To my employees – what I wish I could explain

I’m sorry. I should be a better leader. I need to always be there to serve you, train you, help you. I should be able to make decisions, and help you make decisions so you can grow and learn. I should be patient, and answer your questions, and listen quietly when you speak. I should be more for you. You deserve more.

But I’m human. And a broken one at that. Most days I can push my broken brain aside long enough to be who you need. But some days, like today, I just don’t have the strength. Some days I’m barely keeping it together. Some days we’re lucky I even got out of bed.

I’m sorry for those days. The days where I snap, I cut off your question, and fail to make any decision. I’m so sorry. You deserve better, and I want to serve you and lead you better. But today I can’t. Today I’m exhausted, emotional, and broken. Please don’t hate me, just remember that I have my bad days. Those days that the brokenness shows through.

In hiding mode

I basically hit my breaking point over the last week and today couldn’t get myself out of bed. I’ve been hiding in my room all day with occasional trips out to the fridge and restroom. I have not left the house. This is the first day in over a month I haven’t been filled with anxiety and convinced of my complete failure of life. Today is comfortable. I fear to leave this place of comfort, to enter the world again. But I have to. So tomorrow I reenter the world. We’ll see how it goes. 

Hormones to the rescue

So I had hit the point of dead inside depression (the days of silence, and the first post this week) and then hit the breakdown that was yesterday. Today I’m feeling more emotional and alive. I’m still depressed, still panicky, everything definitely feels haywire. But I am alive again, and I’ll consider that a step in the right direction.

Of course I’m only alive again thanks to my monthly visitor, so I’m also feeling a bit like punching things in the face. But it’s still alive. And just less than a week before my next psych and therapy appointment (which I for some bizarre reason scheduled the same day). So looks like I’ll survive for more treatment, woot! SuperHormoneWomen to the rescue! Name just rolls off the tongue 🤦‍♀️. Time to turn on an audiobook and do some knitting.

And why oh why did I think I should do psych and therapy in the same day? I always do therapy a week after psych so I know how any med changes are doing first. And because I don’t like to speak or exsist after my psych appointment anyway. What was I thinking? Am I crazy? Don’t answer that… 

At least it was a crazy straw

For a few weeks I’ve been basically at my breaking point, and just powering through. I found I could push through the day and then let everything just hit when I get home. Some nights that looked like staying up all night with panic attacks. Some nights was effectively surrendering to a depression that shuts everything down where I don’t sleep, eat, or talk, just sit there lost. Some nights were filled with nightmares, and some just with the stored up tears of stress. 

Today I couldn’t wait until night. Today I faced the straw that broke the camels back. One stupid little thing that I could usually handle, but today was too much. I ran to the restroom and proceeded to hide in a stall in silent tears for 20 minutes. Then busied myself with mindless work the rest of the day. I’m done. I’m so lost, and so stressed, and so exhausted. I worry about tomorrow, and if I can cope with whatever new crap I will face. But this season is just temporary, right? I hope so.

Depression taking over

Sorry to be so quiet y’all. Depression is kinda taking over right now and I am getting more and more trapped in my own brain. It’s hard to speak or really function, and all of my energy is pushed into appearing normal at work before I come home to hide. I will start posting again soon I’m sure, but for now I’m just silently waiting for my next therapy appointment and hoping not to fail at life too much. 

My boss has Borderline Personality Disorder

The most common search term that brings people to my page is some variation of “my boss has borderline”. If that is what brought you here, this post is for you.

I don’t know what exactly brought you to search this, maybe curiosity, maybe struggles working with your boss, maybe seeking advice, maybe one of 10thousand other reasons. I’m going to do my best to give a good overview for everyone, but please feel free to post questions or comments if there is something I missed. 

First, what is Borderline? There are plenty of medical explanations online so I won’t bore you with those. Best way for me to explain it is to say it’s like having an emotional paper cut in your brain. You know how you get a papercut on your finger at it’s so tiny? Then you put on hand sanitizer and holy crap that hurts! And it’s strange how something so tiny and common can hurt so bad. That is BPD. Every emotion is extreme to the point of terrible pain. Something so small can have a huge impact. Every emotion you have, a person with BPD has far stronger. And this isn’t now and again, it is 24/7, it doesn’t stop, ever.

So how do you deal with someone who has borderline, and has such an impact on your life like a manager does? Best advice I can give is to remember that everyone has something that makes work more difficult. Maybe a physical condition, maybe a mental condition, maybe family issues, maybe a learning style that is difficult to accommodate, there are so many things that can impact the way someone works. We all have something. Be patient with that persons something just as you want others to be patient with your something.

Something that is typically a question friends and family ask, but that can also apply to coworkers, is “how can I encourage them to get help?” And the answer is, you can’t. Treatment is a personal choice that cannot be forced by someone else. And BPD messes with the brain when it comes to relationships. So for many of us, having someone push for us to get treatment translates to something like “they hate me, I should give up”. Inaccurate, I know, but that’s mental illness for you. Welcome to my world.

