Saturday, June 18, 2011

Quotes from the Borderline

“What makes BPD different from any other personality disorder is that your anger and impulsiveness – acting out, kicking over a chair – only happens when you’re dealing with people you really love. If it’s somebody you don’t care about, who cares?” 

~Doug Ferrari

Friday, June 17, 2011

What's the point? - Learned Helplessness

Another characteristic I've come across is Learned Helplessness. This is not an issue I suffer with but I found it to be sufficiently interesting as a lot of people suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder, depression and a many other mental illnesses deal with it.

Learned helplessness is when a person begins to believe that they have no control over a situation, even when they do. Learned helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses may result from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation.

How Learned Helplessness was discovered is pretty interesting:
“Learned Helplessness was discovered in 1965 by psychologist Martin Seligman while he was studying the behavior of dogs. In the experiment, which was designed to be a variation of Pavlov's famous "classical conditioning" experiment, Seligman restrained the dogs for some time in a hammock. Every time a sound was heard, the dog would receive an electrical shock. Later, the dogs were put in a confined box which they could easily jump out of. Seligman wanted to see if the dogs would have learned to jump out of the box when they heard the sound to escape the shocks. What surprised him was that the dogs just lay there and did not try to escape.
What Seligman had discovered was that the dogs had "learned" from the early part of the experiment that the shocks occurred at random, were unavoidable and didn't depend on their own behavior. The dogs could, in fact, just jump out of the box to escape the shock but they had learned otherwise.
This kind of behavior pattern has since been demonstrated in humans if they have been exposed to punishments or discomforts which seem random and unavoidable. A feeling of helplessness and no power to improve one's circumstances is one of the key factors in depression.”
The mantra of the person who suffers from Learned Helplessness is: "What's the point in trying? I won’t be able to do it anyways. Nothing is going to change no matter what I do."
Learned Helplessness can lead a person to falsely believe that they are more powerlessness than they really are. This can lead to them making poor choices, resulting in a worse situation, making them feel even more powerless, leading to more poor choices and a vicious cycle of depression sets in.
Like Seligman’s dogs, learned helplessness occurs when a person has experienced a specific series of negative events over which they have no control, despite their best efforts to improve the situation. Over time the person may begin to believe that no matter what they do, bad things will happen from time to time in a random fashion. Dysfunction arises when a person's negative experiences are generalized to their broader situation or overall outlook in life.
This actually ties in nicely to another bit of research I found on Generalized thinking and depression.
More research has found that while this theory is a good basis, it fails to take into account how people vary in their reactions to situations that can cause learned helplessness. For example, not all abuse victims develop PD traits or remain in a victimized state, but may grow to be even stronger people for the adversity. It can remain specific to one type of situation or it can be generalized for all situations. Although a group of people may experience the same or similar negative events, how each person privately interprets or explains the event will affect the likelihood of acquiring learned helplessness and subsequent depression. Why a person responds differently to adverse events is attributed to their explanatory style.
Explanatory style is a psychological attribute that indicates how people explain to themselves why they experience a particular event, either positive or negative. Psychologists have identified three components in explanatory style:
Personal - This involves how one explains where the cause of an event arises. People experiencing events may see themselves as the cause; that is, they have internalized the cause for the event. Example: "I always forget to make that turn" (internal) as opposed to "That turn can sure sneak up on you" (external).
Permanent - This involves how one explains the extent of the cause. People may see the situation as unchangeable, e.g., "I always lose my keys" or "I never forget a face".
Pervasive - This involves how one explains the extent of the effects. People may see the situation as affecting all aspects of life, e.g., "I can't do anything right" or "Everything I touch seems to turn to gold".
People with pessimistic explanatory style are people who generally tend to blame themselves for negative events, believe that such events will continue indefinitely, and let such events affect many aspects of their lives. They tend to see negative events as permanent ("it will never change"), personal ("it's my fault"), and pervasive ("I can't do anything correctly")—are most likely to suffer from learned helplessness and depression.
Conversely, people who generally tend to blame others for negative events, believe that such events will end soon, and do not let such events affect too many aspects of their lives display what is called an optimistic explanatory style.
Whatever their origins, people who suffer from events that were beyond their control consistently see a disruption in their emotions, aggressions, physiology and a multitude of other areas of their lives.  These helpless experiences can associate with passivity, uncontrollability and poor cognition in people, ultimately threatening their physical and mental well-being.

