I will know that I am dreaming and I will take control

You may or may not remember, but a few months ago I was talking about my attempts at lucid dreaming (or as I call it, mindful dreaming). Well, I haven’t spoken of it since then, but only because their was nothing to report. I have continued working towards this goal but as my mental state was fluctuating it was not happening. Well now it is, kind of.


Every night I go to bed mental focused on the statement “I will know that I am dreaming, and I will take control.” This along with my practicing a dream test (trying to push my hand through a solid object) are my main techniques to try to become aware within my dreams. 

Over the last week I have been dreaming that I am lucid dreaming. So like my dream self would fall asleep in the dream and have a lucid dream. It sounds weirder than it feels lol. But last night I got a step closer. I woke up in the middle of the night and recognized that I was mid-dream and likely to continue it if I fell right back to sleep, so I began to focus on my statement as I fell back to sleep.

Shortly within this dream I recognized it for what it was. I was not aware enough to control my environment, but still enough to consciously make my own decisions within the scenario playing out. Definitely a step in the right direction and I look forward to continuing this practice.

If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee we’d be sitting on my couch, enjoying basic coffee with a touch of almond milk and watching the birds outside (my son and I added bird seed to the birdhouse yesterday. The cat is having a blast). Oh, but don’t sit right there, scooch a little to the right. I already spilled coffee on the part of the couch this morning. Sorry.

If we were having coffee I’d show you the kids room. Usually it would be a huge mess but I made the boys clean it really well yesterday so I could redecorate. They hit a point last year where they officially grew out of the interests that caused the original room decor, and gained whole new ones. So for the last year, as I silently cried over the toddlers I will never again have, I also quietly collected new posters and wall art for the interests of the amazing and unique personalities they have become. I spent yesterday afternoon making the switch. They love their new decorations and I loved making that happen. As heartbreaking as it is to remove the old, the new fills the heart back up and makes it totally worth it.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you about how great therapy is going right now. I had my appointment Thursday, walked in with a great deal of frustration, walked out with peace and greater mindfulness. I also found the courage to share some blog posts with my therapist and she loved them. I didn’t really expect great feedback other than I seem more stable than I did with the journals I shared with her before starting the blog. But she really was impressed. In fact she has begun sharing my post on misconceptions with others (keeping me anonymous of course).

My husband had his first therapy appointment on Friday. I took him to my therapist’s partner. Not because she is her partner, but because when I met her it was right after they moved into their new office and I told her the fake birds were hung wrong and it was going to kill them. But also that the lights in this office where better than the last cause the light bulbs in the previous office were uneven and it freaked me out. She kindly smiled, fixed the birds, and asked if there was anything else she should have fixed as the handyman was coming the following day. I love her, she totally deals with my crazy even without knowing me. So Friday I took my husband there and proceeded to sit on the floor and color once he went back to her office. She walked out at the end of his session and said “oh, your wife isn’t back yet?” at which point my husband said “she’s right there, on the floor”. And then she proceeded to talk to me like a normal person. Have I mentioned that I love her? 

If we were having coffee, we’d sit and enjoy the quiet of the morning. It is peaceful here right now. I don’t know where this peace is coming from as my home is essentially the same as always. But right now, for some reason, I feel calm in a way I haven’t in a long time. If you still feel stress please take some of my peace and rest in it. I’ll keep pushing it into the atmosphere for you so you don’t have to use any strength to find it. Just rest.

Namaste 

Love yourself, take care of yourself

From the age of 16 to 22 I fought eating disorders off and on. It completely destroyed my metabolism and when I finally stopped I gained over 100lbs. Since then I have fought to stay healthy. My idea at this point in my life is eat healthy, stay active, let your body look the way it’s going to look. I know how to dress my curves and rock my look. I don’t own a scale cause first of all that number doesn’t define me, and second of all my higher activity level is causing me to gain muscle which accounts for as much of my weight as my fat does at this point.

