Emotional Rollercoaster

Early morning: Had a nightmare that my girlfriend and I broke up. Woke up with a sigh of relief “whew, it was only a dream.”

A few minutes later: Wait, no, it wasn’t just a dream. A punch in the gut. Overpowering sadness and pain. Physical chest pain also present.

About an hour later: Numb. Dissociated. Thank goodness. Thought that pain was going to kill me. Literally. Can a person die from a broken heart? Like, can you actually get a heart attack from too much emotional pain in one go?

Late morning-afternoon: The truth hits again. I hate her. No, I love her. Dammit! I hate people. The human race sucks. Going to go live in the woods. Overwhelming rage. Panic and fear (can’t remember why). Feeling so stupid. What the hell is wrong with me? Despair: I’m useless. Worthless. Unlovable. They all left. Everyone leaves. Another breakdown. Dissociation again. Forget the next few hours.

Evening: Exhausted. Depressed. Going to take some pills and go to bed super early.

Just threw everything out of my closest. Time for some spring cleaning! Yay! I can take on the world right now, and WIN! I’m so fucking awesome! Riding the glorious wave of hypomania. Feeling so happy, I could burst.

Okay, now back to my cleaning. This room is a beautiful mess right now.


A Bad Weekend

One of the criteria in the DSM for Borderline PD:


I posted a “poem” the other day (can’t remember when exactly), and removed it at some point. I kept thinking that the person that post was inspired by would somehow come across it. Actually, I was convinced that would be the case.

How do I know when I’m in a highly stressed and mental health crisis state? That right there. The paranoid thoughts. Lots of them, most of which don’t actually even make sense. Heavy dissociation too. Where I can’t remember certain times of the day. It’s either a blur or a complete blank. That’s how this weekend has been for me.

Shutting myself away from the world has seemed like the only way to stay safe. I got an invitation to go out with one of the woman from group and her friends yesterday, but the thought of being with a group of people I have never met before filled me with extreme anxiety. Even the thought got me close to a panic attack. The next instant though, I just shut down. A numbness set in. Apathy. “No, I don’t want to see anyone. I don’t care about anything anymore.” Another reason I didn’t want to go out with this particular person is because being around her for too long tends to drain me. And it was going to be a full day outing. So I don’t think I would have gone even if I had been feeling fine.

I don’t feel safe. Meaning, I feel a constant threat hanging around me. The world feels dangerous. People feel dangerous right now. I went to the shop yesterday to get some stuff, and PTSD traits were raging.

I can’t begin to explain how I felt yesterday. All I can say is that it felt like torture. I just wanted to peel the skin from my body, slice my head open and remove my brain, kind of torture. I thought I was going crazy. I tried to distract myself and do some self-soothing, but that didn’t work too well either. I wanted a hug from my therapist. I feel safe with her. I wanted Elizabeth too, I missed her. But the relationship feels a little fragile and unstable at the moment, so maybe it’s good that we didn’t see one another this weekend (I’m seeing her tonight at least though). I’ve been feeling really lonely. What I wouldn’t give to just have someone around when I’m going through these “crisis” moments. I read blogs by some of you about how wonderful a certain person was during a moment like this, and how much it helped, and I must admit… I get a little sad and jealous when I read these things. I’m glad some people have that, I just wish I could experience this too.

I’m still feeling fragile today, but it’s not as bad as it was over the weekend, which I’m grateful for.

There are just so many things going on. I wish I could sleep for a few weeks (been struggling to sleep lately).  Life is exhausting right now.

Now I’m Ready

I’m glad I went to group tonight.

It was lovely seeing so many familiar faces. Despite it all, I still feel at home at the clinic, which surprised me tonight. My favourite OT, D was leading the group tonight. I shut myself off from her in the beginning. I didn’t even look at her. In those moments I couldn’t even remember why I liked her, and attached to her in the first place. But as time went on, and with every word she said, I felt my heart start to thaw. And when I caught her eye and she smiled, all the negative feelings I had toward her just melted away. In that moment, she was perfect again. A classic case of devaluation and idealization. That’s one aspect of myself that I can’t stand.

After the break the OT brought up the ‘new plan’ for the group again. Especially for the three new people who were there… Explaining how the group works. I decided to speak up. Sometime during group I had realized that I’m okay with it coming to an end. That I was going to be okay. But I knew the other two regular ladies were still having a hard time with it, and didn’t agree with the decision. So when I spoke up, I shared how the news had affected me, and how I have been feeling about the team’s decision. I was at peace after that. I felt I had been assertive and spoken clearly. Trying to advocate not for myself anymore at one point, but for the other two ladies who are still struggling. I felt heard and respected by the OT. And I feel empowered.

