A Tough Day in Recovery

When All You Could Do was Make It Through

What a day. Seemed like things began bombarding me and my recovery goals from the moment I woke up. A few times throughout the day I thought to myself, “Why not just quit today; why not just lay down and give up? This is too hard. I’m not capable of handling this.” Then it spread into, “LIFE is too hard. I’m not capable of handling ANYTHING, let alone this day. I can’t survive as an adult; I can’t even keep my head above water. Everything is falling apart because I can’t handle basic tasks.”

Then it spread into, “LIFE is too hard. I’m not capable of handling ANYTHING, let alone this day. I can’t survive as an adult; I can’t even keep my head above water. Everything is falling apart because I can’t handle basic tasks.”


After a while I would catch myself, and for a moment I would breathe and see the bigger picture, that hard days happen and difficulties in relationships happen and everyday hassles happen. I’m okay, and everything is okay, and there’s peace.

But on days like today, you find the peace and instantly something else comes in like a rocket and blows you away again. You’re left tumbling and trying to gain a foothold somewhere. You get your balance and here comes another one.


It’s been like that all day long today, from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping tomorrow is a little easier and I handle it a little better.

More than anything I’m just thankful today is over and that I got through it without destroying myself or anything else in my life. Sure, things happened and consequences happened and things aren’t perfect. But I made it through, and I know how I can do better tomorrow. I learned some things today that will help me in the future. And I wouldn’t have learned those things or been motivated to search for them had I not been in the predicaments I experienced on this crazy day.

I made it through, and I know how I can do better tomorrow.

When BPD Leads to Rejection and Abandonment

How we push people away when we have BPD

THE BRUTAL TRUTH

When BPD leads to abandonment and rejection, you learn quickly. Soon, you fear abandonment by all the people you love, and you start to see abandonment everywhere. To avoid being rejected, you push them away before they can hurt you. The result? No one can abandon you, because there IS no one.

Then the loneliness hits. You may or may not realize what just happened. But the end is the same. They leave and your worst fears are realized. Abandonment. Rejection.

BUT WAIT…

Borderline Personality Disorder can make relationships confusing.

I’ll be the first one to admit dropping someone like a hot potato at the first sign of potential rejection. Before mastering the DBT skills, I saw everyone as a threat to my fragile heart. If I cared about them in the slightest, they had the power to hurt me and I simply could not afford that most of the time.

Sometimes I actually managed to convince myself I didn’t need anyone. HA!

That wasn’t me talking. That was the BPD.

THE REAL ME WAS YEARNING FOR CONNECTION!!!

The real me loved people. Inside I cared about everyone; I was desperate for friends and relationships.

Furthermore, the real me knew I couldn’t survive for long like this. I needed people but I watched myself pushing them further and further away each day. Maybe they were rejecting me, abandoning me…maybe they weren’t. Maybe it was just me. Who could I trust? I couldn’t even trust myself.

HOW I STOPPED THE REJECTION CYCLE:

One of the things DBT skills taught me is that if I had thoughts telling me “no one cares” and “they’ll just leave you anyways,” there was a good chance my brain wasn’t telling me everything.

After I had that down, I started learning how to look at the facts to tell if abandonment or rejection was actually happening to me, so I wouldn’t leave good relationships based on an assumption. I learned how to tell the difference between feeling rejected and being rejected.

Ultimately, the skills taught me how to deal with actual rejection AND to heal from it. And they helped me make lasting relationships and deep connections with others, as well as myself.

THE CONCLUSION

Rejection, abandonment, and loneliness may be a way of life for you if you have Borderline Personality. And it may feel safer that way, from your experience. But that way of life will also keep you imprisoned and cut off from the true desires within you for connection.

When BPD leads to rejection and abandonment, and you don’t know where to start, that’s ok! I didn’t either. That’s what this page is for. Learn more about the DBT skills, recovery, and resources to help you break free. Surviving alone doesn’t need to be your only option.



3 Habits to Practice on Mindfulness Monday

Mindfulness Monday

 

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Mindfulness can’t be understood through reading self-help books or hearing about it from someone else.  Mindfulness must be practiced on a daily basis to learn and receive the benefits from its use.

So how do you practice mindfulness?

Keep reading to learn 3 daily habits to start practicing to increase your daily mindfulness this week..

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Borderline Personality Survivor Stories

Recovery is Possible.

There are so many stories of the pain and suffering of Borderline Personality Disorder.  Unfortunately, we rarely hear stories about people who have taken their control and their lives back from this illness.

But this documentary is different, and when it first aired on YouTube it was an eye-opening picture for many others like me: people with BPD who kept seeing all the articles of hopeless prognoses for their illness.

 

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Mindfulness Helps People with BPD

Mindfulness is the core skill taught in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, but how exactly do we know that mindfulness helps people with BPD?

Mindfulness helps with BPD

One summary of the research by UCLA reported on the positive correlation between meditating and positive affect.  Harvard recently published a report on mindfulness as an alternative approach to depression.

The term “mindfulness” can be abstract and difficult to understand.  Let’s begin with describing what mindfulness is.

 

What is Mindfulness?

Marsha Linehan developed Mindfulness from the basic principles of Zen Buddhism.  Practices include things like yoga, meditation, prayer, and visualization exercises.  Mindfulness practice doesn’t necessarily have to be a religious practice.  Prayer and spirituality are some ways to practice mindfulness, but there are many other ways to tune into your intuition and connection with the universe.  It is not a requirement to be religious in order to receive the benefits of mindfulness.

Mindfulness as a way of life

But mindfulness is so much more than just the practice exercises that make it up.  Mindfulness is a way of life.  In other words, a way of experiencing reality as it is, free of judgment and distraction.  It is a way to step back and view the world.  And also to enter fully into the experience of life with awareness and knowledge of your true self and your motivations.

How does mindfulness help people with BPD?

With time,  mindfulness practice actually produces changes in your brain.  Mindfulness practice can calm the limbic system, which is so involved with the episodes we equate with Borderline Personality Disorder.  Eventually, your brain will automatically be able to separate itself from its emotional experiences without much effort at all.  This allows us to think more clearly and make more rational decisions.

With a clear-thinking mind, we can let go of overwhelming emotions and judgments about ourselves and others.  We can focus on doing what will work to achieve the goals we have.  If our goal is to improve a relationship, for example, mindfulness will help us to calm our emotions so we can respond and communicate effectively with a loved one.  This is how mindfulness helps people with BPD.

How do I start to live a mindful life?

Ways to practice mindfulnessSo how do we make mindfulness a part of our daily lives?  Start small.  Choose one mindfulness exercise that resonates with you.  One exercise I like is to let drops of water hit my hand and focus on just the steady drop of water.  I pay attention, feeling the wetness, feeling the weight, and breathing slowly.  Do that exercise for 10 minutes every day for a week, or two weeks.  When it has become habitual for you to do your daily mindfulness exercise, it’s time to add another mindfulness moment into your day!  Ten minutes in the morning, ten minutes in the evening is a great way to build up your practice time.  The more you build the habit, the easier it becomes, the less effort it requires.  Keep increasing your mindfulness moments day by day.   Soon you’ll be shocked at how much control you are starting to gain over your thoughts and impulses!