March 19, 2013
It’s almost the end of the third month into 2013. I blogged for mental health all of last year. No, no. I BEGGED for mental health all of last year. And I never pledged the pledge but I walked the walk or whatever.
My fellow Canvas bloggies have established a pledging that connects people with the mental-health blogging community. This blog has been a reflection of my personal journey in the last year and a half. My mental health has improved drastically since then. No drastically sounds too negative. It has improved INCREDIBLY.
I am at a point now where I’m not having to fight off suicidal ideations, thoughts and urges damn near every hour of everyday. I am not constantly cryin’ or having panic attacks all the time. Since the start of this blog I lost someone dear, had a ton of medical issues, and made a suicide attempt. Then I found out that my Ex-Young therapist had diagnosed me with Borderline Personality Disorder, my therapist left (that was just before the suicide attempt) and in June of 2012, I finally got back in therapy and tried different medications.
I’m still going to therapy once a week, mostly. It’s on Fridays these days. No more Thursday therapy ’cause I’m working and Brunet Young changed her schedule. Therapy has been a major lifeline, so has this blog (as I’ve mentioned dozens of times before) and my swimming. I’m still swimming despite all the shit thrown at me. I’m fortunate that my mom is still working at the gym and I’m able to go and release my demons for free, for a bit at least.
Of course I still struggle. Life is a struggle and for those with mental health issues, that struggle becomes unbearable, so painful that it kills. It is another kind of struggle in itself. But I have accomplished many of my “goals for therapy” and am still working on others.
My “stability” has settle some.
I have a bit more clarity in my life now and feeling a sense of direction, despite my many changes in course. There are so many challenges, so much more to endure and enjoy. I don’t know where I’m at with this blog. I’ve considered retiring it many times (as a “borderline” I’ll drastically change my mind from one minute to the next ha). But I think I’m giving it a go for a bit longer.
I’m continuing my pledge to write for mental health, to shout out, to show that we are not alone in this.
Please visit my Canvas family at A Canvas of the Minds. It’s a great little blog of mental health bloggers and shenanigans!
Oh oh. And I ALMOST forgot. Thank you Laura/Soul Survivor for pledging me this year. You can find her blog, Bipolar for Life by clicking the link.
December 23, 2012
I’ve been a terrible, lazy blogger as of late. I know. I haven’t even been reading from my favorite bloggies. Truth is, a lot is going on and I do want to share much of it, but I don’t know… Thankfully, I dont have a head full of PLDs (Pretty Little Demons) right now. I still feel better than I was several months ago, despite some terrible days these past two weeks.
I haven’t self-harmed in several weeks, almost two months I think–the last time being a burning incident triggered by booze and thoughts of Monkey Man. So anyway, that’s great that I haven’t! No major suicidal ideations either!
A lot is happening. And well, I want to blog some of it–MUCH of it– but for now, I’m rethinking this whole blog. (yeah, again). And thus, I’ll continue being lazy about it, at least until this White Baby Jesus thing is over with. So here is another one of my very first posts from last year. I was trying to develop my illustration style then (and still am). But here I actually sketched on the computer before it gave up on me in May. Anyway, I think this is a funny one and I hope you think so too.
Hope you all the best!
p.s. I just realized this isn’t the best post to re-blog considering the horror that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. Being a kid is tough and I can’t even imagine… I got severely triggered by that–I’m talking trigger among triggers– it was bad. And I can only hope those kids who survived and their families/loved ones heal one day. It’s… ugh… I’ll shut up… Please don’t take offence. None was meant. This story is meant mostly to be lighthearted, albeit true and somewhat sad. It’s gotta be at least a little melancholic: I’m the MMM.
There’s always that one elementary school teacher you hear about somewhere, the one that murders her students and their wild but fragile imaginations by telling them Santa is a hoax; that his slaved sweatshop elves and reindeer are also a hoax, AND, that they should go home and shame their parents. I read about such story not too long ago. I can’t blame her. Sometimes the scrooge and Grinch in us comes out.
I’m reminded about the time I tried to tell my third-grade classmates about Santa’s non-existence. It didn’t go so well, obviously.
