Can BPD make you a better person in the future?

As someone who is recovering from BPD and has come a long way, I have to tell you that not everything about BPD is negative.

I believe that going through it, enduring the symptoms and the consequences of your actions, can make you a better person.

It definitely feels like it for several reasons that I will explain in the coming section.

This isn’t a generalization of all people with BPD, it’s just my experience and some people relate to it, while others don’t.

Romantic relationships

Relationships are hard for everyone: being vulnerable, sharing everything, disagreements, etc. Before I started recovering it was a complete and utter chaos. Toxic relationships, sudden breakups for petty reasons, conflict, etc. I had almost no sense of commitment and I would get into relationships too quick, without analyzing the person first. Impulsivity was something that interfered with my relationships. Little thing you told me that I didn’t like? Might break up with you tomorrow. Terrible thing you did to me but you’re my FP? I’ll stick around and add fire to the flame.

As I started healing, I noticed that I had a sense of commitment. I communicated better and didn’t get angry. There was so much abuse and drama in my past that I did my best not to live through the same thing. Started fighting more for relationships, even a little too much but I believe that I will attain balance. I had very little arguments and lots of harmony. Never cheated on him, as I know how it hurts (not by experience because I never found out that a boyfriend was cheating on me), how disrespectful it is and how bad I feel after cheating. It’s one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced. There are many steps before you cheat. Ultimately, going down that road is up to you and you only. You can stop at any time.

The “I hate you/ Don’t leave me” relationships started disappearing from my life. I don’t go back and forth with someone, with arguments and animosity, drama. I cut or dramatically reduce contact. Can’t stand it. It feels good in a twisted way but it also feels like a prison where I’ve been before. I just don’t want to stay in toxic relationships, because of how traumatic they were in the past. Even after 15 years of dating a narcissist and especially because I recently dated another briefly, it was like my heart was burned. It is burnt flesh that hurts like hell when people do and say certain things. Which in turn made me more mindful of what I say to people, I don’t want to hurt anyone.

Friendship

The “I hate you/Don’t leave me” model of relationship also refers to friendship. It was frequent for me to have toxic friendships. It could happen that someone was my FP and I would take turns in loving and hating them. One day, they were my whole life, the other day they were terrible and would abandon me, so I better abandon them first. It hurts less that way, not that it doesn’t hurt a lot because it does. An FP is like a drug to us. It’s a kind of passion.

Sometimes, I wasn’t the most loyal because I was a people pleaser. As I started growing older and healing, I learned how to say no and say things people might not like to hear (without being rude, of course). Learning to say no is a fundamental skill for someone with BPD, as our boundaries are so poorly defined in the beginning of our struggle. We learn by reading, DBT and watching others.

Friendships are also less tense and dramatic when you are recovering. I would have fits and do huge scenes, in my worst times. I must’ve embarrassed quite a few people with my anger and impulsivity. It was probably one of the factors that contributed to being abandoned by several people. Today, I get it. On one hand, I was severely sick. On the other, people were entitled not to feel embarrassed by friends, not to want to deal with certain situations. There were a few serious situations that could’ve ended badly but luckily nothing happened. I think I scared people with my instability.

We learn that lots of people can’t deal with us but some can. I learned to cherish those people. Help them in any way I can. Now, I can love them to death and that is a somewhat stable feeling. Minor things don’t influence my opinion of the person. With time, DBT, medication and observation, we learn about nuance: how someone can be simultaneously flawed and lovable. We are the first ones to recognize that people are flawed, as we are, but we can deal with certain flaws and character defects.

To grow, we need to surround ourselves mostly with people who are kind and validating but are not enablers. We live in a world of our own, like everyone else, but in our case it can be a quite distorted world, due to our poor coping mechanisms. It’s important to have friends that remind us of what’s right or wrong and help us make better decisions.

Boundaries

Oh, boundaries. How we need them. Boundaries fail us when we are experiencing more symptoms. We let people walk over us, we let people do things to us that we don’t want, we do what we can to keep certain relationships, be it romantic or friendships. We also tend to not respect other people’s boundaries, as we don’t have strong ones. We need to have boundaries in order to understand and respect other people’s boundaries. We have our own reality tunnels, shaped by our experience, personality and BPD. If our “walls” are weak and too flexible, we will think that others are like us. At least, that’s what happens in the beginning. If we grow and change, every time we cross the line is a lesson learned.