Traditionally I’m a pessimist. However, I’ve made a very conscious and concerted decision to learn optimism. Learned optimism is an idea in positive psychology that a talent for joy, like any other, can be cultivated. Learning optimism is done by consciously challenging any negative self-talk. It doesn’t always work, some days I definitely fall to a dour mood, but I do have a deeply instilled sense of hope that things can, and will get better.

Learned helplessness can also be a motivational problem. People who have failed at tasks in the past conclude erroneously that they are incapable of improving their performance. They may use learned helplessness as an excuse or a shield to provide self-justification for job/school failure. Additionally, describing someone as having learned to be helpless can serve as a reason to avoid blaming him or her for the inconveniences experienced. In turn, the person will give up trying to gain respect or advancement through academic/occupational performance.

I’m almost the exact opposite of this. I had so much pressure and responsibility put on me growing up that I absolutely believe things are my responsibility to change, improve, perfect, and the outcome depends solely on my ability. However, if I have to ask anyone for help, I have failed. If I can’t do something right, I have failed. If there is a way to do it better, I have not succeeded. I can always do better. I can always push harder. I can always do more. Instead of believing that things will never get better, I believe things are never good enough; can always be better. Things have to change in order to be good enough, but I have to change them, I have to do it in order to prove I’m worthy of having something better. If I rely on anyone else, for anything it means I have not proven myself capable and it’s not entirely my own victory.  If I have to depend on someone else for my achievement, for any minute part, than it’s not my achievement. I am performing below acceptable standards. There’s a compulsive edge that I can’t seem to express this morning. I refuse to be helpless. However, I also refuse help. Which is a demon all on its own.

Unlearning helplessness is possible.
Learned helplessness can be minimized by "immunization" and potentially reversed by therapy. People can be immunized against the perception that events are uncontrollable by increasing their awareness of previous positive experiences. Cognitive behavioral therapy can often help people to learn more realistic explanatory styles, bolster self-esteem, and can help ease depression as well. What’s important here, then, is to develop a supportive relationship with someone close to you be it a friend, lover, spouse, or therapist. Communication is key. Let this person know that you think this is a problem. When this kind of pessimistic, helpless thinking begins to take over, let them know that these are the times you need reminding of positive experiences and accomplishments that validate a more functional mental attitude. When it always feels like nothing will change or be different, having those small reminders that, IN FACT, things have been different before and can be different again, can be a very powerful tool. It’s not an overnight fix, but it’s a start.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Medication, Obsession, or Insomnia?

Alright I lied. I’m posting. I’m exhausted. I’m  rambling.

Can’t sleep. Can’t seem to balance. I think I’m falling to the artists’ obsession with their medium. I would love nothing more than to quit my job and stay home painting. I stay up painting as long as I can, wake up and instantly my mind is on my palatte.  I can’t fall asleep. Can’t stay asleep. Wake up early. Can’t fall back to sleep with the thoughts of color combinations, shading, lining, running, racing through my mind.

Or it’s my meds, or the weather, or maybe I’m anemic. Saw Psychiatrist yesterday. He was welcoming as always despite being upset with me last time. That was a relief. I told him that I’ve been incredibly fatigued and not sleeping.  I have Trazadone for sleeping. If I take too much I’m hung over and groggy all day. If I don’t take enough I either don’t fall asleep or don’t stay asleep. I also suspect that it slows down my resting metabolism when I’m asleep. It’s just a theory.

Last night I woke up at 230a… around 330a I took about a quarter of one just to help me fall asleep again. I woke up before my Cantina Band alarm went off and preceded to Snooze it once it did. Dragging myself out of bed is ridiculous. This never used to  be my problem. I was never a Snooze button person. Regardless of how little sleep I get I always just got right up. Everything feels heavy and slow. My brain feels thick. I hate feeling like this.

