as the end gets near..

and no  I don’t mean that in some morbid way. Today I scheduled my last few sessions with E before she is off to start her own career in another state. I can’t fully begin to process what this means to me, what this means to my recovery, what it means to the next chapters of my life.

You know that feeling in your stomach when something new is happening? It isn’t dread, it isn’t fear and it isn’t happiness. It’s like the combination of all 3?

That is how I feel right now.

The feeling is probably something like ‘possibility’ or ‘adventure’ but most of my life by not feeling the bad I also stopped feeling the good…and I’m not entirely sure what either of those things FEEL like. How am I supposed to navigate during this uncertainty? More and more questions keep popping into my head and yet the fewer answers I am finding.

I met with MB, the therapist who is going to probably take over my care when E leaves, for my intake yesterday. Opening up to someone else, even though I am pretty familiar with MB because she was the leader of my DBT group, is so hard. It took so long for me to fully trust and open up to E and now I am supposed to sit back, feel abandoned (yes the kid in me feels like I am being abandoned…it isn’t the “mature” response but it is what I feel) and open up to someone else??? How can I do that? Thankfully MB did her best to put me at ease, to reassure me that she understands how hard of a transition this is going to be for me and I was grateful to her for that.

I know E came into my life for a season. I know she was here to help change me, to help me grow and that eventually she would need to spread her OWN wings and fly just as I have begun to. I wish I could say I’m not sad, that I don’t feel like her leaving isn’t like losing something super important…but right now? That IS how it feels. I need to GRIEVE this loss…and grieving something as it happens vs. letting it fester for almost 20 years? Very different…It’s incredibly scary for me. Hard to think of my life before E and even harder to think about going forward without her there to give me advice, push me to my limits. I know MB will do those things…but E was the first to really crack my outer shell (well her and J) and I know this has to happen but it still leaves me with a pit in my stomach. I know she is going to do AMAZING things and help more people just like me and I am so SO proud of her…but the child in me, she doesn’t want to feel abandoned. I need to comfort that child for awhile, reassure her that E isn’t gone forever and that I still have the people in my life who love and support me.

To be honest I don’t know why I am posting this or sharing it at all – it’s been weeks since I have posted and I finally update not about all the GOOD things that have been happening (which they have) but about this one thing I can’t seem to get my brain and heart to be on the same page about. Life, as of late, has actually been OKAY and besides the every day stresses at work and feeling exhausted most of the time things have really been on an upswing for me. I am grateful for that.

I feel bad not leaving you some nightly meditation! so here is one that struck me hard and has stayed with me for the past few days: May 26th

Awaken to your heart’s contentment

One day, you’ll awaken to discover your life is all you wanted and hoped it out would be.

Oh, you’ll not find everything just the way your head said you wanted it. It might not be the way you planned. But you’ll awaken to your dreams – your dreams of joy, love, and peace. Your dream of freedom.

You’ll see beyond the illusions. You’ll transcend your old limiting beliefs. You’ll wake up and notice that your past is just as it needed to be. You’ll see where you are today is good. You’ll notice that you laugh a lot, cry a lot, smile a lot.

You’ll look at tomorrow with peace, faith, and hope – knowing that while you cannot control some of what life does, you have possibilities and powers in any circumstance life might bright. The struggle you have lived with for so many years, the struggle in your heart, has disappeared. You’re secure, at peace with yourself and your place in this world.

One day, you’ll awaken to your heart’s contentment. Let that day be today.

Taken from Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie

I will leave you to ponder what it means to YOU to awaken your heart. I know how it makes me feel – I know what it stirred up inside me to read this even a second time.

I’m back

It’s been weeks and weeks since I have posted last and I have to apologize for just halting all my posts.

Things at work have been…crazy to say the least.

