BPD + Me = Forever Alone?

When lockdown first happened I reached out to loads of people who I’d not spoken to in years. I felt more forced into isolation than ever before, and I’m quite a social person naturally, I just can’t keep hold of friends for some reason..? All of a sudden I was connected again! I felt revitalised, like I suddenly had more friends than I thought! They were all just a bit dusty on a shelf hidden away in the back of my brain somewhere. We had conversations over the phone, WhatsApp groups, and meet ups over Zoom (which seemed to be the new Skype). Lockdown was a bit of an excuse to do these things. Distance wasn’t a problem OR an excuse for anyone anymore because you could be bloody neighbours and still not be allowed to see each other face to face in real life. It was a weird time, filled with boredom, loneliness and fear, but also, hope, gratitude and strong emotional bonds.

Fast forward to lockdown lifting; The incredibly, idiotically named “Freedom Day”, where everyone was… (is..?) still scared about COVID killing people, but it’s not enough to keep us apart anymore… all so it may seem.

Personally, I feel lonely again. I’m seeing wAy more people face to face now, at my new job etc. than I have done for a very long time, but I’ve gone out of my way to make sure I continue to text and ‘check in’ on those people who I reconnected with at the start of lockdown. However, I’m not getting much in return… the conversations run dry, I get short answers, or no answers at all! I know people have their busy lives back, but so do I..? – I’m still making the effort… Friendship is supposed to be a two way thing. Where are the people texting and ‘checking in’ on me? Where are my texts out of the blue?

I swear, I scroll through my phone book these days and there are so few I would actually call a friend I can’t tell if it’s sad or scary.. maybe both…

I had a conversation about this with Dom not long ago. He notices when I get down and always asks about what is making me sad. when the answer is that I’m lonely and I don’t have any friends, it can get a bit awkward. Dom likes to be a problem solver and resolve my sadness with advice, but for this it’s tough… you can’t just magic up friends. You have to build on relationships with chosen people over a long time… not only is there the ‘growth period’ that is a blocker to having instant friends, but there is the question of where the hell do you find them, if you’re not at school, college or Uni..? those were my chances to build relationships that would last me through my boring adult/‘more mature’ years. But no, BPD prevented me from ever having healthy relationships with anyone. Thanks BPD… Then, there were the ones (mainly from Uni) that I did want to keep as forever friends… but I didn’t maintain it he relationships properly when I moved back to Birmingham… “Out of sight, out of mind”, thanks ADHD… so I feel like those relationships are now beyond repair, and I’ll never have that tight bond we once had ever again… Fuck.

I’ve even neglected my relationship with my brother… who for most of my life has been my best friend in the whole world. We have a closeness due to our family situation that not many people would be able to comprehend. Our family are the functioning fucked up, but however negative that sounds… there is SO much love for each other. Me, my Mom, my brother and my Dad.

Now of course I have Dom, the love of my life. I know this because he balances me out whist at the same time sticks by me and supports me through thick and thin. He has the patients of a saint, not many people would or could put up with my multitude of flaws (be that due to the personality disorder or various other factors). Dom saw something in me that was worth more than anything I could see in myself, he has spent the last four years trying to show me and to convince me to believe in myself, which I must admit is sinking in. He saw a future, he saw potential, he saw the ‘me’ beneath my collection of diagnoses and layers of medication. However dreamy snd romantic sounding this is it’s not been easy – Don made very clear from the start of our relationship that he wouldn’t be my carer, that I have to be able to take care of myself and prove that I can be independent… Which, I worked at, and eventually did. I feel like I’m still proving it, every day, but not to him, to myself. Now I want to succeed, I want to be stable and happy and one day raise a family with Dom. He gave me something to fight for. He was and always will be the light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

I love you Dominic Russ.

Talking about the future like this has made me realise, there are a small handful of people who I still want to be around with me on this journey. People I feel are drifting away. My brother being the main one. I have a few relationships that I need to focus on fixing, then I can think about new friends (if I need them). I’m nearly 33, where do you get new friends at this age anyway?

Those people I love, you know who you are (yet I very much doubt you know of the existence of this blog). I’m coming for you, I’ve not given up.

