This blog is part of my recovery, and I would like it to remain a safe place for me to share parts of myself and my life that people close to me may or may not know. As a result, while I'm not going crazy with privacy settings, I do ask that if you find this on your own and suspect you may know me, please respect my privacy by checking with us before reading any further. This obviously doesn't apply if one of us has given you the link!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Very Late Sanguine Saturday!

Man, I can't believe I forgot to post a Sanguine Saturday post this week! It wasn't that I didn't want to, or didn't have a chance, I just never actually thought about it! I'm going to assume it's because I actually posted two other posts this week, and that of course threw out my equilibrium. ;)

My brain's quite fuzzy tonight as I managed to nearly give myself heatstroke earlier by walking too far on a very hot day with no water. I'm okay, but I'll have to forgive myself if I miss important successes from the past week!

Success Stories:
I'm still here!
I've been coping really well with looking after mum (although admittedly she needs much less than I had expected, and I've also had a lot more help than I expected).
I went to a scary appointment about my knee.
I asked someone for the money they owed me - and got it!
I told someone something that had been on my mind for a long time and confirmed that it doesn't change anything.

Gratitudes/Happy Things:
Making plans for the future.
Amazing friends.
Soft toys.
New games.

Challenge and cheer-leading statements:
If the blind man can't tell he's only in a puddle, it's not his fault if he can't get out.
The butterfly does not make the caterpillar a lie.
I deserve to ask for things that are rightfully mine.
I don't have to be perfect to be valuable and loved.
Recovery is a rose.

Shoot me the link if you post up any version of Sanguine Saturday (any day, any format, as long as it's positive-focused!) and don't forget to check out this week's list of Sanguine Saturday versions:
Jennifer of Magnificasti Mirabilia: created
Sairs of This Lunatic Express: Positive Monday
Morningmoon of I am *THAT* crazy: Tuesday's Child

Take care of yourselves until next time, and may we all find our own small fences along the way.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Turbulent Waters: I'm Really Not After A Miracle!

It's no secret that life's been a bit of a rough trot here, lately. Part of that is due to circumstances in my life right now/recently, part of it is not having medication that works properly, and another part is not having a large enough support network offline.

Whatever the reasons, though, the end result is the same: I've been struggling for a while, and things aren't getting better on their own. After yet another bout of what's being termed "severe self harm", my doctor last week decided to push for me to be seen at the free mental health clinic again. I told myself I wouldn't allow myself to hold out too much hope for a better outcome than last time, I told myself that I would be okay if/when nothing came of it.

Everyone else was so sure something would come of it. Surely. Surely, they had to see that I wasn't making it on my own now. It's been just under a year since I was closed off the books, a year since I did DBT. I've been using my skills, even this blog itself is proof of that. I fight every day to be okay. Surely they had to listen now. I started to let my hopes rise. And then I was given an intake appointment.

So I began to get more invested in the outcome. I began to believe that I had a chance at getting real help again. And then the call didn't come when I expected it.

I felt let down, but I told myself that maybe they were just busy. Maybe I misinterpreted what Intake had said, that I'd got it wrong and that they would call at a later date. A few days after I had originally expected the call, I was about to head out when my mobile rang.

"Hi C, it's [old case manager] here from mental health."

My heart skipped a beat. This was the case manager I'd worked with prior to DBT; the one I'd worked really well with and trusted. I thought she might be calling to say she'd be my case manager again.

"I just wanted to let you know what the Intake team have decided about your case. Now, you've done DBT. You clearly don't want to stop self harming, there's nothing more we can do for you. You know there's no miracle cure, medication isn't going to fix you. We have decided not to take you on."

I was gutted. Crushed. The crushed hopes were bad enough alone, but to have them crushed like that by [old case manager] was like being told by Santa Claus that he wasn't even going to bother leaving you coal. A few minutes of silence followed where I fought my tears before she added insult to injury with,

"What did you even expect to come of this? What do you want?"
"I... I don't know. I-"
"Exactly. So, bye then. Good luck with everything."

I was hurt. Betrayed. Crushed. Gutted. Afraid. For a little while I was even furious. Not just angry but actually furious! How could they? I have fought so hard for so long. I try so hard, I have made so many changes. My feelings were a confused jumble of negative emotions and I cried fairly hard at first. I pulled myself together and left for my appointments, but the emotions didn't go away. They're still right there, because this is a big hurt.

