July 21, 2014

The Good And The Bad Of The Fair...

I had a pretty bad couple of days lately, but with a little bit of good as well.
The good: I submitted five photographs I took into our local county fair photography contest. I had no expectations at all. I'd never submitted my work to any kind of contest before so I figured why not? Plus it gave me a chance to go in and see the work of others in our community. To my complete surprise... All five of my photos won first place. I couldn't believe it.
So many people tell me how good my photography is, but you know how it goes... I always find a flaw or something I could have done better in everything I shoot. That little critical voice is always in the background and it applies to everything, including my photography. In the end, I was actually happy. I'm so glad I entered.


Then there was the bad....
Later that evening, riding high after finding out I won five first place finishes, I went out with the camera to photograph the fair. I had all sorts of shots in mind and thought it would go okay.
Well... There must have been at LEAST 450 around the square at different parts of the fair/carnival. I got half a block in and it started. That social anxiety disorder reared it's ugly head. Badly. All of a sudden I was just gripped in panic and fear. My heart started pounding and racing so hard. My entire body started trembling and I felt like I couldn't breathe. Like the whole world suddenly closed in on me. Like all 450 sets of eyes were on me. Like being claustrophobic yet I was outside. I was suddenly in the grip of the worst panic attack I've had in years. I had to find an exit and get the fuck out of there. I thought the best thing was to cross over onto the courthouse lawn and get across the fair. I didn't realize until I got onto the courthouse property that they were serving food there. It was PACKED. I was trying to get through so fast and people were everywhere, getting in my way and stopping in front of me while I was trying to just get through and out. I was almost running by the time I got to the other end of the property. After bolting across the street and down the block, I threw up on the sidewalk and was in tears and hyperventilating. It really felt terrifying!!
I escaped to a friend's house, only to find two of my other friends there who also have social anxiety disorder. My friend's place was the hiding place for all of us. I stayed for an hour or so, then we all were planning our routes home to bypass as many people as we could. I ended up going through the alleyways all the way home, but there were just people everyfuckingwhere. I finally made it home and pretty much hid out there for two days, until the fair ended.
I was so frustrated and upset at myself. Just so angry and self loathing. Yet again, I coped with it the wrong way and took it out on myself. I'm currently searching with my therapist, to find a substitute for self harm but have yet to find anything that works. I absolutely hate this pattern I'm in. It's summer, yet I'm stuck in jeans because of it. Even on the hottest days, I just can't wear shorts this year. I know this is a big issue for people with BPD but it's the one thing I just hate. I'm hopeful I'll find a solution to this, I think it's just going to take time.

It's part of learning more about my disorder, how it has impacted me and it helps my therapist see the pattern of what I've done over the years. 20+ years of self harm in one drawing. To some it may be shocking, but to me, it's part of the battle.
I did manage to take a couple photos at the fair, here's one of the few I took, which I love, since I'm building a good collection of the courthouse in different angles and seasons. Maybe one day I'll do up a little book :)
IMG_9320
After this awful weekend, I really do think that I need a medication, just a short acting one, for high pressure situations with my anxiety. I'm not a fan of benzos but at this point, maybe I need something to just take as needed. I think that even if I have to bring the bottle in every week to do a count to make sure I'm not having issues with taking it, I'd agree to it. I send a message to my doctors office about what happened and that it needs to be addressed. We'll see how it goes.
That's about it for the moment. Hope everyone else is doing okay.
-M

Not Doing Great But It Could Be Worse

Been in kind of a weird mood lately. Sort of a mixed thing, good for a bit, then angry, content for a while, then sad, etc. It's been kinda doing this every day and it's been pretty irritating...
I had my individual therapy session today. It's really busy where I go (because it's the only place in town), with one therapist, so I can only see her once ever three to four weeks. I wish I could see her weekly but what can you do... I hate the therapy but I know it's good for me. But I still hate it. I've spend close to my entire 35 years not saying anything and I'm starting to realize just how long it's going to take to sort a lot of these things out. It frustrates the hell out of me. So so much to work on, seems like it is going to be impossible. But at least I'm trying. I think I'm trying harder than I ever have in my life.
I'm having a hard time right now separating the Borderline Personality Disorder and who I am as a person. I never cared much about the diagnosis before but now that I'm learning about it and seeing how every single thing are things I do.
It's made me a little bitter, at my Mom for the genetics and the way she was with her borderline when I was growing up, at my parents for not realizing there was more of a problem than just me acting up and not getting me help, my Dad for being oblivious to almost all of it, including the years of abuse by my step mom when he wasn't home, at my step mom of course, at myself for everything I do and think and say, at the disorder itself and what it does to me.... I'm just bitter. I'm angry that it's built up for decades and now it will probably take years to try to make better. If it ever gets better.
I know DBT can work, it's just reaaaaaaaaaally frustrating. Each little thing I try to work on I feel like I hit a wall. The only really positive thing is that I've been able to actually talk to the therapist the last two visits. I don't know why, I think I'm just so sick of it all. I let her see a few pages of my journal, which was a big thing for me. I don't like people actually reading them, especially with this journal because I've worked on expressing emotions and things I just never write down. It was hard, my Mom used to read my journals when I wasn't home and then criticize me for what I wrote. It really closed me up to expressing how I felt in my journals. On top of that my step mom stopped me from expressing emotion as a child by beating and bullying me when I'd get upset or scared.
-M