BPD Symptoms – Impulsive, self-destructive behaviors

Impulsive, self-destructive behaviors

If you have BPD, you may engage in harmful, sensation-seeking behaviors, especially when you’re upset. You may impulsively spend money you can’t afford, binge eat, drive recklessly, shoplift, engage in risky sex, or overdo it with drugs or alcohol. These risky behaviors may help you feel better in the moment, but they hurt you and those around you over the long-term.

I have general impulses that are not self-destructive. For example, a few months ago, I woke up and decided I was going to paint my bedroom. I went out and got everything I needed and then did it. I didn’t really think about it, I just did it. I also bought a PS4 just after Christmas and have only played it a handful of times. But I wanted it, so I got it.

I have had impulses that have caused me problems. I used to gamble, a lot. I loved the rush from it, it made me feel alive. Then came the guilt and shame. But I always went back for more. It was the only time I really felt alive. I have stopped it now. Well, I do it occasionally, but it is for fun and not for that high.

I like to buy things when I’m feeling bad. Nothing big or expensive. It is usually food. Chocolate, sweets and fast food. Or I’ll buy my partner some junk food or a magazine. I used to buy myself DVDs. I have usually already seen the film and never actually watch the DVD. I just accumulated them. I stopped that. Then started on video games. First it was my PS2 and then my Xbox 360. I’ve bought so many games for them and haven’t played a lot of them. Just before Christmas I found a bag with 3 Xbox games, which I had completely forgotten about. At the end of last year I booked my CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) so I could ride a 125cc motorbike. I have never been on a motorbike before, have no idea how to drive a car, don’t really know the Highway Code and last rode a bicycle when I was about 13. They did offer a one-on-one session to see if you would like it. But, I didn’t want that. I wanted to do the CBT, although it was highly likely that I would fail it. Which I did. But instead of giving up, I then did the one-on-one lesson. This was in about October/November last year. I then stopped. I just kinda forgot about it. It was in the back of mind, now and then, but I didn’t give it too much thought. I then over-analysed it and was trying to determine whether it was just one of my random urges or whether I really wanted to do it. I decided that I really did want to do it. So last weekend I went back and passed it. Now I just have to get my first bike. I was slightly worried that I only wanted to do it because of the rush it gave me (it gives you a big adrenaline hit), but I also enjoyed the freedom. I think it is like Marmite and you either love it or hate it. So far, I love it. So I’m just gonna go with it. I’m not going to analyse it. I’m just going to enjoy it.

I’m a big binge eater. Or as my partner says, a mindless eater. When I’m feeling bad, I just shovel food in. I don’t really taste it. I don’t really enjoy it. It’s just the routine and habit of it. I only do it with sweets and chocolates. Mind you, that is the majority of my diet. I don’t really eat well. I struggle to keep a routine with food and don’t really enjoy that much of it. Also, I don’t enjoy cooking and can’t be bothered to do it. I can go days without eating a proper meal, which probably doesn’t help my moods.

I used to be a binge drinker. I’ve never been a big drinker and I can’t really handle my alcohol. But when I was 19 and first went to University, I drank, a lot. I was always getting completely wasted and then got myself into some right states. I would pick arguments with people, get over-dramatic and very self-centred. Most the time, I ended up in a crying heap, wailing about how horrible I was. Not such fun times. A couple of years ago, I started going out and drinking quite a bit. Again, I was getting shit-faced, but instead of hating myself, I got very angry. But only at my partner. Oh the fights we had. Well, I say we, I mean me. The abuse I hurled at her. The arguments I made out of nothing. Sometimes I just saw red. Other times, I just couldn’t understand why she was with me and I guess I was pushing her away, expecting her to leave. She didn’t. She stayed with me. Still not entirely sure why she did!

I do still have these urges and the only why I can control them, is by feeling nothing. I just turn off all my emotions, so I don’t feel anything. I know this is not the way to deal with it, but it is all I’ve got at the moment. I struggle with just existing and working. Adding the extra pressure of trying to stop myself of doing things I want to do, would just be too much. I’m working on it. I’m a work in progress. I think with BPD, I always will be.

Nat xx

BPD Symptoms – Unclear or unstable self-image

Unclear or unstable self-image.

