Emmengard’s Suicide Scale

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I’ve been dealing with suicidal ideation for the past two weeks. It varies in intensity, and aside from a few “happy” moments here and there, is almost constantly in the background. I try to keep myself distracted where I can. I’ve been going to group again, mostly because I feel it’s a source of support in a way, especially with my therapist being away. During the last one I had a sort of mini breakdown directly afterward and before going home, reached out to the psychologist who had led the group. We sat and spoke for a little while, and I left feeling a bit better having gotten some of the emotion and thoughts out. It’s not easy for me to open up in group, especially when it’s as big as it was that evening, so I’m grateful to that therapist for making some time for me afterward.

The next day I came across this image. It’s not always easy to explain to people (or even myself) how bad I’m really feeling, so this “scale” is helpful. I find images and cartoons so much easier to understand, as it tends to make abstract concepts easier to grasp. I’ve basically been on the 6th block, and even though it’s overwhelming at times, I can cope with it. I know that when I’m getting further along, it’s time to get help.

What do you think? You can view the full sized image on the website listed below (opens in a new tab/window).

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Taking A “Time Out”

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I’m having one of those extreme exhaustion days. Had a meeting this morning with the husband of M’s best friend’s daughter. I’ve met them a couple of times. The wife came with, even though she has nothing to do with her husband’s business. It was a very awkward and anxiety-provoking meeting. I wasn’t sure whether I had to be in “professional” or “familiar” mode. The husband wants a website and redesigned business cards, and heard from M’s friend that I do those things, which is why he wanted to meet up and discuss it. I thought that because I already knew him and his wife and thought they were nice people, that it would be easier. Well, it was actually harder. Mostly because I wasn’t sure how to “be”. Discussing the website side of things went well for the most part, but it was the after, when business talk basically stopped (but still busy with our drinks), that things became very awkward. For me at least. Continue being “professional” or engage in the friendly banter from a more familiar place? My mind felt like a ping pong ball. We were in a restaurant where it was noisy and a cold wind coming through the door (they had chosen a terrible place in my opinion), so that was already not helping. Add in small talk, and I was a wreck on the inside. Don’t know how I came across to them though, but hopefully they didn’t notice. Although it’s kind of hard not to notice when someone is stumbling over their words and taking too long to formulate responses to (useless) questions.

When I got home I got straight into my PJ’s and into bed. It felt as though I had been awake for days, running a marathon. Took two hour nap but I’m still so tired, I can barely think straight. That meeting really took a lot out of me. So I’m taking a “time out” from the world and having a bed and series day. Just don’t have the energy to do anything else. M got a dog a couple of months ago, a miniature French Poodle. I’ve never really liked that breed, but this little one crept into my heart within a few days. M went to her best friend’s place for dinner (I was invited but didn’t want to go), so doggy is lying with me on my bed.

I guess I should go make myself something to eat before I pass out. Been procrastinating on this for the past two hours. Think I’ll just make a sandwich. That’s easy enough.

Uncertainty

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Things have been very unsettling for me lately. I feel like I’m in limbo. And lost in a place I don’t quite understand. My therapist is going on leave tomorrow (I think), so I’ll only see her again in two and half weeks time. We had a session today, but I miss her already. These therapy breaks are always hard for me, but even more so when I’m not doing too well.

That job that I was so happy about took a turn. The guy who hired me went and hired a new brand manager, and since she came on board, things have been different. It took weeks for me to understand what was happening. Their communications with me were confusing and I wasn’t sure what exactly they were wanting me to do, or expecting from me. This brand manager lady uses terms and speaks in a very professional and “higher class” language (in my personal opinion) and confuses me like hell. At least on Monday I finally got an answer from her that made sense. My services are on hold until they’ve sorted the branding out. What makes me angry is that I could have done the branding if my “boss” had just asked me or told me what he wants to do, instead of hiring someone else to do it. The email he sent me a while back that first started my confusion once she was in (I think it was then if I’m remembering correctly) was that my fees were too high. That pissed me off because it hadn’t been a problem for him before (and I was even angrier that he copied her into the email, when I feel financial matters should be between him and me). And, what he was paying me was a fraction of what he would have paid had he gone to an agency. I don’t feel like I want to work for him anymore, like my trust has been broken, but I don’t have other options at the moment so if he still wants me to help him once they’re ready I have to do it. I think I’m more upset over how things have changed with my “relationship” with him. I felt like we sort of understood one another, but now I see I was delusional or reaching or something. But all of this has just reminded me that being a freelancer and having your own business is hard. It’s the way it goes.

My dad recently told me that they’re trying to sell the business, and once that’s done they’ll be relocating to Sweden. A country I love and have been wanting to move to since I first went there years ago. But for the past few years that desire faded. I like the place I live in. I know they’re moving, and obviously if they do I won’t be able to go with, but they mentioned that once they’re settled that side I can come over if I want. If they had told me this years ago I would have been ecstatic. Now? I’m confused. I don’t know what I want anymore. Also, I’m still living with M, and I always knew there was a place to go back to if something has to happen to her, or I want to move back to my dad’s place. But then my uncle moved back in with them and he’s taken over my room there, and with the parents wanting to move away as soon as they can, that’s not an option anymore. And a panicked part of me has been wanting to move back in. My therapist asked me whether it’s because I really want to live with my family again, or because I feel that option isn’t there anymore. That was a really good question and made me realize that it’s the latter. I still have half my stuff still there, and my dad wants me to come the weekend and start packing my stuff into boxes. They have already been giving away and selling things that they don’t need and will never use. They won’t be moving to Sweden immediately, but have to move to a smaller place for a few months before they leave.

