Coping with BPD – Forgiveness 

When dealing with BPD it is critical that we learn to forgive ourselves. And this is where I most fail.

There are times that I will allow my emotions to get the better of me. I will snap at my husband. I will cry at work. I will have panic attacks in store parking lots. I will refuse to meditate out of mental exhaustion. I will forget to eat until it makes me sick. I will cut myself. I will burn myself. I will hide and cry uncontrollably. No matter how successful my treatment is, I will occasionally go backwards.

It is during these times I must forgive myself. I must love myself. Falling backwards is not failure, it is success, because I picked myself up again. When you fall, when your struggle gets the better of you, you are not failing! You are pulling on strength that you didn’t know you had and surviving for future success. Never forget that!

When we struggle and begin to feel the pain and heartache of that, the first step towards healing is forgiveness. Forgive yourself for the step back, and promise to love yourself as you begin to move forward again.

Coping with BPD – Work

 I was training a new hire once and half way through his shift I asked how he was liking the job so far, to which he responded “Honestly, I’m just glad you’re not crazy like my last boss.” I laughed and said “Maybe I am and I’m just better at hiding it”. His response “no, you don’t understand, she had something called Borderline Personality Disorder. She was crazy, and really difficult to work for.” 

I realized 2 things that day. First, that I’ll never tell my team or manager my diagnosis. And second, that it is not about the diagnosis, it’s about how you work through it. He worked for me for nearly two years and never thought of me as crazy, or unstable, or difficult to work for. When he left it was because he had to move out of state for personal reasons, and he admitted that if ever returning he would love to work for me again. I had the same disorder as his past manager, so why was the experience under me so different for him?

One thing I’ve learned is that everyone has something they are trying to overcome at work. It’s different for everyone, but we all have something. As an employee I’ve learned to not let it get me down, but fight through. I’m honestly a stubborn bitch and refuse to let any disorder dictate how I live my life. Sometimes being a bitch is good. 

As a manager I remember this and look to help my team overcome whatever it is that they are fighting. My disorder does not make me a bad manager, but instead allows me to better understand their struggles. When an employee is struggling with a task I look for the underlying cause and adapt. Maybe I’m using the wrong teaching method, maybe they need to learn a different task first, maybe it’s just not the right timing. I look for that and help them to overcome. 

Personally I find it harder to be a good employee than a good manager when it comes to BPD. I can adjust to help others far easier than I can adjust to help myself. I can get highly emotional when my boss and I meet seperatly and it’s something he really just does not understand. This fact has held me back from multiple promotions and that does nothing but increase the stress and frustration that comes with my BPD.

But when things get tough I remind myself of the “key to staffing” that I once learned at a seminar. It’s about putting the right person in the right position. Everyone is the right person, but that does not mean it is the right position. If my BPD is getting in the way of a future position it is not because I am wrong for it, it is because it is wrong for me. My BPD is frustrating and stressful and makes me feel crazy, but it also makes me think fast, plan more long term, and better understand others struggles. So I will focus on my strengths and work positions that fit me.

Here are some little tips to get through the tough days. I hope these help as you fight to find your fit.

  1. Take breaks. Do not skip them and “power through”, it will aggravate your symptoms, and cause you to loose focus.
  2. Meditate. I meditate during my lunch break cause there’s no way in hell I’m waking up early enough in the morning to do so before work. But find the schedule that works for you and just be sure to fit it in.
  3. Wear items that make you feel confident. Maybe it’s heals, or a tie, or your favorite necklace. Whatever it is, make sure it’s ready to be worn on your roughest days to give you that extra boost.
  4. Schedule an extra therapy appointment during more triggering seasons. I recently started doing this and it has been very effective at helping me not get all the way to my breaking point.
  5. Remove” work at the end of the day. Find a symbolic way to remove work so you can set it aside when you get home. For me it’s removing my makeup. I put on my “managers mask” each morning as a mental task of making me feel strong and prepared for the day to come. I take it off each evening allowing the stress of the day and the tasks yet to be accomplished to wipe away with it so I can focus on the natural joy of my family and my home. 

