July 1, 2010

Seven Days of Sunset ~Day 6… Soldier’s Daughter…

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:56 pm by eddejae

I will never forget the night that Todd, my fiancee, played this song for me. I believe it was his way of communicating his acceptance and understanding of me and the pain that I had held inside for so long and was working so hard to let go of…By sharing this song with me, he acknowledged my past full of heartache, my complex emotional life, and my deep need for those parts of me to be recognized and loved.

I will always be grateful for that gift, and I now share it with my readers in hopes that you will may feel perhaps just a little bit understood too. That you may know you’re not alone.

It’s the way he looks at you
That says to me
This isn’t over
From the outside looking in
You see there’s nothing sacred here
Nothing sacred
You can bend
But you can’t break
For the reasons out of our control
You try to make it roll
Like a dice away
But you say that you’re all empowered here
This is obviously not clear enough
To me
You can bend
But you can’t break
Hey little girl keep dancing
Hey little girl keep dancing alone
‘Cause there’s not enough time in your day
To keep you here
The soldier’s daughter
Did your daddy
Did your daddy hurt you
Did he make you feel bad
Did he poison your views
With the water he was raised on
Oh your father’s son says hang on
Hang on
Hey little girl
Keep dancing
Hey little girl
Keep dancing alone
‘Cause there’s not enough time in your life
To stay here
So over the hills he’d climb
Just to see her there in time
Just to watch the sun shine through her dress
The sweet soldier’s daughter
The sweet soldier’s daughter

June 7, 2010

Something About the Sea

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:30 pm by eddejae

There’s something about the sea that lets me open up and sets my mind and heart free again to express everything inside…

I am sitting in the large living room window of my uncle’s beach house in Sea Ranch on the spectacularly beautiful California coast. The sun slipped below the horizon half of an hour ago, yet the waves – only a hop, skip, and a jump away from the house – are still clearly visible as they push and pull against the shore. A curious little fox just peered through the glass sliding door, probably hoping I had left him another orange to much on, but finding no such tasty morsel prepared this fine evening, scampered away to search for meatier prey. It has been a while since I have really sat down and written. I’ve made a blog post here and there, but since my engagement I have been quite preoccupied with wedding plans and more overwhelmed than I’d like to admit about this impending life transition.

And what a transition it is. From single to engaged. From engaged to married. It all happened so fast my head is still spinning. Don’t get me wrong… it is wonderful. Exciting. Even fairytale-like you could say. But… overwhelming. So… So… Overwhelming. To the point where I feel like I’m just an auto-pilot most of the time. Floating through a dream. That I’m going to wake up and realize that none of this is real and that I’m still in the hospital. Sometimes I’m afraid that my emotions haven’t quite caught up with me yet, and that when they do, I’m going to crash and burn. But then, I realize that my emotions catch up with me every day, that I have my “break-downs” every day… That hardly a day goes by where I don’t cry for some reason or another, that hardly a week goes by where I don’t feel like I’m going to snap… I’m still me. I still have BPD. I’m still fighting depression. I’m still on medication. I still have demons. I’m still living one day at a time.

But…I have a very real life I must live. I have dreams to chase. A wonderful man to marry. A home to build. A world of my own to create. I must move forward. And I am. And I will. Doesn’t mean I’m cured. Doesn’t mean I don’t struggle every single day. Doesn’t mean I still don’t have my insecurities, my fears, my nightmares, my urges. But I have to be bigger than this monster that tries to convince me to give up. To run away. That says “All of this is just too much for you. Getting married? You’re not ready. Run. Run while you can! Or better yet. End it. End it while you can. You don’t have to do all this. Avoid the hassle, the pain, the risk… The risk you may fail. The risk you may lose everything in the end. End it. End it now….” The voices are real. The demons are real. The dreams are real. The depression is real. The BPD is real.

But I am real too. And I am stronger. My will is real. My spirit is real. My daydreams are real. My happiness is real. Todd is real. Love is real. Hope is real. Faith is real. Beauty is real.

I am real. I am strong. I am stronger than what seeks to destroy me. And I will win. Every time. Again and again and again and again and again… For the rest of my life.

I don’t know if this will ever leave me completely. I don’t know if the thoughts, the feelings, the fears, the insecurities, those things that torture me and haunt me will ever go away… I hope so. Maybe. Someday. But if not… It’s ok. I’m at peace with that. I accept it. Because I know I’m stronger.

