Posted on May 7, 2022
While I do want to share some more in-depth posts this month, I wanted to post a few different things since different things are helpful and interesting. So, for my first post of Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month, here are some quotes about BPD, ranging from scientific explanations to emotional descriptions.
“I’m so good at beginnings, but in the end I always seem to destroy everything, including myself.” –
“Accepting a psychiatric diagnosis is like a religious conversion. It’s an adjustment in cosmology, with all its accompanying high priests, sacred texts, and stories of religion. And I am, for better or worse, an instant convert.” –
“To a large degree, a particular collision of genes and temperament with a suboptimal or hostile environment may explain the development of borderline personality disorder.” – Dolores Mosquera
“Most of the time, BPD arises from complex trauma and attachment wounds in childhood, and the symptoms of BPD are just defence mechanisms that protect these old wounds. For example, a person with BPD frantically avoids abandonment by shapeshifting to become who others want them to be, instead of who they truly are. They may also over-identify with painful emotions in an attempt to get other people to show them love and attention because this is the only way they received it in the past. They sometimes self-sabotage because they have a deep sense of shame that causes them to believe that they will fail, be left by others, and they would rather these happen on their terms, rather than blindsiding them.” – Hailey Shafir
“It is important to remember that those who are experiencing Borderline Personality Disorder come from a background of perceived or real chaos, abandonment, and other trauma in their childhood. As a result, their internal dialogue usually consists of, ‘I am not worthy of love,’ ‘People I love will leave me,’ or ‘I can’t trust anyone.’ As a result, when these persons become adults, their internal dialogue affects every aspect of their lives but is especially amplified in relationships. They learned early on to trust chaos in their families of origin. Therefore, they don’t trust peaceful situations or healthy relationships. This is why people with BPD are known for being ‘needy,’ ‘dramatic,’ ‘troublemakers,’ etc. They are following their internalized dialogue and consequently creating the one thing they fear: being abandoned and alone.” – Keischa Pruden
“In the life cycle of an intense emotion, if it isn’t acted upon, it eventually peaks and then decreases. But as Dr. Linehan explains, people with BPD have a different physiological experience with this process because of three key biological vulnerabilities: First, we’re highly sensitive to emotional stimuli (meaning we experience social dynamics, the environment, and our own inner states with an acuteness similar to having exposed nerve endings). Second, we respond more intensely and much more quickly, than other people. And third, we don’t ‘come down’ from our emotions for a long time. Once the nerves have been touched, the sensations keep peaking. Shock waves of emotion that might pass through others in minutes keep cresting in us for hours, sometimes days.” –
“Owing to a poorly defined sense of self, people with BPD rely on others for their feelings of worth and emotional caretaking. So fearful are they of feeling alone that they may act in desperate ways that quite frequently bring about the very abandonment and rejection they’re trying to avoid.” – Kimberlee Roth
“To stave off the panic associated with the absence of a primary object, borderline patients frequently will impulsively engage in behaviors that numb the panic and establish contact with and control over some new object.” – Christine Ann Lawson
“I don’t know what it’s like to not have deep emotions, even when I feel nothing, I feel it completely.” – A. R. Asher
“Imagine all the strongest emotions you have ever felt in your life: anger, hopelessness, rage, embarrassment, regret, lust, fear… Imagine that most days you feel forced to experience all of those in quick succession. How might one react to this? Dissociation in order to escape? Self-harm to bring about a strong physical stimulus to briefly replace these emotions? Thoughts of suicide? Feelings of worthlessness or wondering ‘what is wrong with me?’ and ‘why am I not worthy of loving relationships?’ Feeling the need to quickly exit relationships before people find out the ‘real you’? Finding relief and closeness in intense but brief sexual encounters? Rapidly and repeatedly changing identity in order to find a way to escape? This is the heart of BPD and common reactions people suffering from BPD have to everyday situations.” – Dr. Nicolas Sikaczowski
“There weren’t as many layers between her and the world as there were with the rest of us.” –
“My skin is so thin that the innocent words of others burn holes right through me.” – Unknown
