It never ceases to amaze me the power that one single, well placed question can have. I’m just back from seeing my psychiatrist, and am so, so relieved to have seen her personally. Since realising a few months back that I can actually trust her, that she really does know what she’s talking about, it’s been much, much easier to talk to her and I really do feel she understands what’s going on for me. On the medication front, there will be a slight change – the mood stabiliser is to be increased to see if that has any impact on keeping me on a more even keel. On the emotional side of things? Well that’s where the well placed question came in.

I was telling her how things have been, all the ups and downs, the difficulty I have around missing Therapist when I’m low. Or, more specifically, the difficulty I have with missing how Therapist was with me, which is an important distinction to make. It came about because she suggested I role play how Therapist would respond to a particular situation, and it occurred to me it’s not so much what she said as how she said it, and the kindness, empathy and understanding that was ever present with her. I’m not sure I’ve ever articulated that specifically with my psychiatrist before but I think it was a bit of a light bulb moment for us both, because it broke right through my defences and brought on really intense emotion. It comes back to that old core bpd issue of attachment, I absolutely crave that kindness, particularly when I’m feeling vulnerable. She couldn’t offer any wisdom on how to manage it or what I need to do, but assured me that she’d speak to the psychologist before I see her next, which is in about two weeks time, with a view to helping me figure out how to manage that need.

She also said I need to give myself more credit. It’s almost two full months since I officially finished therapy, but really over 3 months now since I had an actual therapeutic session. While it’s been really, really hard at times, I’ve gotten myself through it. She wants me to acknowledge that.

The last week or two has been particularly tough going, but I think I’m on my way out the other side again. I’m definitely better than I was a couple of days ago. I’ve no idea how long this reprieve will last, or when I’ll be blindsided again, but I’m going to enjoy it while I have it. I felt so hopeless on Tuesday it scared the absolute shit out of me, but yesterday, and again today after speaking with my psychiatrist, I can see possibilities starting to re-emerge. Certain circumstances are still very much out of my control, but it’s not taking me over today like it did earlier in the week. I’m going to go ahead and give myself credit for that.

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  1. Do you find the mood stabilisers helpful? Do they balance your mood out? I know that everyone is different however I was on mood stabilisers for irritability/mood swings and I just didn’t find them helpful at all…it just felt like my medication dosage was upped all the time. Just interested to hear your experience with it or anyone else’s basically.

    You say that you don’t know how to deal with the absence of your therapist. I had a really bad day yesterday….I bumped into this man accidentally on the street and he became really aggressive, roaring at me that I was a “fool” for not looking where I was going and even elbowed my arm! I stood there in shock and was like “what the hell??” because it was such an over-reaction on his part really. Once he left, I ended up crying and felt really weak for doing so but then I thought “no I’ve had a shock here..this appeared suddenly out of the blue and it’s not my fault..I just need to self-soothe and calm down..I’m not going to blame myself for this”. I sipped a drink, dried my eyes, splashed my face with cold water, readjusted my appearance, distracted myself. I did some imagery too…I imagined I was lying in the sea, just floating and just at peace..this actually *really* helped. I did some slow breathing because I could feel my breathing be so rapid. I don’t have BPD but I realised yesterday that I was actually able to regulate my emotions through the DBT skills…they’re all about showing kindness to yourself basically. So if you can’t get kindness from other people, give it to yourself. I was so reliant on reassurance from others before whereas yesterday, I was like “omg, I can handle this myself”..it just made me feel more self-assured, if that makes sense. I did get a sympathetic reaction from a family member afterwards but it wasn’t really *enough* for my liking so I really did need to top it up with my own form of self-soothing. I hope some of this resonates with you..

    1. That makes a lot of sense, and it’s something I’m really, really bad at, although I’m working on it. The biggest problem I have (well, one of many) is actually remembering all of this when I get overwhelmed, and then trying to put it into practice. I’m pretty good at being kind to myself when I’m in good form though so I guess that’s a start.
      As for the mood stabilisers……..I guess they’re working to an extent, I’m definitely not as bad as I was, but whether that’s medication or I’ve learned to handle myself better is open to debate. Either way, I’m on them for the foreseeable, and there’s no question of me being allowed to stop them any time soon.
      Well done you btw for handling yourself so well in a difficult situation, I hope you’re proud of you 🙂

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