Season 2 : Episode 1

Topic: “The Comparison of  Mental Health Disorders To Society”

Season 2

Introduction:  HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Welcome to the World in Black and White this is Michelle and I am the narrator and creator of this podcast. I am grateful to begin Season 2 discussing Borderline Personality Disorder with you and giving some helpful strategies that might make a positive difference for those living with BPD.

Vision: My vision for the second season of “The World in Black and White,” is that this season includes interviews with mental health experts, discussing life with some willing & kooky friends, as well as adding some forced commentary from my family members. I mean, why not?  Those dealing with mental health disorders usually surround themselves with some pretty interesting & entertaining people.  I want those listening to this to receive a dose of hope and possibly some useful strategies that help direct them towards a healthier path. I aim to achieve this in a manner that inspires others to choose a place of self awareness and authenticity. I hope to create a space here that allows all people to shed their mask, and to listen without fear of rejection or criticism.  Alright, let’s go to that place that arouses self-awareness and acceptance… This is The World in Black and White!

So I was just having a conversation with my older brother, and to give you a little background on that relationship, he and I both served in the military as Chaplain Assistants from 2001 to 2005. We were both recruited on the same day, but he was still in braces and had to complete his orthodontic treatment before he could be sent to basic training. 

My brother is only 3 years older, but I have always seen him as a much older and wiser person than myself, partly because of his kind and calm demeanor, but also his ability to look at specific problems and respond with biblical solutions. He has been there for me through some very tough times, and I just want to be sure that you all hear the genuine respect I hold for him as an individual.

Our duties were the same in the military, we were responsible for setting up the space to hold religious services. We would also provide administrative and combative support to the chaplain when necessary.  I began telling him this morning what my topic for this week’s podcast would be. That I would be making a comparison of what society has experienced over the past couple of years with having a mental disorder, (specifically Borderline Personality Disorder.) He then asked me,  “Have you heard that they are going to bring institutions back to place “crazy people” in that go against them?” 



So I felt it important that I get this out, because well… They might lock me up soon.  I just want to say that what I am trying to get out to others will probably be censored or flagged as misinformation, all that I am sharing today are my own opinions and comparisons… Well most of us know, once you have been labeled as “crazy”it is hard to remove that label or to have other people take you seriously. 



(1st)

Ok… Ladies and Gents, humor me for a minute and imagine society as one being. Lets refer to humanity now as “Gertrude”  and poor Gertrude has just recently married a man that no one really knows all that well and we only know that he has a lot of mystery in his history. 

Within no time, we see Gertrude that had once been a happy and free spirit,to a recluse, unable to go to any social gatherings.  He was hiding her away.  The only reason he gave was that she was not well and had to stay indoors for her “health.” 

Then the man she married all of a sudden begins to strip her of her ability to speak on her own behalf, answering every question she was asked with a scripted answer from a “higher authority”  Gertrude’s friends became concerned for her well being, but knew that there was little that they could do for her.  So they did nothing and said nothing. He would now be the one to make all of her decisions for her, because he said that he knew what would be  most suitable for her. Gertrude by this point had been convinced that she was also going crazy, because that is what he would say to her anytime she disagreed or questioned him.  During this time, Gertrude was given a test result that now showed that she was positive for the “deadly virus” .She was told that  the only hope of surviving this illness was to take a jab that hadn’t been fully tested or risk the possibility of succumbing to this “novel” illness. 

Gertrude discovers that because of her time living in a toxic environment she had officially started to question her own sanity. She knew that she didn’t like the environment, but found it impossible to run away from it, his toxicity had permeated everywhere, those that she thought were friends, had turned their backs to her. Believing his narcissistic lies, over her truths.   


So… Here is Gertrude truly experiencing gaslighting, coercion, loss of autonomy and identity.  Gertrude shows how one can develop a mental health disorder living in an intentionally toxic environment. Gertrude is trying to separate from this mysterious man at the moment… So we shall have to wait and see how the story plays out, but I hope we can agree that Gertrude needs to move along on a new path.  

