Great tune and I will post it at the end of the post.
It's been a little too borderline for my taste the last few days. Up, Down, Sad, reflective....moment to moment. I'm not able to afford both sleeping meds and have had insomnia the last few nights, 4 hours of interrupted sleep. I have a bad back and hip and an old bed so it seems inextricably related between insomnia, back/hip pain, depression. Up's downs and calm then fear then anger. I don't know which of these feelings we will see as I write, other than the song I have no preconceived plans (or clue) where we go today.
I can hardly stand these intense mood swings. My wife is great at giving me space and then I feel abandoned by the very thing I am asking for. I feel like I am a little out of tune with my kids. Not overly concerned just don't like it. I am snapping at people, feeling attacked when I am not. Defensive, guilty, angry, sorry and then depressed. Every time I begin to think I see hope or a glimpse into "who I am" I question myself.
Let's start with anger. Man there are lots of things to be angry about. Justifiably so. I was an outstanding debater in HS so I tend to be very debate oriented at times. Often my premise is correct. Often my anger undermines that. The greatest tool I have developed is to learn to "walk away". I am not perfect...but better. Unfortunately if I am pressed I get very defensive, feel personally attacked. Even when I am not, which is probably more often than I think. But there is a need for voices. So if my message gets lost or "chalked up to the disease" what can I do? I will point out that is very un-empowering and stigma oriented to say that to someone. So we can never be angry? We never have a point? What is baffling is I have wonderful mediation skills as long as it doesn't involve me.
I imagine any ex-employers or employees that read these fluctuate between "Oh shit, now everything makes sense" or "We never saw it." The former is somewhat self explanatory. Often BPD can be masked more at work and then shows more at home. Couldn't have held truer for me. My family felt the weight of my behavior. Verbally, which in some ways is worse. Everyone talked about how my family flourished when I wasn't working. Truth is I couldn't do both and that feels like failure. Especially as a man.
I know I just shoot myself in the foot. But I believe I need to go through this. It's imperative to me that I understand where I was so I can see that road quicker and so I can find out who I am and what I want. I am blessed to have had 2 therapists that are right there with me along with an outstanding Psychiatrist who gives me longer appointments, Cares and yet challenges me. Last visit especially. Still struggling with it "a little" and I see him next week. Neither are big fans of DBT. My Psychiatrist did say maybe I should try Tai' Chi'
This begins to brush against my views on DBT and I think I want to say 3 things and then probably won't mention it again.
1. I use it everyday. Mindfulness especially. Being in the moment.
2. I realize I come across more negative than I intend. It's not my "true" feelings. I would say the following (Like how I get around my own limit of 3 things)
A) I had both a BPD and a therapist tell me (online) that if DBT didn't work I wasn't trying hard enough. Yeah, well F*** you. If anyone is working hard, its me.
B) Because of its success with some (Studies range 40% to 70% hard to know on small sample sizes) it can
"feel" like if it doesn't work with you then its hopeless. I am not the only one that feels that way.
C) Individualized treatment plans. Someone told me (today) that DBT is individualized and I haven't
seen or heard anyone else say that. If it's true then use it.
3. I get a ton (way more than I think is right) of credit for introspection, an understanding of the symptoms
and illness. I will say I work hard at it. I have good care and am guided even if it doesn't always appear
that way. I am capable of being refocused, its part of introspection...or another GREAT DBT awareness
called Radical Acceptance and Change. Don't compliment me then criticize how I got there.
Just be a little careful how strong you come on about it. It's not yet listed as THE official treatment, it has poor success with ppl also dealing w/narcissism (Yours truly :-( ). Let's use it, lets use anything that works. Let's also be careful how we define "break through" when the issue has been the lack of studies and treatment, not the lack of patients. Finally, until we ERASE Stigma, it will almost always be in someone's best interest to say they are better even if they are not.
That's it. That's DBT to me.
See how much fun we are having. :-)
There are days I don't get out of bed. They are becoming fewer and fewer. I still get stuck in a world of guilt and anger. Someday's I am so mad that I was mis-diagnosed at 26. Guy lost his license, long story. I am angry and shamed that I don't have the resources to support my family as I get better. The effect of this goes on and on. I want time to get better. I don't think I will be unable to work forever, at least that is my hope. Right now that need to walk away just isn't conducive to the workplace. But its an invaluable tool for me. I have gotten better in small battles but I fear that working will again affect my home. Sucks. I always had plenty of sick/vacation time. Never an issue of not wanting to work.
I want to end on a message of hope. I believe I have a gift. I hope that God shows me how to use that gift. That he opens doors and closes others. I am mad at him at times. It's not unlike a child who is angry with their parents but its because of their own actions. I'm seeing that more an more.
I'm learning who I am. I'm trying to learn all the parts and learn to love each one. I've come a long way and I know I have a ways to go. Those of you that have supported me on this journey I can never thank you (or name you all!) enough. Especially of those that accept me wherever I am on any given day. That validation creates safety. That safety creates healing.
That healing allows us to change the phrase from "Hurt people...hurt people" to "Healed people...heal people"
I have helped people. I have changed lives. I've done some really good things in my past. I just need to remind myself of that.