Eject From Life buttons on those I felt I needed the most. This way, they could walk away and I could prove that I was right all along. Everyone leaves and no one wants to be around to see me through the hiccups. They wait for the crash and bail. They don’t even call for help anymore. In the days after my initial implosion, the realization that they really had walked away from me started to burrow its way through my chest. The emptiness sat on my lungs and I couldn’t breathe. I self-medicated so heavily that I don’t even remember the days or events leading up to my decision to say “fuck it”. I remember taking a metric fuck-ton of benzodiazepines (which are apparently really awful for people with a major depressive disorder; you’d think my psychiatrist would have caught that while prescribing my Xanax alongside my ANTI-DEPRESSANT) and soon after, not really giving a shit about anything else. I didn’t NEED to relate to those people anymore. And this way, no one could ever damn me for my mistakes. No one could define me by the things I can’t control. I would just slip away in the night and the world would go on, because that’s what it does.

At some point, I had a thought that made me feel guilty for what I had done. And while I laid on my bed, empty bottle in one hand and cell phone in the other, I decided that maybe I didn’t need this just yet. Maybe I really hadn’t done everything I could have to try and fix this mess that was my life. So a friend of mine drove really far to fetch me in all my pathetic glory and took me to a place where they asked me too many questions. Apparently, I didn’t give them the answers they needed because I vaguely recall being placed in an ambulance en route to an actual hospital. I remember feeling like I was having a panic attack, except more severe than I had ever experienced before in my life. That “brick on my chest” feeling was so much more intense than I had remembered. Turns out, this was a result of the medication I had taken shutting down my respiratory system.

They managed to detox the benzos and the first 24-48 hours after that are still pretty fuzzy. I remember them sedating me and me feeling like it was really weird that they could safely sedate someone who had just overdosed on sedatives. I remember thinking that was funny. And then immediately being terrified because I knew that the next however many days were going to consist of my having to bare my soul to myself and figure all of this out. I have never wanted to run so far from myself before in my life. I remember my chest hurting like it had never hurt before in my life. And I remember missing those people, the ones who turned away at the first sign of trouble, like I had never missed anyone before in my life and hating myself for missing them.

I still kind of hate myself for missing them.

Random Reality Shifts.

I took an impromptu trip to Washington this weekend.

I thought it might help ease my mind and help me to stop thinking so much on you, on this…mess. And when that didn’t work, I thought that, at very least, I could bury you there since that was supposed to be our final destination.

And when THAT didn’t work (because every house had the potential to be “our house” and every playground could have been the favorite for our children), I came to the conclusion that I have to stop obsessing over burying the idea of you, of us. I have to bury parts of myself. The problem with this is that these parts are still very much alive.

I wasn’t perfect but I’m sure I’d mentioned that from the beginning. You weren’t either. You were insecure and anxious and, sometimes, those things would cause you to look for an emotional connection with someone that wasn’t me because I couldn’t see what you were thinking. I suppose you thought I wasn’t paying enough attention and maybe I wasn’t. But I didn’t always know what to look for. Sometimes, when I tried, it was the wrong thing. Which would just make everything worse. Sometimes I had to make a guess about whether or not anything was wrong at all because, I’d learned, even if I didn’t see it, didn’t mean it wasn’t there. But it would be the wrong time or the wrong thing still and I’d feel almost as lost as I do now.

I enjoyed the friendship aspect of us so much that I think I forgot to nurture the other aspects too. But there were things at play that I couldn’t control. I tried to do better but I would get lost in my own stressors. Or the fact that after we’d spend a whole day laughing and joking, I still couldn’t figure out why you’d be grinding your teeth that night.

I promised I would pursue a solution and I did. I suggested the same for you but…I’m not entirely sure where that went in your head. And now I see things I’m not sure were actually there to be seen. That day you told me, “You’re strong.” Every day I’ve asked myself if that was your first attempt to go. If that was your way of trying to reassure me that I would be okay and I didn’t notice.

