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Why is my BPD Partner Manipulating Me?

why is my bpd partner manipulating me, www.slothspeedrecovery.wordpress.com, sloth speed recovery, borderline personality disorder

One day, you are their favourite, their everything and their addiction, the next, you are the scum of the Earth. Is it your fault?


Someone diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder will consistently struggle with relationships throughout their lives, especially the romantic ones. Dependency becomes hardcore with them, as they lean on you for everything, expecting you to complete them, never truly giving you enough space. They understand the faults of their ways, but it is not a behaviour they can seem to crack.

co-dependency

Distance from you can be perceived as a form of abandonment, and your expression for this need of space is hell to them. It is you clarifying that you do not want them around, and even if that period of time is a half hour, for someone in the extremes of this disorder, that can be perceived as abandonment and the end of the relationship.

The anxiety will run wild as they wonder if they are even worth it. The only person they felt they loved no longer strives to be by them, and they are alone in this world for that period of time. That loneliness transfers into their brain as dissatisfaction, unhappiness and anger.

Their minds are telling them that you are the perpetrator of this pain; you are the cause. You are the one who is tearing this relationship apart. Your needs are too much to ask for and they will not be afraid to show you.

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In response, you will receive hatred, attitude and manipulation. It is vengeance from the borderline who needs gratification for their pain. When the relationship starts to go haywire, you will be hung on the cross as the worst partner ever. They will go from loving to hate filled, and you will be their victim.

In seconds, you will be on the opposite side of their spectrum.

But, the misunderstanding is that they mean to do this to you, but they don’t. An individual with BPD has episodes and the disorder can entirely control them when they sense fear. We are not being rational, though it is not entirely in our control.

We preserve our relationships with all of our hearts, and we try to make them work, consistently blaming ourselves. When you push us away in that fashion, we blame ourselves subconsciously, and pin it onto you. We accuse you of not listening, not understanding, etc. but it is the true portrayal of self-hatred and lack of control. Your actions lead us to a spiral with our Borderline, and every time abandonment is perceived, it is a repeated crisis.

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So, what do you do? 

They’re mistreating you and seek out to cause you pain. Do you choose to leave them?

If you are truly unhappy and don’t see a future with this person, you are entirely allowed to choose to leave. For those who have seen happiness with us and can see a future with the healthy versions of ourselves, work on it with us. Be straight forward about how you feel in a calm environment, and offer alternatives to compromise for both parties. Reassure us of your love and your desire to be by our side. Offer your effort into the compromises and try to understand the constant inner torment we are subjected to on a daily basis.

A relationship with an individual diagnosed with BPD is passionate, and sometimes that passion is channeled in the wrong ways. But, all in all, though we may claim to hate you, we indefinitely do love you, and that is why you are the one exposed to our ups and downs.

 

 

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The 8 Wonders of Pro Anorexia Websites

sloth speed recovery, proana, pro anorexia, eating disorder, thin commandments, proana websites,

Pro Anorexia (Pro Ana) is a secret society of individuals who condone anorexia. They may not condone it for other individuals, but ultimately, they are encouraging, worsening or potentially starting eating disorders for themselves and millions of women and men around the world. They support and follow “Ana” rules and tips on a regular basis in a strive for the thinnest, most frail body to feed their mental illnesses and eating disorders.

They will sacrifice their well being, the rest of their confidence and their body to be thin, to be what they deem beautiful. Body parts with pertruding bones and concave skin are worshiped and glorified, and are what every woman should strive for, according to these websites. Without being thin, beauty is far beyond your grasps. Not to mention, it encourages community, friendships, self-discipline and beauty, and working hard to achieve that standard.

So, how can Pro Ana websites really be all that bad

 


1. Being thin is a gateway to a lifelong friendship with Ana!

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Those who turn to Pro Ana websites are often those with a plummeting self-esteem, in search of a solution. They may initially be hit with the thought that thin = beautiful, and achieving beauty is a few pounds away! They are turning to Pro Ana to resolve self-consciousness and seek validation of themselves, within themselves.

Someone in the early stages of their eating disorder or progressing within it may be flung full force into this community and the support around them. Mentally ill individuals are supporting each other to act out unhealthy behaviours, without the interruption of conscious decision for future benefit. In these acts, they may find themselves feeling euphoric and will pursue the behaviours until they can no longer reverse the effects.

In summary, exposure to the images, quotes and support of the community, one, especially adolescent, may find a home for themselves where they feel they can express, destroy and cope with themselves. They may be determining the beginning of a lifelong eating disorder!

2. You will be living in a fairy tale of beauty!

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In the evolution of this disorder, you may find yourself losing touch with reality. Suddenly, you are aware of more “flaws” within yourself that weren’t apparent before, and aren’t exactly realistically accurate.