Family

I can only speak about my parents and other relatives. I’m not a mother,so that won’t be included in my story.

My relationship with my family changed a lot over time and became stronger.

My psychiatrist once told me that it was easier for me to change than my parents. That I should adapt and tanke charge of my choices. At the time, I was already taking a good combo of medication so it was easier to have self-control. That gradually changed the dynamics of the relationship. We had reached a breaking point many years before that and they didn’t know how to act around me. They have strong personalities so they simultaneously walked on eggshells and went off on me. To be honest, I wouldn’t wish this on any parent and neither do I wish that they suffer from BPD. Because I felt miserable. I needed my parents’ love and attention. But I also pushed them away. There were reasons for me to react the way I did but there was a lot of overreacting going on.

I still briefly bicker with my father on a regular basis but it never escalates. Retreat is a good option for me. Return to headquarters haha. My relationship with my mother is much better and we rarely fight. I think she’s happier now that I’m better. She just wished that I could have a better life, while she helps me get there.

Never forget, if your parents raised you with love, they probably still love you now and are on your side. A psychologist can help you immensely (and maybe medication but that is your call) to help you see from your parents’ point of view. It’s easy to get caught up in feelings and overanalyzing and not see obvious things, though we pay attention to everything. It can also help you learn how to communicate better with the people in your life. I’ve learned so much about myself and others with my psychologists. It’s really eye-opening and helpful. If you are curious about yourself and want to evolve in a healthy way, it’s one of the bets things to do. However, not everyone can do it and I respect that. Trauma is a like a thorn in your soul. It’s not palpable but it stings and sometimes therapy is the only way to deal with it. Doing trauma work is very hard but it’s worth it. Understanding how we can find new and better coping mechanisms, that are constructive and healthy. Find ways to soothe ourselves that won’t hurt us in the long run.

There are other aspects but these were the ones who stood out to me. Everyone grows in a different way and maybe your experience wasn’t quite like mine. There isn’t a fixed road for someone with BPD, nor is there for anyone. If you would like to add something that you think BPD helped you with, feel free to comment below.

Conclusion

Can you imagine what it’s like to have a somewhat normal childhood and troubled teens but your mental health was okay. You start to have these symptoms when you’re a young adult (at least that’s what happened to me). Everything changes. You are overwhelmed and hurting. Things are going downhill and you don’t even know how to explain to your doctor how you feel. Most people never go through this. They have their own aches but such a shift in your personality is not very common. Your personality is a mask that you wear and your identity. Everyone has an idea of who they are (an idea only because no one knows that for sure, if you go to the root of it) but you don’t. And you have this chronic feeling of emptiness that you desperately want to fill. People seem to know what they’re doing and you are just trying to survive. Trying to feel okay, try to not feel so much, trying not to see so much, not to catch all those details that you later overanalyze.

With age, you also learn that things aren’t always what they seem. The face that your friend made, what he said. It can be a misunderstanding. Overreacting is only going to blow things out of proportion and create problems. But it’s a fairly normal response for someone with BPD. We are scared, confused, we need some control over things, since we lost control.

If you have BPD, believe me, wanting to change is the first step in an incredible journey of growth. A journey that only you can make. You’ll be wiser, stronger. DBT or therapy will help you cope better and re-learn how to live in a healthy way.

Maybe today you had a terrible day, full of emotions and anger and whatever else you’re dealing with but a better tomorrow is possible.

Much love to you all.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Morning thoughts

I woke up early today, which is pretty good. It feels great to he awake in the morning. Plenty of sun, the light is just so bright and lovely. The day is going to be hot, I can tell.

I’m trying to convince myself to go out. I know all the rational and wise reasons to go but I’m still struggling with that thought. I need to convince myself that it’s the best thing for me. Get in that mindset.

I really need to see my therapist and vent. She’s the only one I can talk about everything I feel and my past hurts. I don’t want to vent to my boyfriend and friends. My boyfriend understands but I don’t want to deal with my pain. He’s very sensitive and empathetic so he suffers with me. He has enough problems in his life right now. I want to be his light in the dark and give him the best of me. Be supportive and kind, listen to him and give him unconditional love. That’s what he deserves.