Somehow, up until your things weren’t here anymore, I was sure this was just another moment we were having. Deep down, I still knew we would get through like we had been. I thought it would be different because I had a solution, I had a plan. I just needed a little more time. I was certain we would make it because I was certain about you. All those times I told you that what I saw with you was more than I had seen with anyone, I meant it. I still mean it which means that now, I can never have it.

And I’m so lost. This weight on my chest and this lump in my throat do not waiver. You’re in every dream and I’m so afraid to sleep because waking up is getting to be too difficult. The worst part is that I’m almost certain that you’ve convinced yourself I don’t care. I didn’t make the grand gestures to stop any of this. But every second of every day I’ve been so internally conflicted that it’s physically sickening. Should I have hit my knees and begged you? Should I be giving you time? Should I be giving ME time? I thought that all the things I told you, the things I meant, would be enough to let you know that this wasn’t what I wanted. And perhaps I’m still in shock that this is what it’s come to. Sometimes, I want to tell you all these things. Without interruption or defense. Just…tell you that this wasn’t something I was able to handle with nonchalance. But I don’t know if I can get past it. The ease with which you went away. The hurried manner in which you wished me the best to be on your way.

I have watched so very many people walk away. People I handpicked to be there in the way I allowed them to be, a way most people aren’t allowed, because they didn’t trust the reason they were there to begin with. I just want someone to trust me. To understand that when I love, I love with all I am in all the ways I can. I don’t know how to handle being told once more that it isn’t enough. It isn’t always what others may have pictured. But it’s all of me. It’s the best of me. And there are no words to describe what it feels like to be told that it’s not up to their standards. I die a little more every time.

And now, I’m faced with something more. Something I would have imagined we thought of fleetingly when we said “no matter what”. Part of me hopes that this is worst case scenario, because maybe the rest of this would have been worth it. Better that you folded your hand here than there.

Maybe it’s easier to be told that everything I have isn’t good enough before I’m no longer everything I have.

I Need A Real Life Delete Button.

While I will admit I’m a pretty avid social media user, I will say that I don’t spend a whole lot of time really fine tuning the details. For example, for the first time in quite a while, I just went through my entire list of friends on facebook and eradicated 30 people. A few more probably could have made that list, but I guess I’m just not at that point where every single thing they say makes me want to break bricks on my own face in hopes of erasing the stupidity/ignorance. Yet.

At the risk of exposing you to some ludicrous behavior, I provide you with examples:

  1. I’m tired of the posts from the woman in her forties crying like a girl in her teens about how her life isn’t worth living because her boyfriend in his twenties is doing things boys in their twenties do. I’m not entirely sure what you were expecting when you date a kid that was once best friends with your son, but I can assure you that you are correct when you say “no one understands.” I can’t even be bothered to begin to try.
  2. I’m tired of the posts from the kids (who were already living beyond their means) who thought it would be fun to have a baby and think it’s okay to constantly ask for handouts (while currently living on handouts already given to them by people who don’t really have the means to be doing so). Thank god none of you have jobs because now you can spend all your time playing the new Fallout 4 on your big ass flat screen television. Oh, and don’t worry about your kids vaccines. I’m sure you’ll learn some sort of life skill from Fallout that will allow you to battle the illnesses you’ve now practically begged the universe to send their way.
  3. I’m tired of the posts from those dolts with photos of their pistols under the caption “Getting ready for ISIS”. I’m not really sure if I need to elaborate on this. I hope not. Who gave your idiot ass a gun? Let me know when you shoot yourself in the foot in reality just like you do every day with your stupid mouth.
  4. I’m tired of the wives who clearly did NOT read my PSA and are continuing to demean their husbands because he did this one thing wrong and you feel like you’re entitled. He didn’t end up with three kids all by his damn self and he sure as hell shouldn’t have to figure everything out all by his damn self. Admit you’re hormonal and give him a break.
  5. I’m tired of the posts from these women who obviously believe that they need someone to be happy. I get it. Someone broke your heart. That whole “I’ve been so hurt and I’ll never trust anyone again” act gets really tired when you’re with a new dude every three weeks. Also, stop making him out to be the asshole when he decides a few weeks in that this isn’t what he signed up for. It’s not his fault you didn’t lay it all out on the table from the beginning and now he’s afraid of your freak flag. Sometimes, what you think you want is different from what you really want and you only figure it out by moving forward. Learn to be an adult and understand that, sometimes, things just aren’t right and let that be okay.
  6. I’m tired of the posts from the people who think they’re harder than they really are. I’m fully aware that in times of hardship, people go through phases. I’m aware that some days you feel a hell of a lot more capable of taking on the world than others. But don’t tell me what a fighter you are just to counter that 10 seconds later with “I can’t go on because of this thing that, just yesterday, I swore I would make my bitch.” If you’re really a fighter, be a fighter all the time. Getting tired of the fight is normal. But I’m not going to take you seriously if you claim you’re going to come out on top while shoving cake frosting in your face waiting for the next thing to come around and make it okay.
  7. I’m tired of the posts from the people who wish their lives were harder than they are. Stop texting me about how your husband doesn’t love you and your dad was never there when I’ve actually been physically present to witness how untrue that is. Be considerate of the fact that there are actually people out there who really do have these problems. They deserve my sympathy and emotional effort far more than you do. You’re dramatic. Not unloved. You’re pissy because things aren’t going EXACTLY how you want them to and because you’ve always gotten your way (thanks to that same daddy who was “never there”) and you don’t know how to respond to that rationally.