Cry baby at weddings…

A few weeks ago I was a bridesmaid at my cousin Rosie’s wedding. It was forecast to rain and was set to be an outdoorsy summer affair, but thankfully the weather held out all day and the celebrations were only dampened by my many tears during the ceremony! I am so strange when it comes to weddings of people close to me (and I guess even of those not so close to me – as I nearly cried at Dom’s friend’s wedding years ago), I just get really overcome with emotion. It’s confusing, I think it’s really lovely and cute and for some reason that brings me to tears… Yet, I play the clown in gatherings at funerals… in a desperate attempt to cheer people up…

Anyway, Rosie looked stunning, her and the groom looked like Britain’s next top models! Such a handsome couple. Dom and I unfortunately were not warned in time to congregate in the marquee for the speeches, so we missed a few minutes of the father of the bride speech talking to the woman selling craft ale round the corner, when we realised we had to be somewhere, we had to sneak in and found some seats that were quite far away. At the end of the groom’s speech he announced that the day previous they had discovered that Rosie is in fact pregnant with their first child!

I am so happy for them. They’ve been together for 10 years, and they are the perfect match. They will both make amazing parents.

There kind of is nothing I want more in this world than to have a baby. So of course I’m slightly envious, but not in a bad way. It’s just natural. Dom thinks we’re not ready… I am. I want a baby as soon as possible really. I hate the idea of leaving it too late. Or even not leaving it too late and being an old mom. Women only have a certain number of eggs, we’re not like men who are pretty much fertile until they’re dead! I’m 32 now.. rapidly approaching 33. Dom is still doing his PhD. Granted, it’s coming to an end, but then he wants a holiday and then he’ll have to get a job. Will we have to move? Who knows? When do we look into buying a house? All these things are factors. But, baby needs to be a factor somewhere too.

Rosie apologised to me sometime following the wedding that she didn’t warn me of the news before hand as she knows how triggering a pregnancy in the family can be for me (after the breakdown I had when I found out my other cousin Becky was pregnant – which was about two years ago now).

Total BPD reaction, to be so jealous that you can’t function. While at the same time knowing that they deserve all the happiness a child will bring to their family, and being happy for them. I’m trying so hard not to let it consume me this time. I’m trying to be happy with what I have right now. Dom sees my over the top emotional reactions and does not understand them. He thinks I’m being a baby. I really think he needs to research borderline personality disorder a bit more, because he just does not empathise with me when I need him to most.

He think’s I’m too immature and irresponsible right now. He want me to prove myself before we even think about it. He is a very pragmatic person. He has his routines that get him through, and that is that. I don’t have that. I try, but it does not come naturally to me. But spontaneous, idiosyncratic people can still be parents. I understand why he might want me to be stable for a prolonged period of time before we decide to procreate! I mean, that’s big! Bringing another life into the world. A little helpless slither of a human, to look after and mould into a functioning, well rounded person. We haven’t even had a pet!

Getting back on the blog train

Hi everyone! I’ve had a little break, things have been a bit hectic; what with starting my new job and everything, but I’m back and will try to be posting daily again!

I am very happy to report I am loving my new job! It’s SO GOOD to have a reason to get up in the morning. Without blowing my own horn – I seem to have made quite an impression. The managers love me and the way I work. I’ve been super organised and thorough, they’re planning on making me team champion… I’ve only been in the job just under a month! I’m actually really proud of myself, which is rare, but it feels kinda good to take pride in the service I provide. I went above and beyond yesterday to support a client and it was really appreciated by them. It gives them the boost these people need when someone listens and helps, which makes me feel good too. It’s a win win.

I am finding it hard to switch off when it’s clocking off time though. I have an addictive personality, so I don’t want to end up a workaholic. I really need to force myself to find that work/life balance.

… Starting tonight! Today is payday! My first pay check, so I’m going out with my boyfriend Dom for a meal at our favourite Italian. My treat. Date night! Gotta be there in half an hour so I’m gonna wrap this up. It’s good to be back!

Good news!

I haven’t posted in a little while, but all is well.. in fact, all is very well! – I had an interview for a job on the same contract as I worked before, just with a different charity (working with people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness), anyway… I GOT THE JOB! I am sooo happy and excited and relieved. I completely aced the interview.

