March 22, 2010

Curioser and Curioser!

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:09 pm by eddejae

A couple of weeks ago I went and saw Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. I don’t care what some people are saying, I absolutely loved it. But then, I’ve always been a Tim Burton fan, not to mention a Johnny Depp fan… and an Alice fan… so put them together? I’m all over that!

There were a few things in the movie that really hit home with me. The story of Alice in Wonderland has always fascinated me – I think because I could relate to Alice in lot of ways. She is suddenly dropped into this world that doesn’t make any sense to her, and she’s expected to find her way home despite nonsensical advice from well-wishing Wonderland residents and a plethora of mind-boggling obstacles. Seeing Tim Burton’s version of the Alice story –  which is actually more of a “Return to Wonderland” in which Alice is older, but apparently not much wiser (ah touché, Mr. Burton) – turned Lewis Carrol’s fairytale into an even more of a metaphor for my own life.

I found an article written by Jill Brown, in which she makes observations similar to mine (full article at http://singlemindedwomen.com/women-relationships/alice-in-wonderland/)

Throughout the film there is a debate as to whether or not this is “the” Alice; the real Alice of before, now grown up, who has the courage and spirit to help the suffering characters to defeat the tyrannical and oppressive rule of the Red Queen. Alice goes through her own doubt and self-discovery during her adventure to try to discover for herself whether or not she is indeed “the” Alice, the champion of good and right in this magical reality.

This reminds me of the part in the Alice in Wonderland book when Alice first runs into the Caterpillar:

“Who are YOU?” said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I–I hardly know, sir, just at present– at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”

(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 5)

Like Alice, I will wake up in the morning as one person, and through the course of day feel like I’ve been transformed into three or four different people, all before the sun goes down! Part of my disorder is that I have a hard time with stable identity and emotional regulation – “changing with the wind” so to speak. I’m definitely working on that, but it’s not easy. The slightest thing can completely change my entire mood, attitude towards myself, decisions for the day, etc. Because of that, I can get really confused about what is real and what’s not, what’s me, and what’s not me. Is the person who is crying/laughing/angry/happy/sad right now “the” Edde… or some other Edde that has decided to momentarily inhabit my mind and emotions? Is this an imposter, or the champion that will one day conquer this monster called “Borderline Personality Disorder”? Like Alice said, “I can’t explain myself, Sir, because I’m not myself you see!”

I think the most compelling scene in Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, and the one that resonated the most with me personally and will with all the single minded women out there, comes about half way through the film when Alice is doubting her significance and role. She doesn’t believe she’s been to Underland before, thinking her previous voyage was just a bad childhood dream and so she doesn’t want to step up and help the Mad Hatter in his rebellion and resistance against the Red Queen. While she expresses her reluctance to take action, the Mad Hatter says to her something along the lines of, “You used to be much muchier before. Yes you were much more Alice the last time we met. You have lost your muchness.” (Jill Brown)

Last week I posted on my Facebook as my status: “Edde is finding her muchness.” A good friend commented saying: “Your muchness is where it has always been! In your child like spirit –  Children are much more courageous before they are taught to fear. Remember your wonderland Alice.” I thought about how true that was. Little children are naturally… “muchier.” They don’t usually sit around wondering who they heck they are and why they do what they do… They’re just… them… Before the cruel world teaches them to fear, to question their worth, to lose touch with their spirits. In her childhood Wonderland, Alice started to doubt herself. Not only was she constantly changing size, she was always being asked “Who are you?,” “Are you sure you’re real?,” “What is an Alice?” The only way she could ever get back to reality was by standing up for herself, stomping her little foot, and proclaiming her identity. Then she could return to the world of grownups and hold her own. Tim Burton expanded on this dimension of the Alice story.  Alice had to first believe she was the champion meant to slay the Jabberwocky before achieving that magnificent feat, thereby gaining the courage to return to the real world and assert herself as a strong, independent woman. This underlying message of empowerment can resonate with everyone who has tried to figure out who they are in this crazy, nonsensical world.

