Bowling With Borderline Lil

turn, turn, turn

Date Posted: 08/20/2012

Thanks for all who commented and supported on my last post.

I'm out of hospital after three weeks, and things are worse, if anything.  No meds except Valium PRN.  Sleeping all day and worrying and crying all night.  Off work til at least October.  My relationship is floundering amidst the BPD mood swings and general fury.

Don't have much to say, I'm sorry.  Having problems reading and writing for the first time ever, which scares me.

All the leaves are brown

Date Posted: 07/17/2012

I've no words. They're gone like yesterday's garbage. I've had depression and BPD all my life and now for the first time I'm in hospital. The loony bin has me in its harsh and sterile jaws. Admittedly it's a posh, private institution and it's a voluntary admission but I'm still terrified as hell. I'm coming off 200mg of Solian ( antipsychotic ), 180mg of Cymbalta and 200mg of Lamotrigine. The side effects are a hell ride, hence the hospitalisation. I've been reduced to praying for it all to end. I'm writing to you from my iPhone in the middle of a lonely night. I miss Neil and Charly. I want to go home.

i really don't know clouds at all

Date Posted: 01/31/2012

Sorry for the prolonged absence. I have no reason nor excuse. Time passes, my mood waxes and wanes like the, or with the, moon. Christmas and New Year were fairly quiet, but fun, with no family fallouts which is always a positive.

I have just today and tomorrow at my old job and then Feb 13th I start at the Department of Immigration & Citizenship - a well paid, entry-level administration position which I'm HUGELY looking forward to. I'm hoping my level of absenteeism improves. If I'm honest, and where else would I tell the truth but here, I miss at least one day a week. I make up excuses rather than tell my beloved boss that I suffer from anxiety and depression. I also suffer from honest-to-goodness laziness. I wake up in the morning and feel so damn tired, I literally can't get out of bed. I don't know whether it's the lupus, or the anemia, the depression or just avoidance.

I miss Doc A. I haven't told you guys this, but the last time I saw him (early November) he kind of broke up with me )-: He says I don't need heavy duty therapy anymore, that my BPD is in remission/recovery and I can just check in with him now and again for medication review and prescriptions. Obviously he left the final decision up to me, if I freaked out and said I needed to see him once a week or once a month he would still be there for me. But he suggested one visit per three to six months. I feel okay about it, but I do miss him. I miss being able to bounce things off him and get his feedback on stuff. I am supposed to be seeing a psychologist for my Binge Eating Disorder but have not got around to organising the appointment. She's young, and a woman, so I'm not keen LOL.

Overall, I am handling life fairly well apart from my missing work. The BPD is definitely out of the picture at the moment, hopefully permanently. I feel up and down sometimes, but not the crippling up and down I've suffered in the past. Mostly, the medication (Cymbalta 120mg, Amisuplride 100mg) and my coping skills keep me stable. I get triggered still, which pisses me off. I've been thinking about changing my relationship with the madosphere...maybe even closing down my blog and moving on. I find it harder and harder to read some of the blogs I follow and as much as I want to comment, I'm kind of blocked. Pain can be contagious, you know? There is a suicide all over the news today, and I am obsessively reading every detail while resisting my own selfharm urges. Part of me wonders if I would be healthier without contact with other people's pain. But part of me wonders how I would cope without my blog friends and the support I get from being part of this world. Truthfully, though, things are different now than they were when I started here three years ago. A large number of my friends, who used to blog a lot themselves and comment on my posts, don't hang out here any more. But I've made some lovely new friends, which is awesome!

I think this year, the Year of the Dragon, is going to contain a lot of transitions for me. Change is my buzzword. I'm starting to follow some non-mental health related blogs and may even change the name/content/outlook of my blog rather than desert it entirely. Any feedback would be appreciated, and I don't mean I am fishing for compliments or pleas for me to stay (-: Does anyone else in recovery struggle with over-empathising with others' struggles and triggering from painful posts? I wonder if that's why some of the friends I used to know have moved on or refocused their interest...

I try not to think that they left the madosphere because the demons finally claimed them.

ding dong merrily on high

Date Posted: 12/23/2011

I wanted to pop in and say g'day and wish all my readers and friends a safe and happy Christmas - and if happiness is too much to ask for, I wish you peace and calm and a nice stiff drink.