Someone asked me today… “Are you sure you have BPD? Because you never complain.” I said, “Because I know… That this too shall pass.” Radical acceptance of what I cannot change, at least not right away… What I cannot change, but what I can conquer, moment by moment, day by day. I could complain. I do. Sometimes. What holds me back? Guilt. I don’t want to be a burden. There are a few people I feel comfortable letting go with. And that’s ok. I don’t need to try and be strong and positive all the time. I guess that’s part of leaning on other people and letting them be there for me. But for the most part… I want to focus on the positive and what I’m doing right, not what I hate about myself. But no one’s perfect, and we all need to vent once in a while. That’s what friends are for. I am grateful for my friends.

These days, I don’t really know what I’m feeling from one moment to the next. Thank goodness for Todd, who helps me to figure it out. I will begin to cry my eyes out, and I won’t even know why. It is so confusing and frustrating to not know why you are sobbing, why you feel you are falling into a dark pit and can’t get out. It seems if you could just comprehend the reason why you felt something, then you could solve the problem and all would be well. You feel that if you cannot even understand your own emotions, how in the world can you be expected to navigate your way through this crazy, confusing, terrifying world? The world becomes a monstrous place, a labyrinth of mysteries, gray-areas, and paradoxes where nothing is clear and everything is seen through a kaleidoscope of criss-crossed emotions.

At the same time… deep down… I know that everything is going to be ok. That I won’t run away. That I won’t die. I do not have a sense of impending doom, because I know that, when all is said and done, I will be getting married to Todd on July 3, we will go on our honeymoon, we will move into our new apartment, and we will begin a new life together as a married couple. He will continue to work at the air force base, and I will begin school to get a degree in music and theatre. No matter what happens with my mind and my emotions, those things will happen. And that brings me a measure of peace, of predictability, of stability, of structure. And I need that… desperately.

A plan.

A plan to keep me going, to keep me grounded when my mind is miles up in space or in the darkest recesses of the earth.

This too shall pass.

Moving forward is the most important thing.

One step at a time.

We rest here while we can, but we hear the ocean calling in our dreams,

And we know by the morning, the wind will fill our sails to test the seams,

The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore,

For ships are safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.

~Michael Lille

May 14, 2010

Emotional Color

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:01 pm by eddejae

You are my sunshine on a cloudy day.

You make every day worth living.

You give it meaning and vibrance.

You make me excited for every new day.

Life is so full of emotional color.

You make me feel color.

When you’re happy…

I feel vibrant yellows when you smile.

You make my heart feel like a soothing, calm blue.

When you’re sad…

I feel a beautiful shade of grey that fades into a relaxing white as we work through it,

And when we are done talking it out I close my eyes and feel the stillness of the

Darkest night with the beautiful stars in my heart.

~Todd

May 5, 2010

M.I.A.

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:24 am by eddejae

Dear Readers,

I must extend my deepest apologies for neglecting you these past few days. I have been quite overwhelmed with a multitude of emotions, thoughts, events, and the like, and have not had the opportunity nor *gasp* the inclination to blog. For this, I confess, I do feel some measure of guilt and not a small amount of trepidation that my heretofore faithful readers shall begin to lose whatever faith they had in my consistency of posting. However, I must give myself credit where credit is due and admit to myself that I have been under a considerable amount of stress as of late and, as such, deserve a much-needed break from the word of facebook, WordPress, Yahoo, and other such social networking sites.

Ok, enough of that.

So, as I was saying, I’ve been quite preoccupied with two very important males in my life. First, my wonderful boyfriend. And second, my little brother (who is not technically my little brother, but may as well be – I’ve basically adopted him as such). Most of my time has been divided between these two amazing people who I love so dearly. I have been especially worried about my brother and have been doing whatever I can to keep him afloat. He also deals with severe depression and I have been trying my hardest to be there for him and help him work through this.  On top of all this, I have been working to deal positively and effectively with the emotions that still seem to come out of nowhere at random times, triggered by random events, and that is exhausting in and of itself.

I also have some big news that I will have to wait until tomorrow to share as I am too exhausted at this moment to write any further.

I have a million things I want to expound upon in the next several posts, and I am therefore anxious to get back to my normal blogging schedule tomorrow.

Take care, my friends!

April 18, 2010

General Ramblings with a Comical Conclusion

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:44 pm by eddejae

Today felt rather odd. I’m still reeling from the sickening migraine that kept me up all night. The pain is still there, but not as intensely – rather, hovering just over my right temple, waiting to strike the moment I squint too much at the computer screen, hold my neck the wrong way, or go too long without a drink of water. I get migraines about once a week, and I used to be able to take Imitrex, which would take it away within an hour. Now, because of my psychotropic meds, I can’t take Imitrex anymore, so I have to suffer. Over-the-counter drugs don’t do a darn thing.

