If we were having coffee….

If we were having coffee you’d walk into Starbucks to meet me where I’ve been sitting and reading all morning. This specific location is one of my safe places, and I needed time away from cranky children “doing” their chores 😒

If we were having coffee I would tell you about the time I was waiting to use the restroom at this location for 15 mintues while a couple was having sex in there. And they thought they were being sly lol! We would laugh and chat in the comfy chairs in the corner and appreciate the sunny day.

If we were having coffee we would immediately regret the choice of iced coffee. It was warm at the register, but this corner is cold. So scoot closer and keep me warm while I tell you my favorite part of the week.

If we were having coffee I would share that I got to see an old employee of mine flourish in her new position. A much deserved promotion came with some difficulties and she faced them head on with understand and flexibility, and I could not be more proud! I also had the opportunity to give more leadership responsibilities to another employee due to some challenges I need to work on elsewhere. I’m leaning on him a lot and he has really stepped up. I truly feel blessed with how amazing my team is.

If we were having coffee I would warn you that the week has been very difficult and my future posts likely won’t be as cheery. But coffee breaks are for focusing on the good. So what was the best part of your week? Please share in the comments so I can celebrate your joy with you!

What a wonderful reminder

Someday’s I look at the world and see only hatred and violence. I fear for my future and for the future of my kids.

Someday’s I am too depressed to look at the world and I see only the turmoil inside. I sit and wonder, am I what’s wrong with the world? Am I ruining my children’s future?

And someday’s I snuggle up with my kids, pull up YouTube to introduce them to an all time favorite musician of mine, and then hear exactly what I needed to hear. Maybe you need to hear it too?

Need your advice

Hey y’all! Looking for some input, thought maybe you could help. I can’t go into a lot of detail as it is about work, but hopefully I can explain this decently.

I am working towards a slight shift in my career. To do this requires a certificate that I am studying for and some more well rounded experience. I have been working to move into a certain type of role in my company to further gain this experience and a few months back had an opportunity to get one. The hiring manager loved me and tried to make an offer but it got stopped in the system due to a technicality. I was absolutely heartbroken.

Earlier this week a similar position opened and my boss encouraged me to look into it. It does not have the same technicality in my way but might have a different one. My husband says I should go for it anyway. He thinks that since my boss recommended it that he would be able to help get my past the issue. I don’t think my boss has enough involvement in this case to make a difference though.

Here’s the biggest issue. I understand loosing out on a job because someone else is more qualified, or interviewed better, or is a better fit. But when I lost that one on a technicality I was devastated and wouldn’t leave my room for days. My BPD told me that I would never get ahead and should give up. I don’t know that I can face that kind of heartbreak again.

My husband thinks I have a much better shot at this one, and my boss thinks I can get it to. But I’m not so sure and fear is telling me to give up before I get hurt. What do you think?

And this is my brain on cold medicine

So I caught a cold, and it sucks, and I’m totally out of it. Of course it is the busy season at work and my team is short staffed so I’m trying to “power through” with a mix of emergen-c, cold medicine, and nail polish. Okay, well the nail polish doesn’t make me feel better, but it makes me feel prettier, so that counts right?

I’m up well past bed time, cause this is my favorite time of day (when the world is asleep and I get to feel alone instead of like an outsider) but I really should get to sleep. Instead I’m watching YouTube, and painting my nails, and feeling weird.

Send me links to funny YouTube videos to make me feel better and I’ll be your friend forever! Here are 2 of my favorites today, maybe they’ll cheer you up too.

PS: If you have a cat and ever find yourself watching funny cat video’s, put it up on the big tv screen. It’s even more fun when I get to see my cat try to get the kitty’s in the tv.

If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee, we’d be sitting on my couch drinking gas station mochas and painting our nails (yes even the guys, it’s fun, I promise, just ask my husband on a silly day 💅🏻😜). We’d be watching out the window on this lovely sunny day and chatting about our week.

If we were having coffee I’d share with you how fortunate I feel today. It was a really rough week, but I woke up this morning to my amazing husband holding my favorite gas station mocha and was instantly overwhelmed by how much I love him and how loved I feel. I looked out the window to sunshine and wished I could invite all of Florida over to the safety of my little home, and snuggle them while the wait out the terrible storm. Both the storm of the hurricane and the storm of the fear and emotions that must be wrecking their mind.

If we were having coffee we would paint our nails totally crazy, colorful designs like we did as children, and laugh at how ridiculous it looks. But don’t worry, I have a peel off base coat. Your nails are safe with me. As we giggle together I would tell you how thankful I am for you. I am in the middle of my “my personal truth” series and have seen nothing but support. It is very hard for me to open up and you all have made it easier (and if you are new here and don’t know what I’m talking about, start here My personal truth – blogging)

If we were having coffee I would ask how your week was and what makes you feel grateful even during the tough times. Feel free to leave a comment with just that. Let’s share our hope with each other and make today a brighter place.

My personal truth – Agoraphobia 

I always thought agoraphobia was basically defined as never leaving the house, I didn’t really know what it was. Finally I hit a point where I realized it wasn’t just depression keeping me from going out more frequently, and I needed to find out what was going on.

