I’m looking at the “GREY”

More specifically, I chose to finally add “Grey’s Anatomy” to my list of things to do when the world stopped functioning normally and told all of us to stick it out inside of our homes (for an unspecified amount of time.) I knew this was a lofty goal to set… to complete this mega-series. I just had to do something.

Why had I waited so long to start watching GA? … Well, I asked myself this exact question just a day or so in to watching the show.

The series had started at the end of March, 2005. The cast is full of McDreamy’s (@PatrickDempsey) and McSteamy’s (@EricDane) and the line up of actresses are women you either want to ask to be your friend (@SandraOh) or emulate. (@EllenPompeo) they did amazing with casting.

I could have used this show in 2005, but during that time in my life, I am not sure that I would have appreciated it near as much as I do now at 38 years old. At that time, I was about to wrap up 4 years of active duty service at my final duty station, Ft.Benning, Georgia. Just finishing up my time as a war-seasoned E-4, Corporal. I was struggling a bit to find myself knowing that I was no longer the small-town girl I was when I entered the military. How had I lost myself so much during these 4 years away from home? Had I experienced too much independence, maybe? Is that even a thing, too much independence? Was it necessary for me to go through all of these things to lose her? The person I was told to be. (Sorry writing out loud.)

The Infantry Center Chapel, Ft. Benning, GA

I wasn’t going back home or back to that small town. I had just gotten engaged and had been busy planning my wedding, which was quickly approaching in just a few months. I would sit for hours after work sewing on my wedding dress, pondering what the rest of my life as a soldier’s wife would be like? Truth! The idea of a wedding at this point petrified me. I did know that I wanted to hold onto that respectable soldier, and this was the next step. We managed to stay together for 4 years. He stayed in the Army and I moved back home. The call of the familiar was too loud for me to just ignore.

This is the exact pattern I used to make my dress.

I created a fantasy future while absorbed in a different series. A series that involved Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda & Samantha. Yes, I was living out lifestyle fantasies with the girls from Sex in the City. I wanted to go live in New York City and have a sophisticated lifestyle comparable to theirs. Instead, what I opted for was marriage to that respectable soldier and a move to Ft. Bragg. I guess I did a few things to live like those gals and still do. I shop like all of them (*thrift stores) act confident like Samantha & write like Carrie ! 😂

I believe the real reason I didn’t cave to watching Grays Anatomy at that time, was I didn’t just do what was popular or on trend, I did what I wanted, when I wanted. The truth was, I had no idea what I was missing out on. This show is a dream come true for the person with BPD. (Borderline Personality Disorder) So many of the characters deal with trauma, had I watched this in 2005 it may have been too early in my life, it wouldn’t have resonated then the way it does now.

You can see two characters in particular display great growth throughout the show as their characters suffer major losses and heartbreak. Meredith Grey and Alex Karev are very relatable and you grow to cheer for their success despite whatever chaos they invite into their lives.

Thank you @ShondaRhimes for creating such a great series! Your talent is amazing and inspiring.

Just watched Season 10: Episode 14 this song came on and it just makes sense about changing the world. The only thing we have to do is start with OURSELVES.

Man in The Mirror

This show was more than entertaining for me it was therapeutic and the cast became friends for me during the lockdown. I know I will watch it all over again because it made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me feel, which showed me life isn’t over. To end this little blog post this is a little quote that Meredith Grey’s mother would always say to her.

🎠 “The carousel never stops turning” – Ellis Grey

So pick your favorite seat and hang on! Have a great day and if you decide to watch Grey’s Anatomy let me know what you think. It was a 10/10 for me!

“Monday start the carousel ride”
Photo:Zm406.Mon.0830

Neurofeedback… My Personal Experience and Research

I was going to do a podcast on this topic, and I may still choose to do one later on… Here is the information I have found to help introduce the therapy I am currently using to help manage my symptoms of BPD.

Video : What is Neurofeedback?

Website: Explains this very well!

