YAY!

Yesterday I got to work from home again. Again, the weather dropped to the 30’s degrees F. Something all Houstonians aren’t accustomed to: schools being closed due to winter storms and sleet (tiny tiny sleet). Considering that I hurt my fractured rib coughing yet AGAIN, this was a good thing for me.

Houston’s weather has always been what I call “bipolar” in the winter, but this year it’s flipping so fast it’s like rapid cycling and the changes are as volatile as the dysregulated emotions of a person diagnosed with borderline personality disorder/emotional dysregulation disorder.

********

I took plenty of naps, risked a few minutes of my dad yelling at me for going out in the cold while I’m just getting over my cold to get these quick shots on my phone. I took some time to pamper myself and make sure I took my Mucinex for the cough and snot and whatnot.

Today I was off. Went to orthopedics for my fucked-up bone situation, hopefully the topic of my next post.

And… I’m being all girly with this glittery nail polish. I usually HATE glitter but I love this! Life feels good. I’m in a strange, uncharted territory. Le smile, le worry look, le sigh.

It’s 30 degrees this very moment but I’m in my room having cold sweats with muscle rub spread all over my ribs and back. Stinky and sweaty and achy. Ugh.

But alas, I’m in love. And love makes things more tolerable, makes the body stronger.

Well, looks like I’m going back to work on campus tomorrow to shoot an art gallery opening and do all the other things that I do and do not do. Better catch some zzzzzzzz.

Fuck you cold weather! Ted

Fuck you cold weather!

Mouse love,

Advertisements

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.

Blog for Mental Health 2013

Blog for Mental Health 2013

********

Janis had a voice in tune with the angels and demons. Her Pretty Little Demons must have been beyond pretty, gorgeous even, much like mine. And I’m not saying I’m gorgeous here; it’s just my demons are.

So, today’s song is “Summertime”. The mood in this song is so melancholy and yet the lyrics have a mixed tinge of humor and sadness, of sarcasm and anger, of positive and negative thougths battling between this girl from a rich dad and gorgeous mom. A girl who will someday fly. I love that thought as trite as it may seem. Will she fly as an angel in death? Or will she do great things in her life? It’s up in the air.

It’s like the essence of the song describes my childhood, my youth.

I know all about having a gorgeous mom, about melancholy and being mixed up with ambivalence, confusion and ambiguity. But my dad on the other hand lost his business in Colombia when he decided to move to the States for me. He sacrificed everything he’d worked up for until that point. I always felt so guilty about it. Ironically though, the guy who took over his photography studio after we left was shot while some hoodlums broke in to steal anything they could. Colombia was in deep political unrest at the time.

********

Well, it’s summer and summertime living is easy for us southern girls. ha! Somer time is ‘a leavin’.

Summertime for me has often been a time of remission from the “mentals” (usually, not always); the only brief remissions I recall. And this summer seems to be no different, despite the burdensome circumstances. I have been getting relatively “better” since July.

****

I also recall many melancholy summers in my childhood. I was a melancholy child even before the suicidals hit. Oh I do.  Child melancholy. Adolescent melancholy. Adult melancholy. It just gets worse. It’s just another bucket filling in the well.

Oh summertime though. Weren’t childhood summers the best? If I recall clearly, even my childhood melancholy summers where better than my remission adolescent and adult summers.

Summertime is  ‘a here y’all. Don’t you cry girl. Don’t you cry. Remember you’re the “mean challenger,” the “brave girl” who never cries.

Yet I’m crying now.

Oh I have so many stories about what this song means to me. So here’s just one of the many….

********

Once Upon a Summertime

I became extremely close to a dirty-blond haired girl way back in 2003-2004. She had big eyes like mine, only hers were green–mine are brown. And she had gorgeous big, pursed lips. It got to a point where I had an intense crush on her. I’m still not sure why.

Back then, I was involved in this organization called the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls and used to joke that they were a cult of lesbians–I wish they were because at least then I wouldn’t have to wear white dresses and do stupid rituals for Jesus. No offense to Jesus. I’m sure he was a cool dude. I’d have kicked it with him, but I doubt he enjoys all that adoration.