    And finally,

  8. I’m tired of the posts from people who try to tell everyone else how they should feel/react/think about anything EVER. When I post that I’m sorry for Paris and you come at me with “Well what about every other sad thing ever? You must not care because of [insert ridiculous social justice bullshit here]” it makes me want to scream. I don’t need to defend my sympathies to you and it’s that kind of behavior that instigates defensiveness and anger instead of just understanding that our hearts all break for one thing or another in one way or another and adding that resolve to be loving to the pot. We’re already fighting so much as a human race. Why do we constantly feel the need to fight each other?

I suppose, in general, I have the unrealistic yearning for everyone to just get along and be decent human beings. Maybe I’ve encountered too much in too condensed a time period to be tolerant of these people and the things they say. But better to go about things this way than be instinctive because what I really wanted to do was just go House M.D. on these idiots and never look back.

A PSA: Don’t Be A Lady Dick

I’m not sure if I’m on some sort of vendetta this week or if all the females on my social media are on the rag at once, but I’m noticing a trend I’m extremely uncomfortable with. I’d like to preface this with the statement that I know I’ve probably been guilty of doing it at some point too, but this is my effort to make it stop.

STOP calling your man out in public. Whether it be social media or family functions or the grocery store because he accidentally grabbed the wrong jelly. It’s one thing to get frustrated and call up a friend to vent. It’s quite another to publicly patronize and demean him. If he’s really as stupid and useless as you’re posting on facebook every other day, then re-evaluate your damn self and figure out why you’re still with him.

STOP recounting your entire conversation where everyone can hear. Maybe he did say some things that were kind of shitty. Of course, we’ll never know if you said some shitty things back (or even first) because this is your attempt to have your actions and feelings validated so you’d never let on that you made a mistake too. This is the worst thing I see because you ladies don’t realize the chain reaction that follows. While you’re sitting there putting your whole fight on display, your friends and family (who are way too easily biased by their feelings for you and will only tell you what you want to hear) are gradually deciding that they like him less and less. So when you get over it (as you will, because this is what making a relationship work looks like), they will not. They don’t have to. So after you’ve gotten over whatever stick was in your ass, everyone else is still looking at him thinking “So what if he bought you flowers for no reason. I still think he’s an asshole because of that thing he said.” If you want to go to dinner with your pals and collectively share your stories about the silly things he did that week that frustrated you, go for it. But make sure that you’re in a lighthearted mindset. Ask yourself if what he’s doing is bad enough that you’re really going to walk out that door. If the answer is no, there’s no reason you can’t work it out within the relationship. Lately, I’ve seen women shit talking like they’re trying to win all the mutual friends in the divorce that never comes.

