Monday, July 18, 2016

A week with borderline personality disorder

Monday

I wake up lying next to my boyfriend. It's our one year anniversary. How we made it that long I don't know. In fact we did break up for a day a few months ago. I'm in a great mood because of this. 

I get dressed and ready for work, and get on the train. I'm still in a good mood so I study econ, hoping to get ahead in my courses for the fall. 

It's actually a relatively busy day at work for once, and I have to sort through piles of unorganized paperwork. I get really stressed with all this lack of organization, and am really hungry despite the big breakfast I had. I spend the afternoon at work chatting with coworkers and getting through the rest of this paperwork. 

A comment about my weight throws me off a little, and I decide to go home instead of going to gymnastics practice. I start to fade and spend an hour staring at myself in the mirror, body checking and re-weighing myself. I mindlessly binge and purge, then order pizza. I binge and purge some more. I lie to my roommate and tell her that I need a long shower, but in reality I'm turning on the shower to mask the sound of me purging. 

I call my dad while preparing healthy safe foods for the next day. I complain to him about my therapy and how I don't want to do it. We get into a conversation about my previous trauma, and I go to bed in tears. 

Tuesday: 
I wake up feeling okay, and then last night's conversation hits me. I start hearing people calling my name. 

I eat the remaining pizza from last night's binge. I change out of my work clothes and back into pjs and lie down on my bed waiting for my roommate to leave. I call in sick to work, I purge, take a couple sleeping pills and fall asleep. 

I start counting up what pills I have wondering if I have enough to end it all. I start thinking about my family and friends, and know that I can't do that to them. I email my therapist, hoping she has some words of encouragement for me.

I wake up, eat a couple of my roommates energy bars, body check and head to the bathroom. I purge a bit but not much comes out. I grab my razor and draw red lines on my upper right thigh. With tears filling my eyes, I climb back into bed with a tub of peanut butter. I binge on peanut butter while watching House until I fall back asleep. 

Wednesday: 

I wake up early, probably from oversleeping the day before. My therapist replied to my emails, and I let her know I'm safe. 

I fall back asleep about an hour later, and don't even bother trying to wake up to my alarm. It's a lost cause and I know it. I hear my roommate leave, drag myself out of bed, and grab the rest of her energy bars to binge on. Peanut butter on energy bars tastes pretty fantastic. 

I try to get myself out of bed, to study or read or do something. I fail. Back in bed I scratch and pick at my legs while watching Netflix and rolling around in bed. I just feel so upset. 

I bribe myself into leaving the house with Starbucks, and go to the grocery store to replace my roommates energy bars wearing my pjs. I couldn't care less. My hair is in a mess of a ponytail, I have no makeup on, and I haven't showered or brushed my teeth in two days. I pick up some laxatives, which I haven't taken in almost a year, because I want to be as physically empty as I am emotionally. 

I get home, replace my roommate's energy bars, eat a few of the extra ones I picked up and take another nap. 

I wake up a couple hours before therapy. I don't want to go, but I know I'll hate myself more if I don't go. I put on some normal people clothes, and start putting my face on. I slowly start feeling a bit better. I watch some gymnastics which always puts me in a good mood.

I'm very willful at therapy. I want nothing of what my therapist is saying. I know that DBT is the treatment for my personality disorder, but to me it seems like a bunch of crap. She does make some good points about living with accordance to my values, which makes me rethink how I handled things, and I start feeling a bit more positive. 

I call my dad to practice my assertiveness and tell him the spiral that ensued after our conversation. He is very understanding which I greatly appreciate. I find out that my sister's mental health has dropped dramatically, and that she is quite unwell. After convincing my dad and stepmom to take her to the hospital, I hop on a bus to get home, and try to use some of the skills I talked about in therapy.

I go for a long walk, and vent to my roommate and boyfriend. I eat some food. I brush my teeth. I watch more gymnastics. I set out my clothes for the next day and get into bed. 

Thursday: 
My sleep is very interrupted thanks to my oversleeping. I'm exhausted when my alarm goes off, but I told my supervisor I'd go into work today. I grab the breakfast that I had prepared on monday. It has coffee in it so it perks me up pretty quickly. After another cup of coffee, I'm feeling okay enough to attack the day.

I start my commute to work and talk to my mom on the way. We have an interesting conversation about gender. Her mind has opened a lot since becoming a teacher and I greatly appreciate the conversations we have. She goes to get ready for the day, and I open the math book I'm currently reading. I read and take notes on the train. 

I get into work, and I'm quite anxious since I took two days off. I've taken a lot of sick days over the course of the summer. They were all necessary, but I still feel bad.

Everyone at work is welcoming, like they always are. I know that there was no reason for me to feel anxious. I do feel isolated at lunch though. Three of us go shoe shopping, and I feel like three's a crowd.

My therapist emails me some grounding exercises to help with my dissociation. I try some of them out while getting through the rest of the afternoon. 

I take the bus home, and eat my dinner of raspberry oats on the way. I get home, convince myself not to binge by reminding myself how broke I am, and prepare a snack.

I go see my doctor. We have a lot to talk about. Since the last time I saw her, I was in hospital, changed meds, moved, wrote an exam and changed my fall school plans. After catching her up and having a good chat about our plans moving forwards with regards to treatment - no group, but continuing to work on DBT skills in individual treatment - I head home. 