All of this and a few other “little” things is wreaking havoc on my brain and emotions. Uncertainty, that right there, is a bitch.

Is This Who I Am Now?

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Since the post I wrote on meeting up with Elizabeth again earlier this year, I’ve seen her a few more times. We always end up staying together for hours. But I’ve realized something. I don’t have feelings for her at all anymore. The times we meet up, I’ve initiated it. It’s on my terms. We exchange voice notes often, but it sometimes takes me days to reply. Just because I don’t feel the desire to talk to her. Well, it’s not just her… I’ve become terrible at replying to my messages from anyone.

I’ve been going through a challenging period in my life the past couple of weeks and I’m not sure about anything anymore. I had a therapy session today and when my therapist asked what had suddenly made me emotional at some point, I wasn’t really sure how to answer that. Because I’m not sure myself. I did mention some stuff, but I couldn’t seem to find all the words for everything that was going through my mind and to verbally express how I was feeling.

One of those things is about Elizabeth. I feel like I’m just using her. I never thought I’d be one of those people. But here I am. And I don’t even feel guilty about it, like I would have in the past. I call her when I get lonely. Not because I want to see her, but because I want to experience that intimacy she provides when we’re together. When we’re sitting having drinks and she has her arm around me, or holds my hand. There are no feelings involved, other than the physical sensations of her soft skin, the warmth of that. Relishing in that. But no emotional feelings. I feel emotionally empty. Especially with regards to her. I don’t trust her either. We discuss how we’re both enjoying being single, but intimacy is missed sometimes. Even though neither one of us wants to be in a relationship at this point in time, I find our moments together satisfying. But once we part ways, I’m glad to be without her again.

The evenings never go further than that. Although she slept over at my place on Sunday evening, it was more a case of convenience. We slept in separate rooms. I have no interest in sexual intimacy with her. Not with anyone. In that, I feel broken. Maybe one day I’ll have the courage to share those parts of my story.

I feel like I’ll never be able to love anyone again, not in the romantic sense of the word at least. I’m feeling disconnected from life. From myself. From love in general. And I’m not sure how to break through this glass wall. I see those people I care about through it, but I can’t reach them. They, along with my more “human” emotions, are out of reach most of the time these days. That little crack in the glass during my session was quickly mended and now I’m just empty again.

A Reframe on BPD

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I came across this article in my inbox this morning and wanted to share it on my blog. I really appreciate the way Annie approaches this subject with empathy. All her posts are worth a read and I can highly recommend her blog.

https://anniewrightpsychotherapy.com/a-reframe-on-borderline-personality-disorder/

On Feeling “Not Good Enough”

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It felt both scary and wonderful to get my first full salary from my new client at the end of last month. Why scary? Well, I’ve never earned so much money in one month before. But most of all, I felt like a fraud. Like I didn’t deserve it.

I know that’s not the truth. I worked hard and did well. At our month-end meeting my client had nothing but good things to say about my work. But still, those thoughts of “I’m not good enough” and the accompanying feeling of panic that I don’t really know what I’m doing and will be exposed, kept raising it’s head.

Imposter syndrome? Perhaps. The thing is, I’m used to doing things for next to nothing. To give in when someone can’t pay me for doing something, or charging them a price that didn’t take much of my effort and time into consideration. This caused me so much anxiety and stress. I was doing too much for others with little in return and becoming burnt out. A lot of it I would use as an excuse “it’s good for my portfolio or for practice”. Sure, that’s valid, but not to the extent I was taking it. Now that I’m charging more I feel guilty for it.

My therapist had to listen to me complain about these things and saw how it was affecting me. She helped me get to the place where I realized that way of doing things wasn’t working for me, and wasn’t worth it, and I could start putting proper boundaries in place. It’s still hard to stand firm, especially with friends and family, but I’m doing it.

This client is the ideal client for me. He’s honest, to the point, and doesn’t rush me. I’ve already learned so many new things and am becoming more confident, but I still get my days where I feel “not good enough”. One thing I really appreciate about him is that he will often send me a “good job!” or “well done”. So that helps tremendously.

Whenever I start experiencing those “not good enough” thoughts, and feelings of panic or fear, I try to remember to challenge them with more helpful thoughts. “I’ve come this far and I’m doing the best I can”. I also try to find moments where I can look at my work and say “I’m proud of myself, I did well”.

The Not-So-Silver Lining: When Positive Thinking Backfires

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I follow a few different science and psychology channels on YouTube and wanted to share a video from one of them that I just watched on why positive thinking isn’t the absolute “be all” that it’s claimed to be. I’ve attached the video below, as well as the link to an article I wrote in 2016.

My blog post on this topic: “Just Be Positive”

So I wasn’t that far off the mark it seems. 😉