I didn't take note of when I checked in last before I started writing this entry but I think it may have been around two to three weeks ago. My sense of time is still skewed. I can't understand how we're at the end of November. My brain still feels like it's stuck in late September when I started to slowly but surely crack.
I'm back at work twice a week, mornings only; I work the rest of the days from home. I'm meant to be employed on a part-time basis but I honestly don't mind putting in some extra unpaid hours when I work away from the office. I have a lot of backlog so I'm trying to do the best I can of my current situation.
The past weeks have been characterised by semi-functional ups and crushing lows of the suicidal kind. There have been days where I have had to physically force myself to get out of bed and others when I've had to will myself to stay in it in case I [insert random suicide method here]. I'm at a point where I don't actually remember a great deal of my days - they seem to fade into each other. I partly blame my meds, and the new routine of working more from home is probably not helping in that aspect. What it has helped is my overall interest in my job. I'm actually starting to give an infinitesimally small fraction of a sh**, something I'd felt last some time in between early spring and mid-summer (like I said, this year's timeline is sketchy for me).
My alcoholism is finally "in check" again. There have been minor to moderate slip ups - weekly ones - but I've finally got a handle on drinking daily. On the other hand I've gone back to benzos; Valium this time. I was actually legit prescribed them (by a bit of a prescription-filling-happy general practitioner, to be fair). He didn't seem too fazed by the information that I'm on lamotrigine and fluoxetine so when he handed me the prescription I was all too happy to collect my benzos from the counter. I'm not getting high on them; I take 5mg in the early evening to knock me out and stop me from grinding my teeth, something I only got some respite from last week after six months or so of putting up with day-time and night-time bruxism. Mr partner has them under lock and key in an unknown room in the house and they should run out in a week or so. I spent the first day feeling like a complete and utter zombie but it's gotten better since. I'm even more forgetful than I used to be (yes, that's actually possible) and my concentration has been impaired a further notch but my anxiety levels have been at an all time low so it feels like a fair trade.
I have found quite a bit of support at work. Although I was initially going to be placed in an office alone, a colleague who I'll call Anne from my old department (the one I was at before moving to the helm and subsequently having my 'breakdown') offered me a vacant desk opposite hers. It though the other employees in the office wouldn't be comfortable with the idea of me being around them but they welcomed me very warmly instead. A person or two in the building blanked me but several others told me I was missed and that they were pleased to have me back on board. The kindness I have received from these people who owe me jack-sh** is something I will do my utmost to keep in mind when a particularly dark moment strikes me.
My partner has been incredible throughout. He has held me when I sobbed hysterically and rocked back-and-forth because living felt too hard to do. He has constantly reminded me of how far I've come by letting go of my self-injury and eating disorders, by releasing my fear, pain and anger vocally both at home and in therapy instead of internalising them. Whenever I call myself useless or pathetic he points out - yet again - that I'm a variation of loving, loyal, caring, understanding and always mentions I'm a good cook (he loves his food!). I then always tell him he has the patience of a saint and he replies that patience doesn't factor in it, because he loves me. He tells me that it never feels like he has to 'put up with me' and consoles me to make me hurt less rather than to shut me up. Believe it or not this is still very new relationship territory for me, even if I'm 32. All my previous relationships have been dysfunctional because I've always sought out brooding bad boys who are emotionally unavailable, psychologically manipulative, obsessively jealous and/or disproportionately temperamental. Each time I'd seek out to 'tame', 'help' or 'save' the interchangeable man-child a******, probably in some weird and warped attempt to subconsciously 'fix' myself. Just a few days ago I found myself silently thanking my lucky stars for currently having such an empathetic and compassionate soulmate. I'm so proud he aced the first interview he applied for and is now actually training on the new job.
I'm glad I can see the good things I have going on for me today; if only I had more days like today.
My anger towards my mother has recently been reaching higher-than-usual levels. I seem to be mulling over behaviours of hers that I never really gave any weight to previously: the intermittent face slapping, the odd chase around the house with the belt (I can't remember if she ever lashed me with it but I do recall experiencing paralysing fear), throwaway comments about my fluctuating weight when I was struggling with my eating disorders, the belittling of my decision making, the occasional round of emotional blackmail and her general inability to be an emotionally supportive parent to her child who was bereaved of her father very young. When I vocalise that or put in writing I feel like a truly horrible person. That feeling of guilt is currently something I'm working on in therapy, which I'm attending bimonthly. My therapist would have preferred me to have at least weekly appointments in view of my frequent and prolonged episodes of suicidal ideation but he eventually respected my decision to take it slow.
Although I feel more comfortable than ever around my therapist I have an issue with him at the moment. Allow me to recap.
On Friday I was watching a re-run of a crime talk show online: it's basically one of those sensationalist trial-by-media cesspit programmes. At some point a mother accused of matricide was described by her lawyer as having borderline personality disorder to the show host and panel. It wasn't the first time I'd heard of the term, 'Girl, Interrupted' introduced me to that. I'd never looked into it though, mainly because I was unaware that personality disorders can lead to co-morbid mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Long to short of it, I found myself spending most of the weekend researching: first wikipedia, then the DSM-5 and ICD-10, then related websites and youtube videos. The latter two refer to 'internalised', 'acting inward' or 'quiet' borderline personality disorder, of which I could find no mention in either the DSM-5 and ICD-10. The closest match in the ICD-10 is referred to as 'emotionally unstable personality disorder; borderline type' and described as follows:
"Several of the characteristics of emotional instability are present (these being emotional instability, lack of impulse control and outbursts of violence or threatening behaviour particularly in response to criticism by others) in addition, the patient's own self-image, aims, and internal preferences (including sexual) are often unclear or disturbed. There are usually chronic feelings of emptiness. A liability to become involved in intense and unstable relationships may cause repeated emotional crises and may be associated with excessive efforts to avoid abandonment and a series of suicidal threats or acts of self-harm (although these may occur without obvious precipitants)"
And that's pretty much me, with the exception that any threatening or violent outbursts I have (physical, psychological or emotional) are directed at myself and as far as I know I have not engaged in self-injury with the intent of emotionally blackmailing someone not to bail on my ass (it's usually because I wanna **** myself - but don't - if you know what I mean). Just to make sure I wasn't doing a half-assed job of my pseudo-self-diagnosis, I checked what medication is usually used to treat borderline personality disorder. Sure as sh** fluanxol (which I have only just recently come off), fluoxetine and lamotrigine were all on the list.
I brought this up with my therapist (especially since some literature points out that professionals often shy away from diagnosing patients with borderline personality disorder because it is a highly stigmatised illness and is difficult to treat) however he said that a 'diagnosis' would 'put a label on me' and 'take away from my story' (whatever that's supposed to ****ing mean). My therapist's evasiveness has actually made me all the more suspicious, so my psychiatrist is next in the firing line when I meet him next month.
It's taken me four hours to complete this entry, so now I'm going to **** off and relax a bit. I think I've earned it.