(2nd) Inspiration for the story…

So for the past couple of years we have all had to make some pretty crazy concessions or lifestyle modifications to simply survive the infected landscape that covid provided. It birthed chaos and complexities onto our simple reality, the events that occurred as a side-effect of covid have been tremendous and unlike any many people had ever experienced.  

I immediately started to notice that there were some striking similarities between the elected official handling of the events and a highly toxic environment. They were delivering a lot of insulting remarks to people that questioned them and continued to offer one-sided demands without possibility of discussion or debate. (Let’s just say I was quite familiar with this dance and it immediately stood out like a red-flag to me!)The intention here was to make the individuals that questioned  their motives appear to be crazy, it also frightened others from speaking out. No one likes to be labeled as crazy, it reduces their thoughts and opinions to nonsense, even if it isn’t.  This very same thing happens in Narcissistic relationships.

The similarities that I was quick to notice, were the insults towards those that questioned provided guidance and information, as well as the blatant disregard for human immunities or liberties.  The other red flags were the simultaneous attacks on our rights, more specifically the right to free speech and the right to bear arms.  At this very same time, we were dealing with a global pandemic, which turned out to be a “designer illness” waging an attack on everyone’s physical health.

 Being a veteran of war… I felt we were being attacked on multiple fronts, I was only aware of two specific attacks at this time, one being the psychological and the other being biological.  I was arriving at these conclusions based solely on my feelings and prior experience with toxic relationships, but it was evident to me that something bad was at play.  Which led me to write the story about Gertrude. (*disclaimer, I am not referring to anyone bearing the name of Gertrude.) Have a Nice Day!











Alright it’s time for our Byte of Insight

I am just going to make a few comparisons from this story to mental health. So in the story you heard gaslighting, I’ve put a definition on my blog. Michellefightsbpd.com 

This definition was provided by google


Gas·light   *definition provided by Google Dictionary.

/ˈɡasˌlīt/

verb

gerund or present participle: gas-lighting

  1. manipulate (someone) using psychological methods into questioning their own sanity or powers of reasoning.: “in the first episode, Karen Valentine is being gaslighted by her husband” “we are being gaslit about our health on a grand scale by these people”.



The second comparison to mental health is when you survive a toxic environment for a while you start to develop ways to cope or survive that environment. So while it may seem that society or Gertrude was just going along with everything she was simply just trying to survive, but she was surviving in an environment that was intentionally toxic. And so we need Gertrude to get out of that environment and to see for herself that there is a healthier path, a healthier way to live her life. 

So the story for Gertrude may seem a bit familiar and I have even left many events out of the story.  The villains in this fairy tale chose to instill fear, to replace her logic center with an”other perception” and that  “following safe guidance” would save her life, that the removal of her personal autonomy would now be replaced with a new and more effective governance that would keep her alive.  

My conclusion: Society has developed a mental illness without any hope of a cure.  Well just like Borderline Personality Disorder doesn’t yet have a cure, I don’t truly believe that there isn’t a cure.  Or that those dealing with BPD actually need to be cured, but rather their toxic environment needs to change.  I believe that there is, and the elements that bring us closer to that healing have always been; truth, goodness, and love! I am uncertain why society or Gertrude in this instance had to endure emotional, psychological and physical abuse, but I am sure that we are all trying to recover from enduring a very toxic relationship over the past couple of years, and that we all put blind faith and trust in an entity with evil intent.  No matter what name we bestow onto society at this point, I personally wanted to acknowledge that we were gaslighted and ridiculed when we questioned their motives.  I am still holding onto hope that we can yet again achieve peace and real health & that more and more people become aware of the root of this mental illness and to combat it with truth, compassion and understanding.  

Announcements:

I moved my dates to air the podcast to Monday, this gives me all of Friday and the weekends to record, edit and add if needed. This will be every other week.  SO be looking for the next episode the following monday.  So start looking for the show to air on Mondays, we all need a reason to like Mondays just a little bit more.  