This organization was VERY religious and very strict. I caught hell for wearing a brow and nose ring. Anyway, that’s were I met this wonderful girl. The day I met her, we laughed at the rituals and the white dresses.

Don’t get scared; they didn’t harm me. Well, they did once when we went to Corpus Cristi but that’s another post altogether. This Rainbow for Girls thing was more like a cult of Mason’s Christian daughters who claimed to do charity work (the reason I’d joined was because I wanted to do charity work), but instead of doing charity, they only bickered. Anyway, me and this girl (I’ll call her Emma) connected because we both felt out-of-place there. We were both outsiders.

Emma was a wild one, a  free-thinker like me. We had one of those intense connections that immediately sparked! And one summer, we had a road trip with the other Rainbow Girls, the not-so-free-thinker-ones. In the car, Emma and I jammed to Joplin. Me and her, her and me. We laughed a lot that girl Emma and I.

This girl, Emma, knew ALL ABOUT Janis Joplin. I mean, if you know anything about Janis Joplin, you know that she was from Texas. You’d know she was born in January 19, 1943 and began writing plays in the first grade (oh how I’ve always had a thing for most Aquarians I’ve met). You’d also know that she went to Lamar State College for a stretch between gigs before becoming famous. And since you’d know she grew up in Texas and that Lamar State College is where she went for a while; you’d know Lamar State College is also in Port Arthur, Texas, not too far from Houston where I grew up.

Yep, you’d know, you’d know how inadequate she must’a felt there. You’d know that in high school, she’d earned the name “pig” for being pudgy and “nigger lover” for her “tolerance” and love of blacks and her hate of racism–which she witnessed a lot of in Port Arthur and at Lamar, I’m sure. You’d know that that’s why she often left to live with her aunt in Venice Beach, California.

Surely, you’d know this, but even so, you wouldn’t know all the things this girl Emma knew. Emma and I felt her PAIN. This girl was a DEDICATED Joplin fan–must be still. I became a hardcore dedicated fan thanks to Emma.

A year after that summer, in the spring of 2004, I went on a road trip to the northwestern plains of Texas with Emma. Just us two. We went to visit her then-fiancé in prison. She and I had a thing for bad boys, only she’d slept with many and I hadn’t… yet. She was only a year older than me but had been engaged more than once. I hadn’t even had sex or a boyfriend.

I remember getting so upset when I was in that line of booths where you talk to the prisoners through a connected phone behind the windows. I got upset because the people next to us was a family of five–a mom and her three little kids. The dad was a prison inmate. The oldest child was about ten. They were all visiting their daddy, and to me it was so sad. I just sat and watched the man talk to his kids behind the glass while Emma talked to her fiance. And I wondered if it were better for those kids to visit that man, their father, or not. I was so depressed then. I remember wheeling myself to the restroom past these gates where men in solitary confinement stayed. And I just sat on the stall and cried and cried. When I got back, I sat there just looking at them but trying not to look too hard. I always felt things like that, intensely.

Springs have never been good to me, but sumertime is a little different.

****

On our way back from the prison–oh those lovely Texas prisons and there are loads of them– we stopped at this old ma-and-pa shop looking for a place to eat spaghetti. Emma got herself a Southern Comfort plaque, and we planned to see if we could sneak our way into buying some Southern Comfort whisky back in Houston.

Janis had been a “troubled girl” like Janis and I, so she drank a lot of that Southern Comfort whiskey (we ended up not getting the whisky after all).

She was my “date” at my senior prom. She wore a tucks with high heels and I wore a beautiful black and green dress. I didn’t enjoy myself. I only cried after it was over.Then Emma told me that she was planning on going to Lamar State College. She never did. She went somewhere else. She also told me she had BP (bipolar disorder), but back then I hadn’t had my monumental mental breakdown, so I hadn’t been diagnosed or sent to any psychiatric clinic. I was still struggling in silence. So I felt awkward telling her about how much I empathized. I did tell her I empathized but not REALLY EMPATHIZED like I did on the inside. I guess I paid no mind because I was trying to put “mind over matter” like a good Christian Scientist would. I still suspected BP or something similar in myself.

