Tag Archives: social anxiety

what i’ll be thinking about this valentine’s day.

There are a few blog posts I want to do. I want to put up the skills I’m learning in DBT, I want to look at some of the stuff I’m doing to actually try and stuff, but for now I’m going to talk about relationships and BPD because that’s what’s on my mind. This is a bare long post. Sorry.

The Internet is literally full of people giving their opinions on dating people with BPD. Most of these opinions are pretty fucking negative. There are websites devoted to “How to tell if you’re dating a crazy, borderline girl”, why you should never get involved with someone with BPD (it’s been suggested that we have no empathy and are actually evil), and even a “How to train your borderline” site for those stupid enough to take us on. Apparently we make bad girlfriends, boyfriends, fiancés, husbands, wives, partners, whatever really.

Now, I really fucking hate the internet sometimes. It seems to be full of guys that hate that they got dumped, seeking revenge by writing out how their ex “must have BPD”, but at the same time, some of the hateful articles out their do have some elements of truth I guess, and that’s what makes me really upset.

I’m starting a new relationship right now. I have no real expectation of where it will go. I like Gym some ridiculous amount. He makes me laugh and tells me nice things and is very silly and jumps around my bedroom with me and thinks it’s a good idea to take leftover drugs at 4am because its lolz and I find him bare attractive and its all kinda good right now. I didn’t want to like him. I was looking for an easy fuck. I was ready to inevitably feel a bit rubbish or decide that maybe he liked me too much and run off. In the end though, he won me over. And it was all him – he kept asking me out in a joke/serious way until I eventually got annoyed at him and gave in. We are not the world’s most romantic couple, but we’ll do.

The problems come in when I think about how I relate to him. I knew exactly how to get him to want me and on some level and I do believe I kinda manipulated him to catch him in some sort of web of my spider-evilness. I don’t know how much of it is premeditated because it doesn’t feel like some sort of plan, but sometimes it feels that way. It feels like it’s a mixture of the perfect amount of filth, the perfect amount of nonchalance, the perfect amount of emotional distancing. It’s about being physically attainable, but mentally cut off. You show the right amount of flesh and the right amount of guarded psychological distress and you’re in. Its basically shouting, “I’m emotionally vulnerable, will sleep with you and expect nothing in return.” I think a lot of guys don’t expect that. I’m really upfront and confident in what I’m doing and men seem drawn to it, often because they secretly think that they can break through all the emotional defenses and maybe get to know you. You make yourself super buff so you know and they know your fucking desirable, then you feed them a slight bit of emotional drama and suddenly they’re interested. It like they good “hot AND deep…. Shit she’s different and worth knowing.” Men can be very predictable.

What makes me sad is this is what they say in all these helpful “How to spot a borderline” articles. At first, we manipulate you with sex and being damaged.  I don’t exactly do it on purpose, but at the same time, it is kinda what I do. I don’t think, “here, have this calculated amount of my drama”, but instead I try to hide the drama as much as I can. Unfortunately, a body covered in scars (old and new), regular psychiatric appointments and having mental health workers visit you daily can sometimes make hiding it hard. And I don’t look like a stereotypical sket either. I wear DMs almost everyday, cut up t-shirts, and long sleeves, it’s just I also wear a lot of eyeliner, lipstick, tacky jewellery, shorts or little skirts and have my belly out. I look obvious and I like to think it makes it seem like I’m hot, but don’t give a fuck. It might not though. And that’s just how I dress for everyone. Saying that though, every time I go out is an opportunity to meet a boy so that’s not saying much. Still, I dress with getting men in mind so I guess that this is me behaving seductively. I feel like a right idiot writing this. I don’t think I’m necessarily super attractive or anything; I just work what I’ve got.

Apparently, this sort of behavior is common in people with BPD. As a group, it seems both people writing for and against dating someone with BPD, sexuality and seduction are apparently something we do well. I don’t know if I do it well, but I know I can be a tad… inappropriate (?) to get a man’s attention. You can read a lot about how people with BPD use overt sexuality to get what they want. It’s a validation thing. It doesn’t really matter if you even like someone, they just have to want you to validate that you are attractive because they would sleep with you. You crave the validation that you can be attractive and people would want to be around you in some way, so you pick the easiest way to seek validation from people you don’t know – look shit hot and flirt like a motherfucker. When you’re turned down, you feel like fucking nothing, but most of the time you get at least some positive attention. I really hate that I do this because really, it can make you feel worthless in the long run, and also it’s gross and also it makes me a bit of a bad feminist. I disagree entirely with the idea that anyone’s worth is based on his or her levels of physical attractiveness in the eyes of others, but I apply it to myself anyway. I wish I actually didn’t give a fuck rather than sculpting an image like I don’t.

My next phase of starting a relationship is one you don’t see on the sites warning you away from people with BPD. It’s the “SHIT! RUN!” phase. You start to actually like someone and worse of all, they start to like you back. Except they don’t like you back because you suck so much and all they actually want to do is hurt you. Liking people is something that comes naturally to me. I actually pretty much like everyone, especially when they’re new. There are rules to like people (obviously). Like, if they are someone else’s (because yes, people are kinda possessions in my mind), then you can’t get too close because they’ll always be someone they like more and you’ll always be inferior so are likely to want more than they can give because other people are in the way, so you distance yourself because they can’t like you enough. You don’t want to get caught out liking someone who hates you, so you let them lead to start with. You don’t start conversations, text first or call people because they probably hate you and would find it annoying. Sometimes, when you get really caught up in someone, you break this rule with disastrous consequences. You break it when you at your most agitated, say and do thinks you regret and punish yourself for doing it later, then resolve to deliberately stay out of that persons way even more so you can’t be vulnerable. You have to take the stance that they probably don’t like you, so you protect yourself by being proactive and deciding to not like them first. This is how I make friends and to be honest, it doesn’t work very well. It takes a lot of effort to get me to loosen my grip on the rules, and generally a lot of time. In this phase, you have to be prepared to run the fuck away from people. At all points, you have to have an escape route planned. If someone actually likes you, they’re lying so you have to run. If you actually like someone, you’re vulnerable and you have to run.

