Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bad bad Mothers Day

I really thought I could handle Mothers Day this year. I was fine last year and the year before, so why would this year be any different? Well, last year and the year before that, I celebrated Mothers Day by planting flowers for each of my kids. To me it was sort of healing. My kids aren't here for me to protect and nurture, so I spend all summer protecting and nurturing the flowers I plant for them on Mothers Day.

This year it rained. It rained all day long.

I was fine when I woke up. I knew how the day was going to go. I planned on working on the computer for a bit. Then showering. Then I was going to plant my flowers. I had only been online for about 1/2 an hour when my husband came in the room with "that look" on his face. You know, the one that says "Please don't shoot the messenger". When he told me it was raining, I didn't react. I felt nothing. But then I went back online and when I saw the page for my support group, I broke down and started sobbing uncontrollably. The pain was unbelievable. I felt so broken.

I don't know how long I cried, it felt like forever. When I was done, I posted on my support group and then clicked out. I spent the rest of the day going through photos of my kids, pictures I never look at because it hurts so much. I literally beat myself up with memories, sort of an internal self harming. Throughout the day I tried to visit my support group online, but every time I did, it would trigger a sobbing session (I guess I know a little about triggers after all).

Monday was a little better, but I still wasn't "happy". Today I'm still a little down. I don't feel like talking to anyone, so I'm hiding out in my rooms. My normal daily activities hold no appeal. Facebook, Squidoo, Sidetick. I'm not really wanting to do any of it. I hope this feeling passes soon.

BPD, Self Harm and Triggering

Like most Borderlines, I self harmed in the form of cutting for a good chunk of my life. I'd say I probably started around the age of 12 or 13 and I didn't stop until I was 29. The first time I cut, I did it because it was cool. All my friends saw what I had done and I swear their view of me went up a notch after that. I continued to cut every once in a while, but not too often because it hurt like the dickens!

Then came the day when my horrible temper showed itself. Like always, I was out of control, screaming, throwing stuff, punching the wall. Even after all this time, I can still remember how mixed up I felt inside, how badly I needed to explode. I don't know what made me think of it, but I got out my razor and I started cutting. It was the first time I had ever cut without feeling pain. Instead, all I felt was exhausted relief. That day, and for the next 17 years, I would use cutting as a form of anger control. 

Now you're probably wondering why I took the time to tell all that. I did it to explain why I cut. I've seen so many instances where a Borderline reads or hears about someone cutting and that triggers them into doing the same thing. It's like they go crazy with the need to self harm. But I don't understand why. The only thing that's ever triggered a cutting episode for me is feeling that extreme anger and not wanting to explode. For me, it's never been about "feeling the pain" because I don't feel pain, just relief. I think if I actually felt the pain, I would have never cut again. So anyways, the whole point of this post was that I really don't understand triggers. So if someone wants to explain it to me, that would be awesome!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Online BPD Support Groups

In the three years I've been online, I've joined quite a few online support groups. Some were just for BPD and some were for a broader range of problems. I always ended up quitting because it seemed like I was never able to post about the things I needed to post about. For instance, if I was having a bad day and felt like cutting, I couldn't post anything asking for help because it might trigger someone else. How stupid is that? While I understand about not wanting to trigger anyone, what's the point in being part of a support group if I can't get support when I need it the most? 

Recently Facebook made it so that groups can be either closed or secret. With this change came the creation of two (that I know of) BPD support groups. I joined the first one and spent the next couple days in awe. Everyone was so open about everything. We were all asking questions and finding out that we all have pretty much the same symptoms. I found out that I'm seriously not alone in this. That support group quickly became my leaning post. 

But after a while, people started arguing. Feelings were getting hurt and people were leaving the group. To be honest, I expected this to happen. After all, you can't gather 200 emotionally unstable people in one room and expect everything to be fine. But after seeing this happen every single day, I finally couldn't take it anymore, so I joined the second group (who I heard was much calmer). Thankfully, they were. Everyone was super nice and supportive. I very quickly became close friends with a few. 

Then a couple of us started seeing a trend in the posts. Certain people were posting all day every day about wanting to hurt themselves or kill themselves. Now personally, I ignore those posts. I know that's not very supportive of me, but I wouldn't know how to help them anyways. Besides, it was getting really annoying (and triggering for some) to constantly see a steady stream on s/h posts. And when one of the group members voiced her concern about it, she got attacked. So now there's arguing in both groups. 

A little before that happened, a couple of us struck out and started our own group. There's only 8 or 9 of us, but we like it like that. This is a different type of support group. It's a place we can go and be around other Borderlines, but we don't really talk much about BPD. We mostly talk about other aspects of our life. It's so nice to be around other Borderlines, but not focus on BPD. This group has been a life saver for me.

In the past couple of days, both groups have calmed down again. For now things are peaceful and I plan on sticking with all three of them. If you have Borderline Personality Disorder and you would be interested in joining one of the Facebook groups (they're better than I make them sound. I promise), friend me on Facebook with a message about joining so I'll know to add you. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

BPD and other Mental Conditions

Borderline Personality Disorder is commonly found to be co-occurring with other mental disorders. I've been thinking about this lately because I have at least 2 other disorders, Mysophobia and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD). In trying to write about one condition, I find it almost impossible not to mention the others because the symptoms overlap so much. In some ways, I think the three disorders feed off each other.  I've noticed that when I'm having a bad day with my BPD, the Mysophobia seems that much worse. It's the same way with BPD and OCPD. Go ahead and compare the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder with the symptoms of Mysophobia. Not try it with OCPD.
Do you see how the symptoms could feed off each other?

Monday, May 2, 2011

BPD Awareness Month!

Yesterday was the start of Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month. Throughout the month of May, I'm going to be doing things, both online and off, that hopefully will bring awareness to BPD. Yesterday I published an online article celebrating the 4th anniversary of BPD awareness and giving some background information about why awareness is so important. Today I downloaded some fact sheets and gave them to friends and family. Tomorrow...who knows? But I'll think of something! What are you doing to enlighten others?