Archive for the ‘Happiness’ Category

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Diagnosis: Help or Hindrance?

November 22, 2011

I’m writing this by popular request of twitter.

Often people question whether a mental health diagnosis is a good thing. Personally I think it is a good thing aslong as it isn’t misdiagnosis and has been well thought out. To treat an illness you must first know what it is. Unlike many with a BPD diagnosis I was relieved when I was told what was wrong because I already had my suspicions. It meant I had a name to my “crazy” behaviour and could work on conquering. If you use your diagnosis constructively, it can work for you not against you. The only scary diagnosis should be one you haven’t heard of before. Because knowledge is power. Knowing what an illness is and how to fight it is the key to recovery.

On the other side being diagnosed with a mental health problem can mean that stigma is suddenly chasing you like a wild dog but then the only difference between you before diagnosis and after is that someone has told you what is wrong. Whether you are told what you have, not having a diagnosis doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

A diagnosis of a mental illness can sometimes feel daunting and scary and can often worsen symptoms because, hell, nobody wants to be ill. My dad will often use his diagnosis as a crutch by saying “But I can’t do that, I’m Bipolar aren’t I?” he’s someone who blindly follows the doctors and hopes the pills will make him better. He doesn’t actively take part in improving his mental health or changing his situation. So for someone like my dad, it probably wouldn’t matter what diagnosis he had, he would take the pills and be on his way.

It depends how you approach it. But it shouldn’t leave you feeling hopeless. It should leave you feel that there is hope. No, there isn’t always a way to “cure” it but there are ways of coping with it. When you get a mental illness diagnosis, don’t think it’s the end. It’s the beginning of a rocky path to a stable future.

Once people become less ignorant about mental illness, I know that a diagnosis will seem less scary. There will be less of a worry that other people will judge you and be scared of you. When there is more acceptance of mental health problems in society, more people will feel comfortable with getting that all important diagnosis.

I think one of the real problems is self diagnosis, once you’ve been diagnosed with one thing you can start thinking but I’m also this and this Oh! and this one. But generally recovering from your main diagnosis or controlling the symptoms of it will probably control the other attributes you’d find in other illness too. The main diagnosis is the important one and will usually take the others with it. Multiple diagnosis isn’t uncommon but then mental illnesses don’t like to be alone. I’d say I have Borderline Personality Disorder, Social Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder yet I just say I have BPD because the social anxiety and PTSD are part of my BPD. Don’t cover yourself in diagnosis. You may have many diagnoses but there will always be one that sticks out and that has to be focused on first.

So that’s my two cents. I think it’s a help, but what do you think?

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I make him ill.

November 11, 2011

I know I do. I cause a lot of stress and when I cause myself so much stress it’s bound to cause him stress too. I make things harder than they should be and I definately make life more difficult for both of us. Women generally have a more stern approach to life anyay, whereas men are generally more laidback and that’s why women are known for nagging. It’s a tool to get men to do what they’re supposed to when they’re supposed to. And that pisses him off to no ends and causes a lot of tension. I just feel like I’m one big nuisance when a lot of the time I may just be trying to help. I try and get him to not stay up too late when he has to get up early but I’m just being a nag and trying to ruin his fun. I say not to be on the computer when he has a headache because it’ll make it worse but then to him I’m just trying to find any way to be with him and getting jealous of him being with his friends on the computer. I’m just a bad person, all I do is hurt him when I’m trying to do good. I make him feel the need to get counsilling because I make everything harder. It’s hard to like yourself when all you seem to do is make life harder for yourself and others. He agrees that life is more difficult with me than it would be with someone who didn’t have an illness but then anyone could agree with that. But then he says if I weren’t worth all the stress than why would he still be here? It’s a wonderful thing to hear but at the same time my head says well there aren’t really any reasons to stay with me, I wouldn’t stay with me. He says I’m worth it but I don’t understand how when I just cause stress and illness. We both always feel unwell, he’s even been told he has problems with anxiety now and I know it’s because of me. So now we’re both ill, both constantly stressed, anxious and depressed. Sometimes I think it would be best if I just left. He would so much happier without me. Whenever I’ve gone for the night, he will stay up all night until the early hours playing games with his friends and have a really good time BECAUSE I’m gone and I can’t tell him to go to bed. He will have a nice time because I’m not there to tell him what to do. But then when I come home and find out I just ruin everything again by telling him, it’s not good for him to stay up all night. Then he hates me. I know if i weren’t here he would game all day and all night, do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted and be a happy bachelor. He’s always dreamed of having a bachelor pad anyway.

