I just realized something. For the first time in my life, someone passed away, and I didn’t pick up a drink or drugs. That’s progress! 😀
I am quite bothered by some things today, so it`s been difficult to focus.
One thing that is bothering me is that my friend has been missing for almost two months. They have found a body near his house in the last day and it is as of yet, unidentified. There`s so much more to this, but I have resolved myself not to dwell on it. I can only take things one day at a time, or I get overwhelmed.
Secondly, I have put my worry onto D for far too long. I should only be worrying about myself. Not anyone else.
But if you see my previous post, this is something that I really really struggle with. Not worrying.
So I remembered a piece of advice I heard from a friend the other day. She told me that she met a woman who every day would send out her love to George Bush…now, she asked this woman `why on earth would you do that`and her answer was that he needs love just like you and everyone else. So she then began a practice of sending love to people she didn`t like.
Not that I don`t like anyone, but today I decided to focus my attention in meditation on sending love and healing towards D, my friend who is missing, and my mom who is sick.
I imagined them wrapped up in a soft cocoon of light and love and healing. Then I asked the universe to take my pain and transfer it into healing and love. The visualization helps me work through the worry and pain that I am feeling, while using the energy in a positive way.
I feel a bit lighter. I`m going to meditate later again, but this time in the process my therapist has set out for me since session two. I needed to bring myself to a calmer place before attempting that today.
Learning is fun. 🙂
I have to post about something that’s been bothering me.
Someone in my life doesn’t seem to think that being mentally afflicted is illness. To me, it is. It is something that is beyond my control without treatment. That affects every portion of my being and life. Physically, emotionally, spiritually.
So. What is mental illness to you? Is it sickness? Is it something that the person can control?
Just because nothing physically shows up in a brain scan, doesn’t mean it’s not there. To me.
I asked this person what they would do if I had cancer. To which they answered. “Help you heal, help you get better”. So why is my being sick with mental illness so different? I have a hard time understanding how one is any different than the other.
If you care, you love and make sure that person is well, no matter what the illness is.
Had a really good weekend. Went out dancing. Had only one drink. (quite proud of myself) Had a minor anxiety attack. Sometimes I just feel like everyone in the place is watching me and judging. Got over it though. Just stepped out of the situation for a few minutes.
Session two was today. We began with finding the safe place again. And focusing on breathing. Then I was instructed to remember some recent situations that bothered me and to figure out where those feelings went in my physical body. I discovered that I felt it in the following ways:
Eyes squint off and on
Hands sort of clench
I get vibrations or trembles through my body
My stomach gets in knots
When we inspected a more troubling recent memory, my whole right side of my back and my right arm tensed up, hurt and then went numb.
What I then did is focus my breathing on those areas as they come up. Not trying to change them, but listening to my body and breathing through it.
She said that my body is telling me something and that when we block our body’s reaction to trauma it gets stuck. So letting my body go through those things in a safe environment is key.
I feel a little lighter today. 🙂
So after my good session on Thursday night I went to bed and again experienced another fear in my dreams. I am still thinking that this is a good thing that they are coming up in my dreams so that I can deal with them in safe places.
This one involved finding pictures of some girl, half naked on my boyfriend`s phone. Who doesn`t really matter as it`s a fear that grips me deep inside and has through most of my relationships, even though there isn`t a reason to have that fear AT ALL.
This one threw me for a loop though. I woke up quite distressed. I tried to quiet my thoughts and went back to sleep. Throughout work during the day I was ok.
After work I went through the meditation and breathing practices that my therapist taught me, and I actually meditated myself to sleep! hah I thought that was pretty neat. And my body likely needed the healing. 🙂
Later that night a stressful situation came up in conversation so I took myself out of the room for a moment and focused on my breathing and safe place. It worked somewhat, but I know that it`s something I`m going to have to really commit to. And that`s ok. 🙂
Going to spend the rest of my day cozy and warm inside dreaming about summer and practicing what I`ve learned. 🙂
We began the first of many sessions by doing some guided visions. I was asked to focus on my breathing, and watch it, hear it. Then to imagine a couple different “safe” places. Then to combine the safe scenarios into one super safe place.
For the first time in months I was able to focus and RELAX. It feels amazing.
My homework is to continuing going to this place in meditation every day until my next appointment. And if a stressful situation comes up, I am supposed to see if I can catch a glimpse of that place. If not, bring the situation into my thoughts when I’m in that safe place, and deal with it there.
I know this is something I’m going to have to work at, and hard. But I’m committed.
On another note…
D and I. I’m not sure what’s going to happen. We’ve been staying mostly apart. I’ve been wishing so badly that he was here, but after my session today I think I am seeing a bit clearer. We both must be in a healthy safe loving place in order for things to work. And he has his own work to do. So I am ok with being apart. I have to trust that love has it’s way of working things out. And it will be ok. 🙂
I have had a long long road to get to this point.