It got bigger when I went to report back to my doctor and found that mental health had got there first and read him the riot act about how manipulative Borderlines are. My formerly supportive doctor greeted me with "do you even want to stop self harm? How much?" then proceeded to tell me again that there is no miracle cure, and told me that since I have done DBT mental health are not interested in wasting their time or mine.

I am tired of being told that there is no miracle cure. I am not looking for one! I'm not afraid to put in the hard work, I've been doing that. It's not working (enough). I know medication makes a difference for me, when it works. I know that. Why won't anybody in a position to do anything about it listen to that?

Dear mental health professionals,
Please, stop assuming that because I happen to have a label with a bad rap, I fit what that label means to you. Please stop assuming that wanting medication that works for me is synonymous with "I want a miracle cure". Please stop assuming that because I'm struggling to stop self harm it means I don't want to. Please stop assuming that I have manipulated my GP into advocating for my treatment. Please just stop making harmful assumptions about me!

I'm asking for help, not a cure. If I didn't have the BPD label, you would be falling all over yourselves to help me. Your labels are supposed to be there to help, not hinder, my treatment.

And now, since mental health is again a non-option, we're back to square one. Where do I go from here? It's so tempting to give up - all the professionals have, why shouldn't I?

Because when I give up, there'll be no chance for it to get better. And because I deserve better than that. I am getting a psychologist referral, and I will take my 6-12 free sessions and do what I can with that. It's better than nothing.

And so I go on putting one foot in front of the other and doing my best to get through each day however it comes. Imperfectly, certainly, but until I can move (something that I can't do until I receive the money from my settlement over my knee which is currently held up due to an error) it's my best option.

Challenge and cheerleading statements:
* Things are not as hopeless as they seem. This isn't forever.
* This situation does not reflect my value.
* I deserve better than to give up on myself.

Take care of yourselves until next time, and may we all find our own small fences along the way.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stupid *Isn't* As Stupid Does

Intelligence/stupidity has been something that just keeps coming up for me, lately. I've had several conversations around the topic in the last couple of weeks, and they've all been really interesting with some big insights for me.

I've spent most of my life being told that I could do anything I wanted to do, be anything I wanted to be. I've also spent most of my life being told that I can't do anything, that I'm stupid and that I will never be good enough. Confusingly enough, many of the people giving me these messages were giving me both messages at the same time. Caught in my borderline black & white thinking, I interpreted this as "I am stupid" and "I will never be good enough" (with a side dose of messages such as "people will tell me I am smart so they feel better about the fact that I have nothing going for me"). Since I had an desperate need to please, I continued trying to prove that I could be smart for a long time. I continued trying to live up to the expectations that were in place, and I continued trying to prove that I could be good enough.

While I was still in this desperate to please state, I fell in love with a boy I considered very intelligent. He was charismatic, funny, good at numbers and figures, he knew a lot of things about a lot of things, and he was very sure of himself - so sure that every time I thought something was different to how he said, he would set about proving how wrong I was. I'm sure you all know where this is headed, but I didn't.

I started to have a breakdown. My doctor decided to remove me from my studies at University because I was too much of a suicide risk the way I was. It, at the time, fuelled the fire of self hate and doubt at my intelligence - how smart could I be if I had to be removed from Uni because I couldn't handle it?

The one good thing to come out of it was that since I had dropped out of Uni, most peoples' expectations on me disappeared. I was, more than ever, the family screw-up, but one they'd lost hope in. At least I'd married myself off and wouldn't need to leech off them...

By the time another year had passed, I had stopped trying to prove I was smart. What was the point? As far as I could tell, any intelligence I might once have had was long gone, probably had never existed at all. Eventually I even seemed to be actively trying to prove my lack of intelligence.

And by then, my view of myself as stupid had evolved into a many faceted thing. I was stupid because I couldn't think in the ways I used to be able to as a child. I was stupid because I wasn't good at numbers and figures. I was stupid because I had a poor memory. I was stupid because I'd made some unhealthy choices. I was stupid because I couldn't make connections I'd never been taught to make. I was stupid because I couldn't even finish University. I was stupid because I didn't get a better OP score in high school. I was stupid because I didn't think in the same ways as people I cared about thought in.