We have another Guest Speaker on the calendar and is set to air in February, which is perfect because I have loved her positive take on Borderline Personality Disorder.  She has held roles as a mental health supervisor, suicide crisis counselor, psychotherapist, art therapist, and trainer to therapists and coaches. She is an author and you can find her literature when you visit her site eggshelltherapy.com  WE are certainly excited to be adding her to our upcoming schedule. 

Closing: Thanks so much for tuning in we have come to the end of the podcast. What did you learn? Who can you share this podcast with? If this resonates with your spirit or makes you think of a certain someone that has experienced similar issues in their life, please share this with them.  I believe mental health is something that we are overlooking on a massive scale and in order for people to heal we need to be able to speak about this openly and honestly.I hope you are excited about Season 2 of “The World in Black & White”  and until next time choose truth, goodness, and love. 


Crisis Help Line: If you are dealing with matters of life that have left you feeling defeated or overwhelmed, I want you to know that sometimes we are able to lift each other back up to fight again.  If you are currently in a place of troubled thoughts, please don’t waste another minute and just reach out.  There are people that want to help.  Please call 988 to speak with someone that can help you find necessary resources or listen to a person that simply wants to help you through your current situation.  

What happens when a person calls 988?

Those who call 988 will hear a greeting message while their call is being routed to a local crisis center within the Lifeline network, based on the caller’s area code. A trained crisis counselor then takes the call, listens to what is being said to get a better understanding of how their problem is affecting them, provides support and connects them with resources as necessary. If a local counselor is not available, the person calling will be routed to a national backup crisis center. Longer term, the system is intended to link 988 callers to community-based providers who can deliver a range of crisis care services, including mobile crisis teams and stabilization centers. 

If texting makes you feel more comfortable please text 62640 (between the hours of 10am-10pm ET)
If you are currently in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 | Text “NAMI” to 741741 for 24/7, confidential, free crisis counseling | If calling 911: Ask for a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Officer

Season 1: Episode 7

Self-Awareness

Link to listen to the podcast: 

Intro: 

         Hello and welcome to “The World in Black and White”My name is Michelle and I’m the narrator and creator of this podcast.


Vision for the podcast:

My vision for this podcast is that it will bring hope to all individuals that may be overwhelmed by the challenges mental illness can create.

Announcements: (none)

Topic:  (SELF-AWARENESS)

Alright…  Welcome back everyone, this is episode 7 of the first season of The World in Black & White!  I am going to try and knock out 11 episodes total, for Season 1 before the start of 2023, so wish me luck!

This week’s topic is very near and dear to my heart, SELF-AWARENESS!

I don’t know the percentage of Borderlines that deal with this issue, but I am sure it is high. 

 If I were put on the spot to give 100% honesty on whether or not I liked something I would respond with a neutral type of response, still being unsure of what the appropriate answer might be for the given situation or I’d be worried about the response the person asking me the question is seeking. I’d probably just say “umm sure, it’s good” 
For starters, I do not like to offend but the closer I steer towards being authentic and honest, the more I realize that there will be times where my wants and needs may not be the same as others, and that my opinions and beliefs may not match their beliefs.I just need to remind myself that this doesn’t make me offensive. (because In my head, offensive people aren’t well liked.)  and because well, answering with an agreeable answer is less troublesome. 

but I have found that the moments where I have abandoned my opinions, beliefs or values to be agreeable for someone or something are also the initial moments that create conflict in my life. I know now that I must redirect my responses towards honesty and steer clear of always being agreeable. 

This amnesia of self may be one of the most destructive behavior patterns for PwBPD. 

I have made a lot of progress by bringing my focus on being present, really tuning in, consistently seeking my inner voice, and presenting the truth to others about the thoughts that are awakened or my true feelings when situations needing my input may arise. //

CRISIS HELPLINE:
  I would also like to let listeners know of help that is available.  Call one of these numbers or text them to find help.  I pray you always find someone there to pull you up.   

You can call or text 988.

