Keeping Up and Keeping It Down

I’ve been trying to catch up on reading blogs I follow (apologies if I’m behind on reading yours.) Reading is making me take a look at how I’m doing. Keeping up is a big part of that. I’ve returned to teaching, after being off for a few years, and am already back to working 10 hour days and feeling like that isn’t enough. I’m not cutting or burning (good thing!) but am struggling with bulimia again. I eat, then eat too much. As the food sits in my stomach afterwards, the fullness expands and feels like an expanded sponge, but as heavy as lead. Some days, life events keep me from doing what my natural reaction is ( purging ), other times I lose the battle. I know it is a coping mechanism for trying to do my best at work and feeling like it’s not enough. How to balance it in a healthy way is a huge challenge. Right now, I’m feeling it and fighting it.

The last time I went to see my counselor, she wasn’t there. She’d called in sick, but no one at the office seemed to know about it, and I sat waiting. It wasn’t the first time. And, I drove an hour to get there. I have a phone session coming up with her. My insurance just changed also. I don’t think her office takes it, so that means finding a new support person. That scares me, both financially (though my husband would challenge that statement) and feeling like I’m starting over.

After reading another blog http://mmstores.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/september/ I wonder about returning to my martial arts. Time and energy hold me back as much as the physical challenge of it. It would be a good thing to do. I’ll plant that seed and it will hopefully grow to fruition.

Now, to keep myself busy until the feeling in my stomach passes. That would also be a good thing.

Count Down …

In two weeks I will be starting my new job as a special education teacher. It’s been two years since I taught – in a different state and with older students. I’m excited and anxious. Both emotions are to be expected as normal considering the situation (years off and different state) but I hope that my BPD doesn’t kick in and make me over reactive to all that will be going on. The medications I’m on, and working with a counselor, seem to be helping a lot, but this will really put them to the test. I realize that I’m not “on the clock” yet, as teachers aren’t to report for two weeks yet, but have been anxious about coming up to speed on certain situations due to a big meeting right away. I feel confident that once I’m there and settled that I will do a great job. But … the anxiety is in getting to that point in time. It’s yet another transition and transition times are difficult. It’s wonderful to have a school like how I presented myself in an interview, and my credentials/resume, to offer me a position. I was thrilled to actually have two job offers! I’m glad that I chose this position over the other. I think it’s a better fit in many ways. You may have noticed how vague I am about this position. Confidentiality is crucial in teaching and especially special education. 

On another front, I just returned from a week and a half driving trip with my spouse (vague again!) I had hoped that the time together in the car would open the opportunities for some good discussions about where we are in life and our relationship. I tried to begin, but it was not to be. This made me very sad and ruminating about it all. But when all is said and done, at this point in life, there comes a shift in how we view ourselves and significant others. Passion and obsessions mellow into quietness. Priorities change. Some needs need to be filled from within that from another. There is a sad realness to this. It is what it is. You can’t look for others to change because you need or want them to. And what about changes in myself? There is need and want there as well. I am trying and will continue to in many areas.  All I can do is work on myself and not judge what others do with themselves. 

I suppose this is not only a count down to my new position, but to settling into a new phase in life in many ways. 

Life has been good to me in more ways than I can list. I appreciate all of them and need to focus on those rather than on lesser issues. All is good. 

IMG_2116

Afraid

I’m very afraid of what this new approach to my therapy will bring. But I asked for it. I feel like I’m in Limbo. Something am waits, but what. I want to force it out of hiding, yet fear it will be my undoing to do so. The fear makes me want to do things to myself to avoid facing it … Binge, purge, cut, burn, drink, pills … My skin is crawling. I don’t really want to hurt myself, just trying to avoid the unknown fear. Binging and purging isn’t working. I’ve no strong desire to cut and burn (feelings aren’t at that intensity right now) and having a drink just makes me sadly aware of the fear and avoidance.
I want to talk but am afraid of what I might say or ask. The truth might be too hard, too uncomfortable – demanding what of me?

“I don’t think you really have BPD,” She said. Then what? Am I just fucked up? I know my life is a dream compared to others. But I cannot deny the fear and trepidation that fill me. I put on a laughing facade around my friends. They say they are always there to help, but how can they? This all seems so childish of me. Get over it! Shut up the words that resound in your head. Silence can be so deafening.

Drinking makes me depressed, just like they say it will. Not a good thing to do. Ok, off to bed. Night all.

Closing In

No, I’m not burning, cutting or raging … but anxiety is closing me in and I am again binging and purging. But the purging isn’t working out much, so there’s lots of guilt and shame. Closing in on myself.

In counseling, we’ve changed directions a bit, on my request, from some DBT to cognitive behavior therapy. I want to look at my perceptions of myself and my world. I’m again feeling like I’m being told that I’m not what I thought. (Don’t really feel like going into that right now though.) Instead of looking at mindfulness and distress tolerance, I’ve started talking about what’s missing. Words that I don’t even want to utter out loud. I haven’t burned or cut in a long time, but I’m back to doing what I’ve spent the most number of years doing … binging and purging. So secretive, so personal, so difficult to get to succeed any more. My body rebels and I fail. Fail.

I find my body getting very still, to watch around me and see if I’m being noticed, my thoughts heard. I’m getting ready to go on a week and a half driving trip. There are questions I’d like to ask as we have this time alone together. But I cannot, unless I want us both to regret it. So I’m locked in silence and the silence is crushing as it intensifies. Sabotage? Fear, loneliness in the midst of togetherness

.questions

Been a LONG time since my last post …

It seems like forever since I’ve written. I haven’t really been gone, just doing more reading and feeling like I don’t have much to share – but that isn’t really the case! After a lot of interviewing, I was offered two different teaching positions. I accepted one and will be starting on August 11th. I’m excited and scared. I’ve not taught for two years and am now in a different state.

