How are you?
A simple question. A question most people hear dozens of times a day or week.
But for someone suffering with depression this questions brings with it a wave of dread, anxiety and even panic.
Borderline Personality Disorder is a tough diagnosis. I am not saying that other mental health diagnosis aren’t but BPD in particular seems to have a huge stigma around it.
Some of this is down to the media falsely representing it but also just plain ignorance.
The name seems to suggest that we have a disordered, bad or broken personality. This is what I first assumed, as did many people I know who were diagnosed.
As most of you are aware I attend Psychological group therapy every week. But I have recently experienced a group therapy session that made me feel out of control.
My therapy sessions are generally pretty testing – as they should be – but on this occasion I felt completely and utterly out of control!
OK, when I say meditation I’m guessing one of the following images pops into mind; A Buddhist monk sat cross legged chanting for hours at a time or a bunch of hippies dancing around incense holding flowers and giving everyone the peace sign! Now that’s OK if this was your first thoughts on meditation, it was for me too.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against Buddhists, I think they are amongst the most peaceful people on the planet and I don’t dislike hippies. I love the planet too! I’m a vegetarian/vegan and promote peace but I could not see myself meditating in these ways. It’s just not for me.
I really don’t know how I am feeling.
It’s a hard concept to understand. Not knowing how you really feel. Not knowing what emotion you are experiencing or have recently felt.
I know it is really difficult to understand but it’s true; I really don’t know how I am feeling. There are often times when family members or friends will want to know how I am, but I will honestly not know. It is at times like this when I reach for the safety blanket of “I’m fine thanks.” It’s easier than trying desperately to explain that you have no idea how you are feeling. You’re in limbo. Not good not bad. Not happy not sad!
I have on occasion attempted to reveal this mixed up feeling to people who have asked and I am usually met with blank stares or nervous laughs. The exception being those close friends of mine who also suffer from mental health issues. They understand instantly.
I guess that brings me onto now. Right now, when I really have no idea how I am feeling. I do keep telling everyone that I am ok, I’m tired but ok (“I’m just tired” being another safety blanket.) However, if I’m honest I’m not really sure that I am. I’m not ‘bad’ I know that much but I’m not convinced I’m ‘good’ either.
I’m feeling worried, anxious, panicky and a little stressed. Overthinking is something which is taking over most of my days and nights. Left to my own devices I am daydreaming of the past, the future and stressing over every mistake or silly thing I have ever said or done! I’m finding it extremely difficult to concentrate or get the motivation to do anything.
Does this mean that I am heading back down again? Down to the darkest depths that I cannot be rescued from? Does it mean this was all a cruel trick that I am not actually getting better and I never will?
Or, does it simply mean I am going through a tough period of my illness which will come and go throughout my life? Something that will pass if I remain strong and fight my very hardest.
I expect the latter is the correct answer but it’s still extremely hard. This constant voice telling me that this is all a cruel trick and I am never really going to get properly better.
As I said before it’s so so difficult to describe to people – even the most understanding of family members and friends – that you have absolutely no bloody idea how you feel!
I suppose it may seem like I am lying. And I suppose in one way I am but unless you live this I don’t think you will ever really understand how awful it feels.
For those of you who ask a friend or family member and receive the answer of “I’m ok” “I’m fine” “I’m just tired” or a similar answer, that deep down you know is not the full story maybe dig a little deeper. Ask them if they are sure they’re really ok. Let them know that they can be honest with you and please know that you don’t have to fix them. Just listening and trying your hardest to understand will mean the world to that person struggling.
For me, this is open post to let you know that if you are having confused feelings, Its ok. You are not alone. I have them too. I’m having them right now. But I am determined to keep talking and spreading awareness so that there will be a time when we no longer have to be scared of the reaction of others when we are open and honest about our mixed up, confusing feelings.
Please stay strong and stay safe.
Love Amy x
This blog was written a little while ago but still very relevant.
Everything seems to be changing again.
I can feel my moods taking a turn.
I’m trying to think positive and keep busy but I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and exhausted by it all. I just want to be on my own. All the time! But I force myself – and for anyone who really knows these feelings it’s not easy – to turn my thoughts around and spend time with friends and family as I know they are the best medicine and I am blessed to have them.
I have mentioned before about Art and how it has helped me cope at times and acted like a kind of therapy for me over the past few years but actually it is much more than that!
I LOVE it!
I NEED it!
When I say Art I literally mean anything creative. Painting, drawing, up-cycling, crafting, writing stories, poetry, the possibilities are endless!
I thought I would take the time to blog about the positives that come with BPD.
BPD is always seen as a negative and pretty awful diagnosis. I’m not saying that it’s a walk in the park or easy by any means I just thought it was important to shake things up and focus on those positives.
There were times that I would wish and pray that someone could just take this diagnosis away and that it would never have entered my life and darkened my door. Now however, I do think a little differently.
I don’t wish I never had BPD. Without it I wouldn’t be me! I wouldn’t be were I am today. I wouldn’t have the amazing people I now have in my life. There are definitely aspects of it that I wish wouldn’t be so severe but I am learning to look at the positives and be thankful.