I actually find myself asking people, after years of knowing them, if we can be friends now. This more often then not shocks people a little as they thought we were already friends. I however, thought they hated me the whole time.

The next phase is what I think of as the test phase. It’s not tests you plan or want to give (in fact, I try really hard to avoid them because I think they make me a bad person), but once you like someone enough and start to believe that maybe they like you, they start to play on your brain. When you get distressed, you want them to fix it, but you have no idea how to ask or what it is that needs fixing, so you start acting out. It seems pretty common for people to have an increase in BPD behaviours when starting a new relationship and I don’t think this is because we’re all horrible and manipulative. For me, it’s just I want to get someone to understand how much I hurt and to believe someone cares, so self-harming and other impulsive behaviours start escalating, and you start pulling people in to help you. It’s those blood all over you, pills across the floor, in need of hospital attention moments. If someone helps you, then maybe for a little while you think they understand, care and that maybe they can fill whatever it is that is missing. So you act out more, desperate for someone to understand and then fix you. They can’t fix you, but you hope anyway. It’s kinda like you’re testing them – seeing how far you can push someone to know they care. In the moment though, what you’re thinking is “shit. I’m vulnerable because I like someone and they hate me and I got everything wrong. Best do something to feel better. Well now I need help so I’m going to involve the first person to pop into my brain. Of course that’s the new person I’ve been upset about. Now they’re coming to my rescue. Maybe they care.” It’s a temporary release from the constant stress of not knowing for sure if someone likes you.

There’s also the obsessional, idealization phase. This one’s on those horrible websites too. The new person seems to do everything right and they quickly become the centre of your world, so you treat the accordingly. You shower them with everything positive you have to give, not for some manipulative, mean way, but because that’s how you genuinely feel. There is nothing they can do to change the fact that they are amazing, even if they really fuck up and you know that. They get all your attention, all your thoughts, all your time. You change your whole identity to fit with them, which of course doesn’t make a difference because you don’t have a real identity anyway and they are so perfect that you want to steal their identity for yourself. You start to rely on them because they are so different from people that have come before and they can give you everything you need and will save you from yourself because they have the answer to the unknown question that’s been bothering you your entire life. Apparently, this makes people feel wanted and special and is all part of the evil borderline’s plan to ruin someone’s life by luring them in through being nice.

This is me and Gym. I think this is an appropriate picture because I look like I completely adore him. I’m mostly putting it up to show off my new hair though. (He doesn’t always dress like that by the way – fancy dress party).

This is me and Gym. I think this is an appropriate picture because I look like I completely adore him. I’m mostly putting it up to show off my new hair though as the only pictures I have of it are with him blah. (He doesn’t always dress like that by the way – fancy dress party).

But like everything, this phase ends too. This is kinda where I think I am right now – that place where things start to change, inbetween the two phases. Every little thing is a sign that the other person hates you and wants to hurt you. I think it’s to do with beliefs. If you fully believe that you are awful, then you fully believe your can’t be liked. Everything becomes an attack. Youget over it because the other person does something lovely or you forget about it or whatever, and suddenly, you start to feel happy and comfy again and it’s all good. Again, it’s not even thought about, it’s just how you feel at the time. It’s constantly being on the look out for slights against you that prove your own opinions of yourself. When you get signs, everything is over; when you don’t, everything seems perfect. You’re always waiting for those signs that they’re going to hurt you though, and it’s better if you can push them away before they that happens. You avoid the future abandonment by pushing away the person who might abandon you. Then they prove they’re not going anyway and you stop pushing.

Today was a bad day for Gym and me if you hadn’t guessed yet. I got upset because he woke up unhappy and therefore he was bored of me. Yesterday, I decided he didn’t actually want to sleep with me enough so he thought I was ugly. The two thoughts together wound up in me telling him I’m considering breaking up with him because he is done with me and won’t admit it to me yet. Obviously, he responded by saying I’m an idiot and he really like me and thinks I’m super hot, but I didn’t believe him and we had this massive talk where he decided I have to just try and talk to him more about my worries rather than ruminate on them till they get too big. Maybe then I’ll trust him. Although I don’t think that’ll work, I eventually agreed to try because I actually like him and didn’t want to upset him. It was ok for a while… until I was trying to explain why I was sad again because I felt like I was ruining his day because I made him an omlette, but it was too big and he got too full. Yes, this really upset me because I ruined everything and he hated me. He told me he didn’t want to have the same conversation again because it was just long and went round in loops. I took that to mean he finds me boring so asked him to leave. As he was walking to the front door, I started raging, which he heard so came back. It went down hill from there. I was shouting and swearing and hitting myself in the head and crying and telling him how much I was failing and how much of a cunt I am and how I just fuck everything up and how much he hates me. I went on and on till he got super angry at me and started shouting “I just want a normal girlfriend. I want a girlfriend that can trust me and doesn’t tell me to leave when she’s upset and actually believes I want to be near her.” Even in his anger, he’s kinda nice. He was shouting “Why do you just think you suck at everything? You could do so much. You’re so smart, but you don’t think you can do anything when you could do anything. It makes me so angry.” The normal thing stung though. He hates it when I get worked up because he thinks I just shut down and make it difficult for him. I don’t know if I do, but still. Then he got really angry because I wouldn’t tell him I wanted to see him. I never ask to see him. Ever. He has to make the call to see me. He told me over and over to give him a straight answer, but all I could say was “There is no right answer. If I say yes, then I’m pressuring you to see me. If I say no, then I’m not giving you the attention you might want.” Eventually I just said no because it was easier than actually saying I wanted to see him. I’m vulnerable if I admit I want to see him, plus the prospect that I might become a burden is something that I’m so scared of, I’d rather not see him at all. Again, he was pissed because he just wanted me to be able to tell him I want to see him to show I care. Got that wrong as well I guess. I then asked Gym if he thought I was cut out for being in a relationship, to which he responded, “No one likes to hear this, but I just don’t think you’re trying hard enough. You’re doing everything right, just not enough.” Again, I freaked out. That just means I’m doing it wrong because I’m actually trying really hard, but it’s just not enough because I’m not enough and I suck etc.

