I think anyone who suffers from BPD might find themselves struggling with how to find a balance both in personal and professional lives. That we can be so good and talented at somethings and in the next breathe be just down right TERRIBLE with dealing with other people. I find I am in a constant battle with myself as I learn and grow trying to deal with people inter-personally.
I read a book called ‘I hate you, don’t leave me’ and it really hit home for me and helped me have a deeper understanding as to why I do these things and it isn’t just due to how I was raised and being brought up in a very invalidating environment but also its biological. It doesn’t make it an easier pill to swallow (like the prozac that I need to be better about taking regularly lol) but it does give you a little comfort in knowing that it isn’t something you could always control. Don’t get me wrong – you still need to take responsibility in life for the outcome of whatever fall out happens (personal/professional/otherwise) because by using “I have borderline personality disorder” as some kind of excuse is just not acceptable but moreso because even though it may be biological it can be controlled…it just takes a LOT of practice and a LOT of hardwork…it isn’t right or fair that those who suffer with BPD have to seemingly work 10 times harder than most people at the most basic of interactions but shit if life ain’t fair.
The part I have the most difficult with is see other people handle and deal with situations with such ease and grace because what comes naturally for others is hard and tiring work for those who suffer with BPD. I wish I could sit here and tell you how once you do DBT and have an inkling of the skills that you will somehow magically not suck at interacting with people – alas it really doesn’t work that way. I wish it did – fuck, to be able to interact with people without the constant paranoia, worry, fears that I face every single time I talk to someone? jesus that would be fan-fucking-tastic. If that were true I wouldn’t be in another DBT type group so quickly after the last one just ended and i wouldn’t still struggle with feeling like a total failure as a person on a daily basis.
In time I am sure I will be able to handle these things better but when it comes to work – as hard as I am working I need to work harder – each day is a new day to try and push myself further than the day before because although my co-workers and boss have been fantastic and supportive (honestly without them I don’t know where I would be) there are things that can’t be overlooked and I am under a sharp microscope. It’s hard to hear that because a) I love my job and b) I am actually REALLY good at it and what pisses me the fuck off is that my simple minded fucking brain can’t just interact with people on a “normal” scale. And if E was seeing this she would ask me to define “normal” and all that other therapy mumbo jumbo but frankly it’s been a long day so “normal” to me is just someone who can funtion with others without much difficulty – it’s so hard to grasp that as hard as I work (and believe me I do work hard) that because of how I can sometimes interact with people I could lose the job I love so much.
One day in therapy E was able to breakdown how I handle things in one very simple way:
A: the issue at hand
B: Stopping to think about the problem before reacting to it
C: Your reaction to the issue at hand.
My issue is simply this: I just go from point (A) to (C) most times without even STOPPING at (B) – I react before I can fully process and that can sometimes lead me to saying something to someone without actually thinking about how I sound, how it will sound to others or how it comes across. I tend to go from (A) to (C) in milliseconds and in the past it has destroyed a lot of friendships (and THAT my friends is going to be for another day) and has gotten me into trouble at work and with the skills it has gotten better but HOPEFULLY with the skills I learned in my DBT group (and will continue to learn/apply/use in my life through this other DBT group) I will be able to not by-pass (B) and learn how to think about something before I fucking open my mouth lol.
I push myself every single day and I know there are more things I can improve on every minute of every day and I am pushing as hard as I possibly can and sometimes as tired as I am, as frustrated as I am, as alone as I feel I need to dig deep and find it in myself to push just a little harder. I can do this…at least right now I think I can…don’t ask me when I am falling down the rabbit hole lol but for now I am confident I can do this and I hope one day when I look back and my good days can out number my bad I will appreciate the hard work I put into this. As of right now though…I’m exhausted as all hell lol.