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 Post subject: invert the twist
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 6:51 am 
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since finding out about bpd and the likelihood that this is what's up with me - it has been real shocker for me. desperately trying to help myself but i've found this happening which i am a bit worried about too as i suppose it may indicate a non-healthy way to proceed recovery. i have came to completely distrust all my feelings so i have just redigned myself to fact that i am probably wrong in everything and anything i think may be down to bpd. it has been an ok way for me to proceed immediately following aftermath of finding out about bpd - i mean it has put the stoppers on my previously twisted and negative thinking about everything. however, i think that maybe long term it is not a good strategy - i suppose what i should be aiming for is to make decisions and trust my thinking due to some kind of rational thought process. where should i be going with this?


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 Post subject: Re: invert the twist
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:58 pm 
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Wow, I feel you here. It can be overwhelming at first. I would like to first commend you on seeking help and recognizing (sp? I'm a terrible speller!) yourself in the criterion. IMHO, it's a good idea to seek some sort of professional guidance because BPD symptom can mimic or overlap with others. Having said that....
The Ten Ways Of Twisted Thinking has shown me many insights...as well as the ways to untwist....
Sometimes I find myself consumed by circular thought. I will fixate on a situation or problem...thinking and thinking wihout really getting much done... I find that when this happens if I can identify the problem (no easy task) as posit some solutions, rational thought flows better. Following the 5 Steps in the Tools, only maybe the shorthand verison for everyday problems. Please try to remember that not all of our problems boil down to BPD...It sounds from your other posts like you are going through quite a bit of Life right now. Having an emotional reaction can be a 'normal' thing. It is in the extremes of our resonses that we see the BPD. Have you ever heard of Mindfullness? If you are interested, just ask.. I wouldn't want to impose my views, but it has really helped me with racing thoughts....
You asked in your post where you should be going with this. I have been so hesitant to respond because I feel that no one can tell you a good answer to this. Only you decide that for you, IMO. It will take a very long time for recovery. Please don't go into this expecting quick fixes, I don't believe they exist for this or anything else. Sustained pressure at the site of adhesion, as it were. A slow healing process but one that can be accomplished. It is not insurmountable. Small progresses should be noted and appreciated I think.
I will again applaud you for coming to this board for help. It is a step in and of itself. I know it took a while for a resonse and maybe the one you got wasn't what you were expecting....I'm new here too. I do wish you the best and I hope that you continue to post. :)

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Temet Nosce-- The Oracle
"Pain is resistance to change."
--Ida Rolf

BRING IT ON!! -- personal mantra


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 Post subject: Re: invert the twist
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:29 pm 
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Where should you go with this? Ultimately that answer is best provided by you because you'll know what's best for you at any given time.

On a more pragmatic level, there's unfortunately not really a start-to-finish map on how to go from BPD Living to Healthy Happy Living. The journey is completely unique to each person. On the whole, I would suggest reading through the "Tools" section (on the left) to see which, if any, speak to you. Then just pick one and focus on it for a while - two or three weeks - to see if you're able to incorporate it into your life. We're here to answer questions or offer examples for any of the areas you choose to tackle.

Remember: it took a lifetime to learn all the ways of borderline and it'll take a little while to unlearn those ways. Cut yourself some slack along the way and remember to forgive yourself.

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 Post subject: Re: invert the twist
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:25 am 
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thanx for responses.

harmonium - i have not heard of mindfulness - your post reminded me of a cd a counsellor gave me - thought it might be that hence i held back on reply 'til i hunted it out to have a listen. actually it was a cd on mindful stretching - i think a bit like yoga - so probably nothing to do with what your talking about except perhaps some reference to awareness of how your thinking/feeling. anyway i would be really grateful if you could give me some indication as to what this is about - you would not have been imposing your views - i asked for help and you kindly answered that -thanyou.

just to say also i saw a cbt counsellor last week. she felt it would be unhelpful for me to think in terms of the label bpd whether i had it or not, and she has started me off with some reading on cbt - that seems pretty positive to me. however i cannot help but think in terms of the bpd - finding out about it and my identification with the criteria has had a major impact on me - probably more so than anything else in my life.

there seems much to do - so i'm trying to pace myself - have settled down to fact that it will be a long enduring process - hope i have the staying power to actually make a difference.

wishing you all the best in your efforts too.


