I went to gender group tonight and we were talking about the term trans* specifically with the asterisk and what people thought of it and whether it was inclusive or outdated or whatnot. Most everyone didn’t like it. I don’t really care one way or the other, but was surprised to see people had such strong opinions about it. I think it’s important to have a name for our community that doesn’t just include transgender men and transgender women, but also non-binary people, gender non-conforming people, gender queer, agender, gender variant, and all other people under the trans umbrella. I guess it is outdated, but there isn’t really anything else and I identify as gender variant and that’s not really well knows so I just say under the trans umbrella and then I have to explain what that means.
So I went to gender group tonight on Campus and as I was walking to my car, there was a bicyclist that was riding on the sidewalk. I don’t know maybe they were trying to park their bike, I will give them the benefit of the doubt. So I was trying to cross the sidewalk to get through another walking path when the bicyclist was like “Excuse me, Sir” and we managed not to crash into each other. Which was nice, I’ve already been hit on campus by a bicyclist before. Anyways, Not even wearing my binder or anything. Just normal clothes and my baseball hat and my glasses. But what I noticed it both times I’ve been male gendered I’ve had my glasses on, so maybe I should wear my glasses more frequently.
Today is World Mental Health Day. If you had told me a few years ago that I would be moved out from my parents house, going to a 4 year university and hadn’t been in the hospital for almost 2 years I would have thought you had to be kidding me. I am amazed at the progress I have made in the last two years. With four official diagnoses, 8 prescription medications, and a few appointments a month I’ve managed to stay stable for the first time in 10 years. My counseling appointments are decreasing from every week to every two weeks or sometimes three. I have few self harming urges and while the suicidal thoughts still come and go; I don’t have the urge to act on them like I use to and tend not to ruminate. I used to think that I would be trapped in my lower state of functioning for the rest of my life, I hung on mostly for other people and out of guilt. Now (most times) I actually look forward to the future. I anticipate flare ups and relapses, I know I have acute chronic illnesses. But I am enjoying the moment and success I have right now.
I hate that I feel sad so often. Lonely and empty, sometimes even when people are around. I feel like I’ve made much progress. But how can that be if I still want to be around other people to feel good myself. I’ve never been comfortable being alone, unless I’m recharging. I’ve spent a lot of time alone but that’s just because interacting and getting close to people scares me so much. Now I have a couple people I’m close with and feel good around them, but they have other lives too. I wish I could just be happy with me.
It’s been a whole year where I haven’t been hospitalized, this is the longest I’ve gone without hospitalizations in ten years!!! I also didn’t need partial hospitalization, IOP, or crisis residential in this year. Wow! WOW! WOW!!!
Today I had an appointment with the therapist. We were talking about progress and I said how I have a hard time seeing progress. I guess I thought as I used DBT skills my emotions would be less intense and easier to regulate. That hasn’t been the case, if anything my emotions are more intense probably because I’m dealing with a lot of stressors. I mention it seems they just get more and more intense like they are trying to break me. Apparently the progress is in my behavior and the external stuff rather than the internal stuff. I wanted to talk more about the flash backs but kept jumping around instead. Not sure I really accomplished anything in therapy today.
I don’t want to be recovered. I don’t want to see any progress. All I want is for the blood to run and the pain to stop. It’s ridiculous for you to think better of me, to think I might have a future. Blood and bones. All I want right now is to die. To just give up and opt out. But I can’t and no one is helping with this pain.
Life feels very strange right now. I am hyper vigilant about getting into a depressed state and having another breakdown. It usually happens around this time every year. Last year my inpatient psychiatrist said we were running out of options. I feel desperate to make it through this season without the hospital, on the same medicine regimen for a year which hasn’t happened since my teens. I know my inpatient psychiatrist put chronic mental health issues as stressers for me on my last release, part of me wonders if this has to do with the PTSD diagnosis, is my trauma living a life with mental illness?
Lately the depressions have been lasting less than a week usually about 3-5 days, I bounce back for a bit and then it comes back. I know if it doesn’t last at least two weeks it’s not truly a depressive episode of my schizoaffective disorder. It’s just the BPD emotionalness, even if I’m stuck in the same feeling for days instead of just hours. I guess I should be thankful they are short lived and it’s not another depressive episode that is months long. But I’m on edge and just waiting for it because it comes back each year.