My therapist is very kind and she helps me think about my issues. She asks questions. My answers and her answers help me get to conclusions. Important conclusions that may help me get closure from some situations. I really need it. I see my therapist as a special friend. Someone who is not judgemental and that validates me. Someone whose first instinct is to see the positive side of an event. I’m not that positive sometimes so it’s really helpful.

As the weather is getting better, I’m planning to go to the beach tomorrow. I could really use some sun and iodine. For the first time in years, since my childhood, I’m not self-conscious of my body. It’s not a matter of being fit, which I’m not but a matter of how I see myself. I have come to accept my body, with all its glorious flaws. It’s an important part of me that I cherish and appreciate. Even when I was fit, I mostly didn’t like my body. I always wanted to be thinner than I was. I wanted to have a perfectly fat stomach. Now, I have a chubby stomach and I’m okay with it. I am planning to do some sit-ups so it gets smaller, just to be healthier. Exercise would be very beneficial to me. This sedentary life is no bueno. It wreaks havoc on the body and I have already have circulatory problems. There are a number of exercise apps so, if I find a good one, I will share it here. Exercise is fundamental for physical and mental health.

It’s settled, I’m going out. But there’s a problem: I might need to go to the supermarket and I really have a tough time going there. There is an alternative: instead of going to the big supermarket near my house, I’ll go to a smaller one that is not far. It belongs to another inexpensive supermarket chain so the prices will be affordable.

Now I’m listening to motivating music. Something to get me going and confident enough to go out. I need a little push.

The day is just beautiful. I’m going to buy a few apple ciders to drink tonight. It’s a guilty pleasure since it has alcohol and lots of sugar. When I used to smoke, I wouldn’t drink at all. Now, I feel the need to drink, once in a while. Just one or two apple ciders, nothing serious.

In six minutes, I’m going to start getting ready to go out. This is definitely a process and progress. I need this process to go out: to think about rational reasons for going out, convince myself and get in that mindset. Writing about it helps me a lot. I rationalize and internalize things better.

It’s almost time, so I have to go. I’ll see if I get inspired to write outside. That would be pleasant. 🙂

I hope you have a great day.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

40 days sober and more

I am very proud to say that I have reached 40 days. It has not been as hard as I thought it would be. I guess all that blogging about addiction and my struggle really helped. Marijuana has been out of my system for 10 days and I finally see some changes. I am a bit more motivated and less paranoid. I do not feel as numb as I used to. I feel more pleasure in doing things.

I am still struggling with going ouside. I have been leaving my house once a week, twice on a good week. My vitamin D levels must be dangerously low but I still prefer to stay at home. It is a self-destructive behavior, I am aware of that. It has been going on for years. I feel like the world is a complex and scary place. I do not feel like I fit in, so I just withdraw myself. I know that is not answer but that is how I have been coping. My therapist has been helpful but I still need more sessions. Maybe they should, sometimes, be twice a week. I feel like I need that. Besides my boyfriend and a few friends, no one really gets me. That makes me feel helpless, hopeless and marginalized. I have lost so many friends since I have a mental condition. It is really heartbreaking. I must move on from that but I am still a bit stuck in the past, still trying to get closure. This is where my therapist comes in. Our conversations are insightfyl and she shows me points of view that I did not have. It is important to explore new points of view, so we do not get stuck in our distorted perception. I am not saying we are not valid but our perception often betrays us. This is why therapy is so important and just taking medication will ease your symptoms but not treat the underlying causes. Therapy is hard work but it pays off. It is a great help and a great investment in our mental health.

Inside, I am so scared. Irrational fears and rational fears are overwhelming. It is like being stuck in a cage, surrounded by danger. My house is my cage and I am conflicted. On one hand, I am desperate to get out and on the other hand I am content by being safe. That is an illusion. I am not safe anywhere if I still do things compulsively. I am not happy with myself so I do this. My coping mechanisms are destroying me. I feel despair lots of times. Like an ouroboros, biting my tail, in a never ending cycle. At least I have stopped engaging in one of those habits. That is very positive. I am sure there are more positive changes to come. I will not give up on myself. I must keep trying to get better. It is part of my purpose in life, to overcome this and help others. I will do that. I can do that. You can, too. I believe in us.

Image by MPMPix, courtesy of Pixabay.