I have recently started neurofeedback therapy.  I have had 4 treatments lasting anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes.  The side effects I have noticed are feeling a bit more tired than usual, which is usually cured with an hour long nap. It has also caused me to be a bit more sensitive to situations that test my emotions.  More frequent mood swings, but ones that were short lived and easier to manage.

**I am not a medical professional and do not offer my experiences as general expectations for any person.  These are only my own personal observations.  I feel each person may have their own unique experience when dealing with methods to help cope with BPD.**

I have listened to several youtube channels of doctors trying to explain what a person dealing with BPD looks like.  What I have noticed, is that they have labeled us as individuals that are hard to work with.  This is obviously based on individuals that they have treated, that are hard to work with.  They blame this incompatibility on the client suffering from BPD because BPD sufferers have dichotomous thinking, We have a tendency to perceive the therapist to either be “all good” or “all bad”  I feel that if doctors are aware of our ability to think in this way, maybe they should try a little harder to be on the side of “all good”  in order to help their client achieve some relief of the symptoms of BPD.

I have been lucky enough to visit with two counselors that conduct each visit with care and compassion.  I don’t feel that is too much to ask from other individuals, especially those being paid to help you manage and better understand your mental afflictions.  I have read books that have been super beneficial with my struggle and I have started a treatment that I barely knew anything about, purely at the suggestion of a caring counselor.  I have noticed significant benefits and of course as with anything, there are some downside to it as well, but nothing I can’t handle or overcome.

I started this blog to help people who suffer from BPD find comfort in the fact that they aren’t alone, that we don’t have to wear a mask of perfection all the time, and that someone out there in the world appreciates that you are surviving each and every hardship that may hit you daily.  I also started this blog to help couples understand that relationships even those that aren’t dealing with mental health issues require time, attention, and hard work.  I feel that the outcome depends purely on the investment you are willing to make.

I was asked to try biofeedback after seeing my children’s counselor during our family therapy sessions.  I told her I was willing to try anything.  The very next counseling session she hooked me up.  The biofeedback helps read your brain waves.  I know they say that it doesn’t do anything to the brain, but I have actually left needing a nap like I had just completed a two-hour, mind-numbing test or something.  My brain must be doing mental gymnastics during my sessions… I am completely zapped afterwards.  The data that is collected is supposed to show some if any dis-regulation in the brain waves.

NFInfographic

I wanted to present this information early and track my progress.  I do feel that it has helped with my anxiety and I do feel a bit more focused.  My energy levels are still low, but this could also be due to the fact that my hormones are still out of whack. I am also working with my Nurse Practitioner to resolve those issues as well.

The thing that has been the best tool in managing BPD is self-awareness.  We may not be able to manage the emotions as situations arise… I know this is something I still struggle with, but we can choose to be more present and less day-dreamy to have control over our actions and how we interact with those around us.  It isn’t easy and I do understand the desire to get lost in thoughts can sometimes be overwhelming, but allow yourself to practice being present and it becomes easier.  This I can guarantee.

Good luck and have a blessed day!

Once Upon a YouTube Binge

Mondays are typically my non-writing day.  A day of so called “research”  or rather a day of scrounging up a few edible bits to chew on for later use. My Monday looks similar to what a day of being stranded on a deserted island might look like to most. deserted island

The cast away (me) is left starving after surviving off a diet of pure coconut and decides not to eat another flake of the milky white insides of this deceiving nut.   The castaway desperately seeks an alternate food source.                coconut

searching high and low for a bit more insight on BPD.

I wanted to find something more noteworthy than just a fact feeding video (the coconut).

pineapple

Ok, that was only what I did today, I normally just live life on Mondays without scrounging for topics, but I was in the mood to do a little research today.  It was a long day of trying to understand myself better.  Looking for something that might spark my interest or provoke some deep form of thinking that I could translate into a relatable topic.  I was just browsing through loads of videos on YouTube.

pexels-photo.jpg

 

The only connection of all videos were of course those three little letters in the title; BPD.  Not true, there were blatant similarities.  One common similarity is the definition of borderline. People usually spout that off in every intro.  Which is fantastic, because if I had not been diagnosed with this disorder, I would not know of its existence.

pexels-photo-551588.jpeg

Most people making these videos give great information and are armed with many facts that address BPD.  I have learned the differences between a classic borderline and a quiet borderline.  I have learned that psychiatrists are more inclined to deny treatment of borderline patients.  I have learned that I have a lot of similar mannerisms to other exposed “virtual” borderlines.  I also found myself sucked into the rabbit hole and also having a faint desire to meet with these people and help them and in turn learn more about myself.