The mental health professionals (my case manager, the therapist, the psychiatrist, and even the DBT leaders) think I am progressing… I can’t see it and that frustrates me very much. I feel just as insecure, emotional, anxious, and everything else as always. Maybe it’s just because I am handling it better. I don’t know? Maybe next session I can ask my case manager for some concrete evidence that I’m doing better and I can write it down in my wellness journal. I’m not down right now and I still don’t see progress. It’s very hard for me to have a perspective, since mine was always invalidated.
Another strangeness is if this is BPD depression, what caused it? Usually there is a trigger and I don’t see one. Maybe just all the stress of transferring and making decisions. Maybe the impending ending of the closeness of the friendship with 20 somethings friend. I’m not really sure. But it feels like a crisis and I guess I’ve just been riding the wave. I really hate living life like this, but it’s nice that I have people by my side now that are there even when I’m not as fun to be around, am pessimistic, or just flat.
Today’s goal was to make it the best day possible and I think I succeeded as I feel happy right now. I did my hygiene stuff I needed to do. I worked on a fall themed SMASH book I’m doing, I hung out with Gibby, I asked my dad to BBQ and we had that for dinner. I got my pedicure with a Halloween theme. And then I hung out with 20 somethings friend and watched some Glee, something that I had asked for earlier in the week.
We’re on Interpersonal Effectiveness in DBT right now and that means dealing with relationships. I’ve notice that I do a lot of mind reading and don’t ask for what I want or need because I assume the person will say no. I also often equate feelings as facts. I’m feeling unloved or abandoned and that means that I am; it’s tricky to validate the feelings and still try to see the “facts.”
Today has been a weird day. I just got back from the Southern California trip with 20 something’s friend and two others at midnight. The trip went good overall, even though I didn’t get to spend as much time with just 20 something’s friend because there were the other people too. But the long drive down was just us two, so that was good, unless I talked too much. I thought I was going to feel really awkward, kinda upset, and left out with the extra companions but I didn’t, so that was very good. The purpose of the trip was to tour a university 20 something’s friend is thinking about transferring to next year. I thought it would be hard for me because it’s just reinforce that he’s leaving me (even though it’s not for another year.) Strangely instead it made me feel like I need to transfer and do something with my life. To the point with horrific anxiety during the drive Friday night and most of today. It made me feel real pressured to decide what to do with my life, RIGHT NOW!
So I talked a little about it on the drive with 20 something’s friend because normally if I talk about something that is bugging me it lessens the impact. So I need to decide on a major and think about possibly transferring to a 4 year school. My sights had been set on math, I’m good at it, I like it, and I can tutor people well in it. I thought about becoming a math professor at the community college level. It’s a good job that doesn’t require the typical 9-5 that I’m not stable enough to do right now. Problem: I got a C in pre-calculus; and even though I wasn’t putting in all my effort it shook my confidence. I am getting the AA in LGBT studies from the community college so I could pursue a BA in LGBT studies. I like languages and know 4, so thinking about Linguistics. So I’ve narrowed it down to 4 possible majors and I’m not against double majoring. I just get really concerned about, what am I going to do with this degree. Oh I forgot one, I was thinking Psychology to help be a peer advocate. I feel like I’m running out of time and there has been this tightness in my chest all day and yesternight. I feel like at the end of this semester I should know if math is an option or not. But that’s as far as I know. I googled some stuff today on linguistics and programs in CA.
So off the career/future/school topic. I slept a lot, not surprisingly, being around people requires a lot of energy from me and I was with people for 3 days straight. Though I felt kinda lonely and empty this morning when I woke up and the anxiety was not helping. 20 something’s friend and the two other people had something to do today which was related to the girl’s (I don’t know very well) work. I’ve seen pics on Facebook and while surprisingly not feeling jealous or left out (the typical response) I just feel lonely. I had a kinda date, that was just put together today with someone from the online dating site. She was really nice. She doesn’t have a lot of experience and isn’t out to a lot of people either so it’s nice to feel like you are with someone who is on your level. We are making plans to go to mini golf tomorrow.
The anxiety is manageable now. But when I think to much forward to the future I get really suicidal, because it would just be that much easier, and I don’t know if the future I plan will work out for me, or if I’ll be happy. I can’t imagine suffering 10+ more years of this.