The Mayo Clinic defines agoraphobia as “Fear of places and situations that might cause panic, helplessness, or embarrassment”. Everyone has a fear of embarrassment to some degree I’m sure, but this is like an extreme. I’m completely panicked that I’ll panic and make a fool of myself. That I’ll have no where to run and hide. That someone will see me and destroy my life, my hopes, my dreams, because suddenly they caught a glimpse of my crazy.

My first big panic attack was at youth group as a teenager and I remember “hiding” behind a chair. I don’t recommend that, it doesn’t work. Later as an adult when my BPD really started to show more I began to fear this type of panic attack and where I may have another. What if I can’t escape? What if there is no where to hide? What if my boss finds out and I loose my job? What if they call the police and my children are taken away? (You can see how quickly that escalates in my brain)

I’m fully capable of going places I need to go, but I have techniques to make it possible. I have a hiding place at work where I can panic if I need to, and meditate to bring me back. I have a specific row I park in at the stores I frequent, and have memorized the quickest routes to the exits and to the restroom for quick hiding or escape. If I’ve been stable for a while I can go nearly anywhere as long as I’m with my family, or someone I trust. 

So I’m still a fully functional person out in the world, usually. But it takes a lot more effort, a lot more practice and ritual. And it also requires my feeling strong enough, which sometimes I don’t. There are rare occasions I call in sick because I’m too panicked to leave the house. There are times I’m too panicked to reach out even on Twitter or text for human interaction, days that I sit on my bed near panic for a full day. This week has been difficult as I find myself hiding at work more, keeping quiet, avoiding social media, and not going anywhere extra. Fortunately(?) I get migraines, so when I get like this my employees assume my head hurts and don’t question it. 

My hope is to build more rituals that can open up more places for me, but for now I will be happy with the interaction I can force. I haven’t yet given up on being part of the world, so hopefully the world hasn’t yet given up on me.

Mixed signals 

You told me to keep my head down, then made me a leader. You said that trying did nothing but close doors then asked me to try again. If I ask and you say no, why would you set me up to ask again? Am I being set up for faluire? Am I just too stupid to understand what is happening? Is it all in my mind?

You lecture me for an hour on everything I’ve done wrong, and then ask why I’m crying. Am I emotional because of you or because of my disorder? Should I give up like you told me to? Or try again as you asked? Why do you give me mixed signals and get upset that I’m confused and ask questions? 

You push and push and push and yet wonder why I’m stressed. You tell me I have something to offer but say I need to remain quiet. You tell me to stay low but that I shouldn’t hide. I can’t do both, I can’t meet these demands. I don’t know how much is you and how much is my disorder, all I know is it’s getting to be too much.

My personal truth – OCD

I actually really like my obsessive compulsive disorder (crazy I know!). While my other disorders cause me to hate aspects of myself, my OCD gives me a sense of control. Logically speaking, the “control” I feel is from the compulsions that I need in order to control the obsessions. So one may argue that if I didn’t have OCD I wouldn’t need to feel this control. But I prefer not to use that kind of logic personally.

The truth is, my obsessions are these crazy anxiety cycles in my brain. I would have some form of these cycles anyway from my BPD, so I may as well feel some control over them. And on a totally separate note, has anyone else noticed the amount of acronyms in my type of crazy? I kind of just want to start saying that I suffer from acronyms, then people would have a totally new reason to look at me like I’m crazy, because I am crazy, because I have acronyms, so there!

Anyhoo, I should probably get back on topic and try to explain how I personally experience my OCD. For me it is all about balance. When I started kindergarten I remember a deep sense of anxiety about the school bus, more specifically about the balance of the school bus. I was certain that if too many kids sat on one side of the bus it would become unbalanced and tip over. This fear lasted me until High School, and then only stopped because I walked to school rather than taking the bus. I knew it wasn’t logical, I know no one else feared this, but still the fear never left.

My brain right now sees life as that school bus. Everything can become so easily unbalanced. And when it does, something terrible will happen. In some circumstances my brain does a snowball effect and I “predict” what terrible thing it will be, but more often I have no idea. The anxiety center of my brain just hits the panic button and says that things are unbalanced and MUST be fixed before it is too late.

Because of this, my compulsions revolve around balance. For example, anything that has a number scheme follows the numbers 0, 3, 5, 7, 10,…. that’s right, not even numbers like you expected. Our math system is 10 based (unless you are working in binary, but my car speakers are not in binary, sorry). The half way point of 10 is 5, so 5 is my balance point. Now put the numbers on a see-saw with 5 in the middle. You need to find the middle on each end to keep it balance, but most things don’t use decimals so 2.5/7.5 won’t work. Your options are 2/8 or 3/7. I like the number 3 better than 2, and being closer to 5 looked prettier on my imaginary see-saw, so my numbers follow that pattern. Following me? No? Yeah, neither does my husband which is why he looked at me like I was crazy when I had a panic attack once because he turned the radio to volume 14. I cringe just typing that sentence.

