Tagged with "Up"
The Questions I Often Ask Myself Tags: #bpd #eupd

Sometimes, I get in my head too much.† Other times, I'm in my head a lot but I find some interesting bits of wisdom to take with me on the way out and analyze for solutions... maybe this day is one of them?

One of the prominent questions I often ask myself is regarding many relationships, friendships, and even familyships: when is it going to end?† I think that's part of my abandonment issue playing a part into this.† When some of these bonds often end, I feel a drowning-like feeling that reinforces that question and everything that comes with it... I am not sure how to stay in the moment often with that question and its feelings looming in the background.† It also makes it harder and more fearful to let go of toxic relationships.† When I do so, I feel it creates a loss (which tends to hurt a bit more and cause self-critical banter in my head).† I'm not sure how to solve this, but with time I've been able to identify this and other issues easier.

My current boyfriend wants me to be clingy, to be a bit jealous but not overly possessive, to not be afraid to invest emotionally and mentally in the relationship.† However, I don't think he knows what he's asking when he says these things then tops it off with 'just be yourself' because the balance is almost non-existent at the moment.† I feel I can be one or the other at the moment, working toward a more defined line of 'middle'.† I don't want to lose the relationship in any of these or other things, because he is extremely loving, more supportive, and healthier than many of my previous relationships.† Bottom line: it's hard to be in a relationship (healthy or not) and experience the symptoms and aftermath of BPD.††

I had so many problems with past relationships that I could point out where I, indeed, was the issue:
1. Why do I smother him or her?† Why am I distant toward him or her?

2. I need to remain myself and not blend my identity into him or her.† Also, the more important question: who am I again?

3. I need to make time to work on myself, but I also don't need to neglect him or her.

4. Why am I offended by this comment that he or she made?† Why am I†not†offended by what he or she said?

5. Why do I feel jealousy?† Also, who wouldn't feel jealous at his or her behavior?

And the list goes on and on.† However, although I always wonder where that middle line is, I'm getting closer.† These and other questions start making me 'should' myself, such as 'I should know these things by now; I'm 33.'† But one of the keys I have in my hand is patience, and although it's rusty from not being used enough this key is starting to fit and turn the lock more and more.† For that, I am grateful.

I often wonder if my charming narcissist father and my passive-aggressive soft-spoken mother have anything to do with the symptoms I experience when it comes to BPD; I'm pretty sure I've heard someone say that the environmental factor of a household with at least one narcissistic parent tends to contribute to the likelihood of their child or children having BPD.†

Sometimes I hate feeling like I have a world to save at all.† On the days I feel pretty dramatic yet high, I feel like a superwoman; soon after, the maladaptive daydreaming begins.† I dream about saving everyone and the world- all except myself.† In all reality, though, the world I must save is†mine.† My world is the only one I can save, and I have to make an active decision everyday not to attempt to destroy it or let it continue to be wrecked by my own hands.††Either way, it's up to me.††

How I Learned to Talk About it
Category: Seeking Help
Tags: Opening Up

I have schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. Before I was diagnosed, I was going to school full time and also working part time at a casino. I loved going to school but found it to cause a feeling of pressure. I hated working at the casino and didn't like a lot of the people nor their projected image of me while I worked there. I became ill and quit both school and work abrubptly. I became paranoid and quit trusting everyone and only trusting others for delusional reasons. I was like this for years. Finally, a doctor was able to diagnose me after some of my delusions were vocalized regarding my mother. For years, I was able to hide it. I have since been diagnosed with schizoprhenia, bipolar with psychosis, and the one I agree with: schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type.†

I have quit medicine and treatment many times, at least four times. And each time I relapsed into my delusional symptoms, each time worse than the previous time. More violent, more demanding while under psychosis. I have learned from experience that life is just way easier on medicine and in treatment. I have learned that I would rather take medicine daily than lose touch with reality and think the whole world is out to get me.†

There was a time where I kept this all hidden. But I had to talk about it. I at first found Facebook groups. Then I told friends. My family never really accepted it. My mom blames me for things I did under psychosis and our relationship has a terrible rift in it as a result. And I do not trust my mom nor feel comfortable being vulnerable around her. I've lost friends who thought it was better to keep their distance. I do speak my mind and when it's delusional, I am aggressive. They think it's better to stay away. Keeping distance over something I have no voluntary control over. Just to medicate it away and no one wants to take medicine.†

Best we all just stay away from each other. They don't offer real support and that's fine. I'm on my own. I lost my mind and went into my own world. My favorite people were there and they talked to me daily by the second. Music was a great communicator. Tv communicated with me. The radio communciated with me. Books had deeper meaning and it was also a form of communication with God. I would open books at random and think it was God responding to me. I enjoyed these activities. But it was all delusional. These are activities I no longer get to enjoy because of medicine. It's just not the same on medicine because it doesn't feel as real.†