I have a really nice conversation with my roommate and eat my snack. I try to get settled in for bed but my brain is buzzing. I look up how many calories are burned doing a variety of exercises, make some pretty charts, buy plane tickets, bus tickets and apply for student loans. I make Friday's food.

I spend the night mostly awake watching Netflix and obsessing over calories and my weight.

Friday:
I wake up in a good mood. My birthday celebrations start today. 8.5 hours of work and I get to relax. 

I get to work and find out that the company is buying lunch. I should be happy, free food is always great right? Wrong. I'm already planning to go to out for coffee and dinner tonight. I can't eat out again. After looking through the nutrition info, I settle on a veggie patty and a garden salad. I can handle that. 

I suddenly feel hopeless after lunch. How am I supposed to make it through four more hours of work? I want to cry. I consider cancelling all of tonight's plans, take a few sleeping pills and sleep away the pain. I start thinking of all the different ways I could end it all. I pull out my econ notes to distract myself.

After work, I go grab coffee with a new friend. We hit it off right away, probably because we're both gymnasts and struggle with food. We have a lovely chat.

I go have my birthday dinner with my best friend/roommate and her girlfriend. I order fettuccine alfredo. We get the waiter to sing Happy Birthday to me, and he brings me some free icecream. I get up to go purge, but my friend follows me into the bathroom. When we get home, my roommate walks her girlfriend to the bus stop, so I take the opportunity to purge. I've lost some weight, I'm happy. 

I curl up into bed, and fall asleep hugging my stuffed dolphin.

Saturday: 

I wake up in a good mood again. I'm disappointed when I step on the scale, but I push myself to keep going, and drink a cup of coffee. I start cleaning my room, do some laundry and have a very productive. 
I go to starbucks for brunch because nothing in my house feels safe to eat. My roommate comes with me for support. I start to head over to my cousin's for some birthday celebrations, but my mood has dropped dramatically. 

I text my cousin saying I'm going to be late, blaming it on my roommate, and go home to have a nap. I wake up exhausted, but drag myself out of bed and get on the train to my cousin's. I'm glad I go. There are three of us around the same age, and we spend the afternoon chatting away, have a wonderful dinner of chick pea patties, some rice and lots of salad. We eat the richest chocolate cake for desert. I have a big slice. It's my birthday after all. 

We chat some more. I spend a lot of time explaining what borderline personality is and how it affects me. I'm quite open with friends and family. I rather they ask questions and be well educated than live in ignorance. 

I fall asleep before my cousins, but way past my bedtime. 

Sunday:
I wake up first and eat some cake. Hating myself for eating cake so early in the morning I go back to bed. 

I wake up again and have some more cake and eggs. We chat some more about family drama. One of my relatives says that one of my relatives was "so dumb she couldn't even kill herself" and I get very triggered. 

I anxiously wait for the next few hours to go by so that I can leave. I take a nice nap on the train back. I get off in the city adjacent to mine for a short shopping trip and gymnastics practice. 

I go shopping, and buy a new water bottle as well as a couple of workout shorts. They were all on sale and I figure I deserve to treat myself with the birthday money I got the day before. I hang around the mall for a bit longer and then head over to the gym. 

Practice is okay, but I haven't been in the gym for a week and a half, and my body knows it. I struggle to get through practice, but have quite a successful time on the beam. My fear has drastically reduced and I feel much more confident with my routine. I carpool to get home, and find out that my training partner and I have been invited back to another gym for a special training session which excites me.

I have a meltdown when I get home. I step on the scale and completely lose it when I see that my weight has gone up five pounds over the course of the weekend. I head over to the pharmacy to pick up my meds for the week, and use the opportunity to get some binge food with my leftover birthday money. I head back home eating my food, and crawl into bed with my bag of chips. After devouring thousands of calories, a drag myself into the bathroom. I turn the shower on and purge. Once I'm empty I quickly clean myself, and then slice my upper thigh until red is running down my leg. 

I pat the blood down with a towel and lie down in bed. I want to die. My birthday is tomorrow and I don't want to be alive. I send my boyfriend a few concerning messages and he calls me. I bawl my eyes out over the phone and he remains extremely supportive. I vent to my roommate and then my sleeping meds take over and I fall asleep with tears in my eyes.

Monday: 
I wake up feeling terrible. I know it's my birthday, and I should be happy. Mental illness doesn't care though. I get out of bed and get ready to start another week.

4 comments:

  1. Sorry about the purging and SH. :/ Hope things start to look up in that department.

    It sounds like you have a really great support system, which is always good.

    "I rather they ask questions and be well educated than live in ignorance." <--YES.

    I hope your mood gets better. You deserve to celebrate your birthday in happiness. Reach out to your friends and boyfriend and family, they sound like wonderful, understanding people. Those are hard to come by. <3

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    1. Thank you so much for the understanding and support

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  2. Although I don't have BPD, I do relate to some of the things that you have written here (self-harm, binging, weight struggles, suicidal feelings). This is really well-written and shows that, although we think differently with mental illnesses, and that this does sometimes affect our actions, that we can still have fun, socialise, and be normal people.

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    Replies
    1. I find even with different diagnosis, those with mental illnesses often understand each other. Thank you for the kind words

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