The Breakdown And Recovery

It happened.

As you know from my previous few posts, I’ve been in a very dark place. Thoughts of suicide overtaking everything, and coming to a head on Friday evening. Obsessive thoughts of death and dying. Over and over again. Pain so intense, memories so vivid. It felt as though I had hit rock bottom. Hearing voices inside my mind telling me to end it. That I don’t belong on this earth. I knew those voices were my own. Frightening visions of a dark figure was also present. Even though it only lasted a second each time, it was terrifying.

I had my plan all mapped out. I even wrote a note, which left me strangely happy in a way. Like a burden had been lifted off my shoulders. It was all going to be over soon. At the last-minute, my therapist’s face flashed in front of me. I fell to the floor and just cried. A mixture of pain, frustration, and a feeling of comfort and warmth from feeling our connection.

I read a book a few months ago, “Healing from Trauma” by Jasmin Lee Cori. After what happened, I remembered something I had read in that book. So I picked it up again and searched for the part I had in mind. Where she was talking about finding your rock. A person (or even a pet) that you feel connected to enough for them to be a powerful regulating resource. She says that it helps calm the nervous system. That was certainly the case that night. And I saw for myself just how powerful it is.

On Saturday and Sunday, I reverted back to my 20’s. A time in my life that I never want to relive. A time I had vowed to never repeat. But it happened, and I wasn’t aware that it was coming. I didn’t know the signs. I definitely know them now.

Earlier that day (Saturday) I thought about calling my therapist, but decided against it, as I didn’t want to bother her. If I knew then what I know now, I would have called her. Because once it hit, I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t regulate myself. I was so out of control, that all thoughts of calling my therapist disappeared. I didn’t think about anyone but myself. I was literally unable to bring anyone I know to mind. It was all about me and what was happening in that moment. I wasn’t aware of anything else.

I was reckless, self-destructive, and unintentionally putting other people’s lives in danger. (eg. speeding while drunk). I’m not going to go into detail about everything I did, as I’ve already told my therapist about it. But I will say this, I fucked up. Now that I know the warning signs, I will call my therapist this time, if there is a next time, which I’m going to try to prevent at all costs. Because this can’t happen again. I don’t want to end up destroying my life, or anyone else’s. I don’t want to live with the consequences of my behaviour. It only takes a second to ruin a life.

The difference between this time and my 20’s, was that I realized quickly (2 days instead of years) that I was running away from something. From extreme emotions, pain. Reality. Life. I didn’t have that insight back then. The way I lived my life those years, as well as this time, may have kept me alive, but this kind of behaviour doesn’t serve me, and it’s unhealthy and dangerous.

On Sunday evening, once I had “snapped out of it” I felt horrible. Ashamed. Dirty. Furious with myself. Shock was also mixed in. On Monday, those feelings carried over. I felt the effects in my body as well. I felt nauseous. My stomach was in knots and aching. My nervous system was protesting. It felt like I was in an alternate reality.

I usually have therapy sessions early on a Thursday morning, but I felt that I couldn’t wait that long. So I sent my therapist a text yesterday asking for an earlier session. We arranged it for a few hours later that day. At the beginning of the session I told her that I’m a bad person. She asked whether feeling that I’m a bad person, means that I am? Good point. No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes and does things they’re not proud of and regret. But that doesn’t make us bad people. Near the end of the session, she said that she’s glad we got together that day, and didn’t wait until Thursday. So was I. This is the second time that I needed a session more than any other time. It did me well. She told me that we could spend the session just talking, but it wouldn’t be effective in the long-term. So she went through an exercise with me, that was really helpful. And it will continue to be helpful. It was a very productive session, and she was very gentle and soft with me. Going into the session, I wanted her reassurance that she wasn’t going to leave me. But the way she spoke to me, made me feel very cared for, and I didn’t need to ask for that reassurance. Because I felt it.

I’m still feeling some of the after effects, but it’s not as intense as it was. I’m trying to practice self compassion.

This all proved to me just how important and vital deep and meaningful connection is for us as humans.

Kindness & Gratitude #1

It’s so easy to get stuck in the darkness, and feel that we’ll never get out of that place. To feel like the whole world is against us. Which is why it’s so important to notice the kindness and compassion that exists, and focus on those things for which we are grateful. I’ve decided to start a series of posts to remind us that there is hope. I don’t know how often I’ll write a post for this series, but I’ll try to do one at least once a month.

A little while ago, Jasmine and I went for a walk through one of the many forests in the countryside. On our way back to the car, a guy came running after us. I froze, my heart pounding. Until I saw what was happening. My driver’s license had fallen off my key holder, and he had picked it up to give back to me. I was so relieved. And exceptionally grateful. I had my driver’s license stolen in a smash and grab last year, so I know how much of an inconvenience and hassle it is to get a new one. The kindness of a stranger.