So yer, I’ve been really worried about how BPD affects my ability to form healthy relationships. The Therapist told met trust issues are part and parcel of BPD. On top of that, a lot of this stuff seems pretty standard as far as the internet tells me. However, that doesn’t make it easier. All the information I find seems to say it is possible to have a relationship with someone with BPD, but it’s hard work. I don’t want to be hard work. I don’t want to be difficult. I want to be worth it and it just seems like I’m not. In a lot of ways, I’m beginning to think that maybe I just shouldn’t be in a relationship. Possibly ever. I’m upsetting someone I care about because I don’t know how to trust him, assume and look for the worst and have so little self-worth I can’t imagine that he even likes me. It upsets him. I find it difficult to understand why because it’s not like I don’t like him. I duno. I’m just worried I’m broken in some fundamental way that makes this all impossible. It doesn’t help that he really doesn’t understand BPD and thinks I don’t actually have it. I’m just really scared if I don’t shape up quickly, he’ll leave because I can’t give be a satisfying, “normal” girlfriend and he just has a bad time with me. I don’t know how to be different, but if I don’t learn how, I’ll probably be alone forever. I’m fucking up something good because I can’t hack being alive. Urgh.

Happy Valentine’s I guess.

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Filed under bad day, bpd, coping strategies, fuck, life, rant, recovery, rubbish

drunk.

I should never get drunk ever again.

I fucking hate getting drunk.

It’s fun for a little bit, then you are just a dick over and over again.

I have no idea what I told the HTT but apparently I talked to them.

I have a vague idea that I did kinda ok with one friend. The other not so much.

I hate being drunk.

Why did I do it? Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Fucking hell.

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Filed under rant, rubbish

stuck.

So I want to say “I’m not going to write any more miserable posts about how everything is rubbish” because chances are, that’d turn out to be a lie. I don’t actually want a misery blog though so I’m going to try to keep all my “woe is me” to myself. It’s important to me that what I’m typing is as honest as possible because otherwise, what’s the point? But I’ve said I’m really struggling right now and I don’t see the point in rehashing the same story. It’s been this exact story before and what’s really annoying is that it’s the same people in the same place with the same thoughts and feelings as it was before, just with treatment, recovery and an ex who shouts at me and tell me I’m doing everything wrong and don’t try hard enough. And the absence of help. I had a lot of help from all the people in my life before, but they are all pretty reasonably busy now that we’re not teenagers so they don’t really have the time to help or be in my life in a way that I’ll allow. I think I’m possibly too full on. I can’t seem to hack anyone half in my life. You’re either involved or not and there’s no middle ground. I like people to behave by my rules, and when they don’t I get upset and can’t see them. Even though they’ve done nothing wrong. That kinda leaves most people out of helping as they can’t come over when I’m freaking out or hold my hand when I cry. It sucks that people don’t hold hands. When you’re little, you hold hands all the time with friends and fam and I was basically still doing that till a few years ago, but everyone went to university and you don’t know who’d mind when you’re surrounded by new people and then when everyone comes home you wonder who’s grown out of it. I still hold hands with people who let me when I’m really nervous. I duno though. It sucks that it’s kinda a couple thing when actually, I don’t think it’s remotely romantic, but I’m quite a tactile person and I’m not so keen on hugs anymore because then people know what size I am and can make judgements. Plus the sneaky getting picked up move has left me kinda scarred. Platonic hand holding seems entirely logical to me. It’s entirely safe, within boundaries, tactile support.

This is what happens when I start typing. See I actually have a point I want to get to. Hands have nothing to do with that point, but it popped into my head and I wanted to think about it so I wrote a whole paragraph. I need to start having plans for posts because really, they are far too long. I need to reign my thought process in a little.

So anyway, I went to my GP yesterday. He told me I had to speak to the Access Team. The Access Team told me my GP was wrong and I had to talk to the psychiatrist at the CMHT. I called them and obviously was told by a secretary that someone would get back to me. Seriously, trying to contact a psychiatrist is such a difficult task. I also saw the psychologist today. He told me I looked bundled up which is true because my face is disgusting and I didn’t want him to see, but that just drew more attention to my face. I stuck with it though and wore my hood up and scarf round my mouth and sunglasses the whole time. It was quite warm today so I must have looked like a proper loser, but it’s better than having my face out. He told me I was stuck and need to start challenging my beliefs. That’s all well and good in theory but seriously, how the fuck do you do that? It’s not like these beliefs pop out of nowhere. Honestly, these are the same things I felt for longer than I can remember. What’s annoying is that it’s so arrogant as well. I spend a lot of time thinking about myself and sure it’s not exactly a positive spin, but seriously, there are way more important things in the world than my sorry life. I have guilt for thinking things about myself. That’s not really the point though. The point is that how the fuck do you challenge beliefs? It’s not like food beliefs where you just see what happens when you practically test it. It’s thought beliefs. It is years and years of evidence that turns into fact. Plus how do you even know if your beliefs are wrong? You have to think on some level that they might be wrong to challenge them, but if you just cannot comprehend how they aren’t true, what are you supposed to do? I think this is why the psychologist thinks I’m stuck.