It may seem starnge but on the game Sims people generally create the life that would like to have. I have always created myself with a partener to start off with, I’ve never started off alone and I become a writer, my husband works and I pop out kids and that’s my life. J always starts off alone and usually stays that way, he works, plays games and plays music and if he runs out of life wishes to fulfill he might get married to someone on the way. It says a lot and actually worries me because I know his dream life would have been to be alone and have a computing/music career and I just happened to walk into his life for him to fall in love with me and ultimately fuck up his whole life plan. It’s not his fault he fell in love with me but maybe if he hadn’t have he would be happier now and less unwell. I never ever want to leave him and sometimes I feel selfish for feeling that way.

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Control

November 10, 2011

I have none. I really don’t. I watched “The 8 year old Anorexic” yesterday and I was shocked by it but my unstable mind was mostly thinking things like this:

“I wish I had that much control.

Look at all the attention she’s getting, maybe If I starved…

I wish I could starve myself, It’s so extreme even exciting.

I could be emotionally and physically unstable, then I would get looked after forever.”

Although having BPD can be unbearable at the same time to recover from my illness means not having reasons for people to look after me. If I’m ill I need help from people.

Now back to the self control, I write myself a note yesterday it said:

NO BURGERS.

NO PIZZA.

NO CHINESE.

Eat fruit.

Drink Water.

STOP EATING.

I was completely determined to do this, as I am every time I try and start something like this. But then my biggest addiction is food (after sex). It makes me feel so good and I can have it any time (unlike sex) I can just go into the kitchen and stuff my face and it feels so so good. The feeling I get from eating some delicious is euphoric. When I feel stressed or anxious (99.9% of the time, the 0.1% being after I’ve eaten) I eat but it’s not just simply eating it’s gorging myself until I feel sick. And it feels wonderful. I get so determined sometimes when I see anorexia programmes to just not eat and I make a plan but then I get hungry or I feel down and J will say I need to eat something and he’ll tell me that I’m allowed and I’ll use any excuse to stuff myself again. The thing is I feel so determined not to and then when it comes to it I really can’t stop. I can not eat but the days that I don’t I have a hell of a lot that I have done in that day so I have been too distracted to eat. It shows that I can do it I just need more distraction, like writing. I’m not craving anything right now because I’m distracted by this but as soon as I stop I know I’ll want to get some take-out. Although we do need to do food shopping today and I’m going to order loads of fruit because although fatty foods is very pleasurable, I had an apple yesterday and the sweetness was so delicious. So I think If I live off of apples, water, salads and sandwiches I’m not being too dangerous but I’m still tricking my brain into thinking I am by not eating loads of food. This isn’t about hurting myself as such, it’s about satisfying my mind into thinking I am because it is adamant on doing so.

People never think food is an addiction but it really is. Like anything can become an addiction. They just think people are fat and should stop eating, they don’t think that maybe this person is eating to stop all the hurt that is controlling their head. It’s such a stereotype to see a picture of a girl who has recently broken up with her boyfriend eating a big tub of ice cream. Food is a beautiful comfort. It used to just simply be for survival but with our over indulgence nowadays it’s normal to eat too much food just when we feel like it. I do get upset that I’ve put on two stone in a couple of months, I do but then when I feel shit I don’t care. I really don’t. Who cares If I’m huge, I want to eat, it’ll make me feel better. But then I know if I carry on like this by the age of 25 I’ll be so big that I’ll fall into a horrible depression. Then I’ll die. So I have two options, eat feel good, kill myself because I’m obese. Stop comfort eating, find distractions, potential of depression becoming more apparent due to not having comfort eating, kill self with depression.

