“The urge was addictive, and I couldn’t think of anything else but ending my life. The ability to see how my death would hurt others was lost to me, and I still don’t quite know why I went back home after two hours. I stopped being angry, I think.
I have never considered suicide when depressed; even thinking about it would be too much effort in that situation. However, anger and panic are what drive me to think such thoughts, to harm myself, to chain-smoke and take more pills than I should. Any type of fear sends me into a blind panic; I just don’t know how to deal with the emotions. Or any emotion, really.”
While my therapist/psychiatrist and I established that I do not, clinically, have Borderline Personality Disorder (a constant nagging fear of which haunts me with surprising regularity), I definitely DO exhibit some serious BPD traits. The above quote from HBG was like a lightbulb for me: it’s not depression that makes me think life is worthless, it’s anger and fear! I’ve discussed my inability to name my emotions before, and with this new insight I feel like I have one more glimpse into the dysregulated organ that is my brain. Now to determine if I’m actually angry in these situations, or if it’s all a manifestation of fear. Specifically, the fear of being betrayed. Well, of being betrayed and not knowing about it. But still.
New goal: let’s separate the three emotions and figure out a better way to respond. Like, now. Actually like, two weeks ago would be nice. But you can’t undo the past, right? Dang it. #dbt.
I can pick a fight about anything. No literally, anything. I turn it into some huge hurtful action against me. No matter what.
Everyone loved your painting? That’s nice. I just…I don’t understand why you never paint a picture of me. Everyone knows I’m not important to you, just look at your work – I don’t inspire you. I wish I was an inspiring person, that I made you just have to take a photo or post a Facebook status or draw a picture. I’m sad you don’t feel that way; you deserve someone who makes you feel that way.
Everyone loved your painting? I bet that girl was there, wasn’t she? I’m sure she just loved it, like how she loved watching you paint it. What? I’m not there, it’s not fair. She gets to be there for all of your big moments and I’m not. Oh she wasn’t there? Still. Art makes me think of her and what you did. I’m just hurt and sad.
Everyone loved your painting? I told you it was good but you don’t care what I think, you only care what other people think. I’m not good enough for you, I never will be. I don’t understand art. You want someone who understands art, understands your weird brain. I’ll never be like that, and you’ll resent me, and you’ll meet someone who adores your work and gets it and wants it hanging in her bedroom, and you’ll be with her and not me. Which is fine, but just break up with me now, okay? We shouldn’t be together.
I can ruin any moment. Especially the happiest, goofiest, greatest ones. I’ll ruin those every time these days. It’s going on my resume under “Special Skills: absolutely sucks the life out of you just when you’re feeling good.” I’m like the Dementor of relationships.
That’s what those things are called, right?
“Taking that first step to help yourself may be hard. It is important to realize that, although it may take some time, you can get better with treatment.”
To help yourself:
From the NIMH.
Looks like I have some work to do! Even if I’m not full-blown BPD, I have enough borderline traits that, as a good friend said today, something needs to happen. Something has to change, because without getting myself together I’m changing my whole life for the worse. By doing nothing I’m doing everything. Time to take an active role in getting my life back to where I love it.
I just posted a comment on Jaen Wirefly’s blog and I thought maybe I’d post it here to remind myself and share the skill with others that may not know it. Jaen is a smart cookie so I’m not saying anything she doesn’t already know, but I know from experience that being a social worker means we learn an incredible amount of skills and it’s impossible to remember them all the time. Espesh when we live with emotional dysregulation ourselves. Anyway, here’s my comment:
“One of the things we can learn to do is name our emotions – we tend to only think of things as “ANGRY” or “devastated ” or “SO HAPPY ” so we think we have a smaller range of emotions. But learning to define our emotions with other names and to distinguish between them, to learn that while we are experiencing SO ANGRY we can also experience other emotions, helps us to let them go and/or respond to them more appropriately. Just a thought!
A brilliant professor of mine said we can learn to see our emotions as if on a ticker tape (does anyone even know what that is anymore, ha) – we can view it separate from our bodies, watch it go by, watch it leave…which then gives us room to see what comes next on that ticker tape. To experience the next emotion…to let go of the one that makes us feel so out of control.