Sit down and shut up

Since the age of 10 I have been told there is a limit to how far I can go. To what all I can do. I push to live up to my own dreams and expectations, but continuously hit a point where someone tells me to stop. I’ve gone too far, done too much, I’m not good enough so step aside for someone else. For over 20 years I have fought this. I have told myself I can reach my dreams, I just need to work hard, listen, learn, try. But once again I find myself in a spot where just as I’m learning, I’m pulled away and told someone else will do it. What have I done wrong? No one can say. What could I have done differently? Nothing.

It’s stupid, it’s probably for the best as I have other things to do anyway. But how long can I continue to tell myself to keep trying? How many years does it take before I give up and believe what everyone else believes of me? I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not reliable enough, I’m too slow, too loud, too active. I need to just sit down and shut up. Do what I’m told without question. Don’t try to live beyond my abilities as predetermined by everyone else.

I’m too exhausted to keep fighting. At least for now.

He’s still processing

I could see that my son was stressed, but unsure why exactly. He's 6 years old so doesn't know the words for what is happening in his mind. We talked and I gave him time to process the words while I listened. And I gave him some new words that might help explain his feelings, and make him feel less alone in his thoughts.

He started out by saying he wishes this was a dream.
"Why do you wish it were a dream?"
"I think maybe it should be a nightmare."
"What makes it a nightmare?"
"Um, because I want to wake up from it."
"Why do you want to wake up from this?"
Long pause….
"I just do."
"If you woke up, what would be different?"
"Well, I wouldn't have to eat all the healthy food" pause…
"Anything else?"
"Yeah, my room would be clean."
"Well, you can make that happen."
"But there's SO MUCH. All the toys all around, it makes me like I'm dizzy."
"Ok. Well we can find ways to make that easier."
Long pause….
"Is there anything else that would be different?"
"Well…"
Another pause…
"You can tell me sweetie."
"Well…. my fish would be back."

And that's when it clicked. He's been more irritable since his fish died. I can't believe I didn't connect the two before. So we snuggled for a bit, he began to cry. I just hugged him. I can see he's still processing the loss of his fish and it breaks my heart. We talked a bit more. I told him that maybe he was stressed, and he asked what that means. I described it as when things make us upset in a way that our feelings make us feel dizzy. But not like spinning around in circles dizzy, just an emotions dizzy.

I could see his understanding. I knew that was what he had been trying to put into words. I explained that when our stress feels really big, it makes us feel overwhelmed. I think he understood.

Today my son learned that his emotions have names, and he is not alone in them. Today I was reminded that he does have strong emotions, and I need to help him learn to process them. I never learned that as a child. I have the emotional (and physical) scars to prove it. I will do all that I can to help my kids learn to process their emotions.

If we were having coffee…

 If we were having coffee we would be hiding in the corner of the living room with the aromatherapy diffuser going. My husband and I have been enjoying a mix of pine and lemongrass recently, I’m not sure the benefits of either of them, but holy crap it smells good.

If we were having coffee I would thank you for your support this week. I know I’ve been quiet. I know I haven’t responded to comments as I usually do. But I read them. I read them over and over again to remind my brain that I am not alone, and that I can fight. I don’t know what brought on this sudden depression, I have yet to find a trigger, but I will fight through none the less. And your kindness, humor, and support are making that so much easier.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how my children have been laughing in their sleep recently. Funny dreams are a sign of a happy mind and a lack of stress. I am so glad to know that they are in such a great state of mind, even if my mind can’t join right now. Sleep laughter is now a goal for me. And I wish the funniest of dreams and loudest of sleep laughs for each of you.

If we were having coffee…


If we were having coffee you’d be like “um, BB? Isn’t it a bit late for coffee? Isn’t it like the middle of the night?” And I’d be all “BLASPHEMY! IT IS NEVER TOO LATE FOR COFFEE” because, well, I’m on a coffee high. Because apparently my idea of “treating” insomnia is coffee and nachos. I’m smart sometimes.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you about how this is the first week in a while I’ve felt a great deal of release. I’m trying to get back in good habits of self care in hopes that it will stay strong next time my meds become a jerk again. I’d remind you that all things are temporary, so I am so glad to take this moment of happiness and share it with you. 