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.


“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”


“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.


“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”


(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,
Chapter 6)

I think it’s safe to say Alice and I have have a lot in common haha!

But really… I think every girl is a real-life Alice in her own unique way…Trying to make it through the maze of this strangely confusing yet stunningly beautiful wonderland called “life.”

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March 21, 2010

Roller Coaster

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:25 pm by eddejae

Today I rode a roller coaster of emotions…

I woke up screaming again from yet another nightmare. They feel so real…

I looked in the mirror this morning and was content with what I saw. I put on my red heels…

At church, I felt self-conscious, like all eyes were on me. I considered diving underneath the pew…

The children sang. The sounds of their voices filled me with happiness. I wanted to hug everyone of them. I wished I could hug every child in the world and tell him or her “I love you”…

I connected with close friends at church…

My sister got mad at me for taking my mother’s attention. She still holds a lot of resentment because of things she’s had to see me go through, and for what I put my parents through. She has built up walls to protect herself. I don’t know how to break through them…

When I got home, I hugged my stuffed frog and cried…

I went to a family gathering. Afterwards, I started to feel very overwhelmed…

I looked in the mirror again, and this time I was disgusted with what I saw…

I felt like setting something on fire…

Or driving dangerously fast with my music blasting…

Instead, I decided to eat my feelings…

I tried watching a movie, and was so disturbed by one of the  scenes that I threw the remote at my brother and bolted from the room…

I feel bad about it.

My dad came upstairs to my room to make sure I was ok…

I am alone in my room, listening to Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah.” It is calming, like when my dad used to sing “Kumbayah” to me when I was a little girl…

I am ready for this roller coaster to end now. …

I pray the nightmares won’t come back…

And it’s not a cry that you hear at night

It’s not somebody who’s seen the light

It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah…

Hallelujah…

Hal…le…lu…




March 20, 2010

Sunshine, Shrieks, and Shrinks

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:25 pm by eddejae

When you have recently been through a really dark, confusing time in your life, even the smallest “good” thing seems almost unbelievably incredible in that moment you’re experiencing it. I thought this as I drove home today froma picnic in the park with my friend and her three-year-old son. I found myself delighted in just watching this adorable little kid throw popcorn to the ducks and “fish” in the pond with a branch (seems the fish weren’t keen on catching today, to his dismay). Merely being outside felt like a special occasion, as I usually spend most of my time indoors. After eating lunch, we went for a walk and found lots dandelions to blow the fluff off of. I remember when I was a little girl, I used to pretend that the seedlings turned into tiny fairies as they blew away. My friend and I had the opportunity to talk quite a bit, and I found myself a little more comfortable with opening up, which felt good. It’s nice having someone outside my family that I know I can trust as I’m testing the waters of this “new” me I’m working to develop. To be honest, I’m still pretty uncomfortable with myself, but my general attitudes towards and acceptance of myself is improving bit by bit. I look forward to the day when I’m completely comfortable in my own skin and with my own thoughts and feelings. I hope I can get there alright.

The last few nights have been rather odd, and I’m wondering if I’m starting to experience side-effects of my medication (Lexapro and Seroquel) that I’ve been on for six weeks now. I’ve been having nightmares and/or extremely emotionally intense dreams that I’ve woken up screaming from. Last night and a couple nights ago it only happened once, but the night before last I cried out three times (totally freaking out my poor mom). It’s like my brain is creating every possible scenario that would cause me to either be incredibly scared or angry to the point where I wake myself (and everybody else) up with the intensity of my reaction. It’s starting to get annoying. If it happens again tonight, I might have to call my psychiatrist and figure out what’s going on.