****

What do you think happened between me and dear Emma?

Yep.

Very borderline is what happened.

Our intense friendship broke–just as intense of a rupture as its union. We dissipated from each other as quickly as we had bonded. I see our little summer escapades as a chemical reaction between atoms, forming new molecules, new bonds–that became our friendship. Then, the borderline in me and the bipolar in her was the catalyst.

Then again, I could over analyze it like I tend to. Or oversimplify it.  Of course, life is just like that. Some people drift in and out of our lives. But for me, it’s everyone I’ve been close to. Maybe that’s just how life is for some of us.

In 2006, Emma and I rekindled our friendship online. And for a brief moment, all was well between us again. Then one day, she let me down. She asked me out to a Greek festival and the day of the festival she didn’t return my calls. I instantly went from loving her to hating her guts! I wanted to tear at my skin and pull all of my hair out.

“How could she do this to me?” I thought. “Why wouldn’t she at least call back and say she was sorry, that she wasn’t going, or that she couldn’t pick me up because something held her up?” When I emailed her about it, she didn’t reply. “What did I do? She obviously hates me. No one will ever like me.”

I insulted her in another email and cut her off completely though I missed her terribly. Now was that just life or some of the “borderline” in me?

Soon summertime will become “autumn time” in this part of the world. Molecules come together; molecules break apart. Warmth becomes cool.

****

Enjoy!

addendum: Monkey Man L. had a vinyl record of hers I really wanted. mmmhmmm. I would have wanted it as a memento. I think his sis too it. Well, she deserved it.

You know you’re hypomanic when you wake up at four in the morning every morning. And then, after breakfast, you feel the sudden urge to write another “You Know You’re Hypomanic When…” post. Then you run off to the kitchen to clean EVERYTHING, or as Allie Brosh would say “CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!”

CLEAN ALL THINGS! by Allie Brosh (c) Allie Brosh owns this art work. It is not mine. It can be found at http://www.hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com

(I’m too hyped to do my own sketch without getting distracted and doing ten more.)

Then you find yourself rashly cleaning all the dishes while thinking, Sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex, I hate the way my dad washes dishes. He does NOT scrub them well. From now on, I’ll wash ALL THINGS ALL THE TIME. ESPECIALLY THE DISHES!  I’ll have to karate chop him out of the kitchen if he even dares to wash them. And as you’re scrubbing away, you start fantasizing about who you’d want to have sex with and you laugh ’cause you realize how much scrubbing you’re doing and how that looks a lot like…

And then you find yourself cleaning out and reorganizing the refrigerator. Then you go back to the dishes and think, mmmm I want some coffeee. No P! Coffee will make this worse. You and Mouse will turn into Speedy Gonzales with his weed-head cousin, Slo Poq Rodrigues. 

(sidenote: Slo Poq Rodrigues sings about smoking marijuana, in case you didn’t understand the Spanish part: “La cucaracha… le falta marijuana que fumar”. Also, in primary school, I was nicknamed Speedy Gonzales by one of the teacher aides. Case in point.)

But your inner Mouse says, Fuck it, get yourself some coffee girl! Coffee, coffee coffee woman. You know you want some. mmmmmm. Coffee and sex. Ooooh, and more mouse sketches!

And as little funny and violent images of mouse sketches run through your head every five miliseconds, you wonder if you’ll ever become a world famous ukulele player because, Damn, I’m getting kinda good, after only three weeks of playing again! Oooooo, P, you’ll be the first deaf midget in a wheelchair–with a T-Rex-Duck-Nemo arm— to play the ukulele like a true virtuoso. 

Then, after serving yourself some coffee you go back to washing dishes. But when you’re nearly done, you grab your cup off coffee (because you forgot you’d placed it next to the dirty dishes you were washing) and end up throwing it in the sink, spilling coffee everywhere. And you start cursing like a mutha, but then you laugh and wash the counters and take little Luna out to pee and think about swimming and sex and coffee five dozen other things in less than a second. And if someone didn’t know you well enough, they’d think you’re pissed off because of how hard you keep shutting the counter drawers and cupboards. And you’re all, Holy baby Jesuz, did I just think of having sex with THAT guy? NO, no, no no no, not him PAnyone but him.

