The last couple of weeks have been hard work, it has made me question again my ‘recovery’ status as I have not been doing well and have discovered that I don’t have the emotional stability I thought I had.
Don’t get me wrong I have handled it much better than I would have a few months ago, so the progress made is not lost, but there is still a way to go and a daily battle of wills with myself to keep on top of it all. I have had strong urges to self-harm but not given in to them, I have had some intense emotions but have overcome them with out overreacting, so I guess that’s good work, but the battle is really hard again at the moment due to the things that have brought my mood down.
There have been a few things that have triggered these difficulties coping…
First off I’m still struggling to find work, I’m applying for a variety of types of jobs, including things I don’t really want to do but I just feel the need to get out of the house and get a paid job so badly that I am willing to do almost anything just to get me back into work as it’s a known fact that it’s easier to get a job when you already have one, so taking anything I can get would just be a stepping stone that enables me to move to something I would rather be doing.
However, it seems I’m stuck in that vicious circle of being over-qualified and inexperienced for most jobs
Most of what I apply for I don’t hear anything back from at all, on the odd occasion I do get an interview (twice in the last two months) I don’t get the job.
I know the job market is tough at the moment for everyone and I’m trying hard not to take it personally that I’m not being successful, but it is still disheartening and soul-destroying to keep spending hours filling in application forms and getting nothing back 😦
Then, I applied to enrol on the DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector) course at my local college, the course would cost me £1150 as there are no concessions available, luckily I have enough in my savings to pay for it. Unfortunately, I can’t do the course unless I have a teaching placement to complete the work-based assessment components of the course and I don’t have a placement. Similar to the job situation I am not having much luck trying to gain a placement as I don’t have any prior experience of teaching, so another vicious circle there…
On top of that I am worried about my finances for the first time ever, I’ve never been in debt and while I’ve never been wealthy or even ‘comfortably-off’ I’ve always coped, even when my income is completely from benefits as it is currently. However, as my children are getting older income is going down and they too are struggling to find work and are attending college.
My ex hasn’t helped this financial situation as what would normally be a very nice present that he gave my son for his 19th birthday has turned into a burden for me. My Ex bought my son 10 driving lessons – great idea… only one problem, I now have to find £200 a month to keep this up, I’m pretty sure even my ex and his very good income would struggle to pluck an extra £200 a month out of the air to cover something like this.
Sure people have said my son should pay or at least contribute, but he does not have an income in his own right (It works out better for us if I continue to claim benefits for him until he is 20 than for him to sign-on for Jobseekers allowance in his own right). Or that I should just leave it until he can pay, but then the lessons already taken will have been a waste of money as who knows how long it would be before we/he could afford it, and I think learning to drive is important and will enhance his employability (he has a fund that I have saved since he was little that will pay for a cheap run-around and his first lot of insurance when he passes his test, but I don’t want to touch this for the lessons). So, difficult as it is/will be I am going to keep it up as long as I can manage and hope (hope, hope) I/he can get a job in the meantime to cover the costs of the lessons.
But, then even if I get a job I have thought about how much I would need to be able to cover all the bills, rent etc and realised that it is almost certain that I will actually be worse off if I get a job as the jobs I am applying for don’t pay enough, but again as tough as that will be I want to work so badly I am willing to risk being worse off just so I can get a job. The way I look at it is that I may struggle for a few years due to a low-income but in the long run (hopefully) I will end up better off through working as I can try to move into a better paying role. And of course with the Welfare Reform Bill having been passed who knows how soon it will be before there are dramatic cuts in the benefits I receive currently anyway, and how much/little any top-up help I receive for being on a low-income will be.
Then on top of all that, when each of my children turns 20 they will have to claim jobseekers allowance in their own right (if they are entitled to it by then with the changes under the welfare reform bill!) and I will no longer be entitled to the benefits I currently receive and will have to apply for jobseekers allowance too, this will be a lot less than what we get now with them as my dependants… and this will come around really quickly, my son turns 20 next July just 10 months away, which will fly by!
Of course it also doesn’t help that people owe me money, over £800 in total and the most I get back in a payment is £50 😦
The final trigger has been a ‘budding’ or ‘potential’ new relationship. A guy I had known as what I would class as an ‘acquaintance’ for some time showed an interest in me and he seemed really nice, not the usual ‘bad egg’ type I tend to crash into. We had a few quiet nights in with a DVD and bottle of wine, and a couple of nights at the pub and I was enjoying his company, it was all very nice, civil and not crazy or full of drama. I said to my friends, I think I might have found a good one here…
We all have a past, and I told him openly about mine, the BPD and all the associated drama. He told me about his… I won’t share it here as it is not my place to divulge his personal information. Suffice to say he has had a pretty complex past himself…
I was fine with this, people deserve a chance to prove themselves, and I have a lot of ‘proving’ myself to do! We have both worked hard to overcome some very difficult life situations and as such it actually gave us something else in common, he could understand the difficulties I have had coping with BPD and I can understand a lot of the struggles he has had too…
I was happy, enjoying our time together and feeling positive. Unfortunately emotion had crept upon me whilst I was unaware… he had to cancel our first ‘proper’ date and I got very upset about it – keeping my emotions in check was a massive battle I almost lost. I also went on the immediate defensive, not wanting to give him a second chance, to make up for it, because I didn’t want to show weakness and vulnerability – if I give him chances this early on I’m letting him see I am a walkover, that he can get away with letting me down, treating me badly, blah, blah – yeah I panicked. I cried, a lot.
