Depression

What people with Depression want you to know. So true! Love this video.

“I don’t want to feel ashamed for my depression.”

“I want to talk to you about my depression like you talk to me about your flu.”

Advertisements

My Experience with Borderline Personality Disorder

buddha

Internal Borderline

The 9 Criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder explained as experienced by me in an “internal” sense. A lot of these do not apply to me anymore due to my hard work with recovery but I sometimes struggle with a couple of them.
  1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. (Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5)

Sometimes I would have frantic thoughts about how I’m going to handle, manipulate and control certain situations that have not happened yet. During an episode, I can but not very often get myself very worked up with facts and detailed research about situations in reaction to something that has not happened, causing myself to get extremely upset.

  1. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

The love-hate relationships, oh yes!  I can feel the intensity inside me just thinking about it; feeling so loved, extremely happy and cared about to suddenly feeling forgotten, neglected, or disappointed.  I’m feeling that way right now and I’m not even in a relationship. This can happen for me with coworkers or friends, even family members. Usually I don’t say anything because I’m aware that it’s not necessarily something that others are doing, it’s just how I’m feeling or it’s just a part of the disorder. In my past relationships before I was diagnosed, the intensity was bad. The break downs over nothing, really. Just because they wouldn’t return a text message or they were dealing with something and I felt neglected, it all turned into… “I hate you” I never want to see you again to – Wait, don’t leave me, I need you, desperately. That happened far more than I care to admit.

  1. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

I was always chameleon like. I adapted and identified myself with whoever I was around or associating with. I never had a personality or a sense of who KAYLA was. If I was asked what I liked, I would tell them something they would want to hear or something someone else I was hanging out with, liked. If I liked what my friends liked then I wouldn’t feel alone or different and we would all get along better. I was easily convinced that others ideas and thoughts were always right and I was always wrong. The idea of thinking for myself or working on my own personality was terrifying. I was a follower, I needed decisions and ideas and thoughts to be made up for me. I was scared of being me, scared of being different. I had no sense of self, or what I liked. NOW, I can’t tell you how much I love being different. At 27 years old, I finally came into my own. I  finally figuring out what I like and don’t like. I discovered a huge sense of self and it is the most liberating feeling. BE YOU!

  1. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5

Promiscuous sex, alcohol and spending money. If I didn’t feel loved by someone, I cheated or slept with someone just to feel something, anything. There wasn’t even any real connection with the person, I just wanted to feel wanted during times that I was feeling so empty and alone. I truly thought that my worth was defined by someone loving or not loving me.  I would drink often, almost every night just to not have to deal with my problems. I would spend money that I didn’t have like nobody’s business, put myself in extreme amount of debt and lost a lot of valuable things around me just because shopping was what I thought, therapeutic. NOW – I will never put myself in these situations ever again. Maybe its maturity or recovery but I’m entirely grossed out by the thought of informal sex or drinking myself to sleep to not deal with my problems. If I feel empty or alone, I embrace it and sleep it off or I will surround myself with friends. If I’m dealing with an issue or problem in life, I will face it head on and not drink at all until things are resolved. I still struggle with spending, but I’ve come a long way.

  1. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.

I have never self-harmed or tried to commit suicide. I have had thoughts of not wanting to live anymore because life became too painful. Yes, I’ve thought about ways I could end my life but never attempted them. If I didn’t have my two beautiful children, things probably would have been different. They are my life and I can’t and won’t walk away from them. They are the reason I get out of bed every day.

  1. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

I’m not sure if people can accurately see how intense my mood is and how quick it changes. Some say they can but often times I try to keep it to myself unless I see it affecting somebody else. I get irritable and depressed a lot. I used to have intense anger but I’ve come a long way with it. My mood swings or episodes can last from a couple hours to a couple days depending on the trigger. Self-awareness and realization is most important, once I realize I’m having an episode it is so much easier for me to control my actions. Sometimes it takes a stupid reaction to something to realize I’m not doing okay but luckily with a lot of work I can catch it before I react. My episodes happened more often a couple years ago than they do now, In part due to medication and better understanding of the illness. If I miss one day of my meds, I will be in a dark place within 24 hours and it’s tough to get out of because I blame myself for causing it, albeit unintentionally.

  1. Chronic feelings of emptiness.

YUP! Sometimes I feel so empty I can’t feel emotions. I can’t cry, I can’t feel anger, or sadness, I can’t feel sympathetic towards others, I’m not happy or unhappy, I just simply don’t feel a damn thing. I walk around like a robot. This one rarely ever happens for me but when it does, it can be bad. I have nothing inside me to give or care. I have no filter or motivation to care about anyone including myself. I feel useless and helpless. Empty.

