So, it is my birthday today! I have made 23 trips around the sun. And to be honest, a lot of them have been a real struggle. But this year, I am super proud of myself. As I have told you in past entries, my mental health seems to dip around April and August each year. The April dip, the one I am going through at the moment, is usually the toughest. In fact, I have overdosed this time of year, every year, for 10 years. But this year…. NO OVERDOSE. Which is brilliant when you take into account that I have cirrhosis of the liver thanks to the overdosing- so not overdosing is a very good thing to do.
I have struggled at this time of year for a long time now, but it was only about 3 years ago that I started to understand why. I realised that every birthday meant I had spent another year feeling miserable, fighting every second just to stay afloat, and I get sick of it. I want to give up, and throw in the towel, because I can’t bear another minute of it. Even the struggle of getting out of bed is horrific most days. I have absolutely no motivation to do anything, and even a trip to the dentist takes weeks of planning. I am going next week so they can paint some enamel type stuff on the teeth to repair the damage (nerves showing) of excessive, severe grinding… that I can’t seem to stop no matter what I try. I also have to fight the guilt surrounding my daughter, who is currently living with my parents due to my inability to look after her. Fortunately, they live very close so I get to see her all the time.
I live every single day in pain. Physical pain is one thing, and I have plenty of that, but it is the mental pain that gets you. I suffer with crippling guilt about a lot of different things… and that guilt leads to excessive anxiety. I am still screaming in the night when I get flash backs. I still fight the urge to end it all, escape, and leave the pain behind. I still struggle with the BPD when my emotions just get too big to handle, and I brood over things for hours, hence me writing this blog at 3.30am!
This year, however, has been different. I thought really hard about my ‘preventative factors’… those things that stop you from killing/ harming yourself. I have fought harder than I ever have before not to fall into the deep pit I know so well. I have been determined that this year, this year I will survive. This year I wont give in to the urge to OD. I am finding better coping techniques and I have been heavily using my Crisis Box. I am still really struggling mentally, but I am doing better than last year. After all, this time last year I was in the funny farm.
I know things are hard for me at the moment, but for the first time I am beginning to feel hope that it wont be the same fight forever. If I can manage this year without overdosing, what about next year? What changes can I make then? And I am still looking forward to the 5 year intensive psychotherapy course I have been generously offered. I have a couple of other small therapy groups to take help me through the 12 month waiting list.
My dream is to be able to live with my daughter, and have as normal a life as I can. This year, I can actually picture that happening. And that is why I will fight until my fingers bleed, and then fight some more for my gorgeous little girl. She will never know, but she is saving my life, every day, just by being there. And for the first time, I am GLAD that I have BPD, because the increased emotions are good when you are feeling the pride, love, faith, and hope that only the innocence of your offspring can be. I sometimes feel like I am literally going to burst with the love I feel for that child and my family.
After all, this time 7 years ago my princess was due, and she stubbornly waited an extra 7 days before vacating my womb, just so I can get our birthdays confused on all the forms!
I am never expecting life to be perfect. I don’t even expect it to be good. But, if it can just be manageable, I would be the happiest person on Earth. So, here is to another trip around the sun. Another year, another fight, but another year of wisdom and knowledge to add to my ever-expanding belt… and that is what will pull me through. Bring on 23!!!!!