Brooke. 23. Student. Nanny.
Cooking. Organization. Crafting.
Music Lover. Creative. Emotional. Hilarious. Smart Ass
A year ago I was in such a different place. I was bitter, angry, depressed, hopeless and suicidal. I remember how a year ago I was so upset that I would start sobbing uncontrollably and cut to replace my internal pain with an external one. I felt relief as I saw the blood ran down my leg, I felt relived by seeing a release of pain. I was in a funk that rubbed of on my relationships, people started distancing themselves from me which made me even more depressed. I wanted love, I wanted happiness, I wanted relief from myself.
Despite my hopelessness and feeling like a failure at the time, I went to al-anon meetings and therapy. I am so thankful for both, I don’t think I would be where I am without them. I have learned some important lessons that have helped my life each day with happiness.
You have the power to determine how things affect you. Even though someone hurts you, it’s your choice to let it get to you. Instead, let it roll off your back. Remind yourself that only you have power over yourself and deserve respect and happiness.
When thoughts from the past creep up, and you get upset over mistakes your have made, tell yourself it is what it is. It doesn’t matter if it was your fault or theirs, you have the power not to let it happen again. Our past needs to stay there so that our future remains a fresh start and a chance to redeem ourselves.
Stand up for yourself. You know the truth, is it worth obsessing over the details? What do you have to prove? So many times I have gotten in verbal disagreements and felt the need to defend myself over and over again even when I was repeating myself because the other person was not acknowledging my point of view. Now I stop myself, breathe, and defend myself as simply as possible. If the person keeps festering over the details I remind them that I have said my part and heard their part and it isn’t worth it to keep fighting over it.
When your confidence is low, remind yourself of at least one thing you like about yourself. Too often we obsess about qualities that don’t exist, we are just too caught up in our distorted views that we can’t see what the rest of the world does.
Be comfortable being alone. Happiness and love starts with yourself. If you can’t find it in yourself you never will be able to truly feel it from another person, that is a different kind of love. I really struggle with this one, when I am alone with nothing to do I go to a negative place and make myself think that I am alone and nobody cares about me. I obsess over false negativity and think that I need to be with another person to feel good about myself. Instead I am working on keeping myself entertained and quieting negative thought and replacing them with happiness from my independence.
You are your best cheerleader. It sounds silly but you need to give yourself credit for your achievements. Are you really a failure? No. Even if you are feeling depressed and under appreciated, feel pride from getting the courage to get out of bed and face the day. When my therapist introduced this “cheerleader” business I thought it was silly and would make me cocky. In reality you are just cocky if you do it in the wrong way to other people. You have a lot of things to proud of. Quick, think of a few. Okay, good. Do you feel any better? No, well stop it! Things are not as bad as you perceive them.
Remember, YOU have the power to be happy. Do what brings your joy, distract yourself with things that make you feel better when you feel down, think of good qualities about yourself, think of loved ones. It has been a struggle but I am starting to feel happy again. I am not always confident but I redirect my thinking and try to move past it.
I may have said this before…
I feel like a crazy Clark Kent who’s kryptonite is abandonment and relationships.
To the average person I am a loving, smart, funny, happy-go-lucky, optimist…
To my close friends I am the above in addition to being over emotional and obsessive…
But to my mom, psychologist, therapist, and self I am the above plus a sufferer of BPD with killer mood swings, a history of self mutilation, abuse, suicide attempts, hostility, bad relationships, addiction and so on.
It gets tough living the double life and putting on a happy face when all I want to do is go hide in bed. The positive change is that I am no longer suicidal because I realize I have things to live for.
I really hope that other people suffering from mental disorders are able to get the help they need and see a reason for living too.