And when you’re back in the kitchen cleaning some more, you nearly fall out of your wheelchair ’cause you keep crashing it on all the counters and nearly fall off again (more like jump off) when you get out of it to pick something you see on the floor. Because, remember, MUHSSS CLEENS ALL DA TEENS (in Speedy Gonzales’s exaggerated Spanish accent).

And then you’re all, Holy shitballs (not saying old man hairy balls; still getting disturbing search terms on that one), I need to review my immigration stuff. So you hurriedly run off to the room to look over all the documents. Yes, yes yes yes yes. It all looks good now. Ok. Good good good good.

And you end up wrestling with one of the family dogs on the carpet to the point where he gets tired and runs off. And as he’s running off you bark at him feeling a sense of domination.

And you know you’re hypo when, back in the room, you get on the computer to edit your post to include a bit about how you just almost fell out of your wheelchair and nearly plastered your head and nearly broke all your bones. But the damn internet is slow and not keeping up with your fast typing so you want to punch the screen but you realize you have to be kind to this borrowed computer because your laptop is still broken. And then, once the computer has responded, you have to keep yourself from writing yet another “You Know You’re Hypo When…” post because two is enough P, for now!

… you’re typing so fast that you make dozens of typing errors and don’t give a fuck. Hurry, let’s just keep going, you say to yourself. (This is coming from a grammar Nazi with some obsessive compulsive tendencies.) And as you’re typing you’re giggling and laughing and giggling but have no idea why you’re giggling or what you’re laughing at.

Well, that’s the “good” kind of hypomanic. I won’t talk about the not-so-good kind.

********

I went to a protest yesterday with Mansie. I had a lot of anxiety but still managed to enjoy it in the end. Maybe I’ll write a more in depth post about it. For now, here’s another one of my Nokia phone photos.

One of the slogans/chants we did was “Don’t take America back; take America forward!” We got hustled by some rich white folks, one who yelled “Romney!” at us. And then they called the po po. A cop showed up just as we were wrapping up.

Go on ahead, call me a dirty hippie. I know you wanna. I will not be hurt by it. Not today, son. Not today. I’m loving today thus far, despite the cramps. It’s strange to feel this good.

****

Jaen, I have a “You Know You’re Borderline When…” too. It happened to me this weekend. I think you’d like it. I may post it later.

Mouse Love

As I mentioned in the previous post, I started therapy again three weeks ago. I’m seeing her on Wednesdays. This Wednesday will be my fourth session.

********

The second session I had with Brunet Young was just as productive as the first, but the third surprised me. Did I actually say all that? Yes, yes you did P. At ‘a girl!

It’s a good thing when you know what you’re getting yourself into when starting therapy. The same could not be said when I first went to see a counselor after my monumental mental meltdown in 2008. I had no idea what to expect then; I even walked out, or rolled out, of a therapist’s office in frustration in 2009. But this time… I have goals this time!

I came into therapy just as desperate, but more ready than ever. I know my borderline personality disorder (BPD) diagnosis, I’m more sure of the bipolar tendencies if the psychiatrist is right, and I’ve learned some basic dialectical behavioral skills training from Ex-Young Therapist as well as core training in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

I’m barely driving out of hell, but I have a tank full of gas, me thinks. That’s hope for ya.

********

On the second session, much like the first, we went over major areas of my life that need working on. I asked Brunet Young if she could tell me what it was she remembered about my history from the consultation team so I could fill in the rest as best I could.

I told her things like, “the overdose from two months ago was not my first, but definitely the worst” and “I have a history of abuse, though my views on it change. I mean, you have to understand our culture is different. But, it’s a fine line no?” I told her about my mother’s past suicidal tendencies, her upbringing, her sister’s (my aunt’s) suicide and so on. She already knew about my immigration situation, my medical problems, my tendency toward isolation, and my body image issues, so I didn’t have to go into that with her.

We talked a lot about how Monkey Man’s recent and sudden death has affected me, how I  was drugged up with him much of the time we were together (off and on), but how I always tried to get him to stop drinking. We discussed ways in which I can work up my courage to call his step-mom and/or dad to ask about the toxicology report results again.

