From day one the most common search term for this site has been “my boss has borderline personality disorder.” That hasn’t changed. In fact it’s become even more frequent. I spoke on this once before, but am not sure it actually answers anything you want to know. If you are coming to this blog trying to figure out how to work with a boss who may have BPD please feel free to post a question in the comments section. I will do my best to answer.
I’m shifting from depression to anxiety which sucks but also gives hope. This is common for me when I’m about to feel better. What gives me hope the most though isn’t that I’m likely to feel better soon, but that I recognize it. For so many years I did not recognize my cycles, and it made them more intense and frightening. I felt more desperate and wanted to give up so often. Through 2 years of therapy I am just now finally getting to understand my own mind, my mental monster. I’m so proud of this, and so glad that I stuck with treatment.
I want to encourage all who face these mental monsters to stick with treatment. You may not see results for quite a while, but stick to it anyway. You didn’t learn to tie your shoes, or ride a bike, or add fractions over night (ok, fractions are a bad example, I’m not sure I ever really learned that). You learned through constant effort. Therapy is the same. Stick to it, keep trying, keep learning. And when you have sessions where you’re yelling at your therapist that “this shit is stupid!” And she asks “what do you want to do?” Schedule your next appointment. That is what you want to do, even if you don’t recognize it right away. Stick to it. I believe in you and your ability to win this fight, and I believe in using all the resources available to you.
Namaste y’all – I bow to the divine in you
I want to curl up in a ball and sleep for a month. I want to release the pressure in my arms. I want to cry and scream and hit things. But I’ve been practicing DBT and self care exactly for these moments. So I still meditate, still tell myself “it’s temporary” whether I believe it or not, and I still try to adjust my judgemental thoughts as much as possible.
The lack of sleep and the monster marathon running through my head are making this hard. But I’ll get through. I’m a stubborn bitch like that. I hope.
If we were having coffee I would totally be braless. Well, technically I already am, you don’t mind do you? I’ve been having nasty headaches for days. While this is caused by a number of factors such as lack of sleep, a nasty cough I can’t seem to shake, and far too much caffeine, my go to quick solution is take off the bra. The lack of pressure on my shoulders makes me feel soooo much better in the head.
If we were having coffee, I would be having just one, cause too much caffeine, sigh. But I have some juice and tea, so we have options no worries. I would also show you the rubber bands on my wrist that I am very proud of. See I’ve been trying to focus on DBT practice now while I’m stable. Since the symptoms of my crazy are easier right now, finding new ways to cope help me to build those habits for the future. A large part of DBT is non-judgment, which I struggle with to horrendous extreme. Marsha Linehan recommends using a tally system to track judgmental thoughts. Some recommendations are writing actual tallies on a piece of paper, or keeping bits of paper in one pocket and transferring one to the other pocket each time you make a judgment. Well, I’m not carrying a stupid tally sheet, and considering I keep a pocket knife on me, I probably shouldn’t reach in my pocket when I’m being judgmental of myself. So I am using rubber bands.
What I do is keep 15 rubber bands on one wrist, and move one to the other when my thoughts turn judgemental (if you try this on your own, note that 15 is not a required number, unless you’re OCD and need things in groups of 5). While I was very skeptical of this at first, cause what the hell are tallies supposed to do to help, this works AMAZINGLY. What happens is the moving of the rubber band causes an immediate pause. While I am paused I have a moment to rethink in the ways my therapist has been trying to teach me. I’ve never been able to make that pause before, but the tally system does it for me. I have rethought so much judgment of myself this week it is fantastic. Granted I’m not perfect at it as sometimes I yell internally “that judgment is perfectly justified!” as I move the rubber band, and then my thoughts turn more judgemental and I have to move another. But most of the time it works great.
If we were having coffee I would ask what you have been doing to take care of yourself. I’m seeing a lot of tweets from y’all about your brains being mean and your rough days. And while I try to cheer you up with humor, your struggles break my heart. If I could send you Irish Coffee and face masks I would. But for now I will wish you a braless Saturday, unless you don’t wear bras, then I wish you a shoeless weekend cause shoes suck too.
Namaste y’all 🙏😘
There is a worksheet in DBT about finding the wise mind (well, okay that’s basically the whole book, but…) this specific worksheet gives a few ideas on what I assume is their version of mindful meditation. This is the one that stuck out to me. And please note that the directions are copied straight from the book.
“Imagine that within you is a spiral staircase, winding down to your very center. Starting at the top walk very slowly down the staircase, going deeper and deeper within yourself. ••Notice the sensations. Rest by sitting on a step, or turn on lights on the way down if you wish. Do not force yourself further than you want to go. Notice the quiet. As you reach the center of your self, settle your attention there—perhaps in your gut or your abdomen.”
I asked my therapist if it was even safe for me to do this cause it sounded an awful lot like internalizing, and perhaps even dissociating. She said it is in fact safe for me if done in this way, so I tried it. And I actually now use this frequently.
I typically go only a third of the way down my staircase and sit down. Rarely will I ever turn on a light, I prefer the dark when I’m alone. I sit and allow myself to breath. In my staircase no one can spy on me, no one can hear me. I won’t be misunderstood or hated. I almost don’t even exist. Yet I do exist, I breath and feel, I can allow myself peace here on this step. I can rest in the dark without fear. I love this step. So tonight I will sit here. On my internal step. Where no one can find me.
Therapist- “So how have you been doing?”
Translation- EVERYTHING SUCKS BUT I MUST HIDE IT!
Therapist- “how’s work going?”
Me- “it’s fine. Better I think. I mean it’s stressful, but that’s just because there’s a lot going on. That’s not my anxiety or anything, it’s just a busy time. It’s fine.”
Translation- Yeah, my anxiety is going nuts.
Therapist- “have you been making time for self care?”
Me- “yeah, it’s just not working.”
Translation- I half assed some meditation and gave up.
Clearly I’m not doing this right, luckily she knows me well enough to move these coversations to the truth. But I’ve decided to start bringing my DBT or CBT worksheets back to therapy in hopes of externalizing my shit better. So which would you recommend I start with? Have you done worksheets from DBT or CBT?