As I mentioned before, for the first time in my life I am seeing myself from the outside looking in.
This had led me on a journey to find the ways to heal. I’ve committed myself fully to my recovery.
I found a therapist here who will come to me wherever that may be, and will take me on walks in nature while we talk. (weather permitting) She seems like she is going to be good for me, and I’m excited about that.
I’ve also been looking into EMDR therapy to help deal with my traumatic memories (or lack there of, since I can’t remember)
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy that was developed by Francine Shapiro to resolve the development of trauma-related disorders caused by exposure to distressing events such as rape or military combat. According to Shapiro’s theory, when a traumatic or distressing experience occurs, it may overwhelm usual cognitive and neurologicalcoping mechanisms. The memory and associated stimuli of the event are inadequately processed, and are dysfunctionally stored in an isolated memory network. The goal of EMDR therapy is to process these distressing memories, reducing their lingering influence and allowing clients to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms.
This was brought up to me by the girl I was seeing in Calgary. From what I understand it is able to get in there and process the memories that are locked away, sometimes without even having to experience them.
I FULLY believe that without dealing with the root cause of my issues, I will never get better. It’s like putting a bandaid on a broken leg. It’s still broken.
So my first EMDR appointment is exactly one month from today. In the meantime I am going to committ myself to at least one session a week with my psychologist and getting myself off all forms of mood/mind altering things. This includes caffeine, sugar for the most part, alcohol and switching to a lower dose birth control.
First and foremost, I’d like to work on my anger, as this seems to be the most troubling symptom for me. Behavioural therapy will help with this I hope, and even more so once I use EMDR.
Now. What is it that I think I have?
I believe I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. The 9 criteria are as follows: (and I will give an example of this comes out in me)
- A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image and affects, as well as marked impulsivity, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following
- 1) Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5
Example: Every boyfriend who has ever tried to break up with me I will literally fight tooth hand and nail to not let them leave. This has included paranoid thoughts. I believe this stems from feeling abandoned by my dad as a child.2) A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.The “I hate you, don’t leave me”. I have frequently loved someone one day, and the second they do something wrong (or what I perceive as wrong) I fly into hating them, not wanting them near me, and sometimes, wanting to hurt them for what they have done (again likely only in my perception)There are days that I love the way I look, and there are other days that I will obsessively pick at my face, body etc. Somedays it feels like I am seeing a totally different person in the mirror than I did the day before.4) Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, excessive spending, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5I have suffered from many, including a cocaine addiction, drinking far too much, and promiscuous sex. What I realized was that I was doing the drugs and alcohol so that my anxiety around others would lessen. I was only hurting myself more in the long run though.5)Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.I have only once experienced suicidal behaviour/cutting my arms. I do however, pick at scars, myself and aggresively bite my nails. Not always but heightened stress brings it out much worse.6)Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).I am completely unstable in my emotions. The best way I can explain it is that I constantly feeling on edge and anxious. The littlest things, or things that shouldn’t set me off, do. I can be crying one minute, happy the next, angry the next. My moods generally only last a few hours at most. I have never as far as I can remember, experienced a full day where nothing bothered me and I was happy all day long.7) Chronic feelings of emptinessI sometimes feel this way. A lot of times it’s more so that I feel like I give so much to just TRY to feel normal that I have nothing left. Alternatively if I am feeling sad I get extreme feelings on emptiness. Like the pain has ripped me into a billion pieces and turned me to dust. Thankfully these are few and far between. I really do have a really good support system.8) Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).Anger is my biggest issue. I can fly off the handle because I drop a plate and break it while doing dishes. I can freak out if someone is 2 minutes late to meet me. My brain in that situation starts to go into overdrive, imagining every possible horrible thing that they are doing to me, indirectly or directly by being late. Where could they be? Why the eff are they late? If it’s a boyfriend… who is he with? What is he doing? I’m going to effing scream when I see him! He’s going to be sorry! and on and on and on. And frankly I look crazy when I’m like this.When I experience anger I often experience dissociation. I blackout essentially. Often, I don’t even remember how it started or why I was angry and sometimes even what the fight involved.I also experience paranoid/obsessive thoughts. I get so wound up I usually end up making myself sick to my stomach or headaches etc.I have thought that maybe what I have is PTSD as well, but since I do not have memories of the trauma, I do not experience flashbacks, which tends to be a big deciding factor from what I’ve read.I’m all ears for anyone’s take on any of this.
I grew up in Canada, and I am so very glad I did.