What’s annoying about the psychologist is that for him, this is all kinda new. Never mind the fact that I’ve been trending downwards for a few months because it’s not like I saw him in that time, but also more generally. It really concerns me that this is just what I’ll always do and always feel because this is exactly the same as before. He sees it as a new development. I see it as the same old issues. There’s nothing new about it. He only knows me in this tiny, brief and absolutely bizarre moment in my life when I’m completely numb and disconnected and only think about food, then as my whole body and mind switch on again. It’s such a specific thing and doesn’t really give an accurate portrayal of who a person is. Even in a purely biological sense, that’s a pretty bizarre thing to put your body through and it does impact your brain and hormones in strange ways. None of this is eating disorder driven anymore though really. I still have a lot of hang ups and issues to deal with and am by no means fully recovered, but it’s not the thing that bothers me right now. I guess that’s progress, except it purely feels like I’ve switched one shit thing for another, equally shit thing. Still, it is progress actually, even if right now I honestly don’t know why I bothered. Anyway, it concerns me because I think that I’m going to be like this forever. He asked me what I use to cope. I think that is a naive question to ask someone in recovery from an eating disorder with a known history of self-injury. Getting high, cutting holes in my body, pulling my hair out, punching things, starving myself and exercising till I physically cannot move aren’t exactly killer ideas right now, but they all help me to manage thoughts of how much I suck and help me have a kind of life. He then told me that “they are only short-term fixes” and sure, self-injury and exercise definitely are, but really, you can stay high for an incredible amount of time if you set your mind to it, and you can starve for even longer. I managed to not have to deal with this for a really long time through starving. If it was only a short-term solution, I wouldn’t have gotten so ill. If I had better solutions to the problem, I’d probably use them right now rather than feel horrible, but seeing as I’m trying to not do these things, I have to kinda flail about till I work something out. Shouldn’t that be obvious? I wondered today if he knew what he was talking about. Didn’t solve the fact that I don’t know how to fix it.

Except with medication that now, I’m not allowed to have. The psychiatrist called me back and she thinks that my psychological assessment on Thursday may give me some acute help. How? I asked how and she said it would. I told her how my actual therapy isn’t giving me acute help but she didn’t listen. I asked her if I just have to feel awful for till therapy maybe works and she said “No – your assessment will help” even though I’d told her that I didn’t think it would. I fucking hate taking medications and the fact that I asked really means I’m doing badly. I’m hoping to sneaky sneak past her back and pick up a prescription for the psychiatrist at the EDU next week. I cannot see how an assessment is possibly going to make things anything but worse. I get so worked up about assessments. Urgh. And it took so much fucking courage for me to even ask because I hate calling them up and asking for help. I hate it because I never feel like I deserve help. Well apparently, I don’t.

I don’t feel like I got anywhere or learnt anything in therapy today, though the psychologist tells me I was actually challenging my assumptions – whatever the fuck that means. I also think that’s a shit thing to say to someone. I think it’s shit to tell someone they are stuck. It’s hardly motivational to tell someone that they are unable to move forward. I then cried on the overground like a moron because he asked me things that made me really hurt, yet I refused to cry in front of him. Then being told that I can’t have access to something that sure, won’t fix a damn thing, but might make me able to have a fucking life right now and actually do things and stop upsetting people and stop ruining my relationships, pushed me into full on water works and panic attacks. Medication might not have worked, but I really wanted to try something to make my life a little easier whilst I do the work in therapy to fix things. I duno.

So I came home and did the same thing I’ve done for the past few days which is watch far too much Made in Chelsea on 4od. You know something? It’s really awful. It’s annoying people who really already have enough money that they don’t need royalties from the show, but just actually think their lives are that interesting. Every single person is irritating. Yet it’s pretty numbing and easy to watch. Plus you don’t have to look at it as nothing happens, so I’ve been sewing at the same time to keep my hands busy.

At some point I have to be able to do more than watch bad catch up television and sew.

See I know this isn’t exactly a positive, upbeat post, but I actually think this is a lot less “I HATE MY LIFE.” I’m thinking of doing some more abstract, what helped me in recovery posts maybe. Break from life posts. I duno. Most of the people who read this are probably more interested in recovery and eating disorder stuff than how much I suck. I duno. Lemme know if you hate the idea.

I really wish blogs had chat. I want to chat, but actual chat rooms are full of twelve-year-old boys who pretend to be seventeen so they can “enter private chat” with fourteen year old girls who think they might find someone who older, more mature and understands them. There should be chat for only cool people. I don’t know how you’d enforce that membership rule though, and it’d probably exclude me. I’m kinda lame.

I haven’t even got to my point you know, but this post will be under 2,000 words so I guess I’ll get to it some other time. Must learn to be concise and keep on task.

And for no reason other than I think everyone should have this in their life, plus you know, it’s motivational quitting music. And also she’s my new music obsession –

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Filed under life, rant, recovery

damage limitation.

I am literally so bored with the Queen. She’s a kinda tedious old lady. Plus I really don’t think that having all those boats was such an impressive deal. I was expecting really great, entertaining boats with funny statues on and stuff. Instead, it just seemed to be a lot of people rowing. Yet somehow, that was the only thing on the news from the moment I woke up this morning. Still, I won’t pretend I’m not jealous of those people who got Fortnum & Maison’s lunch at the Piccadilly street party. Though saying that, they did have to meet Prince Charles and sing the national anthem which I don’t think I would have handled with anything but contempt. Instead, I watched Charlotte’s Web, which is a terrible adaptation of a book I actually really like. Next up is Celebrity Deal or No Deal with McFly. Sunday’s should be better than this. Maybe I should change the channel. If I’m lucky, Come Dine With Me will be on. Come Dine With Me is always on. And I really don’t want to do any work. I worked all yesterday, and all it made me was angry. Researching the EDL makes me want to spit a little bit.