That being said, I’m not always good at it. When my anxiety hits hard, or I go manic, or my depression becomes overwhelming, I tend not to eat enough. If I notice that happening I begin a food diary and 90% or the time find that I am at half my recommended calorie intake. I keep track of my food until a healthy amount of food becomes the norm again. When I’m sick (as I was recently) I begin to eat too much, and mostly crap. See I feel dizzy and tired when I haven’t eaten enough, so dizzy and tired from being sick makes my brain decide I should eat more to magically feel better. Sometimes I’m not active enough, so I try to add in more yoga or take the kids to the store and walk around. 

Recently I discovered a lack of fruits and veggies in my diet so went to Walmart and got some of that “Super Greens” powder. I’ve been sticking it in my blender bottle with half juice and half almond milk and drinking it once a day. It’s actually pretty good. But while I expected an increase in energy and focus, my body said “bitch, it’s about time you gave me these nutrients! Let me show you how you’ve been treating me lately!” And now I am on an unintentional cleanse. Yuck. But I figure if all natural dietary supplements cleanse me, chances are I needed it, so I’m letting it run it’s course.

As strange and pointless as this post seems, the situation has reminded me of the importance of loving and taking care of myself. I may have gotten out of the eating disorder phase of my life, but self harm is still an issue for me. If I can work so hard to take care of the inside of my body, shouldn’t I do the same to the outside? And if I can love the outside of my body, as lumpy as it may be, shouldn’t I learn to love my mind, as emotional as it can be?

I hope to spend more time focusing on this. Being mindful of this. Perhaps it will give me a greater sense of self acceptance. I hope you’ll do the same. Whatever you may struggle to love about yourself, start practicing that acceptance and care. Maybe together we can learn to heal our wounds, both external and internal.

Letters to myself

I realized something in therapy today. Technically something I’ve realized many times before and always understood about myself, but today it seemed more logically visible (those are the best words I can find to describe the feeling, sorry it doesn’t quite make sense).

One of the reasons I write this blog, and why I journaled before that, is because I don’t listen to myself. The logic in my brain tells me smart things and the rest of my brain looks at the logic part and says “screw you”. I speak to coping with mental illness and then fall into the same traps I warned about. I tell myself the right honest and realistic things and yet allow my emotions to completely warp the situation in my mind. For a long time I felt alone in this, but I no longer do.

In DBT you learn about the wise mind, which is like the middle ground where the rational mind and emotional mind meet. In CBT there is a part in one of the learning exercises that asks “what would you say to a close friend if they were feeling that way?” Just the fact that these are in well received and effective treatments tells me that I am not alone. That others struggle with this and succeed in their fight. So I can to.

When I am struggling I look back at some of my posts to see how I coped before, what I told myself before. And I look at your comments and see that you understand. And I rest in the fact that maybe I make you feel less alone just as you do for me. So I am writing myself this letter. But if it speaks to you you can adopt the letter as your own, or perhaps right a similar one more personalized to your path and your struggles.

Dear B.B.,

You are worthy. Though you often feel that you’re not, and you may believe the emotional mind more than the rational one, you are. Don’t forget that.

When you feel like you are failing, look at yourself through the eyes of your loved ones. See the success through them when you can’t see it through yourself. It is there.

Be kind to yourself, love yourself, forgive yourself. Show your children what it is to show yourself compassion even when the self confidence may not be there. Tell yourself what you would tell others. Show yourself the respect that you show those you care about. 

Remind yourself that everything is temporary. Good times are temporary, cherish them. Bad times are temporary, wait them out. You can make it through, you can succeed. Believe in that. And when your emotional mind gets in the way of that belief, say it anyway. Claim your success over and over again until the words are ingrained in you. You don’t have to believe it at that moment for it to still be true.

I believe in you, please believe in you too. You are worth it.

