I have asked myself this many times,
“When will I be better?”
For a long time now I have been thinking clinically (which is unlike me given how I actually view my mental health) about symptom management and recovery. How much, how little, how long until or when this happens? Lots of questions that have to do with measuring.
But, it hit me tonight that it’s not about measurements. The question I should be asking myself is,
“When will I allow myself to be better?”
When will I allow mistakes to not mean that I have a problem?
When will I allow anger or sadness to not mean I should be medicated?
When will allow the bumps in the road to not mean I have fallen?
Only I can answer this question but to answer it I need think about about recovery and symptom management have meant to me.
- Recovery: All previous issues are gone. I am the normal everyone dreamed I would be and I guess the normal I hoped I could one day achieve.
- Management: I’m still messed up but I’ve learned to hide it well.
I’m sure you can see the problems with my two definitions (and dare I say that they represent the BPD black and white thinking?). My definitions are unforgiving and unrealistic. They do not allow for the wide range of human emotion and experience that I actually believe in when it comes to why I am the way I am.
Ever since I left my 5 and half year relationship I have felt unstable. In that relationship I had resigned myself to being the “fucked up one”. I appeared to have many problems with my thoughts, engaging in self destructive behaviours, suicidal thoughts and actions as well as the extreme rage. I didn’t think I was going to get out of it which is why managing my experience seemed appealing. The instability I’m experiencing currently is coming from the lack of problems with my thoughts, self destructive behaviours, suicidal thoughts and actions and rage. From time to time something will pop up but I’m able to ride it out much easier then before. Could this mean that I could potentially become better then I ever thought? Could recovery be possible?
Many of you are familiar with the comfort that comes from staying in your pain. For some of us, like myself, it began when we were young so we barely remember another way of being. It is absolutely terrifying wondering who you will be if you can let that pain disappear. I know my biggest fear is that letting go of the pain will mean I am vulnerable and others will hurt me because I’m not ready to fight. Although, my Wise Mind knows that it is actually the pain that has made me vulnerable and has me believing that others will hurt me. I need to get it across to myself that I will experience pain and be hurt by others but that it does not mean the end for me. That is just life.
Over the next few months I’m hoping to explore more about my current experience. I am actually becoming better at keeping myself in the moment and I’m hoping this will allow me to accept what I am capable of now and not what I thought I was capable of back then.