It’s been another busy week, one that has left me with little time to write, and for many and varying reasons, no opportunity to spin either (running is off the agenda at the moment due to on-going foot issues). So, I’ve been missing writing, missing exercise, and have only seen therapist once in the last almost 3 weeks. I won’t be seeing her next week as she’s away. Put all this together and it means a lot of my ways of keeping myself on the straight and narrow haven’t been available, and I’m really feeling it now.

Mostly, form has been a bit shocking this week. Monday was tough, I thought there was another panic attack in the pipeline but thankfully kept it at bay. I’ve been trying really hard to make sure I’m eating right and getting enough sleep, but right now it doesn’t feel like enough. That’s a little worrying for me. I talked about this with Therapist on Monday, and we can both see very clearly where this could be headed. For my part, it would be so very, very easy to give in. For her part……..well she’s seen me go down this road quite a few times by now, and knows how difficult it is to come back, so however much I want to give in, I can’t.

I came across this piece of writing a few years back:

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost…I am helpless
It isn’t my fault…
It takes forever to find a way out.
Chapter Two
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall…it’s a habit…but,
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault
I get out immediately.
Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
Chapter Five
I walk down another street.
Portia Nelson
Therapist reminded me of it on Monday, that right now, I’m looking at the hole, I see it, and I want to fall in. But the problem is, if I do fall in, there’s another hole waiting to open up underneath it and take me further down, and again, and again……………Is it my fault? I don’t know. I’m not sure that it is. I suppose it could be in so far as things that I know that help have slipped this week. But, I was also so exhausted I could barely form a sentence, so there had to be a compromise. Does that make it my fault?

I had a really interesting conversation over on twitter today, the essence of it being that I find it really hard to distinguish between the fine line of a bad mood of the kind that happens to everyone, and a bad mood that is the result of disordered thinking and needs to be challenged and turned around. I don’t want to find myself in a situation where every time my mood is less than awesome I assume it’s because of depression/bpd, but at the same time, I don’t have a frame of reference for comparison and it’s hard not to think that every change in mood has it’s roots in distorted thinking. But is that doing me a disservice in assuming that there’s always a borderline/depressed filter? Or is it in fact a cop out? It’s not my fault I’m angry/upset etc etc because I have a disorder………..I can’t trust that what I feel is an appropriate reaction, and that makes things so challenging sometimes.
Mostly tonight I’m confused. I’ve had to push very, very hard to keep functioning and doing what needed to be done this week. That scares me. Therapist can see very clearly the path I’m heading for, as can I. That also scares me. Is it in my power to stop it? All I can do is try. 

This article has 4 Comments

  1. I understand your confusion as I have felt the same way myself lately. I like the piece you have included but I don't agree with chapter five. Maybe there will be a day when I walk down another street but so far that has not happened. I don't know if it ever will but to think it could be falling into the trap of unrealistic expectations. I don't like to associate the word fault either with my condition, my symptoms or my reactions. The words we use are so very important. Yes I will accept responsibility but I must also be gentle with myself. Assigning blame or fault for emotions denies them validation. Sometimes it takes a while for our emotions to catch up with our thoughts and no matter how much we rationalise or question we find ourselves going in circles. I am trying to practice sitting with my emotions, accepting them and they have been far from comfortable lately. I find, for me, it gives them less power, there stay is a little shorter and then I can push myself to do something that, although I don't want to do it, will help me. Your routine has changed, life hasn't allowed you the time to do your normal activities that you rely on but perhaps there is a chance to find something new that will help you. I like chapter four but it makes it sound so easy. I have been able to do this at times but it has been hard work. I see the signs, I know the signs, I know what I can do to help myself, what normally works isn't working and I question am I slipping or scrambling and is this within my control. The fear of slipping is one of the biggest difficulties. Sometimes we don't need all the answers. I find when I am asking myself so many questions it is my perfectionism trying to find a reason, a root cause, something to fix. There is no why. We are constantly learning. We are human. I don't know if this helps but you as you said you have been there many times and you know the path. Each time we learn something new and each time is slightly different. You can avoid the hole but it can take time. Be gentle with yourself.

    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment, what you say makes so much sense. I agree with you about how important language is, and it's funny, since writing the above I've been looking back over my life a lot, and am starting to realise how much hasn't in fact been my fault, but rather a means of coping with something I didn't understand. This recognition is helping me finally start to have some compassion for myself. I'm not sure about chapter 5 either, I think there's always the danger of the hole opening up right in front of me, but I know the signs now. That helps. Mightn't always stop me from falling in, but hopefully I won't fall as far as I have done in the past.

  2. You have been very busy of late. Hope you manage to hang on in there for a bit longer until some of your other coping strategies come back on line and things calm down a bit. Remember your new strategy of part time working – bet that is helping stave of something worse.

    1. You're absolutely right. Part time was definitely the right decision, for me, and for Hubby and the kids. Things are still busy, all the time, but now they're more often busy in a way that I want, rather than one I'm forced into. That helps a lot.

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