The school I’ll be at seems wonderful and my classroom is twice the size of my last one, and FILLED with supplies and teaching materials. Everyone I’ve talked to, at the school, has been wonderfully supportive and welcoming. This seems a wonderful opportunity to have a new start and to feel good about where I’m working and what I’m doing. I know there will be days of anxiousness when I’m unsure of myself. Being aware of that, I need to take a moment and reflect on my skills that have been proven in the past … I am a very good teacher! Especially with students who need special instruction.


 

Just some pictures I've taken over the years ...

Just some pictures I’ve taken over the years …

The sunset, seen through my window on the jet. Above the clouds. Is this where Heaven is, if there is a heaven?

The sunset, seen through my window on the jet. Above the clouds. Is this where Heaven is, if there is a heaven?

IMG_2116

Cement walls closing in. I feel like I will drown.

Cement walls closing in. I feel like I will drown.

 

zkE6I4_2

Yes, that’s me – fighting off attackers during my black belt test.

Scan

My son in the throes of childhood imagination!

I’m in the best place that I’ve been in for a long time (although some struggles persist.) There are several reasons for that, but I won’t go into them now. I’m just grateful for each day. I’m able to appreciate all that is happening around me and am working on changing some of my ingrained ways of thinking and perception. Many thanks to followers and readers of my posts who have provided support and insight to my struggles. You are all very appreciated. My posts will probably become more infrequent as my time is filled with work. But, that doesn’t mean I won’t be reading the posts of others.

I know this blog is always here for me to vent and question and reflect on the moments of my life. It has helped immensely. There will always be more to come along and share with you all.

Mindfulness

I haven’t written for awhile now. I’m stuck. Trying counselling, but don’t know if it’s helping. I cry a lot – at the mention of my father, future losses, failures I think I’ve had with my son and husband. I cry because I can’t go back in time to change what I said or did. I cry because I’m afraid of what I’ve lost or might lose.  It’s oppressive at times.

The counselor tells me to keep practicing mindfulness, and that some of the things I share with her indicate that I am being mindful at times. She reminds me that I can’t change the past or predict the future. Bemoaning and anxiety. I keep trying. It is SO hard though. Emotions run amuck. Sensations of the walls of the past and future close in around me, leaving little room for mindfulness. The pressure of the past and future engulf me, causing me to panic and forget where I’m at. I suppose that as I practice being mindful, I should get stronger and be able to push the walls back into place. At least that’s what I think my counselor would say if I shared my analogy with her. Is the goal then to push them back until the room they shape (my life) is as large as possible?

Cement walls closing in. I feel like I will drown.

Cement walls closing in. I feel like I will drown.

 

 

 

New Meds, helping???

I’m off the Latuda and trying Lamotrigine again. No more “crawling out of my skin” feeling, which is good. I think the Lamotrigine is helping a little, but the dose hasn’t been finalized yet. Slowly increasing it. I’ve also been dealing with a lot of pain in both of my legs lately. The doctor thought it was bursitis, but is now considering a bulging disc. The pain is horrible at times. At night, if I change positions, it feels like my legs have been stabbed with a knife, and the blade drawn down to my knee. I fall asleep crying and afraid of changing positions during the night. I’m sure this isn’t helping my depression! I’m dissatisfied with EVERYTHING in my life. Overly emotional (though I haven’t blown up in a rage in awhile!) Last weekend, I was driving with my husband and started crying. His reaction was, “Good Lord!” I know that it was just because he’s frustrated with me always feeling down. He’s been there with me through it for over 30 years, and I’m sure it’s exhausting to be around when you don’t know how to help.

I know my life is filled with blessings, and it’s easy to start naming and acknowledging them. But that doesn’t make a difference with depression, and I feel that most people don’t understand that. When I recognize that I am blessed, yet still battle with my depression on a daily basis, I again realize that it is a disease. Something is amiss in my brain chemistry. And this brings me back to my depression. I may receive treatment for it, but it will always be there … a part of who I am. Some days, I feel hopeless and wonder why I am still here.

I want to be exuberant and filled with joy at life and the wondrous world I live in. Will that ever be? I do have brief moments of laughter and happiness. But they don’t last more than a day or so. At least they do come round though. Most days, I hide my depression behind a facade. My smile doesn’t make it to my eyes. Do people even recognize this? I don’t know, but it gets me through the moments so that I don’t SEEM to be down so much. It makes me feel like I haven’t been a very good wife or mother.

I’m just SO tired of being sad and crying at the drop of a hat! Just writing this has me in tears. Saying good-night to my son has me in tears. I am very lucky and blessed to have him as my son. He is kind and generous and thoughtful … a good person through and through. I’m happy that I’ve had a part in developing those characteristics in him. I am fearful that he might develop some of my condition as he gets older. But I have to be mindful and in the moment. He isn’t like that now, and I have no way of knowing about the future. So I do enjoy and appreciate him for who he is today. And the time I spend with him.

On a different note, last weekend, I went with some friends to a place where they take you through the creation of a painting. Usually the painting was done by someone famous. We were all taken through painting “The Old Vineyard.” I didn’t recognize the painting, but the whole process was fun and a great way to spend an afternoon with a few friends. I’m hoping it will get me to pull out my paints and canvas and have a go of it at home.

IMG_0813

Sometimes, I just want to go to sleep and stay asleep. But i also don’t want to miss out on life. I want to see my son grow and have a good life and family. I hope to be a grandmother some day – and think I will be a good one. Those of you will know what I mean. I’m just so tired of being sad – for what seems like no reason. I want to live life fully, but am having a hard time doing so.