Tarnished

I hear the wind

Rustling through the trees

A warm spring day

The windows open

I can feel a breeze on my skin

Cool and warm

Out my window

All green

The sun is shining

But inside me

Is a darkness

An aching pain

That doesn’t relent

What once was beautiful

Is now tarnished with the darkness

I’m falling over the edge

this time I don’t think I’ll be pulled back

This time, I think it’s going to stick

-B. 6-12-18

Psychiatric meds: a frustrated rant

Nowadays, it seems like, they don’t want to see you get better. They want to create consumers. That is, Big Pharma, the Dr’s, hospitals, intensive outpatient treatments, any place that would have you on medication management for psychiatric disorders.

I am speaking from my own experience of course. I mean, I will be the first to tell you that psych medication is a great thing. I find it endlessly fascinating. And in the right circumstance, I think it can be a very useful tool. But far too often, we are overprescribing these medications and not dealing with the problems at hand.

Take for instance, inpatient treatment. It’s more about, medicating and pushing you out the door, than really getting to the root of the problem through therapeutic means. I know, I know, inpatient is supposed to be for rapid stabilization but still, they don’t even help you with facing life once you’re back on the outside. So, what’s even the point of stabilizing you in the first place? (I know, I’m a bit dramatic)

What I’m trying to say is, at least in my case, and what I’ve seen with so many others, first hand, is that they would rather put you on medication. Medication that has a block box warning, rather than try to teach you to handle your emotions and the things in life that seem too hard. They would rather sweep it under the rug, than really put any effort into seeing what is wrong because a quick fix is a quick fix. I know that sometimes and at first it might be needed but then it becomes such a crutch, you just rely on the medication to help you.

As, I’m writing this, I am realizing I’m going to get some backlash. I just want to say, there is nothing wrong with taking medication. Hell, I take a cocktail of meds. More than most patients do, trust me I know, I’ve gotten flack for it.

I’m just frustrated because now that I’ve been on these meds for so long, I don’t know how to handle my emotions off them. I tried and it was a disaster. I don’t want to be dependent on medication my whole life, I want to learn to not be afraid of who I am, I want to learn to handle my emotions and my ups and downs.

So, that’s the end of my rant. I hope I didn’t offend anyone.

-B. 6-16-18

Bad patient.

Being borderline you hear a lot about being on the rollercoaster. It can be a very destructive force in ones life but that’s not the dangerous thing they should warn you about. What they should warn you about is how seductive it is. How good it feels to be on the rollercoaster, even the pitfalls.

I found this out when I was 24. When they put me on antipsychotics. I never realized I was on a rollercoaster until it was gone. And once it was gone I missed it but at the same time I could finally breathe. So, I was a good patient. I stayed on the meds. Missing the rollercoaster, less and less, as I forgot what it was like to be on and how to handle such harsh conditions.

I would think back on those days and think to myself, how did I ever get through that without antipsychotics. In a way, the meds were making me weak. They turned into a crutch.

When I was 28, I decided to try and get off my antipsychotics. First day, I was euphoric. Few days after that, tail between my legs, back on the antipsychotics. How could I completely forget how to handle these emotions that were once so ingrained in me. I did this a couple more times but always feared these emotions.

Now, present day. I just had a complete mental breakdown, and you know what? I didn’t do something stupid. You want to know something else? I haven’t been on my antipsychotics for a week or two.

I am conquering my emotions one step at a time and for the first time in years, I can feel again. I’m not dulled down.

I don’t know what the future has in store for me or if the rollercoaster is going to get crazy but if it does, bring it on. I got my DBT, I got my supports, I got my strength and I am ready. I want to face my emotions, not hide away from them. I want to feel not dull myself into a depression.

So, why is this called bad patient? I probably should have informed my Dr. kids don’t do what I did. Always tell your Dr. I’m just an Asshole.

-B. 6-5-18

One magic pill

One magic pill.

We’ve all wished it was real. Something we could take to cure us. Make us normal. Take away all the bad things and make us whole again.

Psychiatry, the idea of getting on medication, is often a tough choice for some of us and an easy one for other. Whatever it is for, the journey is not the same. Some have luck and others don’t.

I like to think of it as one big guessing game.

As in other fields of medicine, you have a disease process and a course of treatment. In most cases it’s that simple. But with mental illness, it’s not. It’s far less simple than that.

You have all these psychiatric medications and you get to see your psychiatrist once a month. So, once a month you try a medication. Then the fun part. Some of these medications take weeks to work, so the wait. Then the side effects. On the other hand, they can completely not work all together or even worse do the complete opposite and make your symptoms ten times worse. So, next month, back to the drawing board.

Suppose it does work, but then it doesn’t take all the symptoms away. Then you have to start the cycle over again. You have to add another medication.

Then, finally you find the right combination that works. Everything is going fine for a few years and then BAM. You need to adjust the dosage or the medications have stopped working all together. Back to the drawing board. Back to the cycle.

Like, picking out of a hat.

These medications are so abstract and have so many applications in how they treat various symptoms. The lists go on.

And one day you wake up and you realize, you aren’t just a person seeking treatment for your mental illness but you’ve become a slave to these medications, a product of the pharmaceutical companies.

I’m not saying that taking medication for mental illness is bad. Absolutely not. I have no right to. I am on numerous medications just to be a functioning member of society. But, do I wish I could remember what it was like to handle it on my own or learn to handle it on my own. Yes, I do. Do I hate carrying around 6 pill bottles with me, when I go out? Yes. But, I’ve learned to have no shame in taking out my meds when needed because who the fuck cares what they think. I need them. I need to take care of myself.

But, oh, how I do wish, that there was one magic pill…

-B.