I have a start date (so long as my checks come back in time) for Thursday 24th June. I have loads of ideas and I’m really enthusiastic about starting. The first two weeks will be training, and then I can start building up a client base and meet some people on my caseload. Eeek! Finally, got a job… after six months of being unemployed! Massive weight has been lifted.

Plus! There are perks – if I pass my probationary period of six months, I will be employed by the charity permanently! Real stability! I really can’t mess this up! This is it! New chapter!

Got an interview!

A few weeks ago I enquired about current job vacancies at some of the rival service providers of my last job. They deliver the exact same service on the same contract, only to different types of clientele (I was a work coach to people that face barriers to gaining employment in my previous job). My ex ‘big boss’ told me some of the other service providers were hiring, we’re still in occasional contact – he’s a good egg. I think he feels bad for letting me go, and knowing that I still haven’t found work -six months on! I found one company with a vacancy, but… for no reason whatsoever, I put off applying straight away…

Last week I received a text from my old project manager letting me know that she’d seen this rival charity were hiring for someone to do my old job. I thought it was really nice of her, so I played dumb, pretended to know nothing about it, and thanked her. Her messaging kind of gave me a shove in the direction of actually applying for the job, so I filled out the application there and then (which to my surprise was the easiest app in the world!), attached my CV, and sent it off! Done and done. Then -a mere few hours later- I received an email from the company inviting me to interview on June 3rd!

So… now I have to prepare for that. I not only have relevant experience, I have exact experience. Okay… it’s a different clientele, homeless people instead of people with hearing loss, but I’ll do my research into the different barriers homeless people face in getting employment, read up on the charity, all that jazz!

I don’t wanna be too confident, but I am hopeful! Fingers crossed for me!

Bored of ‘being good’…

I hit a bit of a bump in the road yesterday. It was really hard to get up, my body felt really heavy, I was lethargic and moody. I also had cravings for lots of carbs and beer. It was like my stomach was empty (it wasn’t), I had this void inside that needed filling and the only thing I could think to fill it with was food and beer, like an emotional hunger wanting me to break and comfort eat/binge drink. However, I stayed strong (just about) and resisted. It was a real struggle.

The novelty of ‘being good’ is wearing off now and I’m getting bored of being this sober, healthy, rule-abiding saint. My usual unhealthy coping mechanisms are screaming at me to just let go, eat what I want, get pissed and sleep all day… that would be the easy thing to do.

BUT! I’m not going to do that! I’m going to ride it out, fight the urges and battle though. I’m sure it’ll get easier again. Being healthy won’t always come easy. I know that some days I’m not going to want to go to the gym, or even get out of bed! It will take will power and determination.

I weighed myself this morning in the hope that I would see some weight loss results, but I have stayed the same weight. It is what it is, I guess. Just gotta keep plugging away. At least it wasn’t a gain! Goes to show, that heavy feeling yesterday was all in my head.

I’m planning on an evening session in the gym a bit later, after a zoom call with a few of my mates from the Uni days. Then I’ll cycle home and jump in the bath for a nice, long, relaxing soak. As you can probably tell, my mood has bounced back to positive today, feeling way better. What a difference a day makes!

ADHD and me too

As well as being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, I’ve fairly recently been diagnosed with Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder).

It wasn’t that big of a thing when I was a kid, so it got missed. It is viewed as a child’s disorder, but some people don’t just grow out of it. And it’s more than just being hyperactive, it involves cognitive problems, such as bad memory, terrible concentration/focus, and impulsivity. Goes hand in hand with BPD as you can imagine.

You may remember I contacted the ADHD team a couple of weeks ago with a fear that I’d been forgotten about. Well, they emailed straight back apologising for their lack of support as they hadn’t been informed by my CMHT that I’d had my second ECG (of which the results were more normal following a decrease in my monthly depot injection of Flupentixol and stopping of Elvanse), so they made me an appointment for general obs and a discussion about treatment.

The positive effect that Lisdexamphetamine (brand name Elvanse) had on me seemed to ware off after a few months, so they’ve given me a few other medication options to consider. Methylphenidate (brand name Ritalin, amongst others) is the other 1st choice treatment according to the NICE guidelines, alongside Elvanse. Both are classed as stimulant medications. There is a third option of Atomoxetine, which is not a stimulant and works in a different way. After doing a bit of research I think I’m going to opt for Ritalin – see how I get on with that.