Firstly, I’m Colombian. And Colombians–at least when I was a kid in the late eighties–don’t celebrate Christmas with Santa Clause. People do put him on Christmas trees, little figurines are sold for decoration, you can hear his bells in shopping plazas, but he’s treated more as an uninvited guest, the bawdy drunken relative–distant relative–you let…
View original post 1,407 more words
November 19, 2012
When I got to the psychology clinic at the university, there was no one at the front desk. In fact, the doors for the clinic were locked. I panicked for a few seconds and wondered if I had made a mistake and the offices would be closed for Thanksgiving. But the other clinic next door was open and students were on campus.
It took almost half an hour to finally get someone to let me in. By the time I got in, it was nearly 11:30. My appointment was for eleven. Turns out I was probably the only client scheduled for that day and my therapist had put me down for 1:00 pm instead of 11:00. So there was a communication issue. I kept telling myself that I should have called her Friday to confirm, but I can’t beat myself about something so minute.
Afterward, I headed to the hospital with my dad. He can get very naggy but here’s always there to help. We didn’t have to wait too long. Usually it’s about three to four hours, but we only had to wait about an hour-and-a-half.
The doc looked at my jaw and said everything looked like it’s healing up well. I got no follow-up! Unless there’s a problem, then I should call and schedule. But I don’t think I’ll have to go back to that clinic ever again! Let’s hope not.
The jaw saga is coming to an end! And I have rescheduled with the therapist for tomorrow.
On another note, my jaw is currently hurting really bad. waaaah.
Oh, but here’s a quick sketch I drew of my dad while he fell asleep waiting in the hospital with me. (Forgot to draw his glasses.)
addendum: I can’t believe I forgot to mention Carter. I was having a lot of pain and left my purse in the car. That’s where I had my pain med. So my dad went down to the parking lot to get it for me. Since it was such a beautiful day and the doctors were at lunch, I went down with him. I waiting near the tunnel by a construction site on the front of the hospital. And this middle-aged black man comes up to me and asks if I’m waiting for my ride. I said I was waiting on my dad. He kept telling me how blessed he was. Then he said, “I just got out of prison yesterday. Thirty-five years, and I’m not going back”. We chatted for a bit about why we were at the hospital, and I told him to take care. He said he was so very happy to meet me and you could tell he really meant it. 🙂 The end.
October 27, 2012
I’ve had a good week though I’m having a shitty night. I really want to drink and pass out, but I won’t. Or at least I’m trying not to. I was gonna post another song, but this one’s been in my head all week and I’m feeling lonely at the moment.
I like being by myself much of the time, but I can’t stand being alone– that empty feeling– and especially that feeling of being abandoned. Alone has nothing to do with being with one’s self. It, like many things in life, is just a state of mind. I can and have been surrounded by hundreds of people and felt completely alone–empty, devoid of human warmth, of connection.
But I haven’t been feeling “alone” or lonely lately, which is almost strange for me–to NOT feel alone. I’ve spent most of my life feeling alone, distant, cut off from the world as if an opposing magnetic force shielded me from humanity.
Tonight I do feel very, very lonesome. That shield has been placed over me again. See, I had plans today to go to a Halloween party. I was so anxious. The anxiety had been building up. I haven’t even properly worn a costume since I was probably thirteen years old. I don’t even think I’ve been invited to Halloween parties since I was a small child (maybe a few exceptions). Anyway, I even talked to the therapist about this Halloween party and how anxious I get despite the fact that I’ve been more social lately. I love Warrior D, so I was looking forward to going and seeing her. She’s the one throwing the party, only her home is waaaay far up north Houston. She’s also the only person I’ve told about my overdose in May.