Those actions that were once choice no longer are choice, they become habitual or ritual in your life, without the ability to cease them. In the process, you may find yourself wanting to stop, with no avail. Conscious decision is no longer within your hands, and you have Pro Ana communities to thank for your slow walk on death row.

The consistent restriction of nutrition will starve you of the abilities of your brain, causing great difficulty in everyday tasks, and seeing things for what they really are. Reality will no longer be in your grasps.

3. The tips, tricks, advice and exercises are very successful!

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The websites and communities promote tips to lose extra weight and get through fasts in succession, all while reducing hunger tendencies. Many of these tidbits are successful and trick the human body into refusing food, worsening the eating disorder and spiral the obsession with food, weight and control. The continuous practice of these behaviours inevitably lead to all the awful physical symptoms of eating disorders, and the last one, which is death.

4. YOUR life is YOUR business! Privacy above all else!

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A good portion of advice offered within communities are ways to conceal behaviours and preserve the on going nature of the eating disorder. It offers in house tricks to convince loved ones that you are eating food and keeping it down, even if you aren’t. It ruins relationships, trust and will rob you of your life. It distances the ones who care, and alters their mind into believing that you are well, ceasing them from providing you help out of your self-destructive hell.

5. A community will stand by you to lose that extra flab! You will never be alone!

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A flow of constant individuals supporting your weight loss will cloud the negative nature of your eating disorder. The positive reinforcement that is continuous convinces your mind that this is okay, that this is natural, healthy and an intelligent decision. You will be assured by the dozens that you will be happy when you are skinny, but you won’t. Everyone involved in Pro Ana or who has an eating disorder is mentally ill and their perceptions are skewed because of it. Their support and comments are a reflection of their own spiral and loss of control.

But at the end of the day, you will always feel alone with yourself, your laptop, and your spiraling sickness.

6. There are many benefits of extreme weight loss!

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Beauty is pain, right? That is true in the case of anorexia and bulimia. You will be so happy you lost those five extra pounds when you stare yourself back in the mirror, witnessing the clumps of hair falling from your scalp, and transferring as peach fuzz on your otherwise smooth skin. Your teeth will yellow, weaken and rot with the various attempts of rising food from your stomach up into the toilet bowl. You will constantly feel weak, tired and faint on a daily basis, becoming deficient and anemic. You will grow anxious in the confines of your bedroom, begging to leave but also to remain enclosed. Unhappiness and depression will become your closest friend, as you push away any human being that tries to get close. Your friends will insist you leave the house, but you know that safety is within those walls, and that the world only offers fat, your biggest fear. And when you finally choose to recover, eating will be the hardest decision you will have ever made.

In those moments, you will not be grateful for the hell you went through.

7. Comparing yourself to others is a good pastime! 

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The constant bombardment of images of overly thin women from your Pro Ana peers will convince you to compare yourself to any woman who walks by you. The thinner women will be the death of you, and you will perceive thicker women as thinner than you. You will find aesthetic “beauty” in passerbys, measuring yourself up to size, trying to conclude how many more pounds are in your vicinity to lose.

If being out and about isn’t enough, try having the community sharing their inner torment and self-destruction with you constantly. The images will become pornographic to you, bringing you euphoria aside of great shame. Suddenly, each individual struggling with an eating disorder is nothing but a number. Goal weight after goal weight, up to an ultimate goal weight, decorated by the digits that define their height, age and body mass index. Your peers will post images of their dying, decaying bodies, and you will ogle them, defining which aspects are your favourite. You may even advise them to lose more!

8. Being thin and not eating are signs of true willpower and success! You can never be too thin!

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With extreme dieting and overuse of these abundant behaviours will lead to death. Being thin and “beautiful” will be the only thing you lived for, and it will have not been a good life. Death will be ugly, painful and agonizing, and as much as you will wish to the heavens for it to cease, you have been taken control of. You are no longer at the steering wheel, and this car is going full force into a fiery crash!

An eating disorder is a constant battle, day in and day out, with ourselves and our bodies, which we cannot escape. It is life or death, and may not seem worth fighting, but it truly is. At the end of an eating disorder is recovery, happiness, well being and a HELL OF A LOT of good food! You may have spent hours, days or years surfing these websites, trying to find where you fit in the world, when none of that was necessary. You were physically fine, healthy and most likely happy!

But now, as hard as it is, it’s time for recovery. It’s time to delete the heaps of images saved on your phone or on your laptop, delete your search history, delete Pro Ana songs, and kill what’s been eating you!


If you or anyone you know is consulting pro ana blogs or websites, please seek help from a professional or call a help line. Recovery is possible.

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Dear Trichsters: HAIR WON’T MAKE YOU HAPPY!

Humans are creatures of the overplayed concept of “I want what I don’t have”. It repeats in our brains like broken records. We want money, stability, healthy relationships, material possessions and great jobs… But sadly, not everything we want can be ours, nor will it make us happy.

