Did you know that buffalo symbolize lots of things in lots for lots in different contexts. A synopsis of it all being that they are a reminder that you always have all that you need, abundance, power, determined, self-sufficient, liberation, and the strength to carry heavy burdens.
Greetings Earthings (and any other space creatures),
Welcome back to another article of “Hi I’m Haley and my brain doesn’t work ‘normal'”. Ironically my last post was about avoidable pain and since then I have been experiencing more pain. Is this a sign? maybe. Maybe it’s my mental illness. Probably a little bit of everything. Regardless this time has been one of the more intense bpd “episodes” I have had in a long while. bpd as in borderline personality disorder, not bipolar….but I struggle with both, so if the shoe fits… I forgot how hard bpd episodes are to navigate. I think I say I forget how hard they are every time I speak of them. I kind of keep hoping they will go away completely, but I don’t know if that’s how this works. Anywho, I thought some words on what the past few days have been like for me can shed light and help people dealing with them not feel so alone or help manage their own way through it. Or heck even if you’re just curious what a brain like mine is like, here’s an insight. If you weren’t aware there isn’t a lot of research on bpd, so sharing is caring at this point. yeah?
To preference, everyones experiences are different and all are just as valid. I also want to add that I believe we’re all only responsible for our own emotions, however if you can help or prevent a discomfort, still do. I don’t always know when a bpd episode is going to arise, sometimes I do. Sometimes knowing that they’re coming and trying to stop it builds it into a messier situation. That’s what happened with me the past few days. I could feel it coming and I thought I was doing the right things to prevent it from getting worse or messier, but was unknowingly/unintentionally making myself more triggered. Lesson learned, I guess.
There’s lots of triggers for a bpd episode and they very from person to person. Something that can hurt a “non-bpd” brains feelings can send a brain like mine (actual bpd brain) into a full blown crisis. In my theory and experience, it’s usually triggering me because of unresolved painful memory/emotion of the past that has just built this ugly side of me that I don’t know how to navigate or am fully aware it’s even there. Also, figuring out what that unresolved part is, is incredibly difficult sometimes and difficult to learn to flip, so you learn your triggers eventually. I think for everyone with sensitive emotional skin, knowing the line of what’s our own triggers and when someone is actually doing something that hurts us is a fine one. And when to speak when something someone is doing is triggering us, is just as challening if not more. It’s all puzzle for sure. And I don’t really know right from wrong when dealing with these episodes.
Once I’ve been triggered into a bpd episode, it’s so hard to come back “down”. I start by being extra fragile, worried about what’s triggering or hurting me, and just almost obsessing over it but not by choice, but because it’s hurting my heart so bad. Sometimes I work it out in a day or so. Sometimes it lingers and turns into a bigger episode. And when I say bad pain and emoitions, I truly mean it. It’s similar to that feeling you get when you get a phone call full of bad news that sends you into a crisis. I know that is going to sound dramatic to those who don’t experience it or haven’t witnessed it. But it’s real to the person experiencing it, so if you’re ever around someone who is having one, try to be as gentle as can. It can get ugly, but most of us are trying to get through it. And it doesn’t make us inherently bad, we’re just hurt and confused.
It’s almost like when I get like this I’m no longer in control of what I do or say, no matter how hard I try to fight it. My emotions run the show. For me personally it feels like the traumatized eight year old in me is running the show, but she’s stuck in hell and wants me there with her and is doing everything she can to get me there. I’m aware that’s some deep stuff to work on, we’re getting there okay. But that’s the reality of it. It’s deep, intense, and messy. It’s like everything I do and say is an out-of body experience. I can see myself doing something impulsive, but I can’t control it. The motions happen so fast. Nothing feels real, but everything feels hurtful and hopeless.
It’s scary sometimes. My body shakes. I randomly hysterically cry. Lash out. Act out. Painful things play out in my brain. And I’m just in so much emotional pain the whole time. Even if a part of me is aware that this is a bpd episode and will pass, it’s hard sometimes because the emotions are still there. still big. And nothing I’m doing is helping them ease it. Sometimes some of the things I’m doing to get rid of the pain is just irritating it more. Last night I was so anxious that I had to go to an urgent care because I thought I was going to stop breathing. Turns out, I had just made myself that physically sick from the anxiety.
If you can relate. I see you. You’re not alone. And dealing with it does get better and easier.
Maybe from an outsiders perspective you don’t understand why I can’t just put it to the side. deal with it or recognize it for what it presently is. Well my good sirs, I wish I could answer that for you, but sadly I cannot. Because trust me, if you have an explanation and solution to how I can start doing that, I guarantee I am listening. Sometimes I can talk myself to understanding it before it causing any issues or emotional burdens, but sometimes I still genuinely can’t. Just like anything in life, I think it takes practice and effort in trying to navigate it.
Practice is what I did today when I finally recognized my emotions and moods for what they are. Practiced trying anyway. What is trying? I’m hoping it’s what I did today. Tried to not be bothered. Acknowledged what was happening. And tried my best to take care of myself. Not wanting to risk lashing out, I opted not to be social with anyone outside of my roommate after a specific point. I did a yoga flow at home. Meditated. Showered. Listened to music. I went to the thrift store with my roommate and found some cheap retail therapy, along with a much needed iced coffee. Tried to eat. Took a nap. Journaled. Read. And now I’m doing this. The things that sound so simple to do really can be so helpful. Even though they’re sorta a b**** to get yourself to do. I promise it’s worth it.
What I didn’t do today? I didn’t do some self-destructive behaviors that I typically do during a bpd episode (i.e. delete all my social media, self-harming/ideation, running away, isolate completely, spend all of my money, you get the picture I think). I still self-destructed some, but in a different way. Progress, not perfection. It is what it is I guess, you can’t get through all of them gracefully for ever.
I like to think I’m well adapted to mood swings and bouncing back. That I’m “zen” enough from recreational weed and yoga to just be good with where things are. But….I’m still a little sensitive and think I could very easily be triggered for the next couple of days. I’m still trying to figure out what was actual hurt and what caused an episode. How to deal with the actual hurt without triggering another episode. I’m still going to have to be very gentle with myself for the next few days and it’s annoying. This all is not actually what I want to do (I want to fight it), but it’s what I have to do.
One of the things that I was intuitively drawn to on my therapeutic thrifting adventure today was a somewhat erry photo of a buffalo. For whatever reason it gave me the greatest sense of comfort and could not make my roommate and I stop laughing. So I bought it. And we placed it in the goofiest place. I don’t know that I believe in spirit animals (or even what they actually are), but I do think that the universe has a creative way of giving us something we need to know or hear, when we need to know or hear it.
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Someone once told me to never stop writing, so I’m not.