But medicine does allow me to work. And I work well. I'm a good worker. Medicine allows me to think clearly. Medicine has its benefits. I have to see the positive side of medicine. I can avoid abuse on meds. Off meds, people will take advantage of you. And I think others are helping me when I am delusional and these pepole are actually just taking stuff from me or hurting me. Because I am delusional, I interpret the abuse as help. So medicine helps me avoid that altogether. Medicine has a positive side. I will continue to take medicine.†

I will meditate and talk to God still. I just like that talking to God is my only focus off meds. But on meds, I have other interests. So I guess medicine is good for me, maybe good for my soul as I do not attack others. I am not paranoid and delusional on meds. I will of course continue to take medicine. Medicine saved my life. I also have to acknowledge that. I am suicidal off meds, too. Another aspect to consider. Better just stay on them and be grateful to have my mind back and all the delusions gone. Giving thanks to the scientific community for their work and research.

Breaking the Fear of Stigma
Category: Stigma
Tags: Stigma From Everywhere - Don't Be Afraid to Speak Up

Breaking the Fear of Stigma

When I was first diagnosed with schizophrenia, the news was earth-shattering. It rang in my ears like an alarm going off - something is very wrong with me. Of course, it was not until the meds worked and my delusions went away that I truly felt the magnitude of the diagnosis, the gravity of it. And my family felt the gravity of it. They were all stunned and just assumed I was angry. But I was delusional. Delusions went away - and so did my anger. This also stunned them. The change in personality. Me getting diagnosed and the change that meds caused in me had my parents not understanding at all.†
But it made things clear for me. I realized my mind was tricking me. And that alone was scary, to know something like that can happen to a person, especially me. It was just earth-shattering, receiving my diagnosis. Traumatic to say the very least. Life changing. Perspective changing. Personality changing. Humbling.†

After you receive your diagnosis, you have to go around the same people who† honestly have not learned much about mental illness. The world is still very much in the dark about it. And these people can be angry over something you said during psychosis or they might just be abusive by nature. I encountered many "mean" people who were downright cruel after I received my diagnosis. Ugh. I hung out with a religious group, and that was where I encountered the "mean" person. He told me that my mom would protect me because after I was diagnosed, I felt like a child again. And I needed my mom. And this person was mean about it. And I was just processing feelings. I couldn't hide my feelings. And I was hanging out with these people at a religious function. And I was trapped with them. Of course, I have never allowed that situation to happen again and avoid those who are "religious" by nature. Because others at this party gave all the credit toward my healing to "Praise Jesus" rather than admit science saved me. If anything, Jesus was part of my delusions and the meds made that part go away. Jesus was clouding my judgment. I'm not religious but I understand it having been raised that way. Now, I'm a free bird. Anyway, I learned to overcome that kind of stigma, and the fear that you experience when you encounter the stigma, by standing tall around those who practice that kind of stigma. I have learned to use science and facts to support my healing and if people want to think I am evil, I let them with joy and even feed into it. I quit caring so much about people who are insignificant in my life.†

Learning to overcome stigma after returning to work was something else. For the longest time, I had feelings of being inadequate and that I was an invalid. But I like to learn and I work hard. And I have kept being challenged. I used to think that someone with my diagnosis couldn't work. I used to think that working would be too much because my thoughts or emotions or feelings might get in the way. But after working, I have learned that I excel with a challenge. I deliver. I do well. Work is good for me. And I am good at usiing my mind and working. Work feeds my soul. I have learned to avoid those who don't enjoy a hard day's work because it's a joy only those who enoy working understand. And half my family collects disability and then does drugs. They think I am crazy to work. And I think they are crazy to live their life like that. We are not the same.†

Overcoming stigma in relationships is difficult. People who are really untrained in mental health always want to tell you how you behave this way or that and call it mental illness. That is the worst kind of stigma, labeling all behaviors as mental illness. This I have encountered and the only thing to do about that is to cut people off. You don't want to be around someone who is constantly putting you in a box. I have left relationships for this and nothing makes me more proud of myself. I could have stayed and endured further mistreatment. But I left. I moved on. And I didn't look back. This goes for men I've dated as well as family. Learning to walk away from those who don't truly take an interest in my life. It' s their loss.†

