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

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April 20, 2010

Med Check

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , at 8:41 am by eddejae

It is absolutely pouring outside. Just when I thought the sun was back, BAM! Thunderstorm.

And I had to go out in it at 7 o’clock this morning to go to my psychiatrist appointment. Ugh.

I told the doc how I feel I’ve been slipping a bit. The last few days have been pretty good, but overall, these past 3-4 weeks have been kind of low for me in terms of mood, anxiety level, and self-harm urges. I thought maybe my body is adjusting to the medication to the point where it is losing effectiveness, but my psych said it’s likely I’m experiencing what he calls “breakthrough depression,” which is common at this point in treatment – and that if I weren’t on medication, my symptoms would likely be much more severe. Anyways, I’m taking a greater dosage of Lexapro now.

I also told him about waking up 1-3 times a night from vivid nightmares. Apparently the Seroquel doesn’t cause nightmares, but it can cause you to remember your dreams more clearly. So it’s likely that I have bad dreams all of the time, but now I’m just recalling them. Great. I think my brain is just too creative for my own good – or simply masochistic. Or both. Anyways, he doubled my dosage of Seroquel so I hopefully sleep better. We’ll see how that works.

I had a thought while I was sitting there in the psych office… One that I would never act on, but intriguing nonetheless: “You know, I could totally B.S. my way through this whole thing and get whatever I wanted out of it.” All of the psychiatrist’s medication adjustments are based on my reporting of my symptoms. I could make up anything I wanted to just to see what he would do. It could go both ways too – I could go to one extreme and tell him I’ve been seeing purple elephants everywhere, which would lead to a diagnosis of some other mental illness and being put on lithium or something. Or I could tell him everything is back to normal and nothing’s wrong and I could get off meds entirely if I wanted. Good thing I have no motivation to fake any symptoms or lie about anything. Besides the fact that my conscience wouldn’t let me be anything but honest. But I’m more than a bit intrigued by the fact that I could pull the wool over the doc’s eyes

Naughty, naughty Edde…

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 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