Those who suffer from trichotillomania, the compulsion to pull out one’s hair, who have lost significant amounts of hair may think that the solution to their problem would be a full head (or body parts) of hair, which is false.

hair, trich trichotillomania www.slothspeedrecovery.wordpress.com sloth speed recovery

In my experience, I began pulling the hair from my scalp in early 2014, and with such a large bald spot, I was forced to chop off most and shave half of my hair. I reminisced on my long locks and all the fun ways I used to style it, and desired that feminine definition again. I tried to stop my pulling, reducing it great amounts to which it what practically unnoticeable. I grew my short pixie cut over 2 and a half years. I had hair down to my breasts. It was long, healthy and beautiful. I finally felt like a woman again.

I had the hair I had long awaited, but I wasn’t satisfied.I wasn’t any better, or any more “cured”. I was still little ol’ me with a hair pulling disorder, who still wanted more and more hair. My hair still wasn’t good enough by my standards, and I soon understood that that wasn’t the cure to my unhappiness.

I have come to realize, and so should many, if not all “trichsters”, that hair will not make us happy. We want the hair because we lack it, but believe me, hair has its down sides. We have lost something that so easily defined us, and it was practically out of our control. We want hair to avoid isolation and to feel validated, and because we have been robbed.

It’s great to have a goal to work to, and to try to curb the behaviour, but it is important to note that no amount of hair will make us happy. We may be more confident, style it in various ways and flaunt it, but it will not be our solution.

What will make us happy is trying to control the trich, working on our self-confidence and accepting our disorder for what it is. We will fight for the rest of our lives but our happiness will not be dependent on the strands of dead cells that hang from our scalps, no matter how much we crave it. Our hair does not define our happiness.

 

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The Suicide Stalker

I’ll be entirely fine, having a decent day. I’m eating, taking care of hygiene, taking my medications, enjoying the sunshine… But something changes. A bad interaction, anxiety, my trichotillomania kicks in or I just end up too depressed for anything, and then everything changes…

I don’t understand how I can go from okay to just not okay. I’ll be having a grand day, but something has to be said to destroy me. I’m just trying to get by but I can’t shake the demonic thoughts that persuade me and encourage me to destroy myself. I’ll convince myself that I am cured, recovered and okay, but the next moment, I’m contemplating suicide. I just can’t get away from my suicidal thoughts, depression and Borderline.

I’m stuck in an never ending loop. The darkness is all around me and I am drowning, and nobody is there to save me. I feel so alone and lost, and like I could die off and the world would not be concerned.

I am trying with all of my heart and soul to keep my life going but it’s debilitating, and I’m really losing sight of my life and well being. It seems that I’m well on my way to being awful again, unable to function.

My inability to function is destroying opportunities, my relationships and my life and I just don’t know how to get a hold anymore. And when that sinks in, I always contemplate suicide… I am being stalked and followed by my own suicidal desires and my unstable mindset. I am fighting with all of my will power, but I am losing myself…

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My Recovery Wake Up Call (Featuring S.K. Bosak from Borderline Mama)

sloth speed recovery borderline mama www.slothspeedrecovery.wordpress.com www.borderlinemama.wordpress.com my recovery wake up call

With the challenges of everyday life, it is easy to dismiss and forget about our inner troubles. Sometimes a life altering event is the kick we need to wake up to the reality of our illness. Mustering our own inner strengths and all of our courage, we may all see an end to the torment. We must be resilient, and brave. Only then, do we truly start our journey to recover from BPD.

Sloth Speed Recovery has partnered with S.K. Bosak from Borderline Mama to bring you our two incredible stories of self-discovery and journey into recovery.


S.K. Bosak:

I was diagnosed with BPD during my stay in rehab. As a result of all the medicine I had to take, I couldn’t really concentrate on anything and I didn’t feel like myself. I never thought about my diagnosis, but my doctor never went into detail about BPD either. So I just viewed the illness as the cause of my emotional pain and left it at that.

When I was discharged from rehab, I was a fragile mess. I wasn’t ready to go out and live my life, so my parents encouraged me to study from home while I had monthly therapy sessions. It was a lonely ordeal and I hated it. Within a year, I completely forgot about having BPD. My medication made me feel numb, so my therapy sessions weren’t really much help. But I wanted to get back on my feet so I could escape my isolation.

Things started to change when I came off my medication. I began to feel my emotions again. I was able to think more clearly, and remembered my diagnosis. I did a little research on BPD, and finally understood that the illness was why I couldn’t control my emotions and why I behaved the way I did. But I wasn’t ready to recover yet. As a result, my BPD symptoms flared up as I fought to be free from my loneliness.

When I met my SO, I left the country to go and live with him. My BPD symptoms were badly out of control, but I finally wanted to recover. I didn’t like how it made me behave around him. But ended up focusing on our relationship instead on recovery. It was only after I became pregnant, I started focusing on recovery. I didn’t want to be a bad mother.