Therapist thinks it’s the new meds. Friend thinks it’s the weather and/or just need to give side effects a chance to pass. Psychiatrist isn’t worried at all and doesn’t even feel the need to see me for another month. So I’ll be continuing with 5mg of Abilify for the next  month. I’m going to try my damnedest to really limit, if not eliminate, my drinking. I’ve been doing really well with this.

I also realized that the only iron I’m probably getting is in my multi-vitamin and really you only absorb a fraction of what the label says.  Might explain the nosebleeds too. Time to invest in an iron supplement I think.

NAP. Nap. nap. Zzzzzzzz……….

My Manic and I

My Manic and I

              - Laura Marling

"Morning is mocking me..."

Too exhausted to post today, sorry. Sorry.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Now, now, let's not get... hysterical

Continuing on our journey into common Characterists and Traits of Borderline Personality Disorder:

Hysteria is inappropriate over-reaction to bad news or disappointments, which diverts attention away from the problem and towards the person who is having the reaction.

This is especially notable in Histrionic Personality Disorder but the Borderline is no stranger to it either.
Hysterical people take everyday situation and elevate them to a level that is inappropriate, unhelpful and diversionary. They may sometimes appear more comfortable in a crisis than in a calm situation. They are the kind of people who threaten, bluster, overreact, take it up a notch, go to extremes.
Out of the Fog talks about this being a systematic approach used to seek attention.
"Many people enjoy 15 minutes of fame. But for a Drama Major or Drama Queen, obtaining and holding other people's attention is more than a flight of fancy - it is something which they seek out using a systematic approach.
The goal of a hysterical person is to draw attention to themselves and to their plight - primarily from people who do not know them well and who are more likely to present a sympathetic response. Basically, it is a way to manipulate strangers into serving a person's emotional need."
This may be true for the Histrionic but from my experience I can’t say it’s true of my particular experience of Borderline. It’s almost impossible to ignore someone that is hysterical.  The end result may absolutely gain attention but becoming hysterical is never something I’ve planned to do, it just happens.

Hysteria describes unmanageable emotional excesses. Do I even need to describe this? For me, this is what accompanies panic and severe anxiety attacks. Panic attacks is probably closest. The ceiling feels like it’s closing in on me, there’s not enough oxygen in the room, the world is aligning against me and nothing I can do will pull my life out of the shit hole that it’s managed to fall into because of some event beyond my control. Last instance I recall is when I panicked about my job, wanted to quit, and an outright panic attack at Therapist (read: healthy outlet where I should be releasing these emotions), declared to Roommate and friends at large that I was done with engineering and would be exploring new occupation avenues because it felt like my life couldn’t continue on in the direction I’ve been going. And nothing could convince me otherwise. There is no consoling, no rationalizing. All there is, is the feeling that what’s happening right now, is taking over.

Current psychiatric terminology distinguishes two types of disorders that were previously labeled 'hysteria': somatoform and dissociative. Somatization disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis applied to patients who persistently complain of varied physical symptoms (like phantom back pain) that have no identifiable physical origin. The dissociative disorders include dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, dissociative identity disorder, depersonalization disorder, and dissociative disorder not otherwise specified. The origin of Borderline hysteria is probably much more easily identifiable as the direct result of, or perceived result of,  loss, abandonment or conflict {internal and external} and the inability to regulate emotional responses.

Hysteria can encompass symptoms of psychiatric phenomena that have been linked to psychological trauma. This brings me back to something that needs a little reiterating. Borderline Personality Disorder doesn’t just happen. It may have biogenetic origins, but it’s exacerbated and encouraged by the often traumatic environment that the borderline experiences growing up.
Recent neuroscientific research is even starting to show that there are characteristic patterns of brain activity associated with these states.  These disorders (somatoform and dissociative) are thought to be unconscious, not feigned or intentional malingering. So while the physical result may be to garner attention, act out, even manipulate a specific reaction from someone… It’s a temperamental predisposition, not necessarily some devious plot thought out in advance.
NOTE: This is not a justification and these reactions are something that can and should be tempered and controlled. Understanding what is going on though is key to bringing it under control. Recognizing that these things are unconscious, that is, of the mind, can help in the realization that these things are not real, or that these feelings are exaggerated. In recognizing this, hopefully it is possible to get ahold of these runaway feelings and ground them with the knowledge that they will pass and aren’t actually going to end the world.