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 Post subject: Re: invert the twist
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:11 pm 
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I'm glad to hear you saw a CBT counselor last week. This board is very oriented toward CBT tools and I find them very helpful. I also was stuck on the label for a while. But, now not so much. I guess I still question whether or not my behaviours are 'BPD based' or 'normal' but since I don't really know what 'normal' is....I'm trying to let that go...to Radically Accept that I am who I am, no matter what label someone else wants to place on me. For me, the label just lets me know that I might exhibit cetain traits that I can research and learn how to better cope/adapt.

You will have the staying power, don't give up. It is a long road, but the small goodies along the way keep me going!

Mindfullness:
You were right in many ways. It is a bit like yoga at least in reference to awareness of how your thinking and feeling. I look at it as simply being in the NOW. Really being present in the moment. Not actively thinking about the past or the future. Being aware of all that is occuring for that moment in time, not judging these thoughts just noticing the occurences of what is happening right now. This might include for me especially my breath. I think about my breathing a lot. In with the good, out with the bad. I tend to focus on my breathing because it is always happening and it calms me. I consider how I am holding my posture. Are my shoulders up? Am I bracing such as for a punch? Am I clenching my jaw? I try to actively tune into my muscles and relax them one by one, in the NOW. Other thoughts will inevitably drift into my conciousness. I let them pass, without judement or concern-they are just thoughts. No need for judgement. Am I shallow breathing or breathing from my gut? NOW. The past was a series of nows, the future will be a series of nows. I can only control what happens NOW. If I choose to relax my body physically, to not hold tension in my shoulders (weight of the world on my back) or I choose to place my feet directly underneath me in the now (giving my body firm support) and breath deep from my belly (giving my body rich oxygen and expelling hazardous CO2), I feel more powerful, more in control of me. If I choose to let emotions pass without judging them or taking action because of them (knowing I can always come back to them) I can more fully understand why I feel the way I do about something rather than reacting to a situation I do not yet fully understand. When I do come back to a thought, I usually find the emotion surrounding the origional thought has changed in some way. Maybe I am less angry, maybe I am able to see the other perspective better. The point is I didn't allow myself to re-act, I made the decision to give my brain time to work out the best possible solution. Mindfulness to me is just listening to my body. What does it tell me? If I am not breathing fully, I am probably anxious. I can begin to relieve this by actively breathing more fully. If my body is clinching my jaws, I am probably angry. I relax my jaws, the tension leaves my physical space and my brain has to come up with another way of dealing. It takes practice. I do this in everday life, all the time. My work requires that I see the physical holding patterns of others. It has really helped me to to just be aware and try to live in the present. It helps me to stop thinking and thinking and thinking. It helps me to release the built up tension that will explode in me when it builds too much.

I hope this small discriptions helps. There are many books out there on the topic, as well as many web sites if you are interested further. I truly wish you the best and I am looking forward to your future posts! :D

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Temet Nosce-- The Oracle
"Pain is resistance to change."
--Ida Rolf

BRING IT ON!! -- personal mantra


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 Post subject: Re: invert the twist
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:50 pm 
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once again thanx for taking the time to express that fully. time is precious so you are more than generous.

i too am avoiding getting into a thought pattern that starts to critique the whole labelling thing and what constitutes 'normal' or a personality 'disorder' blah blah. i reckon indulging myself in that kind of rationalisation process would really be detrimental to me making any progress in actually changing my thinking and behaviour.