When you have BPD, your sense of self is typically unstable. Sometimes you may feel good about yourself, but other times you hate yourself, or even view yourself as evil. You probably don’t have a clear idea of who you are or what you want in life. As a result, you may frequently change jobs, friends, lovers, religion, values, goals, and even sexual identity.

I’ve never known who I am or what I want. I know there are a lot of people who don’t know what they want in life, what they want as a career. But, I just don’t know who I am. I don’t know what my likes and dislikes are. I don’t know what my hobbies are. I don’t even know what type of music I like. It all depends on who my friends are at the time. I will like what they like. I will listen to the music they listen to. I will do the things they like. I’m not manipulative. I’m not pretending. I just want them to like me. I don’t know what I like, so I think they can introduce me to new things and I might like them. I can be easily persuaded to change my mind on a subject. I’m not gullible. It’s not even a conscious decision. But, I know I do it because I want them to like me. I want to have something in common with them. I want to be what they want me to be. Through doing this, I have discovered things that I like (I think) and don’t look for approval from others about it. But I’m never 100% committed to anything. I’ll like something. I’ll really like something. I’ll love something. Then I’ll just stop. Sometimes for a long time, sometimes for a short time, sometimes forever. Or I’ll like something, but not know much about it. But don’t have the energy, inclination or attention-span to find out more about it. The only thing I’ve been interested in is the television show Xena. I love that show. Have done for nearly 20 years. I don’t watch it that much anymore. But I still love anything and everything to do with it. I went to Comic Con in November and managed to buy a Xena mug. I was so happy. Maybe it is because I use to use it as an escape when I was younger and my affection for it has stayed. I don’t know. But I am trying to be more aware of my feelings towards things and try to figure out if I really like it or if it is because someone I know likes it. It can be hard. It can be tiring. At the end of last year I got obsessed about learning to ride a motorbike. I booked my CBT (never tried to ride one before and can’t even start a car) and obviously failed it. I then bought books about it, bought motorbike magazines, took a one-on-one training lesson. Then the feeling faded. But it is still there. It is something I want to do and I am planning on going for my CBT again. So, I believe that to be a genuine want for it. I use to play a lot of video games when I was younger and still like to play them. Over Christmas I wanted to buy a new TV and a PS4. I kept thinking it was just my impulsiveness, so ignored it. I then bought them, both. Love the TV. I’ve played on the PS4 about 3 or 4 times. I think that was an impulse. It is so hard to distinguish.

I get easily bored at jobs. When I first start, I always see it as the best opportunity and am really excited about it. But, it doesn’t take me long to become bored. To start thinking about getting a different job in a different sector. I resent the job. I hate it. I hate the managers. I hate the customers/clients/public. I hate it all. I then start to resent it. I hate myself for not being qualified to get another job. A better paid job. A more exciting job. Then usually my work starts to suffer. I cut corners. Get easily distracted. Start under-performing. Get in trouble. Get stressed. Have time off sick. Then finally quit. It’s a vicious cycle that has been happening all my life. I am bored at my current job which I have only been doing for a year. But I can feel all these feelings creeping in. I work hard to stop them. But it feels like a losing battle when you are fighting your own mind.

But I am fighting them. I will keep analysing them, in the hope that one day I will know instantly if they are my thoughts or if it is the BPD talking.

Nat xx

BPD Symptoms – Unstable relationships

Unstable relationships.

People with BPD tend to have relationships that are intense and short-lived. You may fall in love quickly, believing each new person is the one who will make you feel whole, only to be quickly disappointed. Your relationships either seem perfect or horrible, with nothing in between. Your lovers, friends, or family members may feel like they have emotional whiplash from your rapid swings between idealization and devaluation, anger, and hate.

This applies to all relationships in my life and not just romantic ones. Although, my romantic relationships have been affected as well. I’ve always been looking for someone to complete me. To make me a whole person. To make me a better person. To give my life meaning and happiness. Deep down, I know this has to come from me and if I’m expecting someone else to be able to do this, I am always going to be disappointed. Doesn’t stop me wanting it though. It doesn’t stop the thoughts. It doesn’t stop the pain and the emptiness.