Amusing origin story:
Freud was an idiot.
Historically, the ancient notion of hysteria, is of the "wandering womb.” Derived from the Latin histrionicus, "pertaining to an actor." Ancient Greeks thought that excessive emotionality in women was caused by a displaced uterus and sexual discontent. Christian ascetics during the Middle Ages blamed women's mental problems on witchcraft, sexual hunger, moral weakness, and demonic possession. By the 19th century, medical explanations proposed a weakness of women's nervous system related to biological sex. Thus, "hysteria" reflected the stereotype for women as vulnerable, inferior, and emotionally unbalanced.
The cure of course, was to go to your local physician and have these sexual tensions ‘relieved’. Now there’s a cure ::smirk::. Talk about gender bias for Histrionic PD too. I’d say it’s pretty obvious where that came from.
The concept of a hysterical personality was well developed by the mid-20th century and strongly resembled the current definition of histrionic personality disorder. The first DSM featured a symptom-based category, "hysteria" (conversion) and a personality-based category, "emotionally unstable personality." Haha, recognize this?!? Borderline. DSM-II distinguished between hysterical neurosis and hysterical (histrionic) personality.

To me this seems like a characteristic that borders between Histrionic and Borderline or one that keeps them identifiably intertwined. So I guess really, Hysteria is two related things: a personality characteristic whereby someone is a hysterical person in general (histrionic) and/or a situational state of being; as in having a hysterical incident.

Personally, while I may have panic attacks, I am not a hysterical person. This is a trait I associate more with Low-Functioning Borderline.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy - Boundaries, Bulimia, and Art


