My Boundaries Still a Work in Progress

Yesterday I met up with a friend from group. I hadn’t seen her since our last session in December last year. I wasn’t planning on seeing her again. She invited me for brunch, and I felt obligated to go after having turned down a couple of invitations from her earlier this year, so accepted. That was my first mistake.

It was the longest and most exhausting 4 hours. As soon as she started talking, I realized that I really didn’t want to be there with her. She didn’t have one nice thing to say about anyone, complained about everything and everyone in her life, and didn’t give me a chance to speak. I should have left sooner, but I didn’t feel like I could. I was scared of upsetting her. I didn’t listen to or respect my own boundaries. And I allowed her to cross them too.

I left feeling drained, irritated, and barely able to form a coherent sentence when my dad asked me a question when I got back to the house. I desperately needed a nap, and proceeded to sleep for 3 hours straight! It was dark when I woke up, which made me even more frustrated with myself. But I’d had enough negativity for the day, and decided to watch some Frasier. I needed some good “feels”.

Another reason I had felt obligated to meet up with her is because she’s often told me that she doesn’t have friends. She said it again during brunch, complaining about a new friend she had made who she quickly unfriended due to what seemed to me a silly reason to end a friendship, but to each their own I guess.

I was thinking though that I’m not responsible for her not having friends. It makes me sad to think that she doesn’t, but it’s not something I have to, or can, fix for her. And it also doesn’t mean that I have to be her friend just because she doesn’t have any others. That’s not a true friendship. That’s a sympathy friendship. So I’ve decided that I’m not going to meet up with her again. I just can’t do it. I won’t.

I need to take care of myself first.

Advertisements

Food and Mood

I’m so sick of this.

When I’m in a stable or good mood, I enjoy eating. I’m very fussy when it comes to food, and can’t eat breakfast before 10am, but other than that, I have a healthy appetite.

Then along comes depression, stress, or anxiety, and my appetite goes out the window. I have to force myself to eat, and feel like crying every time I have to do that. But if I don’t eat, I feel sick, dizzy, and light-headed. It’s extremely frustrating. I’ve survived on the bare minimum of food today and I hate myself for how much I struggle to get anything in.

During these times I’m even more fussy, and don’t have the energy or motivation to even make a slice of toast. Food that I usually like makes me feel nauseous just thinking about. I never know what to eat. This can go on for weeks sometimes, and that’s not healthy.

Most of the people I know have the opposite problem… They eat more when they’re in a low or anxious state of mind. Comfort eating they call it. Well, I need to find myself a “comfort” food that I can stomach during these times.

Anyone else struggle with this? And if so, is there anything that helps you?

Obsessions As A Coping Tool?

Throughout my life I’ve had various obsessions. Things I latched onto and that became the centre of my world for a while. It would be all I could/would want to think or talk about.

As a kid it would be a movie or an animated character, and the family dog Cindy. As a teen, it was a celebrity (won’t say who, it’s embarrassing). I’ve had an obsession with Jennifer Lawrence (which drives my friends crazy) for the past couple years, “replacing” my previous one. I’m the Wikipedia of knowledge when it comes to her. It’s actually quite sad. 😉

My current obsession revolves around dogs. It never really went away. Psychology (and Neuroscience) is also an obsession, but the world of dogs is now front and centre again.

Unlike the Jennifer Lawrence one, the Psychology is something that fascinates my friends and they don’t mind me talking about it endlessly. They’ll even ask me questions, which puts me on cloud nine.

I want to study Psychology. I want my own dog. As long as I can remember I’ve wanted these things. So it’s not just new stuff that comes up and become obsessions. I just go through these stages where I’m so psyched thinking about doing and getting those things that once again it’s all I can think about, and I want it now.

But when I sat down and thought about it, I realized I’m not going to get any of those things in the near future unless something changes in my life. When I thought about that, I felt defeated and hopeless again. But yet my mind won’t stop or let it go. It’s like a compulsion. I have to read more, watch more, learn more, talk about it as often as I can to anyone who will listen, etc.

Why do I do this to myself? I’ve asked this question quite a lot, but I don’t have any concrete answers, other than that maybe it’s a coping tool? Because my mind is so filled up with these things that I don’t have time to deal with all the other shit. It makes me feel alive. It fills me with excitement. So I don’t see it as a bad thing. Sure, it can be annoying sometimes (and not just for others). But for the most part, it’s so worth it.

The Photo That Made Me Smile Today

I haven’t written about it, but last week was a difficult one for me, with BPD and PTSD symptoms in full swing. It’s hard enough dealing with one of those things, but together? At a few points I literally thought I was going to die, or that I was busy dying. Unless you’ve experienced something like this, you’ll probably think I’m exaggerating. But it all feels so real, so intense in those moments. The flashbacks, the physical bodily sensations, and on top of that the fear (and being convinced) of abandonment, among other things. It was just a horrible few days, and even despite having spent Saturday evening and Sunday morning with two friends, I still feel some of the effects.

After therapy today (which really helped me make sense of some things, and made me feel heard, validated, and held), I came home feeling a little lighter and more “here”. I came across this gorgeous photo of a Golden Retriever (my favourite dog breed), and couldn’t help but smile. It warmed my heart.

Sometimes it’s that one tiny moment of happiness that whispers “stay”.

celine-sayuri-tagami-448870-unsplash
Photo by Celine Sayuri Tagami

A Need For Solitude

The older I get, the more I seem to want my own space away from others. Socializing exhausts me. I spent time with two of my closest friends this weekend, staying over on Saturday evening. It was lovely, but I didn’t want to stay another night. They know me well, so I don’t have to wear a mask around them and I feel comfortable enough to tell them when I’ve had enough. They know it’s not personal. That I love them to bits, and enjoy spending time with them.

It’s not just being sociable that exhausts me. It also depends on the activities we engage in. For example, if we go on a hike or a walk on the beach, I can spend more time with people. But when it involves sensory rich environments such as carnivals/festivals (this is where we went on Saturday evening), concerts, movies, etc, I become overwhelmed and over-stimulated, and want to get back to my comfort zone (my room, my bed, my stuff) much sooner.

Every so often (very often actually) I long to just disappear for a while. Go somewhere quiet, surrounded by nature, with not a soul or building in sight for miles. Switch my phone off and disconnect from everything and everyone. But my financial situation won’t let me do that. I wouldn’t mind going camping, which is more affordable, but it’s too dangerous to go alone. So I feel stuck in an overwhelming world. My little corner of the world.

So when my friends asked me whether I would house-sit for them for about a week at the beginning of August, the decision was an easy one. Granted, I’m not someone who enjoys sleeping in unfamiliar environments and beds (even when on holiday), and I always have to prepare myself for it mentally. But I’m usually okay as long as I have my “comfort items”. My family and friends always tease me about the fact that even if I’m going or coming for one night I pack as if for a week-long trip. And it’s not clothes and other essentials that are taking up all the space. But I can’t help it, it makes me extremely anxious any other way.

While I’m looking forward to getting away from this place for a few days (and from work), I’m also a little scared as I’ll be staying alone. They have two cats (I’m not really a cat person) and two little dogs, so that’s a comfort at least. The neighborhood they live in is quiet, so I’m looking forward to the peace, and plan to enjoy my time there as much as possible. Maybe I can see it as practice for one day when I eventually have my own place.

I’m supposed to be seeing my friend/business partner on Friday, but I just don’t want to, so I’ve decided to postpone it until next week. I’m going to group tomorrow anyway, so really don’t want to have to socialize more than that this week.