I’ve always liked Xena. If you don’t know what that is, it was a fantasy television show in the 90’s. It was cheesy and sometimes tacky, but I loved it. Still do. There is subtext between the two main female characters and I love that. I didn’t realise I was gay at the time and I think that show helped me, to come out. I’ve always thought that was the main reason I liked the show, but I think it was also the intensity of their relationship. They died for each other. Risked everything for each other. They were soulmates. It was really intense. Here’s a quote from one of the episodes “That’s what we all dream about, isn’t it? Someone who looks so deeply into our soul that they’d find something worth dying for.” This really strikes a chord with me. That is what I want. Not only is it what I want, it is what I expect a romantic relationship to be like. That is how I feel when I’m with someone and expect the other person to feel the same. Obviously, this is not real life. Relationships are not that intense and the one’s that are, never last. Doesn’t stop me craving it though.

The first really intense relationship I had was when I was at College. I’m still not sure how to define that relationship and I’m not entirely sure I want to. Whatever it was, it was ours. We had some really great times and we also had some really shitty times. It ended badly. But we are now back in touch, which I am really happy about. I don’t want that relationship back, but I think when you’ve shared that kind of intense relationship with someone, you’ll always care about them. They’ll always have a place in your heart. Which she does. Not in a romantic way. But, she is a part of me and always will be.

Since then, I’ve  had a few intense friendships, but nothing that really stands out. Then when I had a pretty bad episode a couple of years ago, I got really obsessed with someone I worked with. It was not healthy. It was not fun. It caused me a lot of trouble with my partner. I kinda tossed her to the side and just focused on this person. They consumed my life. If I wasn’t with them, I was contacting them or talking about them. They were my life. I didn’t even realise at the time. I was in my own little bubble and except for this person, nothing else mattered. Actually, there were two people I did this with. Around the same time and at the same place. Looking back, I just can’t believe I behaved like that or even thought like that.

My relationship with my partner, has been up and down. This is mainly due to me. One minute I’m obsessed with her, the next I couldn’t give a shit about her and everything she does angers me. She doesn’t know if she is coming or going with me. I don’t actually know how she puts up with me sometimes!

Nat xx

 

BPD Symptoms – Fear of abandonment

There are 9 categories used in diagnosing Borderline Personality Disorder and you must show signs of at least five of them. I am going to do a post on each one and how it relates to me. I might have only had an unofficial diagnosis, but it is the only thing that has ‘fit’ me. I have taken the definitions from HelpGuide.org

Fear of abandonment. 

People with BPD are often terrified of being abandoned or left alone. Even something as innocuous as a loved one getting home late from work or going away for the weekend can trigger intense fear. This leads to frantic efforts to keep the other person close. You may beg, cling, start fights, jealously track your loved one’s movements, or even physically block the other person from leaving. Unfortunately, this behavior tends to have the opposite effect—driving others away.

I do have a fear of abandonment, but I don’t really show it. I guess it is not so much a fear, as an expectation. I always expect people to leave me. Maybe it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I expect it to happen and somehow will make it happen. I push people away, but I actually want them in my life. I guess it could be seen as testing them. If I keep pushing them and they stay, then maybe they do like/love me and want me in their life.

I have been known to stalk people on social media, well Facebook. If I’ve messaged them and they haven’t replied, I’ll check to see when they were last on there, when they last posted or replied to someone. If they haven’t been on there, then I feel better. If they have, then I think they don’t want to talk to me. They’ve had enough of me. They no longer want me in their life. I won’t message them again, but I will constantly check. Most of the time, it has all been in my head and they have replied to me. On the rare occasion, they haven’t replied and they don’t want to. I guess that doesn’t help my fears. They’ve actually validated them. But it has been because I have done something or been a bit too intense.

This still happens to me, but I’m trying to learn to not listen to my thoughts, as I know they are deceiving me. But it is hard. I can’t always contain myself and will check. But I am doing it less and hopefully will stop it, one day.

Nat xx

A Chance

So it seems that work is consuming my life. I hate it, yet bring it on myself. I guess it gives me something to focus on. If I didn’t have work, then I would think too much. I would worry too much. I would over-analyse, everything. I would find something else to obsess about. So, I guess obsessing/focusing on work isn’t the worse thing I could do.