A doctor and professor from Yale University speaking on one of the videos I managed to come across today explained a great example of what the difference is between someone living with BPD compared to someone that isn’t.

the solid black line represents the working mind of a non-bpd brain. _________________________________________________

the line below represents the working mind of an individual with BPD.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I think this is a great example. It is actually a viable and simple way that may be helpful to others when they try to imagine the differences.  I can still work normally most of the time, it just requires a little bit more work and mindfulness when I hit the moments that I am not a solid line.

I am letting a few other things that I found marinate until the podcast on Wednesday. I appreciate you taking the time to read the words I feel compelled to share.  Have a wonderful day.

side note- Technically it is Tuesday, so I am not posting on Monday.

Nail biting and BPD : Mental Eval Friday

pexels-photo-1054248.jpeg

For as long as I can remember I have been a nail biter.  I even have a picture somewhere that shows me biting my toenails. Before you begin to judge, I was only 2 years old. At that age it wasn’t gross to me.  I will say it now, though… GROSS!!!  And instead of my family stopping me, they only stopped to make it a Kodak moment.  I am sitting there in some very tight fitting, 80’s styled toddler outfit, looking like some sort of chunky albino monkey chewing on my toes, bearing a huge grin on my face.  Thanks mom or grandma, whomever is to blame for the evidence we now have of my intense nail biting. This habit was obviously a self-soothing method to cope with my nervousness.  Instead of sucking my thumb, I found relief in chewing up my nails.  I just recently discovered that this is something that people with BPD suffer from as well.  (Article attached at the end of blog.)  They are also classifying people that bite their nails habitually and harmfully as OCD, labeling these individuals as having a diagnosable mental disorder.

I have had several people give their best efforts to keep me from biting my nails, the jalapeno sauce on the fingernails, and one of my aunts went as far as even trying to bribe away my bad habit.  She would say that if I could grow my nails she would pay me some hard, cold cash each time I would go to visit her with longer nails.  I was unable to grow them at that age.  Life for me at that time was far too nerve racking.  I do feel that I learned to chew my nails during intense moments to help ease my anxiety.  And then it became a horrible habit that until now I felt I was unable to break.

I can remember spending loads of money getting fake nails, and feeling better about myself almost the instant my nails were done. How does a little bit of powder, gel and polish change the way I feel about myself? I know that how we feel about ourselves on the outside can affect our mental state.  It can cause serious issues.  What could possibly be enhanced by fake nails? Why stop there, why fake lashes, fake breasts, fake tan, makeup even.  Falsifying who we are on the outside to make ourselves feel better on the inside.  Personally, the idea that I could apply beautiful nails hid the fact that I had a horrible habit of biting my nails.  It also concealed my failure with my battle of being a nervous and insecure person.  The fake nails hid those real parts of me.  I loved fake nails, and I would even pick out the polish by the name…  It had to match my mood or the persona I wanted to exude.

193DD42A-6FA2-4C2E-AB23-5D3A04AF2B79

I am happy to announce that my addiction to fake nails has since been rehabilitated and I have beaten my nail biting nervous habit.  I am now actually growing nails, and I can’t tell you how this small & unimportant physical feature actually empowers me.  I feel like this is something I have battled since the age of 2. I had always felt that I wouldn’t be able to beat this habit.  Making the once impossible idea of beating this bad habit, now very possible.  The major change for me that has helped me beat this habits was first simply asking myself what it is I want? Giving myself time throughout the day to care for myself. Making my mind up to be more present, to be engaged more often and less time checked out. I could spend hours adrift in my thoughts, before practicing mindfulness.  I check in with reality a lot more regularly now.  Being more intentional with my actions, and with the way I want to treat myself and others.  I don’t live in a fantasy world, and I know I create what is happening in my life, and that I am in control of what happens with my body.  Starting with growing long, beautiful nails. This is just the beginning of being 100 % real.

