March 23, 2010

Head Above Water

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:29 pm by eddejae

I broke down last night.

I didn’t even see it coming.

I was able to pull myself together enough to go to sleep. Today has been difficult. I am struggling with feeling disappointed with myself for “giving in” to my negative emotions instead of using coping skills to keep my head afloat. At this point I am fighting to keep my head above the water, fighting to keep from drowning in a sea of self-doubt and despair.

How did I get here? Everything was going along splendidly. I was finally starting to feel empowered. I felt like I was making so much progress in just a short time period. I was even feeling that somehow this couldn’t be real… How could I have come so far so quickly? I have actually been rather proud of myself for how I’ve been doing. However, despite my good spirits and increasing resolve, that little doubting voice in the back of my mind kept saying “Keep alert, this is just the calm before the storm…”

Sure enough, before I was able to perceive the warning signs, the storm broke loose.

I have been spending most of the day today prostrate in front of the television, seemingly engrossed but really just spacing out as I’ve tried to figure out what happened.

I think I’ve pinpointed it.

I became overconfident. I started to take on too much, too fast. Because I was feeling so good for a couple weeks there, I thought I could start going on Facebook more often, start having more online conversations, start going to larger social events again. I figured I would be fine, that I would be able to back off once I started to feel overwhelmed. The problem was that I lost touch with my own internal warning signs telling me that I was becoming too stressed. Looking back, I can see the increased anxiety manifesting itself through nightmares, rapid heart beat, and more urges to binge and self-harm. Yesterday I started to feel a cold, creeping emptiness come upon me that I hadn’t felt in weeks, that seemingly came out of “nowhere.” Well, that’s never true. Emotions don’t originate in a vacuum… I just wasn’t able to recognize what was happening inside me as I opened myself up to more and more outside pressure, which is not conducive to healing at this point.

It also doesn’t help that I haven’t seen a therapist in three weeks. I’ve been putting off calling my new therapist because of fear of the unknown and my phobia of making phone calls. I bit the bullet today and called both my insurance company and my new therapist to set up an appointment for Thursday. Hopefully seeing him will help get me back on a good path.

I am upset with myself because I fell back into that familiar pattern I’ve gone through for the last four years. I start to see improvement, I start feeling better about myself, and then I start to get lax, get “comfortable,” and think I can take on the world again… Then I crash.

Well, as much as I’d like to think I’m endowed with supernatural abilities including spontaneous regeneration…

I am no Superwoman.

I still have a long ways to go in my recovery and I can’t kid myself into thinking I’m “just fine” when I’m not. I need to take it slow, and also give myself another break from outside pressures that just serve to overwhelm me. My biggest mistake was getting involved in conversation with someone who completely invalidated my view of myself and my illness. It tore me apart. Then right after that, I got a text message from someone I did NOT want to hear from, and was so upset I threw my phone against the wall (I can’t tell you how many times THAT has happened!) Basically, I need to focus on myself right now and not spread myself too thin. I simply don’t have the skills to take on more than the basics right now, as much as I’d like to do more. I have high expectations for myself, and big things I want to do with my life… but those will just have to wait. I have to be patient with myself. My priority right now… is me.

So here’s to “falling forward.”  Here’s to restoring my focus on the essentials. Here’s to simplifying my life again and resetting my priorities.

Tomorrow is a new day… I pray for the strength to press on.



  1. Elizabeth said,

    I’m not a professional, but to me it sounds like an extraordinary bit of work you just did. Dealing with the emptiness and the hard stuff, evaluating how you got there and then figuring out what you needed to do and doing it, even though it was hard.

    To me, this reads like a victory story. Yay you!

  2. Edde said,

    I guess you’re right… Wow thank you Elizabeth.

  3. CMcAlister said,

    Hi Edde. I have been researching BPD because my wife was reacently diagnosed with it and I happen to stumble upon your journal. I hope you don’t mind if I make a comment.
    I have read your other entries and despite your recent setback at least from a readers perspective you have come very far. Sure you might have bitten off a bit more than you can chew, but you have the guts to take the next step! My wife has just started treatment and I know how big the small steps can be. And that which you have just attempted is a big step in and of itself! Now you have a point of reference on how to better proceed. You’re doing great. I’m sure all of your friends and family are very proude of you.

    • Edde said,

      Thanks so much for your comment! Your wife is blessed to have someone who will take the time and effort to understand BPD and recognize the importance of baby steps. Thank you again for your encouragement. God bless you and your wife during this journey.

  4. ivypixi said,

    Everyday you continue to be self-aware and fall forward, not back, you are superwoman. It takes a superwoman to survive Borderline. You are not alone in your stuggle. Most people would crumble just trying to live as we have no choice but to do. You are strong and you will be strong in your future.

  5. tiffk1023 said,

    This post was really difficult for me to read because it was really moving and I feel really relevant. I think the whole “things start to be great and then you crash” thing is really common because for me I feel like I have everything under control and I just ignore the minor urges to want to damage myself until it actually happens and it’s too late. Recently, I’ve been able to overcome the action of self harm but the thought is always there in the back of my mind. It’s not easy to get over especially with everything that you have been through but I believe that slowing things down and pacing yourself will be extremely beneficial to your recovery. I’m glad to hear that you’re beginning to start socializing and getting your life back to “normal” and I hope that continually eases its way back nicely. I also think that making stronger ties with your new therapist will really help you and maybe the absense of your old one is creating more stress and harmful urges for yourself because of the change that you aren’t used to yet. I believe that this is all just a rough patch in your long journey that will pass eventually. So make sure that you really are your own first priority right now. Also, I greatly appreciate your prayers and it really touched me when you said that. Please know that you will be in mine as well.

    • Edde said,

      thank you 🙂 you are such a source of positivity and strength for me… know that I really appreciate you.

      • fiamarie said,

        I have to agree with everyone. First, your writing is beautiful. Second, I know exactly what you mean, sometimes it is scary to actually start to feel good because in the back of your mind you’re wondering when it’s going to crumble again. But, you are on your journey, your path of victory over this and for now at least we have those “sometimes…”

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