After our daughter was born, I made a promise to her. I promised to fight my illness so I could be a wonderful mother. My daughter is my motivation to recover.

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Sloth Speed Recovery:

My wake up call was my own self destruction. Nothing was particularly done to me, but I was messing my life up.20160320_14585256861027

I was first homeless a month after my 16th birthday, wanting to get away from home after being physically violent with my family and having the police called on me several times. I was out of control and would use violence to express my inner torment, which turned my family against me. I was partnered with a company that would help me leave home when I turned 16.

I met a boy in the homeless shelter who took my world by storm. I laid my eyes on him and he swept me off my feet. Every interaction we had was lovely, comedic and romantic, until he really hurt me. Within one week of us officially being a couple, he cheated on me. I wanted to die; I wanted the pain to stop. I remember laying on the beach, hoping the waves would drag me in and I could drown. But I was stupid and continued my relationship with him.

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A few months passed and I found out he cheated AGAIN with a girl who was 4 years younger than him and with another girl who woke up, terrorized, to find his hand in her pants.

8 months passed. I had been living with him for 5 months, we had been scrapping pennies, and we did everything together. We were sexually involved with other couples and had rules around that. The night of June 30th, 2015, I went to my friend’s house after a week of suicidal thoughts and pill popping. We went to her boyfriend’s house, and I just wasn’t in my right mind. There had been sexual tension between the 3 of us, with my boyfriend refusing to have sex with them. My boyfriend at the time was with his friends and wouldn’t answer my calls about me feeling aroused and having desire to play with them. Stupidly, I engaged in some sexual activities with them and told him what happened. He was displeased with me, with reason.

Upon my return the next morning, he was furious, and though we led a deviant lifestyle, he had no right to hit me. I was slapped across the face, bringing me to the ground, and received a kick in the lungs. I stopped breathing and ran to the bathroom. (To be clear, I had had physical altercations with him. I did try to attack him once when I was drunk, and smacked him when he had a bottle of pills I was going to OD with).

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It was mid October. Our relationship was falling apart and I was utterly depressed, practically never leaving our bedroom and skipping at least one day a week of school. I was terrified about the result of breaking up with him, and in response, chose to down alcohol with sleeping pills during a Halloween party my roommates were hosting. I was ill with one of my roommates asking me what I did and he put me to bed. Upon my boyfriend’s arrival, my roommates harassed him about what I had done. I was unconscious. He came into the room, kissed me, and LEFT to go party. May I repeat that he LEFT his suicidal girlfriend in bed after an overdose mixed with alcohol. I was asleep for 14 hours that night, and though I’m lucky I woke up, it wasn’t for sure that I was going to.

He left me there, without care that our bed could’ve been my death bed.

About a week passed, and I told my school social worker about the time he hit me and she urged I leave him. That night, I came home and insisted we go one break. We discussed rules and he said he would remain faithful, but that I could see other people. Well, he ended up cheating on me again. I packed my things and left the day it happened.

I enrolled in the Out of Control program in my hospital for DBT and CBT, and was broken. I tried so hard to recover but I was destroyed.

Barely two months passed, placing us in December. I had just celebrated Christmas with my family, and an argument broke out. Well, apparently I shoved my mother and next thing I knew, I was homeless again.

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I moved to Toronto with the help of my current boyfriend into a youth shelter. I was in a city I didn’t know, with people I didn’t know, trying to get on my feet. I enrolled in a new school, started seeing a youth worker, had a school social worker, and worked at a restaurant. I was getting on my feet, but I was miserable and terrified.

I lived there for practically 4 months, witnessing fights with knives and fists, theft, had schizophrenic roommates, sexual harassment and STDs. I decided to patch things up with my mother, begging her to pick me up and take me back home. I needed my family back and I couldn’t live like that anymore.

My mom forced me to re-enroll in the Out Of Control Program, I chose to start working on my recovery and managing my emotions, I graduated high school, joined an employment program, started this blog and I’ve started my own secret project (coming soon!). I have not displayed violent behaviours since December, my self harm is farther and fewer in between, and I am in control of myself and my emotions.

I still have a ways to go with my recovery, but I’m almost there. Everyday is a battle and my BPD really gets to me sometimes, but I understand now how much talent and what capabilities I possess. Recovery is a lifetime lifestyle, and I’m going to get there. So can you.


What was or will be your wake up call?