One of the (many) problems that I have is: I am a workaholic. I love the people I work with, I enjoy my job and I appreciate all the opportunities I have been given over the past year and a half. M has only been cleared to come back to work for 4 hours a day and at one point last week MM was out sick twice and one day JS had to leave early! I feel like I have been taking on the brunt of the work. I NEVER could have done that a year ago – fuck I couldn’t have done that 6 months ago but I think I did a fantastic job handling the stress. E is baffled as to how long I am going to be able to do this and she has every reason to wonder that – on Tues night I hit the wall. I crashed into that wall at 100 miles an hour and lost it.

I am noticing that when the good days last longer and longer when I finally hit the wall it feels like I am hitting it harder than I ever have, does anyone else experience this? With work, my sessions with E are getting more and more intense and I even took on a big project at work as well (which has since ended – thank GOD!). I also found out that M graduated with the one person in my life that I will never see again. She knew B, she knew her and grew up with her! I had finally made peace with the fact that mom wasn’t going to share with me any aspect of that part of our lives. Mom likes control. I wasn’t allowed to mourn B’s passing, I wasn’t allowed to visit her grave and she has NEVER once told me where B is buried….and all of that changed with me asking M one question. My entire world felt like it was spinning, it was like opening up this Pandora’s box of feelings and emotions that I forgot I had, that I forgot I could feel. I was comforted that someone else knew her but sad and upset that I still felt abandoned by her. It felt as if my skin was peeled back and I was completely exposed, raw, naked and flooded with memories of B and the short time she was a part of our lives. I felt like I was 10 years old again, my childhood gone, my reality forever changed…the wound that finally started to heal was ripped wide open and the flooding of emotions couldn’t be stopped.

Among all of this craziness I also had the chance to celebrate one year of seeing E! I couldn’t believe it. The girl who never ever wanted to be in therapy just celebrated one year with her therapist! E was so sweet – at my session she brought me a cupcake and got me a water bottle from the MoMa 🙂 I am going to be so sad when she finally leaves. I have to keep telling myself that she is going to help so many others out there like me, that she is going to do great and wonderful things and I am hopeful that there will be a chance to somehow keep in touch with her once she leaves. I know she has come into my life for a season – to help save me, to help me discover pieces of myself and to be the first to listen to all of my secrets. Saying good-bye isn’t one of the things I do the best but she has assured me that she is going to see me through the transition to my new therapist MB.

For the most part I really have been on an up-swing and the crash I had…well that was a long time coming I think. I rode the wave, I felt the feelings and I got through it. I know E is right, I know I need to do DBT again and I most likely will but I am still trying to weigh my pros and cons. I know that I want to move up in my job and J has given me some GREAT feedback about seeing me as Leadership potential and so I know that by doing another round of DBT it won’t only be good for me personally and emotionally but it will also help me professionally in “climbing” the latter so-to-speak.

J has been helping me find other creative outlets in gardening. She has this green thumb that I can’t explain and watching her seedlings go to full blown flowers? fucking nothing cooler than that. So I bought myself a cute little plant that totally inspired the shit out of me and then started growing some seedlings of my own out on my fire escape at my apartment. It acts as this lesson about how I need to treat myself as I treat the seedlings…patience, nurturing, tenderness, attention. It makes so much sense when you apply this to the plants and yet somehow I struggle so deeply with trying to apply it to my own life…why is that? why is it that I never ever seem to put as much care into myself as I do with my work, my art and the things around me?

There have been many nightly meditations over the past few weeks – some that have touched me greatly, some that acted as harsh reminders and others that I don’t think (at this moment in time) apply to me. I am still reading them every night, I am still trying to find meaning in them and I share them with J and I think (and hope) she gets as much out of them as I do. The more I get to know of her the more I feel connected to her…like she is my sister. I know that sounds silly but the friendship really does feel that deep to me. She and E have both agreed to meet (just to say hello) before E leaves – I want the two most influential people in my life to meet each other. It won’t be a session or anything – I just want them to meet since I talk about them to each other ALL the time. I am so thrilled they both agreed.