Things with me are good, though there's been no positive news on the job front. I've had an interview for a terrific job but have not heard back - apparently things in government departments move very slowly, especially at this time of year. I still live in hope. Meantime, I am plodding away at my data entry job for another hour and then I have 11 days off - hooray!! Once I come back from break I should only have another ten days here before I leave - although my boss wants me to stay on until I find something else.

I'm looking forward to Christmas in some ways, and dreading it in others. The pressure of family and social activity is acute, as we all know, this time of year. I love the food, though, and the presents. My awesome friend H sent me a huge box of presents which I can't wait to open, and there are some others under the tree at home that look interesting. I went overboard shopping for Neil as usual, mostly DVDs, clothes and a laser pointer so he can play with Charly and Roxy the cats. I hope he likes everything I got him.

Because I'm on leave I might not be on the computer so much for the next couple of weeks, but I'll update you when I return. Meantime, take care of yourselves and be well. Thank you for all your support this year, the madosphere means the world to me and all of you in it xxx

what doesn't kill you makes you stronger

Date Posted: 12/05/2011

I've been applying for new jobs, as this INTERMINABLE contract I'm stuck in finally finishes in January. I started here in March, on a three month data entry job, and am still here nine long, boring, pointless months later. I'm really bad at this job, as I've said here before. Well, not REALLY bad. But not brilliant, which is rare, as I usually over-perform and show off and am the star employee. I just can't get my head around the logistical nature of this data, and sometimes make errors. My boss is really nice but has to point out said errors.


Anyway, one of the outcomes of this dreadful job (apart from the fact that I miss so many days of work due to hating it...) is that my employment mojo is completely gone. I want to stay in government and have been browsing the job sites, but even when I clearly CAN do the job, part of me says "no you can't, you're crap". This is partly due to our old friends depression and low self-esteem, but I think a big part of it is my current experience. I've never been rubbish at a job )-: I am such an over-achiever, perfectionist type that even from school days I've wanted to be the best student/employee as well as the most popular. Until I get bored anyway...

I feel like I am at a major crossroads in my career, where I need to step up and find something challenging and interesting that I can achieve in. That's why I left my last proper job, the part-time one, because I wanted something more. And lord help me, I got trapped here in data entry, leather elbow hell.


I also struggle with applying for government jobs because of the selection criteria. I don't know if they have them in other countries, but in Oz every government job requires you to address a set of attributes, showing how you have that attribute and using examples. Sometimes they're easy like "good communication skills" but other ones are extremely specific and technical and hard to waffle/bluff about.

In other news, I put up our Christmas tree. This is pretty big news, as it's the first time I've done it since I left Mr Ex - and when we were together, HE insisted on doing it and was extremely anal about it, and HATED tinsel. Bah humbug. Needless to say, this year I added tinsel. I used some of my decorations and some of Neil's, so it's a genuine combination tree for our first Christmas living together (-:

All it needs now is some presents underneath, which I am intending to wrap tonight. I'm feeling quite in the mood for Christmas this year, although I will miss the month's vacation that I used to get with my last job! In this job, I get a week off which is nice. The family are spending three days at a resort, with Christmas lunch in a restaurant, so it should be less stressful than previous years. We are spending Boxing Day with Neil's best friends, whom I also adore, which will be great fun. I am trying hard to be positive, and stay motivated. Fight, fight, fight!!


Date Posted: 11/30/2011

First I was bad. Then I was great. Now I'm just in limbo. And by that I don't mean the fun game played with a broomstick. I mean that awful nothing state, where the slightest push can send me rocketing either way. It's like being on the crest of a rollercoaster and knowing that the plummet to darkness is just a millimetre away. I feel like if I try hard enough I will be able to get the happy place back.

The three day Ignite Your Life course was amazing. It inspired me, and challenged me, and since then I've been feeling more positive and worthwhile and able to change. I've been less depressed, not at all suicidal and had more energy. Until... Until. Until. Until. There's always an "until" isn't there? Or an "and then/but then". I'm so grateful for the two and a half weeks of strength and sanity but WHY does it have to end? Monday morning dawned and my old friend lethargy was back, with apathy and self-loathing not far behind. Of course I could have, and should have, used the strategies I learned in the course to change my mental state and try to motivate myself... Instead I spent the next two days in bed feeling the old depression envelop me. I guess I felt comforted in some way, it's easier to slip back into old patterns than try to develop new ones, right?

I'm frustrated that I am not "cured".