Yesterday was a productive day in therapy I think. I was in definite rapid cycle mode shift. I didn’t really feel like sharing anything, didn’t really know what to talk about, tired, irritated, hopeful, pleasant, irritable, angry.
She keeps telling me I have a healing, peaceful energy that I bring with me. That people are drawn to my natural ability to heal and ground. That I really have a wonderful influence and role model. Everytime she says things like this I get angry. I don’t see it, I don’t believe it.  
She was creating an assignment for another bulimic client of hers. She said this girl reminded her of me and in creating this assignment for her she was heavily influenced by the things I do to center myself. She handed me the assignment. As I read it was a wash of peaceful, calm, creative outlets to focus energy towards. Healthy things, not destructive. I could easily see how most of these things were influenced by me and my interests. I had these small flashes of, maybe I’m not so terrible as I think, maybe I do have redeeming qualities to offer, maybe how other people see me {positively} is not so inaccurate, not just a lie to make me feel better or manipulate me.  These small flashes were fleeting but they were like little mental peeks into a pretty part of my self-perception.
She’s very concerned about my bulimia. I only had the one incident this past week, despite wanting to more, so I say bravo for me. We’re working on why I feel the need to do this.
Triggers: The state that I am most likely to do this is when I am more stressed than usual, more emotionally taxed.  The times I am most likely to do this is when I am alone, when someone has just left.
Sometimes I think this is just practical. When I’m sitting down to a meal with someone I moderate myself easily and don’t binge. When I’m alone I have no moderator. I lose control over what I take in and then panic in a need to punish myself for this loss of control. Control is clearly an issue. Again she believes this has to do with the Punitive/Critical Parent schema.  She asked me if I believed this personality schema was all bad? I said no. There should be a part of your brain that lets you know when you are doing something wrong or detrimental to yourself or others. It’s normal. It’s when it takes over in an exaggerated, hurtful, debasing, demeaning manner that it becomes punitive and is no longer healthy or normal. This is the part that I need to work to correct. Sunday I wanted to binge after I left Friends and came home to my empty apartment, but I managed to stop myself. I was able to talk myself into just going to sleep. Ireminded myself that if I were to eat, I would feel guilty (I’d had a healthy lunch and a good dinner, no starving), eat more, and need to purge. Instead of indulging the cycle I convinced myself to lie down and just go to sleep. It’s not easy.  Not easy at all. I had to walk myself step by step through what I would end up doing and reiterate every sentence and reason for why I shouldn’t or didn’t need to; why just going to bed would be better.
NOTE: I should write out this process. Write down the feelings that come before the cycle starts in order to recognize them. Write down each action that would typically follow. Then write down a sentence to counter each action in order to bring me to a healthier conclusion. That way I have an established tool when this happens.
I showed Therapist my paintings and she was really impressed. She even wanted to give me a homework assignment having to do with expressing myself through painting. I can’t. I just can’t. She first suggested creating a picture of the Critical Parent when we talked about the unrelenting pressure I feel from my father. This idea immediately filled me with dread and anxiety like a sucker punch to the gut. I practically panicked when I told her I wouldn’t. I immediately thought of my dad and I don’t want to paint him. Especially since he is actually impressed with my painting. He thinks I have some talent here. Thinks I should look into taking some formal art courses (which I’ve never had) and pursuing this further. I don’t’ want this to be homework or a chore. I have so little time free to follow my love of this I just want to enjoy myself and let my ideas flow where they will. She tried to suggest another painting assignment but I’m not turning this into homework. I won’t.
Foreign relationship dynamic. I mentioned I don’t feel very connected to Lady Friend yet. I don’t know if it’s because it’s still early in our relationship or if it’s because when I first meet people I tend to actively keep myself held back. I don’t actually know her well and I’ve been so badly abused I hold myself at a distance. No one can plant a knife in your back without you first allowing them within arm’s reach. When people get close to you is when they can hurt you. It’s only been a month of casual dating though and she does seem to be very into me.
Therapist’s first question was: So when was the last time you had a healthy, nurturing relationship like this? Blank. I honestly cannot remember. I’ve had a lot of long, emotionally unattached/unhealthy relationships or very short relationships that I’ve either bolted from or set on fire and burned to the ground. But not healthy, nurturing relationships. Therapist thinks that part of my problem may be that I simply don’t recognize this feeling. Since it’s not fraught with conflict and upset it’s such an unfamiliar concept to me that it doesn’t register with me as what a relationship should look like. Just let it flow as it will and try to be receptive to where it goes without putting pressure or expectation on it.
Future consideration: Telling Lady Friend about my BPD. I haven’t really dated seriously since my diagnosis {having been very involved with Friend for so long and he knows} so I haven’t had to have ‘a talk’ about my BPD with someone. I don’t know how much to tell her. When is appropriate to tell her? What will happen if I tell her? Or if I even want to tell her at all? Honestly I think she’d probably take it in stride. I’ve mentioned things like my past OCD, anxiety, and my issues of object constancy; sort of bringing up pieces when the conversation is relevant. I don’t know though.
Holy crap let me tell you how freaking irritated I get with Therapist. She talks so bloody much it drives me insane. And she gets on this one topic of inter-subjective fields that I want to gag her. I know her perceptions of inter-subjective fields and how she wants therapy to be a safe space for me and how since I’m very perceptive that she doesn’t want her life or the spaces of her other clients to interfere with my space because therapy is just about me and she doesn’t want these other influencing spheres to cross any boundaries. I drift off and cannot focus on a word she says. Or if I do I just get so irritated and angry I don’t want to listen to her.
Especially since I don’t think I have boundaries.
She asked me what I meant by this. I don’t know honestly. It seems to me that I’ve always held such rigid beliefs, hid so much of myself away, feared embarrassment or humiliation for so long – very, very rigid boundaries… then after living with Evil-Ex, he would take every little piece of ammunition he could gather against me and if he perceived a vulnerable point in me or an opportunity he would use what he had against me to humiliate me. What strikes me is my reaction or lack of reactions. I have almost a casual resignation to these experiences. They happened. There’s nothing to do for it now. I believed I would feel a certain way, that my world would be impacted in a way that was so detrimental, and yet, it wasn’t, nothing that I believed would happen, happened. In fact, probably no one cared at all. Just me. So if all these rigid ideas and beliefs that the thought of having them crossed created so much anxiety in me, if they’re not what I believe they are, is anything I believe what I think it is. Is any of this imposed rigidity necessary? It seems to me that regardless of whether I believe I need these things, when I’m presented with a violation of them, I continue on anyways. Move on. Nothing stops. Nothing ends. Do I need these concepts of boundaries at all if they aren’t enforceable? They no longer seem to be there anyways.
In a way this may seem very Zen. Therapist is pretty adamant that boundaries are necessary to establish for oneself. I can see how this is unhealthy for me because in regards to myself, I’ve let things like rape and assault wash over me. I detach, dissociate, repress, and continue on, but I don’t devastate. In the moment, maybe, but it doesn’t last for long. If it doesn’t last, than are they really hurtful? If I pull myself together and keep going was it really so traumatic? Would having boundaries have helped me out of these places or prevented me from being there in the first place? Probably. But not having boundaries didn’t kill me. What doesn’t kill you and all… but do I really want to continue to test that theory? No. There absolutely are things that are inappropriate. Violations no one has a right to breach. Just because I got through does not mean that I no longer need to build these back up; reestablish what is acceptable for the future. Having gone through it before, lived through it before, does not make it okay for it to happen again, even knowing that it is survivable. Should be more than mere survival to really live.
Around and around my ruminations go.  
Homework: Create a space within you in order to establish boundaries which you believe are acceptable for your life.