She told us how hard the decision had been, and that they had taken into account those things we had mentioned and explained their decision a little better than the psychologist had. There’s nothing I can do to change their decision. All I can do is accept it, which I now have done. I also made a decision, and have spoken to the other two ladies about it, and also mentioned it to D. I’m going to start a new group for the three of us. My therapist had actually once suggested I start my own group. It will start off with only us three “regulars”, but that’s fine. They’re on board and happy with the idea, so the only thing that remains is to find a safe and confidential space to meet every week. Or maybe we’ll just start off with twice a month for now, starting middle February, once our time at current group is up.

D reminded me how during the first few months of group, I had barely said a word, and now I was talking and opening up confidently. This group has been really good for me. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown. Now it’s time to enter the next stage of life.

I’m ready…

Two Sides

I don’t know what’s going on with me lately.

On the one hand I’m okay. On the other, I’m suffering. It’s like I’m two different people in different moments during the day and night. Each person with her own unique feelings and experiences. I don’t know which one is the real me. Which are the true emotions and thoughts. I can say I’m happy, but that deep inside I’m actually sad. But that doesn’t feel true. It doesn’t feel like I’m hiding parts of myself. It feels like I’m literally fragmented into two totally different people. With different memories and moods. The same memories I’ve always had (and some I can’t “see” but there’s something there), but depending on who I am in a specific moment is what memories I’m dealing with. I don’t know if this makes sense?

I also find that I can’t talk about it. I can’t tell Elizabeth what’s going on. There just aren’t words. One part of me feels loved and supported (by my therapist and Elizabeth for example), while the other feels utterly alone, damaged, and unstable. It’s complicated. I don’t understand it, so how can I expect anyone else to?

Maybe tomorrow when I wake up things will be back to “normal”. This is horrible.

Self-Doubt and Insecurity

On Monday night I was gripped by an ice-cold feeling of fear.

There was a thought:
“What if Elizabeth’s feelings toward me have changed?”

At the time I couldn’t put my finger on where that thought, and the resulting fear, had come from. I only became aware of the cause once I had calmed down somewhat. I say “calmed down” because that fear had turned into panic, and I had to put all my available resources into action in order to prevent a full-blown panic attack.

Elizabeth had let me know that she was going to go watch a show with one of her best friends. I had just come back Monday morning from having spent the weekend with her. Just as an aside, I have no problem with her having her own friends and activities away from me. I like that she does. As I mentioned before, I don’t want to be one person’s everything again. It’s exhausting.

It wasn’t the fact that Elizabeth was going out with someone else that upset me. When she told me, I reacted (and felt) the same way I always do, “that sounds nice, enjoy!”. It was only a while afterward that I started feeling the fear. But why? For some reason my mind fed me the lie that I’m not worth spending time with. I wasn’t thinking about it in the way of Elizabeth, but rather my own friends. I was also reminded about Jasmine, and the fact that we’re not in contact anymore. That made the fear stronger, and for some reason I got it into my head that maybe Elizabeth’s feelings toward me have changed as well.

I also had this overwhelming need to contact Elizabeth right then and there. I wanted to say “I’m sorry I’m not enough”. I wanted to say “I’m sorry I’m too much”. I felt panic rise up in my chest. An urgency to do everything I can to have her stay with me, and not leave me. It felt as though she were standing right in front of me, breaking up with me. This feeling was so intense, so painful, that my thoughts turned to self-harm again, which is something I haven’t done in a while. It was a fight to resist, and required a lot of different coping skills.

My mind was in utter chaos. My thoughts turned to how useless and worthless I am, with “proof” of this “fact” at every turn. This had been coming on the entire day, and I had now reached the tipping point.

The wedding photography business I had started with my business partner isn’t really going anywhere. The photography industry in general is so populated. These days anyone with a D-SLR thinks they’re automatically a professional photographer, and advertises as such. How do you compete with those offering their services for next to nothing, in an economy that’s struggling as it is? It’s so fucking frustrating! I feel like a failure in the photography industry. That I’m just not a good enough photographer, and that’s maybe why we aren’t getting any business.

A couple of weeks ago I got a request from someone to design and print her cards for her new business. I jumped at the chance. That job gave me the idea to start my own website and graphic design business. I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop and making websites since my family got our first computer when I was in high school, so I’ve had a lot of practice. I always did these things for family and friends, and I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of turning it into a business before. Better late than never though. A few days after making the decision to start this new business, I overheard a contractor who does work for my dad’s business, wants to have a website made for himself. I managed to get him to hire me. So this new business has started off well. I’ve also secured the job to make the website for the lady I did the business cards for. But she wants to wait until the new year.

While working on my own new business website, and doing all the other setting up tasks, I’ve also been doing two online courses in Photoshop (Diploma) and Digital Marketing. So I’ve been busy. I’m building my knowledge and getting a qualification under my belt, so I should be feeling empowered right? Instead, I still feel like I’m not good enough. That I’m a failure. So much self-doubt and insecurity was plaguing me on Monday, that I guess by that evening, it all just came to a head.

