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Posts Tagged ‘borderline personality disorder’

 i was going to delete this, but then i pulled back and read the whole thing…i could see my thought process as i was having a “borderline melt down”. even though my focus, in this blog, is on my withdrawal from meds and fibromyalgia, i have lived as a recovering borderline amongst other things. boy can my thoughts bounce around and i spared the laundry list! but watch the process! the fear, resentment, paranoia, blaming…oh what an angry little girl i can still be! (description of BPD below)

feeling well seems to be a blessing and a curse. i haven’t been around to write on this blog for awhile now…and i’m sure, if i continue with the work i’m trying to do, that my time will continue to be restricted but, i’m having a day…well several by now…that is leaving me feeling horrible. i can’t seem to be able to talk with anyone about all that is going on but i’m feeling guilty for having tried to choose a better path for my daughter, surviving several sincere suicide attempts, recovering from alcoholism and getting off addicting meds! yes, sometimes i honestly wish my path had zigged instead of zagged at all of these points. i’m screaming at god and looking at people who i thought were my friends and wondering why there is so much resentment and anger…why does it have to be mine too.

i’m usually fairly good at dodging emotional bullets…my whole life has been made up of that. but when there are just too many bullets in the air…god i wish i were wonder woman with the large amulets. but i’m not. i’m just a person, alone, trying to go with the flow and make the best decisions i can. even best of intentions often seem to be thrown back in your face with added crap.

i can’t apologize for being born into a rich family. that was never the grace that so many people seem to think it was. i’m slowly trying to pull up my boot strings over the fact that my father died and i was the only one not mentioned in his will. (this just happened september of ’07.) he mentioned his dogs, home health aids, brother’s grandchildren, other family members and the remainder to my daughter. this was the end of a bitter, life long struggle for a father’s love. the manipulative act of leaving everything to my daughter just…doesn’t suprise me. he can continue to reach out from the grave and manipulate.  and he’s succeeded. there is nothing more i can ever do and my father’s last efforts on this planet were to let people know just how much he hated me. his decisions have left a continued destruction of what family remains as they take that as a final declaration to what a horrible person i am. loss, loss and more loss compounded with judgement…from friends and family. god can anyone just stop gossiping and talk to me. talk to me about the truth? this world is not fair and i won’t yell “not fair”. that is a law i accepted a long time ago. i never set out looking for justice or fairness…life is not just and redemption is rare. i have never set out to intentionally hurt anyone but my actions are constantly interpreted as having ulterior motives and i can honestly say that i never set out to do good to gain anything other than to set back and see good done. i never want my name attached and i try to do as much anonymously as i can. i flinch if people talk of my good deeds publicly. but i do glow when i see good things happen. why wouldn’t anyone. i guess i try extra hard to those ends. i think it is the effort that offends people. i think it is that, i use my free time and resources to help others when ever i have them…often though to the extent of over extending myself. i don’t do that to martyr or put others to shame…no, i love to share in the efforts when ever possible but if no one else picks up on the work i feel obligated to finish what i start. if i did harm it wasn’t intentional and believe me when i say i live with the consequences and constant, nagging, resurfacing painful reminders. i don’t say this as an excuse…i don’t believe in excuses…but i need to remember that i’ve been a very sick person for most of my life and i’ve been tossed out and alone in trying to manage a very messed up life.  i don’t expect others to carry that burden, but i do wish others could view my decisions with some compassion and a bit of respect. i tried to do the very best i could. this seems to have become some sort of battle cry and i don’t think life should be such a battle. a person needs a resting point…some forgiveness and “you did the best you could”. because…i have addressed my illness and i have worked so, so hard to recover from illnesses most people do not recover from. but when i get slammed from all sides i wish i could still hide behind my illness. but, i don’t want to be forced back into the darkness of borderline, bipolar, eating disorders, alcoholism, addiction…too much. i just want to be and at times i think i just want to be alone. people are too hard for me to navigate. but i’m human and i get lonely. i guess that’s why i turn to writing on here. every once in awhile i peek my head out into the world of the living only to do a hasty retreat from their games. i’m not that savvy…i don’t navigate the game playing world of soap operas. it’s too prevalent in the circles i frequent…and i need to frequent them because my continued recovery depends on it. but, the very help i need is equally capable of undoing and destroying the progress i make. it seems that people only want you around if you’re down and failing but the moment you’re doing well and having some small successes they make a world of controversy over what you’re trying to do. i avoid a lot of group activities because i don’t “play well with others”. i try to grow with this issue…. i may be so much healthier now, but i guess basic human skills continue to elude me. but i have to ask if i’m more plugged in now than i allow the feed back to tell me. maybe that i’m having friction around these sick people (who i thought were healthier people) is a sign that i’m better and maybe i’m swimming in the wrong pool. i’ve invested 11 years of my life trying to live up to certain principles. not perfectly, but consistently.  i get worn down like this often and maybe it’s my depression. no, it’s the borderline thoughts in my head.