Apart from work, not a lot has happened with me. Oh, except someone I have known for about 10 years has decided to cut me out of their life. I guess I wasn’t the best at keeping in touch. But I thought they would have understood, considering they also suffer from mental health issues. And yes, I do mean suffer. There’s nothing fun or glamorous about depression. They didn’t even have the decency or maybe guts to tell me. I found out from their blog. I must say, I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, dead wood is not one of them. It’s just another name to add to the list. The list I am learning to let go of. I have a lot of regrets in my life. Some from 15 years ago, some from last year. But I’m starting to realise it’s not healthy to hang on to them. More importantly, it’s not right. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to have a chance. At life. A happy life. Yes, I’ve made mistakes. Yes, I’ve treated people badly. Yes, I’ve not been a very nice person. Yes, I’ve pushed people away. Yes, I’ve been terrible at keeping in contact with people. Yes, I’ve caused pain. But do I have to keep punishing myself for this? No. I know now, a lot of this was due to me not being very well. I have to learn to accept that. I have to learn to like, no, love myself. I can’t let the demons of my past dictate my future. I have to get to know myself. I have to allow myself to enjoy myself. I have to allow myself a chance.

Everybody deserves a chance.

Nat xx

I’m back! Again.

Once again I have not updated this blog in a little while, but I’m going to start making it a regular thing.

In my last post, I said that I had an appointment with the Mental Health Team. I did it. I spoke to a lady for over an hour on the phone. Which is a big thing for me, as I hate speaking on the phone, especially to people I don’t know and about personal things. So, she gave me an unofficial diagnosis of BPD, she couldn’t give me an official diagnosis as she was not qualified. She then consulted with another member of Mental Health Team who is a specialist in BPD. She called me back a week later and asked me further questions and then advised me I was suitable for BPD treatment, although she still couldn’t give me an official diagnosis. I was put forward for a group therapy which was to take place on a weekly basis. Due to my job, I knew I would not be able to do this. But being the idiot that I am, I didn’t tell them, I just ignored it. They have now discharged me from their services. I received a letter advising me I had been discharged, whilst stating I am severely depressed and mildly anxious.

I’m not really sure why I didn’t tell them I couldn’t make it. Part of me didn’t want to let them down. I know that is ridiculous, as it was more of an inconvenience to them by me not telling them and just not turning up. I didn’t want to call to tell them I couldn’t go, as I would have felt bad and stupid and they would have asked me what other treatment I wanted and I hate being put on the spot. I just become agreeable and probably would have agreed to a different treatment I wouldn’t be able to go to. It’s really stupid and selfish. I know someone else could have been referred to that treatment and I potentially stopped them. Another part of me, was scared of having treatment. I know it would have brought up a lot of stuff and I’m not sure if I could deal with it. But then, I guess I’m not coping so well at the moment, so I guess it couldn’t hurt to have tried.

As you can probably tell, my thoughts and feelings about it are quite mixed and confusing.

So, what am I going to do about it? Well, I have been trying to manage my anger. Maybe anger is the wrong word. I would say rage describes it better. I can fly off the handle at silly things. Usually at my partner. She puts up with a lot. But, recently it hasn’t happened as much. When I feel it come on, I walk away from my partner (and she’s learning to walk away from me) and go to a room on my own and try and think or do something else. Sometimes it is something as simple as stroking my cat. The repetitive motion helps calm me down. Sometimes it can come on too quickly and I will just snap at my partner and I want her to respond and to have an argument. Sometimes this happens, but a lot of the time she walks away and doesn’t respond. This does piss me off at the time, but I am learning to not follow her to continue it and use the space to calm down. In the last few weeks, I think I have only snapped a couple of times and I can’t remember the last proper argument we had. Which is really good, as it was becoming a daily occurrence.