At least the not eating has only a potential of suicide, right? Maybe I should try that one. Now I know there is one thing that could potentially balance the two things I would want. Eating food as much as I like but then not gaining any weight and abusing my body. But then after having a brief affair with vomiting numerous times a day and not eating a thing, I lost a tooth and losing my teeth is something that would cause any even worse depression than being fat. I can’t get my teeth back. It’s sad though because after I did all of this, I loved my body. I was size 12, I had never been size 12 before, I felt really feminine. It seems strange with the fact that I have constant stress and anxiety that I don’t lose weight but then it shows how much I do eat. I don’t go out a lot, which limits exercise but I do have a very high constant sex drive so that’s my majority exercise.

The reason behind BPD’s high sex drive and lack of self control is the extreme want of that thrill, that excitement to alleviate boredom and give pleasure. It takes you away from everything. The pleasure may not last as long as we wish but it’s something and if we can access it easily then all the better. Food is easy to get. Sex is easier to get if you’re in a relationship but then BPD promiscuity is of course a big issue in a relationship or not. I wouldn’t say it’s “sex addiction” I would call it simply addiction to things that make you feel good. Which with BPD is very limited. Simple things cannot please someone with BPD. I must say here again I am not promiscuous and I am faithful to J. But as a woman with a high sex drive, he can even  get frustrated with it. So I eat instead. When you’re so used to being ignored by parents as a child and often neglected you realise as you get older that sex can be a very good tool for attention. Again, I say this here that I know I’m started to sound like I sleep around and try and get men’s attention with my body but I’m only referring to the what I do around my Husband. My father loved my mother but only ever really wanted sex from her, so at a young age I learnt that men just want sex. Which, isn’t true but it is a dominating part of their lives. I won’t lie, I know women who when they feel a little neglected, walk past their partner in the nude and it usually get the desired result. Although I know that my husband doesn’t want JUST sex from me, it is so much easier to get his attention and time from offering it. It’s more enticing that sitting down for a nice chat. I just need to control it, I will use innuendos without noticing it and sometimes I just wish I would stop but then I’m so desperate for full attention that it just happens.

It’s sad to see how my father treats and looks at women because to a young daughter it teaches her to feel the need to degrade herself for a man to love her. I remember in the earlier stages of mine and J’s relationship and I would try and act a way that wasn’t me and he knew it. He would say to me, “you don’t have to do things like that to make me love you” and I was baffled. What was this? It had to be a trick. How could he love me if I didn’t take my top off. Was this what real, genuine men were like? It still confuses me and I’m still learning that J doesn’t just love me because I have breasts. My fathers view on women has really shaped the idea of who I am and his ideas are WRONG. We were be watching motorbike racing together and he would always say, “Look! You could be one of those starting line girl who wear mini shorts and hold up a sign”. He had some good future plans for me, he did. I know my dad was always a “lad” but then it doesn’t help your daughter to have any respect for herself. I never wore revealing clothes or caked my face in make-up. I had a lot of respect for my body and that was mainly down the the church I was in. But now I am not a part of it, I’m not AS strict as I was then. I still don’t walk around with my breasts out but If I want to wear a pair of shorts I will. J doesn’t like me wearing revealing clothing but he’s not one of those controlling men who will force me to change if I did. He just doesn’t want other men seeing me half naked.

Yes, I did completely steer off the subject but I always do.

I have learnt many dangerous things from my parents and this means that I do find it hard to have control over my actions because I know extreme actions get equally as extreme reactions. I would only get cared for if I was dying so sometimes dying can be very appealing. Not being dead, but dying. I want to be begged to stop harming myself. The fall that comes with that though is often with these actions, if you do them too many times, the person who has to experience what you’re doing can often just start to block it out. They think well you do this all the time and I give you the reaction you want yet you do it again so telling you I care doesn’t seem to help. As with everything, validation is temporary.