I know that it's impossible, but I still kind of wanted it.

Even though I am the first to tell people you need to work hard at recovery and illness management, in the end I am a lazy SOB who wanted an easy way out.

The teachers I met at Ignite Your Life would say I'm using the mental illness, depression, suicide "game" to try and gain attention, connection with others, and self-worth. They're right, because while I definitely have mental illness, it's my choice how that illness manifests itself and how far I let it take hold of my life. I definitely had a choice Monday morning and I made the choice to remain trapped in the depression cycle.

All I can do now is try to switch my mental state and embrace happy, energising, positive thoughts. Which might be (IS!) tiring, but is certainly within my capabilities. I'll let you know how it goes :-D

the only way to get there is to go straight down

Date Posted: 11/07/2011

Lately I've been wishing for a BPD episode. Anything to shake up the dank, dreary depression that's threatening to block out the whole world. I remember hypomania with fondness... I miss anger, rage, fury - emotions of any kind - as lately I seem to be a blank/black canvas. I'm barely managing to keep my job, getting to work about two days out of five, spending the rest of my time sleeping. I used to blame my anaemia for the sleeping... but lately I've realised that the iron infusion must have kicked in by now, and therefore depression is probably the cause. If I'm honest, this spell of depression has been creeping up on me for months, starting before I raised my Cymbalta level to 120mg. Changing that medication has done nothing, supporting the research I keep reading about which says doses higher than 60mg are pointless.

I don't get paid for the days I'm having off, so I haven't been able to afford to see Doc A. But I'm making the effort this week, and scraping the cash together, as the situation is getting dire. I know he will suggest starting Lamotrigine, as that was one of his suggestions last time. I don't know why I'm on the fence about Lamotrigine...part of it is the cost, especially now I'm verging on unemployed, and part of it is because it's always been in reserve. For "just in case". If I start using Lamotrigine, what will I have left for next time the medication fails me??? More Lamotrigine I suppose.

I spent another day in hospital last week, having upper and lower gastrointestinal tract exams to check for bleeding. Nothing showed up, so my anaemia is unexplained. The haematologist believes it's related to my weight loss surgery. Regardless of the cause, I am still as light-headed and exhausted as ever. I have the Ignite Your Life course this weekend, Friday to Sunday, and I'm dreading it. I have no idea how I will manage to be upfront, present and awake for all those hours, when I usually spend half the weekend asleep. I'm desperate for some relief from this depression, though, and anecdotal evidence suggests this course can provide it. My parents and brother have done the course, and found it inspiring and energising and claim there were a few people who were previously medicated for depression (unipolar and bipolar) that now no longer need medication. I'm skeptical. And don't intend to give up my medication for anyone/anything. I'm a true believer, even though at the moment it doesn't seem to be doing much for me.

I was talking to my family about this course a couple of weeks ago and confessed that I really don't think the course organisers will have come across anyone as lunatic as me. Anyone as recidivist and recalcitrant. Are they prepared for someone whose only goal in life is to not complete suicide? They sent out this pre-course questionnaire and it had all these questions like "What are you most proud of?", "Name four emotional states you regularly experience", "What are your motivations for doing this course". Even reading the questions made me exhausted and hopeless. "How would you describe yourself" was one, and my immediate answer was "fat, fucked, failure". I can't decide if right now is the best or worst time for Ignite Your Life... most of me, the hopeful part, believes that things happen for the right reasons, and therefore it must be the best time. I really, truly hope to experience some life-altering changes. I can't wait to update you all next week.

I'm sorry I haven't been commenting as much on your blogs as I have in the past. I feel like anything I say will be negative and pointless, so often I will stay silent. But I'm still reading, and I hope everyone who's going through a hard time right now will soon be on an upswing. Lots of love to all xx

while your blood counts its losses

Date Posted: 10/18/2011

It's been a while. Up and down, up and down. I had my iron infusion last Monday, which was terrifically fast service. Unfortunately, it ended up costing me $814 because my private health insurance wouldn't pay (I haven't been with the insurance company for 12 months which is the qualification period). Luckily I have a supportive partner with some cash reserves who could lend me the money! He agreed with me that waiting to qualify under insurance (March next year) wasn't feasible, and we have to get this anaemia fixed asap. So I spent 6 hours in a comfy reclining chair in hospital, in the ward with the chemo patients, being pumped full of iron. Apparently I will start to feel better in 2/3 weeks. I had no side effects to the infusion, which is awesome. They served me lunch and coffee and cake, and I had a television to amuse me as well as my iPhone.