I will leave you with today’s actual meditation. If you want to know what some of the other days meditations were I would be happy to share them with you in the comments section 🙂

Love yourself enough to Relax

Our bodies react to the world around us – and within us – in many ways. Our bodies act like sponges – they can soak up healing energy or they can absorb and trap the negative energy of stress and tension. Some of us are so used to keeping our bodies tense and bound up we don’t even notice how much they hurt, how strained and tight our muscles are.

Connect with your body. Learn to tell how tense it is. Take a few moments throughout the day to see what hurts, what aches, what muscles are being strained. Although tension can affect the entire body, many of us have favorite places in our body to store stress, places that usually become tense, rigid, and full of aches. Necks, shoulders, lower backs are favorite traps. Become familiar with your body and where it stores stress and tension.

Then, learn to relax. Explore different options. Therapeutic massage. Self-hypnosis. Meditation. Soaking in a hot bath. Sitting in the steam room. Exercise. Visualization. Taking time to do activities that bring you pleasure. If you make the effort to explore relaxation techniques, you will find ways to relax that you like and can afford.

If you’ve been soaking up too much stress, give yourself a break. Let your body start soaking up some healing energy, too. Love yourself enough to help your body relax.

This is one I have actually been practicing today. Relaxing. Taking a hot shower. Watching TV. Painting. I used to have such an issue with allowing myself to take the time for myself. I used to feel lazy and guilty. I have been reading a book that J lent me called “View from a Sketchbook” and enjoying it a lot. There is something about how the way they describe the world around, the prairie, the things they see and witness. I dunno…it’s almost poetic.

I am feeling a little blocked on the creative front which is a little frustrating for me but I checked on my little sprouts this morning, curled up in my chair, watched some more Dexter and fully let myself take comfort in doing whatever it is I feel like. I am coming to the deeper realization that I’m not the same person anymore.

I left home as soon as I graduated high school because I never felt like I belonged, I never appreciated the quiet, I never appreciated any of it. Now that I am back…now that I feel like I am a person that is worth living…I don’t know…it is like I appreciate it all far more than I ever imagined. Coming back here was a leap of faith, one final stitch effort to find meaning in what felt like my entire meaningless existence. What I actually found was so much more…hope, family, faith, friendship. Things I don’t ever want to lose again.

I have so many to thank for that. So when I am crashing in the waves I remember that I am not alone. I have people who are there to help me back up and make sure that I never drown.

I leave you with a 4 leaf clover I am growing and my little sprouts (as I call them :))

4leafclover sprouts

(c) borderlinemusings 2013

how is it almost Monday already??

Seriously – where in the world does the time go??

So today I hunkered down and cleaned a SHIT ton today. I went out with MM only to go to the store to get new sponges, cleaning supplies and a few other things. She sweetly lent me her swiffer wetjet since I don’t own a mop! Have I mentioned I have some of the most amazing people in my life?? 🙂

I cleaned my bathroom from top to bottom, changed the cat litter, I cleaned my art nook, brought 3 bags of trash downstairs, started cleaning my spare room (which I turned into a walk-in closet) and did 3 loads of dishes!! I was super freakin’ productive….as gross as my place looked it felt GOOD to get this place cleaned up…J was right.

Since I spent most of Saturday hanging out with friends and having a good time – I forced myself to stay in today and get this shit done. The kitchen is clearly the room that needs the most attention and I have worked on it a little bit but I need to pace myself with that room. I need to pick up some magic erasers for the stove top but I think in the next few days that room is gonna be so sparkly and I can’t wait.

I am proud that I finally got into a head space where I feel like I can handle all this. It’s hard to describe when I get stressed or in a downward spiral why I don’t clean. Most people view it as me being a slob or lazy and that isn’t the case – when I am down cleaning is the last thing on my mind because I am constantly trying to keep my mind in a place where I don’t self destruct. Yes I am a messy person but in the times of stress and depression staying afloat is what I need to focus on and usually that means cleaning and eating usually are the least of my worries. I am hoping that with setting myself up with a schedule that even when I hit the downward spirals or work becomes overly stressful that I will still DO what needs to be done. I am a work in progress and I need to be okay with whatever small steps I take.

