I just realized …

I just realized I haven’t written in about a week. I have been busy reading other blogs, playing with my puppy (3 months old), making new friends here through swimming class. TODAY, my outlook is good. I’ve had periods of sadness, anger, anxiety … the gamut that usually torment me … but not for sustained periods. The blogs of others, especially  Jaen Wirefly’s (You Know You’re Borderline When …) posts on mindfulness and Gypsy’s (Through my eyes: Adventures in Boreline Land) reminder to think positively. Others have shared progress going on in their lives (Mandi) and just shared some humorous anecdotes about their family and children (John the Aussie). There are others and you’ve all kept me moving forward!

My husband now is employed, almost full time, although still no benefits, so that takes some of the worry off. He is not pressuring me to go back to work yet. I want to, but don’t feel the time is right just now. Making friends and building that support network, here in a new environment, is what I need to do first. The people in our community are very friendly and welcoming. I’m putting forth the effort to make friends, which I never really did before. I’m struggling with parenting a 16 year old boy – who is a great kid, but is still a 16 year old boy with all that that entails. Thank God I’m not a single parent!

Having more than a day or two in a row without the yuk is kind of scary, but good. I’ve been having days with short periods of distress that I’ve been able to stay with and not succumb to. I appreciate the good days and know the bad days won’t last forever. But I know this “thing” won’t ever leave me for good also, and that’s somewhat distressing – but is what it is and not an excuse to check out. I do have a son to set an example for. 

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Adventures of the Feather in an Uncertain World

A short story I wrote years ago that reflected my not fitting in:

Adventures of the Feather in an Uncertain World

 By: Catherine (aka, Hawkruh)

I wrote this the last time I went to a family reunion. I felt loved by everyone, but didn’t feel like I fit in any more. I was on the outside looking in.

INTRO: Have you ever seen a bird with a feather out of place? Jutting out at an angle away from the smooth coat formed by the rest of its feathers, the single feather appears in need of plucking. Trying to smooth it back into the others is futile. It may blend in for a short while before the tension in its attachment becomes too strong and its direction changes, out of place again. For the sake of writing a story, pretend that I am that feather, and the coat of feathers is my family.

For years and years, the feather tried to twist its shaft so that it would blend in with the other feathers. With each attempt, the other feathers would look at it and wonder at its gyrations. I was actually quite comical to them to watch the various ways the feather would try to get it to fit in. But it puzzled them as well. You see, the feather didn’t understand why it was so different and felt out of place, confused, and angry because of it. It wasn’t trying to be a distraction from the beauty of the bird. Yet, it felt it was and became ashamed that it hadn’t been able to find a way to fit in. Other than the feather, it was a beautiful bird with luxurious plumage of various colors and lengths. The other feathers all found their place, whether long and slender, short and broad, of vibrant hues or a subdued gray. The bird was full of love, proud of itself and all that it had seen and done. As the single feather twisted itself, trying to change, it became more of an irritation to the bird. Where the feather’s attempts had been amusing for a time, the bird was now tired of it and wanted the feather to stop distracting the bird as it went about its business.

With a sad sigh and a heavy heart, the feather stopped trying to fit in. It feared that if it continued, the bird would pluck it out in exasperation and toss it to the wind. If that were to happen, the feather would float alone, at the mercy of the wind, time, and gravity with an unknown fate.

So, the feather tried to stop fitting in. But it was hard, very hard. And sometimes the feather found itself twisted, again trying to change. Occasionally, when twisting and turning, the bird would peck at the feather and threaten to pluck it out. The feather would quickly stop and be very still, afraid of where it would end up if that were to happen. While still, the feather would look at the other feathers and see how well they complimented each other. They blended together and covered the bird with shimmering color, creating protection for the bird through their unity. The feather longed to have a purpose as important as theirs.

