rough session…rough day

MB and I had out weekly session today and for some reason it was a rough one. I think the more we dig the more shit we dig up the the harder it is to face. I am working so hard every single day and sometimes it feels like I have made zero progress – it’s so frustrating.

I have spent the past 23+ years angry and hating myself because of what OTHER people put into my head. Now the only problem is that it is now programmed into my head and I can’t seem to turn it off. It plays over and over and the voices are just there constantly feeding into every single ounce of self doubt that I have and no matter how hard I try and combat them I can’t seem to win. I fight and I fight and I fight and I never win.

I told MB today that the never ending cycle of trying to better myself feels like I am a hamster on a wheel. I spin and I spin and I never get anywhere. I’ve done diets upon diets…I’ve done it healthy, I’ve done it not healthy, I’ve done pills and I’ve done gyms and she said “well then what do you think you should do” and I said “get off the fucking wheel.” I was surprised at how quickly I responded to that. I told her I never thought of doing nothing..my life has always felt as though there were limits put on it when it came to my weight and eating. The idea of continuing with cooking, working out on my bike but not putting that pressure on myself to have it “change my life” I dunno…it hit me hard.

MB loves to timeline things out – this is both good and bad for me. Good because I have to face a lot of fucking facts that frankly I wouldn’t be nearly as fucked up as I am right now and bad for the same reasons lol. I can’t blame my mom for it all though – I have to be partially responsible. I could have spoken up sooner, I knew it was wrong to cut, i knew thinking about killing myself was wrong but I never had someone I could reach out to. I have that now and I have people in my life who don’t give a shit about what I weigh, what I look like or what I wear. I have people in my life that just love me for who I am: flaws and all. I can’t even love all the flaws yet and somehow they do. That kind of a gift? that is something that you can’t repay.

Before I leave my sessions MB always asks the same question “can you stay safe until I see you next” and USUALLY I’m pretty quick to say ‘YES’ but today, today she knew I wasn’t myself. I paused for a few seconds and said (not looking at her) “I’m fine” and since MB knows me back from when I was seeing E and doing DBT group she knows “I’m fine” is not really fine. We talked about finding out some health news about my mom and what feelings that brought up for me and the fact that I have my stress test on Friday and she knows how I am struggling with the decision I will eventually be faced with: having an ultrasound to determine my heart valve size or not having it. I thought a LOT of my uncle K today. He was just on my mind. He died so young and I wonder what HE would have done. I miss him so much.

So to avoid all these feelings I came home and ate some dinner – I wasn’t in a real cooking mood so I had just picked up some chicken from the grocery store already cooked. I had an urge to cook a little while ago and so I decided to make little mini apple pies (using a pumpkin pie mold I got from Crate and Barrel) and they actually turned out pretty yummy!!

Before Cooking

IMG_4698

After Cooking

IMG_4699

I think I will have to make these again.

For now I am going to relax and head off to bed. Goodnight all.

learning to find my balance…

So after several consecutive days on the bike I took today off…my knees were starting to bother me and I know I need to listen when my body is telling me I am pushing myself too hard. I burn approx 630+ calories every time I get on the bike and I don’t eat all that much (not on purpose I just find that I never have the time lol) and so I am hoping this new found outlet brings me mental clarity and the chance to shed some MUCH needed pounds.

MB (my therapist) and I have been dealing with my body image issues. This is a topic that I am struggling with on many levels. I’m not doing any of the DBT skills work in my therapy with MB so I am trying to keep those skills in the forefront as I deal with some of these issues that are deeply rooted.

Lately I find myself finding it harder and harder to hide the stuff I have going on from coming out in destructive ways. I have gotten so good at being able to let things go, to be able to table my personal issues and keep it out of work but lately it’s becoming so hard. I find myself getting defensive for no reason, angry and upset at the little things and more and more my mind is going to self harm first and I am not able to focus on anything else. I even contemplated calling a suicide hotline the other day because I was so down. I ended up crying myself to sleep but the idea of a suicide hotline used to scare me…this time is sounded like a comfort. I don’t want to die and yet it’s sometimes the ONLY thing I can think about.