Some of my compulsions are invisible to others, such as my need to chew my food equally on each side of my mouth. Something you would only notice if I randomly offered you an individual smarty, the candy, you’ve had those yeah? In case you didn’t know, smarties come 15 to a roll and are near impossible to break exactly in half. So while they are an incredibly beautiful, perfectly balanced line to admire visually, they just can’t be eaten in a balanced way. So I either have to eat 2 rolls, or get rid of the 15th Smarty.

Some things are more visible, but most people don’t pay attention. For example my random short or long steps across a crosswalk so my feet have exact equal exposure to the white lines. I think the most annoying for me is accidentally brushing up against a wall or a piece of furniture while walking, it throws my whole body out of balance. So I have to find a way to brush my other side against an identical surface with the same amount of pressure. And if not done properly I will keep doing so on each side until they finally balance, which can be redundant, and weird.

My OCD is really only visible to others when my anxiety hits hard. When that happens I have to expand beyond my personal balance to the balance of everything around me. I will rearrange everything in the break-room to be more equidistant, or change entire excel templates at work because the layout was too heavy on one side.

In general, my OCD is mild and at times amusing. It can make walking a bit unusual, and give me panic attacks. But more often than not it just makes me feel more in control of the unknown consequences I so fear. So I’ll continue to appreciate it, and continue balancing everything on my imaginary see-saw so the bus won’t tip.

If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee we’d be sitting at Starbucks and I’d be drinking an iced caramel macchiato with an extra shot of espresso. It’s a warm day and something iced and refreshing (and highly caffeinated) sounds amazing. We would sit and people watch, this location has a nice mix of joggers needing a pick me up and college students studying. I love seeing the dedication of both groups, their hard work is inspiring. 

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that my husband has been sick all week and how it breaks my heart to see him like this. I usually like to hide at home on the weekends, but some fresh air sounds nice today after a packed week of taking care of kids and hubby. I don’t always realize how much I rely on him, but this week it has been painfully obvious. Not that I’m complaining, I’d rather have the extra stress than the nasty bug that he’s got.

If we were having coffee we’d walk from Starbucks to the park across the street and enjoy the sun. I’d ask how your week was. We’d chat and laugh and sit under my favorite tree by the pond. The tree that’s close enough to the pond to feel that I’m truly at the park, close enough to the parking lot to feel that I can easily leave, and far enough from other people that we can talk in semi-private. We’d watch the ducks wander by and the kids on the other side playing on the playground. 

If we were having coffee we’d make a whole morning of it and just relax and have fun, cause you know what? We totally deserve it! So enjoy the coffee, and the ducks, and I’ll chat with you again soon. 😘

My personal truth – blogging

As part of my therapy, as well as my chakra balancing, I am trying to externalize more. If you’ve read some of my previous posts you know I’m working specifically on my throat chakra. The throat chakra is the center of communication as well as connected to creativity. I have worked hard to listen to others non-judgmentaly as part of my communication work, but still need to face my personal truths so I can learn to speak them effectively. So over the next week I will be blogging about my personal truths, opening up more than I feel comfortable because the fact is I need to face it, to face me. So I’m starting with something simple, why I started blogging.

There are a number of reasons; to externalize, to find a community online, to journal without carrying a journal. But the number one reason was because I’m so frustrated with the stigma of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Do me a favor, go on google and search “dealing with depression” what do you see? A long list of sites on tips for dealing with your depression, support groups, medical advice. Now change the search to “dealing with anxiety”. Now you have advice on coping with stress and anxiety, and tips for handling panic attacks. Change the search again, this time to “dealing with bipolar disorder”, many tips and medical info like with depression. But scroll down far enough and you might see a link here and there on “helping” someone with bipolar disorder, something geared towards the family’s coping skills.

Okay, now do one more search “dealing with borderline personality disorder”. What do you see? Link after link after link of dealing with someone who has BPD. On my entire first page of results right now their are 2 links aimed towards the person who has it, all the rest are tips for family, friends, and coworkers.

I once tried to search for support groups for BPD and 80% of the groups within driving distance are for family members of someone with BPD. My husband can get more support for having to deal with me than I will ever receive for having to deal with my own medical condition. That’s kinda messed up if you ask me.

Don’t get me wrong. I know I can stress my husband out, and I’m glad he has support available. But I feel like the world sees me as a lost cause, someone to put up with, someone who will never get better. When I get hit with the depression aspects of this disorder is it any wonder I believe the world is better off without me? The world is literally telling me it’s better off without me!

When I was 17 I was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder, at which point a family member told me “that can’t be right, you’re not THAT crazy”. So, my husband is the only family member who knows my true diagnosis, to everyone else I call it anxiety. I don’t need more loving help telling me how crazy I’m not.

I don’t like the attitude toward BPD, and maybe I’m biased but I feel that as bad as the stigma is around mental illness, it’s the worst toward BPD. So I made a blog. I want to show what it is to live with the disorder. Not just survive, but to really succeed. I’m not the most successful person, but I have certainly lived beyond the expectations of me. I’m proud of that, and plan to continue this path. I want to show that someone with BPD can live a healthy happy life as long as they’re stubborn enough. And if there is one thing I excel at, it’s being stubborn!