3-21-18

This took a turn

Don’t you hate that? How the night before, you feel motivated, have a plan for the next day, even feel a little motivated the second you wake up. But then, it starts slowly. Something feels a little off. You make up excuses for it. It hits you, you feel a little off.

That realization, that moment. The moment you realize it’s you, you’re the one who feels off. That’s when it happens. You start slowly spiraling. Not too bad at first, though. Not very noticeable because you’ve put it in the back of your mind. Well, at least you think you did. But it’s growing. It gets bigger and bigger. You start actively thinking about your anxieties, fears, mistakes, things that make you wrong as a person. Things you’ve decided are true, that must be true because why else would you feel this way. Why else would it be so damn hard, so damn exhausting to get yourself to make at least one phone call, check off one thing on your list.

You make up these things, these facts about yourself, convinced they are true but in fact are the complete opposite. Yes, maybe it’s exhausting to fight yourself to even get one thing done on the list but you did it. You, on your bad day, got something done. Even if you didn’t manage to get something on your list done, you managed and you know fucking what? That in itself is strength.

People don’t see mental illness, not all the time. They don’t see what we are fighting. How fucking exhausting it is. How the simplest thing makes you tired and ashamed because you can’t do it like the “normies” can but fuck them. You are, I am, so much stronger for it. We have to fight everyday. It’s not easy. Life’s not easy, but we do it.

So, this started as a rant but turned into a pep talk. I think mostly I needed to hear it. I needed to know it was okay. But if anyone else needed to know, know it’s okay to survive, it’s okay to just breathe. It’s okay. You’ll be okay.

-B.

1-30-18

Superpowers 

Borderline is not an easy thing to have. I will be the first to tell you that. It has taken me a long time to realize that despite the fact that it can be a curse, it is also something beautiful. A sort of superpower. I only realized this, this past summer. I forgot it after a big trauma but, I’m now realizing it again. I know a lot of you may not believe me, but let me tell you how I see it. 

Although I so often fall from grace, and yes that hurts, it fucking hurts more than anything, I also touch the heavens. Without falling, you can’t fly. These intense emotions, are beautiful in a sense, I feel more deeply than most. I love with all my being. Because of them, I can see in all the beautiful colors. Because of it, I know not to waste a moment of this finite life, to make most of my time. I know that those rare beautiful moments, are worth holding onto. That the little things in life, like a beautiful day or holding hands or the smell of the air after a summer shower are what’s important. That materialistic things won’t make you happy but the substance of good people and beautiful times, whether happy or sad because they mean something, in some way. Because they brought you to this exact moment, to these people in your life. 

With BPD, doesn’t just come these intense emotions. I also have superpowers. I have the sharpest tongue I know. I know that could also be a bad thing but in my life, the things that have happened, the hurtful, traumatizing things. I’ve learned to stand up for myself and my words cut like a knife. I cut like a razor with my words. I always say, no one can win an argument with a Borderline or anyone who dares start a fight with one better be prepared for what will happen. I will use my words to not only protect myself but people I love and I’m good, I know I’m good. 

I have the ability to love with every inch of my being, to fall in love so easily and to jump right in, while a lot of people hesitate. They stay guarded but I give myself, all of myself. Not afraid of love and relationships or giving myself to someone completely. 

The greatest superpower is the ability to care and have empathy because I know. I know on the deepest level and I don’t want anyone to hurt. I feel so deeply that I would never want anyone to feel bad. That is why, why I’m not afraid to tell my story, why I want to go into the psych field as a nurse, why I do this. Because if my story, my art, can touch just one person, I’ve done enough. All I’ve ever wanted to do was help people. 

So maybe having this, being mentally ill, in any way, is not completely terrible because it brought you here, it made you, you. Sometimes you just need to change your perspective. See things from a different view. You know sometimes, I will lay on my bed upside down, just to change my perspective.
-B. 

12-17-17 

Self-aware Borderline 

You know one of my biggest struggles since I’ve been diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder. You’d think it was a good thing, and in some ways or at least from a therapeutic standpoint it is and should be a good thing but I tell you it is the worst thing ever. 
The thing I’m talking about, is becoming a self-aware borderline. 
The first step in therapy, is to be diagnosed but then it’s to become aware of your “patterns” and behaviors. But not only that in DBT, they teach mindfulness. Which makes you aware of everything, externally and internally. 
The reason why being self-aware as a borderline, is probably the worst thing, is because it makes what we do and how we feel, which is already tenfold, even fucking worse. Like, we have just had all our nerve endings plucked like a guitar, set on fire with kerosine.

In a way, it’s a lot like this other thing that you learn about in DBT, called “wise mind”. Which is the ultimate goal. You want to take your emotional mind and with a rational mind and combine them to create a “wise mind”. 
This is sort of where the problem lies in being self-aware. I can see everything I do, say, or feel from a rational perspective. Understand why it is that way but no matter how much I understand it, I cannot help how I feel or react. My borderline doesn’t care about the rationales. Even if it’s something so insignificant. Like the time my ex boyfriend moved a pillow and I flew into a rage. I knew there was no reason to get that angry, but I did. All he did was move a pillow. It didn’t cause me any harm, I didn’t ask him not to. So, why did I do that? 
You see, noticing things like that. Being aware of things like that, on a daily basis, is horrible. It makes you feel horrible. They tell you in therapy that it helps. It doesn’t. It makes it worse. It ruins your self esteem. It shows you just how fucked you really are. 

It’s like you can see what is going on, you know what to do but you aren’t in control. 
I miss being blissfully unaware. Things seemed so much simpler. All I do now is either apologize, explain myself, self loath, or isolate so I don’t hurt others. This is what knowing does. 
It has helped break some patterns, but at what cost? 
-B. 

11-28-17