Note To Self

Life doesn’t own you.

You own life.

Stay alive. Don’t allow the darkness to win. Because if you do, your suffering might come to an end, but the suffering of those you love, and left behind, will only begin.

Be strong. Be brave. Just keep breathing.

Dear Death

Dear Death,

You may think you’ve won. You tried to beat me down. You sent all the storms you could throw at me, trying to get me to give up. You knocked me down, you bruised me, but I got up again. You almost had me a few times, but I defeated you over and over again.

You sent an army. But I have something you’ll never have. I have Love. Love stood by my side. I was never alone.

You’re angry with me. Well, I’m angry too.

But I will use this anger to show you just how strong I am. To continue fighting your darkness.

You can throw all the bad memories and nightmares at me that you want. But I won’t give up. I may fall apart, I might break, but give up… I won’t give you the satisfaction. The power.

I may be overwhelmed and broken right now, but I will not give in to you. I will not be kept down. I will rise again, and when I do I’m going to take the world by storm.

One day you’ll get what you want. But not today.

Today I choose Life.

The Box Of Hope

I had coffee with one of my best friends on Sunday afternoon/evening. As usual I really enjoyed spending time with her. I had been depressed that day again, and even though she also wasn’t feeling so great either, she made me feel so much better about myself (the way she always does). She said some really nice things, beautiful compliments that touched me deeply.

On my way home, which is about a 45 minute drive, I started thinking…

No matter how bad I’m feeling, spending time with my closest friends always picks me up… It’s like an soul boost. I don’t have many friends in the real world, but those I have are extremely special to me. I’m grateful that they’ve stood by me through the years, and given me the gift of themselves.

So, what about getting a box, decorating it nicely, and filling it with things that will give me that soul boost when I’m alone? When I feel like just giving up on life. When I feel like a monster, the worst person in existence. I’ll get a small journal type book and write down all the positive things people say to me. Maybe I’ll sometimes even get them to write a little something themselves if they’re up for it. I’ll also write about those moments where I see someone doing a random act of kindness. To remind me that the world is a beautiful place. That there are still good people, and they’re all around us. I’m also going to add little cards or things I find with encouraging quotes, and photos that mean a lot to me, memories I want to hold onto. I’ve already asked my two best friends whether they would each write me a little note that I can put in this box, separate from the book. They were both very enthusiastic about it. One of my friend’s boyfriend also wanted to get in on it, which I found very sweet. He’s fast becoming a very good friend too. An all around great person. I’ve got some notes/letters from my therapist that I’m also going to add, as well as a letter I’ll be writing to myself (I got this idea from a fellow blogger).

During my intense ‘crisis’ moments, it’s often difficult to think positive. To remember the good. When I’m bombarded by negativity and darkness, it seems to block out all the light.

When I feel like no one cares, or that everyone will be better off without me, I’m going to open up that box, and go through everything. Fill my mind with all the good instead. It will force my brain to focus on something external, when it can’t do it on it’s own. I’m pretty sure this ‘Box of Hope’ will give me the power to push away the intensity of the darkness.

Here are two songs that I really like, and that have helped me during some of my dark moments. The last one has helped me the most. It’s older, and I love her voice and the lyrics.

Maybe you can start your own ‘Box of Hope’.

The Familiar Taste Of Poison

This song represents a few different things for me.

We long to be free. But during agonizing, vulnerable times, we’re unable to resist the pull.

The Familiar Taste of Poison

“Drink the wine, my darling” you said
“Take your time, and consume all of it”
But the roses were only to drain my inspiration
The promises were spoiled before they left your lips

And I breathe you in again
Just to feel you underneath my skin
Holding onto, the sweet escape
Is always laced with the familiar taste
Of poison

I tell myself that you’re no good for me
I wish you well, but desire never leaves
I could fight this till the end
But maybe I don’t wanna win

I breathe you in again
Just to feel you underneath my skin
Holding onto, the sweet escape
Is always laced with the familiar taste
Of poison

I don’t wanna be saved
I don’t wanna be sober
I want you on my mind
In my dreams, behind these eyes
And I won’t wake up
No not this time

I breathe you in again
Just to feel you underneath my skin
Holding onto, the sweet escape
Is always laced with the familiar taste
Of poison

A familiar taste of poison

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.

Living Black & White

Woke up this morning and got started on my day, thinking I’d enjoy my day off work. I didn’t have any plans besides reading and catching up on the blogs I follow religiously, and get some needed study time in.

I did that a little bit (except for the studying part), but couldn’t help noticing that I was feeling really strange. Like I don’t exist. Like I don’t even have a name. I tried saying my name a few times, hoping to feel some recognition or “togetherness”, but it just didn’t sound right. It was as though the name didn’t belong to me. Like I’m no one. Not part of this world. Just floating somewhere, and I don’t even know where. How am I? I don’t even know if I am. There’s nothing. Just emptiness.

That continued on for most of the day. I attempted to study, but just couldn’t focus, no matter how hard I tried. So once again, I put my book aside. I can’t remember anything else from the day up until my therapy session. It’s been a long 2 weeks between sessions. Way too long.

It didn’t quite go the way I had planned. Not that I plan my sessions, but I at least know more or less what I want to talk about or what issues to address. I was surprised by the direction it ended up going in. We spoke about my excessive suicidal ideation over the past two weeks. She told me she was worried about me, and the truth is, I’m worried too. It just seems to be getting worse. We agreed that I would consider admission to hospital for a small amount of time (maybe a few days), which is something I never seriously considered before. I had thought about it once or twice in the past, but for the briefest few minutes. This time though, I think it might just be necessary and a good thing.

My therapist pointed out my black and white thinking during our conversation. I didn’t recognize that’s what was happening. After our session though I realized that I had been in “all or nothing” mode during our entire session. If she hadn’t mentioned that thinking pattern I wouldn’t have even known I was in it, and I wouldn’t have realized that I’d been doing it the whole time. I really should start noticing it from now on. I’ve never paid much attention to it. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about this thought process:

Splitting (also called black-and-white thinking or all-or-nothing thinking) is the failure in a person’s thinking to bring together the dichotomy of both positive and negative qualities of the self and others into a cohesive, realistic whole. It is a common defense mechanism used by many people. The individual tends to think in extremes (i.e., an individual’s actions and motivations are all good or all bad with no middle ground).

I feel really horrible. I feel like the worst client ever (did I just do it again?). Replaying the session back in my head and trying to see things from another perspective other than my own, I realize that the things I said could possibly have made her feel like I was “attacking” her and her skills as a Psychologist. Which wasn’t my intention at all. I think she’s the most amazing therapist. I told her in the beginning when she asked me about my suicide plan, that I didn’t want to talk to her about it, because I always feel invalidated by her, and that she doesn’t take me seriously when talking about that topic. She explained why she says what she says during those times, and I finally get it. She wasn’t invalidating me, she wasn’t careless about it, she was encouraging me to see my own strength and resilience. And now that I understand, I’m grateful for it and to her.

She pushed me today and I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it at all. But she knows what she’s doing, and like she says, therapy isn’t always easy.

I’m feeling really shitty, embarrassed and weird about it. Shitty, weird, embarrassed, and exhausted. I just want to crawl into a hole and hide away for a while. My bed will have to do instead.