Take home therapy

Lucid analysis post is too long so I'm putting this assignment in it's own post.

Homework:  Pay attention, from within yourself to the experiences of being with the special and/or important people in your life. Pay close attention to your internal senses about the experience. Try to fully engage your sense of sight, your hearing, your sense of smell, your sense of touch, what the experience felt like to you.
In therapy each week: try to write about at least one meaningful experience each week in session. You can write about before session if you’d like to. Try to describe the experience in detail, fully engaging your senses.
Visually, how it looked around you, the beauty or starkness of the experience,
The music or sounds you heard,
The smells around you what you were able to hold and feel in your hands with our sense of touch,
How the experience made you feel.
One positive thing that stands out the most about the experience that has meaning for you. Draw a picture that represents something important to you about the experience.

Suggestions for enjoyable bonding times:
Go for an exhilarating nature walk in a beautiful place.
Go kayaking on the bay early in the morning or at sunset.
Together, read chapters of a favorite book outside in nature.
Walk together through a colorful flower arboretum on a summer day.
Get acrylic paints and sit by a lake to paint a picture of the scenery around you.
Prepare a healthy lunch and snacks and have a picnic at a park
Go swimming at a fresh water lake on a warm summer day.
Get your favorite ice cream cones and sit in your car together overlooking the bay or ocean and watch a storm over the water.
Wash your hair outside on a hot summer day, in a passing heavy rain.
Take a few free yoga courses to learn the restorative and relaxation poses, and then get your yoga mats out in your home on a rainy day, light candles and practice the yoga poses or asanas as they are called, in a favorite room in your house.
Teach each other a dance that you remember learning or always wanted to learn when you were younger or that you want ot learn now.
Share you favorite music, and then sit and talk together about whatever comes to mind.
Have a spa treatment day in your home.
Take a photo together from one of these occasions, and frame it for both of you to always have.
After each of these times that you share together, tell your loved ones how much you love spending time together, how much joy they bring to your heart, and how happy having them as your friend or family member, makes you feel.

Monday, June 13, 2011

6 Month Anniversary

Blogging milestone! It’s the 6 month anniversary of Beyond the Borderline Personality blog!

