There’s this thing that happens in a borderline brain: When something good happens EVERYTHING is good, and anything that’s not good doesn’t matter. Sounds great, right? The flip side to this is that when something bad happens, not only is EVERYTHING bad (worse than bad, actually), and anything that’s not bad doesn’t matter – EVERY little bit of bad that you’ve EVER bounced back from when things were good all show up to attend the big Bad party. This actually happens.
Each black-or-white state could last 5 minutes or 5 hours – sometimes even days (usually when I can’t get the guests to leave the Bad party) but the minute something else happens everything is changed again – a bit like the different lands at the top of the Faraway Tree.
It seems perfectly logical to me that things are either wonderful or awful, because that’s how my BDP brain naturally works. However, I have (and here is a very clever example of my ability to conquer this ‘splitting’) another part of brain that is not BPD, and whilst it is not easy to be balanced and find a middle ground, it is possible.
Right now I feel like a failure, and in this moment everything I have done that has not failed doesn’t seem to count. So I’m going to try and make it count. Rather than plunging (further) into the murky depths of everything-is-awful, I have decided to look for the in-between, the middle ground, and hopefully this will bring the balance I need.
SO… This last year I celebrated the launch of my (first, and possibly last) book with 50 plus friends and family members. A wonderful friend conducted an informal interview with me, as I felt unable to talk directly to all those people from a pulpit.
Since then, I have stood up in front of 30, then 100 people and talked about my experience of mental health, read some poems and answered questions from audience members. Ten years ago I could barely talk to my GP.
I have moved house (and a ridiculously protracted move it was), and for someone who’s not big on change I think I’ve coped remarkably well. We didn’t move across country – only across county, but even so I have managed to settle in and I maintain the support network of my cross-county friends as best I/we can.
I have written a second book. (True, it may never see the light of day, but for the purposes of this exercise I’m counting it as a positive).
I have (I think) made my blog site GDPR ready, pushing through days of tears and self-doubting, self-abasing monologues in order to do so. You know, I should just delete the whole website, nobody likes it anyway; I can’t even write so why do I bother trying – that kind of thing. But I wasn’t impulsive, my laptop is still in one piece and no windows or bones were broken during the process.
Despite my paranoias and misgivings, I have persevered in
flogging the dead horse promoting my first book, and I continue to contribute in helping to raise awareness and understanding of mental health issues.
I am still very happily married, and I think I can speak for my wife, when I say that she is happy too!
I have given up smoking (again) four and a quarter times.
Oh, and I also won an award for my blog!
Time and time again, my challenge is to force my borderline brain out of the ‘present’ (contrary to the mindfulness process) and see beyond my current state, particularly when that current state is ‘bad’.
Today, as much as I’d love to find a better land at the top of the Magic Faraway Tree, I will stay where I am, with the good and the bad, and allow the two to coexist as though this was completely normal or something.