And Breathe…

Life has been a meteor tumbling down at thousands of miles per hour recently and frankly I’ve just wanted to hop off the meteor into the abyss. Super melodramatic I know, but I’ve been at the lowest point of my life and what’s worse is it’s not a problem that can be fixed. I’ve been chained to the meteor and it’s been a battle to function. This post isn’t a pity party but as always, I hope someone out there can relate.

In the past I’ve been through some truly horrific events. A had a really crappy childhood during which my mother drank, and my father hit me. Along with other problems/people contributing, I didn’t enjoy most of my childhood. However, none of which ever made me feel this low. My Mum; I understood. My Dad; I forgave. The other problems and people; I pitied. None of them effected my quality of life. I still grew to be a very happy and optimistic person which the world at my fingertips. But it’s been over a year since I got diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. It’s been 3 years since I got diagnosed with agoraphobia. And in that time I thought I’d grown to accept these illnesses. I thought I’d grown to accept that I’d never be normal. I thought I understood myself so well, and the fact of the matter is I don’t. And even when I do understand it doesn’t help because understanding and logic don’t apply to bpd or agoraphobia. Now I realise this.

Until I got into a relationship I didn’t realise quite how debilitating my illnesses are. Before K I could happily shut the world out, I could stay at home watching TV, see the few friends I had time/energy for, I had no attachment to anybody. I was just happy little me, in my bubble. My home was my safe space and at home I blocked everything out VERY successfully. I was happy because there were no outside factors. I had money. I had constant socialising within the block of flats. I had no stresses from beyond my safe space. I was very very happy. Before I continue that’s not to say my boyfriend has made me unhappy, he hasn’t and none of this is his fault. He is just the change that allowed me to see that this protective bubble I had created wasn’t sustainable. Once K and I got a little more serious I realised that actually, I have a hell of a lot of issues that I had protected myself from. I didn’t protect myself from people by being in my bubble, I protected myself from me.

I needed protecting from myself because I can be my own worst enemy. I have an illogical side to my brain that is the devil in hiding. This illogical side of me fears so many things, some from past experiences, some from bpd, and some from sheer paranoia which is a symptom of both my bpd and anxiety. I fear rejection (bpd), I fear my boyfriend drinking (past experiences), I fear my boyfriend riding his motorbike (paranoia), I fear not being good enough (bpd), I fear being alone (bpd), I fear having friends that I’ll actually have to talk to regularly (anxiety), I fear never getting better (paranoia), I fear leaving the house (agoraphobia), I fear that makes me boring (paranoia), and most of all I fear my mental health is too much for the people I care about. The problem with my illnesses is everything is very intense. I don’t just have mood swings, I have intense mood swings. I don’t just have anxiety, I have intense paranoia. I don’t just have a phobia of going outdoors, I have an intense fear of any situation which means I cannot escape. And now that I am trying to live a life that involves “living” and “experiencing” things I am realising that my mental health is much worse than I had ever anticipated. I thought yes I have this incurable disorder, and yes I struggle to leave the house, but it’s bearable and I’m functioning as a relatively “normal” part of society because I was protected in my bubble. I was wrong and the bubble was a mask for a very long time. Now it’s gone I’m facing a disorder that I knew I had but never really felt I had.

The past few weeks have been a massive learning curve and I’m a very long journey with myself. At the moment I’m going through a change of medication which is not fun. I’m up, and I’m down, and I’m waiting for the Dr to prescribe something new. I’m anxious about whether I could end up on mood stabilisers or anti-psychotics, but I know that no matter how long it takes to get things right one day I’ll be feeling better. Once my medication is sorted I will be embarking on the biggest journey of my life, the journey to loving myself no matter what, the journey to being as “normal” as I can be in terms of integrating with society, and a journey to forgiving myself for being ill. As my boyfriend tells me, it’s not my fault I’m ill. It’s not my fault to people I trusted let me down. It’s not my fault.

“Which of my feelings are real? Which of the me’s is me? The wild, impulsive, chaotic, energetic, and crazy one? Or the shy, withdrawn, desperate, suicidal, doomed, and tired one? Probably a bit of both, hopefully much that is neither.” – Kay Redfield Jamison

Bpd has taken a new meaning to me. It used to mean I felt a bit more intensely that others. I’d cry at Britain’s Got Talent, and I’d want to punch a wall if I burnt my toast. It wasn’t fun but it was okay. Now bpd means crying when my boyfriend doesn’t come round quick enough, crying when I can’t cook eggs because the pan has lost its non-stick, it’s wanting to end my own life because I’ve been alone a few hours, it’s overdosing simply to end the pain. It’s missing people one day, and hating them the next. It’s wanting to clean the whole flat and within a few minutes lying down wishing it would end. There’s no constant. There’s no stability. There’s no foundations to build off. It’s chaotic, it’s ugly, and it’s bigger than I ever could have imagined.

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