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 Post subject: Hi, My name is Jess
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:02 pm 
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Hi everyone,

I've just been diagnosed with BPD and Bipolar II after a bit of a meltdown.

Basically, went through a break up - still not sure if it had more to do with my bpd and I exaggerated most of his actions and exacerbated them through my actions/words - we got back together and he's been very supportive.

The problem is I have switched from being relatively high functioning (managed to hold down a job, keep a few friends etc) to low functioning. I couldn't work for 7 weeks, felt suicidal, depressed, crazy, and just not in the right frame of mind to do anything or see anyone.

Today, after begging my doctor to sign me off as being fit for work, I went back to the office. Well, I had only been there for a few minutes and suddenly I couldn't breathe. The girls there weren't talking to me, I knew one of them (who had been a friend) had suddenly decided she didn't want to be my friend anymore, but I Had no idea that to everyone else I had also become a leper. Not one person (even the ones who had claimed to be a friend) had contacted me in the whole 7 weeks I had been off work. I sat there at my desk, unable to move, to speak - I tried to busy myself by cleaning my workstation and reading my emails. Soon, I couldn't breathe and the panic set in. I realised this was a mistake and resigned.

I'm scared I may never be able to work again. This isn't the first time I've been like this - last time I was off work for 7 months. The difference is this time I Know it's my bpd and bipolar. I've just started taking lamotrigine and am currently working my way up to my full dosage (only 50mg at the moment). Sometimes I also take seroquel at night when I have trouble sleeping.

I have taken to journaling everything now so I don't go crazy and scream at my partner. My psychiatrist told me he wouldn't me to try "silent distress". So I have been "silent distressing" on my laptop. Pages and pages of sometimes incoherent rambling, which I am so glad my partner never has to see.

I'm sorry this is so long - my brain is going a million miles a minute and I am feeling isolated, scared, alone, abandoned, depressed... suddenly I just want to get drunk or cut myself, I imagine myself lying on the bed in a pool of blood but then berate myself for not having the guts to go through with it because I'm scared of the pain. I'm sorry - that was graphic... I feel like I shouldn't have said that.. I probably shouldn't have. Please don't be mad at me, I'm not feeling so great right now and I'm crying and usually much more eloquent than this.


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 Post subject: Re: Hi, My name is Jess
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:04 pm 
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Welcome to the board, Jess.

It sounds like you're going through a really rough time, and I'm sure the diagnosis was difficult to handle. That kind of label is really scary. It's okay to be feeling depressed, isolated, and scared. That's a part of the human experience. We all feel that way sometimes.

Sometimes, I get self-destructive urges like that, too. Sometimes it's the hardest thing in the world to just -not hurt yourself-. To just fall asleep, or even watch TV until it passes. But I'll tell you this- The urge WILL pass, and you don't have to hurt yourself for that to happen.

I'm sorry about what happened at work. Sometimes people have a really hard time understanding mental illness, and even when they care, they're just not sure how to interact when something is going wrong.

With the right support and medication, things WILL get better. You will be able to work. You know you're able, you have done it before. :)

Another similarity here... I journal to cope as well. I think it's wonderful that you find comfort in it. Not to mention, it's great practice. Have you ever considered writing stories or poetry?

And I promise... I'm not mad at you. Not even remotely.


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 Post subject: Re: Hi, My name is Jess
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:14 pm 
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Hi Jess,

Im new here too. Something you said was so familiar,,,did i say the wrong thing, was that wrong, is someone upset with me,, those are mine. Its strange to go through life so uncertain of so many things.

I guess i just want to say i know what your saying. I am coming up on my appointement for diagnosis. I understand the work thing too. I own my own business but its still hard when im really down. Somedays i dint function at all.

