*Trigger Warning* Before continuing, please note, this post contains some emotional content and discussion of self-harm behaviour & suicide ideation which can be a potential trigger
…awesome, crazy, fun, loyal friends…
I miss you so much.
I have so much to tell you, and I want to know what’s happening in your lives oh so bad.
I don’t think I’ve actually explained what the fuck has been happening properly. I just disappeared. And I’m so fucking sorry for that.
So here is me trying…
I have severe anxiety, depression and borderline personality disorder (I’ve been told I have traits of other personality disorders too but I mainly relate to borderline or emotionally unstable personality disorder). I’ve been struggling with it for a few years now; I was first diagnosed with anxiety & depression in 2012 & then personality disorder, not otherwise specified in 2015, but I’ve become a pro at putting on an “I’m fine” face (I only realised this recently thanks to a mindfulness course, many A&E visits, counselling & psychotherapy – some may say I was in denial), but it wasn’t until 2014 that I completely mentally & physically broke down (there were various breakdowns leading up to the big one of 2014 but for the sake of keeping this as short as possible, I’ll leave those out). As a result, the past two years have been the most difficult in terms of illness.
I’ve been going through extremely low periods and when I do have ups, it tends to be intense euphoria and I go a little crazy (which is a symptom of borderline personality disorder). Everything I feel right now is 150% (maybe more); it’s all intense and extreme. So fear, sadness, anger is all so overwhelming that I then go on self-destructive episodes because I feel like I can’t physically or mentally sit with those emotions. At times, I literally want to pull my skin off so I don’t have to feel the mental pain anymore. I usually describe myself as a ticking time bomb to doctors, I never know when I’m going to blow up next, and that’s scary. One good thing is that I have almost always blown up on myself. Hurrah!
Even when I feel nothing, that’s at 150% too – when this happens, I completely “shut down”, detach or disconnect, which is also known as dissociation, and it feels like I’m mentally dead but physically still moving. I’m going to use a quote here (others just seem to say it better than I do!) :-
“It’s as if your mind is not in your body; as if you are looking at yourself from a distance; like looking at a stranger” (thanks Mind!).
It seems my mind does this as a defence mechanism; I feel everything so intensely that I reach a limit and my mind shuts down in order to cope. When this happens, I can’t even recognise myself in the mirror – it’s like looking at a complete stranger.
I’ve had it before where I was crossing the street whilst in dissociation mode and even though I saw that there were cars coming my way, I had mentally shut down so I just kept walking into the road, but luckily only got hit by a motorcycle. So even when I feel nothing, it’s not good news either.
In the time I’ve been distant/in isolation, I’ve developed some self destructive habits like taking too many tablets, physical self-harm and am having some issues with suicidal ideation, paranoia & panic attacks (I often believe that I’m being watched & everyone is plotting to harm or kill me), as well as some delusions/ psychotic episodes, but I’m working on it. These symptoms are a particular bummer as it’s affected my mum in a real bad way, so now she’s having counselling too.
These motherfucking illnesses are bastards.
My anxiety for me means that one of the things I struggle with is finding the courage to even read my messages, it’s awful. I sometimes go into WhatsApp, text messages or social media with every intention of reading, replying & getting involved, but then I just can’t physically even click into anything. I start panicking, getting stressed out and end up putting everything down & hiding. I’m not ignoring you, I promise. I’m just really struggling. I’m even scared of my postman knocking on the door.
I have an intense fear of crowds, but an even bigger fear of being alone with someone; talking one-to-one is extremely difficult, but I’ve been doing well in avoiding it! And it seems the closer I feel to someone, the more scared I become. It’s like I’m scared of disappointing or being rejected by or hurting those I like the most. Yeah, I don’t get it either. But right now, I have no control. So I hide, avoid, go into isolation.
