Tuesday, April 5, 2011

6 Months and Counting!

Here we are.  6 months later.  When I sat down to start writing 6 months ago, I had some ideas for what I wanted to happen.  I had no real inkling that it would help me as much as it has.  If nothing else at all, this blog has allowed me to sort of empty out my head of the thoughts that would normally stay in there and stew, creating new and completely ridiculous thoughts.  I've had opportunities to reflect upon and explore some of the different events that have taken part in shaping who I am now.  I've been through a whole lot of shit with my family, and on my own emotionally.  I've learned countless new things about myself and about the people whom I hold closest to me.  I've met new people and purposely broken ties with people whose decisions I disagree with.  I've honed and perfected some of my previous writing skills.  But most importantly, I've forced myself to follow through with a goal that I've set for myself and without the help of a single person.

I think that my continued writing for the next six months will only have a positive outcome in driving myself towards recovery and rehabilitation from the damage that years of living with a severe mental illness has done.  I'm very optimistic that I will at some point be able to maintain some kind of romantic relationship with a man (which seems to be the largest obstacle I face), either within the next six months or shortly thereafter this year-long project.  Perhaps I will have to continue the project for more than a year, to see what kind of progress I can make if I continue to write every single day for a longer period of time.

I've gotten mostly positive feedback from everything that I've written, even if it isn't outwardly positive in content.  The negative feedback I've gotten is from my immediate family - the people that I've written the most about, and been the most truthful and blunt about describing.  I had really hoped that they would be more supportive of this project since they are the ones who have had to endure the horrific symptoms of severe, chronic and major depression, but they are not.  And I have learned to not be so dependent upon them for positive reinforcement of my actions.  Their disagreement with my writing has forcefully liberated me from what may have been a continued captivity of thought.  When you spend most of your time with a select group of people, you tend to think and act alike, and crave their approval.  To take such a marked and important step away from that group - voluntarily - is ridiculously difficult, but especially for a person with a Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis - for whom identity is an ever-elusive idea.

And while I have perhaps felt every emotion in the wide, wide array of possible emotions, I have to give myself major props for staying true to myself and for being open and honest about my thoughts and feelings about all the things that have occurred in my life, good and bad.  I like being able to speak openly and without fear of judgment.  It's like thinking out loud for an hour each day (or however long it takes me to write on any given day) in an empty room.  I know that not everyone has agreed with the subjects I've written about, or about my feelings towards particular people, but that's life!  There will never, ever be any way to please everyone, and if I can get myself into a place where I stop caring about pleasing everyone (perhaps I am halfway there?), then maybe I can make strides towards living what I think is a normal life.

I still have a lot of work to do.  I have a lot of headway to make towards building a healthy store of self-esteem so that it doesn't run out in such a short amount of time, and so that I can battle all the negativity that is swimming around out there.  There was a period of time during my writing where I felt probably as close to "normal" as I may ever feel, and if there's any goal that I would like to set for myself for the future, it would be to be feeling that way the majority of the time, instead of how I've been feeling for the last 5-9 years.  However, I look forward to the challenge of healing and growing as a person in the next six months, and then the years after that.  I don't see myself every having a period of time where I will stop growing and healing, and it's going to be extremely important to focus on myself from this point until I die because of the nature of the illness that is my genetic legacy.

What has probably surprised me the most is that I dread writing each day much less than I anticipated.  It's therapeutic for me, and it allows me to create in a way that doesn't require an abundance of energy, which I rarely have.  I can look back at just about every blog post and be proud of what I've written that day, because it is a perfect example of exactly how I have felt each and every day.  It's important for me to track and log the changes in my moods and feelings - so that someday I can maybe look at patterns and be able to plan for low periods so that I am not so despairing of spirit once I get there.

So there you have it.  One half of a year of my life recorded for me and for you - to help me heal, and to draw your attention to the fact that whatever you've felt, I've felt, too.  I am not alone, and neither are you.  There are now, and will continue to be people out there that have been through whatever it is you are experiencing.  Self-love and great care for your mental health are the only way to survive this life and get something meaningful out of it.  There are going to be good days and bad days, but we must remember that the sun will keep rising in the sky (at least until December of 2012, but we'll see about the truth of that), and that as we continue to breathe in and out each day, life goes on.

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