god…i’m blabbering and unraveling here.

i haven’t been able to tend to myself and i’ve become caught up in “friendships”, not of my choosing, that are very sick. some people are seriously disturbed. i should know better than to help people who present as borderlines! yes, they can jump in to call me a “friend” but that’s not what i am…with newly recovering, sick people, that’s how it goes…as a person just beginning on the road, a borderline, isn’t really capable of being a friend to anyone…not even themslevles. when you are struggling with so many inside voices you can’t consider anything going on outside of your mind. i’ve heard it when i’ve suggested helping another as a way towards recovering: “why should i help her…she doesn’t have anything to offer me“. now…i can see what helping another person can do for me…but it’s still a difficult path for me to walk. shoot i know what i was like…and being one doesn’t always leave you better off in seeing one. my heart goes out to people in the throws of this disorder. i grew up in the midst of a borderline family, but i got out…i want to stay out.  borderlines will always try to pull you into that hole with them. while having been a deeply disturbed bpd, i still have to agree that borderlines are the most dangerous population in the mental health world to tangle with. besides my own recovery process, i have read extensively and if you have done your home work then you know that i’m not damning anyone…bpd means seriously sick…

but this disorder is like no other as it is an affliction of the personality and not a “chemical imbalance” or organic brain syndrome. most simply, it is learned and must be unlearned. if you know the difference and where that falls on the nosology…i needn’t say more. i’m not saying that borderlines don’t need help, but you have to be very skilled and armed…set up to do the job. not being able to handle the disorder well is just as destructive, if not maybe more, than not trying at all. what they write about borderlines is true…i lived it and i remember what i was like…

i see what the remnants of borderline are still like in my life. i may have had significant recovery but really, the volume is just turned down very low…i am still borderline, just to a lesser degree…much lesser. i never want to see that volume turned up again. when i get scared and unravel as i’m doing now…the volume seems to want to get louder…that is the process of that disorder. it is a cacophony of destructive voices going off in your head…fighting the whole world and your self.

damnit! busted! ok, i see what’s going on…i was sitting outside, frittering away over a laundry list of resentments and woes. wow can some people throw zingers at me if they want to hurt me…and then i throw in a few myself…that’s it! ok…nothing is really wrong”here. sitting down to write this out when i couldn’t find anyone to talk to, is helping here. my wonderful psychologist walked me down this path, kicking and screaming for over 7 years and now…if i remember her lead…i can, with in reason, navigate that path alone when i must. and…i must do it alone a lot. with borderline…sometimes you get hit with a big one and sometimes small, but the blows can come in rapid succession and the voices can become very athoritarian!LOL in my “down” times, when my reserves are low (and they come as a direct result of neglecting my personal care), i can feel like i’m driving down a road loaded with speed bumps at 50 mph and that is a lot to lay on other people.

that is how us borderlines suck the souls out of others. to compound that…i was trying to give a hand up to another borderline and she grabbed my hand and started the long sustained pull of the borderline. a little is never enough and enough is never enough. we are vacuous, black holes! i know! i need, need, need…and on a bad day i can become a whiny six year old in just moments. thank god i can usually detect that rush of borderline behavior when it begins to seep in. sometimes i can’t be objective and the behavior carries me away.

i have to watch “people, places and things” as they say in my support group. i have to check and recheck my intentions, because i can slide down that darn slippery slope of borderline behavior…which is so much more insidious than my alcoholism (but the two play darn well together). constantly, i have to ask myself “why are you doing this”. it can be exhausting, keeping the disorder in check, but i count my blessings that i was given the insight to do it. it was a lot of sacrifice on the part of my psychologist and a scary road of trust and surrender on mine. i continue to seek guidance from other qualified people. managing this disorder gets easier as we get older…perhaps wiser. life won’t be perfect…but is it for anyone? being honest and realistic are two qualities i try so hard to embrace every day. doubt and those darn voices can try to destroy my serenity but i am the final word on what happens with my thoughts. i don’t have to act on every thought and i can surely just release most of them.

so, thoughts, fly away now…

i should garden and play with my dogs for a bit.

peace out

what is BPD?:

Raising questions, finding answers

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual’s sense of self-identity. Originally thought to be at the “borderline” of psychosis, people with BPD suffer from a disorder of emotion regulation. While less well known than schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), BPD is more common, affecting 2 percent of adults, mostly young women.1 There is a high rate of self-injury without suicide intent, as well as a significant rate of suicide attempts and completed suicide in severe cases.2,3 Patients often need extensive mental health services, and account for 20 percent of psychiatric hospitalizations.4 Yet, with help, many improve over time and are eventually able to lead productive lives.

