Day 16: BPD Challenge (Changes)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 16: Does your style (clothing, hair, etc.) change a lot?

My style doesn’t change a lot. I’ve always had the same style hair and clothing. If anything I am scared of making personal changes like that. Probably because I used to care what others think.

 

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Day 17: BPD Challenge (Fears)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 17: What are five of your biggest fears?

My five biggest fears are:

1. Loneliness

2. Losing a family member/loved one

3. Public Speaking

4. Death

5. Failure

Day 15: BPD Challenge (Opinions)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 15: Have you ever changed your opinions, depending on the people you are with?

I used to never have a mind of my own, I would change my opinions all the time depending on the people I was around. It would irritate me, I felt that I had no sense of self or any idea what I wanted, or what I thought for myself. I would stick firm to an opinion and then I was easily convinced or persuaded to shift my opinions to those around me. Maybe I was afraid that I wouldn’t be liked if I thought differently? I’ve always been the nerd, the one that got picked on in high school. I always wanted to be like the “Cool Kids”, but was never accepted because of the way I dressed or what I looked like. SO, I started liking and thinking the same as those around me to fit in more. Colored my hair, dressed with more style, and agreed with my friends on everything. I never had a mind of my own. Until I was 25 years old. I think the last two years I have FINALLY started developing into who I am and was always supposed to be. The nerd, the goofball, the natural brunette, the girl with a mind of her own now. I have become more confident in the person that I truly am today, than I ever have been. Who cares about what others think. Stick to your own opinions, don’t let others make you feel that you have to be different to fit in. I always say,”Just be you.”

 

World Suicide Prevention Day

WELCOME TO MIDNIGHT. WELCOME TO WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY.

Posted on: 9 September 2014
By: Jamie Tworkowski

“Welcome to Midnight. That’s what we say when the ball drops and a new year begins. I like that moment because beyond the fireworks and resolutions, beyond the kisses and celebration, is the quiet hope that something can be new. That it’s possible to leave the past behind and start again. There’s nothing extra special on television tonight, no clapping crowd in Times Square, no parade scheduled for the morning. But this midnight means World Suicide Prevention Day, and we would like to think this day can be significant. Not because the world needs another holiday, and not because we need a stage to stand on. We believe in World Suicide Prevention Day for the same reasons we love New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Because perhaps it’s possible to change. Perhaps it’s possible to start again. Perhaps it’s possible for things to be new. We know that change takes more than a moment, and we aren’t saying it will be easy, but we’re saying that it’s worth it. This life. This night. Your story. Your pain. Your hope. It matters. All of it matters. You’re loved. You matter to this world and you matter to the people who love you. So stay. Please stay. No one else can play your part.”

TWLOHA

Day 14: BPD Challenge (Obsessive)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 14: Do you ever become obsessive?

Obsession is: Compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety.

I’m going to use an example that my friend and I recently talked about.

8 Years ago I fell head over heels in love with this guy that I worked with; he was funny, witty, charming, sexy, caring and a wonderful father to his son. We had only expressed our “obsessive” feelings for one another and talked for a month. We became so crazy about each other in just a short amount of time. Granted, we had worked together longer but once our feelings were out there, we became obsessed with each other. I had honestly never had such strong feelings for someone in that short amount of time. This guy immediately quit work (without telling me or giving me a heads up) and never spoke a word to me again for 8 years…until two weeks ago. I saw his name pop up on my Pinterest, found him on FB and couldn’t believe it. Apparently we both had been searching for each other on social media for 8 years. We were both in utter shock. I’m glad we found each other and can discuss the past.

One thing he told me upfront was this:

“I was so obsessed with you 8 years ago. I knew you were a good person, you were beautiful, and I wanted to be with you. However, in that month we talked, I hardly knew anything about you as a person. We have addictive and obsessive personalities and tend to act irrationally in relationships.”

He hit it spot on.  I have learned over the years to be more rational and I am learning patience. I thought I’d give this as an example seeing as how fresh it was to me.

Being obsessed isn’t a good thing (my opinion based on personal experience). When I am obsessed with something or someone, I tend to lose sight of who I am as a person. I focus all of my energy into one thing and it isn’t healthy. It’s compulsive, it’s vapidly addicting. I don’t become obsessed with things or people anymore, I am learning to channel my energy evenly amognst everything I care about.

 

Day 13: BPD Challenge (Perfectionist)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 13: Are you a perfectionist?

YES!! Everything I do has to be perfect. I strive to be the best at everything, especially with things I’m most passionate about. At work and at home, I would rather do things on my own because I know they will get done right. I hate walking into my kitchen with my bowls in the wrong spot, or I can’t find my cup. It sets my mood wrong. I love working as a team for ideas and collaboration, however I’d rather do the work myself. Everything has to be 100%. I tend to focus on my failures more so than my success’, and when I don’t get praise from someone, I feel I didn’t work hard enough and I will push myself to do better next time. This can be a great characteristic in the business environment; my work ethic is pretty great. There are definitely cons to being a perfectionist. If I am not perfect at something or If I do not get praise then this can cause me to be down, depressed and irritable.

perfectionist-image

Day 12: BPD Challenge (Family)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 12: What’s your relationship with your family?

I have a great family. My parents are fairly young; they had me when they were 18. They are still together, married for 28 years now. They used to battle with drug and alcohol addiction when they were young. When they had my siblings and I, they committed to changing their lives and overcoming addiction. They have been sober for 10 years  now. Although I have never done drugs in my entire life, let alone smoked a cigarette, I do drink from time to time and this worries them. My parents are the strongest people I know, they are funny, supportive and only want the best for me.