I have a phone appointment tomorrow with someone from the team to let them know what I’ve decided, they can then send a new prescription to the pharmacy. I

I’ve been consciously making healthier choices lately and I feel like it’s paying off, my mood seems to have been quite stable in positive for nearly a week now! Having more focus and ability to concentrate would be the cherry on the cake. Fingers crossed it works for me!

3:30am…

It’s half three in the morning and I’m wide awake. Could be because I didn’t get up until the afternoon yesterday. Could be because I went for two strong coffees at the coffee shop with my parents… whatever the reason, here I am, blogging from bed. Dom is snoring softly next to me. It’s cute.

I kind of want to talk about my latest thing… bare with me now, don’t roll your eyes or scroll away, but I’ve been reading about crystals. Now, I don’t believe they have powers, or anything like that. But I do think they are beautiful and can be used to ground people in meditation etc. I don’t see anything wrong in believing that stones have healing energy’s, and I’m a big believer in the placebo effect, so if someone believes they are being healed and they improve, let them keep believing it, right? It’s a no brainier. It doesn’t harm anyone. if anything it only does good! Better than taking handfuls of pills and potions to feel better! Unless a medical professional tells you to of course.

Anyway, how this all came about… last night I reached out to my old yoga teacher (I follow her on Instagram), I sent her an DM saying how I’ve been feeling bad and would like to get more into yoga and meditation. I also said I was willing to explore the practice in a spiritual way, to try it out. I like to think I’m less skeptical these days, more open minded. She got back to me with loads of great advice and suggestions.

I did a little bit of reading earlier around chakras. I quite liked these bite sized pieces of text, so i thought I’d share them with you. I’ve gone through and highlighted bits that apply to me and have applied to me in the past.

Interesting I thought. I’ve gone and purchased a few stones from the internet, to hold while I try meditation. I plan to meditate in the morning after breakfast, and in the evening before bed. Like I said, it can’t hurt!

Self care FTW!

Today I managed a complete turn around! I woke up in the afternoon really grumpy. I spent a few hours with my parents at a coffee shop and came home, that seemed to cheer me up a bit. Then the adult ADHD centre called, we had a very useful conversation (that needs a post of its own), then I cooked dinner – we had chicken fajitas.

The fajitas turned out really well. It’s the third night in a row that I’ve cooked dinner. Usually Dom cooks, but I’ve been trying to step up, he’s finishing off a paper that’s soon to be published, so I’m trying to help in any way I can to make life easier.

After dinner I decided to take a bath. It was just what I needed. This bath was life changing. I swear I could have solved the world’s problems in that bath. It was perfect. I was in there until the water went cold! I lit a scented candle and everything! I found my happy place. I felt completely at peace with myself for once. I practiced a bit of meditative mindful breathing I’d read about, and my mind cleared. Hours went by and I got out a new woman.

I think I’m going to have a bath every night!

Fully vaccinated!

So although it’s only been about 6 weeks since my first jab, I got my second today! So I am now fully vaccinated! Woop! I had an extremely painful arm the next day with my first jab, so fingers crossed that it’s different with the second. I got the Oxford, AstraZeneca vaccine.

I have a close friend who is claiming to be an anti-vaxxer. I’ve not spoken to her about it, but I don’t think there will be much changing her mind. She can be very stubborn. This worries me.

Happy day

Woke up late this morning, I’m usually pestered awake by Dom, as he has a thing about being in bed past 12pm 🙄… I’m a lazy person. I like to sleep. This bothers me. But, recently (since we got the PS4) he plays FIFA on a Saturday morning – giving me a lie in.

I rolled out of bed afternoon time, and was feeling great! Just so happy! I couldn’t place why, but still, it’s all good! It could have had to do with the online test I completed in the tryout for a job with the DWP (Government’s Department for Work and Pensions).

Also, yesterday an ex colleague and friend got in contact about a job they have been made aware of by an ex employer of theirs… senior work coach that would earn a fortune! I have the skill set. She also said she’d put in a good word for me!! I’m so flattered! Totally applying to this ASAP! Never know! So I’m going for that too!