I don’t know about you, but I feel this is a pretty big deal. Of course, everything feels like a pretty big deal to me (BPD humor). In honor of this day I am taking the day off from real posting and would like to express my appreciation of you.
Thank you for following me. For stopping by. For leaving comments. For simply being with me in spirit. The support and encouragement I’ve received from so many of you means the world to me. I truly, truly appreciate every minute that you spend reading my blog and commenting here. It helps me immensely to know that there are other people out there struggling with the same things I am. To those fighting with Borderline Personality Disorder and/or to those with loved ones who fight with BPD, that I can be of aid or assistance, even in a small way, makes me feel like despite this challenge something good can come from it. And that’s really the message I want to bring here. Education, information, encouragement, support and hope. Some days are better than others. Some days are far worse than it seems possible to bear. But there’s always another day. Writing this blog has helped me so much in the realization of what I’ve struggled with and raised my personal self-awareness in a manner that has allowed me to get a better grasp on this disorder.  You, dear readers, are what have really made it worth it. So thank you. I appreciate you and the time you’ve spent with me.

So now what? Well, I’m gonna keep going of course. I live in a perpetual state of being afraid that I’ll run out of things to say. Here and in real life. It’s one of more irrational and unfounded fears, but I’m always afraid that there will be an end to the ideas and the flow for conversation. Fortunately I have no short supply of topics and ideas for this blog =) So a preview of some things to come. Eventually. And in multilple parts.
-          Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorders: A study in comparisons and contrasts
-          Neurological, physiological, biological and genetic studies of the BPD brain
-          Personality Disorder Testing (MMPI, etc)
-          Depression
-          Schematherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
-          Borderline Empathy
-          Causes and contributing factors
-          Family Support
-          And of course more of what I’ve been continuing to touch on.

I’d like to open up the forum to you guys. Are there any topics you’d like me to tackle? Take a deeper look at and/or add emphasis to? Ideas for posts? I know I’ve made note of a few topics I wanted to pursue for future posts so feel free to remind me of them if I didn’t mention some. Is there anything you’d like to know about me… be it BPD related or not? Feel free to ask! Either here in the comments or e-mail me at .  And as always, your questions, comments, and any old random thing you feel like saying is always welcome!
So there we go. 6 months of constant blogging. I put a lot of time, effort and energy into research and writing for this blog.  I’m pretty proud of myself for this.

Thank you for journeying with me.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Memoirs on a Sunday: Weekend Randomness

Let's throw a little of my life out there. I may make this a weekend series on Sundays. 

I do this blog as a chance to give some insight into the life of someone with Borderline Personality Disorder however I feel like if I ONLY focus on the multitudes of  BPD characteristics I’m losing a little bit of the human aspect that I want to convey. So, just to sort of give an idea of what else goes on in my life that’s not solely centered around BPD, I think I'll do some random weekend postings. Hopefully a different side of me, or at least a more well rounded view of me, highlighting other areas of interest. While my borderline issues are clearly problematic, I’m not running around like a giant ball of static and charge 24/7. I don’t know. Maybe it’ll give some insight into the little daily effects BPD has on me, how other aspects are seemingly unaffected, and how little patterns emerge, converge, and dissipate in time. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve decided to do a cleanse again starting Monday. Salt flush in the mornings with only ‘liquid’ foods for 10 days. Liquid = juice, water, yogurt, soup, etc. Nothing solid. I have 5 more pounds to lose and I can’t shock my system into budging. This’ll do it.  I feel like I’m falling to bad eating habits again too what with eating out a little more than usual I want to make sure I watch myself. I’ve also been feeling bogged down with everything and the cleanse is good for the body. First couple days I’m a little irritable and headachey. Must make sure to hydrate. 

With the season change and the mornings being lighter earlier my insomnia has been worse and I haven’t been getting any sleep. At least I hope it’s the season change. The only other option is that it’s my medication and I actually like my Abilify so far. I want this to work out. I have however decided to stop fighting the no sleep and be productive. Or at least creative. I started painting 2-3 weeks back. So when I can’t sleep I do this

and this: 
Red Sky Dawns
Picasso I am not. But I don’t think it’s half bad for never having painted before in my life. I absolutely love it too.

