I challenged my anxiety today Sean Kilby


For those that don’t know, my cousin took his own life March 18, 2012.

Sean, I was sitting in therapy today working on a trigger from the weekend, I chose to work on the subject of where I was to be on Friday evening. After breaking it down from where I was full of negative and self destructive behaviors, I felt the anxiety and nausea as if I were really back at Friday night. While I was processing this with the help of other members and with the notes I had taken, I wondered if you knew that there was hope for us! I wondered if you would have been open to learning how to do what I learned today? 

I wondered if you would have realized that by the time the lesson was over, I went from feeling the highest level of anxiety which was a 10 to a 4-5! That I felt a sense of calmness and my breathing had returned to calm and normal. 

I wish you knew that Sean. I wish you knew that if you didn’t know, I would have taught you what I learned today in therapy. That I would always teach you, as I understand all that you go through when the days were dark and hard. I love you and miss you always. ♥ ♥ ♥

I write my blog this way because I realized that what I was feeling about what I was going to do on Friday night and subsequently Saturday night, that the anxiety and emotions of uncertainty were probably and have most likely been felt my many people. That, when in the moment, there was no way anyone could have calmed me down, I was really caught up in my emotions and feelings at ha time. 

This is something that I am slowly starting to think about when a major anxiety attack happens, I’ve not perfected the technique yet, but I’m catching on and am realizing after that there are tools that can be used to help bring a person down from the height of the moment.

I learned today that I use black and white as well as over-generalization thinking patterns. The first time I was learning this pattern, I wasn’t able to see where this information came from. Being that this is the second time I am taking this program, did help me to see where that information came from in my words. 

If you are wondering what your thinking style is, take a look at this link:

http://psychcentral.com/lib/2009/15-common-cognitive-distortions/ 

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Social Anxiety


I’ve known about you for as long as I can remember, yet I often never “really” knew you. I knew that I didn’t like being alone, and when I was younger, would go to hang outs where I was accepted with no judgment. I’ve always had pets, they made the loneliness bearable. I was one of the girls who either had a friends with benefits, or a long term unhealthy relationship. Afraid to leave when things got rough and bad, just so I wouldn’t have to be alone. In some ways I’m lucky to be here. But that’s a whole other story. 

I fast forward to now, as current as this past weekend, where I had plans, for both Friday and Saturday. An evening of socializing and being with friends. To celebrating an anniversary and connecting with like minded friends. 

I started to not feel well Friday, most of the day I ached, felt generally not well. We stayed home. Saturday  I felt the same, but only worse. I now was nauseated, lower back ached, pale and tired. When I spoke to my boyfriend, he said I looked pale and tired and suggested I go lay down. We never did see our friends for that bbq or celebration on Saturday either. 

Sunday morning I woke up feeling substantially better than I had been the last two days. At some point in the day a thought crossed my mind “did I subconsciously make myself sick so that I didn’t have to go anywhere?” 

I know that I struggle with social anxiety. Its terrible, on one hand I am happier at home with my boyfriend and my pets; but having said that, I have felt strangled by the four walls of my home as well.  Sometimes, when there is no feelings of anxiety, I will go out and see people and I am happy that I did. But to wonder if my mind and body sabotaged my weekend based on being social with others, makes me feel sad inside. 

I remember moments in my childhood of shyness, I was never one to like being around large crowds or in public places for too long. I hated the crowds on the local transit system, but took them to get too and from work and social outings. As I have gotten older, I have my car and I make sure to always have it in tip top shape as I become anxious at the thought of not having transportation where I live, as there isn’t a bus that runs hourly and the mere thought of taking the bus now makes me more anxious than I already feel.

I’m fine when it comes to going grocery shopping, or to the rec center to exercise and other appointments, but I’ve also had moments where I’ve cancelled those too, sometimes it I know the moment I wake up that I won’t be leaving my house. 

I’m not sure how I will overcome this, but recognizing that there is a pattern, is eye opening for me. I feel a few emotions, namely sad. I feel sad that I’ve been afraid most of my life, of either being alone, or being in large crowds. 

I googled social anxiety and found this link really nailing what I feel http://www.helpguide.org/mental/social_anxiety_support_symptom_causes_treatment.htm.

I plan on bringing it up in therapy this week. 

Mood Swings


I haven’t written anything since my last blog. I had received an email as a result of that post and although I didn’t respond back, I admit I have been most likely “laying low” and deliberately not posting anything, when in fact I need to be. Not for anyone else, but for me and what is my outlet. 