Well, all my plans for tonight went down the fuckin’ drain (I don’t get plans, making them and all). It makes it harder when you don’t drive in a city that is built on nothing but highways and SUVs. It doesn’t make it easy when everyone bails on you last minute. And it doesn’t help that one of the “borderline” characteristics is having a deep-seeded fear of abandonment. I’m just coming to terms with it. But I can’t help to feel abandoned (albeit momentarily) by any little insignificant thing like this. They couldn’t get me to where I wanted to go, so now it means they don’t care and I shouldn’t give a fuck about anyone. I depended on them; I hate not being able to have that sense of freedom independence grants you, hence, I suck and so does my existence. That’s the twisted way my mind interprets the situation. However, I’m intelligent, I’m calmer these days than I have been all year. And I’m aware. I’m working on using more balanced/adaptive cognitive restructuring here… I won’t see things in black and white and I definitely understand why the others couldn’t make it out to give me a ride. I understand their side.
Wish I had some weed though.
So now I’m chillin’ with the dogs trying to use self-sooth by cuddling with them, keeping busy and using the distracting coping mechanism taught in DBT; I’m writing this and maybe watching a movie later or taking them for a walk. I thought about reading some blogs or some poems from this book I got at the university, but I’ve been having the reading spasms. I just can’t seem to read much these days.
Guess it hasn’t been a COMPLETELY bad day. Nah, it was a nice, pleasant afternoon. Houston decided to finally feel like fall; the chill brushed in to our coast.
I don’t even like to use the words ‘good’ and ‘bad’ to describe most things. That’s why I won’t say tonight is bad. There have been a few disappointments, but it happens. Though days like this are when I miss Monkey Man the most. I felt alone with him much of the time (especially when he was high and drunk out of his mind), but at least I got some comfort of a warm body and of knowing he was filled with me and I could be filled with his lovin’. I did (and still do) love him.
Well, I’m out my magnificent mofo’ bloggies and MFFs.
Oh, and here’s the lovely Amy
“Got so sick of cryin’, so just lately, when I catch myself, I do a 180” ~Amy Winehouse
I’m catchin’ myself. Catchin’ the Mouse. Catching the Pretty Little Demons and tuckin’ their sleepy thorny heads in to bed.
I’m going to therapy Thursdays now. My dad drove me this time and I met up with the immigration law student while I was up there too. I figured we’d get the paperwork all finished that day because all I needed was a disposition letter from the only other county I’ve lived in besides Houston. It’s to prove I don’t have a criminal record, which would disqualify me for deferred action.
My dad keeps pressuring me so much with that immigration application that I get snappy every time he mentions ANYTHING about it. So I told him that all we were going in for was to give her the $10 check and that she and I would send it off that day.
“Just drop me off and I’ll take care of it,” I said. “No, no. I don’t want you to have to wait because I’ll be a while. It’s ok. I have to go to the admissions office to get my transcript. They’re finally releasing it to me despite the debt… Yeah, yes, Bill Collector Mafia… No papi, esta bien. I’ll go back on the bus. Besides, I’m going to run some errands while I’m here. Check on the writing center see if they’re hiring so I’ll be prepared for when I have my work permit. You know, getting ready for when the time comes.”
It was a white lie. But you know white lies turn up more white lies to cover up themselves. The truth is the immigration packet wouldn’t be sent until Monday or Tuesday (meaning yesterday) since that county doesn’t do disposition letters online and we’d have to wait until they got the check which was what the law student and I REALLY mailed off that day. You still with me?
I didn’t lie about the writing center though. I headed over there and ran into a former peer. “Didn’t I have a class with you,” he said.
“Was it Mexican American literature?”
“No, I think…”
“Maybe, but I think it was another literature course,” he said. He mentioned which one and I didn’t remember. I suppose he was right since it’s difficult not to spot a little chick in a wheelchair.
Anyway, he was working there at the new building where the writing center is located. He told me they only hire in the spring. I felt a bit bad because he seems younger than me, yet he’s already in a higher position than he was when we had that “class together”. I know that mentality of “success” as constructed by our societal norms shouldn’t really apply here. I know I’ve done a lot with what I’ve been given. But I had a moment there where I felt like a complete loser, a failure. Then again, I was also excited! haha
I just don’t know what it is like to clock in a nine-to-five.
Oh well. The time I’m getting works though since I’m getting to test the waters on several things, and I probably won’t be hearing back from the Homeland Security Department until five or six weeks form now. Yeah, packet still hasn’t been sent.