Exhausted – dream advice needed

You may have noticed I skipped our coffee date this morning, I haven’t been feeling good or sleeping well so spent pretty much all day in bed. I know that this is a mix of stress/anxiety/depression and a mild cold, so no worries. But I want to see if you guys have some good sleep advice since a big part of this is also lack of good sleep.

I have extremely vivid dreams, I have most of my life. It quite honestly freaks me out, but not because they’re actually scary. Sometimes during really tough times, or while adjusting to new medications, these can turn into vivid nightmares, but usually they’re actually very mundane. My issue is that I don’t like to know my brain is going without my control. The lack of control frightens me, and can cause insomnia when my stress levels are high. When I’m not stressed my sleep still isn’t restful because I’m essentially living every day twice, once while awake and once while asleep.

So I’m wondering if you have advice on how to fix this. Either to prevent vivid dreams, or turn them into lucid dreams. I either need them foggy or I need to take control, but I have no idea how to make that happen.

And yes, I’ve done sleep journals, and yes I’ve looked at meanings. I am decent at dream interpretation and my dreams are terrible at “hidden” messages. So meanings are extremely obvious in my case and not anything I’m not already aware of. So I really don’t need them as is. Any advice on fogging them or taking control of them is greatly appreciated! 

Thanks all 😘

An open letter to the President-Elect

Dear President-Elect Donald Trump,

There is a group of Americans that are being put in danger with no help that I can see from the current government. With your unique experience coming in to office I believe this is something you can fix. The Dakota Access Pipeline is being protested at Standing Rock where it will go through sacred tribal land and put their only source of water at constant risk. From what I see, an easement has not been granted, yet still development is pushed to continue. 

As a business man, you understand the difficulties of running large projects, the need to look at all factors, all legalities, and potential backup plans. You take pride in your ability to complete projects ahead of schedule and under budget. So I have no doubt that you can resolve this issue with the same business knowledge you have so successfully used in the past. 

Help the planning to be rerouted so it does not go through this land, where it will not required a legal battle that will ultimately make the project more expensive and more despised. Protect these Americans and their land. Do what government past has failed to do and allow tribal land to remain sacred and safe.

As you begin your political career you state that you stand for all Americans, that you want to make America great again. However you have faced objection from so many who fear you stand only by certain groups. Take this opportunity to prove them wrong. Stand by the Sioux tribe. Stand by their rights to their land. Show how your unique experience bringing you into office truly can impact this country for the better by assisting in this difficult protest and finding a strong plan to reroute the pipeline. 

I thank you for your time and look forward to seeing how you can help the Sioux tribe in this matter.

Sincerely,

A concerned American and business women

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving y’all! I’m off to my dads house soon, with pumpkin pie in hand. I shall be spending the day pretending I am happy to be there and not secretly longing to hide at home. Wish me luck! I will say that I prefer Thanksgiving gatherings to Christmas gatherings though because Christmas gatherings require you to open a gift while everyone stares at you, and I’d rather not preform at family gatherings so I shall enjoy hiding behind the turkey 😉

Whether you’re celebrating or hiding or in another country and so just having a Thursday, be grateful for the little things that make life worth living. Cause life can be utter crap sometimes and little things can make it all better, I promise.

Coping with BPD – Treatment

It is extremely important to stick with a treatment plan. I currently see a therapist and psychiatrist. Although my therapist has to constantly remind me that I need to see my psychiatrist (not because I forget so much as I simply avoid it). I don’t like medications, I don’t like side effects, and I don’t like my constant mind battle on whether or not what I have is actually medical rather than me just being stupid and crazy. Sometimes it takes that someone else to remind you. 