I think what has also contributed to this, is the fact I haven’t felt that angry. Which weirdly is not a good thing. I’ve jut felt numb and empty. It’s a strange feeling to try and describe. It’s not as easy as just not having any feelings, it’s kind of like feeling lost. If something good or bad happens, I know I should be feeling something, but I don’t. It just doesn’t happen. It’s like my mind is incapable of processing the emotions, so it just doesn’t. Oh, I do lie. I have felt completely alone and abandoned. It seems that all the friends I did have, no longer want to be in contact with me and don’t want to spend any time with me. I can’t really blame them. I don’t want to spend time with me, but I don’t have a choice. I know some of this is irrational, as I’m terrible at keeping in contact with people and forgot to message them and stuff. But that’s only about 2 or 3 people. It seems that I’m intent on keeping myself isolated and alone, even though it is my greatest fear and I hate it. I just wish I had more friends. God, that makes me sound really pathetic! Hmmn, maybe because I am.

Nat xx

 

 

Borderline between what and what?

So, I haven’t written an entry in a little while and this is mainly due to my new job. Partly due to the fact that it is the first time I have ever done shift work and it’s tiring me out. But it is mostly because I have to focus on work. When I write these blogs or even think about writing them, it brings up a lot of. . . .well, shit. It makes me think about things that I don’t usually think about and it can put me in a bad place. It doesn’t always. Sometimes, it actually helps me. I just can’t afford to risk it. I can’t afford to have a ‘bad day’. I have to keep going. I have to be able to go in and do my job. But I’ve had a few days off and not due back for another 3 days, so thought now was a good time to give it a go.

I’m not sure how to properly start this, so I’ll just say what I’m thinking. I think I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I’m not one of these people that likes to self-diagnose and wants to have something wrong with me. But it just fits. If you are not aware of what it is, Mind have information about it on their website here. I have a telephone consultation next week about my Mental Health and I’m debating whether to tell them. It’s not that I don’t want help. I do. I really do. I just want the right help. I think if I tell them, then it might steer everything towards that and I might get misdiagnosed. But then if I don’t tell them, this might not even be thought about and I could still get misdiagnosed.

I came across this by Google, so I know it’s not a reliable source. But I was searching about my obsessiveness and this kept popping up. I looked at several different reliable websites and they all had the same symptoms. I then thought about my thoughts and behaviors and it just matched. Not all of them, but most of them. When I first realised that I wasn’t scared, I was relieved. So relieved. It made me think that I wasn’t completely crazy. I wasn’t abnormal. I wasn’t alone. But then I wondered if I was making the other symptoms fit me. Making myself ‘have’ this. So, I sat down with my partner and went through the symptoms with her and asked if she thought they related to me. She did. Again, there was relief. Then it suddenly dawned on me, that I don’t want to have something else wrong with me. I already suffer from Depression and Anxiety. I can barely cope with them. I don’t want something else to try and deal with as well. So then there was panic and stress. But I’ve realised that if I am diagnosed with it, that doesn’t mean I just suddenly have it. I would have had it all my life, only now it is being recognised. If I do have this and do receive help/treatment for it, maybe it will actually help. Maybe the little treatment I have received, has been the wrong kind of treatment. Maybe there is hope for me. So now, I’m thinking that in a way I do want to be diagnosed with it. But then, what if I don’t have it? What hope is there for me? What help is there for me? What the hell is wrong with my head?

So, I have to wait until next week and see what they think. Even if I do have it, they won’t be able to tell me there and then, so I’ve still got a long while to go. I’m still not sure what I want the outcome to be. I guess I just want to understand myself a bit better. Why I do and think the things I do. But maybe, they can’t help me with that. Maybe that’s something I have to figure out for myself. Or maybe not. Who knows?

I certainly don’t.

Nat xx

P.S The title of this blog is a quote from the film Girl Interrupted.

Obsession

I have always had an obsessive personality. I’ve brushed it off by saying I’m slightly OCD, but I’m not. My obsessions are completely different. I obsess over people. I obsess over music. I obsess over films. Yes, I know lots of people are obsessive about certain films and franchises, but again, mine is different.

With music, I can listen to the same song on repeat for hours. Over and over again. Sometimes, I just really like the song. Most of the time, it’s an obsession. I’m either feeling in a really shitty mood and that particular song means something to me and/or sums up how I’m feeling, or I feel that I have to listen to every single word and if I miss any, I have to start over again. It’s usually the latter and considering I’m usually doing something else whilst listening to it, it’s inevitable that I’m going to miss some of the words. I don’t think anything bad is going to happen if I don’t hear some of the words, I just want to hear them all. I think I like setting myself up for failure. I mean if I’m doing other things, it won’t be possible for me to hear all the words! Yet, I still think I should. I’m still determined to do it.

