A therapy appointment I had recently got me thinking about the ways in which I cope and process different events mentally in relation to my BPD.
It seems to me that as I'm growing older and learning more about myself, I'm subconsciously developing problem solving strategies as I face crisis's rather than recognising everything in life as a crisis by which I need to stop living.
Like most individuals, I've gone through a lot of stress in my 23 years. More recently, mentally I've been feeling quite overwhelmed with trying to juggle living between two houses, the final year of my degree, a job, therapy, saving for a mortgage and attempting to have a social life. Of course, life events have too contributed to this especially in the last year, what with a lot of ongoing distressing situations in Nathan's family and my Dad blocking me out of his life for what looks to be forever.
On Friday, my Nan was diagnosed with cancer.
Those of you who know me will know that to me my Nan is like an extra limb. I lived with her as a kid for several years and she brought me up in the way my Dad should have done. I see her now at least twice a week and she is one of the most influential and most important people in my life.
My way of coping with this news has been to me, slightly bizarre. I cried before finding out, and I cried when I found out. But I didn't react in the way BPD Amy would have done. I didn't throw things across the room, isolate myself, and refuse to speak about it. Instead, I processed it rationally and naturally, cried when I needed to cry, spoke to my friends and Nathan about how I felt, and allowed myself to openly feel infront of others.
I'm devastated, of course, and I'm not sure I can ever be prepared for the upcoming months. But I'm noticing changes in my behaviour which can only prove positive for me as I face the next few months ahead. I'm not violently lashing out at those I love anywhere near as much as I used to, although I have a lot of work to do in regard to my moods still. I'm still trying to keep going and keep living and not hide away no matter how much I want to. I'm trying to attend events and University and keep my spirits high even when they feel at an all-time low. This is such a different behaviour from ones I exhibited back in the day and I'm not sure whether they are helping or being a hindrance but I guess only time will tell.
Even now, 7 months on, my Dad's refusal to speak to me feels so raw. So many events from my life feel so raw and painful, even events which relate to my 'Letter to C' post 5 years ago. Names people have called me, times where I've been abandoned and people who have walked away. But the way I'm coping with them is different now. Maybe I'm realising that sometimes I really do just have to keep going no matter what life throws at me. That to stop means that my illness wins. That the 90% of negative energy that possesses me is allowed to possess. That getting up, getting showered and dressed, packing my bag and going to work or University is an example of the 10% of me that is a fighter. I don't always have to be a superhero. There's no perfect way to cope with anything but sometimes just getting through each day with a smile on my face, even if it feels pretend, is one step in the right direction and less of a move backwards.
As I mentioned in my last post, last November I took a dangerous overdose which was triggered by no life event or no significant memory. It was impulsive and scary and felt necessary all at the same time. Interestingly, no part of my Nan's cancer diagnosis or my Dad's departure made me want to do those things but random days where my depression takes over are the days where I feel powerless to self-destruction. I wish I could work out how and why I cope with these events differently, and whilst I'll probably never be fully emotionally regulated, there seems to be a lot of change there and a lot more strength then there used to be.