Back to Square One... But Stronger.
Hola Mi gente!
How did the weather treat y'all yesterday?
So bringin' it back...
Last week, I was telling you guys that I was going to start therapy and, shared with you my very brief experiences with it in, Therapy? Yup, We Got History... Now, as a woman who is trying to take back her life, this is the first time that I have been completely open to talking to someone. It took me a year to get to this place where I needed to accept the fact that I have a mental illness. That I have Borderline Personality Disorder, and not just some overly emotional chick who cant control what or how she feels. That its not just me. I'm sick; and like any other person needs help to get better. I may not have a visible broken limb; or a disease detectable through blood work, CAT scans, MRI's or any other device. No medical device can detect a broken spirit. It was difficult to accept that I had something so integrated in my own behaviors; my own disposition and frame of thinking; that it was my own intense emotions and interactions, or lack of interactions with people that was causing all this chaos in my world. That I was the host, and the parasite. That I was creating all this suffering myself. This was my understanding of what I had back in February when I attempted to go to therapy and realized, I wasn't ready to get the help.
Like any kind of medical diagnosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, the first part of moving forward and towards recovery, is accepting that you have this illness that is interfering with the possibility of you living your life to its fullest potential. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing having BPD to having any of those illnesses, but what I am saying is that, it was hard for me to accept that I was mentally ill. An ilness that was basically telling me, in my mind of course, "Honey, your social and emotional development was so out of whack as a child, you cannot handle everyday life now because you either feel too deeply or nothing at all. You my dear, have no balance." And after that initial diagnosis, I never really told people about it. I use to wish that I did have a visible illness, or some physiological something, cause it sounded like such a better reason why I am falling apart, to me at least. So, if someone asked about what I had, I would usually only mention the Bi-Polar Disorder because on da real, I didn't know crap about BPD, nor did I want to. Plus, everyone I knew was much more informed about Bi-Polar Disorder anyway. Yet little did I know it was really the BPD that was running rampant in my everyday, and my Bi-Polar Disorder was just aggravating it.
Fast forward to September...
By this time, I went a whole summer without paying my rent. I was barely at work because I couldn't stand being there, I always filled with anxiety and being constantly triggered by something. You see, individuals who have Borderline Personality Disorder, cant effectively deal with emotions, hence why mental health professionals have compared us to 3rd degree burn victims... Its like we have "no emotional skin." We feel on an overwhelming level, and I know some of you might be saying, well who doesn't? Difference is that individuals with BPD, have a long history of unstable intimate relationships, managing emotions, reckless behaviors and fragmented self-image and, I know, that still sounds like just about everyone however, normally people are just dwelling for days in everyday emotions that we all feel throughout day to the point that it interferes with how you function on your day to day. Life had become so difficult, social setting became more intolerable; I stopped doing my paperwork; I was going to work later each week. I didn't want to cook, I barely wanted to talk cuz I didn't know how to express what the fuck was going on.
October came around and I realized that I had turned 24, and still felt like a child inside, empty. Invisible. I remember looking in the mirror and not recognizing myself. I remember looking around at my life, my lover, just everything and not recognizing it. I was, and still am on so many levels, disconnected from it all. That feeling was never more heartbreaking, the feeling of unfamiliarity with yourself, your thoughts, and your surroundings, that I knew I never wanted to feel it again. So, I set up an appointment with a therapist who I saw for my first initial intake. Then on Tuesday, we had for our first, and sadly our last session. Yes, first and last.
See, when I first met her, Newman; I was totally connected. I was like-
"Yessss, this my bitch. Shes the one imma spill my soul to."
I mean, ya girl was signed, sealed, delivered. And this was only the intake. As it went on, which felt so strange since I'm usually the one doing the intakes working in social services, I just appreciated her energy, attentiveness and honesty with me. From jump, she expressed feeling unsure about her ability to provide me with the help I needed because of her availability, and case load. Along with the huge fact that at their clinic, they did not have an in-house psychiatrist, and we both agreed I need meds to help me regulate my moods. As her patient, Newman, would have only been able to see me twice a month, which gave me anxiety once I heard cuz in my heart I knew, and know, I need more than 2 sessions a month. Two sessions a month, are a guaranteed fail. Point. Blank. Period. Me, knowing me, I'd stop showing up (she knew that also) but, she was so open to helping. Even with letting me know this, and a willingness to help, she provided me with information about a program that deals specifically with personality disorders downtown. An intense therapeutic program with session several days out of the week for a couple of hours. Hardcore shit. Its like rehab; but for your personality. It was also, what I felt I needed and was so happy that a service of that nature existed cuz I felt desperate. At the same time though, I was also relieved that I found Newman, and was looking forward to starting therapy with her. But when I went for our session, she told me that after reviewing her notes, she made the decision to not see me due to my need of a higher level of care.
I'm not gonna lie, it fucked me up to hear. I was expecting to have an amazing session filled of tears and at least, one-third of an AHA! moment. Instead, we spoke about the intensive program she initially told me about during my intake and made some phone calls in hopes to connect me with other services offering similar programs. During this whole time, I wanted to cry because I felt slightly defeated. It had taken me this long to find my big girl panties, put them bitches on, and sit in front of someone... that I liked, at that; just to be told, "Sorry. Come back in a couple of months when you're a little less out of your fucking mind." When I left I couldn't help but go into a slight panic mode of what am I gonna do? What if I don't find someone? What if I do, and don't like them? Imma have to start all over again. My life is gonna fall apart. What if I cant get into intensive therapy? What if I don't want to go? What if's, up and down the block. Yet, even in all the internal questioning and worry, I didn't allow for the feeling of discouragement to spread like wild fire. Before I left, Newman said that shed be willing to see me after Ive gotten my BPD treated. She also told me not to give up.
So, all that to say mi gente, I'm back at a square one... sort of. I'm back to trying to find professional help but I feel much more prepared than I was 9 months ago, or even in October. Surprisingly, and this is a real time feeling, I actually feel somewhat much more mentally stronger too, to get back to searching. I genuinely do feel much more ready to go out and seek help. It no longer feels like this scary ass thing that I can't tackle. Is it still scary though? Hell yeah.
Funny how we are always hoping and praying for a breakthrough, some kind of epiphany. Yesterday I was just hollering about not feeling like I'm healing a motherfucking thing, and here I am, having this moment of clarity, talkin' bout I feel, mentally stronger, and you possibly having your very own AHA! moment as you read. Check us out! We sometimes just have to trust the process, the journey, and be present in it. Not ahead of it; not anticipating it as hard as it may be cuz, that's when we miss the real moments of reflection and transformation. Those places we find ourselves in before we've reached whatever place, milestone, or destination in our journeys; I wanna call them, "the in-betweens," where I'm starting to feel the real healing takes places, especially for me.
Thank you so much for letting me vent on ya screen and, being part of my healing.