I am usually able to handle the stresses of my job (mostly) with ease but lately I feel like nothing I do is right, nothing I say is right and regardless of how hard I work and how hard I push myself it doesn’t matter. The problem is ME. I think these things and people can tell me over and over again the truth but my mind can’t focus on anything but the negative and false reality it seems to have cultivated. It’s like my brain is stuck in this fucked up loop of bullshit and no matter how much I try and reign myself back to reality I can’t get off the ride. I am taking some time off coming up – I need to be able to regroup and let myself decompress from the everyday crap that I can usually shrug off but as of late am only able to obsessively focus on.

I wish it was easier for me to be able to ride out the bad waves. Sometimes I can do it with ease but the past week or so it has felt like I am drowning in this wave. I come up for air and get sucked back down. It’s exhausting to fight the wave. I know I can’t falter, I can’t fall back into my old patterns and yet I can feel myself doing it. I committed myself to getting through this, for trying to live with borderline.

During my session with MB I confessed to her that I had tried to reach out to E but her email was no longer valid. She said “I am so glad you brought that up – she and I were emailing back and forth and she wanted me to share something with you”. A part of me was scared to hear what MB was going to say next or maybe I had just convinced myself that E left and didn’t give a shit about me or my quest for wellness. What MB said next brought happy tears to my eyes. She said that E got the job she had wanted and that she felt terrible but that for some reason she was never able to access her email when she left. She said she would be in contact with me when her new work email was up and running. As happy as I was…I felt like a complete and total asshole. I doubted one of the only people in my life who ever really cared and took an interest in helping me get better. She didn’t forget me…MB said she clearly thinks about me and that bond means something. How could I so quickly dismiss it? how could I think she would abandon me?

How do you guys handle the harder times? What things are you able to do to help you from self destructing?

On a lot of days my borderline just seems like another little piece of who I am and on other days it feels like that is the ONLY thing I am. That kind of back and forth to my emotional mind can be extraordinary difficult to manage and on the days where I can’t seem to focus on anything except the negative it can be so scary. Sometimes I worry I will cut again, sometimes I worry that the urges to drive my car into a lamp post will be so intense that I won’t be able to find a way to save myself. I know it probably sounds dramatic and over the top – sometimes I can’t find a middle ground…like I only have 2 ways to think. High or Low. No middle or common ground.

I need to find that balance. I need to believe that I have it deep inside me. Some days that is easier to believe than others – I just have to keep cleaning my lens and focusing on the things that matter, the important things in my life. I HAVE things to live for, I have people I care about and people who care about me…the ability to get through it is in me, I just have to dig a little deeper to find it.

Happy Friday everyone and thanks for listening!

 

like Alice…down the rabbit hole I go

I knew it was coming – I knew it and I could feel it but that didn’t stop it from happening. I crashed and I crashed hard. Poor E had to help me breathe through my mini panic attack, help me through the wave. I couldn’t do it myself, I tried the skills, I tried to do it but I needed the extra help to get through it.

I know deep down that being able to ask for that help is a HUGE step (especially for me) but there is a small part of me that feels like a complete failure. I was feeling pretty good and confident with myself as of late and that should have been my first sign that I was going to eat dirt hard. The times where I feel like I am making progress and where I allow myself to CELEBRATE that are usually the times where my crash isn’t too far behind.

I really wanted to be able to handle it on my own – it really frustrated me that I wasn’t able to. I am trying not to let myself be dragged further down and I think I am doing okay with it but I am struggling. I have to call E tomorrow and even though I tried to clean mindfully, tried distress tolerance and now I am trying self-soothe…I just can’t get my brain to slow down enough to process it all with a wise mind.

SIGH. Anyways on to tonight’s meditation:

You’ll see the answer

The answer you are looking for may be right before your eyes.

Have you asked the question? Have you put it out to God, the universe, yourself, and the world?

What do I need to do now? What do I need to do next? Where and why am I stuck? What am I not seeing? What’s the answer? I need a clue.

Often, asking the question means the answer is trying to find you. Follow your heart, and then open your eyes. You’ll see it.

