Over the past month I have received quite a bit of feedback regarding my online confessions. Many individuals have applauded my courage; "It's so brave of you to be so honest." They tell me I can always talk to them. They assure me that they have problems as well. I accept their kind words, thinking... I'm not being anything except who I really am; the person I have been hiding as I scribble away in little notepads -while everyone else is happily mingling for hours- Honest? Blunt is more like it. But as I told my family before I starting posting, "People don't have to read it, if they don't want to." Brave? I don't think of myself as brave. Impulsive... Impulsive is the term the shrinks use to describe my disregard for possible repercussions.
My own psychiatrist was astounded; "Why would you tell everyone?" as though having BPD was tantamount to being a criminal. Something of which one should be ashamed. Something to conceal... But trying to act like everyone else has only led to breakdown after eventual breakdown. Now that I understand there is something different about the way my mind works, I have begun to alter my perspective, the way I process information and interactions.
It is true- I have opened a can of worms. Now anytime I am being considered for a job, my potential employer could Google my name and read this blog. Being openly psychologically "disordered" is not socially acceptable. Given the political climate, following the Newtown school shootings, I may likely end up on a list of people ineligible for firearm purchase. I can live with that. However, how do I explain... How do make the majority of people understand that I am not dangerous to anyone -except myself, on occasion?
I am going to therapy. I am learning coping strategies. I practice them daily... The idea being that through repetition they will become part of me; replace undesirable behaviors with desirable behaviors. It is a basic behavioral psychology concept that I use as a speech therapist all the time. But how to confront doubt... Don't they realize that I have been implementing strategies my entire life? Many of the mindfulness exercises they teach are the very same ideas that attracted me to the practices of yoga and Reiki and meditation? It isn't that I don't know what I have to do... It is a matter of choosing to do these things when times get difficult again.
I have been easy on myself... working a part time job that does not cover my rent. I will need to find more work. Given how little work is available these days, that means speech clients. I will have to really sit and write about my skills, advertise... Something that should be easy for someone who likes to write about herself as much as I seem to- But it is always easier to complain than to brag. Advertising means projecting confidence. Confidence means stepping up, literally- it makes me feel like I am putting myself on an elevation from which I could fall. This is the source of my stress, the beginnings of my worries. Risk. Those are the tasks in which I will have to demonstrate real courage.
Brave? Writing these blog posts is hardly brave. They are cathartic... On the other hand, I am encouraged by how many people have told me they have took the time to read, that they relate to the feelings I have experienced. If you are reading, thank you. If you want to share and commiserate, call me- If you want to listen to some music inspired by my heartache, confusion, and quest for contentment; come to the Fire (4th & Girard) this Tuesday, July 16th. I will be one of very talented four acts...