So anyway, I know I’ve been a bit of a moany moaner these past few weeks. I’ve been feeling pretty low and haven’t yet found a way to feel less low. So I continue to feel low and try to limit the damage. It’s not exactly ok, but I think I’ve got to start playing the damage limitation game to keep myself functioning. I keep doing things that I know will make me feel worse in the long run because it seems easier in the short-term. For once, none of this is about food, though I will admit one of these things is walking. So here are the tips I’m going to try to follow in order to keep myself as healthy and well as possible until I work out what I have to do to actually fix the things I’m finding overwhelming and painful. None of this is exactly a long-term fix, and some of it is purely avoidance strategies, but right now, I have to do something.

  • Don’t drink alcohol or takes drugs. I know this sounds like an awful, no fun Ellie idea, but I actually think that this might be necessary. In fact, it’s this point which is my main reason for posting this – other people knowing about it might mean they’ll help me to not get trashed. Every time I let myself give a little, I end up completely trashed. Even if I’m positive I won’t. And it’s basically every time I see anyone. I know I’m using it to be less self-conscious, but I need to keep that level of self-conscious to not hate myself entirely for days and days. It stays with me and it’s all I can think about. I hate the person I am when I let my intense amount of self-policing and anxiety lessen slightly. I hate it and it makes me feel horrible. It makes me hate seeing my friends. Thing is, I know I’ll probably give up on this as soon as someone offers me a drink. But on some level, I know it’s not actually worth it. And it’s not forever, its temporary management of my mental health. It used to be worth it. I think I just more time to look after my brain rather than frazzle it a couple of times a week. We’ll see. I predict failure I won’t lie.
  • Keep myself in situations I feel safe in. This basically involves staying the fuck away from anything I know I’ll find stressful. I have real problems with social things and I know that, in general, I’m going to have to work on this. Thing is, I’ve been trying. I’ve been putting myself in situations I know will be hard for me, with people who I feel particularly judged and disliked by in the hope that I’ll get over my hang-ups eventually. Well apparently I’m not getting over it any time soon and it’s making me feel awful. People are so difficult and all I can do for days and days is go over exactly what I did wrong and why evenyone will hate me now. I always just dissociate from the situation. I don’t feel in control and all I feel after is shame. And I really don’t cope well with any of this. So safety first. I don’t want to isolate myself entirely, but maybe it’d be better to keep my socializing within small groups of people I know pretty well. Stay away from scenarios in which my brain panics and I stop being able to keep track of what’s happening. Sometimes that happens with people I know well, but I think fully isolating myself is only going to make matters worse.
  • Use my support systems. Use the support offered from the CMHT, even if I don’t think it’ll help. Maybe it will. Call Samaritans if I need to. Call my friends. Speak to my family. Other people can help diffuse the moment. They might not be able to fix the problem, but if they can help me get out of destructive cycles, maybe it’s worth it. They might all judge me and think I’m awful and dramatic and lying, but I think there’s a net gain as when I’m left to my own devices, I start getting worked up and fast headed and panic.
  • Look after myself. When I’m start feeling bad, I let my routines and self-care slide a bit. I’m going to try to keep on top of this. Shower, wash my face, tone, moisturize, put on comfy, but still socially acceptable clothing, take my medications, chew as much nicotine gum as I could possibly want, get out the house every day, eat enough and eat regularly (with lots of good, nutritious food), don’t skip out on yoga etc.. All of these things make me feel physically better and if I do the things that make me feel physically better, I’ll give myself fewer reasons to feel mentally worse. All these little things build up and once I let one slide, others start sliding. If I don’t leave the house, I might not bother wearing nice clothes, so might not bother properly looking after my skin, so don’t bother with my acne medications, etc. Keeping on top of it will only help.
  • Minimise repercussions of SI. Obviously working on stopping is the way forward, especially as recently this has been getting more of a problem again. This involves spending a pretty hefty amount of money, but I think will be worth it. For me, this means, good wound care and good scar care. It’s worth spending extra, and the effort and expense are deterrents. Menolin pads, microporous tape, steri-strips, Savlon Advanced Healing Gel (I swear by this product), Savlon Wound Wash, gauze, TCP, Duo Derm (I swear by this too) and crepe bandages for the immediate care. Bio oil, vitamin E squeezed out of its capsules, heavy-duty foundation, concealer and powder, a little bottle of Elnette and a good foundation brush for scar reduction and speedier fading. All these products cost the earth. Seriously. But worth it if I can actually get my body out at some point over summer. And I’m doing good at SI reduction right now – 10 days free so far, so maybe I won’t have to buy much more.
  • Journal. Whenever I start having a worse time, I start journaling less. This doesn’t mean I write less though. Instead of giving myself specific journal time, I start catching parts of my day. I’ll stop halfway through something to scribble a couple of paragraphs on nearby bits of paper. All that I end up with is a pile of incoherent babble that doesn’t help me work through my emotions, but rather records a whole load of desperation without any insight. When I’m feeling more stable (which unfortunately corresponds well with eating less, so most of my journals from the past few years are pretty one track minded), I journal every day, right now, with my general mood, plus alcohol and drugs thrown in to the mix (I tend to journal at night), I’m lucky if I make time twice a week. Making the time will help me work out my emotions and hopefully give me a better idea of the what I’m actually finding so difficult.
  • Keep walks to an hour or less. Going for an emotional stomp is pretty much a necessity in my life. It’s not just for the calorie burn, although that does play a part in it. It’s mostly an escape. It’s better when I run, but I’m still not sure I can do that too much without consequences. I love running, but every time I try I start to obsess and beat myself up for not going far/fast enough because I don’t feel I’ve pushed myself enough. This has left me kinda scared of it. Even though a 15 minute run would be the same as an hour walk in terms of stress busting, that’s not enough. I duno. Walking isn’t the same though – I’m already good at it and I don’t get the same almighty rush so it’s less addictive. Maybe I should start doing mini runs to save time. I duno. The point isn’t about what exercise I should or shouldn’t introduce, but the fact that I heavily rely on physical outlets for difficult emotions. Getting a good stomp on is an avoidance strategy, but it’s one that works and is a lot less harmful psychologically and physically than SI or restriction, as long as I keep it low intensity or relatively short. My body is strong enough to handle it without doing damage and I’m not losing weight. Just as long as I keep it to more reasonable timeframes. Once we start hitting the three-hour of walking mark, I get blisters and my joints ache. It’s not worth it.
  • Take some days off of work. I probably work too much and my deadline is in September, so I have time to take a day or two off each week, or even just having light work days. Rather than stressing myself out constantly because I’m not getting enough done due to my difficulty concentrating, so working pretty constantly and giving myself no chance to recharge, stepping back sometimes. Today, I am recharging. No work. At all.
  • Do something nice for myself every day. Be it a nice bath if I can manage it, painting my nails, spending time doing something pointlessly crafty, making some special food, buying myself a cheap present. Whatevz. Just one nice thing a day will probably do me the world of good. I often forget. This will actually be really hard. I tend to treat myself pretty awfully sometimes.
  • Stay away from confusing people. I’ll probably fail at this one.
  • Get that piercing. I’ve been wanting it for ages and it’ll make me feel better. On my list of things I like about my physical appearance, my piercings are number two. It’ll only give me more to like.

