It’s a new year. New adventures to come, new relationships with friends starting, some ending. New goals and hopes. Another year under the belt, looking forward to a better year this year.
Some of us swear that this year we will lose weight, exercise and take better care of our bodies. Some swear we will find true love. Some swear that we will work on being better humans in general. Others may even have the goal to make a difference in our world. Fight for change, for what’s honest and right. The list goes on and on.
As for myself, I need to work on all of the above but let 2018 stay in the past. It was a year that I will only go back to when discussing an issue in a controlled environment or when writing. There’s no room for it in my life. I have a whole new chapter that has to begin, whether I want it to or not.
I am hopeful that I will be successful from within. That I can maintain and live a full life, to the greatest extent. However, this year brings to light a new sense and scenario of life for me that leaves a forever question mark. Can I do it? That’s the question. The answer is, I will do it. I have no time to waste on anything less.
I have forever felt ” less than” in every way. I am indeed my own worst enemy. For a while, I thought I was just going through one of my “phases” and figured once it passed, I would be fine and move on. Not this time. I fought as hard as I could only to end up in the darkest place I have ever been. I tried new therapies and changing meds. I tried to force myself to be happy and ok. The truth is, everyday, 4-6 times a day I want to die. It is out of control. Monsters are real for me and I can’t seem to get away from them regardless of how I try.
Last year was the deal breaker for me. Although I have battled depression and anxiety all of my life, I had no will or energy to fight any longer. Finally, in November I couldn’t do it anymore. All I could see was ugly. I found no joy in any part of my life. I desperately wanted to die.
On a Monday morning, two weeks before Thanksgiving, I absolutely lost all sense of life or things going around me. For 3 hours, I tore my house apart looking for a gun. The pain was too damn much. I didn’t realize in those moments what I was doing. About 12:30, I found myself in the kitchen crying asking God to let it all end just help me find the gun. I had no recollection of the things I had done but I saw the house trashed. That same evening, I told my son if he didn’t quit drumming on things, I was going to cut off his hands. As soon as those words came out, I knew that I was really in trouble. I have not ever nor would I ever hurt my children. Yet, I uttered those words. I felt like a piece of trash. I can’t take the words back. I apologized, but he will never forget and I will forever be ashamed of that incident. The worst part of it all? I know that it happened and I am ashamed but I don’t remember the actual incident. I don’t remember 3 hours of looking for a gun nor do I remember telling someone that I was doing so. I don’t remember other things that I have said or done…. I felt like I was finally over the line crazy. I felt like I needed to be terminated. Permanently.
It was September when I started deteriorating, my doctors tried changing my meds. That’s always a hard ride but we were hopeful. I got lost deeper into the darkness every moment of every day. We changed meds a second time. That was the end. Within five days, the gun incident occurred.
I went to see my therapist and poured my heart out. I felt crazy, like there are two very distinct sides of myself but not in a split personality kind of way. The logical, smart, beautiful intelligent person who loves life, believes in hope, love and that most people are genuinely good could see what was happening but the darkness was controlling every breath. I was suffocating myself in a losing battle. I knew it, I could see it, but I couldn’t stop it. My therapist and I decided that once again, I would admit myself to the behavioral unit. There wasn’t a choice. This devastated me internally. I was never going to go back however, I had to and I knew it. I really didn’t want to die then, nor do I now – but try telling me that on a bad day. I won’t waver as I stand in front of you looking you dead in the eye telling you otherwise.
The initial plan was for me to admit myself in a controlled environment and take me off of all the meds. This is very dangerous and it can reap the same result and reaction that addicts go through. Wasn’t looking forward to it at all. It took 5 hours to get admitted. I was given an Ativan to help keep me calm but no other meds. That didn’t work out so well. I had a severe headache and wanted Tylenol. They couldn’t give me any because the on call doctor couldn’t be reached. I asked every two hours and every two hours I was told they were waiting for the doctor. This went on until 11 a.m. the next morning. I finally lost it. I demanded that they get my discharge papers ready. I was going home. I checked myself in and I was checking myself out. Period. Anyone who tried making contact with me that day was told to get the f*** on and get my shit ready. Admittedly, not one of my better moments in life.
The psychiatrist finally bargained Tylenol if I let him come in and visit with me. I agreed, very unwillingly. We spent quite a while talking. Eventually, I allowed him to call my doctors and therapist. I was finally given Tylenol and calmed down. I didn’t realize it then, but I had a rough go through the detox process. My body tried to shut down. My blood pressure dropped to 80/50,77/50. I wasn’t even there. I was totally non-coherent. Thank goodness there was an alert staff who knew how to care for me and they saved my ass. I will forever be grateful for that. Even if I deny it. Ultimately, after my behavior and speaking with my regular team of doctors , they weren’t letting me leave.
Morning two wasn’t any better. I wouldn’t allow most of the staff in my room, I refused to eat which is normal for me. They gave me 2 of my regular meds and called it good. I thought I was going to die. When the psychiatrist came in that afternoon, my life changed in a way that I never saw coming.
First, he discovered that after years of being on anti- depressants, I happen to be the 1 in 800,000 ( or whatever # it is) who can’t take them. They make you suicidal. I was the extreme version of suicidal. He was surprised that it took so many years for someone to realize that was a factor in my diagnosis. We discussed medications and a treatment plan. A very complicated, vigorous plan. I couldn’t understand why the treatment plan was so intense. I questioned him and in return, I got more personal questions. At the end of a long drawn out conversation and some consulting with other doctors, I was finally given a diagnosis. One that is very misunderstood. I didn’t understand it. Still don’t. In time, I will learn everything I can about it, but why couldn’t I just be bipolar? God knows that is a rough way to live, but I was willing to go there. I didn’t believe what they told me. I argued. I bargained. I didn’t want that label but indeed it’s who and what I am. No going back.
I have BPD. Borderline Personality Disorder. One of the most severe mental health issues that exist. I thought that meant I was like a split personality thing or something of the sort. Maybe I really was and am half crazy. I was wrong. What I did learn is that this disorder is caused by severe trauma. Usually appearing in children and young adults. After a lifetime of trauma, why did it wait until I am just short of 50 to manifest itself? I am a survivor. A fighter. I wouldn’t let it win for a very long time but, my heart, brain and my soul are too tired to fight. 2018 was yet another year (11 months) of trauma. I finally caved. I quit. Then it appeared and stayed.
I am one of the oldest diagnosed with BPD in my doctors career. There are tools I can learn to help manage this disorder, but people who have had it for years like myself, have a harder time even with the therapies. The psychotic breaks and depression can last for minutes to weeks. Given my history, I will probably have to go back to the hospital multiple times. How many? Who knows. It was barely over a year between episodes this time. One day at a time is all I can do. I have to deal with the pseudo seizures, anxiety, depression NOS, ptsd and now this. Only time will tell the future but I am hoping that I can educate myself and do everything possible to keep my mental health in check.
I am not crazy, (well ok maybe a little.) I’m not broken. I am a survivor, a fighter, a beautiful, smart person who has been beaten down by life and other people all too many times. I love life on the good days and on the bad, I suffer because I feel like all of the ugly in me just eeks out for others to see. An internal war of sorts but I am going to conquer this battle as well.
Eventually I will win the war.
More Love. Less Hate. H