I’m sure what I’m about to post, may in fact be part of my cycle of being Borderline/BPD but it sure is hard on me and definitely hard on my boyfriend. Yet, when I told him this afternoon when he returned from being out, how I was feeling (which lately seems to be angry), he put his hand on my thigh, looked me square in the face and told me that he is 100% in  with me, that my well being is what’s most important to him.

I said I feel very selfish and that when I say something to him, I’m not being manipulative, I’m just expressing how I feel about something. Like right now, because I haven’t been feeling very sexual (whether it be about my body, or hormones etc), for the first time in nearly 2 years of our relationship, I felt very insecure and jealous. I know myself well enough to know that those two emotions are about me, and no one else. I expressed to him why I felt these emotions and again, he didn’t get  (I thought he would). He was very reassuring, he reminded me that ever since I had my hysterectomy, my moods, my body and all that goes with it, have never been and won’t be the same as before. 

He knows I am really worried about not feeling sexual, that I never ever thought I would be “one of those” relationships where the spouses seldom had sex (like once a month or something)! Maybe I need to have a really good cry and grieve the loss of my reproductive organs? I just don’t know what to do. What I do know, is that ever since I have been doing my therapy sessions, I have felt a huge stirrings of anger. When I spoke to my therapist about this, she said she is not surprised and that what I am going through, she said that it is “very normal” for someone with my diagnosis. I also told her about the lack of sex desire and intimacy, that sometimes I get very irritated if my boyfriend tries to hug me. (Yet this morning he came up behind me in the kitchen, and he snuggled me, I was actually receptive (and it felt very nice). 

I’m also wondering if my being unwell all weekend, when we had plans for a get together on Friday and the bbq on the Saturday, both days I was not well. I was feverish, stomach problems, headaches, teeth aches, low back aches. I even looked really tired and pale. My boyfriend said he thought I did look very tired and wanted me to go and lay down yesterday. Yet today, I do feel somewhat better, still have a bit of an upset tummy, but nothing near as terrible as yesterday (thank goodness). So I went to the gym as I have for the last 6 weeks, at 5 times a week.

I said to him I wondered if I had subconsciously sabotaged our plans for the weekend so that I didn’t have to go anywhere? 

Am I in fact coming into an awareness that I have never seen before? I even mentally used my trigger sheet in my mind’s eye, picking a topic and breaking that topic down to figure out what precisely it was that had me in such angst. (this is huge for me!)

 
So why is it I feel terrible that the emotions I am feeling do play a role in our relationship?
 
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Victim – Victimization (Suppressed Anger)


I’ve been a very angry person lately. I would have to say since I started my program called SAFE. I haven’t been able to put my finger on it, or even get a clue as to why I’ve been feeling this way. So I called my former therapist this morning, she’s the one who got me involved with my current program and the one for DBT. I told her that I have been really angry for awhile now, since starting SAFE and that I don’t understand what’s going on. I told her that I don’t want anyone touching me, or having anything to do with intimacy etc. She said that due to my abuse, what I am feeling is my suppressed anger and that what I am feeling is from being a victim and I am at a point where I will never let anyone victimize me again. This I know is right, because after my ex left me for his mistress (at the time), I was kicked out of the house I shared with him. I had vowed that come hell or high water I would never have anyone do that to me again (hence my own home now). She said the fact that I am angry means that I am working at getting to the core of my anger. She said that my life has only ever known two ways of living – that is Victim or Victimizer. It is true, I don’t know any other way of life, I have been exposed to harmony, tranquility and serenity but she is right, at the core I don’t know any other way. So she said I am getting close, but that in the meantime, things like going to the gym, listening to music, doing a craft, any and all activities that involve the right side of my brain. She said that by talking to trusted friends, I can start to learn what other ways of life there are to live.

This bit of information is huge for me, as it gives me a piece of a puzzle I have been struggling to find. It also helps that it comes from a trusted therapist who has massive experience with suppressed anger and abuse matters. 

Finally a little bit of help, is going a long way with me today.

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Mood and Weather


I am at a loss, I am just so confused as to what I am doing. I work out nearly every day, I’ve increased my time from 45 minutes to over an hour doing cardio. I sweat, I feel great and at peace that for a little while the negative tape recordings settle down. I do eat when I get home, but I wouldn’t say it is massive amounts of food. Usually either a protein drink or bar. I’ve noticed my cravings have settled a lot, especially at night. During the day, I don’t eat much only when I get hungry, often it will be something like a piece of fruit. I drink my green tea, I know I go in waves with my water intake, but regardless I do drink at least 4 to 6 glasses a day. I can tell when I go to the bathroom that the color of my urine is faint, so I am getting enough water.  