Speaking of psychiatrists… I had an appointment with mine yesterday and I’m feeling the need to vent. To put it bluntly… I hate doctors. I hate going to appointments. I hate being asked questions. I hate everything about doctors and doctors’ offices. I just have this aversion to being examined, whether it’s physically or psychologically. I get extremely intimidated, especially with my current psychiatrist. He is very good, thorough, and nice… but regardless, he’s a doctor, so he’s not exactly my favorite person. It’s like immediately as I walk into his office, I become a scared, helpless child who has difficulty answering questions and making eye contact. I start fidgeting with my hands, I hold my legs tightly together, and I find myself taking on a certain “fakeness” that makes me feel disgusted with myself afterwards. I answer questions in as few words as possible and just do everything I can to get out of there as quickly as I can.  I also have to fight the urge to tell him what I think he wants to hear, because I know if I do that, I will be the one harmed by it. But it’s tough. And that smile on his face! GAH! It comes off so patronizing! Or like he’s thinking something about me. Ya, I know, I’m paranoid. But I just assume he’s thinking all of these bad things about me and is judging me. I don’t feel that way with my therapist at all, just this doctor dude, and really, most doctors I’ve come into contact with give the impression that they know so much more than you do and “well, aren’t you such a good little girl for coming to see me and behaving so nicely”… I half expect them to pat me on the head and give me a lollipop on my way out. It drives me insane!! I always wind up feeling bad about myself over something they said, or something I thought they were implying, or a look they gave me… Like I said, I get very paranoid. I also made the mistake of mentioning my blog, which he was way too curious about, in my opinion. Grr…This is probably just all in my head too. Sigh. Whatever. It’s just something I have to put up with I guess. Bleh! Ok I’m done with my rant.

Anyways, I did something else positive today. I did not wear a sweatshirt. Ok, I know that sounds really funny, but I always wear sweatshirts in public, and baggy jeans. I try to hide my body as much as possible. But guess what? Today I wore layers instead – a thin white long-sleeved shirt underneath a t-shirt, which wasn’t entirely form-fitting, but not baggy either. Ok, that’s huge for me. I’m still not comfortable showing my arms because of the scars (which are fading nicely, by the way), but it was a lot more stylish and not much less comfortable than the typical big sweatshirt I wear. It really is the little things huh… Lol. I’m a dork.

On a final note, my friend sent me this picture last night and it made me laugh:

If only it were that simple, huh?

Until tomorrow…

P.S. I’m listening to this song right now, and it is making me smile. So I thought I would share…. 🙂

March 19, 2010

The Sandman Waits for No One

Posted in recovery tagged , , , at 11:04 pm by eddejae

I just attempted to write a post about my day, consistent with my commitment to daily blogging.

But I just… can’t… do it.

I am falling asleep as I write this…

I have no other choice but to give in…

I hope I can make it to my bed before I pass out from pure exhaustion…

In Sleep we lie all naked and alone, in Sleep we are united at the heart of night and darkness, and we are strange and beautiful asleep; for we are dying the darkness and we know no death. ~Thomas Wolfe.

Ok I’m starting to hallucinate. Goodnight.

March 18, 2010

Blast from the Past

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , at 5:54 pm by eddejae

I have been putting off writing this entry all day. I didn’t feel emotionally capable of writing anything yesterday either, which is why I resorted to posting a song (which is one of my favorites). I’ve had a lot of different emotions coursing through me, many thoughts twirling around in my head… But I’m having difficulty putting a name to them or defining their source. I have that trouble sometimes. I will be feeling a certain way and I can’t figure out why.

For example, when I have my “homesick” feeling. It’s not an actual homesickness – that is just how I described it as a very young child. It is an acute, throbbing pain somewhere below my heart but above my stomach (I actually think this is called the “solar plexus” if you want to get technical… I just learned that term a few days ago haha). That’s the physical aspect of it – the accompanying emotion can only be described as a deep “longing” of sorts. I remember first experiencing this when I was three years old, lying on my bed, staring at the ceiling. It still persists, and I have yet to figure out exactly what it is and where it comes from. It strikes at seemingly random times and is the worst feeling in the world. It almost feels like I’m sinking rapidly into a never-ending pit. I’ve just come to accept that it happens… I just wish I understood it.

