I have tried to convince myself for months now that I am ok. That I’m strong. That I can handle the world. I have built a strong support system around me. I am different than I was two years ago. My priorities have altered and changed for the better. But yet as I sit here and become consumed by my thoughts. The only truth that I find, the only truth. Is that I’m lost.
For the last couple of months I have tried to immerse myself in life. I have made new friends, competed in softball tournaments and attempted my best to keep myself on the right track. But none of those are the reasons that I need to write now. As I have attempted to embrace life, I was given a reminder yesterday that the devastation of death is always near.
Two nights ago, my friend’s husband was driving home from work on his motorcycle. He may have been speeding, they are still investigating, but a car pulled out in front of him and he was unable to stop in time. Jarrod hit the car and was declared dead on the scene. His wife, Sandra, never got the chance to tell him goodbye.
The emotions inside of me are confusing and a mesh. I just can’t fathom that this man that was so full of life is now gone. Sandra sits next to me at work and so we talk throughout the day. Jarrod plays softball, like me, and so Sandra would discuss his games with me and I would tell her of mine. I heard all about their life, the good and the bad. A month ago, as I was struggling in my own relationship, I went to Sandra and discussed with her her own marriage. She explained to me that every relationship has its struggles and moments where you don’t know if you are doing the right thing. But that, at the end of the day, if you still loved each other then you were doing everything right. She discussed with me frankly their struggles, but one look in her eyes told me that she wouldn’t take back one moment of it. As she loved him with her entire heart. Hours before the accident, she was standing at my desk and we were discussing dieting and working out. And she was talking about Jarrod and their plans. It breaks my heart to think that just a mere four hours later, her entire world was shattered. In one moment, everything changed.
We work the same schedule and so Sandra and I always leave together. As we took the elevator to our cars that day, I was joking with her how I only had two more days of work until I get the next ten days off (taking vacation for my birthday). She told me how jealous she was that I got a vacation. She said the last time she got sufficient time off was when she took a week off for her father’s death, approximately a year ago. Her last words were that she wished she could have a week off. Well. She got her wish. And more. We do not know when she will return to work, if ever. But it is not the time off that she ever imagined it would be.
I wish I could go back to that moment in the elevator. Tell her to take her wish back. Tell her to call Jarrod, right then and there, and tell him to come home right at that moment. Or to stay late at work. Five minutes and he never would have met that car on the street. Five minutes earlier. Five minutes later. And everything would have been different. I wish I could go back and tell her. Or at least tell her to tell him how much she loved him. How much he meant.
I have discussed before how I “feel” things. I feel my environment or emotions in ways that are hard for me to explain. The night of the accident I had a sick feeling in my stomach. I thought it was nothing. But there was just this bad feeling I couldn’t shake. Yesterday morning on my way to work, my stomach was hurting bad. When I got to work and did not see Sandra’s car (she ALWAYS gets to work before me), I had an even worse feeling. My heart is literally broken for her. I can’t even imagine. And it just makes you realize everything that we take for granted. I never got to say goodbye to my grandmother either. And that will always haunt me. But your significant other? Your other half? I can’t even fathom the emotions. But I needed to write this just to get a little bit of it out. I just wish I could go back.
“She got the call today. One out of the gray. And when the smoke cleared, it took her breath away. She said she didn’t believe, it could happen to me. I guess we’re all one phone call from our knees…”
Mat Kearney – Closer to Love
I am lost. Sometimes I don’t even know what I am doing with my life anymore. I am struggling so much. I am mindful enough to know that I am a weak person. That is not me trying to get sympathy or to play the “victim”. It is just the simple truth. I soak up the environment around me as if I were a sponge. I feed off the things and people around me. I am hyper sensitive to every little thing in my life. I cycle through emotions and feelings like a person can revert to past memories and cycle through those. Every pain is still there. Every hurt I have ever endured is like an open wound on my heart that will never heal. I can cry about something that happened a year ago. And a moment later convince myself that all is right in the world and I am “living in the moment”. I lie to myself as an act of self-preservation. If I could not perform that task then I am honest when I say that I don’t think I would survive long. As a way to shield my own heart and mind from the imbalance of chemicals in my brain I self-reflect on my emotions every second of the day. Every moment that I feel something, I reflect on what and why and where it is coming from. One very common symptom of BPD is for a person to lash out at the world around them. All the self-hate, all of the anger that ranges inside, it gets released to the world. Taken out on those closest to you. You hurt the people that you would never want to intentionally hurt. While I have the potential to be that person, most of the time I am not. Most of the time I keep everything within. This neverending cycle of emotions reflects back into myself. I am an anomaly even to myself. I