On and on we went. I couldn’t believe myself.

Towards the end of the session, she did something I was so thankful for. She asked me to write a list of issues I thought I hadn’t had a chance to go over with Ex-Young Therapist.

********

My dad had taken me that second day and, on the way out, he said something that bothered me a little.

“She’s not good like the Ex-Young Therapist is she?”

“Why?” I asked.

“Well, she didn’t say hi to me as kindly as the other one.”

After the initial frustration this remark induced, a light bulb lit up in my head! Aha! I have to discuss this with Brunet Young, not this in particular, but my dad. I have to discuss how I think some of my black and white thinking patterns about myself lead back to his black and white thinking. I didn’t get into depth discussing my dad much with Ex-Young Therapist. I did a little, but more toward the end, or just when issues arose. In fact, because we focused so much on me learning DBT skills,  the therapy process and focus remained on present problems and not past, “unresolved” problems.

********

Last Wednesday, I decided to take the bus for our third session. It was better for all of us. My dad didn’t have gas money and I wanted the liberty of no off-handed comments.

It was an hour and a half bus ride; I have to take two buses and the MetroRail downtown but that’s a hell of a lot better than waiting on ole MetroLift’s shifty ass.

I arrived on time and with my homework assignment completed.

Here is my list of “past problems” I didn’t get to discuss with Ex-Young Therapist. And I added a bonus for Brunet Young. I added some therapy goals–totally my idea.

****

I’m on a roll. I’m telling you. Here’s what I wrote down for her:

Goals for Therapy

*Manage Panic attacks and chronic pain

*Reduce suicidal and self-injurious impulses/actions/urges and manage the thoughts better. (No more overdosing!)

*Increase support network
-> continue rebuilding relationship with brother
-> get into that DBT group at BT (keep calling! don’t desist!)
-> get involved again in community organizing/activist orgs.

****

* Interpersonal effectiveness -> review
* Distress tolerance -> review and continue practice!
* Develope a more consistent daily ruitine to include: writing/blogging, sketching, watching Lynda.com tutorials, planing, swimming/yoga, playing ukulele again, and getting a job after filing the immigration papers!
-> remember to do one thing at a time
-> break down into smaller chunks
-> plan ways to reduce stressful situations, not increase or worsen them

* Continue healthy eating / no binging
* Work on self-validation
* Work on healthier ways to deal with complicated grief
-> Monkey Man L’s death and guilt about death
-> hearing loss

* Ask about/look into other methods such as IFS (Internal Family Systems) and Schema Mode therapies.

****

Past Problems

* Mother’s verbal and physical abuse (I really hate the way I wrote this one because, honestly, I feel closer to my mother than my father and I love them both very much, even when they piss me off. And my mom’s changed for the better after getting help herself.)

* Dad’s continued invalidation and overbearing tendencies (not to mention the fact that I still have to depend on him financially)

* Medical Trauma (e.g. still need to deal with jaw incident and set up a date for surgery, continued nerve pain, decreased bone density, past accidents that led to ER, prolonged stays at hospital during childhood; loads of surgeries)

* Sexuality and validation issues (e.g. what happened with Dusty and Emily)

*Repetetive compulsion with alcohol and drugs (mainly alcohol and self-harm)

* Maladaptive core beliefs (e.g. I am not a “good” person, I’m “a burden,” etc.)

********

Yep, so that’s what I have so far. We went over this list I wrote, which she said was very good. I think it’s a good starting point too. And since I was able to write it out, it helped when she asked to explain what I meant by “sexuality and validation issues”. That’s when I brought up Sir Dusty and a lot of other things I may or may not mention here. Man, it was hard work!

Fuck my bleeding ears! I’m trying to stay positive. I really am. I’m relying on my inner wisdom.

And these days, I’m maintaining a better outlook more than not, which is the complete opposite of what could be said a month and half ago. I feel funny though, and not previous-post funny. The anxiety has just been maddening.