I have two wonderful younger siblings. My sister, who resides in Austin, Texas and my brother, he lives close by. They are my best friends, they aren’t judgmental and have always been there for me when needed. I am truly blessed to have a wonderful, big family. Every time I am around all of them, it’s a great time and constant laughter.

photo

Day 11: BPD Challenge (Staying Grounded)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 11: Is there anything you do that helps keep you grounded?

My kids keep me grounded. They are a blessing, without them I would be completely lost and probably making impulsive decisions all the time. They help keep me focused on my priorities. They are a challenge and keep me on my toes, which I love. They are my world. When I don’t have my kids with me, and being alone, I get this over whelming feeling of “I can go do whatever I want right now.” This can hurt me, I can easily spend more money, goof off, not get my chores or homework done because I just want to get out and be free for the night. I have been single for a while now and so when I do not have my kids, I have been pretty good about staying home, saving money, working on my blog, working out, running and doing homework. I notice that at the end of the day, I go to bed feeling happier that I accomplished so many great and healthy things over the course of the day.

Day 10: BPD Challenge (Impulsive Decisions)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 10: What kind of impulsive decisions have you made?

I used to make a lot of impulsive decisions several years ago when I was diagnosed with BPD. I used to cheat and spend money irresponsibly. If I wanted something, I HAD to have it. I had no patience, I was selfish, needy, young and scared. When I came up with an idea, I never took the time to think before acting on it. I would make decisions on the spot. I cheated in my marriage, multiple times, without thinking about the consequences. I did things because they were thrilling and dangerous.

Today, I catch myself wanting to make impulsive decisions. I’m more aware these days. I’m not perfect, sometimes I still buy that dress without thinking and put it on my credit card. However, I do not do this as much as I used to. My problem is, I love spontaneity. I’m a planner by all means, however as a mother of two kids, I find myself wanting to escape and do something fun for myself without planning from time to time. With my history and borderline, this can turn into a major problem for me. I have to be aware and more careful about my decisions or face the brutal consequences.

Do you make impulsive decisions?

Do you tend to think first and act later, or are you prone to impulsive behavior? Or does it depend on the situation? A few questions will give you the answer:

  • Do you plan ahead, or do you make decisions on the spot?
  • Do you feel strong urges to do things that are hard to resist?
  • Do you feel alive only when you are doing something thrilling or dangerous?

It’s OK to be OK

LETTING MYSELF LET GO

Posted on: 2 September 2014

By: Jessica Cooney

“Two years ago, had you asked me if I wanted to be happy, I would’ve told you that I would do anything for a light at the end of the seemingly endless tunnel that was depression. I thought that as soon as I saw the light I would run toward it, and I would leave behind the darkest parts of me without ever looking back. So I fought, and I put the work in, and I waited for the light to peek through.

Then one day, the light was there. And yet for some reason, it scared me. I found myself stalled; I was in a much healthier place than I had been, but I still wasn’t living the life I knew I could.

In many ways, this was even harder to admit to than depression. Who would understand a fear of what was undeniably better? I convinced myself that I was singlehandedly embodying the myths associated with depression. Maybe I was seeking attention. Maybe Iwas lazy. Maybe I needed to just get over it.

In reality, though, that wasn’t the case. After a lot of reflection, I started to grasp what made that light so scary. I was so used to depression that it felt safe. My methods of coping, while undeniably unhealthy, were easy. And staying at rock bottom felt easier than climbing and falling again and again. I had grown so accustomed to the struggling version of myself that I wasn’t quite sure who I was when I was healthy. Surely this meant my healthy self was even more forgettable and insignificant than I imagined.

Eventually, and without me even realizing it was happening, a lot of factors came together that helped me let go and leave behind that darkness. A new project gave me a sense of purpose. A friendship formed that was based on positivity rather than mutual pain. These things helped me realize that most of my fears were unfounded.

Still, I needed to be convinced that letting go of the past was OK.

It’s OK to not be OK” is a message I believe wholeheartedly. It’s a phrase I’ve heard a thousand times and will say a thousand more. We don’t talk about the opposite message as often because it seems so obvious, but I think it’s equally important: It’s OK to be OK.

It’s been over a year since I started to embrace the light at the end of the tunnel, and once in a while I still need to remind myself that being content isn’t a synonym for “waiting to sink again.”

Finding safety in the familiar doesn’t mean you’re seeking attention or choosing to be depressed. The unfamiliar can be scary, even when it is undoubtedly healthier, happier, and freer. Healing doesn’t mean admitting that none of your struggles mattered. It doesn’t mean you are leaving behind the people who are still hurting. It doesn’t mean that you no longer have permission to hurt or ask for help. It doesn’t mean that you are setting yourself up for a fall.

I have spent so much time reflecting on and reliving my hardest moments.

But starting now, I am embracing this “OK-ness.”

I am OK, and I am grateful for the journey that got me here.

I am OK, and I matter just as much as when I wasn’t.

I am OK, and I am still allowed to have bad days and ask for help.

I am OK, and that makes me excited for the future instead of fearful.

I am no longer spending my days desperately searching for the light at the end of the tunnel or wishing for the comforts of the past. This is an entirely new chapter in a long story, but I finally believe that where I am right now is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Wherever you are in your journey, OK, not OK, or somewhere in between – you matter, you’re living an important story, and however you feel is OK.”

– Jessica Cooney, TWLOHA Fall 2013