Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Minutely Reassuring

I have been experiencing a confusing influx of feelings today.  Loneliness, anger, frustration, uncertainty, desire, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, anxiety, impatience, unimportance, confusion, reticence, restlessness and confidence.  To name just a few.  What becomes the problem is allowing these feelings to influence my mood. 

One of the biggest hurdles one faces in living with Borderline Personality Disorder and Depression is having a fleeting feeling completely alter one's mood.  Apparently fleeting feelings sort of come and go in people that don't have one or both of these mental illnesses without changing their mood.  It has taken me quite some time to figure out how to moderate my moods so that whenever something happens to make me feel differently, I don't allow it to completely ruin my day.  From time to time, it happens - for example, last week when I heard from Aaron that he would not be visiting me during his time off  (he gets time to move from Hawaii to Washington) because his girlfriend wouldn't want to do that - but for the most part, I'm really honing my skills and doing well at restraining the gauntlet of moods that I could go through during each day.

When I got up today, I was in a decent mood, I'd even go so far as to say it was positive.  Now that the day has worn on and nothing fantastic nor anything catastrophic has happened, I can say that it has progressed to ambivalence.  I had heard that Slightly Odd Guy (formerly known as Odd Guy and New Guy) had recently been exposed to high levels of CO (that's carbon-monoxide, not the postal code for Colorado for those of you idiots) and had gotten sick from it.  That's a serious problem!  I had refrained from contacting him with questions and to express my concern up until now, but I had a wild hair this morning (the cause of which I know to be having taken my One-a-Day Women's Active Metabolism vitamin which contains caffeine) and so I sent him a text message to tell him I'd heard about his near-fatal exposure and that I was concerned.  He said thanks, asked how I was, and then in response to my telling him that I've been struggling with life lately but I like living with Tiffany, he says, "The thing that counts most in the pursuit of happiness is choosing the right companion," along with a little signature thing at the end of the text with his name and "100%."  I was like WTF?!?  This is someone I considered dating not even a month ago.  A month ago we went on a date.  What the hell kind of a text is that to receive from someone you were considering dating?!?  Anyway, I was confounded.  A couple of years ago - one year ago, even - that would have considerably altered my mood, and it only momentarily changed how I felt.  I think that's a win.  I should have known to expect that from a quasi-Jesus-Freak.

I don't like going up and down and up and down and up and down emotionally during the day.  It's almost predictable that it will be something someone else does or says that will elicit an emotional reaction from me that may irreversibly (although only temporarily) alter my mood.  I'm really good at regulating my mood when something I read or do myself changes my emotions, it's when another person enters the picture that upsets me.  This I think is one of the widespread symptoms of people with BPD.  Our relationships tend to be overly turbulent, regardless of the depth of the relationship.  Someone we barely know saying something not-particularly hurtful can in fact profoundly disturb our mood.  Therefore, someone we feel that we have a connection with or someone we know well can say something very penetrating that can have a terribly destructive result.  It takes a lot of work to be able to control these things, and control is something that I have extreme difficulty in relinquishing.  So I've had to work ridiculously hard to gain control over what I allow to evoke any kind of emotion and even harder to not let my emotions vary my mood in any way.

I'm really excited that I'm making changes right now that will hopefully prolong my rehabilitation.  I was explaining to a friend the other day that thinking you're better but then realizing that maybe you're not has it's own benefit - you know that things do get better, and when things are really shitty that they will eventually get better.  By no means am I certain that I am better, nor am I anywhere near my worst, but I don't feel great.  I think the amount of disquiet in my life in the last 10 days has put my mood at a stable "yuck" point.  I don't know when it will get better but I know that it will.  As long as I can focus on that, as well as move one day at a time, I can get through it.

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