This is another one of those moments when I feel like I am about to take a huge leap of faith, and am about to share yet another part of who I really am. What will you do?
Will you laugh? Will you leave me? Will you understand? I have to be brave and not worry about what you think if you don’t get it, and hope that someone out there will really get it, and will understand. My friend Matt called it ‘Finding Your Tribe’ and I guess that is what is so cool about being true to who I really am, I will continue to find my tribe.
At last, I have had my diagnosis!!! In one way it is such a relief and another it leaves me with great sadness that it has taken so long and caused me and others so much pain.
I have been into two re-habs, assessed by a Psychiatrist, and still, no-one knew what was really wrong with me. I was told in the last re-hab that I did not have any signs of Borderline………….and thank God one of the support workers suggested I did not leave without connecting to my local Community Mental Health Team…………….although it has to be said, they have taken almost two years to get their act together due to lack of funds, staff cuts and all the other chaos that is around the mental health support at the moment.
I was offered this label as a possible reason for my problems way back in around 2000, when I had researched and saw that I was possibly bi-polar as my mood swings were so up and down and no matter how sober I was, my head was playing havoc and I was really mentally unwell. That was one of the worst things about getting sober, the lack of booze to sooth my mind was leaving an even bigger issue, my mind was not right, only I had no idea until I put all the substances down.
So, in April 2010, I come out of re-hab, no money for follow up and on a waiting list so long that it took months to see a psychologist. In the meantime, I was seen by a psychiatrist who did not understand addiction and offered me Lituium, just in case I had bi-polar or borderline, while I wait to see someone…………….no thanks. Then, I finally see someone, the failed attempt at a form which I found ardeous and far too painful to complete and not enough time to go over the questions it all seemed horrendous and unsupported, then, she left as her job had been cut, and I was left high and dry, in the midst of an emotional turmoil which I found so hard to manage. It is because of this that I have such gratitude to my friend who pays for me to see a therapist, because without her, I actually do not know where I would be.
Now, months and months later, I am finally called in, told they would like to assess me, I get 9 out of 9 of the questions right and I am now on a course called STEPS, designed in America to help people who have Borderline Personality Disorder, or as they like to call it now Emotional Intensity Disorder. I will be blogging as I go through this, it feels like my world as I knew it is not going to be the same. What I thought was normal I am being told is part of my illness, that to me is very odd indeed, because it is who I am I thought!
One of the symptoms is the use of at least two of the following potentially self-damaging behaviours, eg: sex, spending, substance misuse, including alcohol, binge eating and reckless driving………….It makes me wonder just how many people have this and don’t even know it.
It stems from childhood, and whilst this is not to blame my parents, hard as that is cos I really feel like it and somedays I actually really do blame them, I am not there yet with that. It stems from the level of abandonment trauma in childhood and this sets up a pattern of real or imagined experiences as we get older. I know it has with me. For example, I think everyone is going to leave me and never ever come back, it is agony and I find the world a very painful place to be. It also stops me expressing myself sometimes fully because of fear of abandonment and rejection, all this has a devastating effect on my life and those around me and I am going to do my best to learn all I can.
I hope to hear from anyone who has anything to add to this and look forward to learning all about myself. I have always found the world a very difficult place to exist, I battle on a daily basis and I hope that I will learn some tools to help me. I am a bit worried that it might be a bit of a plaster job but lets hope that emotions are encouraged to be expressed!!