Anyways, I just feel kind of melancholy today. Not a depressive melancholy… more a contemplative one, where I just feel mellow and thoughtful. Though I can honestly say I haven’t thought very about much today… Well, not purposely (there’s always an inner dialogue going on in the background of my mind which can be either so loud as to drown out everything else or as quiet as a faint whisper…depending on the day). I almost feel like my thoughts and emotions are “digesting” today, if that makes any sense. But I’ve been avoiding writing, probably because I can’t put my finger on exactly what’s going on in that unpredictable brain of mine, and I’m worried about what might come out once I put my fingers to the keyboard.

Well, as you can see, nothing too drastic has happened yet, but it might soon once I finally do what I avoided doing last night – writing about an experience I had stumbling upon something from my past. I was going through my documents on my laptop, cleaning up and organizing, etc. I came across a folder called “Received Files” that I had never noticed before. Another folder was stored under that one called “History.” Hm. So I opened that one to find the entire transcript of a very long instant message conversation that took place a year and a half ago with my boyfriend at the time. Against my better judgment (maybe), I read it. All of it.

It was painful. So painful in fact, that I spaced out for several minutes and freaked out my mom a bit. It brought back a lot of thoughts, feelings, fears, etc. that I had been feeling at that time in my life, most of which I understand now to be the symptoms of BPD raging their ugly heads. The pain I felt as I read it was from utter disgust with myself. Well, disgust is probably too strong of a word, but I was in complete shock with the things that I said in this particular conversation. And this was but one conversation. I could recall many similar conversations, some much, much worse, in which I had taken one little thing this guy said, misunderstood or twisted it (unintentionally, mind you), and then strongly reacted to it. The poor guy hadn’t even said anything out of line, but it seemed I took it completely the wrong way and fought tooth-and-nail as if it had been a giant monster ready to devour me. As my eyes scanned the words exchanged – him trying to explain what he had meant and reassure me, with me simultaneously accusing him of not loving me and threatening to call everything off – I was stunned at just how obvious my insecurities and fears are, how terrified of rejection I am. I took one perceived criticism, saw it as a very real threat of abandonment, and lost grasp of all reality.

After reading this, I felt incredibly ashamed, and sorry for what I had put this guy through. Then, I realized something very big and very important. I was seeing it. I could see where I had misunderstood. I could see how I reacted. I could see that the way I was talking and behaving was irrational (though at the time, it was perfectly rational to me). I could see my struggle with BPD being played out right in front of me. This was a major sign to me that I have come far since then, that I am much more in touch with reality now that I can identify my own problematic behaviors. I could never have seen it back then – the pain, the fear, the insecurity…that was my reality in the moment. Now, I can see what actually happened in that conversation. Things are a lot clearer.  And even though while reading it, I could still feel the intense pain that the conversation caused, I understood more of where it was coming from and that it wasn’t me. It’s not my fault that I behaved so irrationally and hurtfully. Now, I’m not saying I shouldn’t take responsibility for what transpired, but I understand that the root cause was my disorder in all its complexities, not some fundamental flaw in me.

Now if I can only look at other things that happened in my past in that same light… I might be well on my way towards forgiving myself, for not hating myself, for not acting out the loathing I carry deep inside for the mistakes I have made and for the people I have hurt. That’s going to take a long time… Even after that breakthrough in separating me from my illness, I am still going back and forth in my mind about it… That voice in my head that tells me I’m a horrible person and that I should feel ashamed for everything, ashamed for even being alive, is so loud. Maybe that’s what I’ve been fighting all day, and just didn’t realize it. In any event, I think this was a very important step, regardless of whether my mind and emotions want to accept it yet or not.

Well, I did it. I wrote about it. I did what I’ve been running from all day.

I guess it wasn’t so bad in the end.

March 17, 2010

Never Alone

Posted in recovery tagged , at 8:17 pm by eddejae

I waited for you today
But You didn’t show
No no no
I needed You today
So where did You go?
You told me to call
Said You’d be there
And though I haven’t seen You
Are You still there?