On Friday night, when I hung out with my brother, I ended up staying over the night. Well, around 4am (as usual these days), I woke up with chest pain, feeling like I was having a heart attack. You’re not having a heart attack P. This is just anxiety. I was nauseated, felt the same old prickly feeling in my toes and hands and was shivering too. So I woke up my brother and asked him for another blanket. I told him what I felt and he agreed about the anxiety.

Earlier Friday, I was eating lunch with my dad at the kitchen table. We had arepas and queso and coffee. I hadn’t even touched my coffee yet and my hands were trembling. (I swear, I’ve been cutting back substantially on the coffee.)

“Your hands are shaking really bad. Why are they shaking like that?” he asked.

“I think I’m just having a lot of anxiety right now.” I lowered my head.

“About what?”

“I don’t know. It’s a lot of things, I guess.”

“It looks as if you had Parkinson’s”

Ah my dad, good ole papi. Gotta love the way he throws in something that sounds both amusing and insulting or hurtful (to me) without even meaning to–but sometimes meaning to. I’d made a joke about looking like Michael J. Fox during an interview on my very second (or third) post here! So, yes, this isn’t new. But now it’s noticeable to my dad even?

Today, right now, I’m feeling the same way. I hope it passes soon. I hope typing will at least keep me at ease a little while.

********

I wonder if it’s the medication that’s making it worse. Almost every morning it’s the same.

At the end of May, a few weeks after the incident, I saw the psychiatrist. She had the Fluoxetine/Prozac upped. I keep wondering, how did I get here? Accepting drugs from a psych? For me, taking “medication” is last, last, last resort.

I saw her again this past Thursday. She said something that both surprised and didn’t surprise me.

“I’m thinking… you seem to have bipolar, bipolar two,” she said midway through our appointment. These appointments, by the way, are actually forty-five minutes long. Ok. Well, at the moment, labels don’t matter to me much. I just need all the help I can get. I don’t want another incident to occur, for the sake of those around me at least. But in part, for my sake too. And that’s a good thing! It means I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel, despite the way I’m feeling.

Long story short, she prescribed Lamotrigine/Lamictal. I haven’t gotten it yet. I barely ran out of Tegretol last week and didn’t bother to get it filled. Well, there’s was more to it than that. There was the money issue. It’s rough right now. I just wish I could handle things better, without getting so frantic, so worked up inside… Swimming is the only time I don’t feel like I’m drowning!

And now I’m to try yet another drug?

I don’t know. I just don’t know…

********

But therapy. Right!

I finally got in three weeks ago. The very first week, we covered a lot.

She’s also a young brunet like Ex-Young Therapist, but it’s a university, so what was I expecting, an old student? Anyway, we covered basics, like what I did with my Ex-Young Therapist, what worked, what didn’t work. Turns out this new therapist (I’m going to call her Brunet Young) worked in a team with Ex-Young Therapist, so she already knew a little bit about me. A consultation team is part of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).

After going over some of the basics, like major problems in my life, she mentioned the overdose incident from early May. Has it been two and a half months already?

****

“In the intake interview, you mentioned that you didn’t consider the overdose a suicide attempt. Why is that?” Brunet Young asks.

“Um… I’m not sure,” I reply. I stammer around and stutter for a little while. “Maybe it’s because I have a hard time seeing it as that. But also, I think I was gambling. I was playing Russian roulette. I told myself that if I died that night, then fine, but if I didn’t, I would have to just try a lot harder. I mean, I would’ve definitely taken the entire bottle had I wanted it to be more sure…a more definite thing.”

“How much did you take?”

“About eight painkillers and two sleeping pills.”

“And you were ok with the fact that you might’ve died as a result?”

“Yes, I was.” It’s scary to think, but at the time, I was.

“You know, from a clinical perspective, there is a distinction between suicide attempts. There’s an active suicide attempt and a passive one. What you describe is a more passive attempt.”

She made sure to emphasis that it was still considered an attempt. Or at least that’s how I heard it.

****

We then wrote up a crisis plan, which looks a little something like this.