Another helpline available through the National Alliance for Mental Illness is 800-950-6264 or text “HelpLine” to 62640


Are you able to make good decisions in a timely manner, or do you waver a bunch and say “well what do you want to do? Or what do you think we should do?”

I always thought this behavior pattern of mine to be a considerate personality trait. I was offering the decision to be made by someone else, to give them an opportunity to experience any level of joy out of that decision.  But in doing so, I have lost the ability to make my own decisions based on what I truly think or believe.  However; I think one of the only times we aren’t indecisive is when something causes us to “feel”. I am curious to find out if this need to “feel” happens because so many people with BPD actually function in their own lives  in a numb and apathetic way.It appears we have discovered some kind of mental switch for autopilot. 

However; this default in my brain to avoid making decisions for myself stems from my inability to see who I really am and what I really want.  This also leaves me with the inability to be decisive.  I rely on many other people to help me make good decisions. Why should I trust others and their decision-making over my own?

Well, I think that’s a good question!. I think I have stumbled upon something that will help us understand a little bit better why people with BPD have such a hard time with self awareness and understanding who they are, what they think ,and what their beliefs are//

BYTE of Insight:
Lately, I have been struggling a ton with not being able to see myself.  I don’t mean I need to buy glasses or clean my bathroom mirror.  I mean, I’ve noticed that I’m lacking in the area of self awareness and understanding my own identity. I am working at getting a better understanding of all the things that make me, me.

This may sound silly to some listeners but I do believe that this is a big issue for someone battling textbook BPD.

Not having the slightest clue of how others see you may directly berelated to that inability to see/know/or understand myself.  

I bet if you have BPD you are bothered by this just as much as I am.  

We have already learned that splitting occurs, as well as other unhealthy defense mechanisms when the PwBPD is threatened and that this happens on a subconscious level. 

I am now constantly telling myself, there is no threat Michelle.  Or reminding my brain that everything is ok, because I don’t want some unhealthy defense mechanism hijacking my mind or my behaviors.//

STUDY OVER SELF:  Alright what I’m about to read is an abstract from a study
Link:

Mentalization and embodied selfhood in Borderline Personality Disorder – PMC (nih.gov)

ABSTRACT:  Aberrations of self-experience are considered a core feature of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). While prominent etiologic accounts of BPD, such as the mentalization based approach, appeal to the developmental constitution of self in early infant-caregiver environments, they often rely on a conception of self that is not explicitly articulated. Moreover, self-experience in BPD is often theorized at the level of narrative identity, thus minimizing the role of embodied experience. In this article, we present the hypothesis that disordered self and interpersonal functioning in BPD result, in part, from impairments in “embodied mentalization,” that manifest foundationally as alterations in minimal embodied selfhood, i.e. the first-person experience of being an individuated embodied subject. This account of BPD, which engages early intersubjective experiences has the potential to integrate phenomenological, developmental, and symptomatic findings in BPD, and is consistent with contemporary theories of brain function.

“disturbances in self and other mental representations are fundamental to borderline psychopathology” (p.514). Similarly, Kerr et al. (Kerr et al., 2015) calls for a “reconceptualization” of BPD as “a disorder of self and relationality” (p.346). Interpersonal symptoms can include confusion about self-other boundaries with identity diffusion, projection of difficult affects onto interaction partners. One person with BPD evokes a bodily experience of this confusion (italics added):

(So this is from one person and what they have said but it hit me 100%!)

When I’m around other people, I can feel their energy. I can feel whether they’re happy or unhappy. I can walk into a room and feel whether there’s tension in the air or if everyone is getting along… Having my own identity issues makes it even harder to be around certain people. I feel other people’s emotions so strongly that sometimes, I believe they are my own (Mae, 2017).


PLANS For Next Episode:  
So I am thinking I will go further into this study and talk about it more on the next episode, one of the last things they talked about in the study is that while bpd
“ remains in current classification systems and can be reliably diagnosed. A considerable body of research on self and BPD has accrued, including a recent profusion and confluence of neuroscientific and socio psychological findings. These have generated supporting evidence for a supra-ordinate, functionally constituted entity of the self ranging over multiple, interacting levels from an unconscious, ‘core’ self, through to a reflective, phenotypic, ‘idiographic’ and relational self constituted by interpersonal and sociocultural experience.