Time went by. Some days, the feather was content, even happy. The sun shone, and the bird flew on gentle breezes across the land. When it rained, the bird took shelter wherever it could; a flowering bush, a protective branch, and once, with a group of other birds, which seemed to speak the same language. The last time that a group of the birds too shelter together, the feather listened closely as the birds chattered about where they had come from and their hopes for the future.

There was talk of flying together – safety in numbers – as the weather started cooling and the days grew shorter. The feather hoped that the bird would join the others in their flight. It all sounded like a great adventure! It continued to worry about not fitting in with the bird’s other feathers, but thought it might be able to forget about it if the flight got exciting. And then, one cool morning, there was no need for words as the birds rose as one and began their flight towards warmer places that would have enough food and shelter for them all. The feather shook with excitement, and a little fear, for what lay ahead.

As the bird rose high into the air with the others, the feather knew that its life would soon change forever. The birds flew, rising and dipping, turning and twisting. It seemed impossible that the flock was hundreds of birds and not just one. the movements were so well coordinated. Quickly, they were higher than the feather had ever been. The wind and force of the upward motion were very strong; pulling the feather until it had no control of itself and fearing it would be pulled loose and left behind as the flock flew south. That fear caused the feather to cling as tightly as ever it had to the bird. Where they were headed was unknown, a mystery; causing fear to swell in the feather. But to be completely alone, left behind and without the unity of the other feathers and birds, would be a sure death.

The birds flew south for day. Each morning, they would rise in flight as if on command, though none was given. Each night, they would land and find shelter and food in a field. And as the birds rose into the sky, each morning, the strong winds again woke fear in the feather. Somehow, it managed to maintain its connection with the bird, although the fear never truly went away. Each night brought relief because the feather kept thinking that the field they had landed in might be their final destination.

Eventually, a morning came when the birds did not take flight, but continued to eat and talk to each other through the day. The feather was happy and even found that there were days when it forgot how different it was from the other feathers. Those days were like golden seeds to the bird because all was well.

Days passed uncounted, but enjoyed. Eventually, the days started getting longer and warmer. The feather had been noticing other flocks of birds in the air. They all seemed to be flying in the direction the bird had come from. Once again, the feather found itself confused and feeling different from the others. Unsure of itself, it again began its gyrations, attempting to blend in with the others. It was actually more difficult than it had been earlier in the feather’s life. The feather’s shape had changed and it was also stiffer now. The twisting and turning that it had done before with temporary success was virtually impossible now. The tension of twisting was so great that as soon as it started to relax, it sprang back to its previous position, protruding at an angle away from the head of the bird.

Exhausted and discouraged, the feather gave up trying to fit in with the other feathers and shifted its focus to the lengthening days and increased activity in the sky. And then on morning, as had happened before the birds had flown here, birds again gathered in the area that the feather’s bird was. When the flock had gathered and rested for a few days, it again race as one being and climbed high into the air. Fly and roost, fly and roost, the flock traveled to the north. When, again, a morning came when the flock did not take to the sky, the feather knew it was home for a time.

Day by day, the flock grew smaller as birds flew to nearby areas, usually in pairs. The feather’s bird was still part of a larger group. The feather wondered how the birds decided to stay with the group or to pair up and move off. Once again, the feather was confused by the events going on around it. It quieted itself. No longer did it try and make itself like the other feathers. That had become too difficult as well as not working. The feather became quiet. It couldn’t fit in, and it also didn’t want to draw attention to itself. In its stillness, the feather felt the warmth of the sun and the gentle brush of a breeze, opening itself to absorb it all. The warm breeze helped it to feel strong and confident.

As the flock grew smaller, the feather noticed that the bird was acting differently around the remaining birds. With some, it was aggressive and tried to get them to leave. With other birds, it seemed to show off by walking proudly and trying to get their attention. When the bird was around these birds, the feather felt a tingle running up its shaft. This feeling made it want to pull away from the other feathers and to stand as straight and tall as it could. It actually wanted to be different and for the other birds to look at it because of how uniquely different it was.