Of course I also hate therapy because I don’t like to face my issues. I’m more of a distract the issues out of my awareness kind of person. In fact in my very first session with my therapist she said “you realize you’ve been self-medicating with work for the last 9 years, right?” (I guess we can add workaholic to the list of disorders). I’ve been going to this therapist for about a year and a half and still sit there silently for chunks at a time because I don’t want to answer her questions. 

The fact is I hate treatment, and I especially hate that I need it. But I love my treatment team, and that makes all the difference. I hate therapy, but I feel safe both from the world and myself in my therapists office. I hate psychiatry but I feel heard by my psychiatrist when I discuss symptoms and medical concerns. 

I have found a strong treatment team that helps, that work well with each other, and that understand my fears and frustrations. They are understanding when I struggle to speak or refuse a specific type of medication. They don’t judge when I align their blinds or scratch at my arm. They both speak to me, as an individual with my own reactions to my diagnosis. And I am safe.

Over the last year and a half I have made tremendous progress and it is thanks in large part to my therapist and psychiatrist. They put up with me, learned me, adjusted for me. I didn’t know anyone would do that for my treatment, no one I had tried previously ever did. If you are struggling with your symptoms find a good treatment team, and listen to them. It can make all the difference in the world. 

Coping with BPD – relationships

One of the most common things I hear when it comes to being close to someone with BPD is the need to “walk on eggshells”. And it’s something I’ve heard from my own husband, though thankfully not for a while. We’ve been married for 10 years and I would hate to think he feels he couldn’t be honest with me. So here are some tips I have for coping with your borderline personality disorder in a way that allows close and honest loving relationships. Things that help remove eggshells and build a better bond. I’m not perfect at this by any means, and my husband and I still have our struggles, but we are also still desperately in love and stronger in our relationship than ever before.

  1. Be honest about your disorder, and focus on the medical aspects when explaining it. My husband finally began to understand after he was diagnosed with diabetes. They’re not the same obviously, but he is an extraordinarily healthy man who has diabetes purely because of his genetics. No matter how much he excersises or how perfect his diet is, he will always require medication. The same is true of me, no matter how much therapy I have, or how much I meditate, I will likely always need some form of mood stabilizer and antidepressant. 
  2. Invite your significant other to therapy. My therapist is more than happy to have my husband there so we can chat together. She asks me to invite him any time I’m going through changes in my disorder, especially if she fears I’m not being fully honest with him. However, do NOT see the same therapist separately. Paranoia can be part of BPD, so when you and your SO talk to a therapist, do it together. Remain in the same room together the whole time, otherwise you will likely become very agitated trying to figure out what he’s “saying behind your back”. If your SO wants to see a therapist on his own, have yours recommend a colleague for him. 
  3. Good days are for hanging out! Yes I have bad days where I curl up in bed and don’t leave or participate in life. Yes I become freakishly angry sometimes and start nasty arguments. Yes I have times where I cry uncontrollably. But I also have good days, and on those days we cherish our time together. We play board games, and watch sitcoms, and have loud sex. There will always be ups and downs, make the ups count!
  4. Let your significant other lean on you sometimes. Being married to me can be exhausting. There are many times my husband has to push down his emotions and let me lean on him. So when I’m feeling better I make it a point to see how he’s doing emotionally. And when his stress shows up, I am there. I give him extra time to sleep, I put on his favorite movie, I listen while he vents. Just because he does not have borderline does not mean he doesn’t struggle with his own emotions. I need to always be aware of that.
  5. Don’t weigh your emotions against those of your SO. This is something I struggled with a lot. “Oh, you think it’s hard on you?!?! How do you think I feel?!!!!” All that does is drive a wedge between us, so I worked really hard to stop doing it. I remind myself that one persons pain does not lower that of another’s. If your leg is broken, does that mean my stubbed toe won’t hurt? Of course it will hurt, of course I’m gonna yell some curse words at my toe. Just because it’s not as bad doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

The best piece of advice I ever heard about marriage in general is that it is not 50/50 but rather 100/100. You don’t give half way and expect the other to match it. Give your all because you love him and want to. Sometimes my all sucks, it’s small because of my disorder, but I still give all that I can. I expect nothing in return and therefore am able to truly cherish all that he gives.