Then there’s films and TV. I haven’t been obsessed about a particular film for a while now. I mean there are films that I love and have to watch when they come out, but not in an obsessive way. The last time I got obsessed over a film was about 10 years ago. It was Girl Interrupted. God, I was obsessed. I had it on video and now have it on DVD. I still watch it if it comes on TV, but I use to watch it all the time. I think I became obsessed with it, because I could relate to it. At that time, I didn’t know I was ill. I didn’t know I had depression. I was quite sheltered and didn’t really know much about mental health illnesses. But this opened my eyes. I remember watching it and thinking how I’d like to be in that Mental Health Hospital with them. I liked the characters. I could see them being my friends. I could understand them. I think after watching that, I started to realise that I was not well. But I didn’t know what to do with that knowledge. I didn’t know where to go. Who to talk to. I didn’t want people to worry. I knew my thoughts were not ‘right’, but they were right to me and I didn’t want people telling me differently. I didn’t want to know that I was unwell. I didn’t want to know that I shouldn’t trust my thoughts. So I kept it to myself. I tried to hide those thoughts and feelings from the outside world. Looking back, I didn’t do a very good job at hiding it, but at the time I thought I was. So, my only release, the only time I felt understood was watching that film.

I also obsess over people. Not in a ‘I want them and no-one else can have them’ kinda way, but they just become all I think about. I wonder all the time what they think of me and try to do everything to make them like me or to keep them liking me. This isn’t even people I fancy, it’s just people I want to be friends with. I try to fit in. I try to do the things they like, so they’ll like me. I forget about everything else and just focus on them. I disregard all other relationships and friendships and this one person becomes my only focus. I’ll do anything for them, at the expense of everyone else. I don’t know why I do it. I don’t even have to know that person that well. It usually is someone I have just met. I’m not entirely sure why I do it and if it is due to my mental illness. I don’t think it is a symptom of depression. Maybe there is something else that I have yet to be diagnosed with. Does it count as reckless/impulsive behaviour? I don’t know. I don’t know what it would be classed as. All I know is that it is me. I’ve done it all my life. I still do it. I just wish I didn’t.

Self-centred

I have been told in the past that I am self-centred and selfish, but I never really believed it. I might of at the time, but I justified it to myself, by believing that the person was just being horrible or it is because I am shy and can come across that way or it is my Depression and not actually me. I think I was wrong. I think I am selfish. I come across as selfless and that I am always thinking of others, but ultimately I am only concerned with myself. I have hurt so many people in the past and I do feel guilty about it, but that doesn’t seem to stop me from doing it again. At the time, I am only concerned with myself and my feelings. How I feel about the situation. How it is affecting me. What I want. The other person is an afterthought. Then I feel guilty. Then I feel bad about how I’ve made them feel. See, still about me. Maybe I am a horrible, manipulative person. Maybe it is the depression. Maybe I just don’t play well with others. Maybe I should be on my own and not bother other people. Maybe everybody is selfish in their own way. Maybe my depression just exacerbates this trait in me. I really don’t know. All I know is that I don’t like it. I don’t like this part of me. But I can’t seem to change it. Maybe I am just a horrible person or maybe I am really ill. Maybe I can’t trust my thoughts. But if I can’t trust myself, then who can I trust?

I just don’t know.

The darkness

That emptiness.

That never-ending void.

That fear of the unknown.

That fear of something ‘bad’ lurking in there.

That vulnerability.

That loneliness.

That is why we are afraid of the dark. That is why we cling to ourselves when facing it. That is why we desperately search for a light. That’s why we want someone there with us. But most of us won’t admit this to anyone. We like to pretend that we are brave. That we are strong. That we are not weak.

Having depression is being in the dark all the time.

Depression is the darkness.

I am that void.

I am that emptiness.

I am that shell of a person.

I am that darkness.

I am looking for my light.

I want to glow.

I want to be whole.

It’s time for me to step out of that darkness and bathe in the light.