Finally, the bird was chosen by one of the other birds that gave it a lot of attention, even as the others drifted away in pairs. As the two birds came together, the feather understood its difference and was glad about it. It had been the key to gaining the other bird’s attention. The feather’s angle and length showed that it was stronger than all of the other feathers on all of the other birds. It was because of this strength that the other bird had chosen the feather’s bird. The feather was happy with a deep contentment. To be so different from the other feathers, to not fit in, had been a gift that the feather was able to give the bird. To fit in, as it had tried so hard to do, would have left the bird alone when all the others had found a match. Realizing this, the feather quivered, held itself up as straight and tall as it could, spread itself to catch the breeze, and was happy.

The feather’s happiness continued until one day when the bird became angry at the feather and plucked it out, tossing it into a mud puddle. The feather was confused by the bird’s action. It wanted to be back with the bird, to return to that was impossible once it had been plucked. The feather lay in the puddle until the water had dried up. Now, covered in dirt, the feather felt invisible as it blended in with the ground. A tremendous sadness filled the feather, as it believed that it would remain on the ground until passers-by had trampled it into dust.

Many people traveled the path that the feather lay in. Some did step on it, causing bruising and rough it up a bit. It felt that its fears had been justified and were coming to be, and it wilted even further. Its days of purpose were gone. So, too, was the fear and excitement of clinging tightly to the bird as it flew high into the sky with the other birds as they traveled.

One day, a light rainfall started and fell continuously through the day. The tiny drops fell on the feather gently. Those that fell around it were not even large enough to make a sound or puddle as they hit the ground.

A woman walked down the path with her eyes downcast in sadness. She was thinking of her sleepless child who was having bad dreams that woke him the moment he fell asleep. As her lowered eyes followed the path, she saw the feather. The gentle rain had washed away the dirt and its unusual beauty and color now showed. Seeing the feather, the woman remembered the dream catcher that had hung above her bed as a child. Her mother had placed it there when she was having bad dreams and not sleeping. The woman had completely forgotten her own trouble with sleeping until seeing the feather. It was the colors of the feather that was so startling to her. The blues in it were the same color as her mother’s eyes.

Picking up the feather, the woman said a quiet thank you and shed a single tear in gratitude for the gift of the feather.  As the tear slid down her cheek, it glistened in the emerging sunlight and looked like a diamond as it fell to where the feather had lain in the path.

The woman created a simple, but beautiful dream catcher. Hanging from its center was the feather.

Note: If you’re not familiar with dream catchers, know this, a dream catcher is a circle made from a slender branch or vine. A sinuous strand is woven across it, looking like a spider web. The web catches the bad dreams, however, the good dreams are able to slide down the feather to the sleeping person below. The feather dangled and drifted as a gentle feather wind blew. Securely attached, yet lithe and purposeful, it felt fulfilled.

Paranoid

I meet my new therapist in two days. And I’m afraid. Paranoid. I’ve been self harming (burning) for various reasons: anxiety, boredom, shame. The burns aren’t bad or infected. But I woke up in the middle of the night thinking that here I am in a new state, home, environment … my husband isn’t with me yet, and she’s going to take my 16 year old son away from me! He’s not in any danger. I’m not burning myself with fire, it’s just a superficial coping mechanism for me … but they’ll take him away and I’ll be alone! PANIC and paranoia. I’m on the verge of cancelling my appointment. But I know I shouldn’t. I can’t move forward if I just stand still – yet part of e wants to run backwards and hide. Everything is in black and white. There are two neighborhood cats who like to hang around my garden. They look exactly alike, except one is short hair and one long, and yep – they are black and white!

It's a cat.

My heart is pounding as I watch the humming birds this morning and try to figure out how to approach my burning dilemma as I go into a new therapy situation. I’m anxious about this therapy. Should I do DBT or another form? I doubt every decision I make. For a smart person, I feel pretty incapable most of the time.