The answer may be right in front of you.

Taken from ‘Journey to the Heart’

As much as I would like to think that this meditation is helpful – I am just not sure how much it is for me today. I could FEEL myself spiral today, I called E, I reached out…I knew I couldn’t stop it on my own…how MESSED up is that? The skills weren’t working, deep breathing, focusing on what works, trying to use my non-judgmental stance…sometimes the answers aren’t always right in front of you – or what do I know maybe they are and my lens is to clouded to see it.

How badly do I wish all the answers really could be right in front of me? How badly do I wish I could be “cured” of being borderline most days? Some days I am okay with it – if I wasn’t borderline maybe I wouldn’t be where I am today and on most days I am content and okay with where I am (working my way towards happiness) and if I didn’t suffer from a mental illness maybe I never would have met my true family…and I don’t want to picture my life without them. They have MADE me a better person.

I did some chores for the day and I am gonna make some dinner soon – all I ate was a cookie whoppie pie (eating those are another form of self destruction for me since all that sugar usually makes me nauseous) and I worked out this morning so I need to put some actual substance in my body. I AM proud that I knew I needed to call E – that was a big step for me, calling and asking for help. I think I am getting better about that. I think I am learning what I can handle and what I can’t. Breaking down isn’t an option right now and neither are days off – so I need to use my skills and tools and reach out and ask for help when I need it.

Maybe the answer today was to call E…maybe that was what I needed to be able to get through it without self destructing…and if that is the case…what the hell am I going to do when she leaves?

 

and the beat goes on

First I just want to say that my heart goes out to all those in Boston affected by this terrible travesty. I have friends in Boston that are thankfully home safe and sound – prayers and thoughts going out to everyone down there. I have been sitting here for 30 minutes trying to type something and it just feels SO selfish to post about myself right now.

Tonight’s meditation:

Imagine what you want

What do you want? What do you want to create in your life? What situation do you want to live in? Describe the scenario. Imagine it. We can often have what we want, but we rarely take the time to imagine it. And imagination is the first step toward creativity.

What do you want? What would it look like, feel like? Is what you’re working so hard on what you really want? That relationship? That job? That home? If it is, go for it. If it’s not, imagine and create something different.

Begin with imagination. Imagine what you really want in your mind, and you’ve taken the first step toward creating it. If you don’t know what you want, that’s okay too. Ask the universe for help. Ask God and the universe to bring you your highest good.

Ask the universe to help you create exactly what you want and need. Trust the universe, and you will be trusting an honorable and benevolent friend.

Taken from ‘Journey to the Heart’

This was a tough day for me. I knew what I needed to do, I knew that it was the RIGHT thing to do but I still worried and worried that I would chicken out.

At first we slipped right into “group” without much word…and I cursed myself thinking I had missed my chance but I didn’t. Yet again I was the only one to show up – for the LAST group – sigh.

I spoke up – I expressed to her my frustrations, my perceptions, my issues with the group but also ways I thought she could make it better in the future.

I told her I was frustrated that it felt like people weren’t taking it seriously – that the lack of structure was what I thought I wanted but in the end something I have learned that I need. I need to be held accountable, I need to feel like people are as invested in it as I am. I also expressed to her that my DBT group and this “mindfulness group” were very different and that just because the skills were still taught doesn’t mean it was the same program and I acknowledge that a lot of my issues stemmed from that. I told her I thought it was important not to miss 5 groups in a row, that my other group had 2 leaders for that purpose (vacations, family emergencies, etc) and so that those of us who really need to work on our interpersonal skills don’t feel left in the lurch so to speak.

It felt GOOD.

She heard me out – she listened and expressed that yes the groups are different, she was glad that I didn’t allow my annoyance and frustration to stop me from going – that I continued to put my recovery first. She told me she wanted the group to not feel like a strict DBT group, more real and more laid back – she felt that the other group I was in (she had a little knowledge about it) almost isolates people and doesn’t allow them to  have times where the skills need to be put to use in the moment. That by not having group (although not intentionally) it gave me the chance to work on my skills to work through it.

She made some good points and in the end I think I was heard enough and that was good enough for me.