Tonight’s meditation (and I will admit one I struggle with lol):

Relax

Too often out of sheer habit we tighten up, tense up, and then approach life from that stance. When we have something to do, our automatic response may be to tense up – shoulders and neck strained, back bent and cramped, breathing shallow. But anything that needs to be done can be done better if we’re relaxed.

Learn to relax. Program your body, each part of it, to let go and be at ease. Allow yourself to come into your natural posture and alignment. Learn to relax until moving, acting, speaking, being all come naturally from the relaxed place.

Find activities that will help you do this. A hot bath. A steam bath. A massage. Sunning. Walking. Meditating. Teach yourself to become aware of how your body feels during these activities. Memorize that feeling. Practice relaxing until you can recall that memory and carry it throughout the day.

Periodically throughout the day, take a few moments to check your tension level. If you find any part of your body tense, take a few more moments to consciously relax that part. Visualize warmth and ease flooding any part of your body that has become tight or is in pain. Let the tension, the stress, the blocks drain out from top to bottom. Your body wants to relax. It wants to be comfortable. It wants to heal itself.

Empty your mind of tense thoughts, and let it follow your body into relaxation and calm. Allow your mind to become still. Quietly accept each thought, then release it. Breathe in comforting, healing energy. Breathe it into your mind, into each cell of your body. Breathe out stress, strain, discomfort, and fear. Don’t resist what you are feeling or thinking. Acecpt it, then release it. Just as water cannot pass naturally through a pinched hose, your vital life force cannot flow freely through you if you are cramped and tense.

Honor the life force that is in you, that flows through you. Honor it by relaxing, opening to it, and inviting it to surge through your body.

The techniques of relaxation will refresh, restore, and recharge you, so that you can do all you need to do with more power and vigor than before. Anything that needs to be done can be done better if you’re relaxed.

Taken from ‘Journey to the Heart’

Relaxing is something that I struggle with on a daily basis and now that M is out for who knows how long I seem to be struggling even more. I got pretty good for awhile being able to shut work off when I got home but lately I think “did I do that”, “shit did I send that email”, “FUCK I forgot to do that” and then I downward spiral into what a shitty job I am doing, that people shouldn’t trust me and that basically I am a waste of space.

I know those aren’t healthy thoughts, I know I do a GREAT job (even more since I have gotten the help that I need) and people respect me and the work I do – so I need to be able find ways to be able to relax, to be able to accept what is going on and then letting it go. This is a piece of DBT that I struggled a lot with: sitting with my feelings and accepting them and then letting them go. I spent my entire life RUNNING from my feelings, running from the emotions and closing myself off to things. Now here I am expected to acknowledge these feelings and emotions and then SIT with them? fuck no…I don’t want to feel them, I don’t want to acknowledge them…I just want them gone but since DBT I actually feel that as hard as it is, this has been one of the most rewarding. I have been able to let things go that I would have held on to for months, I have learned a lot about myself and I think it has been incredibly good for me to be able to find ways to do this.

Relaxation during times of work stress feels SO selfish – like the last thing I need to be doing is relaxing when there is so much shit that has to be done – but I have noticed when I take a few minutes, watch my breath and center myself a little bit I am way more effective and able to handle the surprises that usually pop up. I have to tell myself that relaxation isn’t selfish but that it is IMPORTANT to help me continue to be effective at my job, to help keep my sanity during the crazy times and teach me something that I can learn down the road. As much as I hated not only my first group but this second one as well I know that the skills work and that being borderline doesn’t define me but it IS a part of who I am – I can’t change that, I can’t go back…I need to learn from it, accept it and believe that who I am matters…borderline or not.

Feeling blessed

So this post is a day late but I was so tired when I got home that I didn’t have the time to post it. Can I just tell you how blessed and honored I feel? I have so many amazing people in my life…people who are there for me through thick and thin, people who love and support me.