The one thing I haven’t been able to figure out yet is how to not assume he hates me. While he shows me love consistently, I know my disorder is difficult on him, and simultaneously my disorder tells me how unlovable I am. When we argue I have a habit of yelling “why do you hate me?” When I’m crying I ask “do you hate me now?” And I have to stop doing this and find ways to remind myself of his love no matter how my brain lies. I hope to make real progress on this through my therapy this year. 

What other tips are there? What have you found useful in your relationships? Whether you have BPD or not, relationships are hard, so add some tips in the comments! 

Coping with borderline personality disorder

I’m a data nerd. I research everything and love learning new facts about virtually anything I can. In fact a large portion of my job is data analysis. So when I was diagnosed with BPD the first thing I did was research, I wanted to gather as much data as I could so I could live a healthy life.

Upon starting my research my biggest concern was in how my disorder affected those around me, especially since I so consistently felt like I was detrimental to society. As I attempted to research I found website after website plus books, articles, and more on how to deal with someone who has BPD. Yet I couldn’t find any help on how to deal with your own BPD.

At that time I was already beginning to feel suicidal, needless to say it didn’t help to be told over and over again that people like me are simply a problem to be dealt with. It took me a long time and a lot of therapy to get past that and it still pops up in my head when my self esteem dips. So I want to share my tips for dealing with your own BPD. What has worked for me, what helps in my work and home life, what I force myself to do when my disorder tries to take control.

This will be a series of posts, so stay tuned. My hope is that this helps others who are trying to find their own support. And the first thing I want to say to all those seeking advice on dealing with their BPD is that you are not a problem, you are not detrimental, you are not a burden, and you are not alone. You can succeed in life no matter what your brain tells you, and you can have healthy relationships no matter what relationship issues you’ve had in the past. No matter how hard it is, you absolutely can have an amazing and healthy life, so never give up.

If we were having coffee


If we were having coffee we’d be hanging out in my kitchen with peppermint mochas, keeping an eye on my tomatoes. And no that’s not a euphemism lol, but with such beautiful fall weather I’ve been in a canning mood and we will be making and canning tomato sauce while we chat.

If we were having coffee I would admit that it has been a very trying week for me, but that I am forcing myself back into my self care routine, and that is helping tremendously. I would encourage you to do the same. Whether you are feeling good or bad, make the time for self care.

If we were having coffee we would sneak outside when the neighbors are walking the dog so we could play with the puppy. Sometimes you need some extra puppy love in your life, and this puppy is the LOVIEST! Even my husband, a self proclaimed cat person who was recently bitten by a dog absolutely adorares this bundle of fluff and its happy jumpy snugly love. 

If we were having coffee I’d tell you how thankful I am to have these kind neighbors and their adorable dog as they have truly cheared me up as I get home from tough days at work this week. And I would ask, what are you thankful for this week? What has made life more wonderful for you the last few days?

Stupid Little Girl

When BPD takes a swing to low self esteem I see myself as a stupid little girl. Others see me as a 30-something women with husband, children, stable job, hobbies, etc. But they don’t see the real me. The me that is frightened to speak, frightened to leave the house. Everything in me is asking why would I let myself live this long? Why would I allow myself to become connected to people? Why would I form this stable life when everything in me is wrong?

I know it is the borderline, I tell myself my brain is lying. It will get better with time. But right now I want only to disappear. I want to sit in the corner of my closet like I did when I was young and allow myself to cry at my own feelings of stupidity and uselessness. Instead I will remain awake as the rest of the family sleeps and be thankful that at least I won’t dream if I don’t sleep tonight. And remind myself that at least this illusion of stability provides a home I can hide in when the rest of the world is too overwhelming to step into.