thoughts and things on mental illness

Hi friends and welcome back to another mental breakdown with yours truly.

I say that half joking/half serious, with no real reason to cause concern. With the bipolar, borderline, and trauma in my brain, having mental breakdowns are not an unfamiliar state of mind for me. It doesn’t mean I enjoy them or seek them out, in fact they get pretty annoying and make me feel broken and hopeless a lot. I feel like when people read that there will be a few that automatically think “well why aren’t you trying?” or “you’re using it an excuse and not trying”. That’s the thing, I’m always trying.

I don’t think most people truly realize how little research there is on mental health. How we have small solutions to things that us humans don’t grasp on a broad scale yet. Which kind of adds to the stigma of so many mental illnesses, letting people write some things off as bad or a lost cause, when really we don’t know scientifically what is happening inside of their brain.

Most of my adult life has been a series of self-help books, temporary therapy sessions and hospitalizations, mediations, journaling, searching the world, trying to figure out what helps. I keep thinking I’m finally doing everything “right” but then it flips on me. Nobody told me that healing was a life-long process that you may never be 100% successful at. Nobody told me that just when you thought you figured it out, you’ll screw up again and be back at square one. That’s because nobody really knows. Nobody really talks about it.

I want to really highlight and talk about borderline personality disorder for a momment. Why you may ask? because I think that’s the label that does the most damage and the illness that carries the hardest burdens for me. If you do a google search you’ll probably see the DSM’s criteria for borderline personality disorder that includes 9 traits – (fear of abandonment, unstable relationships, unclear self image, impulsivity, self-harm or suicidal behavior, extreme emotional mood swings, feelings of emptiness, explosive anger, and disassociation). No-one has to have all 9 to be bpd and you don’t have to have bpd to struggle significantly with one or two of these traits. However, it does mean everyone struggles differently. When you look at the criteria it looks so overwhelming and maybe even a little bit scary, but that’s usually not the case. It’s just having overwhelming emotions and poor coping skills for those emotions.

I like the idea of calling bpd emotional disregulation disorder instead, we’re just sensitive and feel things so much more deeply than others. The good and the bad. Something that hurts our feelings can actually feel like trauma, even though its not. It’s just not knowing how to deal with our emotions.

I think for me, some of the big emotions I feel are often connected to unhealed trauma. Some of that I think I struggle to see. I also think the coping skills aren’t exactly where they need to be. I’ve been feeling myself in a bad bpd episode lately, I just can’t shake it. I’m doing all of the things. Yoga, journaling, meditating, trying…..but all the big feelings are still there, they won’t move, and it’s effecting every area of my life no matter how hard I try not to let it.

Yoga tells me to maybe not be so attached to trying so hard to fix it all at once. Maybe the desire and effort to not be broken is making the light run further away and digging me deeper into a dark hole….who knows? I do know it sucks and i’m hurting, a lot – a lot. I don’t actually know what do with that hurt and doing anything while hurting, we all know how hard that is…bpd or not.

I do know that I don’t want my hurt to hurt anyone I care about or love. And it has. I want my feelings to be validated. I want to feel seen, heared and cared for. I want to be connected and do normal things. Sometimes though, that’s really hard to do when you’re in the middle of a bpd flare up. Your emotions get the best of you and you project on your people, even though you don’t actually want to. Small hurt feelings can feel like being stabbed in the back and you may say or do things you don’t actually mean. You’re just reacting because the pain is so bad and you want it to stop and do everything irrationally.

I feel like I’m back at square one today with knowing how to deal with my brain. Kind of like I was climbing towards the light when someone just pushed me down and no matter who hard I tried to find a grip, I just fell all the way back to the bottom. Back to feeling alone. Back to being demonized because I just can’t deal with my own brain right. Back to feeling like an awful human.

Sitting in my pity party last night I couldn’t get out of my brain how I just don’t want to try to climb back up again. How tired I am of trying my best and still being damaged goods. Then I realized all of the incredible experiences I have had in such a short time because of my brain. My impulsivity got me out of my comfort zone enough to travel the world (which I sometimes wonder if that was just avoidance of my trauma and self). The manic episodes make me the life of the party some nights. The depressive ones give me such deep insight. It’s not all bad and it’s been a pretty impressive journey.

It also made me realize I am not back at the bottom. My lowest point was much much worse and lonliner than this. However, as much as I don’t want to admit it I do have some big things to actively work on and change. I don’t want to be back here (because who wants to deal with their brain and trauma??), but I am. At least now I know the path a little better, I know what works (yogaaaaa) and I know there’s at least a little bit more light not that far off. It still makes me bitter though. Progress, not perfection.

In attempts to make peace with being back at a low point and with my self, I’m going to try my hardest to share this journey in detail with the world. The journey of pulling myself back up and of just figuring out who the heck I am and what the heck I am supposed to be doing in life. Sharing my thought process, rants, and insights. Because just like therapist helps you connect the dots, so does writing it out for me. I’m not sharing because I want attention (I mean I always do, bc childhood emotional neglect, but that’s not why). But because I want to share it with others so they know kind of what the journey looks like. What it entails, maybe even avoiding certain things based on what I’ve shared. To inspire others to do what they need. I want to prove I’m not a lost cause or hopeless. To prove that people with brains like mine aren’t either. I am so bitter and hurt for feeling like people in my life think that, but I still want to be better. I want to give hope to people who are also struggling, especially those of us with bpd. I want to try my best to fight the stigma surrounding bpd (and mental health/illness), the stigma that we’re awful and crazy and dangerous. Y’all that stigma runs so deep some health care professionals avoid people with a bpd diagnosis in their chart. We’re not the stigma. We’re not the “bad” people who happen to have the same illness. We just have big emotions and want those emotions to be treated with the same respect that “normal” people have when they experience big emotions.

I know I run the risk of making it seem like my metnal health issues are me, like i’m glorfying them. I’m not. I’m more than my mental health issues, but I don’t actuallt know who that is, because they developed so soon. Yoga has given me large glimpses and shot runs of time to see those authentic pieces of me, but we’re still working on that. That’s the fun thing, it gets to be apart of this journey too.

The journey of finding my soul, healing/helping my brain and learning to cope, figuring out what I need out of life and sharing it all with you. I guess that’s all this blog was ever truly about anyway. I mean I didn’t call it reckless to be cute. I felt like a reckless nomad for a good year or two, I still do somedays, but it’s a different vibe now.

I’m not sure what this new part of journey will look like. I know It’ll be more autehtic and raw than what I’m comfortable with, because it has to be. I know it’ll make some people unfomrtable because there is darkness and heaviness at times. I know it’ll be me throwing things against a wall to see what sticks at times. It’ll be confusing. It’ll be endless amounts of creating to express what needs to be expressed. It’ll be something.

to keep up with the creative expressions, follow me on instragram @therecklessnomad

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Someone once told me to never stop writing, so I'm not. You can find my insightful venting and energy flipping meditations over at therecklessnomad.com

One thought on “thoughts and things on mental illness

  1. I started blogging a long time ago in an effort to get all the terrible and wonderful things out of my brain so I could function and not feel so alone. You seem to be more intuitive and expressive with your inner self than I ever have been. I think you have the ability to do something really positive for yourself by writing down your thoughts and using this as a form of therapy.

    Liked by 1 person

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