Symptoms

While a person with depression or bipolar disorder typically endures the same mood for weeks, a person with BPD may experience intense bouts of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last only hours, or at most a day.5 These may be associated with episodes of impulsive aggression, self-injury, and drug or alcohol abuse. Distortions in cognition and sense of self can lead to frequent changes in long-term goals, career plans, jobs, friendships, gender identity, and values. Sometimes people with BPD view themselves as fundamentally bad, or unworthy. They may feel unfairly misunderstood or mistreated, bored, empty, and have little idea who they are. Such symptoms are most acute when people with BPD feel isolated and lacking in social support, and may result in frantic efforts to avoid being alone.

People with BPD often have highly unstable patterns of social relationships. While they can develop intense but stormy attachments, their attitudes towards family, friends, and loved ones may suddenly shift from idealization (great admiration and love) to devaluation (intense anger and dislike). Thus, they may form an immediate attachment and idealize the other person, but when a slight separation or conflict occurs, they switch unexpectedly to the other extreme and angrily accuse the other person of not caring for them at all. Even with family members, individuals with BPD are highly sensitive to rejection, reacting with anger and distress to such mild separations as a vacation, a business trip, or a sudden change in plans. These fears of abandonment seem to be related to difficulties feeling emotionally connected to important persons when they are physically absent, leaving the individual with BPD feeling lost and perhaps worthless. Suicide threats and attempts may occur along with anger at perceived abandonment and disappointments.

People with BPD exhibit other impulsive behaviors, such as excessive spending, binge eating and risky sex. BPD often occurs together with other psychiatric problems, particularly bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and other personality disorders.

Treatment

Treatments for BPD have improved in recent years. Group and individual psychotherapy are at least partially effective for many patients. Within the past 15 years, a new psychosocial treatment termed dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was developed specifically to treat BPD, and this technique has looked promising in treatment studies.6

read more:  http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/borderline-personality-disorder.shtml

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     well my detox was really rough the first several weeks, as many people who know me can attest. i was very agitated and angry. my stomach had horrible problems. i had headaches, fatigue, horrible food cravings, weight gain,  i ached all over, nothing tasted or smelled right, everything around me irritated me: light, sound, temperature, smells…my clothing felt like i was wearing a wool body suit! i just went from my bed to my sofa. the only major task i could manage was feeding the animals and carrying in wood for the stove. i really couldn’t talk with people because my mind was scrambled and nothing made any sense coming in or going out making me very agitated. i was loosing words and entire concepts. just everything was horrible. there were times i just wanted to admit defeat, but i couldn’t see living on these drugs for the rest of my life.

     something inside of me just told me i needed to get off the stuff! i had been entertaining the thought for years, but resisted because i thought “this is the right thing to do and i should be lucky i can be treated with meds and that i’ve been able to get them all these years”. yeah i knew there were side effects and i just felt that i had to adapt. loosing the ability to have a full range of emotions, everything looking flat and grey, not being able to really enjoy food, friends or sex seemed a small price to pay for “being functional”. NOT! i wasn’t really functional and the functions i did have were gradually fading on me.

      something just hit critical mass following my father’s death in september. it was a complicated, estranged and sad relationship. an hour before my uncle called to tell me he’d passed i told my best friend that i felt this tremendous release inside and that i thought my father had just died. sure enough he had died at exactly the time i made that comment to my friend. now i’m not all “woo woo” into those kinds of things…talking with the dead and all…not that i don’t believe or have anything against “paranormal goings on”…i accept that these things happen but this was just plain eerie, but because of the tremendous impact our relationship had on my life…plausable. anyways, spurred on by this wave of release i set out to find out what it was in this world that “I” wanted for myself. i felt i had the permission to be myself and that included not being medicated for being just an extremely eccentric, creative, active person.

