It’s been a while since I wrote directly here. I started this blog to document and share my battle with trying to be successful with anxiety and mental illness. When I started this blog three years ago, I had no idea where it would take me. I had started it because something inside of me created a longing to be real, since I had felt like an artificial person for the majority of my life. I’m not sure if I thought that giving people a glimpse into the chaos in my head would help my sense of identity become concrete, but sharing it often made me find out how connected and disconnected I felt to the world around me.
In April 2019, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder , or BPD, and it was the most cathartic painful experience I’ve experienced: to finally have a name and identification for the intense emotional pain I was constantly experiencing, and knowing I wasn’t the only one, but also realizing that I had a condition that caused those close to me much distress, confusion, and emotional pain as well. The night after my diagnosis, I remember turning to a close friend and laughingly saying, while on the verge of tears, “Wow. I guess I really am just a crazy bitch”.
After a 10 year failed relationship, multiple failed connections with short-term lovers, and a traumatically manipulative 4 year relationship in my youth, my deepest sadness was coming to the realization that I would always fall in love so easily, but could never be easily loved with my sporadic mood swings, episodes of anxious paranoia followed by vengeful rage, and then empty apathy and disdain for everything around me followed then by a profound sense of loneliness and disconnection. Now having a name for the unstoppable wheel of emotions that haunted me, I felt hopeful and hopeless at the same time. I skipped my first therapy session after my diagnosis, terrified of coming face to face with my monstrous imperfection in front of others, feeling like it was pointless to even live anymore. But medication helped, like pouring milk on a jalapeno-singed tongue, it diluted the spice so that I could handle it; I could feel it but still focus without giving in to the welcoming sinkhole of despair. Now I go to DBT Therapy
I’ve been writing poetry, seemingly nonstop, for almost two years now, not necessarily because I wanted to, but because I had to. I had to express what I felt inside. I had to release my pain and confusion somehow, and I was unable to express myself accurately in regular conversation or writing. The feelings, the emotions, the images were too abstract, too fluid, and too fleeting to explain in colloquial terms, so I had to paint my feelings with the colors of alliteration and assonance, with the sounds of capital letters and empty spaces, with the sight of blank stares and cloudy heads, all senses gone and omnipresent simultaneously, to create the chaos of confusion that resides in me at every waking moment. I attempted to create these abstract visions through painting, and it gave me something in life to strive for again. I had found something that was me and not something that someone else created for me to aspire to. I chose it. My art is me. I am my art. I am not good. I am not bad. I am me.
I had an emotional episode last Sunday night. I had a beautiful day, being myself and existing with my two friends in a safe place. As the sun began to set and the beautiful orange gold (goldenrod is what he called it; I like that) haze started to taint the sky and pink the mountains, I felt so beautifully content listening to the new music he was showing me. Then a song called “Agoraphobia” came on and said “come for me”, and all I could think of was my failure as a grandchild, as a daughter, as an adult and professional, unable to be stable, unable to take care of myself, unable to take the time to help her grandmother who is losing her mind and terrified to leave her bed to see anyone. I felt like a coward, like a selfish piece of garbage who couldn’t get her life together enough to visit her sick grandmother who already forgot her name. Happiness is always fleeting, and darkness always looms. It’s the shadow always cast by the sun, and the rotation of the Earth guarantees it’s return. But, when I got home and the self-loathing was overwhelming, I told him I needed to cry. I didn’t tell him why and he didn’t pry, so I laid in the bed and he held me as I did. He didn’t get sad or frustrated with me; he just let me be me, and I felt loved.