What began as a very happy childhood with a mom and dad fell apart when I was only 4 years old. They got divorced and I was so little that I didn’t understand what was happening around me. My mom would tell me later that I was angry with her, and in my mind, it was all her fault. I would get angry in a matter of seconds. But it wasn’t just anger, all my emotions were all over the place. I would be put on time out in my mom’s room, locked in, and I would destroy everything in sight. I would physically assault my mom and I really did put her through hell and back.
Fast forward to age 7. At this age I was raped. By the brother of a little girl I played with in the neighborhood. I didn’t tell a soul for 6 years. So for 6 years this turmoil built and built within me. I wasn’t able to deal with what happened in my early years so I pushed the memories so far under that I have VERY little memory of my life as a child.
As I grew older and bigger it only became worse. My path of destruction was that much bigger.
When I began school, I was so terrified of being apart from my mom that she would leave me at the principle’s office kicking and screaming and crying while they held me there. I threw a shoe at my grade one teacher’s face. I wasn’t able to live in my natural state.
When I got to grade 3 something about the teacher frightened me, and I began to smarten up a bit in public. Throughout all of this turmoil I was able to make incredible grades and they eventually wanted me to skip grade 3. I was already younger by a year than my class so they decided against it. But they let me work how I wanted to. I worked on my schoolwork much better outside of the classroom. I was allowed to do all my work at home.
The temper tantrums and rollercoaster of emotions continued in the background though. As did my incredible anxiety about social situations. Back then one might have described me as shy, but it was so much more than that. I was so concerned with what others thought of me. I have been my whole life.
At age 13, when I went through sex ed in school it came to a point where there is a sheet that asks the parents to ask if their child was ever raped or sexually violated.
At this point – Finally – I told my mom. What I learned about what she knew filled in the blanks. She had asked me before, but I always avoided the question. She told me that a kid in the neighborhood saw and came and told her. Then when I went home that day apparently I was screaming in the bathroom and there was blood everywhere. To this day, 19 years later, I have no memory of this. But I know it happened. It’s like I know the sky is blue.
We went to the police, and eventually were let down by the system. He was 11 years old when it happened. Because of the laws in Canada, he couldn’t be charged. The police knew it happened, and could do nothing.
I went through rape counselling but at that point, I was doing better. I had finally released the words I had kept for 6 years. My mom said she had her daughter back.
Little did we know.
Throughout my childhood my dad was in and out of my life. I held a lot of anger towards him for putting us through this. Around the age of 14 I wrote a terribly nasty letter to him about how I felt, never mailed it, and stopped talking to him altogether.
When I was 15 I entered high school. I had previously attended the same school right by the house I grew up in for kindergarten to grade 9. Now I had to go to a new school, where most of my friends wouldn’t be.
I struggled. I got sidetracked by feeling so alone. PAINFULLY alone. I would eat my lunch alone in the bathroom in a stall, crying.
It felt like everyone was judging, watching. Looking back, I wonder if they actually were or if I was just hyper sensitive to it.
While I had that side of me, I also got involved. By Grade 11 I had joined pep squad and student council and the newspaper among other things. I was slow to speak up, very awkward, but it allowed me a little bit to have a place where I belonged.
I met my first boyfriend. I don’t want to use names so I’ll just use intitials.
J was the world to me from the get go. We kind of just fell into things. We dated through most of my high school years and he helped me come out of my shell a bit, allowing people in.
He took me to my first rave when I was 16. At the time I was so naive I had no idea people were even doing drugs there. But they were all so friendly and loving and accepting.
For the very first time in my life, I felt home.
I began to listen to happy hardcore and my moods elevated. I had a great boyfriend, and by grade 12 I was Co-President of the Student Council as well as coaching Pep Squad.
In February of my grade 12 year I got pregnant.
Again, I didn’t tell anyone, except for my boyfriend. Things had been getting kind of rocky and he was demanding that I have an abortion. At the time, it was the best thing for me.
I had the abortion two months in, and my relationship with J fell apart shortly after. I started missing a ton of school, went into a deep depression.
The school wasn’t much help either. I went to catholic school my whole life and the teachers were gossiping about what I did. That it was wrong.
I had been accepted to college in another city, but I dropped out just two months before graduation and essentially my whole life fell apart at that point.
I went into a deep depression. I started going to raves every weekend and not coming home. I took drugs for the first time. I began to write a lot, poetry, journals etc. But it was very dark stuff. I wanted J back so much. He was my rock for so long. I harbored obsessive thoughts about where he was. I would call his house repeatedly for hours just trying to talk to him. To the point where I was eventually blocked from calling and police were called to tell me to leave him alone.
I threatened to kill myself, I cut my arms up a couple times.
I felt so incredibly alone and empty.
I moved out of my mom’s house at 17 because she couldn’t handle me anymore. I couch surfed and went to raves. Took ecstasy and for a while, lived in a dream world. It was easier than living with the pain.