“People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over ninety percent of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement.” –
“A borderline suffers a kind of emotional hemophilia; [s]he lacks the clotting mechanism needed to moderate [his or her] spurts of feeling. Stimulate a passion, and the borderline emotionally bleeds to death.” –
“I’ve grown up with an ethic, call it a part, that insists I hide my pain at all costs. As I talk, I feel this pain leaking out – not just the core symptom of BPD, but all the years of being blamed or ignored for my condition, and all the years I’ve blamed others for how I am. It’s the pain of being told I was too needy even as I could never get the help I needed.” –
“I couldn’t trust my own emotions. Which emotional reactions were justified, if any? And which ones were tainted by the mental illness of BPD? I found myself fiercely guarding and limiting my emotional reactions, chastising myself for possible distortions and motivations. People who had known me years ago would barely recognise me now. I had become quiet and withdrawn in social settings, no longer the life of the party. After all, how could I know if my boisterous humour was spontaneous or just a borderline desire to be the centre of attention? I could no longer trust any of my heartfelt beliefs and opinions on politics, religion, or life. The debate queen had withered. I found myself looking at every single side of an issue unable to come to any conclusions for fear they might be tainted. My lifelong ability to be assertive had turned into a constant state of passivity.” –
“This crack in your façade can be the first glimpse you have had to your real self. Ironically, your newly experienced vulnerability – the feeling that you are now exposed for all the world to see, that your weaknesses are now visible – is the very thing that can save you.” – Merri Lisa Johnson
“Certainly, it’s important to acknowledge and identify the effects of BPD on your life. It’s equally important to realize that it neither dictates who you are nor fixes your destiny.” –
“I still get very high and very low in life. Daily. But I’ve finally accepted the fact that sensitive is just how I was made, that I don’t have to hide it and I don’t have to fix it. I’m not broken.” – Glennon Doyle Melton
These were surprisingly hard to find so if you know of any more, please let me know!
Posted on May 1, 2022
TW: Mentions of suicidal thoughts.
A new month, a new challenge! It was actually two challenges but I’ll come back to that. As much as I love writing poetry, I always feel like it slips down my to do list – because there’s always something that has to fall away, isn’t there – but with April came the ESCAPRIL poetry challenge. The challenge actually involves posting what you’ve written to social media but I don’t tend to do that; the challenge is more for me and my writing practice than anything else. I have enjoyed posting a handful of my favourites from each challenge over the last few years though so here I am again, sharing some of my favourites from this year. I didn’t manage to write every day – and given the month I had, I’m kind of amazed I wrote anything at all – but I really like some of the pieces I did write.
Here are this year’s prompts:
Here are some of my favourites from the month. They’re not all comfortable, but they all feel real and raw and that’s what is most important to me in poetry…
April also hosts National Poetry Writing Month and I was inspired by a few prompts from that too.
When prompted to write about something big…
And then, of course, prompted to write about something small…
I really struggled to write this month, which was frustrating but there wasn’t much I could do about it – beyond what I was already doing anyway. I tried my best. I always find it harder to create when my mental health isn’t great and I have been struggling recently. I tried my various tricks to get the words flowing but it’s just been hard. Having said that, I do like some of the poems I wrote and I wrote more that I’d like to come back to and rework when my brain is functioning a bit faster, a bit better. If nothing else, doing the challenge meant I learned that some stars can just disappear – my new favourite fact – so I’m not complaining.
Posted on April 30, 2022
One of my best friends and favourite people, Richard – Richard Marc – has released a new EP! It’s very cool and I feel very honoured have written on three of the four songs: ‘Knockout Blow,’ ‘Holding On,’ and ‘Chasing Shadows’ (which was actually used in a Japanese documentary recently!) – I’m so excited for everyone to finally hear them. I also love the fourth song (just as much – maybe even more), ‘Deep End,’ which was written by Richard and another of my good friends, Simon Stirling.
You can listen to the EP on Spotify now! And I’d love to hear what you guys think!