Having BPD and (not so) last friendships

I know, I know.

I’ve been MIA. I suck. It happens.

Basic updates: Been at damn near rock bottom, had a relapse, was in a crazy good mood, crashed, burned, and now I’m somewhere in limbo.

When I was a kid, I had 3 solid friends I’d see all the time outside of school. My best friends. Who were always there. Brandy, Danny, and Josh. Then I had a ton at school that I’d see all the time. I thought that would always be the case. I was so very wrong.

5th grade was when life pretty much went to hell. I had some friends, but they were conditional. Something I didn’t realize at the time. Now, I’m not claiming that you should stay friends with volatile people. I, however dark, was not. I try to be a good friend, even when I know I’m being a shitty person.

People talk about turnovers at fast food places. Mine’s worse. I get attached quickly, which I know is a BPD thing. Which, I hate saying. People say don’t make excuses. I’m not. I’m making a statement.

If I were to say something is because of my mental illness, I’m making excuses.

If anyone else were, they’re making a claim. It’s okay for them to do, but not okay for me.

I know I’m a bit fucked. There’s no getting around that. I know that I have my issues. I know that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I know that not everyone will stick around. But, what happens when no one sticks around?

There’s so many things that go through my head when it comes to friendship. And it always lands on the same one.

“One day this person will walk away, and I’ll see the second it starts.” It’s a pattern that I loathe. And I’m helpless to stop it. I try so hard to cling to someone, to hold them close.

Then? Then the switch is hit. Fuck them. Fuck them for walking away. And it’s in that moment I go from being heartbroken over the loss of someone I loved so deeply…to wishing I had never met them.

People wonder why when they start talking to me, I’m reserved. And I keep a wall up. I know they’re only passing through. I know that within 2 years time if I’m lucky, they’ll be gone. I’ll just be another bad memory.

And when those times happen when I tell them I understand when they walk away, that I can’t even stand myself, and they tell me they aren’t going anywhere, that I break. I fight that urge to believe them, and fail. Everyone leaves. I get that. And I try to remind myself to not get so attached.

And then I do. My therapist is in awe that I’ve been with my husband 9 years. He’s impressed.

While that may be impressive, not knowing how to be a friend isn’t. Not knowing boundaries, not knowing how to not get attached, how to not make them push you away…that’s just sad.

Seeing names of people that were once so caring, that barely even bother with you hurts.

I don’t think people can ever understand the impact that friendship has on me. Both the hope that maybe the one has walked into my life that won’t walk out. And the fear for the day they do.

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Healthier Living

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If you know me, then you know me and energy drinks. They’re my security blanket so to speak. I don’t want to fathom how much I’ve spent on them in the last year alone, let alone from the time that I started drinking them (at 17!). Many times you can find me with a Monster or a Rockstar in hand.

It’s a habit. Every shopping day, we get gas, grab us energy drinks and a snack, get the kids their drinks, and their snacks. I have a bad day, and we have a few extra dollars, he’ll stop on the way home and get me one.

They don’t even give me energy, to be honest. I just like the flavors.

We are working on getting healthier now that his garnishment is over. Many times we would buy what was cheap (and unhealthy) to get as much as we could. Now we can focus more on health.

I know there are things that I shouldn’t eat because of anxiety, I just learned there are foods to avoid for PTSD, and there are foods I should avoid because of my hypothyroidism. There are also foods I should eat. Yet, those lists have been largely avoided. “Life is short!” I would say “I want to enjoy this!” I would cry. Yet, I feel like shit. My mental health hasn’t been improved by this mindset, and neither has my weight.

He’s 52 as of this year, as well. We both want to be strong and healthy for our kids. I sat down and made a list of foods to avoid, and foods to avoid. We’ll work on eating the foods in the house, but only buying limited amounts again for the kids. Anakin is thin, and needs the calorie rich foods, so we don’t really limit him. We do try to focus on ‘hidden nutrients’ in foods, though.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Coffee and other caffeinated drinks
  • Candy
  • Alcohol
  • Hot dogs
  • Sausage
  • Processed foods
  • Fast foods
  • Refined sugars
  • Refined flour

Now, I know saying I’ll never touch these foods again is laughable. I will try, though. I quit smoking, and I haven’t touched cigarettes since. What’s so different about this? Having my husband’s support is a huge help.

Foods to Eat:

  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Bananas
  • Milk
  • Oats
  • Cheese
  • Soy (limit for thyroid)
  • Nuts (especially Brazil nuts)
  • Peanut butter
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Leafy greens
  • Legumes
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits
  • Brown rice
  • Eggs
  • Whole grain bread
  • Tuna
  • Greek yogurt
  • Beans
  • Seaweed
  • Shellfish
  • Berries
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Broccoli

Changing from an unhealthy lifestyle, to a much healthier one is hard. Sugar is addicting, for one. However, bettering our lives is more important. And how can I want my kids living healthy lives if we can’t do the same?