I’ve been having “work” dreams a lot lately. It’s building up in my subconscious. I know it. I feel it.
After that, I went off to therapy. It’s in the same campus. I told Brunet Young about what happened Monday night. It was strange to talk about, but I’m glad. I’m supposed to be working on a goal progress list. I’ll see if I can share it.
I’ve been feeling rather dizzy lately, albeit “stable”. When I say life’s been better these days, I’m talking about stability–emotional and mental stability. I’ve cried a few times in the last three/four weeks, but it hasn’t been a gut wrenching, shake inducing phenomenon followed by an all-encompassing emptiness and urge to die. In other words, I’m not laughing and jumping ups and down and then wanting to jab a knife into my neck. I want to live! I want life!
A few good things are happening too. Good is such a relative word. But anyway, other than having blogger’s block, I’m keeping busy. Therapy, swimmin’, washing dishes, cleaning up, reading, immigration paperwork, rolling around with Luna, trying to keep her from rolling around on her own poo and then licking me. Shit like that.
This past week was really nice. I mean nice. Just “happy days” where I don’t give a damn about the bullshit in my life, in life. I wasn’t particularly happy about one thing, except for maybe the fact that the immigration situation, the work permit, is becoming a reality despite the hold-ups. (Yeah, I’ll mention those later as I always say I’ll do).
All I have to say is this and you can stop reading the rest of my nonsense:
Fool, I’m feelin’ fresh like fuckin’ Fonzie here! On the plus size, I also feel aaaaaliiiiiive. I’m mostly high on life; not just merely existing.
I’ve had one of those weeks where I can laugh at humanity and not be too cynical about it. “Child,” I tell myself, “these are happy days aren’t they?” Yes, yes yes. the Mouse nods in agreement. I have to. This year has been hell–like much of my other twenty-six years– and I’ve finally driven out of hell, or so it seems. I’m always a bit suspicious though. I suppose what matters is that I am presently feeling pleasant, feeling calm. I’m ok.
My mood has just been too good to be true. And I’m not even on drugs… wait, I kinda am. But anyway.
And we all have our quirks, our little weird secrets (though some more than others). Don’t we?
What the hell do I mean? People are strange. That’s what I’m sayin’.
A strange week with (MOSTLY) good feeling. Let me start with Monday–this is last Monday, October first.
The Monday Mentals
Monday began, and as usual, I went to the gym where my mom works to do my daily swim. I’ve been keeping track of how many laps I do. I told the therapist this and she said it’s a great idea to look back on my progress. Chronic pain gets in the way of this sometimes, but anyway. I’d planned on doing some blogging after my swim only I had the bloggin’ block going on in my head. And like Sara Draws says, I think I’m getting the “brain rot”. (Back on Lamotrigine after a week off of it).
I just can’t seem to sketch or play the ukulele or write, except for now. I’m writing now, ain’t I? I don’t know.
My brother and I are building our relationship again, after a major fight involving him saying he wanted me out of his life because of something impulsive I did. I’m glad we’re talking again. And we’re not just talking; we’re “friends” again. He’s been calling me up every couple of days or so and asking if I want him to pick me up to go over his apartment.
Ever since Monkey Man’s death, he’s been there for me, more or less. That’s what I love about my family. Things get crazy between us sometime, like when mama busted my brother’s nose throwing a phone at him (not a cellphone) and then he…or when I… ugh.. I’ll leave the rest for a private post. But what I’m saying is my family is here for me. And I realize that now. I always have, it’s just the depression gets in the way of these things–of FEELING the good things around you. Of feeling the love of those in your life. Of truly absorbing life, takin’ each breath and feeling the oxygen fill your lungs, pumping through your cells, in your blood, in your veins and fueling the engine that is your heart.
My brother called me Monday and asked if I’d come over. I said sure, since I’m working on being a little more open. Once we settled in his apartment, we started watching Alien, the original 1979 version. All was good until he asked me to try some wine he’d bought. Well, I said to myself “P, you don’t get a chance to drink fine wine often. You’re doing well. Just half a glass.”