     i mean when did eccentric and highly creative and productive have to be labeled a mental illness? i wondered if i was really bipolar (the borderline personality i got) or was i just always a very high energy person who occasionally got worn down. i mean if anyone worked the way i did when i was on a roll they’d have crashed for a few days….a few days down was all i ever used to have. i never got suicidal although i have always entertained thought of death….and that’s just another story…nothing kinky or freaky, just maybe very sylvia plath-like. people say that’s not normal or healthy but…that was just me!

     i missed “me”. i have plenty of faults and i’m quite sure that my drinking, back in the day, didn’t bring out the best. but i was highly functional., way much more so than i became after about two years on meds. the first couple of years into sobriety and on meds were actually….well good. (note: i started the meds about year, ’96, before i got sober, ”97) but i went down hill gradually until i hit the skids about two and a half years ago. then, i sat down to just drink myself to death because there was no “me” left in my person. but…after about a year that got old and i decided to get back into AA and try to peal myself off the floor.

      it’s been 18 months and well after 9mo to a year i would have expected to feel better from the damage i did with my drinking last time around but, that time frame came and went and i was just getting worse. the brain fog and coordination problems were horrible. (i was just put on lamictal around the time i got sober this time.) i thought i must have something wrong with my brain. the drinking really did me in this last time. an MRI showed nothing. “so what then, is causing me to be so….muzzy and flat!”

    well, came the day that i just sat bolt upright and declared “i think i have to get these drugs out of my system”. now for ten years, i dug my heels in and “knew” that i had to take these drugs to stay sober and have a chance at a life. but i’d been failing miserably over and over just digging myself into a deeper hole of despair. i wasn’t one to fail at anything…ever! and that’s all i was doing for the last several years. failing and flailing madly about getting no where. it’s like being stuck in the old quicksand analogy: the more you struggle the deeper you sink.

     no, getting off these drugs has to be a part of the answer. now at about the six week mark of detoxing (which is fast for what i’ve been reading), i have a lot of pain and i’m a little shaky…i’m having some anxiety and very quick lows and highs in my moods/affect…but for the most part my spirits are lifted, i’m finding old words and phrases i though i’d lost forever….colors are bright and things smell and taste right and good…i even have a broader range of emotion. i get excited from time to time and feel playful again! i forgot about that part of my personality! well i have the last .75 mg of klonopin to get off of and i’m reading that people have a difficult time when they hit this point. but i can tell the other meds i was on (lamictal, neurontin, wellbutrin) are out of my system. no doubt there is some “rebound” effect going too. i was also put on lyrica a couple weeks ago along with physical therapy. i hope to get off the lyrica in short time too because from all i read, it’s bad news too.

    now this afternoon i suddenly felt a wave of exhaustion and had to just stop and lay down. my mood has had some dips but i just keep telling myself that it’s my mood and not a reflection of anything that is going on around me. when i do the positive self-talk and try to separate what’s really going on and what’s not i can turn it around fairly quickly. deep breathing and visualization help too. i am a fairly firm believer in mind over matter. if i’m doing most of what i should be doing lifestyle-wise then i should have the resilience to pull myself back when my emotions try to over run me. i do get tired and eat the wrong thing or blow off exercise and when i do i’m asking for trouble. but hey, i might be truly bipolar and thus given to mood swings so there would be…peaks and valleys. i’ll mess up from time to time. as long as i don’t drink, no matter what,  and live with in reason, no peak or valley should be too devastating. (pray)

     i continue to work with a therapist and i will get connected with a new psychiatrist because certain times with horrible mood swings…ie. depression, can and might well still overcome me and i might need help. i can admit when i’m a little too far to the left or right and i will ask for help. i only had one psychotic event in about ’97or ’98 and was completely out there! but, that was under extraordinary circumstances which i think anyone would have cracked.(that is just another “novel” in and of itself).

     one thing i will say is that if you want to be a whistle blower at a higher level…be sure as hell that you have a strong and committed support network around you or you’ll be in for the gravest fight for your life! once you’re in it, your in and there’s no turning back. by the time the complaint was filed with the inspector general my reporter and fellow activist bowed out from fatigue and total disillusionment. my reporter quit his job and went back to school because he could no longer work for a paper that edited the truth. there are still and article or two floating cyberspace about my case and i did win, but ultimately i had to leave my job because….well it just wasn’t worth my sanity to hold on any longer. (i was at a state university)

       i’m here now. still on my farm in the country. i will probably never stop trying to fight the noble fights but i have to play a more minor role these days, because i’m burnt. but my passion is intact and so is my faith. once a fighter always a fighter.