I’ll still allow myself alcohol for like my birthday, or New Years, but that’s about it.

I just took the last sip of my last Redbull.

Wish me luck, my fellow bloggers.

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Trying

Impulse is something that has always been an issue with me. Not even gonna go into detail on how that’s gotten me into shit in the past. No need.

I’m not the best with money. I didn’t even know ‘excessive spending’ was something that was common along people with borderline personality disorder. Apparently, it is. I do try. I really do. I try to be smart about things. And the truth is, I’m not. I want to spoil everyone around me. I know it’s a flaw.

I’m trying to work on it even more now. I’m trying to be smarter. However, coming face to face on how I fuck up constantly isn’t fun. I put myself down daily. Always have. Then when something comes up that just adds to that, I feel worse. I know that no one is perfect, and that people make mistakes. I totally get that.

When you’re raised with things drilled into your head, they stick with you. For example, needing to do things perfectly, or not making problems. Shit I am pretty good at.

Now I need to suffer the consequences of a shitty coping mechanism that I started who knows when. I need to be an adult and give up on things I really want in order to pay for my mistakes. I want 2 tattoos after I graduate group, and I have to put them off now. I fucked up, and now I have to deal with the negative reactions.

I’m not saying that I won’t whine about it. I’m not saying I won’t get pissy. I will. Part of me never aged past being a child. And that part comes out at times. I whine. I pout. *shrugs*

Tackling all your problems at once is hard. I can’t turn to another ‘unhealthy’ habit to deal with the strong emotions of fixing another.

I can’t eat to deal with money shit.

I can’t shop to deal with facing my binge eating.

I can’t drink to deal with everything. More like shouldn’t.

I can’t cut to deal with strong emotions that I never learned to process.

I can’t get high just to not care.

When you finally come clean and admit that you know that you shouldn’t be doing things, and that you want to get better…you feel guilty for even wanting it for a split second. You feel like a failure for just wishing for one of them for a moment. And then you want one because you feel like a failure.

It’s a vicious cycle.

I know that I’m making progress, but that doesn’t mean I won’t have my bad days. Fuck, I have more of those than I’d like to admit. My mind is constantly going, and it’s exhausting.

I’m always scared of not doing things right. I’m scared of fucking things up, because that’s just what I do.

I go to bed and the house isn’t as clean as I’d like it, I feel lazy. I go to bed and the dishes aren’t done, I beat myself up. I could go on, and on.

I know there’s no ‘quick fix’ for the shit that’s wrong with me. I know that I can’t just snap my fingers and magically be a little bit more okay. I know I can’t avoid things forever. It’ll beat me down more than it has already.

For so long I hid how bad things really were. I was terrified to be honest. I was scared to admit how scared I was. I never told people when I was suicidal. I never told people when I was breaking inside. I never told people when I wanted to throw up because I was so disgusted with myself. I never told people about how I don’t know how to process emotions. Do you have any idea how tiring that is? Having everything on your shoulders, watching everyone smile around you, and you faking it? You smile because you should be happy. You smile because that’s what expected.

People always question what people have to be depressed about. What do they have to be anxious about. Why can’t they just move on from some event. Why do they let memories effect you now?

I wish I could turn off depression. I wish I wasn’t so fucking anxious all the time. About everything. I wish I didn’t let shit from the past bother me. There’s no off switch. There’s no goddamn erase button.

When a neurotypical person tries to tell someone with a mental illness how they should feel, it’s disrespectful. We’d love to be able to be ‘normal’. We’d love to function without medication, or therapy. Some of us can, and that’s fucking awesome! Some of us can’t, and we don’t deserve any less respect than anyone else.

Mental illness has been something that’s been hush-hush. You don’t talk about that. You don’t admit to it. You smile. You fake it. And you deal with it in private. That’s a big part of the problem. The stigma surrounding this. Hollywood gladly uses mental illnesses for a plot point, they gladly make a star anorexic to add drama. The news uses it to explain why white men commit acts of terror.

And then we’re seen as dangerous. We’re seen as unstable. We’re seen as lunatics. We should be locked up. We shouldn’t be parents. We shouldn’t do this. We shouldn’t do that.

It makes people like me afraid to come forward. I could have been dealing with this years ago, but everything I saw around me warned me not to. Told me to push it down, and to keep quiet.

I couldn’t anymore. There was so much pressure building inside me that I exploded. I couldn’t add anymore pain or lies to what I was already holding on to. I couldn’t keep secrets that were only doing more harm than good.