One of my co-workers is getting ready to have a baby – well his wife is anyways – so a bunch of us took up a collection at work and then went over to S’s house to tie-dye onesies and drink beer and have pizza. It was so awesome and fun. Afterwards J and I went to a couple of local shops for shopping – neither of us bought anything lol – but she did show me this INCREDIBLE store where I can get prayer flags so I can’t wait to spend a LOT of money in there LOL.

After the shopping we went back to her place and just talked, created art, painted and it was just so…peaceful. I am so proud of J for so many reasons and I am so freakin’ lucky to have someone like her in my life. Someone who gets me, who understands the “crazy” who doesn’t judge me and loves me regardless. She is the older sister I always wanted/needed…she has shown me the REAL meaning of family.

Last nights meditation:

Give freely of what you’ve been given

Learning to not overcare, overgive, and overdo are the lessons of the past. We have learned them, learned them well. There was a time when we needed to monitor our giving because we were giving compulsively, almost addictively, with no thought to what felt right in our heart, with no understanding of loving ourselves. But that was yesterday.

This is now. We can trust ourselves to know when it’s time to stop or when our giving has become destructive. We can trust ourselves to know when it’s not our job to give, because now we are connected to ourselves, listening to ourselves, on track.

Give freely of your time, your heart, your joy, your wisdom. Share your experiences, your strength, your hope. Share your weaknesses as well as your strengths. Share your money, your gifts, your laughter. Share your hope. Share yourself.

Give freely of what you’ve been given, and the universe will provide you with exactly what you need. Give freely and the universe will give freely to you.

Taken from ‘Journey to the Heart’ 

This one was SO appropriate after last night. J and I had been talking about where I had been 2 years ago and where I am now – how I have opened up and given myself to others and brought the walls down. I am still learning, still growing and still changing for the better and I know that life is always changing.  I have learned how to ride the waves better, I have learned that I can open up and trust people and even though E is leaving to go elsewhere she is not abandoning me. E is going to help many many people who are in the same situation I am and I have had her in my life for the time that I needed her – letting go will be SO hard but I will be able to handle it.

I am making a list of things to do and adding them to my calendar so I can keep up on my cleaning. I spent so much of my childhood with a mother who would watch you as you cleaned to make sure you did it right that sometimes I feel like rebellion that I don’t want to clean, or when I am falling down the rabbit hole and I have no motivation to even eat let alone clean. But now that I am in the right frame of mind I am going to make sure that I add stuff to my calendar (if it is not there I will forget lol) to ensure that I can keep up on it. J gave me some honest and heartfelt words of advice, wisdom and critique and she is 100% right…and again she does it in this way without making me feel worse than I already do, without any judgments and just having it come from the heart.

Blessed to have the people in my life, to finally have my lens clear enough to know that people care about me and be able to say that I am worth caring about. I have not only allowed myself to give freely of others (I was always giving so much of myself) but now I am able to accept what the universe gives back to me. What an incredible feeling….and I never would have gotten to this point right now without the love of my work family (my real family if you ask me) J, MM, JS and M. They encourage me every single day, they are there for me, they push me and challenge me…I am a better person because of them.

 

communication? what is that?

So I left work early to go to what SHOULD have been my last group. I get there to find out that Dr F had a “miscommunication” with me and she didn’t think I was going to be able to make it today so she scheduled something else. Now explain to me how I am the ONLY member of this group? So I still have ONE “group” session left but everyone else has dropped out so I guess I am not seeing the point. E and I are going to have to talk about it tomorrow.

So we heard from M who let us know her primary care doc won’t let her back until “POSSIBLY” NEXT Tuesday. We were all hoping she was going to be back (at least half days) starting tomorrow. SIGH. I know this is what is best and I know MM, JS and I are able to handle it but still it sucks. I know M feels bad – I know she is so worried about her job, worried about not pulling her weight and when I had to have emergency surgery earlier this year and had to be out I worried about the SAME things so I totally get it. I wish there was something I could say to somehow make things easier on her, to make her understand that her job is safe.