When being told to recover from BPD, it mean unlearning that bad things mean you get looked after. It means unlearning that para-suicide and suicide is the way to go when things get rough. It means unlearning that addictions will keep you going forever. But then it means learning that my husband does love me and I don’t need to keep asking him again and again and again whether he really does love me. It means learning that I have to look after myself sometimes and accept that everyone can’t look after me for me. It means learning Independence. It means you can’t just kill yourself when you miss the bus because you don’t want to have to feel any negative emotion. It means learning that food will help in the short term but in the long run your problems won’t just dissapear.

Both paths are hell but only one can lead to potential recovery. But then do I really want to recover. Not right now.

The reason I don’t go out much, why I study with distance courses is so I don’t have to be around people. Because the horror stories I hear about people with BPD  and how out of control their actions become scares me a lot. And I know I have a lack of control with sex, food and money and to put myself into the world gives a greater risk. I mean If I can have those problems when I don’t get out much what could happen if I were out there. I’m not willing to risk it.

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Children’s movies and bright eyes.

August 28, 2011

I often notice my inner child come out with I’m with my husband. He allows me to be a child and not feel embarrassed. I can watch children’s TV and cuddle a toy and he will stroke my hair and let me feel comforted. It may sound strange but my therapists have all said for me to have some time to be a child.  I don’t have many cuddly toys but my therapist told me to buy one special toy to have as a comfort. He is a wonderful penguin and he is a great healer and comforter. When I’m feeling upset my husband always brings him to me. It sounds strange even reading it to myself. I really am quite emotionally immature.

People with borderline personality disorder do have the emotional intelligence of a child due to things that may have happened to them. We may lack understanding due to confusion when we are actually children. Personally for me I had two very contrasting and chaotic parents, one parent is sex obsessed and lives on porn and the other thinks anything sexual is bad and wrong, for example. What does a child believe? Now imagine that happens with a lot of other life lessons, contrasting views, where each parent may change their view from one second to the next. Your mind gets scrambled and when you grow up you try and think what you believe but then you aren’t so sure. And with parents like that it is almost impossible to ever be a child. You have to be the adult and I was the only adult in my household. I took care of them.

Most of my family would think it weird or stupid if they knew J indulged in me acting like a child. But it’s not like I go out in public in children’s clothing and wear a dummy, I just allow myself to regress into a childlike state to experience the comfort from J that I never got as a child. When I’m in that state of mind I love watching children’s movies and my eyes light up with excitement when I see a pretty princess or a talking turtle, I sometimes even point and say “look darling that turtle talks!” almost in a child’s voice. It’s such a wonderful feeling. It can also block out the things that are happening around me because I’m a child so they no longer concern me. These behaviours have never worried me because they’ve never lasted for an extended period or to a worrying extent. I’m just able to enjoy being young. Surely when you’ve had no childhood it’s natural to try and be a child when you are out of the situation that took your childhood from you. I have a nice balance though because I am always very adult any other time but as soon as I get to watch a good cartoon or kid’s movie I have the childhood I wasn’t allowed! I hope to watch a turtle’s tale later 🙂

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Conversations with daddy.

June 21, 2011

Very rare and mostly about football. But this time he came knocking on my door, he said he’d been on the Mind website and found a page that described Bipolar really well and he wondered if I had read it. He isn’t very good at computers so he doesn’t realise that you can find millions of pages of information about Bipolar but he wanted to talk to me about it and I am always willing to talk about my issues and his. I said that I have indeed read it and that he should look up Borderline Personality Disorder so maybe he could understand my illness and he was more than happy to learn. We don’t talk about emotions and feelings, he’s a manly man, he doesn’t do crying and showing how he really feels (unless of course he can’t help it due to illness). I always try and get the most I can out of these rare encounters that he wants to know more about what makes me tick and wants to share with me his feelings. He read through the page and didn’t say much. It didn’t matter that he didn’t respond much, I was happy though that he didn’t looked shocked, he read it, took it in and accepted it. He especially concentrated hard on the part that said “how to help someone with BPD”, he read it all out loud. These small things, mean everything. I spoke about mum and how I believe she caused a lot of my problem and I said how I believe she loves her celebrity obsession more than me, to which he responded, “she probably does.” That cut me deep but he knows how that feels, she always loved her obsession more than him too.

