Mindful Caffeination?

Every night for weeks I’ve been having bad dreams, and they seem to be getting more frequent and vivid. Nights filled with scenes of war, disease, pain. Watching loved ones suffer only to find myself paralyzed and unable to help. So many friends and family members have died in my arms in dreams, I can’t even recall them all. And it’s not some epic story line, but just snippets. Just the moment of dream torture and then it cuts off and starts the next. 

I can’t get away from them and so try to sleep as little as possible. I know it’s not healthy but I can’t seem to become lucid in the dreams so don’t know what else to do. I am coping well outside of sleep though. Meditating a bit, listening to music, spending time doing crafts with the kids, breathing and releasing the pressure when I start to panic. But I can’t bring myself to do these things in my sleep.

Today was a more panicky day and I had some moments of hiding at work. Today I couldn’t bring myself to meditate, my mind just couldn’t for some reason. I was so exhausted so I sat in half lotus and sipped my coffee. I needed the caffeine, I needed the break. It might not help the mind long term like mindful meditation does, but it helped me get through the day. And now I can hide at home where I feel safer and more at ease. Though I am still drinking coffee, cause lord knows I don’t much want to sleep.

You stole my tree!

Well, not you specifically. And technically it’s not MY tree. And it wasn’t actually stolen, I mean it’s still where it was. Maybe I should start again….

So I’ve mentioned before that I have to park in the same spot (or row in busier parking lots) every time I go somewhere. So I go to my psychiatrist appointment today, yeah? Well most people park on the other side of the building so I always park on the nearly empty side next to a little tree. I’ve been going there almost two years now and have parked in that spot next to the tree every single appointment. Today I get there and and there are multiple cars on my side including one NEXT TO MY TREE. I’ve already had high anxiety all week, and now I can’t park in my spot which always makes me start to panic when going places. So I go into my psyc appointment anxiously snapping the rubber bands I had on my wrist and trying not to sound crazy. Cause I don’t want my psychiatrist to think I’m crazy, apparently? Anyway, we decided to add a mild dose of a new med I haven’t tried before. Non-addictive per my request. We’ll see what happens.

Like a mime in a box

Most of the week I have felt trapped. Not like trapped at home, but like stuck in the outside world without escape. Coming home each night feels like freedom. Leaving in the morning is near terrifying. At work I feel the walls closing in and I begin to panic as I worry if I still have my escape route, if I can actually get out if I go into full panic mode. 

I was trying to explain this to my husband and the best I could describe is that I’m like a mime in a box. I’m trapped and the box is so close around me. You can’t see the box though, in fact the box doesn’t even exsist outside of my own mind. But you can see my fear and my stress. While I work so hard to hide my panic, some bits creep out and are visible, which makes the fear all the more real and intense. 

I hope to be the mime leaning on the table and eating grapes soon, but for now I will hide in the safety of my home as much as possible until the walls of the outside world stop closing in.

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… 

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.

No Sleep

My brain tonight (and so many other nights)…

Did I leave a knife on the kitchen counter? What if the kids grab it, or the cat knocks it over? I think I put it away, but what if I didn’t?

I should go check that, and check the door lock again while I’m up. I know I already checked the lock a few times, but what if it’s a false memory? Maybe I didn’t actually check.

Kids talking in his sleep. Maybe his dreams are getting too much. I know he sounds fine, and he’s always fine when he talks in this sleep. But what if this is the first time he’s not? Maybe he’ll get trapped in a nightmare. Maybe I should sleep next to his bed just in case.

Maybe I should have both the kids sleep in our bed. What if someone breaks into their room?

What is that sound? Is that the neighbors or a burglar? Maybe it’s a kidnapper?

Are the kids craft paints put away? I know we put them away, but what if we missed one? What if the cat drinks it and dies while we’re asleep? I should go check that. And the knife I put away. And the door lock. 

But what if someone knocks on the door when I’m up checking on things? I can’t speak to someone in this mental state. But they’ll know I’m here, they will have heard me. They’ll never leave, I can’t hide or escape them. Maybe hubby will check the paint and knife and door lock?

But he might start to hate me if I wake him up. Why does he stay with me? I’m a terrible person! Why did he ever bother to marry me? Why did he settle? I can’t destroy his life. I won’t wake him up. He’s too sweet and would check everything. It’s not fair to him.

I should just go to bed. I have to sleep. If I don’t sleep well, then the kids will hate me. They probably already hate me. I’m a terrible mother. Only a terrible mother would have gone this long without getting up to check that the knife and paint were properly put away, and that the door was locked. I only checked these items 3 times before laying down. A good mother would check again.

I’m exhausted. 

Coping with BPD – Dual (quadruple?) Diagnosis 

Borderline personality disorder can be hard to diagnose. It can be even harder to diagnose when their are co-occurring disorders. This can lead to a lot of stress when you’re trying to get treatment and no one you see can seem to agree on what you have.

I’ve mentioned before that along with BPD I have OCD, and agoraphobia. What I haven’t said is that I may also be Bipolar. I was diagnosed bipolar before borderline, and none of the treatments seemed to help so I gave up, became a workaholic, and let my OCD overshadow all else. When I finally went back to treatment I was relieved to hear “borderline personality disorder”, not because I want it, not because I didn’t see the difficulties, but because it fit. My diagnosis fit and I could finally get treatment.

After sometime with my current therapist she mentioned (though never pushed) the possibility of co-occurring disorders. That I may have a dual diagnosis of Borderline and Bipolar. I shrugged it off and ignored her. We moved on to guided meditation. All was happy in the land. 