  1. Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).

Oh boy. I can’t explain how many things I’ve thrown and broken because my anger was so out of control. The name calling, and berating. I had and sometimes still do have a short fuse. I grew up watching it and living with it so I became it. I didn’t know how to control it or work on it. Now with therapy, I can’t remember the last time I reacted on anger, maybe 2 years ago? I still get angry, that’s an emotion we can get rid of, but I can control it much better than ever before. My kids used to see me get so angry and yell. Yelling solves nothing. Now if my kids are around, I will explain to them that for whatever reason, mommy is feeling angry so she is going to put her headphones in for a few minutes to calm down. They see me reacting to anger in a positive way rather than by me yelling, screaming and throwing things. I don’t want my kids to turn out that way, I don’t want them to see what I saw growing up and because of recovery – they won’t anymore.

  1. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms.

I dissociate in my nightmares at night over traumatic experiences in my childhood but nothing severe or in the middle of the day. I’ve never been paranoid or had delusions.

Bullying

I’ve done things at the age of 23 that I’m not proud of, somewhat similar to Monica’s. I’ve had horrible names written on bathroom stalls about me, the whispering, the shit talking, people looking directly into my eyes asking me how I can show my face in public, some family members and friends have bullied me on Facebook and stopped inviting me around. Someone harassed me for months stalking my every move making me feel unsafe to walk to my car alone, texting me from four different untraceable phone numbers a day, knowing what I was wearing and what my plans were every day and even talking about my children.

I was, at a time, left feeling completely alone wanting to end my life. To top it all off, during this time trying to seek help through therapy I was diagnosed with a mental illness that I was suffering with for years prior and the stigma associated with it didn’t help, people called me “crazy”, some people didn’t believe me, or said it’s just made up for attention.

The lack of support, compassion, and empathy from others at a time I was at my lowest was awful. I made mistakes, we all have but nobody deserves to be bullied online or offline. You have no idea what internal battles people are facing. It can take just one person, or in my case, two little people, to help keep us moving forward. Please be kind to others.

It has taken me time and effort to accept the truth that my story is unparalleled and powerful. It has taken me time to finally forgive myself, to stand up for myself and to take back my narrative and to realize that I play a necessary character in the narrative of those around me, as do you.  This is my story, I’m not ashamed to share it.

“It’s time. It’s time to take back my narrative.”

Mental Health Awareness

10363250_10152585601446761_3844009629378930246_n

Created my first t-shirt for MLO. On the back has a list of mental health conditions to support mental health awareness. I also ordered a few hundred awareness bracelets. Big things are happening this year, it’s going to be great! I will have an online store set up soon for those of you interested. I haven’t been blogging much in part due to preparing more for upcoming events in the Sacramento area, setting up booths to share my story and help others. May is mental health awareness month and Minds Like Ours has a lot planned. Lets stop the stigma and raise awareness!

If any of my fellow bloggers have shirts they have created, please share! I’d love to invest in more shirts to help support and raise awareness and also get your name out there too. 🙂

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Staying Positive

imagesQFMIWIL2
 
How does one stay positive in today’s world?
You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind. Remove the negative things in your life. Negative habits, negative people, negative thoughts about yourself and others. It may seem tough at first but I can assure you, it makes life so much better. I used to brew beer with my ex of three years, it was fun and challenging until the drinking got heavier. My health was taking a turn, and my moods changed with it. It wasn’t a healthy atmosphere for me and I wanted to eliminate it from my life all together. I wanted healthier hobbies that didn’t consist being cooped up in a garage with a group of people trying to start up their new business- great for them, but it wasn’t for me. I ended the relationship to focus on me and my kids. I got rid of an unhealthy, negative and toxic relationship to be healthier and happier. It’s hard to stay positive when you have negative people or habits in your life. You have to put yourself and your mental health first, focus on the now and be mindful. Go after what you want and don’t let negative people, or negative thoughts stop you. Remove those who gossip too much, or talk badly about others. Turn your negative thoughts about yourself into positive thoughts, love yourself and others. Surround yourself around people who challenge you to rise higher, people who inspire you, and make you a better person.

Fear

fighting fear

How do you manage your fear going through everyday life?

Face it and embrace it. My biggest fear was being alone, doing things alone, going places alone. I hated the idea of it, made me sick to my stomach. I always had boyfriends because of it, I “needed” someone all the time. But then I started hating the idea of not doing things I wanted or going places I wanted to go to because I was alone. Six months ago I broke up with my boyfriend, to be single and alone. It was terrifying for me to face it but I love a good challenge and I had hope that I could overcome my fear. People do it all the time, so why can’t I? I’m braver than some people I know, so of course I could do it. I took baby steps from that point forward. Instead of traveling the world all alone, I thought it would be wise to sit in a restaurant by myself first, then go to some new place local by myself, then started traveling out of town by myself, getting a hotel by myself and the list just keeps getting better and better. Six months in and I can honestly say I no longer have a fear of being alone. There is nothing lonely about being alone. Embrace your fears, face them and learn to love them, if possible.