So there you have it, my list of damage limitation ideas. It doesn’t address the problems, but it’s caring for myself enough to get through this difficult bit and hope I’ll be able to find ways to actually deal with it soon. A lot of it is avoidance, but the kind of avoidance I hope leads to me treating myself a little better and putting myself in situations I feel safer in. It’s not a perfect and it might not work, but right now I kinda feel like I’m making things worse and just ruining any chance I have of feeling better. So I’m hoping this’ll lead to a more manageable set of emotions rather than giving myself reasons and opportunities to freak out. We’ll see. What do you think? Do you reckon any of these are really bad ideas? Or do you have any to add to the list? I’d like a couple of opinions please.

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paranoid.

If you ever even mention the word paranoid to mental health professionals, they automatically seem to worry that you’re entering the world of paranoid delusions. I don’t really know where pathological paranoia ends and healthy, normal level paranoia begins, but it can be pretty distressing at any level I think and seeing as I don’t believe the government are watching me through the radio or anything, it gets dismissed as something no one seems to have to worry about.

I think like a lot of people, I get paranoid. Quite often. For me, I think it’s all based on the innate belief that I’m really terrible, so it’s all related to friends and acquaintances. And the problem with paranoia is that it’s kinda untestable, so you can never know if it’s true.

I get really paranoid when I find out two people I introduced to each other talk and hang out without any acknowledgement of my existence. Firstly, it just makes me feel awful. I don’t do anything about it and don’t say anything, but I can’t help the fact that I get incredibly uncomfortable. I like to have some sort of control over what people know about me and the fact that the me I am in one situation might be divulged in another situation makes me feel so unwell. I get really tense and feel sick. Sick seems to be my standard emotion at the moment. I don’t even know if sick is an emotion but I feel it all the time. I like to (incredibly unfairly) have some sort of control over how I’m presented and in these scenarios, I lose it. Thus in a roundabout way, I like to have some level of control over other people’s interactions, which is entirely unfair I know. I don’t act on it because I know it’s wrong and I try to put it behind me and not let it effect my relationships. I won’t pretend it never has any effect, but I really know it’s not acceptable. I get convinced they’re going to talk about me and figure out that I’m not really a coherent person but that I have no real identity and no real personhood. That essentially, there isn’t a me inside and that there isn’t a personality.

I also get really paranoid about the fact that they didn’t go through me for other reasons. I start to feel like they’ve got what they need from me and now don’t want or need me around. That they never really liked me in the first place and now they’re got someone better, I’m not worth it. This is a horrible thought process because I start getting really devastated. People I care about and thought liked me suddenly haven’t got any need for me any more. I’m only worth what I can supply someone with and the links I can help them make. Everyone knows that. Once they’ve got enough, they’ll have no need for me. And eventually I’ll be alone because no one will have any need for me. And I honestly can’t think about it logically. I know that people will read this and say “that’s not true you know” but to me, the logic and evidence all points to the fact that it is. I do look for evidence that it isn’t the case, and only come up against the evidence that I’m not worth the effort and will be ditched at some point once anything I can offer has been exhausted. I offer different people different amounts, so it takes some people longer than others to get through it, but the outcome will be the same in the end. It always is. I become redundant.

It’s a kinda common fact that, more often than not, people bond over their common links, which in these situations do include knowing me. Laughing about me, bitching, gossiping, focusing on everything bad about me and deciding they really just hate me seems like the logical outcome. I become the joke, the annoying one, the ugly one, the needy one. Whatever one I become, it can’t possibly be good. There isn’t really enough good for anyone else to notice. I fully believe that by putting two people together, all their negative and entirely justified opinions of me will be verified as acceptable, relieving them of any guilt that might have in believing their negative, hurtful things. They’ll learn that it’s ok to hate me because other people do too. And thus not only will I lose friends, I’ll gain people who actively dislike me, rather than just not caring enough.

