Friday, May 25, 2012

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy: A Good Day

I don’t have a lot of good days in therapy, but every once in a while I do. Honestly I think they’re kind of a waste of a therapy session. Good days mean I’m in a rare good mood and Therapist doesn’t like to bring me down from those. She wants me to recognize and feel those positive emotions so I can connect to them more easily and hold onto them better.  Shockingly, I’ve been doing pretty well at this.

I didn’t have my usual depressive crash this year! I think it’s safe to celebrate this. Every year since I was 12 (maybe earlier but this is as far back as I can remember) in late March/early April my depression becomes even blacker, more consuming, an eternal void sucking me down into the darkness. This year happened to coincide with a visit to Psychiatrist. I had him up my Pristiq dose to 100mg to try and pre-empt this problem. That coupled with therapy and my decisions to kick out the dramatic influences in my life have made this the first season I can recall where my depression hasn’t consumed me. In fact, there are even days where I have content and *gasp* happy. Or what I suspect happy is supposed to feel like.

It’s bizarre.

It’s good, but it’s bizarre. I’ve been depressed for 19 years. To have days at a time where I don’t feel like the world is waiting to crush me with it’s weight is delightfully foreign and pleasantly off-putting. It’s like I’m relearning how to experience the world sometimes. Before it was always just a matter of time before something devastating happened and my hope would shatter. Now, I often find myself in a state of present contentment. Being in the moment, enjoying the moment, and not tearing my mind apart with anxiety about the next moment to come. It feels strange to me to not have this constantly occurring. I’m not incredibly sure how to react to feeling good. I’m not sure how to comprehend a lack of fear of someone abandoning me. I mean, this doesn’t apply to everyone, but that it’s starting to hold true for some is major progress.

I’m starting to hold a connection with certain people more. Especially Roommate.

As per usual, Therapist asked about my relationship with Tech Boy. He invited me out to a huge family gathering for his mother’s birthday. I met all the family, friends of family, and neighbors. His mom did the picture taking thing and I was included. It was a really great night (except for the ridiculous amount of food I binged on – which I’ve been very diligent about correcting all week).Everyone was very warm and welcoming. Of all the crazy things that happened that night one thing stood out. Tech Boy used the ‘G’ word.

Girlfriend *blink*. It’s okay to squee a little.

Therapist usually pushes me to talk about our relationship. This makes me really uncomfortable, but I couldn’t really pinpoint why until I was talking to Roommate about it last night. She made a comment of, “Because talking about it makes it real.” Real. Solid. Tangible. Something I can hold onto. Something that I can lose. Some of my outer defenses have been coming down, but my inner fortress is still firmly in place. I’ve let the drawbridge down for  now, but I’m still not able to completely discharge my protective forces. I’m a little closer, but I have such a strong core of self-preservation and protection that the act of accepting someone as part of my life is no an easy achievement. It’s not for lack of wanting to. I do want to. I don’t know how. I don’t know how to make myself. I don’t know to disengage this defense mechanism that is a naturally ingrained piece of my psyche. I don’t think about having this barricade. It’s just there, always at the ready. It’s as if at some point my heart told my brain, protect me with your life, even if I tell you not to.

Remember that scene from Young Frankenstein when Frederick is going in to talk to the monster and tell his crew, “Whatever you do, do not let me out. If I scream, if I beg, do not let me out.” And then of course, the monster wakes and he begs, pleads, and screams to be released but the wall won’t budge. It’s just like that. I need to find my violin to sooth the monster within.
The monster just needs a little love.

I suspect my violin is the journey I’ve been on; my meds, my therapy, my writing, and the way I’m trying to approach my relationships now.  I’m building my violin up from scratch, but that’s why it will be tuned to my life. What I need.

Man, I’m all metaphorical and symbolic today aren’t I.

So what else. Impulse. I have my impulse spending like mad lately. I can afford it and all my bills and whatnot are taken care of first, but if I see something I want, I need to have it. I’ve bought some super cute shoes, shirts, jewelry, dresses…. Money, money, money, spend, spend, spend.