Thankfully today was a lot quieter so I felt like I actually got to catch up on stuff – I FEAR for the rest of the week but what can ya do? You have to just roll with the punches, constantly tell each other how much we appreciate all the work we all do and how awesome we are and vent when we need to, cry if we must and just get the work done. This isn’t the first time we’ve been short staffed and I am sure it won’t be the last time – what I simply LOVE and ADORE that group of girls I work with. I certainly wouldn’t be on the crazy train without them. They brighten up my days, cheer me up during my breakdowns and make me feel like a better person.

I worked out this morning, it had been a few days, so it felt good to be back on my bike and burning calories – I will be back on it tomorrow morning as well. I never used to like working out (and to be honest I still don’t) but I DO like how I feel after I workout, shower and then go to work. It almost gears me up for the day and I enjoy it.

Tonight’s meditation:

Enjoy the Adventure

It was a cold night in Sedona, Arizona. An unexpected snowstorm had passed through the usually warm city, dumping several inches of snow in a short time. The electricity was off. The cabin I was staying in was freezing.

Great, I thought. I get to spend my last evening in Sedona fighting off hypothermia alone in the dark. I put on a heavy sweater, then wrapped myself in a blanket, trudged to a phone booth, and called a friend to complain.

“Change your perspective,” he said. “Pretend you’re four years old. Get your flashlight. Then make a tent in your bed out of all the pillows and blankets you can find. Enjoy the adventure!”

At first I balked, then decided to try this idea. I made the tent. Bundled up. My complaints quickly turned to memories of what it was like to be a child, to play with life, to play with all the experiences life brings. Soon I fell asleep.

When I awoke in the morning, the heat was back on. The lights had returned. The snow had stopped falling. Capped in a frosty layer of white, the breathtaking city of rust-iron mesas looked like a wonderland. I had learned another lesson, practical and simple.

Change your perspective and enjoy the adventure. Let the child in you come out and play.

Taken from ‘Journey from the Heart’

Well how fitting is this today?? Seriously.

Instead of being upset about group being cancelled again I get to be home, watching Ruby play with a battery. Purring and playing. I get to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and warmth sitting in my chair with the windows open. My initial reactions are ALWAYS emotional – I am working so hard at trying to curb it. Dr F wants me to still go to another one even though it would just be a one-on-one session and I think I need to talk with E about it. I have a therapist and the reason I agreed to do the “group” was to keep the skills in mind, to be around other people who have similar issues in the workplace and how they handle it – I’m not saying this was a complete waste of my time but in some ways it does FEEL like it. At this point I DO need to think of my work and the girls I work with – especially with no idea when M is going to be cleared to come back. I will probably end up giving my 4/26 day off back and that is okay – it’s a sacrifice that is needed and I can always take another day off down the road, this was just a random Friday off so I could have a 3 day weekend…not the end of the world. There is a lesson to be learned in every turn of the journey and I just have to remember that the journey doesn’t end, there may be roadblocks, there may be dips, hills and even a few cliffs but I can learn something each time I come across them and learn to continue on my path.

With this group I have learned to appreciate the other group I was in, what I got from it, what I took away from it, what it meant to have a little more structure and to be held accountable for my actions and to take my recovery seriously. It’s not always easy to SEE this right away – took me some time…but I am there. Instead of taking the highway home I went the back way, blaring my Grace Potter & the Nocturnals music, my windows down and breathing in the fresh air – I wouldn’t have done that after group. It was a mini adventure.

Today I learned I am allergic to medical tape (Ruby cut the bejesus out of my arm and so I cleaned it up and used tape to hold down the sterile pad on it. It was hilarious my entire arm was white and itchy – you could see the outline of the tape imprinted on my arm LOL…kinda funny.

fears, tears and anxiety galore…

Today was complete and total shit…it didn’t start out that way but it sure as hell ended like it. I had my weekly session with E today. Things were going okay up until the point where we started talking about how she is leaving and I will need to transition to a new therapist. This other therapist, M, is one I know from group but I also know that she puts a lot of restrictions on patients that she takes – I asked E “If I go to M will she MAKE me do group again” she said she didn’t know but that it was her recommendation that I do the 40 week DBT group again. I told her I hadn’t made up my mind about group again, that I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it – she kept pushing me and pushing me. I finally asked her a question that I did NOT want the answer too:

Me: If you weren’t leaving and recommended I do group and I chose not to do it, would you drop me as a client.