I cried out with no reply
And I can’t feel You by my side
So I’ll hold tight to what I know
You’re here and I’m never alone

And though I cannot see You
And I can’t explain why
Such a deep, deep reassurance
You’ve placed in my life

We cannot separate
‘Cause You’re part of me
And though You’re invisible
I’ll trust the unseen

I cried out with no reply
And I can’t feel You by my side
So I’ll hold tight to what I know
You’re here and I’m never alone

We cannot separate
You’re part of me
And though You’re invisible
I’ll trust the unseen

I cried out with no reply
And I can’t feel You by my side
So I’ll hold tight to what I know
You’re here and I’m never alone

March 16, 2010

Being Good to Myself – A Photo Journal

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:54 pm by eddejae

Today I decided to be extra nice to myself… Not something I’m accustomed to doing! I was in a picture-taking mood so I decided to photo-document my day.

I took a long, relaxing shower. After days of not being able to smell anything due to my cold (which I am finally recovering from!), I reveled in the delicious fragrance of my cherry-almond body wash.

I painted my toenails my favorite color (a bit sloppily lol).

I played with my kitten, Fiyero. Next to socks, suspenders are his favorite play-thing. I call him “Bionic Kitty” because he will jump at least five feet from the ground to catch a dangling sock.

I took an invigorating walk in the sunshine. Here are some of the things I saw:

This is the tree outside my house. I can’t even remember the last time I sat on that bench…

My sister made fun of me for taking a picture of a fire hydrant. But I thought it looked picturesque! Lol.

This mailbox made me laugh. I wonder if the person who lives here is a bus driver?

Bambi’s mom LIVES!

This is my pet lily that I originally grew on top of the fireplace and is now on the porch enjoying the fresh air. My other cat, Oliver, just happened to be in the shot. I thought it was cute. (Don’t worry, I only have two cats… I’m not a crazy cat lady… YET. Lol)

I played the piano today.

And finally picked up my guitar that’s been sitting around for almost a year, and learned four chords: A, E, D, and G. I hear if I keep this up my fingers will blister…

I bought myself Odwalla Superfood Juice. Yes, it’s green. I know, sounds nasty, but it’s delicious… and REALLY good for you.

And I watched one of my all-time favorite movies, Juno.

So that’s how I took care of my body, mind, and spirit today. Go me! Ha 😛

March 15, 2010

A Letter

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , at 6:16 pm by eddejae

This letter was written by a fellow blogger who also deals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It struck a chord with me, as it expresses a lot of things I have not yet been able to say, and I wanted to share it here.

Dear Non-BPD,

We know how difficult it is to have us in your life.  We know how hard it is to hear us in our depths of despair.  We know how we may come across as manipulative, controlling, unwilling to change, attention-seeking, even intolerable.  We know.  But step back for a moment, really look at us.  Inside, you will find the most compassionate, empathetic, kind, giving people you will meet.  Yes, you are tired of the chaos– as tired as you are, we are drained, worn down.  Yes, you feel trapped by the relationship, as trapped as you feel we are birds banging our heads against the cage wanting to fly.  I implore you, do not tell us we do nothing to improve, we have been seeking help most of our lives, we have been fighting to get “normal” forever.  We have been actually getting up every morning, this in itself is comparable to climbing Mount Everest, this is “doing something.”  We are not about control, manipulation, lies, we are about fear.  We love you, possibly more than most people can feel love and are in sheer terror of losing you, this is the control you speak of.  Don’t turn your back on us (unless you are in danger of your life, but most BPD’s I have met hurt only themselves).  For when you turn your back on us, you have reinforced the idea that we are unworthy, hopeless, and cannot make it in this world.  In my experience, most of the conflicts that arise with BPD’s and Non-BPD’s is miscomunication.  Be clear about what you mean, extremely clear, because what you say is perceived by us as something different.  Be reassuring. Don’t say, “I can’t take this right now,” simply start the sentence differently… “You have every right to feel the way you do, but can we talk later. I will call you back at such and such a time.”  Be validating.  Don’t ignore a text or a phone call, we have been ignored all our lives and feel invisible.  Don’t tell others that we are “crazy.”  We are a lot healthier than most people walking around ignoring their feelings, we are learning how to cope.  Don’t tell us we are being overly dramatic, overly sensitive, we are not dramatic, our feelings are real and yes, we are overly senstitive, but is that such a bad thing?  I am proud to say that I am sensitive, I am proud to say that when I love, I love with all my soul, I am proud to say that I do understand you, but can you even try to understand me?  I am not here preaching about how BPD’s should be catered to.  As an analogy: if we had cancer, would you say “I’m tired of taking you for your treatments, fight this on your own?”  For some, BPD is as terminal as cancer.  As long as they are in treatment and learning to cope, be there because one day that bird that is banging their head against the cage will fly free and you will miss the opportunity to fly with them…