In high school, I could walk all over town. Crossing streets, walking in neighborhoods I didn’t know, and hanging out at the park after dark.

I’m 28 years old. I cannot cross the street myself. I cannot be outside my house in my own backyard at night without panicking. I can barely walk in my own neighborhood.

As I get older, the worse I get. The worse I get, the worse I feel. It’s got to stop somewhere.

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I Don’t Know

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Today in group, I knew no one. I had a different therapist, and different people. And still, I opened up. That’s a major improvement for me.

I talked about where my PTSD came from.

I talked about shit I want to forget.

I told them something only a handful of people know.

I gave advice. I spoke without being asked to. The therapist even noted it was excellent advice that he’d never thought of. That made me feel really good.

I’m the only one with borderline personality disorder in either group. So, every time if comes up, doc refers to me. I’m by no means an expert, and I make sure to always add ‘for me’ when I start. I have insight that he doesn’t, as I live it, but man. It’s draining. Thankfully, it doesn’t come up all that often.

Once doc asked why I don’t like going outside. I told him simply ‘there are people out there’.

When the female therapist took over, we worked on some techniques to get us through rough spots. She asked how I deal with being in public.

Her:  When you’re out, what do you do if it’s busy?

Me: I cling to my husband.

Her: What’s your thought process?

Me: I don’t want him to go far…?

Her: But there’s more to it, what is it? Why keep him close?

Me: Because if he goes to far people get close?

Her: Keep going.

Me: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Her: Why don’t you want people close?

Me: I don’t like people being close to me?

Her: But why? What do you think about in that moment?

Me: I don’t? There’s no thoughts going through my head. I just do it. I don’t like people being close.

Her: Why?

Me: ….Because I don’t like people in my personal space?

Like. I get what she was trying to do. But wording things differently won’t change my answer. I want to work through my shit. I want to be a halfway normally function human. I do, but that’s not gonna do me much good. Help me work on the issues we know I have, and I’m pretty damn sure other things will get worked on in the process.

Teach me how to not focus on the shit from my childhood. Teach me how to deal with my anxiety at the core. All my issues are connected- I know that.

I just want to be able to function. I want to have a life. I don’t know what it’s like to not worry. I don’t know what it’s like to be able to just live. That’s all I want.

I start Viibryd on Saturday, and I hope that it helps. Have any of you tried that? If you have, what were your experiences?

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Out of Left Field

Last night, just as my daughter fell asleep in my arms, I broke. I had a complete meltdown. No warning, no signs it was coming. It was like a truck of emotions hitting me.

In the following hour and a half, I would have another. I thought maybe writing would help, so I started one of the fics on my list. I wrote 3 sentences before I just couldn’t focus anymore. I took my meds, texted my husband, crawled into bed, and cried myself to sleep.

I nearly had a 3rd breakdown because all I wanted to do was eat, and drink. We have no alcohol in the house, and no junk food. I wound up making a pan of cookies that I ate 2 of. Didn’t even care for those.

When I came out to the living room to tell my son it was bedtime after getting my daughter to sleep, there was next to no signs of my breakdown.

This morning I went right to cleaning. I put the clean dishes away, loaded the dishwasher, started a load of laundry, and cleared off the counters. I tried to play some World of Warcraft, but just quit.

All I want to do is shower, and crawl back into bed. But, I can’t. Anakin has a doctor’s appointment this morning, and I have shit around the house that I need to do.

Here’s to another long day.

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Diagnoses One: PTSD

PTSD is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.

It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger.National Institute of Mental Health

Many people equate PTSD with soldiers, when in fact, most of the people who suffer from it are survivors of childhood abuse. I’m one of the latter.

I’ll refer to people involved by the first initial of their first name- unless two are the same, then one will be the first letter of both their first and middle names.

I can’t pinpoint exactly when it all started, but I know it was when I was very young. R came into my life for good when I was about two years old. I know that for as long as I can remember, I loathed him and feared him.

He drilled it into my head how I should behave- because I’m a girl. For years, he mentally and emotionally abused myself, and my mother. I wanted to go to Duke University from a young age. It was one of my dreams. I was a girl who loved fun, loved hanging out with my friends, had many dreams, and hope. Over time, R chipped away at that. Little by little.

I didn’t know what emotional and mental abuse were until years later. Even then, I never put the two together with how he treated us. I could do nothing right. I was in the wrong for everything. No crying, no speaking up, etc.

Years came and went, and I started acting out when I was about 13. I didn’t care. Nothing anyone did stopped me. There was this hole that I couldn’t fill.