Addiction recovery and the benefits of therapy

I found this article about addiction. It talks about fear and freedom. I definitely want the freedom that comes with being sober. The freedom of having more money and better mental health.

Can’t we experience freedom with a drug of choice? On the contrary, that’s not freedom but numbing out, escaping, abdicating responsibility and surrendering to cravings and urges. When you’re free, you operate from a place of knowledge and choice. You choose what to do and what not to do. No one else does that for you.

I learned that cravings lessen with time and will disappear after a while. I have to know my triggers in order to avoid them. I will keep snacks for when the cravings come. I will try to be firm and reason with myself. I have to be happy to be over with this phase. I can be free of this. I am better than this. This is not stronger than me and it never will. I am in control of my life. I have to be. I don’t want to make the same bad choices every day. I want to write and go out more. Be with people that don’t use drugs.

I also found this article about addiction recovery:

The human brain is constantly changing. Our gray matter is responsive to music, mayhem, and medicine, adapting with exposure to these and other stimuli, including psychotherapy. Science has shown that many forms of psychotherapy, whether used in conjunction with medications or without, can actually cause physiological changes in the brain that result in better treatment outcomes for people with trauma, addiction, and other mental health disorders.

Through functional neuroimaging scans, researchers involved in more than 20 scientific studies have provided evidence of structural and functional changes in the brains of patients receiving psychotherapy for conditions such as depression and anxiety. These studies show physical changes in the brain that correlate to noticeable improvements in the patient.

Additional research studies have revealed that medications and substances of abuse also cause changes within the brain, altering the wiring within its reward center, thereby impacting levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin that are sent along the nerve pathways in the body. Studies also reveal that after cessation of medication or substance use, and with sustained abstinence supported by therapy, a person’s brain structures can eventually return to a normal state. When a client who has given up drugs in treatment starts to feel less anxious or sleeps better, it is the brain healing.

This article gives me hope. It goes on to say

While it may be hard to believe that psychotherapy is capable of producing physical brain changes that can be as effective as taking medication, the proof is in the gray matter. Scientists have demonstrated that brain changes resulting from psychotherapy are enduring, and crucial for long-term recovery from mental illness.

These findings challenge a longstanding “brain bias” that exists in the field of psychiatry — the view that the brain’s physical structure is unchanging and should be the primary focus of treatment, while psychological factors are secondary. Based on this bias, some will argue that medications provide the best results. But the latest scientific revelations indicate that, for those willing to invest time in therapy, the coping strategies and behavioral tools they learn will help manage life’s slings and arrows in the short term, while the brain’s circuitry works to catch up and affect lasting change in the long term.

The take-away message? Even if you are already taking medication that helps manage your symptoms, you can complement the medicine’s therapeutic benefits with psychotherapy. Find the psychotherapy that works for you and stick with it — your brain will adapt in ways that will enhance your healing, making you feel even better over time.

I really agree with this and it is a great thing. I think everyone should see a therapist from time to time. That would be very beneficial for humanity. We all need to reflect upon our actions, our past, and our future. With the help of a professional, we can heal from various things.

The brain is like the universe, always changing and evolving. We can rewire our brains which is great. I definitely think my talks with my psychologist really help. I can tell her anything. I cannot do that with anyone else. Some people know some things about me, others no other things but I do not disclose it all to anyone. The people that know me better are my parents, my boyfriend, and my best friend. It is important to have privacy in your life. To have secrets. You don’t owe transparency to the world. This very opaque and cloudy world.

I have to keep in mind that the last time that I stopped smoking for a day, I felt great and was overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings. I hope the same happens now. It was easy to go through the day without smoking. I will have to keep myself busy. I will be writing my heart out. Trying to overcome the difficult time ahead. Difficult yet somewhat peaceful. Since there is no need to get it or do it. I will try to exercise and to meditate every day. Exercise when I have a craving and then eat something to help.

I thought this infographic was interesting. Things to keep in mind.

I should also go to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. That would help me. There is one on Monday. I hope I find the courage to go. Even though I do not like it that much. It has helped me in the past.
This quote is also important:

I agree with this quote, without a change in your life, it’s impossible to recover. I need to make changes.