With Love,

Yourself

If we were having coffee…

(So apparently there’s a Super Mario Cafe in Japan that makes awesome stuff like this. Can we go ahead and have our coffee date there? We’ll each order 2 lattes, one to drink and one to admire 😍)

If we were having coffee we’d be enjoying some Starbucks cause I have a little spending cash for coffee, but not enough for a trip to Japan, sorry. I would tell you that things are a bit better than they have been. Not so much that life decided to stop shitting on us, but more so that it has slowed down and we’re starting to gain a bit of control again.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that one of my current stress relief activities is playing video games. I haven’t been able to craft too frequently, my mind just isn’t there, so I’m working my way through Zelda Link to the Past at the moment which is clearing out some of my mental demons.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you about my favorite streamer because he is someone I truly admire, though he will never know (considering he has no idea who I am lol). GrandPooBear is a Twitch Streamer who also uploads many of his playthroughs on YouTube. He is currently holds the world record for my all time favorite ROM Hack, Dram World. But it isn’t his games that draw me in. It is his “rage”. When other streamers struggle, many can start yelling. Poo doesn’t, ever. When he hits a kaizo block or misses a shell jump for the thousandth time he does one of two things; he says “fair enough” or calmly states “rage”. Or sometimes there is option number three “ok, that was awesome! Great Kaizo block placement” and he actually means that.

GrandPooBear is the antithesis of my Borderlinr Personality Disorder, and so just watching him makes me feel at peace. His mental attitude is my goal. But there’s another point to this story, and that is Mr Rogers.

If we were having coffee, I would show you Poo’s video promoting the Mr. Rogers PBS fundraiser on Twitch (I’ve posted the YouTube video of it below for you). When he states how Mr Rogers spoke directly to him, and said he liked him “exactly as you are” I literally cried. People don’t say often enough that they like you exactly as you are. We should. We should be saying this to each other because it is true. Whether we have mental illness, physical illness, or no illness at all, we all have something that makes us doubt ourselves. You don’t always know what is going on in the mind of a loved one, so please remember to tell them every now and again that you appreciate them, and that you love them, just the way they are.

Happy coffee date everyone! And I too like each and every one of you just the way you are.

💜💜💜

I should probably do that

So if I take my mood stabilizer even a couple hours later than usual it makes my tongue feel like I ate really hot soup too fast. You know, that burned numb weird feeling? Yeah, quickest way to know I forgot.

So this was my morning….

“Honey bunch! Let’s go shopping together!”

“Ooo, lets look in this section! No that way! Can we go through the craft section? I NEEEEEED more fake plants.”

*calmly and quietly* “thank you for taking me to lunch. This is so nice. Oh, the waitress gave me extra pickles cause I said I like them. So sweet.”

“Yes music machine, he is very cute. Yeah, totally adorable. Yes honey, I’m talking to a machine!”

“The car radio volume HAS to be on a number ending in 0,3,5 or 7. How can you still not do that for me?!”

*loudly and in a parking lot* “I AM HOLDING THE BOX OF CUPCAKES PERFECTLY FINE SO SHUT UP!”

*as I burst into tears* “I’m a failure as a wife! I ruined everything! I can’t do anything right!”

“My tongue feels weird. Why does my tongue feel weird? The soup wasn’t that hot last night… OHHHH!”

“Honey, I didn’t take my meds on time. I’m taking them now. The morning has been explained”

My chicken and egg conundrum 

What came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, I’m going with egg cause DNA mutations happen during cell division, right? But that’s beside the point, cause I don’t think I’m supposed to answer an unanswerable question. 

Oh, but answer to another “unanswerable” question… if the glass was less than the half way point and filled to the half way point then it is half full. If it was above the half way point and emptied to the half way point then it is half empty. Guess I’m not negative or positive, sorry.

The one question I truly cannot come up with an answer to: If Pinocchio said “my nose is about to grow” what would happen?

Wait, how did I get on this topic? I blame the cold medicine (I’m sick by the way). So back to the whole don’t answer chicken and egg stuff… what came first, my mental illness or my symtpoms? 