A97A5D7A-21F7-4734-88BC-413397E31653

Now if I could just kick my habit of Snapchat filters… I would be all real all the time. LOL!

21A544EA-510E-4C53-9A92-A18B2AB43A9A

Happy Mother’s Day to all the super hero moms out there that do their very best for their kids!  Every day isn’t always easy, but they are all definitely worth it.

Biting nails and BPD… Read HERE

 

Nail Biting article… Read HERE

 

Podcast #3 and My Self-Evaluation

 

happy cup

2 cups Podcast: Episode 3

 

I did notice today that I may in fact need friends for emotional support. I think I can handle a small circle of friends.  It was nice to see that she was doing so well.  I loved hearing about her sister, and the success she is finding in her young life.  I was sad to hear that her mom and dad are no longer with us.  It is crazy how easily we could talk about anything and everything.  It was like we hadn’t experienced any time apart.  I really enjoyed sharing the newly found self-awareness, I have recently experienced.  To hear that she had been making it through her own struggles made me aware of her strength.  She says to me, “Isn’t it crazy that life doesn’t ever turn out how you think it will?”  I replied with a nod of the head… “So true!” I am understanding now we all need friends, good friends, to make it through this thing called life.coffee

I have put so much pressure on my better-half, he has to be almost everything for me.  I know now that this amount of pressure on a person can’t be healthy, even though he has been doing an amazing job of getting me through these past couple of months since accepting my diagnosis.  I realize one person can’t be another person’s everything.  It is not healthy.  If you love the other person you wouldn’t want to put that amount of pressure on them, right?

pexels-photo-38865.jpeg

A friend that I have had since Junior High came to visit with her two babies today, and has always been a person I have never had to be false around.  She was one of the only people ever invited over to the run-down,  trailer house we called home.  It was refreshing to hear that she felt I was never dishonest around her.  I was like… “Yeah, but there are several ways I was being dishonest.  I would wear masks, and mirror individuals, and was deceiving myself.”  Luckily, she knows where I come from, she knows my heart and knows I have the ability to be brutally honest.  She had seen so much from me over the years, I could see that this was a little hard for her to believe now.  I love my friend, it felt nice to catch up, and I am truly thankful that she was there for me as a kid, and has reminded me that she is still here for me now.  Thank you!

small circle

Ok, so who else wants to join my exclusive circle of friends…  I have room for about 3 more, maybe?

Tell a friend that they are the reason you smiled today.  I bet it will make them smile too!

pexels-photo-935762.jpeg

 

 

Sunday: A Day for the Soul (4-15-18)

6DB47BF4-B915-405A-BCDA-E034F77002D4

The manual my doctor skims through, the DSM-5

listing labels, he says, “point to the one that best describes.”

I felt like I was being quizzed, to see how well I knew myself.

Borderline Personality Disorder, eyes growing wide, did I pass the test?

Wait, what? How could this be? I love my personality.

How could there be something wrong with me?

Turns out my amygdala is smaller, and over-worked

causing my emotions to be intense, I look like the jerk.

That isn’t the only thing functioning incorrectly

My pre-frontal cortex, also known as the PFC

is a major culprit in the reasons behind BPD.

It keeps one from mediating their own choices.

Good and Bad, share the same voices.

It’s more than a matter of using your wise mind,

Our impulse is to react, without being kind.

This behavior sounds childish, you may even say!

these under-developed parts of my brain, are probably ok.

I am working very hard at beating this disorder,

I would love for my brain to grow, as I continue to get older.

I know that it has caused many disruptions in my life

Causing people that I love to endure unwarranted strife.

What I want for myself, is the same that I want for you

Help me see where I am weak, and believe in what I can do.