By the time Elizabeth let me know that she was back home after the night out with her friend, I had calmed down a little. The insecurity was still there, but it had dulled somewhat. The most amazing thing happened then. She sent me a voice note letting me know that she had wished I could have come with. That she misses me. That she loves me. I hadn’t sent her that message I had been aching to. So she had no idea how I was feeling. Her words were made even more powerful because of this. All the insecurity I had regarding myself in this relationship, and the relationship itself, just vanished. I hate that these things happen. That I suspect abandonment where none actually exists. That I need regular reassurance that I’m still wanted, important, and loved.

Today, even though I’m still struggling with some feelings of self-doubt, I’m able to meet myself with more compassion. I’m working hard. I’m trying to create a better life (and future) for myself. That must count for a lot, right?

The Missing Writer

I’ve been meaning to write a post explaining my previous few posts, which may have been confusing, and some of which might have had no solid context for you. But I haven’t been able to do that yet. And I’m not sure whether I will be able to either.

I’ve been having a really hard time with writing lately. I’ve started so many new posts, but ended up scrapping them all. Writing usually helps me organize my thoughts, process my emotions, and provide insight into myself. But that hasn’t been my experience for the past couple of weeks.

Instead, it’s been a source of even more confusion, annoyance, and despair. I’ve been struggling to express my thoughts, struggles, and feelings. Especially through writing, which is a strange experience for me.

There’s also a part of me that’s reconsidering this blog. The threat of having this blog discovered by those I want to keep it a secret from suddenly seems more real. It feels more risky than ever before. Even the thought of people I’ve never met having insight into my life, my self, is frightening.

The things I want to write about, the things I want to explain (like my previous posts), just feel too vulnerable. I’ve been vulnerable here plenty of times, so I don’t understand why it suddenly feels so insurmountable and anxiety provoking. Maybe I just need a break away from posting for a while.

I have therapy tomorrow morning, and I’m feeling pretty damn anxious about it. I’m worried that I won’t be able to connect with my therapist. Why? I feel disconnected from everyone in my life. It’s as if I’ve subconsciously been pushing them away internally. I also feel torn. There are two important topics to talk about, but I don’t know which is more important… I feel like there’s just too much to talk about, and not enough time. That I won’t say what’s on my mind, and talk about random shit that I actually don’t care about. That tends to happen often with me.

I feel extremely frustrated. At this point, it seems I need two sessions a week for a while, there’s just so much to cover. I feel overwhelmed with it all. And the topics, or at least one of them, will require a lot of sessions, as they’re causing me a lot of distress and impacting my relationships and life. To such an extent that I feel it will be easier to just give up on life so I don’t have to deal with these things anymore, and save the people in my life a mountain of negative emotions.

I’m just all over the place, and don’t know what’s next.

This post has taken me an hour to write. I just don’t know anymore. I’m done writing now. For how long, I have no idea. Let’s see what happens.

Elizabeth, and the Dilemma

About an hour after writing my previous post, my mood started climbing again. All memories of Wednesday’s “negative” events just vanished. It’s like they stopped existing, and never even happened. The happiness I’ve been experiencing has been amazing and intense. I had a few hours of mania on Monday last week, and that was insane! But no, the happy space I’ve been in lately is the more stable kind. Extreme, but not in the “danger” zone as it was that Monday.

So, about Elizabeth. We met just less than three weeks ago, dated for just over a week, and then on Friday we made it “official”, as the kids say these days. There was a connection between us from the first date already. We spent almost 3 hours together, and would have continued if we didn’t have to catch our bus home (to our own houses of course). As it was, we ended up having to chase after the bus, as it was the last one of the evening. That was a hilarious (and fun) moment! Life is an adventure with her. She’s already been opening up new worlds for me.

She’s an extrovert, but not the extreme type that makes me fear for my sanity. She enjoys spending time alone too, and up to turning down invitations if she wants a quiet night in. She’s an artist (I love her art!), but that’s not her main job. She’s working in another field (don’t want to give too much away for the sake of anonymity), and studying for her social sciences degree. I really like that she loves learning new things. It’s something we’re both passionate about.

Elizabeth has a nice solid, stable sense of self. I never have to worry whether she’s “faking it”, as she’s very expressive. She speaks her mind, so I don’t have to wonder what she’s thinking or feeling. She’s not afraid of talking about the difficult things. One evening she told me that I have a very expressive face, and she really likes that. Now that came as a surprise. It was in that moment that I realized that it’s true… just how much of my guard I drop when I’m around her. For some reason I’m not afraid of being vulnerable with her, and allowing my feelings to be shown. It’s easy. She has a lot of empathy and compassion towards others. My family adores her… Even my stepsister, who never liked anyone in my life. She gives them her evil eye. But from the first moment of meeting Elizabeth, she liked her. Once Elizabeth had gone home after that first meeting, my stepsister kept telling me how cute and nice she was. I felt so proud.