This is something I have struggled with for 15 years now. Do I truly have this disorder? Or did I unconsciously decide I did and therefore create my own symptoms? My recent post about misconceptions of BPD spoke to a statement that “we’re all a little borderline” (we’re not FYI). And Rainicorn posted a comment that the same is said of Bipolar Disorder. This reminded me of a coworker who said he gets frustrated when people claim to be OCD simply because they like something to be clean. So I struggle sometimes to even claim to have a diagnosis because what if I’m wrong? What if I am taking away from someone else’s struggle by claiming something untrue?

I’m like 99% sure of my BPD. Reason being, I read a definition in a book about 10 years before being diagnosed when I had never even heard of it before. And the second I read it I sat there in shock because it perfectly described me. I didn’t hear it and then gain the symptoms, I saw the symptoms suddenly defined by something I knew nothing about.

My ability to believe I have Bipolar Disorder is about 75% on average. My BPD overshadows any Bipolar symptoms, so I denied it for a long time despite the “official” diagnosis I had. It wasn’t until about a year ago when I started to respond well to a new med that I realized when a medication lowers my Borderline symptoms, I become completely manic or depressive for a significant period of time. So I have the symptoms, I meet the checklist (I won’t go through the whole diagnosis checklist, it’s easy to look up), it just seems to be overshadowed rather than misdiagnosed. I think. Again, 75%

OCD I’m at a 67% certainty. This is where my chicken/egg/Pinocchio question really comes into play. Did I think I was OCD and then get symptoms? Or did I get symptoms and then get diagnosed? This is something where I have seen the symptoms increase over time, and I honestly don’t know if that is normal or not. I can physically feel something that is considered “off” to me, and I have to compulsively fix it. But I wonder if it isn’t just a symptom of trying to control my other disorders. If perhaps I have subconsciously made it worse over time. 

Agoraphobia is like that too. And this is one I truly hate to say because it’s not severe for me. And I wonder quite frequently if it truly is there and I’m high functioning, or if I’m stupidly going by the “we’re all a little…” argument that I hate. The definition for agoraphobia is “Fear of places and situations that might cause panic, helplessness, or embarrassment.” I match that, I really do. And I try to remind myself of that, not because I want it but because I want to not lie about it. In general I don’t go new places without my husband. I only go to stores I’m already familiar with. I claim food poisoning or flu to get out of wedding receptions because they give me panic attacks. I haven’t been to a concert since I was 15 (I first developed the symptoms at 18) and will never go to one again if I can help it. I have multiple hiding places at work if I start to feel panicky or overwhelmed. I have days that I won’t leave my room, though they have become less frequent lately. But are these truly symptoms of agoraphobia? Or are they random aspects of my other disorders? I honestly don’t know.

I don’t even know why I’m going into all this. Maybe “talking” it out will clear it up a bit. Maybe you all can provide insight about my chicken and egg dilemma. Maybe I just need to go to sleep cause the cold medicine made me a bit weird. 

This chickens expression totally just made my day by the way.

It’s his turn

Life has decided to shit all over my husband and I. Suddenly things outside of our control have all gone completely haywire. My medications and coping techniques are helping me significantly, but my husband is struggling. So it’s his turn. His turn to be taken care of, to try to make it through this season of depression, to lean on me and let me be the strong one. I believe it to be very important that in a relationship you be the strong one and the weak one, don’t just be one side forever, balance the roles per the situation. So I am the strong one right now to let him get through this time.

It’s very difficult though as when he gets down he gets distracted. The loss of focus results in small mistakes that while common, are not common to him. And these insignificant mistakes feel huge to him causing him to believe he is a failure. I see from the outside how incredibly strong he is. I see that while I would curl up in a ball of despair when that kind of depression hits he still follows his daily routine without flaw. I see that he is fighting something his mind is not prepared to fight as he grew up in a household environment of punish yourself for all little errors. I see how even though it’s my turn to take care of him, he continues to do the small things that he knows always make me feel better. 