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9 Things You Need to Understand About Borderline Personality Disorder

9 things you need to understand about borderline personality disorder bpd www.slothspeedrecovery.wordpress.com sloth speed recovery

It is necessary to state that not all diagnosed BPD patients are the same. Most statements will resonate with the majority of diagnosed individuals, but not all. Every experience differs, and all of our pasts and paths are diverse. These are very common and basic statements about the disorder.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder, otherwise known as BPD, is a serious mental illness characterized by the inability to regulate emotions. Some common traits or symptoms borderline-personality-disorderinclude:

  • Fear of abandonment
  • Unstable interpersonal relationships (with idealization and devaluation)
  • Identity disturbance and low perception of self-worth
  • Impulsive behaviours (risky sex, drugs, overspending, etc)
  • Self harm and suicidal tendencies
  • Reactive and difficulty controlling emotions, especially anger
  • Emptiness
  • Paranoia and disassociation

Borderline Personality Disorder has acquired plenty of negative connotations over the years, with some mental health professionals reluctant to treat it based on the intensity of the patient’s threats, reactions and, sometimes, lack of desire to get better. Some people who have associated with individuals diagnosed with BPD may not understand and, within discussions regarding the topic, furthering the stigma.

As diagnosed BPD individuals, we are not perceived positively. People tend to avoid us because of our intense emotions and emotional episodes. As much as we may try to explain ourselves, we are often misunderstood  or not taken seriously. We may desperately try to express our distress to you, without knowing how to go about it. Some of us don’t quite understand our disorder yet and may not know that our explosive or sensitive reactions are distinguished in this disorder, thus having no capabilities to explain ourselves to you.

Explaining our behaviours by stating we have Borderline Personality Disorder is an explanation, not an excuse.


I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me

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We find it very complicated to be in a stable relationship, seeing as our life patterns demonstrate someone loving us, remaining for a while and then abandoning us. We push and shove in response to our overwhelming emotions, trying to abandon you before you are able to abandon us. We constantly fear being left by the ones we love and we find it more beneficial to our emotional stability if we do it first. We convince ourselves that the blame cannot be put on us, even though we recall our behaviour later on and blame ourselves for causing you to leave.

We cannot live with you or without you, and it is a constant battle in our minds. We try to deduct whether it’s more beneficial to have you in our lives or not. At times, we think we have our mind made up, until we realize we want the opposite minutes later.

Think of the old concept introduced to kindergartners; “boys bully you because they like you.” (Extremely sexist, but wait for it.) BPD can sometimes make us act like those little boys. We do not have the means to express our affection to you, nor do we comprehend it, thus we violently lash out. We get the most violent with the ones we love and appreciate the most. It’s awful to say, but if we are treating you like this, we probably love you very, very much. We blame you for the potency of our emotions, and being loved is out ultimate fear. In response, subconsciously, we will cuss and push you away until you leave.

 

 

Emotional Instability, Intensities and Outbursts

A main symptom of the disorder is emotional instability and mood swings. As much as we may try to control our emotions, they always seem just past arms’ length. We go from ecstatic to depressed in moments, and it can leave us utterly exhausted. We struggle with the maintenance of any particular long term emotion; contentment can last a few hours and it can be followed by exaggerated anger.

In response to the ferocious mental storm, we violently react with outbursts and painful statements. We can become physically abusive as well as emotional and mental, trying to spike you with similar pain that we feel. Our outbursts can be brief or elongated, lasting up to a few hours. The extreme emotional implications can even lead us to self harm or a suicide attempt.

 

Sensitivity and Overreacting

It is no secret that we are on the more sensitive side of the spectrum of people. A comment you make that someone else could  disregard or be caught off guard can drive us into a frenzy. Our sensitivity is heightened along with our emotions and, though what we are hurt by may seem silly to you, it is very real and traumatizing to us. There are events and situations that we will not forget because of their extreme sensitivity content and the overload we felt.

An empty comment can be spun out of context with our skewed perception of reality, assuming you’ve observed a trait in us you don’t like, or we aren’t attractive enough, etc. and even if what we heard is not what you had said or what you intended, we create our own reality to make it true.

In retort, we may lash out or bawl, taking an extreme stance, and though it may seem like overreacting, it is valid to us and comprehensible. We felt so hurt by something and our only ability to cope is to lose it in one way or another.You may perceive it as unnecessary but it is our process for coping and we require love and support. In these times, we are in need of an apology and comfort from you.

 

Boredom and Emptiness

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Borderline is often unstable, with periods of highs and lows, and some switching quickly between the two. It keeps us very busy, I’m sure you can imagine. We are so encompassed in this constant whirlwind that, when it calms down, suddenly we are hit with boredom.

Boredom often gets misinterpreted in our minds as depression or sadness, and can evidently lead to self harm and suicidal behaviours. The stillness leads our thoughts in a negative direction, and the self-deprecating notions become repeated in our minds, woven one over the other. (“You’re useless.”, “You’re lazy”, “You never stop wasting your time.”) When nothing is going on and we are chaos free, we are unsure as to what we should do with ourselves, and we can sense a great deal of emptiness and dissatisfaction. Without being kept busy with a hobby, we misinterpret the boredom and the intensity escalates until we lose control and have an episode. We want to have that time and those feelings filled with activities that work our minds and keep our thought process busy. Without occupying the thought process, we can quickly become consumed by our own self hatred and low self esteem.