“Only half a glass,” the Mouse whispered. But…Half a glass turned into nearly three-fourths of the bottle and I got drunk. Really drunk. I was still fine though, just enjoying myself. It was a surprise, actually, to feel “happy drunk” because usually I become a somewhat psychotic and “angry drunk” or a very depressed drunk.
My bro went off to bed because he had to work early in the morning and I sat there on the floor with my wine, clicking around Netflix until I saw MAD MAX 2: THE ROAD WARRIOR! Mel Gibson was still a young, sexy actor who wasn’t as misogynistic as he is now. But then again, I don’t know for sure. Shit, I digress.
So I was watching Mad Max: Road Warrior with Mel Gibson, getting drunker, lickin’ every last drop. Then I got heavy-eyed and figured I’d go to bed. By then it was probably midnight and my brother was asleep. I went over to my brother’s spare room and then to the restroom to brush my teeth, and that’s when I decide to start reading some blogs instead of curling up on the futon. Around this time is when the mentals hit me like a spear to the spine.
I was reading one of my favorite poet-bloggies and she had a link to this music duo. I dug it, so I looked ’em up on YouTube. I found THIS. It’s the duo singing a cover of Elliott Smith’s “Between the Bars”. This here–this song, Between the Bars— is a song that has an intense affect on me. I was learning how to play it on the uke back in December before I headed to Florida; before I got facial paralysis; before I became increasingly depressed; before I broke my arm; but most importantly, before Monkey Man died. And if you guys have read about what happened to Monkey Man, all those depressing posts I wrote about him… yeah. It’s been six months already!
A song that was once dedicated to Monkey Man–that now rings truer than it did in December–turned on the PLDs and maybe some of the borderline in me came out. I immediately snapped and picked a paperclip from my brother’s desk. You can imagine what happened next. But the paperclip wasn’t good enough, so I ended up in the kitchen with a bloody knife and a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey. I don’t remember much after cleaning up the sink except I wrapped my arm in toilet paper and went to bed (the futon) crying.
Here’s the strange part. The next day, I was fine again. I had to keep my arm from sight when my dad picked me up, but otherwise, I was back to my cheery self.
I found a sketch of a monkey with a guitar that I drewcbefore running into the song and it’s terribly cute. Just above the crooked ears I must’ve drunkenly scribbled. It reads: T.H.L 1984-2012
Tuesday. I’m not gonna bother recapping Tuesday since it was just a chill day, apart from swimming fourteen laps and hiding a still-bleeding gash on my T-Rex-Duck arm.
Wednesday… Wednesday was wonderful. There’s a happy day.
My friend Sandy came over with her little three-year old boy. I hadn’t seen them in months. I had finished ten laps earlier that day and was feeling like things really are turning up. So Sandy came by with sushi which we ate. We then watched a kiddie movie and talked. I think we were more into the movie than her boy. She’s very different from me, Sandy, but despite that, we get along pretty well.
Sometimes I can only get so much of her though, but I’ve been pretty social lately, so my anxiety about people is subdued a bit and my patience has grown a bit. I’m still a very anxious person; I’m still having lots of anxiety, but as long as I’m not having panic attacks, as long as it’s not crippling I think it’s manageable. I’m good to go.
After she left, B came by and we talked. Here’s where Sandy and B differ. B and I can have very deep conversations: we’re like-minded. He’s a very intelligent fella and he gets my sick sense of humor which is always a plus in a friendship (for me at least).
That was Wednesday. Nice, peaceful and full of camaraderie.
September 15, 2012
Brunet Young went out of town this week, so I didn’t get a chance to have my weekly therapy session. She said she’d call to “check” on me or something along those lines, only she put it more gently. Overall, I’m feeling great though! I think the Lamictal has toned me down a bit. I don’t know.
Last Thursday (I’m seeing her Thursdays now), I confronted Brunet Young about the BPD diagnosis my Ex-Young Therapist had given me. I’d been meaning to ask her why Ex-Young Therapist was so hesitant about giving me the Termination Reports and why she said I couldn’t have the Evaluation Summary. It took a lot of courage to ask this.
“She wasn’t supposed to give you that,” Brunet Young replied.