After our walk, I drove Jasmine back to the clinic where she was staying. Sitting with her on the bench just before I left, so close. Not talking. Just feeling. I felt sad. She wasn’t feeling too great, and lay her head on my shoulder. It was a bittersweet moment. I realized that we might have lost some of the things we had being in an intimate relationship, but the connection and love is still there. It’s the simple things that are the most important. Not taking anything for granted.

I was sitting on the beach a few weeks ago, enjoying my alone time, and watching the sun set. These words came to me:

If you can look at a sunset and feel the beauty of it in your heart, there’s still life and hope inside you.

sunset-journeytowardhealingwordpress

Letter To A “Friend” – Living With BPD

I wrote this to a friend a while ago in a moment of anger, but never gave it to her. I thought I’d share it here, but add something more positive at the end.

Dear “friend”

You think you know me. But you only see what you want to see. You only see what I allow you to see.

So let me give you a glimpse into my inner world.

Do you know how it feels to hate yourself so intensely that you hurt yourself because you think you deserve it, and constantly put yourself down, because the thought of being good to yourself seems like a right that only other people have? That you’re not worthy of this life. You’re like a ghost walking through this world. Never feeling you belong.

Do you know how it feels to be empty? Completely devoid of feeling? A bottomless pit of darkness? It can also feel like there’s something inside you that you don’t have access to. A locked room, with the key nowhere to be found. It can’t be reached. It can’t be touched. It can’t be felt. Only the sense that it’s there makes it real. And when you’re not feeling empty, you feel too much, too intensely. Imagine a small cut. Now take that cut, pull the skin apart, put your finger into it, widening it, opening it up. To you the cut remains that small cut. To me, that cut feels like it is being poked and prodded at constantly. The emptiness, or feeling too much. Which is worse… A flood or a drought? They both bring great turmoil and devastation. Can you imagine living through those two natural disasters, and just when one is over and you think everything is going to be fine, you’re hit with the other? This is what goes on inside me constantly. Welcome to my reality.

Do you know how it feels to have death on your mind every day for weeks at a time Planning, preparing to die, but unable to go through with it. But deep down inside you fear there will come a day where you won’t be able to stop it from taking you over completely. Resulting in total finality. Most days a fight just to survive. A fight to hold on. To be so tired of fighting, that death seems the only way to get rest and be free from the torment of a seemingly worthless existence.

Do you know how it feels to become so taken over by another human being that you can’t escape them? That you long to be a part of them, one with them? Even a few days without them feels like an eternity, and it feels you’re so much a part of this person that if they leave it seems there would need to be a surgical procedure to remove them from you completely. That you’ll never be whole again. That your very survival depends upon this person. The thought of the person ever leaving you is enough to make you do things you normally would never do. Go against your values. Yet constantly feeling you’re not good enough. That the person you’re with can’t possibly love you, because you’re so defective. But still desperately holding onto to them.

Do you know what it’s like to be walking around when you’re suddenly transported out of your body, watching everything going on around you as normal? Voices are like whispers, whispers you can’t quite hear or make sense of. You feel completely alone. You don’t feel real. The world around you doesn’t feel real. It’s as if you’re sleepwalking.

Do you know what it’s like to not have a clear sense of who you are? What is that which you took on from other’s, and what is really you? Taking on other’s emotions and feeling them as if they were your own? To not know what you’re really good at. To constantly compare yourself to others and feeling you’re not good at those things you thought you were good at? To change your career path because you are so convinced it’s what you really want, when it’s actually something you’ve never enjoyed, but went down the path because you took on someone else’s desires.

Do you know what it’s like to be turned into a whiny, tantrum throwing toddler when you’re under extreme stress, or you’re scared and panicking? You feel unable to control yourself. You feel you need someone to just slap you or speak to you calmly to help you remember to focus and breathe. Then feeling hopelessly embarrassed and ashamed once the waves of emotion have calmed down.

Do you never lose your temper? Do you always treat people perfectly? Have you never felt any of these things, if only for a while and to a limited extent?

So before you judge me… Think about how you would feel if our roles were reversed. Then tell me again I’m over-reacting. Tell me again to “get over it”. Can you?

Your friend,
Rayne

P.S. Now that I’ve mentioned the Black, let’s shed some light on the White:

I feel happiness to a whole other level. Euphoria I’ll call it. A state of such intense bliss and excitement, it feels as though I’m flying high above the earth and nothing can bring me down. I can do and be anything. Nothing and no one can hurt or harm me. I’m invincible.

When I love, I love completely. I give all of me. I’m compassionate, empathetic, intuitive and can sense your emotions better than you think. I know when you’re feeling sad, even when you try to cover it up, and will do anything to make you smile again, to lift you up.

I’m adaptable, and can blend into any environment and situation. I’m resilient and strong, and rise out of the deadliest fires like the mythical Phoenix.

I’m here, writing this right now. And for that, I can be proud.