Recently, I’ve also discovered there’s a party hosted by one of my best friends. I’ve not been told about it. Not only have I not been told, but I’ve also been arranging to see her and was the way she got the contact numbers to invite others. It’s not like she’s forgotten, but for whatever reason, she’s decided I shouldn’t be there. Now I don’t know how to feel. It makes me wonder whether I should be annoyed. I thought she really liked me and all that stupid rubbish so I’m hurt she doesn’t want me. At the same time I struggle to place the blame on her at all. I’m not annoyed. She’s just decided that actually, she’s had enough of me. I’d embarrass her in front of her friends. I would be too much effort. I’d bring the party down. Everyone will have a shit time if I show up. She’s discovered that actually, I’m really awful. I’m not worth her time. All of these things make perfect sense to me.

Now I know I probably shouldn’t be annoyed of so critical of myself – there are probably other reasons because people aren’t mean and I’m not as awful as I think I am. Except the thing is, logically I can’t find any evidence that I’m not awful. I am. In every way. Because all I am is a whole load of lies. It’s not like I can possibly be anything else because there’s nothing else inside. Without lies, I’m predominantly hollow. I don’t consciously do it, but it there’s nothing there, you have to make up something appealing enough so that know one notices you don’t actually have an identity and that even your thoughts and memories don’t feel like your own. I lie to myself in my head with my thoughts. Everything in this post seems like a lie even though I’m trying so hard to be honest. I can’t though, because I don’t have genuine thoughts and feelings, only thoughts and feelings I convince myself I have to appear like the person I want to present. I was never even sick. I made it up and acted it out and even convinced myself of it because I wanted to present that to others. I don’t know why I would though. I haven’t got reasons wanting that outcome. But I don’t have anything but lies so that must be a lie too.

Nothing really happens and nothings really true. I have no facts because I watch my life happen without me and I have no personhood or true thought. I know this can’t be true. There has to be some facts. But this is how I experience the world. So I’m paranoid. Paranoid everyone hates me because I can’t even create something good. That everyone knows and can’t wait to forget me. And I can’t find anything that verifies otherwise. Because other people lie so to not hurt your feelings. It makes any of the words anyone ever says inherently untrustable. Obviously, unless they’re being horrible, it’s all lies. The negative stuff is true, but anything positive anyone says to me is probably a lie. Because they’re all so nice that they wouldn’t want to hurt me. But I already know and it hurts me anyway.

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other people.

I know people in general seem to really like being hot and in the sun. I am not one of them though. This heat is awful. I could not sleep for being too hot. There are only so many clothes you can take off. I perpetually look like trash, but how else can you even dress when it’s this hot? Now the long count down till autumn begins. It really is a long count down too. So many months. Still, I do get to study in the garden and I guess that’s a little bit nice. Work on my tan lolz (for those of you that don’t know me, I’m dedicated to the paley cause. Factor 50 sunscreen? Yes please). I’m not destined for hot weather. Give me autumnal layering any day.

I went out last night and got hideously drunk.  So drunk in fact, I’m not sure I had that much fun. I don’t think I didn’t have fun. I defos had a bit of fun, but I don’t think it was constant. I duno. I was an idiot though because I was drunk and now it’s all I can think about. I think about things I said or did and I get so angry at myself and just want to cry. I hate it as well because at one point in the night, I suddenly realised that I was rubbish and no one liked me and then got really sad and self-conscious in a drunk way, but couldn’t go home because it was dark and I had to wait for someone to walk me. I honestly wish I hadn’t gone, which is sad really because I like my friends and enjoy seeing them. It gets really difficult to see other people because I always fail to behave the right way and I fuck everything up. It’s ok to do that when no one else sees, but the things people must think of me… It all makes me feel ill. Really really ill. And I just hate myself for it. Sometimes I think I shouldn’t drink because I always get really drunk, but it makes me more able to have a conversation with anyone and if I don’t talk enough, I’d still be getting everything wrong. Plus I get all of this when I stay sober too and I know that.

There seems to be a pattern in all of this. What happens is I see people. Generally I get way too trashed, which is great at the time, but I always regret. I end up doing or saying things wrong and being a massive idiot. After the event, I think back to it and realise I had no control over what I was doing and wasn’t really me and wasn’t really present. I then feel like everyone must think I’m a joke and a bad person and stupid and they’ll laugh and never want to see me again. I get so upset and angry with myself that I feel sick. I then resolve to never talk to anyone again because feeling like this is way worse than being isolated. It lasts for days, sometimes weeks. It’s not like, a little bit sad, but more like everything gets fast and I can’t make sense of anything or do anything other than hurt and feel overwhelming shame. I start to think that being social just isn’t worth the fall out. I’ll maybe send a group text to everyone, apologising for being awful, then I’ll start isolating myself. This isolation can last anything up to a month, though I will make a few dramatic attempts to make sure people haven’t gone in that time because I get scared they’ll leave forever. Then I get lonely. I start to think that maybe this time I’ll be difference and I can make it ok. That maybe people won’t just think I’m a dick. So I start making tentative steps, replying to texts, calling people etc. That builds until I see people, then it’s back to square one.

Does everyone feel like this? Are most people ashamed when they talk to people? Do most people spend so much time hurting because they believe everyone thinks they’re boring/an idiot/ugly/stupid/inappropriate etc.? Do most people believe that their only spoken to or included out of pity?