      so it is that little “fighter” inside me that propels me and gives me my own personal velocity. i stay in the day and in the moment but i keep the future insight. hope and a sense of purpose and direction are extremely important! i may not be able to control what will come my way but as far as thoughts and emotions…it’s me that determines upon what and how i will act. every situation offers a chance to learn and a chance to practice my faith. every obsticle i make it around leaves me in a better place to be of use to others.

     oh, and faith…well i feel my connection with my “higher power”…a connection i couldn’t make while i was on my meds. i could hold on to god with my mind but my heart just couldn’t do it. now i feel it, and that is hands down the greatest gift of getting off the meds. that alone will help me press on when symptoms and set backs kick up. i keep reading that “we all recover” and i believe that. yes, community and a sense of a higher power have helped me greatly. feeling alone is so detrimental

      well now that i’ve written a small novel i think i should stop….rambling.

     laugh often and think good thoughts, reach out to peers and find “community and if it works for you, hold on to your “higher power”…mine is god.

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i went to my GP doc yesterday because the 75mg of Lyrica wasn’t helping.  she loaned me an interesting book i’ll mention in a bit. she put me on 150mg 2x daily. i’m also taking 50-100mg of trazadone at bedtime plus 3mg of melatonin and i’m down to 1mg of Klonopin (which i’m tapering off). the trazadone and melatonin have seemed to help with my sleeping while i’m trying to get off the Klonopin. i’m not dreaming but i sleep a full eight hours and i wake up feeling fairly good…i still have the pain inspite upping the dose of Lyrica but i don’t feel as depressed…in fact i feel a little loopy. the edema is a little bothersome but we’ll give it a week or two and see if it persists. i read about taking Guaifenesin for pain. the doses they talk about are 300mg 2x up to 1200mg sx going in up every two weeks until the pain stops. i’m going to talk to about this. the other point i read was getting a T3 uptake test for thyroid function….not the other two thyroid thyroid tests. this is in a book called “Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain a survival manual“,  second edition. it’s written by Devin Startanyl and Mary Ellen Copeland. the ISBM is 1-57224-238-8, New Hrbinger Publications, Inc.  here’s a link to Amazon where you can read the reviews and if you want….purchase a used copy for not too much http://www.amazon.com/Fibromyalgia-Chronic-Myofascial-Pain-Survival/dp/1572242388/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206104298&sr=1-1

i like my GP…she really tries to get out there and do her homework on such things. considering the work load of patients…the quota she must meet each day…i’m impressed that she extends herself and studies “outside the box”. considering we live in a small town in the middle of nowhere and in the foothills of appalachia, some of our docs are exceptional. we are very limitted in our access.

the nearest large city any direction is 1 1/2-2 hours. that can be a very long distance when you’re not well. i’ve traveled it often. was doing it every day for six weeks when my one friend had her first surgery for terminal cancer. i also started going with a friend who ended up in a wheelchair after a car accident…on the top nine rehab centers was in that city so….i called and got us hooked up. i love doing advocacy work for my friends…i learn so much. i’ve have met some remarkable people in the process of helping my friends get appropriate and adequate care. now if i can do it for myself, i’d be in a better place. it is so much easier to do it for others…i’m not usually experiencing any flairs or crisis….

but sometimes i am. it’s hard to do that kind of work when you’re not doing so well yourself but…it takes me out of myself and it really makes my life better when i do help others. i rarely go a day without at least a phone call if not more. i would go back and finish my degree in counseling…i’ve learned so much, but i don’t want to get stuck in one of our small mental health facilities where i hate all the docs. they are the worst psychiatrists i’ve known! i love done advocacy work as an avocation…it’s very hard because often the people i work with can get very difficult during certain phases and it can be hard not to take it personally. i did have to separate from helping one person because i couldn’t handle how  she treated the professionals (who were competant) and how she treated me…it just went way above and beyond. i was her last resort…everyone had shut the door on her. i hate giving up on anyone but sometimes people have to find their own way in some situations…i can just be there to jumpstart someone. doing too much to help anyone can take away experiences they need to have. they need to have ownership in their treatment and on the way, learn to be their own advocate. i’m just a catalyst and i can offer support but eventually i need to see someone start to fly on their own…ya know?

well i hope today is a good day. i think i feel pretty good albeit a little loopy, but…what ever gets ya through the day….i will kick the meds. i will kick the bipolar, depression, ADHD, borderline personality disorder, fibromyalgia, eating disorders etc. i’m convinced they all come from the same place…me. if i can get “me” well, all else will kind of fall in line (maybe not a straight line but…)

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