Fia Marie (http://ontheborderlineblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/28/a-letter-to-non-bpds-with-a-bpd-in-their-life/)

March 14, 2010

Sanctuary

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , at 10:23 pm by eddejae

Exhaustion pulses from my chest through my veins.

The smoke of last night’s dreams still

Lingers around my pillow.

My cheek is imprinted with the creases of the sheets

Gathered tightly around my body –

Now shivering cold, now burning with fever.

Coughing to clear my lungs from the

Suffocating remnants of yesterday’s tears.

My headphones cord tightens around my neck

As I turn towards the wall –

I fell asleep to the familiar lullabies

Of pain, healing, loss, and redemption –

“Hallelujah. Hallelujah.”

My dreaming mind, to make a point of sadistic irony,

Dismissed the messages of comfort and love,

Summoning for fears and monsters and

Merciless tales of doom, regret, and tragedy.

But the afternoon light streams through

The trinity of windows and casts an inviting glow

Across the cold wall upon which I press my feet, listlessly –

Thinking of yesterday and wishing for tomorrow.

I trace my finger along the wall in a language

Only I know, and do not care to speak of,

Then count the freckles on my arms.

In a place between asleep and awake,

In a state where dreams and reality intertwine

And fight for dominance in my brain,

In a place where only I can go, where I am alone,

I live a myriad of lives patched together from memories,

And tell myself stories that become dreams,

That melt into mere emotion to be circulated

Through my bloodstream like a drug –

But I’m not allowed to bleed it out.

So I lie here, and drift to sleep, and drift to wake,

In and out, light and dark, real and make-believe.

I am falling. Now I am flying. Running. Now still.

Thoughts dance the maddening dance and collapse into silence –

Jolted to motion again by the sudden beat of my pounding heart.

Future, past, present, now past again – No, present only.

I am here and that is all I need to know.

There is nothing else for me today.

The puzzle, the problem, will not be unlocked this way.

My muddled mind cannot touch your words.

I have no strength to hold it, carry it, examine it –

Too heavy, too heavy, it slips from my fingers.

So I lie here, exhausted, in the smoky of haze of dreams.

This is my reality today. This and none else.

I cover my head and bury myself in my sanctuary of

Sheets and shadows and pillow creases.

The truth will have to wait until tomorrow.

Tomorrow I wake up.

But not today.

March 13, 2010

Guilt

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , at 8:57 pm by eddejae

Every now and then, I find the familiar questions emerging to haunt me yet again. They wake me from my sleep. I turn a corner, they slap me in the face. Played out in nightmares. A word, a look, a thought. Spurred on by the pain of regret, I stumble through the murkiness of a thousand questions.

How do you say you’re sorry? Is sorry ever enough?

How do you make amends? Is it even possible?

How do you live with the regret of knowing the pain you’ve caused?

How do you stop torturing yourself with wishing you could change the past?

Can things ever be 100% right again? Or is it too late?

How do you forgive yourself, and move on?

Though I’ve come far, I can’t pretend like these things don’t bother me anymore. They still do. Tremendously. And I haven’t figured out the answers yet, though I hope I’m getting closer. I don’t know. All I know is that I am sorry… Sorry for it all.

Linkin Park – Leave Out All The Rest

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