Anger

images4UZ7HB5L
How do you deal with anger in a positive manner?
As a mental health advocate, I always say, “Take something negative and turn it into something positive.” I have a temper sometimes, it used to be really bad but I have managed to change my perspective and start thinking more positively. I used to think that feeling anger was a bad thing, mainly because my dad was always angry and I hated it. It’s not bad thing, It’s okay to be angry, to feel anger. It’s how you handle that anger that can determine if it’s good or bad. When someone lies to me, I feel angry. That is normal. How I react on that anger could affect myself, my kids and others around me. When I get angry, the first and most important thing I do is try to think rationally. I tell myself that I’m aware I’m feeling angry. Once I’m aware of my feelings or emotions, it’s easier for me to control them. I used to be the type of person to react on my anger before rationally thinking about why I’m angry and how I can change it or make the situation better. Taking a deep breath, going for a ten minute walk, listening to music are things that will calm me down. Once I am calm, it is easier to review the situation and communicate in a clear and positive manner. Don’t let anger consume you or ruin your day, try to focus on the positive.

Stressors

untitled

What are your stressors?

As a single mom, I have a few stressors in my life. My top stressor would be finances, as it is for most people. I have one income and two kids, I work full-time and pay for; full-time day care, food, housing and school activities. This in turn puts a lot of pressure on me at work to ensure I continue to work hard, and move up in the company so I can provide more for me and my wonderful kids. I’m not only a single mom and a full-time employee but I’m also a student. When my kids go to bed, that is usually my time to focus on school and homework. If you couldn’t tell already, I have a full plate and this at times can cause me to stress out if I don’t stay organize and stick with a strict routine. When I get stressed out, I take a break. My mental health is just as important if not more than my education, family and career. I’m aware of these daily stressors so it is easier for me to control them. There are other kinds of stressors that are out of my control like my kids getting sick, or unexpected and unfortunate events or situations that arise. Either way, it’s important to take a break; 10 minutes, two hours, or even a day if needed. Breathe, and do something for yourself to clear your head to help you through the tough, stressful times.

My BPD Thoughts

Today is a tough one for me, so I’m going to write this out and see if it makes me feel better. I’ve never actually wrote a blog while I was having an episode. These are my current random thoughts this morning:


 

My heart is racing a million miles a minute, I can’t seem to calm myself down.

I just had therapy yesterday and it well, why do I feel this way?

I called in sick yesterday, I wasn’t feeling well, I was stressed, I had a lot of things to take care of, yet nothing was accomplished. I tried. Why can’t anything go right for once?

Finances suck balls; Registration is due, speeding ticket is due, smog check is due, car needs repairs. Of course, everything falls into my lap all at once. #57 BPD

I tried to book a hotel for a future small trip I’m taking soon and of course I booked it for the wrong day, I wasn’t thinking. I call customer service and after trying to resolve the issue; I snapped at the lady. I rarely lose my temper, especially when the issue was my own damn fault. Why did I do that? Now I feel bad and I can’t apologize.

I had to come into work today, although I feel that nobody really needs me around here I’d still feel bad if I left. Why do I feel bad? My health should be my number one concern.

They took a job task away from me yesterday and gave it to someone else while I was out of the office. That fucking hurts, they know I’m always asking for more, they know I need the challenge. Why did they do that to me? They must hate me.

My thoughts are all over the place. Why can’t I calm down and just breathe?

Another admin at work is vindictive; nobody likes her. She’s picking a fight with me via email and there’s nothing I can do about it. I really wish she didn’t work here anymore. Wait. I really wish I didn’t work here anymore. Fuck this place.

I sleep 10 hours a day and it’s not enough, I’m so exhausted. I must be slipping into depression.

I’m hiding in my cubicle today, trying to catch up from yesterday. I can’t focus on anything! If one more person walks over and asks for something, I might lose it. Let me at least have my coffee first and catch up on my damn emails.

My boss last week told me that he knows when I am struggling with my disorder. I asked how he could tell aside from alienating myself from everyone in the workplace and hiding in my cubicle with my headphones in. He said, “I can tell because on days you struggle, you look like shit! You don’t do your hair, you don’t do your make-up, you look so exhausted.” His phone rang it was an “Important call” and he shushed me away. He apologized the next day, but why does it still bother me? I don’t even want to look at him. I always keep it professional and try to look my best. Knowing that I’m struggling today, do I look like shit? Can people tell?