I don’t over-share with her. I find that I only share certain things when it comes up in conversation somehow. It just comes, and flows naturally when I do share with her. When I first met Jasmine, by the second week, she already knew my whole life story (well, a lot of it at least). So I’m enjoying this, taking it as it comes, and not feeling this pressure to lay it all out on the table in one go. Elizabeth knows I have BPD. It started when she asked me one Tuesday what plans I had for the evening (she had dancing practice). I told her that I was going to a support group. On our next date she asked me type of support group it was, and I told her. She didn’t seem to be bothered by this at all. During the conversation that ensued, she told me that one of her closest friends has BPD (she was speaking very fondly of her). This was the perfect moment! So I told her I also live with it.

I was expecting her to either get up and make some excuse to leave, or look at me differently. But she didn’t even flinch when I told her. I kept waiting to see her expression change, but the only thing I could see on her face was compassion, and genuine interest. She asked questions, of course, but knew exactly what BPD is. I felt so heard and at ease talking to her about how BPD, depression and anxiety affects me.

I can’t be someone’s entire world again. Best friend, lover, parent, saviour, etc. In all of my past relationships I’ve often felt claustrophobic, and there was a whole co-dependent thing going on. Even with my ex-boyfriend (yes, I have one of those). So I love the fact that Elizabeth has her own group of friends (who I’ll also hang out with from time to time with her- and vice versa), and her own hobbies and activities that are just hers, and that I have mine. It’s a breath of fresh air. Thankfully, when she goes to dancing or out with friends, she sends me a little voice note just checking in sometime during the evening. It helps me feel secure in her and our relationship.

With Jasmine, relationship wise, we were a match but not a fit. If that makes sense? As friend’s we’re the perfect fit. With Elizabeth though, it feels like both a match and a fit. Jasmine obviously knows about Elizabeth. I was completely open and honest with her from the very beginning.

It’s so hard though. I feel like I’ve let Jasmine down. I don’t want to lose her. But she has been pulling away from me, which is completely understandable. It’s a tough situation. Even though she was the first one to say that we should rather be friends, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy for her. I guess that’s why people don’t remain friends with their exes… And especially not best friends.

I invited Jasmine out for dinner last week Friday, since I knew she really needed a friend then, as she’s been struggling lately. Especially with her new job. I didn’t bring Elizabeth up, but I was open to her bringing her up. I tried to be my usual self with her as far as possible, and I think I did a good job. I know there’s an overconfidence bias where we think we did or know something better than we actually do, but I still think I did quite well here. Jasmine didn’t end up mentioning Elizabeth either. The conversation and dinner went okay, but Jasmine didn’t talk as much as she usually does, and didn’t open up much. I sent her a text a few days ago, telling her that if she wants to talk about all of this, she’s free to. That it might be helpful and good for her to get it all out in the open. I invited her for coffee today, but she turned it down.

I always have to drag things out of her. Even when we were still in a romantic relationship. The way we’re going to get through and around this is if we sit down and honestly talk about it. I’m aware that she probably just needs time. But how much time? I care about her so much, and just want her to be okay. Even if that means we never see one another again, if that’s what she thinks will be best for her. But I want to know how she’s feeling, what she’s thinking. I just want her to say something. Even if it’s something that hurts me.

We’re all (a few other friends of mine and Elizabeth’s) going to an event together on Thursday, but I’m not so sure whether Jasmine will still be joining. If she does, I’m a little worried. I can’t not hold Elizabeth’s hand (her love language is also touch, and she’s very affectionate in public too- to a reasonable extent of course), but I also don’t want to put our relationship on “display” in front of Jasmine. It’s not fair to her. But it’s also not fair to Elizabeth by keeping a bit of distance between us. So I don’t know what to do. I don’t want my relationship with Jasmine to interfere with my relationship with Elizabeth. This relationship is too important to me. But I also don’t want to hurt Jasmine anymore than I probably already have.

When I first started developing feelings for Elizabeth, I thought of Jasmine, and how it might affect our relationship. I even considered ending things with Elizabeth for the sake of not messing things up with Jasmine. But then I got a flash of insight. I’ve always sacrificed my own happiness, and put my life on hold, for others. But what about me? Don’t I also deserve to be happy? I never used to think I did, which is why I always lived for others. But through my healing journey I’ve come to realize that I’m important too. That I’m only responsible for my own life and happiness. Yet, I’m still struggling with this feeling of guilt.

What do you guys think? I’d really appreciate your thoughts on this.