Not only that, but being 'stupid' filled some of my needs. Being stupid meant lower expectations on me. Being stupid meant I was humble. Being stupid meant I didn't get accused of getting above my station. Being stupid meant I wasn't a threat.

It got so that most people seemed to forget how smart I'd been. Many of the people in my life 'now' had never known the smart kid in school, which helped, and peoples' expectations of me were different. My best friend said to me the other day that nobody expected stupidity from me and that it wasn't how people thought of me - but she's only half right. A good proportion of people in my life really do think that I'm as thick as a couple of planks... but it's only because I've worked so hard to make them think that way.

I still remember saying something in DBT one day and the room went quiet. One woman, who hid behind her intelligence and rational thought as a form of avoidance, had the guts to say it: "Wow. You're actually really smart, aren't you? You hide it very well!"

Indeed, just the other day, in a chatroom I regularly visit, someone I've known as an acquaintance for years made the comment, "when did you get so wise?" and the truth is... I suppose I always have been. But I haven't been brave enough to let it show in years.

And, you know, for all that I've just outright admitted in this post that I am not so stupid after all, I still struggle to believe it most of the time. And as hard as it is to believe it, it's even harder to say it.

But guess what? I'm not stupid, and I'm really starting to show it again.

Challenge and cheer-leading statements:
All feelings are real and valid. All feelings will pass.
However I feel is okay.
Being different doesn't have to mean being wrong.

Take care of yourselves until next time, and may we all find our own small fences along the way.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sanguine Saturday Rolls Around Again

Mum's surgery took place last Monday as expected, and she came through very well. We thought she'd be coming home yesterday but she began spiking a fever Thursday night that continued through Friday. There was also something a little bit off about her bloods, so they held her in a little longer; then when they went to remove some of the wires that were in her, her heart went funny... so she's still in hospital at least until tomorrow.

Success Stories:
I'm still here. I'm still trying.
I've cooked most days/nights this week and did everyone's washing.
I've been mostly following medical advice.
I called the lawyers to chase up that money.

Gratitudes/things that make me happy:
My friends
Grey's Anatomy

Challenge and cheer-leading statements:
Whatever my thoughts or emotions, they do not make me a bad person.
Maybe I'm not so stupid after all.
Recovery is a rose.
Where I am is where I am. I don't need to put judgement on that.

Shoot me the link if you post up any version of Sanguine Saturday (any day, any format, as long as it's positive-focused!) and don't forget to check out this week's list of Sanguine Saturday versions:
Sairs of This Lunatic Express: Positive Wednesday
Jennifer of Magnificasti Mirabilia: created
Ebullire of Reflections Upon A Brussel Sprout: Tubular Tuesday
Sonya of My Verse: Great Things

Take care of yourselves until next time, and may we all find our own small fences along the way.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sanguine (Sun)day!

Goodness, it's hot. Normally I am very happy in the heat, but this year it's really knocking me around. Not sure what's up with that - though I suspect having heat rash (to go with my allergy and stress rashes!) isn't helping. That's okay, despite the discomfort I'm still liking the warmth.

Apologies for how very late this Sanguine Saturday post is -- I was away for a few days last week, which knocked out my rhythm pretty thoroughly, and my mother went into hospital this afternoon for her surgery tomorrow. I may be a little absent over the next few weeks, depending how things go.

Success Stories:
I faced down my fear to show something to someone - and they really liked it!
I put my foot down on a few things I WON'T do while mum's recovering from surgery (my brother can do his own damned ironing, thankyouverymuch).
I'm still here.

Gratitudes/things that make me happy:
Household chores (yes, really).
My friends.
Music and singing.
Cool washers! (Face/wash cloths)

Challenge and cheer-leading statements:
I am not my family, and I don't have to be what they want me to be, either.
Being cared about is not dependent on being perfect. The people that really care about me will do so even if I mess up.
It's okay to accept a compliment.

Shoot me the link if you post up any version of Sanguine Saturday (any day, any format, as long as it's positive-focused!) and don't forget to check out this week's list of Sanguine Saturday versions:
BPDisMe of BPDisME: This Past Week In Brief
Jennifer of Magnificasti Mirabilia: created
Ebullire of Reflections Upon A Brussel Sprout: Tubular Tuesday

It's great to see some regulars, and a new face this week - welcome and congratulations on taking up the challenge, Ebullire!

Take care of yourselves until next time, and may we all find our own small fences along the way.