Borderline


I am back! I am back to being my sexy, sassy, smart and sophisticated self! I feel so confident! I don’t feel lonely. I don’t feel that the world is a dark place. I feel that it is exciting! I feel that things will be OK! I don’t give a fuck about RG anymore. Fuck that immature, spiritually and emotionally bereft scumbag!

And yet…

Earlier today I was not doing at all well. I found myself sobbing when I thought about how RG might not contact me again. And when I say “sobbing”, I don’t mean that I was all “boo hoo hoo sniff”. I mean really fucking sobbing. I was also overcome with raging paranoia. I couldn’t seem to understand who RG was, or what had just happened. I began to think of him as this evil person, and for a little while it felt like my world was totally shaken because I asked myself “Who can I trust?” If you’d walked in on me, I would have scuttled into a corner like a wounded, wild animal and I’d have lashed out at you if you tried to get near.

A little while later, however, I started to think “Oh, RG really isn’t all that bad”, and I’d imagine how great it would be to go out with him.  Later still, I’d switch again, and understand that things are probably over between us, and, oh, the world seemed so dark. I wish I could describe to you just how dark things seemed, but it’s hard to find the words. There was just this void inside of me, and I felt that I had nothing or nobody.

Around 5:00 p.m. I had some lawyer-y stuff to deal with regarding MM which set me off into another paranoid episode. I actually started to think that MM had hired private investigators and that they were probably watching my every move. I even went outside, fully expecting to see some dude sitting in a car with a long-lens camera to take pictures of me à la Kristen Stewart. Given the circumstances, it wasn’t entirely cuckoo for me to be a little concerned, but there was really no need for such paranoia.

And now….well, now I feel just hunky-dory. It is not normal to have so many mood swings in one day. It just isn’t. And don’t try to tell me that it’s normal because I’m going through a break-up. This is how I am all the fucking time! The worst thing about this is that it makes my sense of reality very precarious. Since my moods, sense of myself and other people change so fast, it is really, really hard for me to know what’s real.

When I first started to notice my mood swings, I knew something was up so I spent hours (hours!) googling bipolar disorder, hoping that this was what it was I had. Now, I don’t mean to diminish the suffering of anyone who actually does suffer from bipolar disorder but, well, let’s face it – bipolar is kinda “sexy” as far as mental health diagnoses are concerned. Think about all those famous people who were said to have bipolar disorder – Virginia Woolf, Stephen Fry, Kristin Hersh, Sinead O’Connor, possibly Sylvia Plath etc. All of these people are extremely creative and smart, and it’s often said that there’s a link between bipolar disorder and being a genius. Since I am clearly a genius, this diagnosis seemed to fit for me.

However, the information I found online about bipolar mood swings said that they come usually out of the blue. This is not the case for me at all. It is very clear to me that my moods are caused by some external event or trigger.

This led me to discover another psychiatric illness which is decidedly less than “sexy”- borderline personality disorder. Some of you might not know what this is, so this website will tell you everything you need to know, plus give you a list of “symptoms”. I could practically tick off every box in that list of symptoms. This did not make me happy because well, first of all, borderline personality disorder is a pretty sexist diagnosis. It is also a diagnosis which has a lot of stigma. Can you think of one single public figure who has ever admitted to having it? Who are the role models for people suffering with BPD? Let me tell you – nobody!

Basically, people (or, more likely, women) with BPD are seen as being crazy-ass bitches. The depiction of BPD women goes something like this:

I hate this potential diagnosis. I do have a psychiatrist who has diagnosed me with having a “mood disorder” which is marginally better.

The problem with having a “mood disorder” is that it’s pretty hard to take your illness seriously when 50% of the time you feel absolutely bloody fine. Right now I have no desire to contact or see RG. I can see clearly that he’s no good for me, and the idea of not having him in my life does not make me want to slit my wrists.

And speaking of slitting my wrists, sometimes I will seriously contemplate suicide, and I will be deeply depressed, but a couple of hour later I’ll be dancing around the house singing cheery songs.

I’m hoping that writing about all my dark moment in here will help me remember that I do still need to seek help although sometimes I feel fine. I’m thinking of going back to Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meetings and – since there is just one weekly women-only meeting in this town – it might also be a good idea for me to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, too.  If the truth be told, I don’t think I’m an alcoholic at all, but I don’t think it’s good for somebody with such intense mood swings and problems with impulsivity to drink. I don’t know if I should go to AA, though. I mean, I would be really sad to think that I will never again drink red wine, and while I am fine with having a prolonged break from alcohol, I have no intention of stopping completely.

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14 thoughts on “Borderline

  1. vicariousrising September 26, 2012 at 12:37 am Reply

    Mmm. No, I am not going to say those sorts of mood swings are normal. In fact, my first thought was: “what drug is she taking?” (sorry, the alcoholic in me jumps to that conclusion pretty easily after the many AA and NA meetings I used to attend)

    From what I understand, borderline personality disorder is treatable if the patient truly wants to change.

    I also want to add that the place I went to rehab did psychiatric care as well, and bipolar is not at all sexy. There are several manifestations of it (rapid cycle, mostly manic, paranoid and manic, primarily depressed, etc), just in the sampling I got to know, and it is profoundly painful. The eyes of those patients, even in their happy moments, held a ton of conflict and unease. (Just by-the-by, on admission to the hospital, I was diagnosed as possible bipolar because I was 1. drunk and 2. genuinely relieved to be there and 3. totally goofy and giddy. It didn’t take them long to figure out that was a bad initial diagnosis, but it also made me a slightly peculiar patient when they realized how relieved I truly was. Plus, rehab is a much better way to detox than on your own. I think I was a librium-zombie for the first 3 days. Felt no pain and just wanted to sleep and shuffle to the nurses station for my drugs when they poked me awake.)