I really don’t know what to do about this. It actually hurts me to have friends. I get like it with my family too. The worst is when I’m halfway through a sentence then realise I’m talking and have to just stop and leave. It’s not very nice and I don’t know how to make it better. In general, the fall out is getting worse each time. I don’t know if that’s causing me to feel worse in general, or because I feel worse in general, but it’s getting harder to pick myself back up again. I feel like there is no right action. I try really hard to make myself into something good. I’m a conscious effort. Yet it never ever works and I just end up devastated because whatever I change and attempt to fix isn’t enough. It’s just all for nothing. I do work really hard though. I just can’t seem to hide all the stuff that makes me awful. It’s like trying really hard to look nice with clothes and hair and make up and cosmetics – you’ll still look bad if you have an ugly face and there’ s shit all you can do about it. Except that applies equally to the inside stuff as well as the outside stuff. You can only work with what you have, and if all you have is awful, no amount of dressing it up can take that away.

I don’t just do this with people I care about either. I also do it about my university lecturers. My GP. My treatment team. Shop assistants. Basically anyone who sees me or hears me speak. It just hurts more the more I value the opinion of those involved.

All of this is accentuated by the fact I’m completely unsure of myself. I have no belief in myself so struggle having any facts. And I don’t mean “self-belief”, I mean just knowing anything about myself. I don’t really know what I like, what I look like, what I think, what I feel. Everything about me feels like a performance of a person, but none of it is actually true. I can honestly sit there and worry if I’m actually having a thought or whether I’m just trying to convince myself that I had that thought to trick myself into being a more convincing lie of what I want to be. This is particularly horrible when it happens about negative things because I start to freak out about why I could possibly want to believe negative things about myself and my life if they’re not true. I think I have “identity issues”. Basically, I’m convinced everything from my nail varnish to my mood isn’t actually me, but rather something I’m pretending to be because in reality, I don’t have a person. This means that every time I get it wrong, I’m being judged as awful not for something I am, but for getting the concept of personhood I’m trying to achieve. I’ve fucked up the fake reality I created in order to be a person. I can’t even get the things I create right, let alone whatever the fuck I am.

I know you’re supposed to try to challenge these sorts of beliefs. I know you’re supposed to learn to accept, and maybe even like, yourself enough to not constantly think your way into hurting. However, I get really reluctant about challenging any of this. To me, if I was to start to believe that maybe the way I am is ok and that maybe no one thinks all that much of it, I’d look like more of an idiot and be being so stupid that people would judge me more. In my mind, believing and acting like you are better than you are not only makes you a dick, but it also turns you into more of a joke than you already are. So because I’m convinced the beliefs I have now are true fact, I don’t want to change them because then I’d only be worse and people would only laugh about me more and I’d only be more of an idiot. Which doesn’t solve anything and I’d still be the boring/an idiot/ugly/stupid/inappropriate etc. one no one really likes that much. Except I’d be a fool for tricking myself. This thought process is part of the motivation behind this post – alerting people to the fact that I am aware that I was a complete waste of space yesterday, so they don’t think that I think that I’m fine. Heaven forbid.

So then the only options become to try harder because I’m obviously not trying hard enough if I don’t get it right, or give up entirely. I oscillate between the two. Perfectionism? Black and white thinking? I think it might be.

And the thing that’s really annoying about it is that chances are, no one even considers me. I literally never think “oh gosh. Such and such was a complete wasteman yesterday. I don’t think they’re worth much” so I doubt many people actually spend that long thinking like that about anyone. Everyone is was too absorbed with their own lives anyway to spend too long considering other people. Sure, you do think it in passing, but no one analyses all my actions like I do because really, I’m not that interesting to them. So anything I do is all just a bit of a waste of time. I’m probably forgotten anyway.

Also, the fact that I’m so concerned probably makes my actions and words even worse because I just can’t be relaxed.

So if seeing people makes you so angry at yourself you can’t think anymore, isolation makes you lonely, trying to be better always fails, changing beliefs can only make things worse, and all of it is entirely pointless, what are you supposed to do? I obsess over how others perceive me so much that it hurts me and there doesn’t seem to be a way out of it all. It’s purely lots of pointless thought cycles. It’s not at all about what other people do or say, it’s only my thoughts that are the issue. And I let it get to me so much that it really impacts my day-to-day functioning.

And see right now, all I’m thinking is “Well if you try hard enough, maybe you’ll eventually succeed at being better. Then you can believe you’re better because you will be. Then this will all be fixed. Stop fucking up for a second and maybe you can earn it.” It’s exhausting.

Not that I’d actually consider it, but it all makes me kinda miss restricting. Restriction is rubbish, but it’s really simple. You have a right thing and a wrong thing to do. There are clear outcomes. It’s predictable. And you don’t give a fuck about anything else so nothing else bothers you. Actually having enough cognitive ability to think about more than food  and weight changes everything. Suddenly, your whole world goes from simple to complicated and hard. I miss the simple. I don’t think the pay off is worth it though.

But there are positive things about yesterday.

1) I got a hair cut. It’s short and choppy and nice. I like it more because I have limp and lifeless hair, so long hair tend to look a bit lank on me. Plus I think short hair looks better on me. Statistics show that men think longer hair is more attractive in women, which scares me as I’ve probably made myself way more butterz to the entire male half of the population. I hope not though. I’m trying to ignore the fact that research would suggest my hair would now be considered uglier because I like my hair short. I used to have it really even shorter than this for lots of years and I thought it was good then. It makes me happy because I think short hair looks more like me. Then I dyed it brown. For the first time in over a year it does not look red. Yuss! Having the same hair for too long makes me antsy.

2) I got to dress up as trailer trash because it was so hot. I was really, really self-conscious. Especially when I actually saw people I know. But it is really fun to strut about in ripped fishnets, tiny denim shorts and cropped tops with your headphones blasting summery tracks and dancing down the road. I put on a personality and I enjoyed it for a little while.

3) I had the foresight to marinate some chicken so my dinner today was properly good. Jerk chicken and coconut rice. Om nom.

See! I’m not all dark and stormy nights. Just mostly.

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