We spoke some more and he told me about his breakdowns as if I wasn’t there, maybe blocking out the idea that I had to see this happen. He explained that his first psychotic episode was because he thought my mum was trying to take me away from him (she had threatened this before) but he became irrational and tried to hurt her. All these years I had thought he was trying to kill her because he was “mad” and didn’t know what was happening. When he was actually trying to save me from being taken away. It changes my whole perspective, of course it doesn’t make it better that he tried to hurt her but a parent who loves their child will fight to save them from harm and will never let them be taken away without a battle. My dad was willing to hurt, even kill someone he loved to prevent losing me.

This knowledge is so precious, especially to someone who frequently believes they are unlovable. It’s frightening, of course. But to actually know that someone would go to the ends of the earth for you is in itself, well, madness.

I love you, dad.

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The comfort penguin.

February 5, 2011

When you have recurring feelings of emptiness and lonliness, sometimes the last thing you want is a human who can’t understand how you feel. I had a session with Dr L where I spoke of my night terror/panic attacks and my need for comfort in the night. I sleep with a light on and my door locked, my duvet up to my neck. I just don’t feel safe at night, this is where the problem comes, as J and I currently aren’t living together I can’t turn to him for comfort and reassurance and Dr L suggested that I have something to hug in the night so that I feel safer. I of course said “but aren’t I too old to have a cuddly toy in bed with me?”, she said that any technique that would stop me feeling fearful was worth it and that with my childhood robbed from me, I have a right to be a child sometimes. So off me and J went to Hamleys to look for a cuddly companion for me, I didn’t want a teddy bear, their stances mean that their legs go in to your stomach if you hold them, plus I wanted something different. I then saw this soft lovely beaked creature and when I picked it up and held it I couldn’t put it back, it was perfect. Soft, protecting and reassuring.

And here he is:

Even when me and J are living together I can still see myself having Pengy with me, It’s silly really how safe an inanimate can make me feel but it’s like when a child has an object that keeps them safe. I believe that with BPD there is a part of us that is still a child, that is yearning to have those comforts that children have because we never experienced them at the right time. I took pengy to my grandmas when I stayed there a week ago and unfortunately left him there so my sleep hasn’t been the best and I’ve actually become quite distressed without him, I hope this doesn’t become a problem and that I can get him back soon.

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Doomed before the beginning.

February 5, 2011

Do you ever feel like your background dooms you to a life of misery and failure?

In my family only one person (not including me) is in a happy relationship, however this is her second marriage. Not one person is my family has gotten it right first time and except this one person the rest are single and my parents are unhappily married. I feel like my relationship is doomed before we’re even married. With such an unhappy family and with the issues running throughout, I feel like my happiness is only an illusion to keep me going and that something has got to kill us before we get too happy. The fact that the majority of my family are over 50 and single and never had any parteners in the last 18 years makes me wonder what the future holds for me. I often wonder if I mistake my severe neediness for love which results in panic attacks due to the thought of not actually being able to love how normal people do. I then feel severe guilt for stringing J along because I don’t really know how to love. These awful thoughts and panic attacks really mess with our relationship and with my head. I love J. But my head doesn’t want me to, my head wants me to be alone so I don’t have to ever have conflict or become an independent adult in the outside world. My head wants me to hide away and be alone. My heart wants to marry J and start a new life and leave the past behind.

The problem is following my heart over my head. Because every now and then my head wants me dead.