My Plan

When I feel upset and have thoughts of hurting myself or someone else, or I feel that I am in emotional crisis, I will take the following steps:

1. My warning signs are (e.g. very self-critical, hopeless, isolation, staying in bed)

-passive thoughts of suicide increase in frequency and become clearer, more of an urge/stronger urge
-insomnia and crying spells worsen
-triggers (e.g. Monkey Man, relationships, drugs, reminders, etc) –> anger/rage
-isolating myself –> not picking up calls, curling up in bed and staring blankly, dissociating
-being upset about hearing loss; being upset on days when I’m not able to go swimming
-chronic bone pain intensifies; facial nerve pain increases

2. My reasons to live are:

– I can do a lot for others. I have potential to do a lot.
-I don’t want to hurt my family

That’s all I have for reasons right now. I used to have career plans, but that’s not strong-holding at the moment. It has to be something that you really believe, something that will grab you, will keep you from doing anything permanent–a true deterrent.  I think I need to come up with more. I told Brunet Young this and she said, “It’s alright, we’ll come up with more later.” I thought of adding “love”. Just focus on the word love, the meaning of it for me, how I’ve managed to hold on to “love” in my life. But love of what? Art? Life? Beauty? Family? How can you focus on that in a “crisis” situation when all you’re thinking about is the pain you’re in and peaceful bliss of death and non-existance?

3. Do these things to calm myself or distract myself:
-Mindfulness exercise

-say serenity prayer and Buddha refuge prayer
-If at home, call Luna, pet and cuddle with her. (The good thing about Luna is if she hears me crying, I don’t even have to call her over. She finds me. Sweetest dog ever.)
-remember “Distress Tolerance” –> follow breath, deep breathing
-self sooth –> hum a tune, splash water on face, take warm bath, play ukulele
-write, write, write

-read, read, read

-watch TV (comedy preferably)

-stretch with yoga mat
-image focus –>meditate
-progressive muscle relaxation

-review “coping card”

-take a short nap and/or break from whatever you’re doing (e.g. go out in the fresh air and walk the dogs)

4. Contact a friend or family member that I can trust:

name & number: answering service at PRSC –>that’s the university’s psychological research and services center

Also, I’ve listed my brother, mom, and maybe B and Mansie, Ryden and Eloise, although I’m having a hard time with this one. I’ll really need to work at it.

5. Call PRSC and ask to speak with my therapist

6. If it is after clinic hours (M-Th 9-8; F 9-5) and I can’t reach my therapist, call the PRSC after-hours answering service at **********

7. Call a hotline for support or assistance:
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
I also have several other local hotline numbers included here. But I don’t do hotlines. It’s not how I roll.

8. If I am unable to get help quickly enough and feel that things can’t wait, I will call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room for help.

********

The thing about the crisis plan is that I have only been able to get myself to do steps one through three, maybe four. I’m able to recognize warning signs and use methods like distress tolerance and mindfulness, but contacting a “trusted” person is difficult. That’s the thing, on Friday, I did contact my brother, but I did it after too much thinking. Also, I don’t tell him how bad I feel, I just ask him what’s up. Brunet Young said that was fine, I don’t exactly  have to tell him, especially not now if I’m not comfortable doing so. The important thing is to distract in non-harmful ways.

Another difficulty I’m having with this crisis plan is knowing the “answering service” after hours aren’t open on weekends. I’ll have to ask her about this. But even then, I’m not the type of person who would call. I think I only called Ex-Young Therapist twice or maybe three times during a “crisis situation”. And that was after two years of seeing her! One of those times was a few days after I found out about Monkey Man’s death this March.

I used to hate the idea of therapy. Sometimes I still do. Right now though, I’m just glad I finally got in again.

Oh Dusty, my dear Dusty. My dear, angry Dusty, this is P in hell.

Dear Dusty, I blew you away like dust didn’t I?

Of the few fellas in my life, you’re the one I blew away. But I may not be seeing all the grey and, well, I blew Monkey Man away too. God knows I blew him in more than one way…

But this is about you dear Dusty. You know, I think of you often dear, angry Dusty. I think of your strange, strange quiet ways. I think of the ways I blew you… away. I know you do too. Or at least I sort of hope you do. mmmmhhhhm. No hard, hard, hard feelings right?

