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!

Frequently Asked Questions

It occured to me that a FAQ page might be in order, since I've had some questions that people have asked a couple of times. Feel free to ask if there's anything not here that you'd like to know, just leave a comment or give me a "hoi" if you know me.

What is BPD?
BPD, or Borderline Personality Disorder, is a serious mental illness affecting between 2 and 5 percent of the population. As a diagnosis requires only that you fit five of nine criteria and those are spread over a variety of characteristics, it's hard to define without going into too much detail, but it is generally characterised by a pervasive pattern of (self) destruction. For a much more comprehensive (but still layman's) explanation, check out SANE Australia's BPD factsheet. You can also read the breakdown I did if you're interested in seeing how it all applied (or not) to me when this blog began.

What is DBT?
DBT stands for Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and it is a form of therapy that was devised by Marcia Linehan for treating people with BPD. It uses a mixture of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy techniques as well as encorporating Eastern mindfulness practices (such as zen/Buddhist concepts). Don't let the "religion" aspect put you off, though, as it is a general concept rather than a specific religious practice - you do not need to practice any specific or general religion to follow DBT teachings/practices. For a much better explanation, overview and a good look at the skills and practices involved in DBT check out the DBT Self Help website.

Are you recovered/trying to pass yourself off as a BPD 'success story'?
Definitely not! Not by any stretch of the imagination or on any count. I'm just someone who is working on building a life worth living. I was wary in the beginning that people might think that about this blog, but really it's just a place for me to focus on the things I want to build in my life - sanity, safety and happiness. It's not about pretending I'm some sort of success story or that I'm someone I'm not. So, for the record: I am not a "success story". I am, in truth, still very unwell. I don't always challenge every negative thought I have. Sometimes I don't recognise things as needing to be challenged. Sometimes I recognise them and I still don't challenge them. I may have overcome my problems with alcohol and mainly overcome self harm, but I still screw up. I still screw up a LOT, actually. But focusing on where I go/am going wrong has never helped me, so I prefer to use this blog to focus on where I go right, or where there are opportunities for growth.

What's the deal with Sanguine Saturday and what does "sanguine" even mean, anyway? Why would you choose that word for those posts?
Sanguine is a homograph with two meanings that particularly drew me; in addition to meaning "blood-red" it also is used to mean cheerful and confident or optimistic. When I use it for Sanguine Saturday posts, I am choosing it for the "cheerful" side of its meaning, and I use it both for the pleasant alliteration and because it's a word I'm personally rather fond of.
Sanguine Saturday itself is my weekly post that helps me focus on my own growth. I have divided it into three sections, where the first two are particularly positive (my weekly successes and things that make me happy or that I am grateful for) and the third is a set of challenge statements I have used through the week.
**ETA: Sanguine Saturday has now become Sunday Sunshine.

Why do you sign off with "and may we all find our own small fences along the way"? You know fences are boundaries too, right?
During my DBT training we spent a little bit of time talking about how we don't live in a black and white society and yet... those who "sit on the fence" on issues are seen as weak. For me, the fence/sitting on the fence came to mean that bit in the middle where you can see both sides of something -- that so elusive grey in the black/white dichotomy. In a word - fences came to mean balance for me.

Why don't you use stronger cheerleading statements?
I'm going to steal the answer to this one from one of my Sanguine Saturday posts after it'd been mentioned a couple of times:
The best example I can think of to use here is "I am not a bad person". I know that it is considered 'better' to avoid the use of "I am not" in favour of "I am a good person", which is a strongly positive statement. However, I find it such a struggle to use even the half way measure that attempting to use the full measure actually sends me backwards. It's about taking baby steps when you need to -- I can't eat this cake in one single bite.

How can I follow you?
To be honest, I'm still sort of figuring this out! But there's a "follow" link at the top through Blogger, and down the side there's an option for Networked Blogs as well as one for subscribing through email. If none of those are what you're after, leave me a comment with your specific question/way to follow and I'll see what I can do.

I know you. Should I keep reading?
If I've personally given you this URL, you're welcome to keep reading. If, on the other hand, you've gained it through stalking-type behaviours or stumbled onto it by chance, I'd ask that you please be respectful and let me know you've found this blog before reading any further. Most likely it'll be fine, but I would like to know there's a chance you're reading if I know you.

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