Borderline&etc/trying to have compassion for myself
Since I was last here I
was dismissed from my job due to my mental health [uh saw I posted about that, but some folks may have missed that]
had a major Borderline type psychosis breakdown
looked after my parents who were both unwell at once
have been seeing the CMHT consultant psych
had Mirtazapine changed to Vortioxetine, 3rd line anti-depressant, yay me
got diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa
got diagnosed with EUPD, Borderline type [BPD]
And my therapist is ending our work at the end of January, and I'm supposed to have treatment from the ED service. But I need to be assessed [again, long story] yet.
I'm really struggling with my BPD/EUPD at the moment. It's like since I've been diagnosed it is coming up very very clearly to show all it's symptoms in lurid technicolour. I mean, awareness is great, but this HURTS.
I'm struggling to find compassion for myself. Any ideas of how to start? All I see is the nasty stuff, making me hate myself more..
Sorry for all that you’ve been through. This must all be very distressing.
I struggle with compassion for myself too, so I’m afraid I may not be very helpful. But you have always been kind to people here and I hope you can see it in yourself and give yourself the same kindness. I’m certain you have many good qualities. You are strong. I say this because of everything you have dealt with and you are still fighting.
Although you have been struggling for a long time, and have suspected your diagnosis, your actual formal diagnosis is fairly recent and that will take some getting used to. I think that when I was first diagnosed with BPD I started noticing more of everything, like my thoughts and feelings and behaviours and labelling them as BPD. It wasn't that I wasn't aware of those things before but now there was a category to put them in and analyse them and I pretty much analyse everything about myself and the reactions people have to me in the context of BPD. Self compassion is very hard, I think it is especially hard when you have BPD because of all the negative impressions society has of people with BPD and because of the internal beliefs and judgements we make about ourselves. I'm not very good at self compassion so I'm not sure what to advise there only I sometimes allow myself to seek reassurance and compassion from other people when I can't do it for myself. That is self compassion, the allowing. I often feel like I don't deserve people's support but I try to reach out when I can because it's awful to wallow in extreme emotional states and not be able to 'self soothe' so have limited ways of getting through. Are there people in your life who show you care and compassion and respect? Even just posting here can be helpful and I'd hope that people would treat you kindly. I am a PM or FB message away although I'm not great with instantly getting back to people but the offer is always there.
Maybe you could ask others what they see as the positives in you. It can be hard to see them in yourself when you are focusing on all the things you perceive to be negative. Maybe you wouldn't believe some of the things people say but an objective opinion is a start. Even people who don't really know you and just saw this thread should be able to see that you are a caring person since you say you were looking after both of your parents. I looked after my parents and brother in my teenage years and twenties and it was damn hard work. Stressful, emotional. You might feel like you had to look after them because they are your family but there is an element of choice there and you chose to be kind and compassionate towards others.
There's a lot going on for you, a lot has already gone on for you. BPD seems to bring together so many overwhelming emotions at the one time and it can be hard to cope. One thing I try to remind myself of is that really dark periods will pass with time. I don't know how long it will be but they have always passed. Sometimes there is no way of making them pass quicker but time really does change things. I know that neutral or positive moments may be fleeting but I'd hope that you, myself, others, would be able to find something in the future that extends these good periods.
You are important, you are not a bad person. I hope you can at least partially believe that.
I put it down on paper and then the ghost does not ache so much.
[Though it gives me horrendous restless legs. Med review in progress...]
I think most stuff doesn't go in? I'm not sure. Mostly I feel the sort of disinterest in the good stuff though, strangely.
It does sound like maybe there's a bit of resistance there about absorbing the good stuff people say about you. You definitely wouldn't be alone there! Do you find mindfulness helpful? If so, maybe it's something to just hold mindfully at the moment. Good luck with getting the restless legs sorted.
Hmmm. Have you ever tried cognitive defusion in relation to the good stuff? If that's not something you're familiar with I suggest it around here a lot. But like, you could use that to be like, even if you don't fully agree with the good stuff, you also don't have to fully agree with the negative either. Or have it be seen as a judgement even. Sometimes removing the judgement as these are good things about me versus bad things can be useful in terms of compassion.
Like, these are things about me. Do they serve me well? Do they line up with my values?
So if you're given a compliment like... "you're a kind person" it's not so much as saying, oh that is a nice thing I am uncomfortable. It's... hey being a kind person is something that is important to me and in line with how I want to live my life. So that is helpful feedback.
You can't always keep it separate.
This is happening, this is part of you.