It took a LOT out of me today though – it was a BIG step for me…huge actually and as great as I feel about speaking up and feeling like I was heard and that I expressed myself in a direct way without being too aggressive. I just feel emotionally drained.

I came home – I did dishes, made dinner, did more dishes, brought more trash downstairs, cleaned my stove, got lunch ready for tomorrow…and put away all the now clean dishes. It feels productive and even though all I wanted to do was not eat or clean when I got home I forced myself to do it and I am glad I did. Ruby was being so good I even gave her some wet food tonight lol – she is currently asleep on my coffee table 🙂 I think she is loving the clean apartment too 🙂

Goodnight all.

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 at peace…

2 posts in one day?? woohoo look at me go 🙂

I actually had an incredibly relaxing day. I missed the chance to go hang out with J, her sister A who happens to be in town and some friends but it was all good. I was hanging out with MM and doing errands. I love my friends and the people in my life.

I have done painting and relaxing all day. It has been quite amazing. I think if I went back to my DBT skills it would be considered “self soothe” lol but whatever it is, it is exactly what I have needed after the week from hell. I am working hard at listening to my body – am I hungry? do I need to stop fussing with my painting? I curled up in this amazingly comfy chair J gave me when I moved into my apartment and watched the sunset out my window. Ruby is curled up on my legs and I feel at peace for the first time in a long time.

I have been watching Six Feet Under and been totally and 100% in love with it. I love the characters and I love how easy and naturally it is to relate to the characters. Brenda is a borderline – it was a shock for me when I first got into the show but it was nice to see a “borderline” being portrayed in a TV show. She is a little more adventurous then I am but I see it and I get it.

phase 2 of my art:

phase2

Tonight’s meditation:

Be present for Yourself

Learn to be present for yourself, fully present in a way that’s new and delightful. Be present for your thoughts and emotions. Be present for the gentle way in which your heart and body lead you on. Learn to be fully present for each step of your growth, each step of your journey.

Value yourself, who you are, what you think and feel, and how you grow. For many years you neglected yourself. It was as though you were unconscious of who you were, how you felt, what you believed. You believed that kept you safe, protected you from feelings you didn’t want to feel. You believed it was how you should live. Now you are learning another way. Survival is no longer enough. It does not meet the needs of your heart and your soul. Now you want to live fully and joyfully. To do that, you must be present for yourself.

Be fully present for others, too. Be present for their spirits, their emotions, the words they have to say to you, but especially be present for their hearts. You no longer have to fear losing or neglecting yourself if you are present for others. You can do this safely now. You will not be consumed by their needs; you will not become trapped in the workings of their lives. And if you’re present for yourself, you’ll know how much presence to give to others.

Be present for life – for the starlit skies and the chirping birds that sing to the morning sun. Be present for the earth and grass under your feet, for the feel of a snowflake in your hand. Be present for all the magic and mysteries of the universe.

But most of all, be present for yourself. Then your presence for others and life will naturally follow.

Taken from ‘Journey to Heart’ by Melody Beattie

Wow did I enjoy this one.

I have been fully present with myself all day – aware of my thoughts, my feelings, my creative energy. Taking the time to relax when needed, taking the time to paint when I feel it. It’s odd for me I guess to listen to myself and be SO aware, SO in tune. Watching the my tv, curled up with my” pre-sleep” pillow and feeling whatever comes: happiness, sadness, anger, frustration. I am learning to let them go. I’m onto season 5 of Six Feet Under and watching George destruct after the ECTs is hard, sometimes I feel like him – the outburst, the “baby moments”, the uncontrollable feelings that life sucks. What’s so great about this show is how relatable the characters are – at times I see myself in Brenda or Claire or even Ruth and Sarah – it’s real and honest and gritty and it’s nice to know you aren’t alone. I think this meditation says it best – that in order to be present for others you also need to be present for yourself. I’m not saying it is an easy task – I mean that would be a flat out lie – but I’ve noticed it has gotten easier for me these days.

It’s an odd experience for me to be sitting down, fully in the moment and smile because I feel so at peace. These are the moments I need to savor and remember.