After years of frustration and depression, I was diagnosed with a “mental illness” known as borderline personality disorder. It was really hard for me to hear the diagnosis thanks to the negative associations with mental illnesses. Automatically, we all think of crazy people who walk around talking to themselves or don’t act like a same, controlled human. Ok, I guess I am crazy, but I don’t think I fit the normal image of the word. Instead, I am able to maintain an average life and fool acquaintances, but the people closest to me know that something has been off. I am moody, feel like I am not in control of my own emotions, have identity issues, and have trouble keeping relationships. The trouble with being diagnosed with BPD is that I can’t tell people that I have this mental illness due to fear of judgement and misunderstandings of how it affects me. However, I feel relief that I finally have an explanation as to why I am so fucked up and can get the correct help for my problems. I have been in therapy for a little less than a year but just started BPD specific therapy sessions. In the short amount of time I have seen my therapist, I already feel like I am making progress. Currently I am reading a couple books on the disorder and feel relief that I am not in this alone and have specific explanations for my behavior.
One of the big rules for my success is to not start relationships or date because it is a major trigger. Well, I thought I was in enough control of myself that I went on a date. Per usual, it through me off track and brought back the feelings and behavior I suppressed. Once again, I scared a guy off by being over dramatic, sharing too much, and not setting boundaries. So, instead of being jovial today I have been lying on the couch all day feeling ashamed of myself with nobody to blame but myself. Now I understand why my therapist set the “no dating” rule.
I just need to accept that it is what it is and to live in the present. I only have control over myself and my own emotions so I am the only one who can fix my problems, and that is okay.
As you may not have known, I go to therapy, a psychiatrist, and an alcoholic family support group. I am sure you are thinking that the title of this post is pretty fitting at this point. What you don’t know, is that I was raped and extensively beaten throughout my childhood by most of my family. Eventually it my parents backed off and I moved far away for college. So, for several years I lived like I was really free. Drinking. Smoking. Partying. Skipping class. Oh, and that was my freshmen year. Then, it became less about partying, and more about being part of a community and making changes. That lasted for my sophomore year of college. As a junior, I became a new type of independent. I lived on my own, but really focused on school while keeping some connections to people at school.
Now let’s fast forward 2.5 years later.
I am completely independent financially, and physically….but emotionally? It’s coming.
Last September I was feeling pretty weak and vulnerable but decided to hop in a relationship with a man who moved to Omaha. Ok, long distance at the beginning of a relationship wasn’t the best idea. I was getting used to talking to him from afar, while he is trying to settle into a new life. I was falling more in love with him, waiting for the day I could kiss him again. He was falling more into his work, being consumed with it and painted with stress. He mended the problem with drinking heavily and passing out. I dealt with it by calling him to see how he was and say I couldn’t wait to see him. He ignored my phone calls and called me clingy. I was hurt by being called clingy so I acted a little less friendly. This went back and fourth until one point, he flat out said he fell out of love with me. This flipped my crazy switch I was so hurt thinking that somebody who proposed to me last month at Thanksgiving could be unseeing these words now? At that point I couldnt keep my cool. We started fighting all the time, so I broke up with him. Then he would drunkenly call and text me saying how much he wanted me back. So, like stupid fucking idiot I went back to him. We had our cutesy moments like when we first started dating, but those faded and he became obsessed with making as much money as possible and drinking and smoking as much as possible in his downtime. This made things even worse. But I put up with it. In a drunken argument he tried strangling me but I put up with it. We had a deadline of July to decide what we were going to do, so I flew out to see him getting more excited as I got closer and got to see him. He called me to pick me up, and that when reality hit. I opened the door and he instantly started screaming about me being late as he sped off yelling. It continued to the point that I was crying hysterically because I was stuck in another state and had no idea how to get away from a man who was one mispoken word away from beating the shit out of me. Well, I went with him anyways and spent the rest of the weekend with him fighting. The last day I was there I asked him to pick between me, who is always there for him despite everything , or his friends who come around when they need something or want to drink. He chose his friends. Then, took all the towels out of the bathroom before I showered leaving me with a dirty handtowel to dry off with. I cried non stop. People on the plane thought I was insane. I cried for weeks and was in a funk. Then I would feel happy and have fun with my friends and enjoy my new life. It kept repeating though. Miss him. Happy. Miss him. Happy. It has been 4 months and the pattern still exists. Oh and don’t forget he had me arrested.
Now back to my support groups…
Am I crazy or has my past made me this way?
Either way, I hate the way I felt and never want to go back. The point of all of my support is to get me back to a healthy independent happiness.
One day at a time. I am the queen of my own destiny.