I went out that evening to a pre-planned party at the pub and let him know that if he wanted to talk to me I would be there. He came to the pub, but did not speak to me, instead he got very drunk. I drank a fair bit myself but I reached a point where I decided enough was enough, if I continue drinking I’m going to regret it and it won’t be good for my recovery, so I went home, having drunk enough to release the tension but not so much I slipped into drama. And even though he had not spoken to me that night, I decided I would give him one chance, because his reason for cancelling had been ‘genuine’ and not something he could control so it was only fair to let him try to make it up to me – just this once…
I felt proud that I had not let my emotions win, yeah I’d got upset, angry, hurt etc etc but I had again managed to deal with it almost as well as any non-BP would – I had not exploded, imploded or over-reacted immensely and damagingly…
He took me for a meal the next day to apologize, and we continued as we had been, seeing each other every few days. However, I was beginning to have doubts, I couldn’t put my finger on it putting it down to just being anxious about possibly entering into a relationship and whether I was ready for this.
Then it happened again… he had invited me over for lunch and had to postpone, could I come for dinner instead? an hour before he cancelled again. He had his reasons again they seemed fair and genuine enough, but this time I was even more upset and almost crashed with the burden of emotions. I went to see him much later that night, after having talked over my emotions with my friends, I needed to see him to find out how I felt.
When I left it was with a heavy heart as I had decided that, although I didn’t tell him there and then, I couldn’t continue with this. I have too many doubts and concerns, I can’t share them here other than the one that is wholly about me – that I feel I am not ready to be getting involved with someone yet. My emotionally stability is not yet strong enough to handle a relationship and I clearly like this guy a lot for him to have this effect on me which is all the more reason not to carry on. I need to continue working on my recovery and build my emotional strength, I am too weak and vulnerable and risk ending up in another unhealthy relationship that only leads to repeated triggers for my BPD. It’s not his fault and yeah I might be passing up a good thing, but right now it doesn’t feel ‘good’ or healthy and I have to protect myself and the hard work I have put into getting better. A relationship with anyone is not something that is right for me at this time, even if I do get lonely…
As you can see I have quite a lot to contend with at the moment and that I have not resorted to my old (wrong) coping mechanisms and not overreacted and spiralled into a massive self-destructive drama cycle is a huge improvement and it has come so close to me losing my grip and strength.
I happy that I can identify the things that trigger different aspects of my BPD emotions and that I can handle most of them so well. Clearly the emotional connection with others, relationships, is the toughest one for me and I know that unless I intend to be alone forever I am going to have to face it, but as with how I have handled it now it’s going to be a case of taking things slowly, test the waters without diving in head-first! Like I have this time, hopefully I will recognise early if it feels right and be able to have the strength not to let it continue if it doesn’t feel like a positive step forward for me!
The battle isn’t over with BPD, if it ever will be I don’t know, but I will keep on fighting and hope that I can continue moving forwards rather than slipping back. Engaging in positive activities from reading, to computer games and even cleaning are helpful distractions on difficult days, although I admit the motivation to do them can be as low as the mood I am fighting. We just have to give ourselves a swift kick in the backside and try, try, try…
One day at a time…
Do you recognise your triggers?
Are you able to handle some triggers better than others?
What get’s you through a bad day?
- Hope for recovery from BPD (showard76.wordpress.com)
- How to end a friendship/relationship with someone with BPD (showard76.wordpress.com)
- On my way back to blogging (showard76.wordpress.com)
- Beyond BPD – Stability and the lack of Symptoms (showard76.wordpress.com)
- Can You Really Heal from BPD? (authorjaenwirefly.wordpress.com)
- Social and Work Skills Keys to BPD Recovery (authorjaenwirefly.wordpress.com)
- Rules for getting along with me (rantingphan.wordpress.com)
- Borderline Quandaries with Healing (authorjaenwirefly.wordpress.com)
- On the Inside : DBT and Talk Therapy (asthependulumswings.wordpress.com)
- Cycle (sexyonthedarkside.wordpress.com)