The next day I felt a little under the weather (which is expected after an infusion, you get kind of like a flu with aches and pains - weird, huh?) but decided I would go to work. However, on the way to the bus stop I was attacked by a neighbour's dog who had escaped through the fence. At first it was just growling and barking so I kept walking but then it latched on to my thigh!! OUCH!! Needless to say, I screamed and it backed off. A nice man from another house came out to see if I was okay and I rang Neil (who was on night shift and still sleeping) and the man helped me get back to my street (avoiding the dog which was still lurking). Neil took me to the hospital as there were three puncture wounds and a huge bruise already forming (and that was after being bitten through denim jeans!! Imagine on a baby's face...ugh). They washed it out and bandaged me up, my tetanus shots were up to date so that was that. I couldn't believe it was two says in a row I was in hospital! For the local readers, Hollywood Private Hospital day one, Swan Districts day two!

All up I ended up not going to work for 4 days last week. Here's what the bite wound looked like a couple of days ago...

Admittedly, the bruising wouldn't be quite so impressive if I wasn't anaemic! I was glad the puncture wounds didn't bleed too much after having $814 worth of iron put in there the day before LOL.

My mental state has been quite badly affected by all this. I'm feeling extremely sorry for myself and guilty because the dog ended up being euthenaised (sp?) as the owners wouldn't pay for it to be registered when the Council came to check on it. Neil wants me to get legal advice and pursue a damages claim for lost earnings, and stress, but I just want to put the whole thing behind me. I get a little nervous now when I see loose dogs on the street, even small ones, and I'm worried that the neighbours will do something to retaliate against us. They are already "bad" neighbours in that they are extremely messy with junk all over their lawn and often have shouting matches in the street. The neighbours themselves clearly have no money or insurance but their home is owned by the government and the government department will have public liability insurance we could claim under. But is it worth it for a couple of thousand dollars? The woman has six kids under the age of ten and enough stress already. Sigh.

Anyway, that's my update. I'm having a difficult year!

Post title is from the same Horrible Crowes song as last time, Blood Loss. Thought it was relevant (-:

sirens they come, sirens they go

Date Posted: 10/03/2011

Post title is from another Horrible Crowes song "Blood Loss".

I had a fantastic time in Melbourne. Since I've been back, however, the darkness has been trying hard to claim me again. I ended up having another week off work after I got back, simply because getting out of bed was too difficult, too painful. I can't decide if what I'm feeling is simple exhaustion, due to the anemia, or the return of depression my old friend/foe. All I know is it's fracking hard to accomplish anything, and days will pass without showering, speaking to anyone except Neil (and then it's just the basic exhange of words), or eating anything apart from caramel biscuits.

Didn't you all LOVE this card from PostSecret this week?

I think this is what's going on for Neil at the moment. He seems to have given up trying to inspire or encourage me to get my arse out of bed and to work. He said to me the other day "I'm scared of pushing you over the edge", and I felt so damn guilty... I'm constantly aware of the fact that he lost his dad and his brother to suicide and that he must worry so much about me. I just can't seem to get motivated enough to get moving.

I have a couple of hopeful moments ahead of me. I see a haematologist tomorrow about my anaemia and he will book me in for an iron tranfusion. This entails being hooked up to an IV for six hours in hospital while I'm pumped full of iron. A couple of people I know swear by these transfusions and I'm praying that I get booked in for one in the next few weeks. Having more physical energy must have a positive effect on my mental pain. The other thing is my parents and my brother are paying for me to do a course entitled "Ignite Your Life" - a three day course in self-development and transformation that the three of them have done in the past, and which they swear will have an amazing effect on my life and attitude. I'm slightly cynical, even though I've seen the difference in them and it's pretty profound. I really hope to gain benefit from the course, and maybe finally have clarity in my path in life. I have a fantastic relationship with Neil, and for that I am eternally grateful, but pretty much everything else in my life is dismal. "Ignite Your Life" runs from November 11 - 13.

I'm sorry I've been absent from this page for so long. It's been hard to know what to say, when all I've been feeling is BLAH. But despite my gloomiest of outlooks, there is still a persistent, hopeful chink of light at the end of this tunnel. And that's what keeps me going, slow and steady.

behold the hurricane

Date Posted: 10/03/2011

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