The first time I cut, I was 14. Nothing major. I don’t even remember why, to be honest. Little did I know that would be my first addiction. Every day for 5 years I bled. Every day for 5 years, I called myself weak for not going deeper. For not just ending it all. Oh, I planned. Over and over. I planned how I wanted to die, and was always too scared. What if I failed? How much shit would I be in? Was all I could think.

The last time I saw, or spoke, to R…I was 17. Just hearing his voice made it feel like I had rocks in my stomach.

Life got worse. And worse.

When I was 18, I was living with J. I blacked out. When I came to, the bathroom was covered in blood, and I was in the middle of it. J was pissed that he had to clean it up, and bandage my arms. Not once did he show any type of concern for me.

The first time I tried to get clean, I was 18. It’s hard. People don’t connect cutting with addiction, but it is. The longest I’ve gone without since then was 2-3 years. That’s it. 14 years I’ve been struggling with this. 14 years of being an addict to something that I used to turn to when I could hear R in my head. Putting me down, mocking me, and more. When I could hear him screaming in the other room, over the music blaring from my headphones.

It wasn’t until 2013 that I was diagnosed. I didn’t think before that that I’d ever be told I’d have that. Just like many others, I associated PTSD with war, and the military. I was wrong.

It does involve a war, a war in your head.

I saw his picture one day, and had a panic attack. I haven’t seen R in 11 years, and he still reduced me to that. I shut down, and it felt like my world was coming down around me.

I’d always held this gut feeling that he’d done more, but never voiced my thoughts. I was wrong. I had to be. No one would believe me. No one would believe the mental case, right?

Finally, I did. I told my mother about the thoughts I had, and had it confirmed. He’d also sexually abused me. To what manner, I’ll never know. I don’t remember much before the age of about 6-7. It hurts to try, so I don’t.

Finding that out hit hard. In fall of 2012, I was raped by someone I thought was a friend. With those two things on my shoulders, I went through what I’m sure many did. Blaming themselves. Thinking they deserved it. I still struggle with thinking anything different.

I know that I need to face these things to move past them, but all I want is to lock them away and forget about them.

I’m still a victim. I live every day with the consequences of one person. I’m scared, and I’m broken. The smallest things can send me spiraling into a mess of a person. Leaving me in a state of depression and suicidal thoughts for days. Anger overflowing at the life that I once wanted. The personality that was buried, and died somewhere along the way. Thoughts race through my head, adding fuel to my rage.

How is this fair? How can he live happily while I have to fight to make it through the day? How can he walk into public  while being such a monster, where the thought of being around more than a handful of people scares me more than I can describe? How can he be so happy when I’m far from the mother my kids deserve? The mother I hoped to be? Why does he get to actually live, while I have to think every action through. Will drinking this finally be the time I become an alcoholic? Will I fall back into smoking? Will I relapse again? Will I have a panic attack while shopping? Will tomorrow be a bad day? Will tomorrow go fairly smoothly?

I am constantly on guard. And it’s not fair. I finally sucked it up and asked for help.

I don’t expect to be some outgoing person. All I want is to live without all the shit that comes from years of abuse. To be able to get my license. To make phone calls for myself. To get a job. To not need to walk away from doing dishes because the knives are right there. I want to live! Not just fucking survive.

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Day One

Today is day one taking Vyvance, and I hope to chronicle my month on it. Some days I’ll forget, others I might write more than once. That’s just how it goes.

But, I should probably give a little introduction here, right?

I’m Brittiny, and I’m a 28 year old wife and mother. I’ve been with my husband for 9.5 years now, and he’s a big part of my recovery. In 2013 I was diagnosed with ptsd, borderline personality disorder, OCD tendencies, and severe anxiety. Then, just last week binge eating disorder was added to that.

I’ve been on numerous medications for my issues. Finally, about 2 months ago, they stopped working. I caved and brought it up to my doctor. I was in a bad place. I was suicidal, I was depressed, I was angry, so many emotions were bombarding me. Simply making it through the day was a struggle.

I was put into intensive outpatient therapy. By far one of the scariest things I’ve done in my life. Also, one of the best. I’ve been happier since I started going, and I don’t feel alone anymore.

We come from all different backgrounds, but can relate to one another because we all struggle. I’m getting help that I should have gotten years ago. I’ll never be cured from some of this. I’ll live with BPD my entire life. Does that mean I’ll always be out of control? No. It’s manageable, but incurable. I’ll have breakdowns. I’ll flip my shit. The war in my head will always be there, it’s just a matter of how bad it gets. I’ll always have an eating disorder. Even if I manage to get to a place where I eat normally, there’s always a chance of relapsing. I’ll always be an addict- whether it’s been days or years since I last cut.

I can’t ask for the life that I feel robbed of, the ship has sailed. All I can do is cross my fingers, and take the leap.

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