What the fuck? I really like Brunet Young but I don’t get why she said Ex-Young Therapist wasn’t supposed to give me that form. I inquired about it, and she basically explained that: telling the patient he/she has BPD is detrimental to the therapeutic process. For me, the fact I now know this bit of information has given me a sense of validation. Isn’t an invalidating environment one of the contributing factors of borderline personality (BPD) development?
“I feel like all these years… all I’ve gone through has at least been validated.” My voice began to shake, “A name has been put to it. Now I feel like, like I’m not JUST an asshole.” I started chuckling.
“That makes sense, I can see why you’d feel that way. The thing is, we are required to give a diagnosis even when we think there is no reason or need to place one on the client. In some cases, we go with what only fits closest.”
Ok. Then what’s the point of categorizing certain behavioral attributes?
My hands trembled and I kept rubbing my aluminum water bottle. “I think I’m a pretty intelligent person… I mean, it’s not like I’m going to just throw my hands up in the air and say ‘Well, I have this and such and I’m doomed’. I’m no different than… than I was before I knew. I’m not going to put myself in a box! I’m not going to quit trying to improve myself and look for ways of recovering.” I went on telling her that what upset me was that I often talked about BPD in regards to online forums I visited and my friend Ryden who has BPD. I would mention how much I could related to people with that and yet, she didn’t say a word about it.
Brunet Young was silent for a moment. Then she looked up with gentle eyes and said, “I know YOU wouldn’t put yourself in a box or quit trying P, but many others with this would. That’s the thing.”
She said she’d be sure to talk about why I “fit” the BPD criteria next time we meet, this coming Thursday.
“It doesn’t matter,” I replied nearly in tears. I don’t cry in front of people, so for me to nearly burst into tears was astonishing, to me especially.
“No, it does. It does matter. We’ll discuss it.”
I’m glad I finally asked. I can see why a BPD diagnosis can be withheld from a patient/client, particularly those who have more “anti-social” tendencies. For one, the patient might use it to justify for acting out of line, or they might feel discriminated against. I can see how it might conflict with therapy for SOME people to have that information disclosed. I figured perhaps my Ex-Young Therapist was afraid I’d base my entire identity around the diagnostic criteria for BPD, but I HAVEN’T. Have I?
I don’t think I have. I think too much outside of the box for that nonsense.
Yeah, I’ve researched and read a lot about it since finding out, maybe a little too much. And sure, I understand the implications behind such discretion. But as I told Brunet Young, I’m intelligent, and therefore, I sure as hell know that we are not the same (those with BPD) just because of a diagnosis. I told her I realize how arbitrary diagnosis for mental illnesses/disorders are in the first place.
Even among fellow BPDers (or whatever you want to call it), there is an infinite array of expressions of “symptoms”. I know the difference between a set of “criteria/symptoms” that BPDers share and the indefinite, individual minds–the being, the self, the person, and the personalities we hold.
We are not our labels.
In fact, I mentioned this when I found out. People are people regardless of their mental problems, illnesses, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture–I can go on and on. But it’s because this information was released to me that I feel more confident to talk about the darker sides of my experience; I’ve already told Brunet Young things I wouldn’t dare tell Ex-Young therapist like the overdoses; the day I threw a whole load of books at Monkey Man, rolled out crying and banged my head repeatedly at the side of his godfathers house; all those drugs we did together; and my mother’s suicide attempts. It’s because of knowing about BPD that I learned a lot from books/articles/blogs–like “The Buddha and the Borderline” by Kiera Van Gelder–that I no longer feel so alone.
I’m nervous about seeing her this Thursday. She said we’d discuss why Ex-Young Therapist wrote that on my Termination Report. The thing is, there’s so much I want to say and don’t know how. I feel mute when I roll into that room (though lately I’ve been talking fifteen miles a minute and typing three-hundred words per second). I don’t want to cry. I only cried when I told Ex-Young Therapist Monkey Man died.
I don’t know. I just feel awkward now.
But, I’m glad.
addendum: Today I swam like a champ! Would’a been cool if I swam like a chimp too. Can chimps swim alright?