Anyways, my emotions have been a bit on edge today. Something happened to one of my extended family members that was extremely shocking and disturbing, so I’m sure that accounts for much of the anxiety – even though I think my emotions in shock because I don’t feel anything… Not hurt, not anger, nothing. Possibly a defense mechanism? I blogged about it anyways, just to avoid an emotional explosion later (here’s hoping), and then password-protected it because the topic is still so sensitive for our family.

There have also been other thoughts and feelings mulling around in my head and causing me stress, so I came up with a system that would allow me to “compartmentalize” my worries and concerns. On my computer desktop I created what I call a “File Box” with subfolders labeled everything from Family to Job to Blog to Therapy –  everything that I spend time on, focus on, issues I’m concerned about, goals for the future, projects I’m working on, etc. –  pretty much anything that goes through my mind during the day. That way, whenever a thought comes up, or a feeling that I need to work through, or even just an idea – I have somewhere to put it instead of letting everything constantly build up to the point where I get anxious. Even if I can’t think about it/fix it/work on it right in that moment, I can put it in my “file box” to be pulled out and looked at later. I believe this will really work for me. It will help me to concentrate on one thing at a time and keep track of where most of my thoughts and feelings “pile up,” which will let me identify the areas in my life that need to be concentrated on during therapy sessions and through blogging.

Had another “friend” incident, this one also involving Facebook (my “real-life” Facebook profile, not the one linked to this blog, which is mainly for networking and advocacy). I swear I am getting so sick and tired of Facebook drama. (And of Facebook in general. I’m down to 80 friends and if I find I can delete more, I will. Really, there are only a handful of people I communicate with regularly on the site and who ever comment on my profile. So it doesn’t make much of a difference anyways). As I was saying…this friend and I have a bit of a past. Nothing really bad happened – we started off as just friends, but then he decided he was in love with me. We wound up going on a couple dates and spent a lot of time together, but I told him I wasn’t interested in a relationship. Nevertheless he started to get very jealous and possessive, which led me to eventually start avoiding him. He got hurt over the whole thing, and though we are still Facebook friends, we haven’t talked for months – until a couple nights ago. I’m not going to get into the details of the conversation, but basically he said that he missed our friendship and wanted to take me out for sushi. I have to confess – I felt pressured, was worried about hurting his feelings, and therefore, said yes. Well, this was a couple days ago, and ever since then I’ve had this really uneasy feeling about having him as a friend. It would be one thing if we didn’t have a history – but we do. And I can tell he still likes me. I just don’t want that drama, and I feel that by communicating with him again I’d just be opening up a can of worms. Plus, I’d probably wind up having to break his heart all over again. So I decided that the best thing to do would be to write him a nice, hand-written letter explaining the situation and how I think it would be better for both of us to just go our separate ways. I plan to delete him as a Facebook friend as well, to avoid any kind of backlash or awkwardness. I feel at peace with this decision and the uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach is gone!

Last Friday I gave my therapist a folder with some of my poems, as she had expressed a strong interest in reading them. I also gave her a copy of my April 9 blog post to help her understand a little more about who I am and how I think. I received an email from her today that really meant a lot to me, and I want to share it here:

I have spent the past 24 hours reading and re-reading your poetry. To say that you are talented, would in my opinion, be a major understatement.  I am honored that you would share such deeply personal aspects of yourself with me. You have a voice, wise beyond your years, which highlights your intense range of emotion. For me, Borderline P.D. has always meant a framework from which to view the individual, vs. a label or diagnosis. I think we are a society quick to label/diagnosis those different from us, because it makes us inherently feel better about whom we are. I hope that in your journey, you will begin to see yourself for the talented, creative individual you are, vs. the “sick little girl” so many have labeled you in the past. You have a gift, not an illness. In our time together I hope that I can help you to focus those less adaptive parts of you, so they help you flourish, not stagnate.  If you can begin to shift your perspective from all that you “can’t” to all that you “can”…I think you will find the peace, serenity and success that have eluded you thus far. It all begins with willingness… Are you willing to feel, even when it seems scary or overwhelming? If so, how can you channel those difficult emotions into something powerful? I hope that our work together will open the doors to new possibilities and understanding for you.

Can I just say I love my therapist?

Lastly, as a follow up to yesterday’s blogging shenanigans, I simply must post this video. Made my day 😉

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…