The one thing I did begin to focus on was something that came up in therapy Monday. We did another DBT exercise and one I found most helpful. Using the sense we listed several that were comforting to me. Like the smell of fresh rain, the vision of the beauty of fall, etc...etc...The idea being that when you are faced with stress or anxiety, you try to focus on things that bring you comfort. At the least it took my mind off my troubles and provided some peace.
Due to the later nap I was able to stay up till 10. I told myself I would sleep well and I did, a solid 6 hours. So...this morning I feel better than I have physically in a very very long time. Mentally as well. I also awoke with some new perspective.
1- I am a really good guy. I have made some lifelong friends and can think of 5 who would do anything they could to help me anytime I need it.
2- Life is what we make it. I remember a physician telling me once that if they did a full body cat scan on anyone...they could find "something"...so that's all this really is...they found something because they dug deep enough. It's no different than anyone with a disability, you make the best of it and learn to live with it
3- I don't give up. I never have. I won't allow BPD to define me. Rather I choose to define me. Society may label me, may not fully understand me and may never accept me. That's fine, my life will be as happy as I allow it to be.
4- Support. I have really struggled with what has felt like the lack of support. The truth is I have so much more than most. I have a great Dad who I want to enjoy our remaining time together. I have a wife who continues to stand by me, grow herself and turn into the beautiful person she really is. I have great kids who accept me for who I am and want so much to please my wife and I. I have a wonderful mentor (friend) who allows me the freedom to schedule with him as I am able and his wisdom over the years has been invaluable. We have learned from each other.
I am starting to realize that some of the silence is really the shock some must feel. Most of my older friends view me as strong, opinionated yes, but supportive. Always with a plan, always pushing myself to succeed. Someone that has risen above some tough odds (Many self inflicted) and been fairly successful in life. So to hear and read what I wrote must have just shocked some. It sounded so different than the image I had portrayed or hid behind for years.
It wasn't that long ago that I was doing well. As I look back at the last 9 years I see how life has beaten me down. I don't always view myself that way. I still have moments where I have that old gleam in my eye, some hope that I can still be happy and a contributing member of society. To fully understand where I am going here...I need you to humor me and at least watch this video for about 20 seconds, starting ta the 1:30 mark
Today I will try to learn to love me again.