    It’s really good, regardless, that you are enjoying a moment of being happy to be free of RG. Maybe you can hang onto this feeling enough to pull you through the next urge to contact him.

    • petrichoric September 26, 2012 at 12:52 am Reply

      Nope, not on any street drugs. But I am taking Lamictal, which my psychiatrist prescribed for the mood swings. I recently even just upped the dosage, and, clearly, it’s not having the slightest effect.

      Oh, I know that bipolar disorder is not at all “sexy”. I truly was joking. But it is a “better” illness to have compared to Borderline Personality Disorder. These days, I think that most people would be comfortable admitting to others that they have bipolar disorder but I can’t say the same for BPD. It definitely has “crazy weirdo stalker” connotations.

      Actually BPD is a kinda controversial diagnosis because some psychiatrists think that it’s just a different type of bipolar disorder.

      By the way, what do you think about me attending AA. I honestly don’t consider myself an alcoholic but, on the other hand, alcohol gets me into a looooooot of trouble. It makes me even more impulsive than I already am…lots of bad decisions, and crazy behaviour.

      • vicariousrising September 26, 2012 at 1:45 am Reply

        I didn’t think you were on drugs or that you really thought bipolar was sexy. 🙂

        As for AA and whether you should attend…

        If you’re ready for zero tolerance and just open your ears to the concept of the 12 steps & people’s stories and use the time to sort of listening-meditate to decide for yourself which pieces fit you, then go for it. That’s sort of how I approached it — I never cottoned to the “surrender to a higher power” tenet — I thought it was useful time spent contemplating so long as I had outside outlets to kind of spew about the “group-think” aspects I strongly disliked.

        So, that’s kind of a non-answer. I did also find it a good use of time that was healthy for me rather than destructive. I tried to focus on the here and now rather than the next drink or my past mistakes.

        • petrichoric September 26, 2012 at 6:51 am Reply

          I know what you mean about the “group think” mentality. This is also what really bothers me about twelve-step meetings. I just find that people can be so fucking sanctimonious, too. One of my friends was recently badgering me into attending SLAA meetings, saying that it had really worked for her. I told her that was great, but I wasn’t sure if it was for me yet, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer. Like you, it is my plan to attend and just take what I can from the meetings – reject the things I don’t like, and accept the things I can. I think the best thing for me about 12-step meetings is that you have to attend regularly, and this makes it easier for you to remember that you need to focus on getting better.

  2. vicariousrising September 26, 2012 at 12:47 am Reply

    Oh, and I always have loved this Madonna song. 😛

    • petrichoric September 26, 2012 at 6:43 am Reply

      It is great, isn’t it?! And she looks soooooo young!

  3. vicariousrising September 26, 2012 at 12:50 am Reply

    And one less stray comment… you might want to look into Moderation Management meetings. I don’t know how many, if any, might be near you. It’s not a program that works for me, but it may be a better substitute for not quitting drinking entirely for you. Like the name says, it helps moderate your drinking and includes, if I remember right, 30 days dry at the start.

    • petrichoric September 26, 2012 at 6:45 am Reply

      Bah, I looked into this, but there are no meetings in my area. I do like the sound of this, though.

  4. darwinsblade September 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm Reply

    The SLAA and AA are group-therapy meetings, right? I suppose it’s nice to be able to share and compare life stories and get some extra support. Maybe you should tell your psychiatrist about it so she/he can better combine your present therapy with it?

    • petrichoric September 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm Reply

      Oh, my therapist has already said it would be a good idea for me to attend a 12-step group just because I would get more support there. I don’t agree with all the principles of 12-step groups, but it would be a lot harder for me to make the same mistakes over and over again if I have to be accountable to other people. I mean, right now I am so tempted to text RG, but then I read over all the shit I wrote before (and everybody’s comments) and I think “Hell no!”. I think of the 12-steps like that – they would help me remember to keep myself out of harm.

      • vicariousrising September 26, 2012 at 3:18 pm Reply

        If your therapist is good, she ought to be able to let you spout off on the things in AA or SLAA that don’t jibe with you. I was lucky to have an atheist as my therapist, and he was good at listening to my concerns over being brainwashed into group think and sort through what was healthy for me and what I was avoiding that would probably be better for me to consider.

        • petrichoric September 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm Reply

          Yes, she is good. I already said that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with certain aspects of 12-step programs, and she said that she completely agreed, and that I should just take what I can out of them.

  5. xul September 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm Reply

    I swear on Confucius’ cap if you text RG again I will hunt you down and slap a Kimura on you!

    Anyway, as I was reading this post and got about four paragraphs down, I was thinking that you may have some kind of chemical imbalance or personality disorder. I’m glad you have reached that conclusion on your own! I’m not making light of it; I’m glad you recognize the problem and are seeing a therapist. As far as AA or any of those types of groups are concerned, I don’t see much benefit but that’s my own personal opinion. I don’t agree with AA’s 12 steps and I agree that a lot of those peeps are quite sanctimonious(I got dragged to a meeting once, well, goaded into it, because it would show that I was “being supportive”). But to each his own. If you can receive some benefit from it, then go. What’s important is getting whatever help you need.

    • petrichoric September 26, 2012 at 8:06 pm Reply

      Don’t worry. I’m not going to become an AA zombie but I do think it would be good for me just to have some kind of support system other than just seeing a therapist once a week. And, no, I haven’t texted him, but God it is so hard not to.

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