Saturday was a really productive day. Again, I woke up with the sun but I overhauled our apartment to make our 2nd bathroom function. Roommate has been using the shower as a 5th storage closet for all her stuff but with me dating again and her bf, we really sort of need the 2nd shower. There’s been too many days when I’m irritated that I can’t take a shower and start to worry about the time crunch. I was so exhausted but I got it done, then headed to the gym. I started a new painting, went to the grocery 3 times and prepped to make dinner for LadyFriend. I don’t think I’ve made a cute romantic dinner for two since I moved in here. My first time making dinner for her =) I made a Lightly Curried Peanut Bisque, Israeli Couscous with dried apricots, cranberries and pistachios, and Portobello Bruschetta with Rosemary Aioli. I do so love to cook. Especially since I make so many things at one time, my mind is so utterly occupied there’s no room for thoughts of other things. The food came out beautifully. So delicious and I had a really nice time with her.
Friday night I went to Friend’s for movie night. I didn’t actually pay much attention to the movies though. Quirky spoofy horror movies. If you like them, check out Rockula. It’s a stitch. I spent the majority of the night crafting. I was figuring out how to make tribal hair falls. I so love being crafty.
They’re actually pretty easy to make. I can’t believe how much these things sell for where I vacation. I tried to pay attention to the conversation but I was feeling more than a little irritable and hypersensitive. A buddy of mine was sitting next to me, and Friend was on the other couch. They were both trying to talk at the same time and I felt like my mind was going to dig a hole in itself and retreat. My brain vibrating into a smaller and smaller place. I could hear sounds but it was so much static I couldn’t make out what either of them were saying, it was just too much voice at one time. Too much volleying. The only thing I could do was tune them out sometimes or my head would start to hurt. 

So mostly I crafted and later ended up dozing off on Friend during the last movie. I wasn’t feeling particularly social. And even when I stopped crafting I couldn’t get into the groove of conversation. I felt a little out of place. Like everyone else was so much more animated and sociable and I was off on my own little couch cushion island.
We had wine and chatted through dinner. Our conversation doesn’t flow particularly well and it seems like there’s a little something missing. Idk. I’m not incredibly attached to her yet, but it’s still early in our relationship. I generally fight attachments for a while, maintain something of an open yet distant stance. I really like her, but getting too close to people is when things go wrong, but then again I do want to give this and myself a chance. Our chemistry is pretty apparent otherwise though, haha ::wink::.
Upsettingly after she left something in my brain made me binge and that lead to the inevitable. I don’t even understand why. It was so late and I was so exhausted and I still managed to take the time to do that.

Sunday I was supposed to go to an event in the Bronx but due to inclement weather, that didn’t happen. I’d attempted the gym but only got like 4 hours of sleep so my body just wasn’t in it. I’m starting to accumulate a lot of workout guilt because I’ve been too exhausted to expend the energy. I worry about every little thing I put in my body because I haven’t been able to exercise properly.  Instead I spent the day with Friend doing crafty stuff. We’re working on our light sabers.  Yes, light sabers. Fully electronic/LED functioning light sabers. I’m stoked to be working more on my Star Wars costume. I have a bunch of little changes I’m making to it. I’m going to redo my Twi’lek lekku to make the headband connection match the rest of my outfit. Since my persona is Sith alchemist/sorcerer I’m incorporating a more Tribal feel to the costume as well. Hence the tribal falls I’m working on.  I also started a new painting. I’m borderline obsessing about this new hobby. I wake up with the sun and my mind starts whirring about color blends and brush strokes; the project that I’m working on. As far as ruminations go, at least this one is a healthy outlet. And so much fun.
It’s seriously a good thing that I do manage some impulse control because there are days when calling in to work in order to stay home and paint are really high!

It was a long day of crafting, food, and gathering supplies for future projects. Starting to wear down. Too much stimulus I just can’t keep up the energy some days. Especially when I’m not sleeping. I feel like I’m floating off in my own head. The silence is deafening right now. No one’s home and it’s too quiet. Tomorrow’s another day, happily.
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