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!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Letter to the Person Living With BPD

I wrote this last year and shared it on my Australian BPD group. I came across it again today, and it seems like something that I should place here, as well. Although it's for 'the person with BPD', it may offer some small insight for those who don't have BPD as well.

To the person with BPD,

First of all, know you are not alone. There are men and women from all walks of life who can identify with those three letters, and though they may not always be people you would choose to have in your life, they are your allies and your kin. We walk these paths together; and as lonely as it can be, because of that we are never truly alone.

Know that when you research your condition, you will come across websites that call you evil; you will come across websites that claim you are narcissistic and lacking in empathy. Know that being diagnosed with BPD does not equate to these things. Being diagnosed BPD means many things, but know that it does not make you a bad person. No website calling all people with BPD 'evil', 'manipulative' or 'narcisstic', or calling for extreme avoidance of all those diagnosed, is professional or accurate.

Know that your future is not assured. BPD is, technically, incurable -- but it is not a life sentence. There is treatment available and life can get better. If you have done DBT and found it unhelpful, know that there is more than one option out there. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all treatment for BPD, no matter what anyone tells you.

Know that your feelings, as strong as they are, will dissipate if you allow them to. Your anger will fade; your sorrow will ease. Nothing lasts forever, and your feelings are not the exception to the rule. You are the emotional equivalent of a third degree burn victim but you have the ability to graft yourself with thicker skin. You can get through this.

Know that you can learn to control your behaviour. What you do in impulse now, you can learn to contain. Your angry outbursts, your uncontrolled spending, even your self harm can all become more controlled and can even be overcome entirely. It will take time and it will take a great deal of hard work, but it can be done.

Know that the world is not as black and white as you'd like it to be, but you can learn to be okay with that. Know that your instinct to cast people or events into categories on the extremes can be worked with. You will learn, in time, that nobody is all good or all bad, and that is okay.

Know that you will learn to know yourself, gradually. Maybe you will start with your favourite colour, or you will choose an animal to love. Maybe you will discover that you like your eggs scrambled, or you dislike jelly.

Know that sometimes people will leave, but it doesn't mean that you are being abandoned. Life is full of change; people move on, or are taken from us suddenly. Not everyone was meant to be a permanent fixture in our lives; some people will stay for a heartbeat, others will fill our hearts for years. Know that you can learn to be okay with the changing landscapes of friendships and loved ones, despite the pain.

Know, most of all, that there is hope. BPD is not a negative reflection on your personality and life can get better.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday Sunshine - 9/8/15

Some of you may remember the old Sanguine Saturday posts I used to make. I decided to reinvent these as Sunday Sunshine, but with likely most of the same content. A weekly look at gratitudes, achievements and the like is probably something I need at the moment.

I'm grateful for...

  • My heart family that is filled with wonderful people
  • Having a free Netflix account
  • Beach walks
  • Coke Zero
  • Having had a great night out with friends
  • Books
  • Dogs
  • Also giraffes, cats, guinea pigs, monkeys, dolphins, and other mammals. Also non mammals. Just animals in general, really.
  • Puns


  • I walked from the street all the way into college all by myself.
    I've been brushing my teeth every day I've gone into college.
  • I went out with friends -- this is a gratitude and an achievement because it was pretty scary, and there were some last minute changes that made my anxiety even worse.
  • I knocked off another unit of study last week, which leaves me with one and a half (a prac and some related assignments that shouldn't take long) to finish before my next cluster opens on August 25.
  • Even though I made a decision that didn't turn out very well, I was able to make better decisions in order to mitigate the negative effects.

Don't forget to challenge yourself by posting up some gratitudes and achievements of your own, and send me the link. I can't wait to see them!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Life (Or Something Like It)

No, I have not done my usual "blog and disappear". I'm still here. :)

Things have been busy here. I'm struggling to create a balance between study, home and social life. It's harder than I remember back when I was working -- but then again, it's more important to me to ensure my balance is healthy now than it was back then. I don't know how much I'm reclaiming of who I used to be. I think, instead, I'm butterflying into a new person. Hopefully, in time, I'll become a person with a better grasp of socialisation and emotion management, too.

As I ease back into blogging, there are likely to be format changes. I've changed a lot since I started this blog (thank goodness), and my goals have changed. Something that hasn't changed is that I still want to use this blog as a place to help myself process things, and I also want to keep using it to help others. I don't know what that will mean for the blog at the moment, so please just bare with me in the interim.

What's been on my mind in the last few weeks has included:

* Why am I struggling with my study?

I've felt like I've really struggled with the last few units I've done. I don't know whether it's that my headspace isn't right (my depression has flared up in the last little while, and with it extreme amounts of anxiety -- plus I've had two recent deaths to grieve), the units are just getting harder, my way of learning isn't as practical with these units, or I'm just plain too stupid for this course. Most likely it's a combination of factors. Still, no matter what it is, I have no intention of quitting. I can do this. I will do this.

Plan of Action:
  • Keep going.
  • Attend college 3-5 days each week as much as possible.
  • Get help from tutors, peers and friends where needed.
  • Monitor depression & anxiety - bring it up at next appointment with pdoc.
  • Remember to actually use my Valium.

* Rejection/Abandonment/Conflict

All three in one because they're very interconnected for me. We all know these things have long been something I struggle with. Conflict (that isn't actually conflict) still leaves me torn up inside for months. I'm trying so hard to get better with this, but the unresolved emotions at the heart of it all are still very much holding me back. It's so bad it's actually become a real quality of life issue, and I don't want it to continue. I don't know what else I can do other than to keep going, keep trying, keep fighting, so I will do those things and keep experimenting to find new things.

Plan of Action:
  • Experiment with new "tools" to handle conflict/rejection/abandonment (whether real or perceived)
  • Watch friends and peers amongst themselves. Be aware of how conflict is handled between others -- use it as evidence of how those people will handle conflict with me (eg, if when in conflict with J, E walks off for a break, then finds J an hour later and they talk it out & their friendship remains strong -- use this as evidence E will not end friendship over small conflict).
  • Keep on top of thought challenging -- "conflict is part of life, and most relationships don't fall apart based on conflict that is addressed", "I am allowed to be human, I am allowed to make mistakes".
  • ?

Those are the big ones I'm struggling with at the moment. As always, please feel free to throw suggestions at me for my own action plans. But... what about you? What's something going on in your life that you could develop an action plan for addressing? Feel free to blog and leave a link, or just answer in the comment section, and I'll see you tomorrow for some Sunday Sunshine.