Hang in there,,

Hugs
L


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 Post subject: Re: Hi, My name is Jess
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:38 pm 
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Thanks for your kind words,

I managed to hold off on hurting myself - it's been a long time since I have but I tend to think about it all the time. Then I end up overeating (or underrating depending on what has triggered the outburst). Yesterday, because it wasn't relationship based, it becomes overeating and I binged, binged, binged. By the end of the day I had eaten burgers, chocolate, pizza, and everything else I could get my hands on. I'm sure I'm probably painting a picture of a large woman, and by all accounts, I should be. Luckily, I have a relatively good metabolism and probably am not what they would fat... but I feel disgusting, repulsive, and due to my body dysmorphic disorder, I always think I'm at least 3 sizes larger than what I really am.

Not that any of those things matter. I guess it just would be nice if I felt better on the outside so that at least something would feel good right now.

Mask,

I read some of your posts last night when I was feeling really low. I was crying and hurting and I found solace in your words. I think it's amazing that you've graduated. It took me two years to even graduate from year 12 because I was so emotionally damaged and went through some really traumatic things during my studies.

I eventually passed but felt like I hadn't done as well as I wanted to, so in turn felt like a failure. I was accepted to study law, but still felt like a failure.

I have been trying to get past first year units ever since. There always seems to be something that prevents me from finishing a unit. I tell myself I don't have what it takes. I feel like a fraud; like I'm not really as smart as what people tell me I am. One of these days, people are going to realise, I'll fail my units and be exposed. At least if I drop out, I'll never have confirmation of these fears. So in order to avoid the inevitable failure, I just leave. I don't even defer - I just stop going.

My transcript is so long, filled with FAIL, WITHDRAW - big black marks on my record which just end up making me feel even worse.

I end up going back to an admin job or receptionist job where I then feel like everyone thinks I'm stupid and so want to set out to prove everyone wrong. Then, I enrol in uni units for the next year; filled with a renewed fervour and passion for learning.

It's become a cyclical form of torture and frustration, but reading your posts, Mask, I realise that one day I may be able to achieve what I previously hadn't thought possible.

I'm finding it hard at the moment because my support base is slowly dwindling and many of the people who had claimed to be friends have run for cover. I hadn't told them I had been diagnosed but my behaviour spoke volumes about my mental state - or maybe they just put me down to being a lost cause. I know that I have difficulty assessing other people's boundaries and so there were many times I would confide in my friends about my partner's perceived wrongs. Of course, he hadn't done anything - I had completely blown something small out of proportion but my friends were convinced now that he was awful. I never made mention of how I treated him because before the diagnosis I was convinced that it WAS him.

Now that I am aware of what my brain is doing, I force myself to write everything down and only after I am convinced I am justified in thinking like that, do I disclose it to my partner. It has helped tremendously to do that, and especially to read it back to myself after. It goes to show how many irrational thoughts go through my mind and then realise how many arguments I have caused.

I can see how many of the girls no longer wish to be friends with me; but it makes me feel no less isolated. My life is very lonely as it is and it is becoming lonelier by the day.

My only peace is in my writing; I have always loved to write. Of course, I am not very "well spoken" on boards like these, because it is purely a projection of my thoughts, which are often muddled these days.

I always imagined I would write a book - perhaps about my life; about my struggles, about my triumphs. I always start writing, and then stop just as quickly. Because, after all, how narcissistic is it to think someone would be interested in reading about my life. I am no one of consequence; many people have been abused, raped, hurt - repeatedly - those things don't make me special in any way. I had hoped that by the time I would write it, something of substance would have happened - some change in my life that would make all the suffering worthwhile. But I haven't ever really suffered; I have disassociated to such an extent that those things didn't happen to me -they happened to someone else. When the memories flood back, they're not my memories - they're shorts from a movie I watched and can't forget.

Sorry for the essay. I am filled with such an intense loneliness right now and am unable to confide in anyone so this board becomes my escape: my friend.

I hope everyone is having a good day.