Oh in so many places, in so many ways. You remember don’t you? That bathroom stall I nearly conceded to? I’d never been there. I liked it, that Continental Club–very rockabilly, very you. Oh, but I was too worried we’d get caught. Either way, either way, either way, I think I killed you. And I had no right to blow you… away.

Dear angry Dusty, my dear dear angry Dusty. Did you break that window because of me? Or was it her? Right, it was because you couldn’t get your fix wasn’t it? You were back from the mental hospital then, but not because of me. You needed help. But I did too, I just couldn’t see it then. I was in as much denial as you, or maybe I just made myself not care ’cause caring means caring TOO MUCH for me. Oh you see, either way, either way, I would’ve killed you before you’d have the chance to kill me.

Oh Dusty, Dusty, angry Dusty, this isn’t Jezebel, it’s Paz out of hell. Remember that night when we took that bad ecstasy? What horrible thing was it cut with? That’s what happens when you buy cheap X Dusty, if it was MDMA (probably bathroom cleaner). I thought I would die that night, but turns out I just blew you away.

And all you kept saying was, “Are you rollin’ yet?” But no, I wasn’t rollin’ yet. I was having a bad trip when my heart skipped. I thought I was having a heart attack Dusty! I could’ve died dear Dusty and you were so slow, “rolling” and dazed and confused; it took you a whole minute to realize I wasn’t feeling well! Were we both in hell?

“Yes, I think I’m dying! I think I took too much for my size Dusty, or this is cut with bad shit!”

So you finally got me some water and then we both drowned in each other… deeper and deeper, father and farther down… and then, with a bit more alcohol, we completely sank.

Oh, but worse than the ecstasy was that Ashley. Her? Oh dear Dusty, really? She was a pretty black girl, I’ll give her that much. But she messed herself up. I mean come on Dusty, it must’ve been because she got you into that terrible “white” as you called it.

You were so entertaining, even when you didn’t say a word for hours. You’re the first fella that made me feel sexy, beautiful even. But that may not be entirely true. It doesn’t matter now. We’ll go with that because you, you said my surgical scars were sexy. What a thought! Who would say that? Only you dear angry Dusty.

And you came back to me, either way. But then I killed you. I simply blew you… away. And you simply loved the way I’d simply blow you… away. My poems that blew you away, my words that blew you away, my pretty thick latin lips that blew you away.

Oh Dusty, Dusty. My dear angry Dusty, you were always so quiet, so stark, so angry, so sensitive. I had no right to kill you. Sir Jaques Cousteau Escargot, my geeky beau, may have torn my heart in two but I had no right to kill you. I had no right to kill you dear Dusty. And when you asked me to be your girlfriend and I said “no, I just wanna blow you…away,” but not in those words, I hope you know, I simply meant to blow you… away. I never meant to kill you.

Please don’t ever let your happiness go dear angry Dusty. I miss your smile. Don’t let your happiness go. I just couldn’t be wrapped up with another user, self-abuser, self-destructive weapon like me. I simply wanted to blow you… away.

Hello? Dusty? Dusty?

********

So um, I don’t know what came over me. Or rather I do, but I don’t want to say. The night that I drank and cut, the night we celebrated my mom’s birthday, I made some rash moves, obviously. Well, one of them was that I contacted Dusty on Facebook. We hadn’t talked in over a year. I was afraid he might be dead like Monkey Man L. But nope, he’s still alive. Problem is, I’m trying not to be impulsive and I’m on a path to better myself, whatever that entails. I just don’t know if Dusty is done with a lot of that mess. And I sure as hell don’t want to get back into that mess.

Doesn’t that suck?

(Yep this is the one I was embarrassed about publishing. It’s a bit self-indulgent, revealing and quirky.)

***************************************************************************************************************************

DISCLAIMER: I’m using the “borderline girl” phrase as sort of a mocking/sarcastic term. There’s no such thing as a stereotypical “borderline girl”. You can have a condition, but you are NOT the condition and these songs aren’t necessarily written by or about borderline “girls”; they merely reflect certain parts of my life as I see fit. This is what they mean to me, someone who has been diagnosed as having BPD and is only beginning to work with herself and her deadly emotions.