  I am listening to many people that have been diagnosed with BPD on reddit and other websites that focus on psychology or mental health.  I ventured to one site called themighty.com and found an interesting article entitled “25 PEOPLE SHARE THE WORST SYMPTOMS OF BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER”

 




One of the responses from James said that his worst symptom was this…

“No sense of self. I went through so many majors in college and I am constantly second guessing myself. Do I really want to do this with my life? What about this instead? This looks better let’s do this. It’s tiring for myself and everyone around me. I’ll finally settle on something and then something better will come along and I jump ship.”(quote from Themighty.com)

I believe people that are highly sensitive to their environment look externally for the correct response, because we were the ones to keep environments from becoming too chaotic during important moments of development.  We weren’t given appropriate space and time to figure out the things we like/dislike, or what we really feel.  We were more than likely always told how to feel, or “to get over it!” 

Challenge:

The challenge that I would like to put out for this week is to use TRUTH as much as possible, rely on yourself to make those decisions, stay present, focus on listening to yourself,  make a list if you have too.  But the challenge is to be honest about what you want, and what you need.  And I think that is a good challenge for this week and I think it will pull you to a better place of SELF AWARENESS.

CLOSING:  Thanks so much for tuning in… We have come to the end of the podcast. What did you learn? Who can you share this podcast with? If this resonates with your spirit or makes you think of a certain someone that has experienced similar issues in their life, please share this with them.  I believe mental health is something we are overlooking on a massive scale, and in order for people to heal we need to be able to speak about this openly and honestly.

…Until next time… Choose truth, goodness and love Closing:

How I Define LOVE…

I heard this week on a YouTube Channel that “Love is not an emotion or a feeling, but just the lack of hate.”  It was something I couldn’t let go of.  I kept the thought rotating on the spit in my mind like a huge chicken roasting on a rotisserie… A chicken I had just named LOVE.  Thinking, oh when I am done roasting this thought, it will taste so good for all who choose to eat with me.

The thing is the longer I think of it, ponder on it, the more love I feel.  The longer I get lost in my memories, the more I am directed to moments that I received care, received compassion and forgiveness.  These are all actions that have made me feel loved.  How do I show love?  Do I show love to myself, and do those I do love know that I love them?  Is love sacrifice?  Is love pain?  Is love just good feelings and happy thoughts?  Is love tears of joy or sadness? What if it were more simply described for all of us?  I can sum it up in three words.

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I believe I can be a caring person, a forgiving and compassionate person.  Can I be those things to someone who irritates, frustrates, or ignites anger in me?  Why do some people cause us to react negatively?  If I am a loving person, can I react like that to anyone?  I have to be accepting of everyone, no matter their background, political affiliation, educational level, financial situation, no matter what.  I have to accept everyone to show love.  So if I am to love everyone, I must hold judgement of everyone?  I must accept each and every person on this planet in order to LOVE.  I have to love murderers, and rapists, and pedophiles, and hookers, and white supremicist, and terrorists and even the boogie man, I have to accept ALL?  Oh my! No wonder there is so much hate in the world.  It is so much easier to judge and only accept the things we like in others.  What if we could heal all of those things with LOVE.  Thinking of this creates a nice picture and maybe my internal drive of perfection is taking over, but doesn’t it take you to a utopia?

Want to know love?  If God is love, here is the description of LOVE. Sounds like an unachievable perfection, doesn’t it?