My med adjustment last month is helping more than expected with my BPD. What I’m finding is that instead of living in my constantly overwhelmed brain of mismatched emotional torment, I am reacting like a real human to real stressors. But then those stressors became a lot of stressors, and I went manic.

I am in a manic phase of hyper productivity, jitteriness, and easily agitated. I saw my therapist this morning and she saw it immediately in the way I spoke. She mentioned that maybe we should do some grounding meditative exercises to which I took a deep breath, said “I think you may be right about the dual diagnosis, I think I’m in a manic phase” and then went back to jittery agitated talking before she finally slowed me down enough to do some breathing exercises. 

My frustration with co-occurring disorders is that it can be difficult to know what is going on with you, and where to focus your energy. There are times I feel like I’m trying to make sense of my brain just as I did before any diagnosis. So here is how I’m learning to distinguish between my 4 diagnoses. 

  1. Am I looking for balance? If yes, it is definitely OCD. The rest of my brain is too scattery to care about balance (which is why it so desperately needs it)
  2. If I think of picking something up from the grocery store, can I still breath? No? Okay, agoraphobia is taking over.
  3. Are my emotions extreme? Duh! But for how long? 2+ weeks usually means it’s my Bipolar, less than 2 weeks means it’s borderline.
  4. Another distinguishing factor between those two: Bipolar has 2 set extremes. High and low. Borderline typically combines them for me. I can go through highs, lows, and every extreme in between in a matter of hours (sometimes minutes!), I feel numerous extremes at once, not just manic or just depressed.

To be clear, I don’t mean “oh it’s just depression, or just mania” as though it is less than my BPD feelings. That’s not the case. I simply mean it is a very distinct extreme. It gives me set feelings each time I face it, and what those are do not change each time it comes. Again, this applies to me and my journey with my screwed up brain. It could look different for you and that’s fine. 

I am trying to compile notes in my journal to see if I can find ways of treating the necessary disorder as it flares so I can better fine tune my self care. I’ll keep you posted.

Why I want to have lucid dreams

I’ve mentioned before that I have extremely vivid dreams. They are exhausting and often frightening. So I finally decided to take control. I began to research lucid dreaming, and what I found most interesting is that lucid dreaming can be used to better communicate with your inner self. You can call out things like “show me something funny” or “give me some confidence”. This is what I want.

Primarily my goal is to bring myself to my meditation spot. There is a place I visualize when meditating and I want to go there in my dreams. I want to sit in that spot and call out to the sky “bring me a sense of peace”. 

I described this to my therapist. She had not looked into this before, so it was new information to her. But she is the one teaching me mindful meditation and said it sounds like mindful dreaming. I like that description “mindful dreaming” as that is exactly what I want to do.

I was making progress before put on an anti anxiety, so I went off my anti anxiety a few days ago (with my psychiatrists permission. Do not adjust meds without first speaking to your doctor!) and am starting the process again. I’ll start sharing what I’m doing and if it’s working. If you want to see some of the research I’ve done I posted a link below. 


http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/ 

If we were having coffee…


If we were having coffee, we’d be enjoying some Starbucks Holiday flavors because they are almost out of season and I NEED my peppermint mocha fix! Of course we would hit the drive through (or make my husband go for us) so we can stay home in the warm and quiet environment.

If we were having coffee, we’d probably chat about New Years resolutions. My resolution for the new year is the same as the one for the new month, new week, new day, and new moment: Some form of stability. This year has been full of very literal ups and downs as my meds have needed regular readjustments. With minor changes they throw me from being stuck in a depression to being stuck in constant anxiety. I recently switched from a depression episode to an anxiety one and it’s exhausting.

If we were having coffee, we’d keep the aromatherapy diffuser running. This is the first weekend in a while that I’m not baking, so I’ve got some frankincense going for an anxiety reducing scent. It’s a strong scent and can take some getting used to. So if you don’t like it, no worries, Santa put a Merlot scented candle in my husbands stocking and the scent is to die for! We can totally steal that while he buys our coffee 😉

If we were having coffee I’d tell you about the steps I’m taking to induce lucid dreams. I’m actually getting pretty close to lucid dreaming. About once a week now I mention to someone in a dream that it is a dream, but don’t quite gain enough awareness to take control. I’ll start making posts on my dream journey soon. But for now have a very safe and very happy new year! 

Much love ❤️ 

The Borderline Boss

If we were having coffee…


If we were having coffee we would be chatting about this beautiful December weather while sipping peppermint mochas. I’d show you my knitting that I’m finally getting back into after spending the last couple of months balancing my throats chakra. 

If we were having coffee I’d tell you how excited the kids are to be picking gifts for soldiers to send through operation care package. I explained that since often times soldiers are moving around or hiding, Santa can’t find them. The kids were very eager to find things to send because the men and women that protect us deserve to have a great Christmas.

If we were having coffee we’d go out to a coffee shop, in part because my anxiety has been low today and I’m feeling comfortable with the outside world, and in part because my cat is excited about something out the window and keeps wacking me in the face with her tail since she’s sitting on the back of the couch. Thanks cat.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you about how I’m making it a point to get back into my yoga. Although I have been sore, I am feeling much better than I did in November. Which reminds me! I need to share my November favorites! I’ll post that tomorrow. 

If we were having coffee, I’d ask what you’re doing to practice self care this December. It can be a bit of a crazy month, so self care is extremely important. I’d love to hear your ideas!