I have become aware of my tendencies and weaknesses

my impulsivity, my anger and memory losses.

walking numb through life, completely unaware

wasn’t producing anything worthy to share

I have been awaken to a whole new way of life

God didn’t forsake me, he has allowed me another chance to be a wife

a mother, a sister, a teacher. He has literally shaken me to the core

I am now so excited about all that He may have in store.

I know life is to short to be living in pain

so look away from the losses, and look forward to the gain.

 

 

#SelfhelpSaturday (4 – 14 – 18)

paint color

The above picture shows the color I chose for the living room. (Acier Gray: Sherwin Williams )

Late Friday night, I finished up painting two walls of my living room a beautiful matte gray.  The paint has a very neat and clean finish.  I chose a matte finish as it seems to be so pleasing and easy on the eyes.  Painting two walls doesn’t sound like much work to most who will read this blog… or may not even sound like much of an accomplishment. After moving the furniture, cleaning the walls, patching any screw or nail holes and taping off the trim/crown molding, I felt like I had completed a pretty intense project.  All while keeping a 3 year old, occupied. Of course she had to help mommy paint the walls.  She really did most of the painting, I just trailed behind her and spread all the globs out.  LOL!  My goodness, what I wouldn’t give for her level of energy again.

I was just looking up my color choice and found that there is a shade called : Mindful Gray.  That will be my next paint choice, maybe for the hallway.  Here it is pictured below.

mindful gray

I wrote about procrastination and a few methods that can help everyone to not put off projects until the last minute.  Rather, get started on those projects by diving in.  Stop putting things off.  Painting my living room was one of the projects I had been putting off.  It was the fault of my thoughts, obviously.  I had tossed around all the work that would be required to complete said project, and those thoughts bouncing around in my mind kept me from just diving in.

The beauty into diving into any project you may be avoiding, is of course that initial feeling of accomplishment once you complete it.  It also provides more energy within to tackle other things you have been avoiding.  It has a way of propelling us forward to complete tasks we once felt would be too much work.  Just being mindful about my attitude towards projects makes me aware of the priority of the task.  I have found if a task is mundane or redundant I will put it off until it absolutely has to be done.  I am hoping to change my attitude about these tasks.  If I am successful, dishes and laundry should be mostly done everyday.  LOL!

I know that I am not alone in my attitude with procrastination and the good feelings it can provide us after we have invested the hard-work required. sherwin williams

We had a ball tournament for my son this weekend and it was blistery cold.  The wind blowing at least 20-25 mph.  I nearly froze.  They ended up with the 2nd place title after losing the 2nd game on Saturday, then playing numerous games on Sunday (back to back) to get back to the championship game.  I know that my son was tuckered out. He fell asleep just as soon as he had some good food in his tummy.

On Saturday, after he had played a couple games we all sat down to eat a meal at a wonderful restaurant here in Oklahoma called, La Baguette.  The food is always amazing, and they ran out of our choice desserts before we were ready to order them.  We still found some delicious tasty treats to cure our sweet tooth.

la-baguette

I noticed that my son was being very quiet.  He is a normally very calm and quiet individual regardless and maybe this quiet is only noticeable to his mother.  At any rate, we started talking because I wanted to know what was on his mind.  He told me that he didn’t really want to play baseball anymore.  This actually wasn’t true once we talked it all out.  He was almost ready to make a decision based on how he was feeling.  He liked baseball.  The truth was he wasn’t too happy about a few things that happened with his performance and the reaction he received from his coaches.  I was able to talk him through it.  If I had not been mindful of his behavior, had I not been there to just listen to him and ask questions and use methods that I personally have to use he may not have understood what he was going through and could have performed poorly on Sunday.  His perception of the game would have been different and he may have felt that he was being forced to play.  I could see a remarkable difference in his performance on Sunday and I am proud of my son to see how sometimes feelings can get in the way, and it is helpful to talk about those feelings, to be heard, and to have those feelings validated.  I am so thankful for my babies and hope to continue working on myself so that I am walking proof that any one of us can overcome obstacles. The small ones, the big ones, the surprise ones.  I am helping myself today by staying focused on the little people that hold a huge place in my heart.

Have a great day!