If we were having coffee I would ask you how you’ve been, and I would listen. Just sit and listen. I was trapped in my head too long, and I miss you. I want to hear from you. Please feel free to share your week with me in the comments 😘
With Love, BB

If we were having coffee…


If we were having coffee you might mention that it’s been a few weeks since we had coffee together. And for that I am sorry.

If we were having coffee we would be hiding at home as I am still pulling myself out of a deep depression. But I would be healthier and chattier and able to enjoy the day with you. 

If we were having coffee I would share with you how excited I am that I received some craft stuff in the mail. I ordered it a while ago, before the depression hit, and am so happy it arrived yesterday like a congrats from the universe that I will have the mental power to use it this weekend. And the best part? It’s crafts I can do with the kids 😁

If we were having coffee I would ask how you have been and if you’ve been making time for self care. I hope you have.

Enjoy your coffee all 😌

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.

Coping with BPD – Motherhood

I was told very specifically that I should never get married or have kids because of my disorder. This statement has haunted me for over 10 years now and pops into my mind every time I screw up.

My children know I have “ouchies” in my head that sometimes make my emotions weird. Until they’re older that is all they need to know. They will likely never know about my self harm, and only about my suicidal ideation when they hit an age that I need to warn them about the mental illnesses that run in the family and how to cope with the scarier sides of it if they ever need to.

When I’m have a bad borederline day I hide in my room. I tell the kids I don’t feel good because it’s better they think I’m sick than they deal with my moods. But even that pains my heart when my son wants to play and asks first “are you feeling ok today?” because he’s noticed the number of times I don’t “feel good” 

Today I am stressed and exhausted. I’m still getting over being sick plus dealing with far too much at work, and I came home and just couldn’t cope. I needed space but couldn’t get it tonight. I snapped at the kids. I started yelling, and it took time to calm down. Yes it was just yelling, but that can be dangerous to little minds.

I’m fairly certain my therapist sees far more people who are grown children of borderline parents, than actual borderlines themselves. I told her once of all my parental fears and she says I’m high functioning and doing very well with my kids. But I still worry.

There are horror stories of borderline parents. Please be careful of these traps. Please remember that it is not your child’s fault you are having emotional issues. Please be honest with yourself on your limits and give space where necessary. Please spend your good days hanging out with them as much as possible. Please explain your mental illnesses to your children overtime, keeping it age appropriate of course. I do these things and hope that I will not ruin their lives or drive a wedge between us as they grow. 

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 don’t want to know my purpose in life

It seems like people always want to know what their purpose is. Or the *big* question, what’s the meaning of life? To be honest I see these as essentially the same question. Humans are selfish creatures (that’s how we survive as infants, it’s kinda an evolutionarily necessary trait… I don’t think “evolutionarily” is a word, but it’s fun to say nonetheless). ANYHOO, when asking the meaning of life, aren’t we essentially trying to find out how we fit into that? So aren’t we still basically asking what’s my purpose? 

Maybe I’m wrong, but if so, it’s probably because I don’t want the answer to either question. I don’t want to know my purpose because honestly it scares me what that answer may be.

You know when you’re stuck dealing with someone you don’t get along with? And then some nice person chears you up and says “they’re in your life for a reason”, because aparently you’re supposed to learn how to show love in spite of whatever bullshit the persons doing, or patience in dealing with that kind of idiot. In the words of Galinda “Well, these things are meant to try us” 🎶 

At the age of 13 when I first started to really struggle with mental illness, one of the lies (I hope it’s a lie at least) that my brain told me is that I’m that person sent to be your trial. I grew up in a very religious home and was taught that I had a purpose, that God would use me to do great things in this world. And my depression and anxiety said “well shit! God has to have some stupid people to make his best people better. That must be me!” 

I never told my parents that, or anyone actually. I just shut up and tried to be a decent person. But I still hold this inside. Even now on a rocky journey of finding my own beliefs, even as I wonder at religion and spirituality, even as I study different beliefs to gain better understanding of others. I will not seek out the meaning in life. I will not look for purpose. Because in my mind, how could I have been put on this earth with this screwed up brain for any reason other than to make others better for having to had to deal with me.

So I don’t ask, I won’t. What I will do is make my own decision every morning to try and make this world a little better. I will try to do something nice each day. Maybe my purpose is to screw with others, but if so then let me be a rebel. I do what I want, and I want to be nice to people. So fuck purpose and hug people, that’s what I say!

Here’s one of my favorite songs for when I’m trying to not find purpose, and trying to not feel alone.