Today’s challenge, on top of what I’ve just written about, is the California DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and getting my drivers license. Smile for the camera.

Reader Appreciation Award

Thank you Gypsy http://gypsy116.wordpress.com, for nominating me. Yours was the first blog about BPD that I read and you hooked me! Hooked me and lead me to others and the start of my own blog. Thank you for bringing me to this online world of support.

1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog.
2. Answer these 10 questions, below, for fun if you want to.
3. Nominate 10 to 12 blogs you enjoy. Or you pick the number.
4. Pay the love forward: Provide your nominee’s link in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate.
5. Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you.

1- what is your favorite color? – Blue …  but also green and purple.

2- what is your favorite animal? – dogs and horses … and some cats, and … its all depends on the individual animal. Like people.

3- What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? – water

4- Facebook or Twitter? – I have both accounts. Never use twitter. Deactivated my FB, then deleted the email I had linked to it, now I can’t re-activate that account. Don’t want to start all over – so I guess I’m done with it. I seldom contributed.

5- Favorite pattern? – I like finding patterns in numbers (like on the car odometer) but I like seeing patterns in nature

6- Do you prefer getting or giving presents? – giving. I feel very uncomfortable getting presents.

7- Favorite number? – 5

8- Favorite day of the week? –

9- Favorite flower? – scent: Jasmine

10- What is your passion? – my family, especially my son. I’ve had other passions in my life – in the past – that I hope will return as I get stronger. Right now, there is little focus. I am determined that there will be though! Life is meant to be lived, not suffered.

Bloggers I nominate include:

Jaen Wirefly
http://authorjaenwirefly.wordpress.com

Mandi
http://mmstores.wordpress.com

John the Aussie
http://sleepinginsomniacs.wordpress.com

Debs
http://talentshack.wordpress.com

Carl
http://stillfugue.wordpress.com

halfwaybetweenthegutter
http://halfwaybetweenthegutter.wordpress.com

gypsy116
http://gypsy116.wordpress.com

ensine
http://jensinewall.wordpress.com

Hellosailor
http://sailorcarrie.wordpress.com

Running for Reachout
http://runningforreachout.wordpress.com

Why do I suddenly want to cry?

I’ve been browsing some posts, doing some writing and thinking, watching a Will Smith movie on tv, feeling restless. One post I was reading had to do with posting pictures of your best friends. My husband has always been my best friend. I don’t know that I’m his, but I consider him mine because, well because he’s always been with me and I love him more than anything. I want to be with him forever. I don’t really have “friends”. Not that people don’t like me and I don’t like them  – but there’s no one who wants to hang out with me – kind of thing.

I wanted to delete this paragraph because it seems like a wimpy feel sorry for myself  kind of thing is what I’m writing about about – but it isn’t. So I’m going to leave it in. It was just an aside based on a post I read.

Anyway, after some of the reading, writing and thinking I’ve been doing, I suddenly want to cry. Laughter seems to come so readily to everyone. I know it has to me … in the past. And it still does, on very rare occasions. Sadness and  emptiness fill me. When there is a surge of emotion, it is anger. Is it possible to reinvent myself? Can I fake it until I make it? I want to be happy. I deserve to be happy. I have been happy. I watch my son and husband chatting and laughing together and try and remember when I was that way. I’m always so somber now and have a hard time finding the humor in situations. I miss gut wrenching crying (even peeing in my pants) laughter. Although the latter was a bit embarrassing! LOL just doesn’t cut it for me these days.

Hi … ? Needing information from other BPDs

Ahh Doctor can I have another

Ahh Doctor can I have another

I want to post today, but I’m at a loss for words. I’m done with my day/group therapy using CBT. It was part of what I need, but definitely not all. I had just gotten to the point of understanding some coping skills, and then BAM, I was done with the program. I’m still working on setting up therapy in CA, but nothing definitive yet. I see my psychiatrist this week and really need to find an alternative to Lamotrgine that doesn’t cause weight gain. On it, I gained 25 pounds in 2 months! Considering I had just lost about 15 pound, this was devastating. If it continues, I’m worried that it will trigger unhealthy self harming behavior.