Speaking of dresses. I’m obsessed with finding the perfect maid of honor dress for Zoe’s wedding. She has vague guidelines of colorful with some accent of pattern (very bohemian) but otherwise it’s up to us and we can pick out whatever we want to wear. I wear black. If I wear color it’s solid and as an accent. A colorful dress with a pattern? Fuck. And it can’t be any dress. It has to be the perfect one. It must be suitable for her theme, her idea of her perfect wedding, whatever will make her day feel like the dream day she’s always wanted. Of course, she doesn’t actually care which dress I pick, but I do. I need it to be “perfect”. I have looked at thousands of dresses. Thousands and thousands and thousands of  dresses. I collect the few that I think she will like, a few that I like, a few that I think overlap and keep track of them all in one place. I can’t stop. I can’t make myself just pick one. Does anyone use Pinterest? Well, I do. I can’t make a decision on things like this. I need her input and I need Roommates input. I won’t be able to make an acceptable decision until they tell me what they think. I need their opinions.

This happens with a lot of things. I have a really hard time making some decisions. Bills, work stuff, mundane bullshit, nah, not a problem. Bigger purchases? Fancy dinners? Event themes? I have to organize, collect, categorize every single option and I need input on all of it to make sure that I’m not making “the wrong” choice. I’ll create polls and lists and pages for people to vote on or contribute their input before I can make a decision. The funny thing is, after I have everyone’s thoughts and information, I often choose something entirely opposite or what I wanted in the first place. But I can’t come to that conclusion until I am as informed as I can possibly be.

I get stuck. I feel like I’m in a loop of never ending what if’s.

I need to know how things will be perceived before I can make an accurate assessment on my own. I have an intense amount of energy and anxiety that I pour into things like this all of the time. Cognitively I know that no one cares but me. That these things don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but I have this need to do things “right”. But how do I decide what’s right if I don’t ask? I gather up what everyone else perceives as “right” so I have some basis for comparison. Ultimately I may decide that they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about and go my own way altogether (this seriously happens 4 out of 5 times), but I feel safer, steadier, in my decision when I know how other people think of something as well. Even if they think a different way than I do. And of course, as soon as I make that decision, all the anxiety goes away and I’m done. But the process of getting to that point is an ordeal.

Maybe I just like to brainstorm. I suspect it has to do with not trusting my judgment. I seek criticism and validation at the same time.

All the while rebelling against the social norms that entrap me and ultimately embracing whichever way my brain decides to sway. Oh brains. You’re such funny bits of squish.

You know what else helps ease the anxiety? Video games. Diablo 3 to be precise. **swoon** I’ll be doing a little write up on my opinions of that over in my Asylum blog. FYI, for anyone that doesn’t know, that’s my other blog where I  leave the Borderline bullshit behind and just talk about whatever is in my mind and life at the moment. Religion, politics, food, Star Wars, art… you know, the rest of the stuff that makes up my life. Because *shocker* I’m not just my BPD. That’s over there. I don’t update that as regularly as I would like, but it’s there if you’re interested.


  1. thanks for these entries.. you don't know how much they've helped me.

    1. That's my hope. I figure if I'm dealing with this junk maybe someone else is too. If I have to experience this, at least maybe I can use it to help.

  2. You are a true gem.Articulate,insightful,AWARE,and very interseting.Be proud of how far you've come!

    I am learning from you.

    Thank you.

  3. .....interesting....

  4. I relate to the 'choices' thing. It sometimes feels like there are so many viable options, and I know I can successfully carry any or all of them; plus I have a fairly flexible sense of self. It's almost like I need the people close to me to tell me what they expect from me in that situation.

    And frequently, when I've gathered up a set of different opinions, I choose something completely unrelated to any of them, as if I've used my support network as an extension of my brain's decision-making apparatus. I put the options out there and let other people do the 'dithering' while I move on to another task.

    1. I can definitely relate to the idea of using my support network as an extension of my brain's decision-making apparatus. I'll put ideas and options out there that I might like, and when I get feedback, my reactions to the feedback are more indicative of how I really feel about something and give me a better idea of what I really want to do. It seems much more complicated than it should be.

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Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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