I want to meet up or call or skype or something! And just catch up, but I’m petrified. Sometimes I think it could be because I’m so low & exhausted that I just don’t have the energy to even move, but it could also be because I feel petrified of what I’ll do & what I’ll say; will I have a panic attack or a crazy breakdown? Will I embarrass you? Or am I going to say something stupid or upset you? Will I shut down and bore you? Could I hurt you in some way? Some really shitty scenarios go through my head, but I won’t go into too much detail. It’s something like this drawing but at 150% (Because I do nothing by halves, hah!)
I saw a quote the other day that kind of explained part of what I feel like now too, here it is…
“When a depressed person shrinks away from your touch, it does not mean she is rejecting you. Rather she is protecting you from the foul, destructive evil which she believes is the essence of her being and which she believes can injure you.” (Dorothy Rowe)
At first I thought this wouldn’t last long; I would tell myself “I’ll feel better next month, it’s okay”, but it’s been too long now and I’m still stuck in my world of severe anxiety, depression, delusions, paranoia and intense moods.
I can’t imagine what you are thinking; but I feel I owe you an explanation, and after considering my options, I thought this would be the best way, taking into account how things are with me at the moment, so here I am – lying on my mattress, candles lit, Florence & the Machine on (it’s the only thing I can listen to at the moment!) and writing an open letter to my amazeballs friends who I miss so much but oddly feel too scared to get in touch with.
As my mental illness has deteriorated, I have isolated myself more & more. Some (or all) of you may have noticed. And you guys have all been so understanding. Thank you.
I’ve received amazing cards, gifts, messages, warm wishes. They make me smile, and cry; both happy & sad (But I still get paralysed by the thought of calling or even just messaging to thank you.) It’s sad, because I want to open up and let you in on all the shite that’s been going on, and I want to be there for you too. I know everyone is going through something and I want to be there and support you; I want to experience life with the beloved family I chose (That’s you – just in case that’s not clear) but here I am, stuck with an invisible illness, in my invisible prison.
But, on the other hand, I also feel happy, because the messages are just so lovely & amazing, touching & inspiring. And also a reminder that actually my friends haven’t forgotten me. I have an intense fear of being abandoned – another borderline personality disorder treat – so your messages, cards, gifts and general contact is a huge deal to me, thank you so much.
The good news is that my treatment has officially kicked in now. I’m currently six weeks into a twelve week group Art Psychotherapy treatment. After this I then move on to individual Art Psychotherapy for 18 months, and it may be that I will always be in & out of psychotherapy, but whatever happens, I’m hoping that soon I’ll be more stable & in control, and thus able to be more active & involved.
It’s been suggested that I go into hospital, but I’ve also developed a fear of being an inpatient. So this recovery thing could be slower or maybe it’s a good thing that I stay out; I have heard some horrific stories. I guess what I’m trying to say is this could take a while; it may still be some time until I’m well enough to return to the outside world, but please don’t give up on me, it’s work in progress.
Some of this shit is maybe, possibly too much information, but I just want to be completely open & honest. I’m sick & tired of pretending everything is fine and then just disappearing when it gets really bad. In all honesty, I’ve hit lower than rock bottom, and just really want to stop hiding. I would want you to share this kinda shite with me too. So here I am, a little exposed (Gulp!) I like to call it “Emotionally slutty”.
I’m going to shut up now.
I’m so sorry for all the birthdays I’ve missed; for all the messages I have yet to open & reply to; for all the calls I can’t answer; for all the gatherings & holidays I’ve missed out on; for all the times I haven’t been there for you; for all the good times I’ve missed, and for taking so long to get in touch in any way, shape or form.
I’m very sorry for just disappearing. But I really love you. And as I have Borderline, that is at 150% too – so I really fucking mean it when I say I love you.
Same goes for when I say I miss you.
I miss you so much.
And I hope that you are okay. Message me if you can & let me know how you are, I want all the details, this emotional spiel might give me the courage I need to read & reply!
But if you don’t hear from me straight away, I am thinking of you.