Worst case scenario. You tried being patient, you’ve tried working things out, your exhausted and your work is less productive and less enjoyable from the stress. What do you do? Get a new job. It sucks to be put in that position, yes. But a company cannot fire on the basis of mental illness, so unless your boss quits or transfers, it’s up to you to find a team you fit better. And if you were doing really well at being patient and understanding then chances are you can transfer internally rather than moving companies if that is what you want. Also, most HR departments will do an exit interview. When asked why you left, explain that it is because of a wrong fit with your managers work style. It’s honest and helps them to consider that. If this happens frequently than the company may look at that manager to see if maybe they should be moved to a different position to avoid this in the future. But again, don’t mention mental illness. This opens up the company for a potential discrimination lawsuit, therefore making it more difficult to look into possible changes in position for that manager.

I hope this helps at least a little bit. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, I am open to helping you understand this from the point of view of a Borderline as best as I can.

Struggling 

I’ve been on a downward spiral for a while now. Today it’s hitting especially hard. I’m not in a frame of mind to go into it really, but good thoughts are appreciated. I’m about to go meditate, but do me a favor? Comment with your favorite cheesy joke (or tweet it at me if you prefer). Those always make me smile even on the worst of days. 
Here’s a few of mine to get us started. 

A pirate walks into a bar with a ships steering wheel attached to the fly of his pants. The bartender asks “why do you have a ships steering wheel attached to the fly of your pants?” The pirate responds “arrrr, it be drivin’ me nuts!”

Two muffins are baking in the oven. One muffin turns to the other and says “wow, it is really hot in here!” And the other muffin yells “OMG A TALKING MUFFIN!”

Schrodinger gets pulled over while driving. The cop searches the car and asks “did you know there’s a dead cat in here?” Schrodinger replies “well now I do”
Your turn!

If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee, we’d be sitting on the patio in the crisp early morning air, and drinking a basic hot coffee. Sometimes it’s nice to appreciate the more simplistic things we love, and enjoy the moment. Even if we accidentally woke up at the butt crack of dawn because of crazy dreams.

If we were having coffee I’d mention that this week has been extremely tough for me. A lot of ups and downs, crazy spikes between anxiety and depression. Sometimes I forgot how intense these things can be even with such fast fluctuations. But I made it through, and am working to focus on more self care. I’m proud of me for keeping with healthy coping techniques despite the issues I faced this week.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I noticed so many of you struggling this week too. And I am so sorry for all that you are going through right now. Please remember these things are temporary, and that self care is important. Please remember that I want you to succeed and be filled with joy. So keep pushing through, and always surround yourself with supportive and loving people. And be one of those people for yourself and loved ones too.

I AM HERE

Today I received my copy of “You Are Here – An Owners Manual for Dangerous Minds” by Jenny Lawson. And I am going to do my best to put words to just how much this book means to me, and why.

The last few months of 2015 were filled with overwhelming depression and anxiety for me. More and more frequently I was spending sleepless nights locked in the bathroom cutting in an attempt to get everything out. When the depression was at it’s worst moments I was no longer capable of feeling the cuts so began to burn myself as well.

By December of 2015 my therapist had finally convinced me to open up to my husband who was not yet aware of my behavior. He and my therapist together convinced me to go to the hospital while my meds get readjusted in an effort to keep me safe from myself. 

The first couple of days in the hospital I was silent, unable to open up to anyone. I was also having extreme panic attacks consistently. By day 3 I was found hiding in the corner of my room under a desk, scratching at the half healed cuts on my arm to make them bleed. I was told to sit in front of the nurses station for a while to ensure my safety. While there a nurse gave me a stack of coloring pages and some colored pencils and encouraged me to color to get my mind off the anxiety. 

I found a page I liked and started to color. And I didn’t stop. For the remaining days in the hospital I colored. I talked to other patients and began to open up, but did so while I colored. I sat in group therapy and participated, all while still coloring. I ate my meals with my coloring page next to me, choosing carefully my next colors to use. I woke up from nightmares in the middle of the night, went to the common room and colored until I could fall back asleep. 

I colored so much my hands were covered in blisters and my fingers were cramping. But the pain in my hands could never compare to the invisible pain that lives in my mind. So I ignored the blisters and cramps and I colored. 

When I got home I struggled to adjust, so I continued to color. When I relapse and begin to cut again, I pull out my colored pencils and colored. It keeps me safe, sometimes I think it keeps me alive during my worst times. 

Through the creation of this book, Jenny Lawson has given the world beauty and hope. She has helped minds like mine find an escape.

But for me, the most special gift in this book is safety. Jenny Lawson has given me hundreds of nights where I can keep my hands busy with a pencil instead of a knife. And for that I am beyond grateful.

Thank you Jenny, and please never stop bringing your beauty into the world. Never stop being you, because minds like mine need you.

I should yoga

I’ve had consistent anxiety for at least a week now. It isn’t bad enough to give me panic attacks, just enough to give me high adrenaline all freakin day. At first I didn’t mind cause I could use that adrenaline to get shit done. But it’s become overwhelming the last few days. 

Last night I was coping by drink wine. Because in my family that’s the way we cope. I come from a long line of alcoholics and usually try to be more careful. So what I plan to do tonight is meditate and do some yoga. I don’t know if that will actually happen, but I brought out my sports bra and yoga pants, so good first step so far.

The wine in the fridge and whiskey in the cupboard are calling to me. But I am calling to my logical side and my strength and pushing myself to do some yoga so I can feel better tomorrow. Wish me luck.