Nobody has yet to ask me if I’m feeling okay? Did they even notice I was gone yesterday? Fuck, even my boss didn’t acknowledge my text about calling in sick yesterday. I guess he doesn’t give a shit. Nobody cares.

Apparently I forgot to punch out for lunch last week. They didn’t make the corrections because I was out of the office so now I’m going to be shorted on my paycheck tomorrow. Let’s just add onto the financial stress! #68 BPD

I just really want to be in bed, watching friends. That always makes me feel better.

I’m trying to find a new place on my own, but with an eviction 3 years ago and bankruptcy, I keep getting rejected. I’m never going to find a place for me and my kids. Stupid past mistakes! I’ve come so far, I really wish someone would give me a chance.

Headphones are in; music isn’t helping. Music almost always helps. I must be having a really bad low.

Kayla, all this shit is just in your head. I’m usually positive, think positive!

Just took my Lamictal, wish I didn’t have to take meds to calm me down. Why am I not strong enough to control these ridiculous thoughts?

Tonight is my night off without babies. A night to myself. OMG I can’t wait to do absolutely nothing! Yup, I must be slipping into depression. I always keep myself busy, but fuck it. I don’t want to right now.

My heart is still beating out of my chest. I need to focus. Breathe.

Why did I turn out this way? Why do I still struggle every once in a while? What triggered this?

Please dear God, don’t let me break down crying in the office. That would be embarrassing.

I need to schedule an appointment for taxes, I usually always get a lot back every year. What if I don’t? I really want to pay off debt but with my luck, I’ll have to owe this year. Sigh.

This feels weird opening up and venting to complete strangers, I hate complaining. I usually always keep to myself.

I’m not going to let this ruin my day, I can’t. I’m okay.

I can make it through one bad day. I’m not dying, it could be so much worse. Cheer up Kayla.

Nobody hates you. I have two beautiful kids that love me and a very loving boyfriend. Gosh he’s amazing.

I need to stop fighting this episode and just embrace it. I got this. It’s okay to be okay. #51 BPD

I have so many things to be grateful for. I need to focus on that, oh and these damn reports that are overdue.

This isn’t my all time low, I’ve felt worse before. I picked myself up then, I can pick myself up now.

I should get back to work, after I get some more coffee of course, and food. Food always makes me feel better.

Breathe. Just Breathe. I am not alone. I can overcome this.

Peace out.

 

 

 

30 Day Self-Esteem Challenge

IMG_20150107_105622

Everyday I strive to better myself but one major thing that I struggle with personally is my self-esteem. I’m going to start a 30 Day Self-Esteem challenge to help improve my self-esteem. I thought this would be an awesome exercise. For those of you who are interested in doing this challenge, here is the Master.

Followers your challenge is to do this with me! 

Day one: A facial feature you like on yourself

Day two: A physical feature you like on yourself

Day three: A part of your personality that you like

Day four: A habit you have that you like

Day five: Something about the way you think that you like

Day six: Something about the way you just are that you like

Day seven: When do you feel best about yourself? Why?

Day eight: The last time you smiled when someone complimented you. What was the compliment and why did you smile?

Day nine: Something that you yourself do that makes you smile. Why?

Day ten: Why are you the way you are?

Day eleven:  Do you like the way you are? Why or why not?

Day twelve: If you could change something about your personality, what would it be and why?

Day thirteen: What do you think of your smile?

Day fourteen: What do you think of your laugh?

Day fifteen: Why do you think people are attracted to you, either friend-wise or romantically?

Day sixteen: The last thing you did that made you smile

Day seventeen: Another thing you like about yourself

Day eighteen: The last thing you did that made you laugh

Day nineteen: Is there a particular outfit/article of clothing/accessory you like on yourself? Why or why not?

Day twenty: If you finish this challenge and still feel that your confidence is low, would you be willing to do it again? Why or why not?

Day twenty-one: When do you feel your most attractive? Why?

Day twenty-two: What do you think others like about your personality?

Day twenty-three: What physical feature do others seem to find most attractive about you?

Day twenty-four: What is your definition of “beautiful”?

Day twenty-five: Do you often compliment other people?

Day twenty-six: What is your favorite compliment to give and receive, and why?

Day twenty-seven: Do you often accept compliments? If not, why?

Day twenty-eight: Do you feel good about yourself today? Why or why not?

Day twenty-nine: When you don’t feel good about yourself, what do you do to change that, if anything?

Day thirty: Are you happy with yourself?

For anyone who wants a simple way to help improve their self esteem, try this simple technique by answering the above questions over the next 30 days.