Thursday, 19 December 2013

I am so borderline!: On symptoms, diagnoses and feeling all sorts of crazy

Not this week. But the two weeks before, I was struggling with excess sleep and lethargy to the point it was becoming problematic. I wasn't accomplishing anything because I was pretty much glued to my bed. When I did wake up, it was to eat or use the bathroom. On particularly hard days, I would cry. My neediness doubled last week and made a friend frustrated with me again. At the time, I didn't understand why he was frustrated because I was in "so much pain". So it didn't make sense that he was upset over me constantly calling and texting.

I usually focus on symptoms when talking about myself, but I am pretty sure the thought in my head last week was constantly: "I am so borderline!" Though borderline personality disorder has only been applied to me by my long-time therapist (psych docs usually stick with bipolar), I couldn't help imagine a picture of my face slapped right next to the description in the DSM. I could probably have ticked off each and every symptom listed for the disorder, however, I'll just briefly recap the most troubling for me.

  • First, I was having very abrupt mood swings. Though my general mood was down, I was also cycling rather quickly. I would have very intense bursts of depression and anger for the most part. Only once did I feel an elevated mood: great clarity, concentration and focus. My anger got me into verbal fights at least twice with my family (who I live with now).
  • I felt an extreme sense of loneliness. At night, I would almost work myself into a panic attack at the thought of being alone. When my friend I mentioned earlier became frustrated with me and sought to end the telephone conversation with me, I would employ tactics for him to remain on the line. I alternated between idealizing and devaluing him. 
  • Thoughts of self-injury and suicidal ideation present. Enough said. (No actual acting on these thoughts, however)
I feel like I expended my friends and family's patience for me. I was (and truthfully still am) disgusted by myself. I kind of/sort of hate myself. And mind you, I am feeling a lot better this week! 

Isn't there some expression about sunshine after rain? Well, I feel like it rained all sorts of emotions in my head the last two weeks. And my body took a beating too. Now, the sunshine is only a ray really. But I guess what I am saying is that I have some hope. And I am seeing things in a new light, to keep playing on expressions. 

So yes, I loathe myself but I also commend myself for still being here and trying. I look at all the possible scenarios that could have happened last week. I could have checked in the hospital. I could have hurt myself. Returning to idioms yet again, I could have hit rock bottom. Because it was a bad week. But what's interesting about all this is that this was by no means my worst state or "episode". It does seem like my resilience is in full force. 

I think it took those two rough weeks for me to relearn some things about myself. First, I am a stronger than I thought. Despite the funkiness of my moods, I was able to go out on my first substitute teaching assignment yesterday. It was chaotic and overwhelming, but I lasted the day. Second, neither my symptoms nor my diagnoses define me. I still have my values, my education being one of the forerunners. When depressed, I sometimes just don't care. About anything, including my values. In times like these, I have to remind myself to be patient. Feelings are temporary after all; values are consistent (for the most part).

So it's another time of transitions. The last time I wrote it was about my physical and lifestyle transitions. Now, it's more of an emotional realignment.

Patience. Patience. Patience.

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