I think I know why things got so complicated for me, why I got depressed over and over again, why I eventually starting displaying all the symptoms that are known as borderline personality disorder. (My brain is running away here with me a bit so you’ll have to forgive me if this doesn’t make sense yet). The last couple of weeks, through the work I’m doing with Therapist 3.0, have been phenomenal. The only way I can think to describe it is that I feel like I’m awake, properly, for the first time in my life. Up till now, there have been two driving forces fighting in me – the conscious me, and the unconscious me. Let’s call the conscious version Fiona, and the unconscious one Fi.
Fiona has spent her entire life trying to do what she thought was the ‘right’ thing, trying to follow the ‘right’ path. She refused point blank to listen to Fi. She didn’t particularly like Fi, because this version of me is the one that’s a little bit different, the one that doesn’t quite fit. Here’s the thing though. Fi fits perfectly. All (!!!!) Fiona had to do was learn to be quiet, and actually listen. This is what 3.0 has been trying to get across to me, and what is finally sinking in. Fiona can’t fix depression or borderline, because those diagnoses are not the problems that need fixing. They’re the manifestation of Fi, trying hard to tell me what’s wrong, and Fiona, ignoring her. I bet if I were to look back over the last three, almost four years of writing, I’d be able to spot which posts Fiona wrote, and which ones Fi wrote.
It’s Fi who has the insight. This is such a hard idea to explain!!! What I’ve noticed the last couple of weeks is that my usual distraction tactics, while helpful to an extent, leave me exhausted. The one thing that’s been missing, right the way along, is space for Fi. Fiona knows that yoga helps, that walking helps, that writing helps, that all the other little tricks I have help. But what Fi needs most is space, time, peace and above all, quiet. No distractions – no TV, phone, music, people – just quiet.
Yesterday I didn’t have that quiet. I had a really lovely day – I spent a few hours in town by myself, I took off with the camera for an hour, and in between I was Mammy. But by the time the kids went to bed I felt like my head was going to burst, and something occurred to me. The one thing I didn’t have in my day yesterday, was absolute quiet. I almost got there when I went out with the camera, but at the back of my mind I was thinking of dinner, of what needed doing at home. When the house finally did go quiet, it was delightful.
So this morning, I got up early. I made tea. And I sat. Within minutes, Fiona went quiet and Fi took over. I realise how completely cracked this must sound, and I’m working it out as I go along, but for me, finally, things make sense. We carry around this organ, this brain, that we know nothing about. We carry around a sense of who we are, but in my case at least, it’s constantly fighting with who we actually are. I can’t change who I am, but I can stop fighting with myself. That’s the essence of what Fi has been trying to tell Fiona, and the harder Fiona ignored her, the worse the problems got. In the end, the only way Fi had of telling Fiona what was wrong was to stop me functioning entirely – enter depression and bpd.
Fiona isn’t a blogger or someone with an eye for a photo. That’s Fi. When Fiona tries to take control, it doesn’t work out, because she’s forcing a result. But when she takes a step back?
My brain feels like it’s kicked up about 5 gears, and I love what it’s showing me. I don’t need to be trying so hard, in fact, I don’t need to try at all. I just need to give Fi the space she’s been so desperately asking for all of these years. She knows what to do.