Obesity Campaign Poster

Obesity Campaign Poster (Photo credit: Pressbound)

This was not good at all. I’m now about 100 pounds over weight (at my best weight) but would be ok with being 10-15 pound above what the charts say. Comes down to being very over weight, no matter how you look at it. The only med for mood stabilization that I was able to locate information online about is Topomax. Has anyone heard of or used it? Do you know of any other medication that doesn’t cause weight gain? I was taken off of Abilify because it caused me to be very constipated. However, I’ve been off it for 4-5 days and am still bound up. Once a week bowel movements are not ok with me! I’ve done some research and most mood stabilizers cause weight gain.

Mainly, today I am trying to find anything I can about Topomax and/or other mood stabilizers that don’t cause weight gain. And, are there any readers in the Sacramento area that are in DBT who can help me find a good therapist and group.

Thanks everyone!

Old Habits – Bad Coping Techniques

 

Friday was a challenge. All during therapy sessions, I kept wondering if insurance would cover me for any more days or if it was my last day. Finally, right before I left, I found out that I can have 3 more days, but they want them split up (MWF) rather than MTW. A step-down plan. Anyways, I was anxious about that and other general things on my mind.

Once that part of the day was over, I went to spend the evening with my parents. My dad (I’m sure he’s undiagnosed bipolar)  was in a down phase. It had obviously been a difficult week for my mom. Within minutes, I had made myself a stiff drink. It was the first drink I’d had in 2 weeks. I did make it last 2 hours, but it was still a break in abstinence. I was having a hard time being with them because of my dad’s mood, but decided to push through for a few hours, putting on my happy face.

This morning was a session with my psychiatrist to check on meds and fill out long-term disability paperwork. When I got home, I saw that no medical records had been attached, and now I’m worried about that. My appointment started and ended late, and then it took about 45 minutes to get my script filled because the didn’t realize I was waiting for it for about a half hour! All of thins had my morning off to a very late start. I was suppose to help with testing at my dojo, but was now unable to get there in time. It would have been almost done by the time I got there. So … more anxiety. Time to go back to my parents’ to pick up my son. Started off well enough, but then he and I started arguing. Partly 16 year old “I know everything and you don’t) attitude, partly my impulsive anger acting up.

I tried really hard to turn the afternoon around. I stopped myself from yelling or judging. I laughed and talked. I worked in the yard. We decided to spend some family time together doing errands and going out to supper. All went well. I didn’t have anything to drink with supper. We then went for frozen custard. It was really good! I thought I had succeeded. As we got closer to home, I started to feel very full. The custard topped it off and felt cool in my stomach.

I had decided by the time we got home. Into the bathroom I went. I haven’t been able to purge for a long time (possibly years) because of shooting chest pains I get when I try. But ice cream can be different. Slickery. And the coldness helps, I think. Anyway, I did it. I puked up all the frozen custard. I stopped before the burger I’d had for supper started coming up. I’m afraid that would have initiated the chest pains.

Now I have the shame of breaking abstinence in two areas. And no one knows except those who might read it here. Why? Why? I think I have a clue … the last two days  have been comparatively quiet. Calm has become difficult for me to tolerate. I sabotage it, returning to chaos. Or was it the conversation with Dave just before we left the house … what WAS it about? I remember holding in tears as I left. But, for the life of me, I can’t remember what he said! If I remember, I’ll add it in.

So, was it the calm or the comment? It may have been either, both, or possibly neither and something completely different. Here I am, at the close of Saturday, having coped in unhealthy ways twice in 24 hours. And the weekend is only half over.  I did find a poem that I wrote almost exactly 3 years ago …

Image

A poem I wrote on 3-29-09 that I came across tonight. It is something I needed to find.