After an almost full week of sleep, the last several days have been the 4-5 hour variety. While the BPD may be a constant I have no doubt my depression is magnified when I don't sleep. If my wife has moved in with the girls and I lay in bed and listen to Music.
I've really been working on practicing coping skills I am learning in DBT therapy and had a major success mid-situation on Thanksgiving. Facing a difficult (Known in advance) interaction, I tried to prepare my self but it didn't start well. As I saw it going downhill I was actually able to stop, focus on 3 things I could feel, see and smell. Then 1 more of each. It did 2 things, one it brought me back to the present and out of the past negative interactions I had with this person and that shone a new light for me on who that person really is, how their pain affects them, etc... I was pretty happy about that.
I think this is key here. I haven't yet heard this but can't imagine its new...I realize that just setting aside 15-20 mins a day to practice DBT regardless of how you feel at that moment is really good. The breathing exercises especially bring calm and peace.
The flip side of this week is I have felt pretty low. I guess that could be the holidays but Thanksgiving has always been my favorite. The DBT exercises don't seem to work as well for the depression. Maybe dull the effects some, but not really the pain or emptiness.
My oldest daughter is set to be released Jan 2nd in Florida. I have a letter written to her I want to send. I miss her so. I can't help but feel like I failed her. That comment is immediately refuted by everyone I know as we took her in at 14, still...I know I didn't always make the right decisions with her and she had a lot of my anger directed at her.
I can feel depression coming on, like a cold. Yesterday I was really down, couldn't quite put a finger on it. Pretty much haven't been out of bed since Thanksgiving. Part of it is also just beginning to realize each day matters, the frailty of life and the realization there are some things we can not undo.
Up at 3 today, just lay in bed. About 4;30 my wife went to the girls room to sleep (I hate that my insomnia affects her) and I picked about 8 songs and just played them over and over. I tried to just lay here with peaceful thoughts but that wasn't on the agenda today.
I thought back to my happiest times and tried to see if I could find a common thread. For all the "yuck" I had some really great years too. The more I thought, I realized I had some really great times, did some really neat things, accomplished things others said I couldn't.
I've also made some tremendously bad choices. I dropped out of college my senior year, short 5 classes, now saddled with a past due student loan that has quadrupled in size. I've quit really good jobs, impacted my wife and kids with some of these choices.
Then it started sinking in. My pain is really much more on how I have adversely affected other people's lives, again real or imagined. Primarily my immediate family. I've talked a lot about that and it will be a part of my blog I am sure as I go forward but it was the following thought that hit me.
I've never allowed myself to accept the consequences. (I realize that may not make sense but its like 15 minutes old to me as well.)
It's not the negative component of the consequence that is lacking, I beat myself up a lot, try not to blame others for the failures that I am able to take responsibility for. What I mean is I haven't yet accepted that there are some bridges that will never be repaired. In my mind I think I always thought I would always be able to reconcile, both internally and externally.
This realization has been sobering. There really is no "making up" for some past failures. I think part of accepting the consequences (Referred to as Radical Acceptance in DBT) is being able to forgive myself. Not yet sure how to process that or what it really means.
The times I have been the happiest are when I have felt needed, useful, stable, safe and secure and surrounded by people who accepted me for who I am/was. When I have felt free. I mean free from my own demons. I've heard of BPD people selling everything they own an moving to a remote location and basically they are happy. If I had anything of value to sell...it would be very tempting. It's gonna take a while to get used to what the world is really like.
Gonna leave you with a song that always puts a smile on my face, not sure wht