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Anyone that has lived longer than 5 years has experienced an unloving moment, has learned not to trust, not to hope, to be rude, to be impatient, to tell a lie.  We were all born with a root of evil and a spirit of love.  How do we release ourselves with this entangled root of evil.  Where do we find the ability to release it from ourselves.  We have to know GOD.  I know most of us that chose to go to Vacation Bible School when we were younger or maybe even forced to go; had to learn a scripture.  John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

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If I dissect this one scripture, I can discover so much.  I have repeated it so many times in my life, and yet I have never actually looked at the scripture as a key to living forever.  “The WORLD” = each of us!  All of our sins, our misconducts, our flaws, all of us.  Every single one of us make up THE WORLD. He LOVES us (the world) so much that he sacrificed perfection, for us.  His SON = perfection.  The only perfect being ever made was sacrificed for our messed up, imperfect lives.  Once we believe in LOVE, we have EVERLASTING LIFE?  Wait, what?  What does it all mean?  He should have chosen quality over quantity, right?  We do! What am I missing, what have I been missing?

If God can give up his most beloved and perfect masterpiece, what is holding me back?  I want to love and yet I can’t even get over myself.  My insecurities keep me fearful.  I can’t speak the truth, afraid of others reactions.  I have built a prison and I should be living free in the spirit.  His Spirit.  Even now while I am mulling all of this over while I am writing I am considering the responses I might get from people who might label me a bible thumper, religious freak.  Honestly, I consider that an insult.  I believe in God, but don’t categorize me as one of THOSE people.  Look there it is, that ROOT.  Rearing it’s ugly head again.   I know everyone has an opinion.  Maybe we shouldn’t!  Once we require an opinion we should pray for the Spirit to lead us to the correct one.  I know that this sounds a bit like the rantings of a lunatic, but what if they aren’t?  What if they are from Him, and he is using some misfit teacher who has failed multiple times in marriage and who has had to fight to keep everyone that is close to her as a messenger of LOVE.  WTH?  I can’t even believe I just wrote that.

My brother and I throw ideas, revelations, scriptures back and forth to each other; through text messages.  He sent me one that said, “Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit.  Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness.  For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness.”  I bring this up because I began writing a blog to vent my thoughts and to help others that might be experiencing life the same way.  I kept looking for something to make me feel better, something to make me look better, something to make me appear perfect.  All of those things were selfish and my actions were coming from the root of sinful self-interest.  I watered that root until it had nearly taken hold of every fiber of my being.  I saw nothing wrong with my endeavors, nothing wrong with what I was seeking.  It was for a better me!  Society tells us that is what we should all be doing.  “Don’t stop yourself, indulge!”  “BUY MORE! LIVE MORE! BE MORE!”

My message is this, That root of sinful self-interest can never get enough and it has been planted inside each of us.  Have you ever actually dug a root out of the ground.  It is quite the job.  It is not like we can just find it and pluck it out.  We must work it out, and realize why it had been planted there in the first place.  Without it, we wouldn’t have the need to look for LOVE.  I still don’t know how to rid myself of the thoughts or the shameful places this “root” takes me, but I know I can no longer feed it.  I must acknowledge that it is there and find the spirit that is of LOVE and water & feed it, to show this “root” there is no longer any room for it to dwell inside of me.

Do you know why I must accept this “root?”  If I can’t find it in myself to accept who I am and understand what I am capable of, and love myself in spite of all of that, my love for others is only coming from a place that only serves my self-interest.  I am only loving so that I may be loved.  I have to forfeit that idea of romantic love. My ideas of fairy tales can not be my description of love.  I must accept all the parts of who I am, the dark and gloomy parts, the weak and scared parts, the indulgent and insecure parts or I will never be able to have love for others.  It will all be artificial.  Be real with yourself!

I have heard from several people in my life that I am not judgmental.  Immediately, when I hear this I think… “Yeah, I know I don’t want others to judge me so I don’t judge others.”  People living in sinful self-interest, can’t handle shame.  I didn’t want to impart my honest remarks on how others chose to live their life, what if they decided to be honest about my choices.  That would bring shame and that would hurt my feelings.  My precious ego wouldn’t be able to survive.  Can we grow without honesty?  I think I cleared that up last week.  I believe no growth can occur without honesty.  Love rejoices in the truth. Start LOVING this week by being HONEST with yourself and be led by the SPIRIT, not grounded by the ROOT of sinful self-interest.  Teach others that it is ok to love the messy and messed up.  BE the change this world needs to see by spreading truth,   without judgment.239b2aeb45415859920af6834f9b22e6

My definition of love is this…  It is releasing your needs, and helping others.  It is accepting the mistakes and misfortunes of others.  Love is not about YOU, it is about His Spirit.  His Spirit is in each of us, so when we accept that we are all imperfect yet truly loveable, we are truly loving ourselves.