E: Yes.

That was it. The wall was up, I couldn’t hold back the tears any more. I have worked SO hard to take charge of my life, take my recovery into my own hands and yet I don’t feel any of the choices have TRULY been mine. I did the first group because E wanted me to, I did the newest group because E told me it was for the best and all the while I have been feeling like my voice isn’t being heard; that what *I* want or think doesn’t matter.

When I got back from the session from hell all I wanted was to collapse and cry and have someone tell me that I mattered, that how I wanted to live my life and how I chose to approach MY recovery they supported. I don’t know if I will do the group again, I don’t know if I will continue therapy when E leaves but I do know that I want the decisions to be MINE, I want to feel that I weigh all the pros and cons, I want to feel that I thought it out completely, I want to feel that I CHOSE my path – I don’t want to feel that I did it for someone else. I don’t want to feel that I am letting others (including myself down) by compromising again.

I wish I knew how to feel in moments like these, I wish there was a magic button or cure to make the tears stop, to make the shit slow down…but there isn’t I just have to ride the fucking wave until it passes….

Today’s meditation/reflection

Discover New Beliefs

The drive from Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon in Utah was a short one. I had traveled the same route several times. At a certain pass, no matter how sunny the day and cloudless the sky, it was raining there every time. Although it was hard to see, a small dark cloud seemed to hang over this one particular place, this one area of the road, all the time.

It may be like that in a particular area in our lives. A certain belief seems almost stuck to us, stuck to one area of our lives, and no matter how sunny the rest of the drive is, it’s raining there all the time. What cloud is hanging over you? Could it be one you’re helping to create?

Some beliefs – my choices are wrong, I made bad decisions, I’m wrong – can create a dark heaviness that hangs over us like a cloud. Those beliefs may be so subtle we don’t notice them. What we do notice is the lingering pain or anxiety, a cloud that seems to follow us around. What we don’t see is that we’re helping create and maintain our own could with these beliefs.

The lesson may no be to make better decisions or be a better person. The lesson may be much simpler: change your beliefs. Make some new decisions. Let yourself discover some new, better, sunnier beliefs about yourself and your life. All yourself to believe that the decisions you make are fine.

Who you are is okay. You always have been.

from ‘Journey to the Heart’ by Melody Beattie

My Reflection:

This is me flipping off this fucking meditation. Maybe it was fate I read it but honestly I am too tired from crying, too tired from this day, week, month to fight the honesty in this reading. My entire life feels like a black cloud – why can’t the path of my recovery be as beautiful as the yellow brick road? why is it that the wicked witch lives in my own head, that I feel like I am lost in the forest far more then skipping through the poppy patch? I just want to feel happiness. I want to feel the sun upon my face, I don’t want to feel like I am drowning in the dark heaviness. Why is it so hard for me? why?

Nightly meditation and reflection

Make each moment count

“A picture isn’t taken in a moment,” stated the brochure for the Cottonwood, Colorado, hotel. “It’s taken of a moment.”

It took me a ling time to learn that important truth. I spent years trying to get my life together and keep it together, as though it were a solid chunk that could be arranged in a certain place, then made to stay there. It took me a long time to learn about the moments.

In many ways, our lives are like a movie reel, made up of individual frames and single moments each one leading into the next. It is a waste of energy to try and hold on to the moments of the past. By the time we begin reaching for them, they’re gone. It is just as poor timing to try to jump into moments that have no arrived yet – the future.

Stay in the present moment, the frame you’re in now. That’s the only moment where happiness, joy, and love can be found. And remember to make each moment count.