I’ve added magnesium to help with bloating and constipation (something I’ve always had trouble with). I’ve added Biotin capsules 1000mg a day because I’ve been dealing with hair loss and brittle nails. Apparently some of my problems are menopause related. (lovely). 

I went to group this afternoon, expressed that I am feeling really angry and just plain miserable. The therapist said that sometimes we feel emotions and don’t know why. She also said that at times we just need to feel and not judge or try to figure out why we feel what we are. She said that it is about accepting and being in the moment. I told her that just doesn’t work for me, that knowing what the root is, helps me process and move along and let things go. 

The trouble I am having is, I just don’t care. I’m not sure if it is just today or not. 

Later in the day/evening a thunder storm came in.  Talk about a shake, rattle and roll! It would linger and then return, the flashes of lightening were strong and vibrant. Yet, the biggest thing I noticed was a shift in my mood! As the hours went by, I noticed I started to feel lighter and lighter. The heaviness of my mood, the anger I have felt pent up for the last couple of days, had gone away. I feel as if a fog that had been hanging around, all dark and gloomy now gone. 

Is it possible my moods are being controlled by the Universe? 

 

Cycle


I was reading something on my social network last night and it really explained what it can be like living with BPD. It really helped explain things, especially when I can’t always put words to how I am feeling.

The 4 Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Pitfalls

If you have BPD or you live with a BPD person, you have probably observed that the borderline symptoms change as your mental and the emotional states change.

When angry, BPD people behave in and angry and impulsive manner. Also they tend to be paranoid and split experiences, situations, and people into black and white, into either good or bad,  and so on.

When they “seem” to be okay, it is an artificial normality. They are too calm, too serious, too cold and detached, or too friendly, too funny, too goofy.

Then there are other states when they shut off from the world, lock themselves in their rooms and refuse any contact. In this state they can be also very needy, clingy, and defensive, just like a helpless child.

Also, there is a fourth state BPD people go through right after an episode of fury or impulsivity. This state is usually hidden because borderline people don’t want others to find out how downing, harsh, and negative they are on themselves. Sometimes when they can’t take it anymore, they slip one or two thoughts that are saying things like “I am so stupid!”, “How could I do such a thing?!”, “I can’t do that!”, “I am such a loser!” or some other similar deeply depreciating things about themselves.

The four states described above represent the four BPD Pitfalls borderline people are going through.

BPD people spend most of their time in the “Detached Protector Pitfall”. In this pitfall they shut off their needs and emotions. They want to gain others’ love, friendship, and approval by not “upsetting” them with their needs and emotions. 

Although at the surface this strategy seems to work, in fact not having their needs fulfilled and their emotions manifested, a tremendous amount of tension, anxiety, and frustration is built up over time. One small invalidation is enough to set off the entire accumulated emotional tension and frustration into over proportional reactions like anger, impulsivity, yelling, vile language, or even physical violence. This is the “Angry and Impulsive Pitfall”.

After some time the anger pitfalls gets filled up and the BPD person shifts into the third BPD Pitfall, the “Self-Punishing Pitfall”. In this pitfall borderline people punish, scold, and criticize themselves just as their parents would have done to them in the past after episodes of anger and impulsivity. The punishments reinforce in the BPD person the already present self-depreciating beliefs.

Then borderline people slide into the fourth BPD Pitfall, the “Abandoned and Vulnerable Pitfall”. Under the mental and emotional effects of the punishments, BPD sufferers feel abandoned, helpless, hopeless, anxious, depressed, and alone. They want to make good, to become better people, but they feel that everybody is against them, that nobody understands them. They feel weak and vulnerable, just as they felt in the past when their parents or other significant parents have punished, criticized, or scolded them. The lack of an internal self-positivity compass makes BPD sufferers be totally dependent on others to feel good, happy, secure, confident etc.

After some time, BPD sufferers shift gradually back into the “Detached Protector Pitfall” until frustration, anxiety, and emotional tension is built back up and the entire BPD Circle Of Pain is spun into a new cycle by a new anger and impulsivity outburst.

The BPD Circle Of Pain can be stopped and TRANSFORMED TOTALLY into a new “Circle Of Mental And Emotional Health” by addressing and transforming each BPD Pitfall.

By Michael Weisz

 
Based on this informative bit of information, I am going to look into having some type of mood diary because it is hard for me to know what mood will come along next.
 
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