Do not SEEK love my friends, seek to TEACH everyone where it can be found.  We all have it, someone might need to water and nurture it a bit more than others.  I will leave you with this to think of as well.  A bit of wisdom spoken by my dad a few days ago.  When asked “What is the cause of human suffering?”  My dad said, “It’s real simple, we must love our neighbor!”  I think the world needs a refresher course on what love is, then we need to show love to each other.  Love does meet the requirements of a four letter word.  But this word isn’t dirty or shameful, it isn’t evil or self-seeking.  It is a word we all need to become better acquainted with, and it is a word that should most definitely be felt by each of us.  It should be felt growing inside each of us.

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Have a great day! Love, Michelle

How Comfortable Are We With Honesty?

man and woman wearing brown leather jackets
Photo by Vera Arsic on Pexels.com

How many times have you been in a conversation that ended up in an argument because one of you was just honest? I have had many conversations recently where I had to hear truth, I mean hard to swallow, HONESTY! I felt like saying, “keep those things to yourself and lie to me.” My ego may be just a bit too fragile. I can add here that anything that is negative sounding honesty I say the person is just being mean, because I have an internal struggle with portraying perfection. I really had to take a good long look at myself and understand that while the truth is hard to hear, this is where growth happens. I know the difference of being mean and being honest. The person that told me these things was not trying to be mean. They wanted me to look at things from their perspective. Empathy is not a strength for a person that has BPD. Their is a liberating feeling that comes from accepting the truth about who you are, then realizing people do exist in the world that will love you for ALL that you are!

I have had to hear that I am “selfish, deceptive, cold, cruel, heartless, not able to love, irresponsible, unreliable, impulsive, brash, blunt, a procrastinator, unaware of myself and unable to see how my actions affect others, and last but not least, crazy.”   I have also heard all of these things from one person, my husband.  He has been with me for 11 years, he knows me.  He would surely give me an accurate description of who I am, right?  An honest description of how he views me.  I can accept these things now, before accepting my disorder, I would try to defend these things about myself. Who wants to be seen like this?  I will tell you… No one, we all try to show the pretty side of ourselves to the world.  Our “Parade-ready, big smiles and incessant waving” self for the world and save the “Messy bed-head, no make-up, sweat-pants wearing” self for those closest to us.

I can not change these things unless I first accept that these are things that are also in my toolbox.  I can be selfish, deceptive, cruel, heartless, not able to love, irresponsible, unreliable, impulsive, brash, blunt, a procrastinator, unaware of myself and unable to see how my actions affect others, and last but not least, crazy.”  Just because I can be like this, doesn’t mean that I have to be.  The other side of this truth is that I have heard that I can be the most fun-loving person, too friendly at times, too trusting, non-judgmental, hilarious, imaginative, creative, and full of potential, I have been told that I am a great teacher, a great writer, a wonderful wife and mother, a good person.  I want to think these are the only things that people experience of me.  The truth is, it’s not.  If you have known me for some time you have seen the bright shiny parade, and you have also seen the dark and gloomy, couch potato.  img_0395

Of course we love having people tell us what we want to hear about ourselves.  To only reflect our “parade-ready” selves to help add layers of protection to our egos.  If you don’t have someone in your life to put aside the bull-shit and give you the full list of how they see you, I don’t imagine you will ever grow or evolve from the person you are now.  If you have someone in your life that can speak honestly about all that they see in you, tell them Thank You!  They are helping you become who you were meant to be.  I am writing this and thinking at the very same time that I have not been very thankful for honesty in my life.  I have been so good at deceiving others and had relied on the power of creating my own truth for so long that I have been depriving the world of who I truly am, plain and simply put… I can be ME and you can be YOU!  Enjoy looking into your tool box and picking out the best tools for the job you have ahead of you today.  You are the creator of your daily masterpiece, what will you create? Please remember that honesty works both ways, share your honesty with others not to impede their growth.