My therapist asked me if I knew someone who had kicked a drug habit and I said yes. She told me to ask that person how they did it. And I did. The answer was simple, it was work. Worked helped him overcome the cravings and ultimately he kicked the habit. More and more companies right now make candidates take drug tests. I am afraid of that. So I have to quit first, for a month and then start to look for work. Work or a course. I do not know which one yet. Something where I get paid and work or study. Whatever is best for me.

My cat is anxiously waiting for me to go to bed. It is already 5 am and she wants to sleep. I think I should call it a night, too.

Image by Westfrisco, courtesy of Pixabay.

Night thoughts

Today, I woke up at 2 am. I really don’t like to wake up when there is no one around. It feels so incredibly lonely. Like you wake up in a different time and space and you are all alone.
I’m having coffee and thinking about how perception can shift. How someone wakes up at 9 am and is in a good mood and how someone can wake up in the middle of the night and feel lonely. Does this happen to you, too? My mood is becoming better as I adapt to this reality. I see that these feelings, like most feelings, are temporary. I can still be positive and enjoy myself.
Right now, I have adapted so well that I feel like it’s just another night. Feels like I’m hiding and safe. Protected by the dark and quiet. Away from all problems. Away from pain. Running away is a terrible way to deal with problems. They pile up. Consequences of consequences. Blocked actions. Blocked life.
I will trust the therapy process and my therapist. I have been feeling lighter and more positive. Doing therapy makes me feel like I’m pushing my life forward. Like I am doing something for myself. And I am so it makes me happy and more content. I haven’t missed a week of therapy. I really didn’t feel like going last Tuesday but I rescheduled and was able to make it on Thursday. Therapy is hard. I cry every session. Some things are very hard to talk about. My therapist understands boundaries and is very respectful as she asks questions. She smiles a lot and is very spontaneous. She congratulates me for small steps. I really needed that. I need to receive that kind of personal attention and compassion.

Image by ddzidra, courtesy of Pixabay.

Today, therapy and music

I woke up early today but I had a nap from 3 pm to 9 pm. I never thought I would sleep that much. I guess I needed it. I do like sleeping. It’s like being dead without the pain and violent death. I’m just kidding, I like to be a bit morbid from time to time. I think it’s funny to be a little nihilistic.

So I had an appointment with my therapist on Tuesday. It went really well, I really like her. She makes me feel very validated and understood. It eased my pain. I talked to her about the blog and she was interested. We read a few posts and talked about it. I love how she incorporated something I really enjoy in the therapy session. I haven’t been feeling so hopeless.

I just worked out. I feel in a better mood and my body feels great. It’s only 2 minutes a day so most people can do it. sedentary life is very dangerous, very bad for your health.

I’ve been listening to Japan all night. First, I listened to “Gentleman take polaroids” and then “Quiet life”. I find this music to be very pleasant and nostalgic. It was made on the cusp of the eighties. They have wonderful instrumental tracks with piano. I recommend you these albums. I’m now listening to Japan’s 1981 album Tin Drum. Reminds me of Duran Duran at times. It’s effortless and fun.

I hope you are also having a good night. 🙂

Image by auntmasako, courtesy of Pixabay.

I found a new therapist

Good morning everyone. I woke up early today, which is good.

I have just scheduled an appointment with a psychologist. My current psychologist isn’t helping me and she isn’t validating me, either. She doesn’t take my calls during the week, which she should do, according to Marsha Linehan (the creator of DBT). She isn’t helping me, she seems very inexperienced with this type of therapy. When she stopped calling, I felt abandoned. I felt invalidated and hurt. But I started rationalizing it. She’s just my therapist, the bond we had was fake and she clearly doesn’t care so why would I?

I’m going to start therapy with a new therapist, which isn’t very good. I hate starting therapy, you have to tell your story again and it’s just frustrating. I’m doing it anyway, I need therapy. I hope I like her.

It’s not DBT but my psychiatrist said I would benefit from any type of psychotherapy. I’m going to buy DBT self-help books, maybe they can help me.

I feel a bit scared because I’m so convinced that DBT would help me a lot and I’m going to have a “normal” psychotherapist. At least my new therapist has experience with addiction, that gives me hope.

It’s always good to get to exchange ideas with someone new. To see other points of view so, even if I’m scared, I’m excited as well.

I hope it goes well. If it doesn’t, I’ll deal with it.

Image by PublicCo, courtesy of Pixabay.