 

Relationship Struggles

The inability to maintain a stable relationship is very common. These relationships can be family oriented, friendships and romantic or sexual relationships.

A thing to remember is the sensitivities and intensities felt by an individual diagnosed with BPD; any comment made gets held to heart, whether it’s kind or mean. Your opinion is held at high standard and can make or break the individual’s day/week/month/year.

Being in a relationship, we often assume we will be left, being a common pattern we have been exposed to. We assume it is a life pattern that will always follow us, and instead of riding the waves, small or large with you, we subconsciously push you away and leave you before you can leave us. In our mind, it is a way to break the pattern; “you can’t leave me if I’ve already left you”. Any stillness in the relationship is perceived as boring and can somehow be misinterpreted by you not meeting our needs or not understanding us, or even not loving us enough. We have not been exposed to much relax and thus, do not have much experience with coping with it, but we do know chaos and roller coasters. In our inability to cope, we will take you for that ride down the slope.

We desperately want to have a happy relationship but we are not always in control, and to be loved. We face episodes where our mouthes and emotions completely disconnect from our morality and usual conversations. We do not want to hurt you, but we are terrified of being loved. It’s a foreign concept in our minds. We try to keep ourselves together but we loosen at the seams and become explosive. And at times, in our angry episodes, we want you angry too, because then we aren’t alone and you, too, are taking the roller coaster ride with us.

Despite the chaos and rides we will take you on, and as silly as it may sound, we do it because we love you.

 

Skewed Perception of Reality

Though reality is altered from one person to the next, most people are still living within the facts or slight exaggeration of them. With BPD, our reality is concentrated on emotions and fears. For example, if we are scared you will abandon us, we will act as if it is current and live in that chaos. Or, let’s say we feel ugly, we may assume that our loved ones believe it and torment ourselves to not feel this way. And if our fears aren’t real enough, we create them and make them reality.

Our perception of reality is often skewed and can confuse our surroundings. Though we may not be psychotics, we may have delusions and paranoia. They may not be the commonly known heard voices as seen in schizophrenics and patients with psychosis, but they alter our sense of reality and fog the facts.

Our assumptions can go from being just that and escalate to being “reality” as we associate clues and events to our prejudged conclusion. All of our clues, though inaccurate or unrelated, soon become the full reason or description for a situation.

A misheard sentence from your mouth can make us frantic; you may claim you said one thing but we heard another, and it wasn’t a good thing. Suddenly, we believe it; we have proof and evidence that it is all true and you meant what we thought we heard.

 

Identity Crises

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We lose touch with who we are in the process of understanding our disorder, mental illness and wanting to be someone entirely different. We may label ourselves as BEING the disorder or change from one type of person to the next. We act like chameleons and study our peers to be accepted and wanted by them. We perceive fitting in as a sense of validation and self worth. Some individuals will be entirely different when they are at home, compared to work, compared to with a romantic partner. We study and dictate what we want to put on show for specific people, trying to find a way to integrate and not be left.

We discern our being as unlovable, dictated by the demonstrations in our past, and we cannot imagine anybody loving us for our true selves, not to mention the chaos that is this disorder. We will hide behind as many masks and in as many costumes so that you may not break that barrier and unleash us out of our comfort zone. We would prefer putting our best traits on display.

 

Self Harm, Suicide and Threats

A common lead to diagnosis is self harm and suicidal tendencies. Many adolescents get diagnosed before they are deemed able to be diagnosed because of this, mixed with unstable teenage emotions that worsen in stages of puberty.

Self harm is our expression of the overwhelming emotions that overtake our bodies and minds. It is our way of physically creating our pain; painting it out, if you will. Self mutilation is not just the act of cutting, it also includes:

  • Burning
  • Starvation/Bingeing/Purging (Disordered Eating behaviours)
  • Scratching
  • Suicide attempts
  • Overdoses
  • Illegal and recreational drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Trichotillomania/Dermatillomania (and other Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviours)
  • Etc.

Some of us do it to feel alive, others for control, on impulse, or to scare. (Whether a person is doing it to scare or for any other reason, it is still valid and still dictates a problem, just a different type of problem. In the end, it is still self mutilation, which is unleashing physical pain onto ourselves to cope with emotions.)

It is important to not judge the individual for this expression. It is a maladpative coping strategy and eventually grows to be addictive, as the acts release endorphins, tricking our brains. For the time being, it does work. It isn’t healthy, nor is it worth it, but the individual may have not come to that realization yet. Without desire to recover, it is still recognized as functional by the one self mutilating. Prying and trying to stop the behaviour can worsen the outcome, leading them into intense emotions where they feel they may have to do it again to find release.