The old saying goes “Only a true friend would be that honest!”  I have been the topic of much gossip in the town where I live now, and my little hometown. Obviously the choices I have made in life, my journey including my mistakes have made my life quite juicy with erotic undertones and misunderstood obstacles.  The better the gossip king/queen, I assume the more my name has passed through their lips.  I know that my life may be interesting, but let me be a true friend today and tell you this.  If you aren’t accepting your own truths about your life and all the flaws that make you who you are, don’t attempt to share anyone else’s.  That is all!  Life is too short to only focus on the negative parts of our journey, learn your lessons and move on.  The struggles that lie ahead await your new found strength.  Let this be a lesson to others, that I have had to learn the hard way.  Be a true friend, everyday… and be the truest of friends to yourself!

This post was motivated by the last two weeks of my life and a couple of conversations I have had with some friends. I haven’t stopped writing, I just stopped writing in my blog to work on a life-long dream of writing a book. The words just started flowing the other day and I didn’t want it to stop. I have made it to the start of Chapter 3 with only 50 more chapters to write. I can’t wait to complete this project, one that I have always wanted to accomplish. I am a person that has always loved to get lost in books, and could travel to other parts of the world through pages in a book. I hope to provide this sort of travel to my future readers. Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you have received something from my words today.

I honestly hope you all have a wonderful day!

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.

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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!

Literature Review: Choose The Life You Want (The Mindful Way to Happiness)

I am nearly finished reading this book.  It has provided a lot of useful information. I am happy to have found it available at my local library.  So a choice piece of literature for free.  Bonus!  And for a person that hasn’t been able to complete a book in a very long time I am feeling very good about including one of my old cherished past times of reading back into my daily routine.  That word “routine” seems funny for me to even write.  I have very few things that are routine.  However, I seldom perform these “routine” tasks at the same times each day. Is it still considered a routine? The definition describes it as a “fixed program.”  One fixed program that I must stick to is making a cup of coffee in the morning.  Each morning a wonderful little invention called a Keurig creates a bit of magic in my kitchen.  It dispenses a perfectly made cup of motivation.  I don’t know what I would be without it… probably still  asleep.  🙂 Thank you Keurig manufacturers.pexels-photo-888992.jpeg

On to the highlights of the book.  I get carried away sometimes with my thoughts.  It is my inevitable “squirrel” moments.

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Chapter 88 is a chapter every living, breathing person should read.  And possibly revisit several times throughout their lifetime.  The title says all that needs to be said, “Experience your mistakes as catastrophes -or- Treat your mistakes as valuable feedback”  As a teacher it was very easy for me to remind my students that mistakes were part of the learning process.  Inventors do this and learn from their mistakes.  We know that mistakes are inevitable.  The fact is no one is without their faults… The trick here is to find the value of every mistake made.  Remember the lesson that you learned from your mistakes and then avoid making the same mistake again.  Consequences are valuable teaching tools, but they aren’t nuclear bombs.  You can LIVE and LEARN and continue LIVING.  If we were meant to learn without mistakes, erasers would not exist.

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One of the final statements made in the book is this, “Choice unleashes the potential within each moment.  As you become MINDFUL of the potential within this moment your life gains momentum, becomes momentous. When a moment matters, LIFE MATTERS.”  I really hope to remember the meaning of this statement for the rest of my days.  We are the directors of our lives, each and every day plays out the way we choose it to.  For the longest time I have always told myself that someone else was in charge or controlling parts of my life and this would always stifle my personal growth.  I now take responsibilities for myself and my decisions, staying mindful of this will help me continue with making progress.  pexels-photo-103123.jpeg

Have a wonderful day being in charge of your life!