I’ve been wracking my brain all evening trying to remember a word Therapist used earlier in relation to how I am at the moment. I came up with 3 contenders – destabilising, decompressing, and decompensating. I’m under a lot of pressure, from external factors as much as head stuff, and the combination of the two isn’t pretty. Stress is impacting on my ability to manage bpd symptoms, and an increase in severity of bpd symptoms is impacting on my ability to cope with stress. I didn’t even realise what the issues were until I started talking to her today, describing ways that I’ve been feeling and acting, and then she very gently pointed out that they’re all most certainly related.
I’ve retreated, for sure. I feel like my world has gotten very small, cut down to the bare minimum. I need quiet, lots of quiet, and am at my calmest out in the open, either by water or trees, the fewer people the better.
|Roscahill Woods, Galway|
|Lough Corrib, Galway|
|Hill of Doon, Galway|
Driving back to Oughterard, which is a small town by anyone’s standards, felt like coming back into a city after yesterday’s escape to the woods (above), I’m struggling to cope with buildings, movement and people. Sound is a big one. Another issue to add to the list which I’m not sure I’ve touched on before is misophonia. Wikipedia defines it as ‘literally “hatred of sound”, a rarely diagnosed neuropsychiatric disorder in which negative emotions (anger, flight, hatred, disgust) are triggered by specific sounds. The sounds can be loud or soft.‘ For me, there are 3 main triggers – chewing, banging, and water dripping. The more anxious and stressed I am, the quicker and more explosive my reaction is inclined to be to any of the above. I’ve talked about it with Therapist, she named it for me, but honestly, beyond being an indicator of my general state of wellbeing it’s far enough down the list of priorities right now that we’ve barely discussed it. Just for the love of god don’t slam a door near me and please don’t be offended if I slink away during meal times.
I’ve also found myself getting increasingly paranoid. Not the conspiracy theory/someone is following me class of paranoia, more that people aren’t being honest with me. I took a notion a few days ago that a good friend was lying to me (I had no evidence for this other than a distorted hunch, and needless to say, she wasn’t. Was I grown up enough to ask her about it? God no). I’m convinced people are avoiding me. I’ve been less and less willing to make contact with friends the last few weeks, yet find myself feeling massively rejected that people aren’t contacting me. When I mentioned this to Therapist, she suggested that if I’m retreating, it’s quite possible that friends recognise that, and so are giving me the distance they think I need. Hadn’t thought of that.
It strikes me that decompensating is the right word, because I think that’s what’s happening. According to dictionary.com, decompensating is ‘to lose the ability to maintain normal or appropriate psychological defenses, sometimes resulting in depression, anxiety, ordelusions’. Stress is triggering bpd, bpd is compromising my resilience. So as usual, dig in, hang on, ride it out. Fun times, eh?