Trying to be understanding and supportive, offering positive coping strategies,  hobbiesroutine and helping to create a coping kit with them can guide them on the right path. It will take a lot of time, but the diagnosed BPD patient must eventually learn to self regulate and should be granted years for this process.

Though we may not be trying to kill ourselves by using these negative coping strategies, they can have negative repercussions. The beahviours can become quite severe and may require medical attention, which is important to seek out when needed. The emotions we feel can escalate drastically, requiring us to get stitches or getting our stomach’s pumped, and should be supervised. It is important to ensure all wounds are kept clean and are covered to avoid STDs and other blood transmitted diseases.

Suicide attempts and threats should be taken very seriously, but it is very crucial to note that mental health professionals prefer to avoid hospitalizations for us and so, we can be left on our own. Many of us do not properly use hospital stays properly, often getting involved in other people’s problems or becoming aggressive with staff, feeling the assistance is unhelpful, and disrupting other people’s stays. It is a very sad truth, and we may be turned away when requesting to be hospitalized for these reasons. (It is also very important to recognize that being turned away can spiral emotions downwards, and skewing their perception of reality. They may think “Well, if they don’t think I’m suicidal enough, I’ll prove it.”, and this can be a very dangerous thought process. Ultimately, it is preferred to avoid trying to get hospitalized, which will lessen the trauma.)

The threats can be made to express great deal of distress and serious desire to take one’s life, and it can also be to scare and receive sympathy from loved ones and medical attention. The emotions are intense, and we may threat when they have escalated passed our capacity of withholding them. To us, it is very real. We truly believe we are ready to take our own lives, and though it may be a threat and we may not fully act upon it, our feelings are serious and can lead to the act if overwhelmed.

They will need extra support and will require professional attention from a counselor or therapist who is knowledgeable in  Borderline. Offer support, do not fall into stigma and try to be understanding of the chaos.

 

It is a Disorder but we are NOT Hopeless

girl-in-pink-flowers-field-hd-wallpaper

Though this is a long lasting disorder, we CAN recover. The recovery path consists of self regulation and understanding. We must practice mindfulness and positive coping strategies to keep ourselves in line. We are not entirely in control of the behaviours; they are just learned patterns. The treatment of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy will offer us the tools to acquire that content and stable life.

A popular choice for those who cannot afford, nor find a professional or service that specializes in DBT can look into the Out of Control; DBT CBT Workbook, which offers diagrams, activities and simple explanations to many, if not all, common Borderline Personality Disorder behaviours. The tools must be continuously practiced, or relapse is inevitable to occur.

Many will give up on us, but I can assure you that if you stick around to watch us get better, you will not regret it. One day, we will know peace, stability and even happiness, as long as we work hard at it.

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Experience Ontario Conference; I Am Capable

slothspeedrecovery, experience onatrio conference i am capable, www.slothspeedrecovery.wordpress.com

When my high school years were coming to a close this past June, I was approached by my school counselor who introduced a program called Experience Ontario. Her and I had previously discussed my disinterest in post secondary; I hadn’t closed on a subject I wanted to study and I ultimately felt unready. The program wasn’t entirely explained to me but it was made clear that we would choose 3 separate placements that would help us further our careers; whether we chose to jump into post-secondary afterwards or just continue with jobs.

I received an email mentioning that I had a mandatory conference to attend, which partially scared me. Jumping into something entirely new just shook me up and didn’t sit well with me, and to be frank, it wasn’t properly explained to me in the beginning.

The days approaching the conference, my trichotillomania worsened, leaving me with a bald spot where my bangs used to be, my anxiety was rising and I felt depressed. I was not prepared for it and didn’t know what to expect, despite the fact that I knew I would enjoy myself in the end. After all, it was going to be in a camp setting, and that’s always been somewhere I’ve felt comfortable and happy.

experience ontario conference selfie sloth speed recovery www.slothspeedrecovery.wordpress.com

Bandana tied around my bald spot, dressed in a Nicole Dollanganger tee and a black pleated skirt, I desperately wanted someone to talk to me. Some staff members approached me, including one who took me down to my cabin. In the first 10 minutes of conversation, I revealed my trichotillomania. I had no idea why I felt the urge to share it, but I did, and she had it as well. She had told me she had never met anybody else with this condition and we furthered our discussions.

Once we returned and she got on to other tasks, I was on my own again. Eyes around me felt averted, as if I was invisible. Groups had already been made and people were chatting. Isolated, I attempted to have myself noticed by walking around and making eye contact with different people, which was ultimately destroying me inside because of anxiety.

Activities began and I was put in the French group, which was lovely. I felt like there were people around me that I could express my culture and love for my language and background. We got to meet one another and I was able to talk to a few people. I felt my shell breaking rapidly, and outward came the version of myself that was lively prior to mental illness.