You will always find others who want to put you in a box because of your mental health disorder. Or who always want to accuse you of missing your meds. These are the people to avoid. They are negative and no one needs that kind of influence in your life. You can enjoy life with a mental health disorder. Religion never saved anyone, especially not me. You can work and excel at work with a severe mental health disorder. The media needs to portray stories of success more often. Homeland is a story of success for someone with bipolar disorder. You can be in a positive relationship with a mental health disorder. And you can walk away from any relationship that does not feed and nurture your soul. It helps if you work to walk away easier. Never settle. Always work on developing yourself. There is always more to learn.†

Let's end the stigma associated with mental health disorders. Even if that means walking away from people who you think are "primary" to your life. We live multiple lives. There are always primaries in your life. Who cares? Make yourself your primary and look after yourself non-stop. Walk away from those who practice stigma. They will never feed your soul.†

Questions Posed to my Now Fiancť
Category: Marriage
Tags: True Love is about Support

What it's like to date someone with schizoaffective disorder?

He takes me as I am!

Below is a list of questions regarding dating someone with mental illness (me and I am diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type). I'm not easy to date and some days are better than others. I have good days and bad. Up and down. Sometimes my head is in the clouds and other times, I'm grounded and centered. Depends on how much I did for the day and I don't really know. Just depends. I've been with my boyfriend over a year and we might get married. I decided to take a moment and ask him questions about my disorder and see how he really feels about me. I was pleased with the answers and I hope you are, too.

1.) Are you aware of the diagnosis and what does it mean to you?

Yes, I am aware fully. It means that I have to protect you from certain things sometimes, namely yourself, you know? I have to tolerate the you know mood swings and stuff like that.†

2.) How does it affect your life?
Have to pick up meds on occasion, never really sure which version of my girlfriend will show up which means like what she will be today, mean from the other day, or not, it's challenging, very challenging.†
Never date a girl with curly hair, they clog up the drains†

3.) Do you see your girlfriend in your future?†
Yes, I do. She's sweet. Generally has a heart of gold.†

4.) How does the disorder affect your girlfriend?
Um, she hates always having to take meds everyday and wants to be free of the meds. She doesn't like being judged by others about it. She might resent it. Doesn't like being judged. Doesn't like the stigma that comes with mental illness. Hates if you tell her you are going to put her in the hospital.†

5.) What is one good thing about her disorder?
It makes her who she is, right? So if that is the side-effect of a disorder, I guess it's not so bad.†

6.) Do you regret dating her? Would you change it?†
I should have ran the other way, huh? Too late now. No regrets though. I live without regrets.†

7.) Should she stay on meds?†
Yes, because she can't function without them. She will be standing on the corner screaming at Jesus if she doesn't have her meds.

Those were his answers and I guess I should stay on meds. I do yell at Jesus and others off meds and for delusional reasons, that only make sense to me. So, sure I guess I will continue to take meds. I feel better on them, anyway.††

Mental Health Awareness Is On The Rise
Category: Community News
Tags: Mental health Talk About it Recovery Therapy Support

Mental health awareness is on the rise and the most recent place is Oregon. Specifically, there is a new law that allows Oregon Students to take mental health days. Mental health days will now be marked as excused absensces. And students will not be penalized. The new law allows for up to five days be used for mental health days.†

This is big news and I hope the rest of the country will also follow suit. After this, I think work should also allow it. There are days when we need to nurture or monitor our mental health. And there are days when we need to make our mental health a priority.†

There has been some backlash to the news in Oregon, thinking kids will take advantage. However, I think those who misusue sick days will misuse mental health days. It will be the same people who call in sick. But this will allow for those who need a few days to recover from some mental health symptoms and go back to school feeling better and more prepared. I think this will also allow for everyone to be more aware, to be nicer to each other, and to just help eliminate bullying.†

Talk About Your Mental Health
Category: Stigma
Tags: Mental health Talk About it Recovery Therapy Support

I love sharing mental health stories with others. It's not always easy and sometimes can be emotional to do so. What happens during an episode is traumatic. However, healing does take place and so does moving on. You have to move on.

People have shared some amazing stories with me. Everyone is affected by mental health and everyone has experienced trauma. We can all relate. What we share here is a beautiful thing and it will help end stigma. We all know or are or have someone in our lives who experiences a mental health disorder. It's just far too common.†

And by sharing experiences together, we raise awareness. Raising awareness is key to ending stigma. I look forward to a day where mental illness will be as easily accepted as diabetes. Sometimes lifestyle changes can help. And sometimes medicine is necessary. You really need to think it over what works best for you. Each person has individual preferences and expectations, etc.†

Let's keep the conversation flowing and help end stigma.