Taken from ‘Journey to the Heart‘ by Melody Beattie

So I am not sure I could have needed to read anything more today.

I was overly sensitive all day, snapped at J via email and was just overall not in a good place. I guess I am feeling pretty sensitive about group right now, not just the current group I am in (which has a severe lack of communication) but also the possibility of doing another group, far more sensitive then I thought I was and instead of dealing with it correctly I took it out on one of the people that I love, adore and appreciate more than anything. This part of the meditation [I spent years trying to get my life together and keep it together, as though it were a solid chunk that could be arranged in a certain place, then made to stay there] sums up so much about how I feel about my recovery.

I was angry about group and J told me that I needed to see the bigger picture – that it ” is what it is” and I can’t get caught up in the negative and she was right I don’t have my lens big enough or clear enough to see the full picture – I am TRYING so hard to get a place where I can more fluidly find myself able to see a bigger picture, where I don’t get lost in the negative thoughts. I am just not there yet and that frustrates me.  I am proud of the steps I have made, I called E, she helped me with my skills and I’m thinking about how I plan to address it with the leader of the group once we meet again. E thinks it will the PERFECT chance to use my interpersonal skills and to be honest she is right but I am scared shitless. There are so many aspects to my recovery that I am struggling with – that scare me, that worry me just as there are aspects that bring me joy, freedom, happiness. There are times where I feel like I am in this limbo…when what I need to be doing is experiencing the moments for what they are and treasure them. As far as I have come on this path I still have a long way to go I am bound to slip and fall, where I am bound to find myself caught up in the negative and that is the part I am having a hard time accepting. I want so desperately to not feel controlled by my borderline tendencies but on days like today it still feels like it controls every aspect of my being.

I envy people who seem to have it all and who seem to be handle any situation – I know that nobody has it 100 percent together and that things are never as black and white as they seem yet I can’t stop my brain from thinking it. Does anyone else struggle with this? I just want so badly to be able to get through ONE day without the insecurities, without the fear and without the anxiety of life.

finding the balance

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.

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tackle that anxiety…

I think for some it is hard to understand when people say they have ‘social anxiety’. For me, it is that I have this intense fear of being around people and looking like an idiot, saying the wrong things, not being pretty enough, nice enough, etc and it manifests itself into this panic induced state when faced with the task of going to hang out in a social setting. I almost always get a headache, I get this pit in my stomach and I instantly want to run and hide. Sometimes I will avoid going out and sometimes the panic and anxiety literally makes me so sick to my stomach that I can’t go out. It’s hard for those around me that have known me for a long time to think that I suffer from any type of social anxiety because once I settle and the panic falls away I can usually loosen up a bit to be a little more relaxed.

Part of my issues when it comes to social situations is that I typically think alcohol is going to make me more attractive to people, funnier, more relaxed, more fun and even though I FEEL like it does that and even though in college a lot of people seemed to  like me a lot more when I was drunk the reality is that self medicating with alcohol, for me, is dangerous and I do stupid things. When you are almost 30 alcohol is a typical part of going out and when in a downward spiral I don’t care how many I have, I don’t care if I drink and drive (which is beyond fucking stupid) and I don’t care if I die. I have to learn to regulate and set limits for myself but I can’t always seem to do that. When drinking I become more relaxed, I loosen up, I find people tend to talk to me more, laugh at my jokes and feel comfortable with it – it’s almost as if people like me more and so I keep doing it hopes that people will like me without actually knowing the REAL me.

My therapist wants me to expand and challenge myself (don’t they all? lol) and make friends outside the small circle of people I have really learned to lean on and trust since moving back home and beginning the daunting task of therapy. My co-workers have been the biggest source of inspiration and importance to me since starting on this journey but it is becoming more and more obvious that I rely on them too much and that because I feel comfortable with them and they know about my diagnosis and what I struggle with daily it makes me feel safe and protected from judgement. It’s hard to think about expanding my social horizons when I feel so content with the ones I have – but I also know that isn’t fair to those around me.

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