Just feeling a bit more hopeful about the future!

Got my Ray Bans sorted!

Boom!

Went to the opticians yesterday after booking an appointment the day before. They only bloody fixed them!! I’m over the moon. Wearing them right now! Got 2020 vision with these babies! Could not be happier! All the problem was, was the bend in the arms/frame. They just straightened them out and re-bent them to fit me. Perfect! So happy!

God bless the opticians!

Christmas Build up catch up

Today the weather is bleugh… so I just chilled out in my PJ bottoms and dressing gown drinking gallons of tea. I probably would have done the same if the weather was decent to be honest.

I haven’t written in a week or so, so I would like to catch up: I’ve been very prepared this year and I am totally ready for Christmas. The original plan was for me and Dom to go our separate ways for the festive ‘5 day relaxed (covid) rules period’ but that was scrapped and announced on TV by the PM without much notice. Different areas faced harsher restrictions -including that of where Dom’s parents live. Plus, England are only allowed to mix house holds on Christmas Day. There’s no way Dom could see his family for one day (Christmas Day) as trains will not be running… so, he’s having Christmas with us this year, in the Yardley household. I feel sad for him that he won’t get that time with his Mom and Dad.

In a way I was really looking forward to having a five day break away -sleeping on the sofa at my Mom’s place. A nice change of pace and scene… Not that I want time away from Dom! -it’s just, over lockdown we have kinda been glued together! would be good to get a quick breather, see different faces, have fresh conversations.

Anyway, like I said, I am well prepared. I’ve bought presents for everyone and really thought them through. I’m quite good at gift giving, I think. I guess the proof is in whether the gift recipients agree with me! Dom on the other hand has not been prepared at all. I kept encouraging him to start Christmas shopping earlier in December, but he was too wrapped up (haha, unintentional pun) in his work with his PhD. He said it didn’t even feel like Christmas to him until just the other day. I’ve bought him loads of lovely gifts, and he’s already apologised to me in advance for not getting me much. It’s not the amount of presents I receive from him that is kinda getting to me, I think it’s the lack of thought and effort he’s put in. There are two parcels that came addressed to him from Amazon (prime) which he’s said are gifts for me. I hope he at least wraps them. I can’t complain really though. He’s been stressed and busy with work, where as I’ve had nothing better to do than to spend money that I probably shouldn’t have because I’m unemployed…

I just want to enjoy Christmas and put everything on January to be a new start. I have some New Year theories, but I’ll save writing them until NYE. First priority of Jan 2021 though- get a job!!!

Happy Wednesday

Feeling way too positive today… I’m not used to it…

After a completely sleepless night (one before last), last night I went to bed at 10pm and set my alarm for 7am. I fell asleep with a strong determination to get up when my alarm told me to. And guess what… -I did! I just -got up! If you knew me, you would know how unlikely it was for that to actually happen. I started the day perfectly; came down stairs, had coffee, flicked on the morning news programme, ate a healthy breakfast, had a shower, got dressed -in ‘daytime clothes’ not the usual half and half combo that has become the norm over lockdown of comfortable pyjama bottoms with t-shirt and hoodie, using the excuse that there is no real need to leave the house. As a matter of fact, at breakfast I used up the last bit of cereal in the bag (granola if you want to know), so I decided to go out to the shop to get some more. A nice cold morning walk up the road in the fresh air to the local convenience store. Dom came with me. I woke him up an hour after I got up and we were out the house just after nine.

I tried to explain my current feelings to Dom as we walked… I feel as though I’ve had a near death experience and woken up the next morning thankful to still be alive. The kind of feeling where the grass looks greener, you notice the birds singing, food tastes better. Basically, I think I might be happy. right now, this morning, despite everything going on – I am happy.

Maybe the new antidepressants are working after all. It’s kind of a good job I didn’t ring the psych team yesterday like I wrote that I would, to complain that the drugs aren’t doing anything.

Maybe this happiness is a bit too much? But don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m just a bit weirded out by how drastic of a change my mood has gone through overnight. They always say things will be better in the morning, but they never usually are.