By 18, I finally went back and finished my high school degree.
The next few years until the age of 20 led me on a path of drugs and impulsive behaviours. At 19, I took cocaine for the first time.
I fell into a SEVERE addiction. I was doing it all day and night until I couldn’t stay awake anymore and had to go to bed.
I began to lose reality. The cocaine made my anger so much worse. If I didn’t have the drugs I couldn’t be around anyone. I would search for crumbs of it on the floor like a junkie you saw in the movies. I began to not even want to leave my apartment. I started suffering for a little bit from social anxiety to that point. I would have the worst panic attacks. Chest feeling like it was caving in. Even when I was totally calm and not on the drugs.
I had applied for a government funded program for youth called Katimavik. I got a letter saying I was accepted. I knew I had to get better. So I holed myself up for a few months until I left and got free of drugs.
Katimavik was the first time I had been away from family/friends/home. The people I met were amazing, and I enjoyed the experience. I still found it hard to get along with others because of my range of mood swings, but all in all it was good. I left early after 6 mths because my grandpa was really sick and I felt like I needed to be home. I cried as the plane was touching down.
For a while, things went well. I had completely stopped drinking and doing drugs. I got a really good job with a printing company. I got my own apartment. And a cat.
Later that year, my grandpa passed away. I didn’t know how to deal. I went out that night and took cocaine again.
It ate it’s way back into my life again.
This time, the addiction was much stronger. I’d do so much that I thought I was going to die. My whole body would vibrate.
But I kept my good job and kept up appearances for a long long time. Nobody knew that I had fallen from grace again.
At this time I met A. He was a dj and he didn’t do drugs. I kept this from him for a long time. He put up with everything I was doing for so long. Put himself in harms way by coming between me and a dealer. Dragging me out of places where I was doing drugs. Taking me home while kicking his windows of his car. I’d like to talk more about him later as he was the most significant and still is one of the most significant people in my life, but I think it deserves a seperate entry. So we’ll leave it at this.
In September of 2007 I went back to school. I had my own little basement suite and student loans. I kept my job part time while I went to school.
A couple years previous I had begun go go dancing at clubs to make extra money.
The bar scene began to take over my life. I would spend all weekend doing coke and then try to focus at school. It just wasn’t working. It eventually led to me going to final exams all coked up.
Two years into my degree I left school. I bounced around from job to job, and continued my path of self destruction.
Dancing became my only positive outlet. I had danced my whole life since I was a child but it was now becoming more and more in my life. Maybe it was the alcohol or drugs, but I felt confident and my self esteem rose.
After I left school I came together with a few girls and we registered our own dance company. I started practicing the law of attraction and kicked all the people doing drugs out of my life. I still did them once in a while but I started to get better.
Our company from the very beginning was about love and spreading love through our performances. We shot to popularity in very little time. In a matter of a year we had 16 dancers under us and were doing around 25 shows a month.
I was still with A at this time, and we went through some horrible things together. He helped me get better through breaking up and getting back together over and over again.
Eventually we moved in together. The stress of everything I had to do started to take it’s toll and I began to experience extreme mood swings. Eventually, I sought the help of one of my dancers who was working towards her masters in psychology.
We found out that I was low on 3 neurotransmitters. Acetylcholine, GABA, and Serotonin. I began taking natural supplements to help with this. For a while, I got significantly better. Things ended with A and I but not on such bad terms as it would have if I was sick.
I continued to do well, and eventually I reconnected with an old friend, D. He lived in another province. I wasn’t looking for love or a boyfriend, but it just kinda fell into place. I was on a good stretch, and for all he knew, normal.
After a few months we fell in love, and it was a love that was strong.
Little did I know, it was only that way while I was well.
4 months ago, I moved to where he lived. I left my dance company behind to pursue other sides of myself. I still own the company but right now, focusing on me is what is important.
What I got when I moved was not what I expected. His lifestyle wasn’t the one I wanted for myself and the constant worry left me in a very dark place again.
I began fighting with him, throwing things, getting very angry, obsessing about where he was, why he was going for lunch with girls (who were honestly just friends). I worried myself sick.
My rational brain told me that my thoughts were irrational but I was unable to control them or my reaction to them.
Police were involved more than once, and it led to us being seperated.
We are still working towards getting things to be better again. I hope we can.
I’ve started recovery and therapy and healing. For the first time in my life I was able to see what I am like from the outside.
The purpose of this blog is to have an outlet to speak freely. Most of my friends don’t know what is going on with me. And I don’t really want to share it with the whole world.
So here it will be.
I’m going to end this extremely long post here. I’ll talk further about what I’m doing with my recovery and what my theories are on what is wrong with me in that one too.