was totally weird coming across the criteria for bpd. it was like it just jumped right off the screen at me - whilst i couldn't get over the fact that all the things that i always thought were uniquely mine/me were merely criteria for a mental illness. one of those kind of traits that have became apparent from reading other peoples experiences of this is the preoccupation with thinking- it was one of those things that i and everybody who knows me just put down to me thinking too much/overanalysing. actually in a certain environment it has been a strength to me.
when i used to take ecstasy i used to think myself into the most incredible downers. my husband could see it happening. he had this great ability just not to think during the come down - i put it down to him being an "emotional spastic - quote" - projection or what :-(

getting back to mindfulness. i have only managed to get through these couple of weeks by consciously aiming to keep myself in the present. i haven't as much been letting the thought pass by, rather i have been stopping them right in their tracks and throwing them out. actually since i have been conscious of this now i am amazed at how often those kind of thoughts jump right in there and how i am able to indulge in them.

i have also been conscious of the physical responses i.e. mainly the tension that builds up right in the middle of my rib cage when i am feeling annoyed. i have been using breathing with this too - taking deep breaths in and letting the tension go on the out breath.

- my own kind of mindfulness i guess:-) i will look into it more thanx.

the cbt stuff to is allowing me largely to take note of my thoughts, not act on them immediately but try to analysing them later and take more appropriate action (if any). that is ok - well i'm not totally organised with that - just learning and have got loads to take in. during the everyday stuff this has been quite successful so far. however what really worries me is the speed at which my temper can flare (at times) and those times are largely unpredicatable (actually they are in a sense - any time i perceive anybody to be remotely 'taking the c*** out of me' which could be more precisely defined as anybody who has the audacity to show me any tiny bit of attitude at all). when these situations (perceived or otherwise) arise is not predictable. anyway - like i say that is the worry for me - basically those moments when the actions follow the thought and feelings so closely that there is absolutely no 'rational' thinking time to do anything. it feels instincitive - out of control.

i'm feeling positive though that i will find appropriate methods/tools to let me try and deal with this - well for now anyway :-)


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 Post subject: Re: invert the twist
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:42 pm 
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You don't have to thank me, I'm here to learn too! It's nice to see someone like you who is trying to work. And, I have a lot of time on my hands lately :)

I, too, thought that my BPD traits were unique to me until I found out about it. I still think that some aspects of it CAN be a positive if used correctly. Like, channeling the extreme emotions in a positive way. I'm sure some would disagree with me, but I think that BPD-ers tend to feel things more extremely than 'normals'. For me, this means that I can feel the good things more deeply too. While this can lead to pain (if my expectations are unrealistic), it can also lead to extreme joy that I don't think everyone feels. I like that extreme joy, happiness, whatever you want to call it. As long as it doesn't cycle into ups and downs, that I can feel the joy without crashing, I think it is a good thing. It took awhile before I learned to balance this, but I think I have. Not that I never feel low, just not the extreme low that I used to feel. More good than bad. I've kept the extreme joy without the extreme sad. Also the bad is short-lived nowadays.

Sounds like you are doing good work with mindfulness. Maybe you could try to not necessarily throw everything out but just 'let it be', not feeling any particular way about it? Sometimes throwing it out is good, don't get me wrong. But eventually the thought will have to be delt with. So I try to seperate my thoughts from my feelings. I try to realize that I can think something without feeling any emotion about it. It just is, not good, bad, or anything. Just a thought. I really like what you are doing with the tension you are feeling in your rib cage. I'm glad that helps you!

The CBT stuff takes awhile to fully incorporate, I'm still working the tools too. Those moments you refer to, the instictive ones, are the most difficult for most of us. There is a tool on the left called the 5 steps that I have used to go back and see what I could have done differently. It helps me to respond better next time. I know what you mean **anybody who has the audacity to show me any tiny bit of attitude at all*** ROFL! I am there too sometimes! Hang in there, it will get easier. When this happens to me, I HALT, take a deep breath, and sometimes just ask a question. It will throw people off guard because they expect to get a rise. It can diffuse the situation and make both parties laugh. Or not. Depends. I can usually feel the rise coming up in me physically before the words have come out of their mouth and can actively relax my body too. It helps.

Glad to hear of your positive attitude-- it will carry you far!

_________________
Temet Nosce-- The Oracle
"Pain is resistance to change."
--Ida Rolf

BRING IT ON!! -- personal mantra


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