She was chatty and funny and loud. No one could bring her down. She had answers to every question, and even if they weren’t right, she wouldn’t cower away. She was proud to speak and her voice echoed and bounced off the white walls. She had big thoughts and large dreams, and it seemed like she could attain them in seconds if she just put her mind to it. She moved, and laughed, and everyone’s eyes seem to gaze in her direction. She was who I used to be, on top of the world, and it was as if I was never mentally ill.

We had an activity where we had to create ourselves a shield, and in the bottom right corner, our comrades had to write their impressions of us. It began with “pretty”, “friendly”, “artistic”, etc. but in the upcoming days, “natural leader” was added, and it was evident to me that I was capable as I believed as a child. I really was a public speaker and motivational figure, and I could use that to my advantage to help others.

The first night, which helped me fully escape my limitations, was an activity called “Groove”. I walked into that room with no expectations or idea of the upcoming activity, and I can admit that in the beginning, I was uncomfortable beyond belief. It was similar to a dance class, but we were made to make asses of ourselves with silly dance moves and partnering with strangers. But everybody was acting silly, so there was no embarrassment. As the stench of B.O. filled the room, disgust did not follow. One second we were ballerinas and the next we were rock stars with guitars, the next we were drumming all together. We even had a hip hop dance battle, with no rehearsal. By the voice of the instructor, we were her artistic figures, and we benefited from that pressure to be released from our own confines.

We were demonstrated trust in one another with symbolic activities. We formed a spider web and it was made clear that if one person no longer holds onto the web, the web will break and everyone will fall. Everyone needs to support each other in a team, or it cannot be considered a team. Without trust in others, we are entirely alone in this world.

We learned about our inner critics and the stress we put on ourselves, claiming we will fail before we even attempt to try. Had I let my inner critics talk to me while at camp, I wouldn’t have been able to socialize and I can only imagine that I would have been miserable.

One section of programming addressed innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, and we had to create a solution to a problem, which was a newly graduated man who was in search of a job. Within us were boys that laughed at the content, calling the man a “bum”. I, having been a homeless “bum”, ignored their ignorant comments and proceeded to discussing issues with homelessness, especially in Toronto, which I knew too well. I raised issues like lack of housing, mental illness, feelings of hopelessness, etc. And eventually, we were made to make a prototype. I raised to the table that Toronto has been building condos and apartments, one after another, ignoring the vagrancy issue that is prevalent in their city. While I was homeless, I was looking into subsidiary housing, which accommodates your income so you are able to pay rent, and the waiting list being over 10 years, and I had a wonderful idea. What if we created subsidiary housing with jobs on the inside, where the individuals can raise money, get experience for their resumes, raise enough money for their own apartment, all the while getting assistance with programming, food, housing and advice?

Little did I know, it was a hit. My group wanted me to go in front of everyone and demonstrate our prototype and ideas. Many loved the idea, and I was congratulated by many people after my presentation.

That night, staff raised to us that there was a talent show that night. I had a talent, but I was anxious and unready. My chest was heavy and anxiety was trying to take over my body. Ten minutes prior to my performance, a guitarist from the camp learned the chords to the song and we practiced twice, and up on stage we went.

I gave a little speech, addressing my anxiety and a bad performance I had in the past, which destroyed my confidence and that I hadn’t sang since.

Leaving On A Jet Plane – John Denver Cover (My live performance)

leaving on a jet plane, john denver sloth speed recovery

Cheer after cheer, my confidence built up sky high. I saw jaw drops and tears in the audience, and I was so astonished with myself. After my performance, tears now in my eyes, I spoke to the crowd.

“Thanks to you guys, I might be able to sing again.”

I couldn’t believe that I had moved a crowd like that again. My previous performance hadn’t gone as well as I had hoped, singing a song I hadn’t been connected to, which for whatever reason, I dictated justifiable for me to stop singing entirely, which I should have NEVER done.

The next day, all groups were asked to have a few members speak to the whole camp. On cloud nine, I made an offer.

Bestowed in front of so many eyes, I cracked a few jokes before I spoke openly of my mental health. Short and sweet, I shared that my mental illness robbed me of all my ambitions and that was the main reason I was a part of the program. I declared that illness stole my ambitions, my desires, my self confidence but that now, after this program and conference, I understand that I am capable and that I CAN DO IT.

After my performance and speech, I had dozens approach me, declaring their love of my voice and even saying that I was an inspiration. I was fluttering inside. Everything my mental health and insecurities stole from me, I had gotten back in a matter of a few days. I was capable once again, talented even.

I realized that I had a voice, one that sang and spoke. That I knew how to relate to a crowd and speak from the heart. I had never felt more powerful and confident.

I tried many new things and met many people, some I will not be forgetting anytime soon. I watched people grow, as they did with me, and we all became much stronger, with a more detailed vision for ourselves.