A Mother's Concern for Her Son's Mental Health
Category: Parenting
Tags: Depression Anxiety Recovery Support Parenting

Iíve struggled my whole life with some kind of depression and anxiety. Iíve always been able to manage it. Iíve taken medication when it was really out of control, but always seem to come out on top. My 17 year old son has struggled emotionally since he was a small child. Heís so gifted: extremely smart, talented, handsome, and charismatic (when he wants to be 😂). I had him young (19), but made it my mission for him to never feel like that put him at a disadvantage - and dare I say, I think I succeeded on that front. Heís headed to college, talking with coaches about continuing his career in baseball after high school, dating a beautiful girl. From the outside, it all seems pretty perfect.

His father disappeared the first couple years of his life and pops in to celebrate the victories. I married a wonderful man when he was 2 - he took him in as if he was his own and things were good. About 2.5 years ago his biological grandfather in his dads side was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. He was the most consistent connect to his biological father. He showed up to every game and every tournament. He stayed in touch with me almost daily for years when his own son hadnít talked to me in months. They gave him 6 months to live and 6 weeks after the diagnosis, he passed. My son was completely devastated.

Shortly after that, my marriage fell apart. We ended up in a long divorce (not spiteful, just long). He took the news well. My ex-husband and I vowed to be the picture of the perfect divorced family. And so far, so good. I never stopped to think that he might have been concealing his true feelings. That he was putting on a happy face, to save me from anymore heartache.

Add to this a broken wrist in the summer of 2017 that required surgery (and stopped his season) and a second broken wrist in the summer of 2018 that ended his season early, an extremely demanding high school schedule with 4 AP classes, and a broken heart over his first love....

He was a disaster. Fits of rage, all directed at me. Violent rage that started over the stupidest things like not being able to find a shirt he wanted to wear or dinner not interesting him. We couldnít even talk anymore. He was hurtful and disrespectful and honestly scared me on multiple occasions. I knew it wasnít him. His eyes were lifeless. It was like he checked out, and this other horrible person took over. Heíd always had issues dealing with emotions, but it seemed like it was escalating daily. He asked for help and I found a counselor that he really liked and could start working with him quickly. She wasnít able to write him prescriptions, but wanted to see if we could work things out without medication. About halfway through I felt like we needed to explore medication - finding a doctor that specialized in adolescents was a nightmare. Getting an appointment within a reasonable time frame was a nightmare also. My son was in crisis and I didnít even know how bad it was.

On 1.10.19, he called me on my way to work. He had refused to leave his room for the sixth time in ten days. He was sobbing. He told me he didnít want to feel this way anymore. That he thought he might be better off dead. That he had spent the night cutting his thighs, and that it wasnít the first time heíd had those thoughts or done those things. That he just wanted to feel normal again and he knew he could, but he couldnít even bring himself to get out of bed.

I left work. I took him to childrenís hospital and within hours he was in a facility for adolescents. He needed medical treatment. He needed counseling, yes. But he was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and panic disorder caused by anxiety. He needed medication. He needed an intervention. And the lengths I had to go to for someone to take him seriously still astounds me.

Thereís so much pressure on us as parents to raise the perfect child. Thereís so much pressure on them as young adults to get perfect grades, and go to a big school. Thereís so much pressure on teenage boys to become men so fast. Donít cry and be strong. Donít show weakness or emotion. Itís not cool to hug your mom, and donít you dare ask for a kiss. With all of those AP classes, he was averaging 3-4 hours per night of homework and still only getting Cís. Eventually he quit doing the work. I think that when he realized the hole that he had dug himself, he spiraled downhill quickly. The first thing I did was change his schedule. I took him out of those AP classes and put him into a suitable replacement. I stopped caring so much about making him the perfect child and started focusing on making our relationship strong. I started working on opening the lines of communication - even on things I donít want to hear 😂 I started prioritizing my day differently - carving out alone time for him and I - because even though he acts tough, I realized some of it may have been a really painful way of getting my attention. We try to deal with emotions head on - cry it out, run it out, laugh it out. We try not to bite our toungues if what we have to say is constructive. And we hug - a few times a day sometimes. We say I love you. And sometimes he even sneaks me in a kiss goodnight ❤️

Itís not perfect. Iím not perfect. Heís not perfect. I still struggle. We still have a bad day on occasion. But we know how to recover. We know to address it. I still bite my tounge at times and really dissect my words. I know he is living with a disease at a level that is greater than anything I have experienced and my words, all of the words I speak to him, carry a greater weight than anyone else in his life.

I guess I just wanted to share this somewhere. Maybe it will help someone that is struggling. Itís not something I talk about often with just anyone. But itís changed me in ways I could never imagine.

From an Anonymous Concerned Mother Who Wants To Help Others

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