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 Post subject: Re: Hi, My name is Jess
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:11 pm 
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Jess!
You commented that reading Mask's previous postings gave you solace, you have just done that for me. It is so calming to read someone going through similar feelings, it's easy to feel compassion for another's words, so seldom to I feel that for myself.
BPD. God I hate the diagnosis because it IS me, in fact I'm sure that if you look it up in an illustrated dictionary there would be my face next to the term!
Since I started the painful journey of therapy and reading on here about the black and white thinking I can see myself doing it. Today for example, I know was not all bad, I know that at some parts I didn't have the crazy anxiety and was smiling and laughing, temporarily comfortable in my own skin. Yet my head tells me, because the anxiety from the stay resonates in my chest, that it was all TERRIBLE! In fact it was so bad I must bury myself deep in the bed so I don't feel the same in public ever again. So I realise that my thinking is wrong but that realization doesn't seem to give much comfort yet.....


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 Post subject: Re: Hi, My name is Jess
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:25 pm 
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I know how you feel, Whiteworgan - it can be painful and overwhelming. I am treating each day like a diet I have started. My philosophy right now has to be: even if I "cheat" on my diet (i.e. don't handle something as well as I should; blow up; think bad thoughts, etc), it is NOT the end of the world. There will always be tomorrow, there will always be another opportunity to utilise the tools and prove to myself I can recover.

Sometimes it doesn't feel that way. Sometimes I, like you, wish I could bury myself deep in my bed and not do anything. I find that I work best within a structure. In the morning, I make sure I do little things to enforce that structure. I wake up, feed the dog, make the bed, put a load of washing on and have all my medication. After that, the structure gets a bit chaotic. I am very new to this and so building a structure takes time. I have tried to be forgiving of myself. I try to tell myself that I have a disorder and I need to be patient with myself, instead of beating myself up over things I do wrong.

I find that journaling really helps. It helps me to calm down (I stay absolutely silent - or at least I try to - when something triggers me. Then later (or then and there if I can) I type everything out and walk away from it.

I always read it back some time later and this is where my reflection comes in. I try to ask myself how I can handle it next time. Sometimes I handle it well; others I don't. It is a learning curve and you can't expect to get it right every time when you are only just starting out.

Of course, this is how I feel now. Other times I feel defeated, lonely, isolated and a whole gamut of emotions which render me incapacitated at times.

I also find it helps me to listen to my music. I turn on my iTunes and pick songs I have never heard before. If it resonates with me, it goes on my playlist (I have a playlist for everyday - as I will feel differently everyday).

These are just some of the coping mechanisms I am using. Maybe they will help you? Recovery is different for everyone and I don't know all the answers... I am just trying as best as I can each and every day - and it's different all the time, as I'm sure you experience.

I hope you are having a much better day today and find strength in this community. I can't believe how much better it feels sometimes just to be able to talk to individuals going through the same things I am. It can ease the loneliness; that sense of isolation I often feel.

:-)


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 Post subject: Re: Hi, My name is Jess
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Thank you for such a great compliment, Jess. I read your post a while ago, I just honestly had no idea what to say. o_o;

Honestly, despite my academic success, I feel like a bit of a loser right now. I can't seem to find a job, and every time I land an interview, I'm not hired for one reason or another. To be honest, I assume that part of it is that I have been applying to anything I can get... and it must seem odd for someone with a degree to want to work retail or wash dishes, etc. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Hi, My name is Jess
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:23 pm 
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But there simply -isn't- work for someone with an English degree around here. >_<


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 Post subject: Re: Hi, My name is Jess
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:17 pm 
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Mask,

I'm new to this but remember: noone is a loser- you could say that you are feeling discouraged because you're finding it difficult to find a job, but that doesn't make you a loser at all!

Having an English degree under your belt means you are a good communicator. It shows you have a good grasp of the english language; you have good analytical skills, and you're creative. I'm from Australia but whenever I am applying for jobs, I just apply my skills set to whatever they are asking. I always insert something about my "exceptional interpersonal skills, communication (verbal and non-verbal, etc).

Don't beat yourself up - it's HARD to find a job, but that difficulty doesn't detract from what a good person you are. :-)

Do you get to the interview stage? Are you tailoring your resume to each job you apply for?


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 Post subject: Re: Hi, My name is Jess
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:06 pm 
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Yes about the resume, and I think I look pretty good on paper. I have only gotten a few interviews, and I think I did really well, but not -quite- so well as someone else in each case. :(


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