I don’t know how to help. I understand the feeling of failure and pain he is going through, I understand how it feels to want to punish yourself, or to not know how to get the emotions out. But understanding doesn’t make me an expert. My fall back when I can’t cope in a healthy way is self harm, and clearly that is not something to recommend. So I show my love and try to be there as best I can. But I also know I am limited in how I can help. So we scheduled his first therapy appointment. He will be seeing the partner of my therapist whom I have met and is a wonderful fit for him. I hope he sticks with it long enough to build techniques of self care. He was not taught that as a child but I know will be open to it. I just want him to feel better again.

If we were having coffee…


If we were having coffee we’d be sitting on my couch enjoying just a plain black cup of coffee. Unless you want cream or sugar in yours, I can totally make that happen. But only for you (shhh don’t tell the others). We would be whispering and enjoying the quiet comfort of home, and avoiding the laundry room completely. I went to start a load of laundry this morning and a giant cricket was in my laundry room! 😱😰☹️ I don’t do bugs, but my husband is asleep and I’m not going to wake him up. He had a rough night of restless leg syndrome and slept very little the poor thing. So being the kind and loving wife I am I got over my intense fear of all bugs and placed a cup over it. Now it can’t run away before my husband wakes up. To my defense, I did try to get the cat to kill it before going the cup route, but she thought my pointing at a bug meant to place her head up to my hand to be petted. Cats aren’t very helpful during bug emergencies. 

If we were having coffee I’d thank you for be willing to come here instead of needing to go out. Life has been a complete shit storm right now. My medications are working great, and I’ve been doing self care techniques to keep building those habits, so I’ve been coping better than I usually would. But even still, the constant crap that life is throwing at my family right now is exhausting and stressful. So I finally hit a point this week that I no longer had the mental ability to leave my house. I called in sick, laid in bed, and did almost nothing. My fear of the world took over and I felt like I could no longer cope. Except that I did cope. I took the time I needed to stay home and recover. I meditated and colored. I did crafts with the kids during random bursts of mild energy, and I had them snuggle and read me a book when I simply couldn’t get out of bed. I remained safe with myself, and happy with the family. I call that a win.

If we were having coffee I would ask how you have been. What have you done this week to take care of yourself, or to bond with a family member or friend?

As the Supreme Commander ruling over the border between the Unicorn and Fairy Kingdoms, I approve the release of knowledge

I may be a little too caffeinated to write titles. Honestly last week was incredibly awful and I’m past the point of stress to the point of abnormally strange (I choose to believe there is a normally strange). 

Anyhoo, something I was going to post last week and didn’t get around to was about resources. I was contacted by someone from drugrehab.com who asked if I would share the site as a resource for those dealing with addiction. Part of the site is specific to the treatment of those with co-occurring disorders which is something that I fully understand the difficulty of treating. I reviewed the site and found a great deal of knowledge and understanding and so agreed to share. That being said, I have not had experience with their specific treatment centers so cannot specifically recommend going to them. I can only use this as a reminder that treatment is available, resources are out there, and you are worth the time of a great treatment team.

The link for the co-occurring disorders section is https://www.advancedrecoverysystems.com/treatment-overview/co-occurring-disorders/

I did some research and found a site where people can post reviews of their experience at one of the treatment facilities from this site. You can see the reviews here https://www.trustpilot.com/review/therecoveryvillage.com 

If you are struggling with any form of mental illness, including addiction, and have hit a point where you are seeing dead-ends in your daily life, then please seek treatment. Whether through this link, local resources, or referrals from those you trust. As the Supreme Commander ruling over the border between the Unicorn and Fairy Kingdoms, I proclaim you worthy of all wonderful things in this life. And I hope that you and those wonderful things meet along your journey to health.

If you have found great treatment centers, websites, or other resources in your own journey, please feel free to post them in the comments. Share your experience for others seeking what you found. I’ll start. 

I found my therapist through my companies employee assistance program, a program that many companies provide to employees to help them seek life resources. I highly recommend this resource to anyone who’s company offers it. It is free of charge and everything is done by an outside source so no one within your own company knows that you have reached out to them, it is completely confidential. So what is a great resource you have used?