STOP being so one sided. I get that you want a man who listens to you and respects. I need to inform you of something very important: you need to do the same for him. You want surprises and compliments and something new and shiny? So does he. Stop feeling so entitled all the damn time. If you really don’t feel like your man is worth all the bullshit you’re asking for, (by now you should know where I’m going) why are you with him?

Ladies, you want a good man. You want a good partner. But you can’t have that without BEING a good woman and a good partner. The more you let him know how great you think he is, the greater he will want to be. And the greater he becomes, the greater YOU will want to be.

Give to get, you guys. That’s the secret of life.

I Need Meninism Because The Females Are Pissing Me Off

The fella and I had a conversation last night about feminism. Not true feminism, though. This “feminism” is a movement that promotes “equality” by means of trying to pin men as the inferior sex in order to try to raise the female bar as an attempt to…seem equal? I mean, you tell me. I’ve seen some terrible examples of how social justice is going way too far and it irritates me beyond belief. “I need feminism because my skinny friends get perved on and it makes me feel inadequate because it doesn’t happen to me.” Are you fucking kidding me? You don’t need feminism. You need some self-esteem (and possibly a diet/workout regimen). That is not feminism. That is extremism. Writing an enraged letter to your congressman about how you should be able to run around topless because guys do is not feminism. It’s extremism. Feminism is defined as an advocation for EQUAL rights for women and I’m cool with that (side note: running around topless is not a “right” and honestly, if you’re super pissed that you can’t do it, I would stop blaming men as “sexist pigs” and look at your fellow females. Guys would probably be thrilled if that became a commonplace thing. I don’t want to constantly be berated with titties in my eyes so I’m going with a “no” on that one.) If I can do the same exact job as a man (with NO restrictions or special treatment) then I should be paid the same as that man. The problem is, I CAN’T do a lot of the same things a man can do. Because I’m a woman. I’m biologically not programmed to do some things that men can do. And I’m okay with that because there are things that I CAN do that a man might not be able to do. These are just simple differences that should be appreciated. One of my biggest issues with society right now is that everyone is lumping the human race into one category to try to make their arguments valid and they forget that, whether we like it or not, there are differences that will ALWAYS be there. As people, we need to remember that women and men are fundamentally different and I’m not talking about the bits you were born with. Men and women think differently. We feel, act, and react differently in any circumstance. But that’s a good thing. If everyone had the exact same ideas and feelings about everything ever, there would be no progression. Men need women to remind them to be a little more open-minded when they’re thinking too linear. And women need men to tell them that they’re over-reacting and this is not that big a deal. Now, I’m not speaking in absolutes here (lest there be an “every man” in the audience). I understand that not EVERY man fits the typical “dude checklist” and vice versa. I understand that there are people who defy their own biology and associate themselves with the opposite sex. That still puts you in one category over another. It really pisses me off that these differences aren’t taken into account anymore, and furthermore, that they are not celebrated. We need those differences. They allow us to come together as a team and get shit done. They allow us to grow and obtain new perspectives. If you’re a woman who over analyzes every damn thing all the time, own it. Because someday, you’re going to over analyze something that needed that scrutiny and something amazing will come of it. If you’re a man who only sees the end destination, own it. Because someday you’ll be so driven to that end goal that you’ll have encouraged everyone to bypass the mediocre shit that would have held you back and something amazing will come of it. We need to just be who we are and enjoy it. Women need to stop getting so angry when we’re told what we NEED to hear instead of what we WANT to hear. We need to be honest in the fact that we really don’t want honesty, we want the things we’d like to be told to be the truth. Men need to stop acting like women are machines that you pop coins into until sex falls out. We need to start coexisting because we really can’t make it in this world without each other.

And the next time you females want to pop off with that bullshit about how it’s a man’s world and men are pigs, please remember that a.) You’re asking to be equal to them (even though you’re really trying to prove you’re better) and b.) Men need feminism because NO man (here’s your goddamned absolute) can EVER have a baby. Stop being greedy bitches. No one can have it all.