feel so much that at any moment I feel like I can break. The meds hold back that tide for the most part. I am able to function and, if you were to just take a quick glance at me in passing, you would never be able to see anything wrong with me. Everything is kept inside. The emotions will show on my face. My heart is on my sleeve. But the words, they stay inside. I do not have the strength to carry the emotions of the people I care about most. I am not strong enough to carry their weight for them, even though I wish that I could. But that is not who I am as a person. I cannot even win my own battles. I am just lying to myself if I think that I can win someone else’s. But with that comes the knowledge that maybe some people would be better off without me in their life. Because I am not the friend or loved one who can lighten your load. I am not the one who can take on the world for you and never give you cause to think that everything will not turn out ok. I am the one who will cry with you. Who will feel the weight of your burden almost more than you can. Yes, I will carry your emotion, but not in a way that will be conducive to your needs. I will feel your emotions with you, but I am not able to feel them for you. I will most likely feel them more in depth than you can, without understanding how or why I can, but if I tell you it will be alright then I am only lying to you. Because I do not know that it will be alright. I doubt myself and my life every second of every day. So how could I ever be the one to save you. I cannot even save myself. Sure, I can keep it all in for a time. I can hold your hand and pray silently that I can keep it together. I can even convince myself for a time that I can be this strong person that I so badly want to be. But then all it takes is one second, and all of that is lost. Replaced with self doubt and self-hate and fear that I will never be anything more than a pathetic excuse for a human being. Because in the end, this is who I am. I am BPD. I have brief highs and even lower lows. I just have found a way to hide it well. I learned to lie to myself. So maybe some people would just be better off without me. As more time goes on it just seems that I am more of a burden than I am someone who brings something positive to your life. Emotions are an anchor on your heart. On your soul. If I feel emotion to the depths that I do and I am an endless tide of emotion, then perhaps I am an anchor as well. Maybe that is the truth in this. I do not just feel emotion. In some way, I am emotion. I am the weight of all of it. I am the anchor on your heart.
So. I’m feeling, weird. It’s like I’m numb. But not the bad kind of numb. If there is a difference between a “bad” numb and an “ok” numb. I just feel like I don’t care about anything. I mean. I care. But not really. Friendships, I don’t know what to do with them anymore. For the last year I have struggled and put so much effort into forming new friendships. I mentioned in an earlier post everything that had happened with the friendships that I had prior to the suicide attempt. The ones that broke me down to pieces. I still don’t talk to any of them. It still hurts when I think about it. But I’ve found as much peace about it as I think I will ever get. I still believe it is the best decision for me if I keep my distance from them. But then I see pictures of those people hanging out with their other friends and, they’re so, “happy”. I don’t understand. Other people don’t seem to have any of the issues that I had in those friendships. They get the best of them. While I always seemed to get the worst. So what it leads me to believe is, maybe it was just me. Maybe I was the problem instead of them. Maybe I was the one that caused them to act how they did. To do the things that they did. I brought the worst out in them. I did that. Now for the last year I have put so much effort into forming new friendships with people that I have met through softball. It seems to me like I’ve tried so hard. Text them Called them (even though I hate talking on the the phone). Gone to hang out with them during softball tournaments even when I wasn’t playing. But I still feel like an outsider. Like a pathetic person trying to form a bond when perhaps there will never be a bond to form. Maybe I’m just babbling. But this is how I feel. I feel alone. I feel like the harder I try to form a connection with people. the further away a true friendship feels. They are acquaintances. Not friends. And perhaps, again, it is me. It is me that is tainted. And maybe all of these people can sense that. Without even knowing my disorder or the struggles I face, it oozes off of me and causes people to keep a distance. I am tainted. And flawed. Maybe I don’t deserve for people to truly care. Or to open up themselves and allow me into their world. Because I am the tainted one. Maybe I bring nothing good. Even though I see myself as a good person. I try my hardest to make the people in my life happy. To do what I can to be there for them and be a good friend. But perhaps that’s all just a lie. Maybe I am none of those things. I’m tainted by things that I will never be able to see or sense in myself. And maybe it is I that people need to stay away from. Because it is I who bring nothing good into people’s lives. It is in people’s best interests to stay away from me. Not the other way around. Tainted.
It’s been a while since I have blogged. The last couple of months have been, well, trying to say the least. My girlfriend and I have been struggling with a lot of difficulties. She suffers from mental disorders as well, but since she does not currently have health insurance it has been hard to ensure that she remains on her meds. There was a time when she was not on everything and I almost didn’t make it through that. I had a brief glimpse into what it must have been like to be around me before I was on my meds. And good lord, I don’t know how anyone has stood by me after having to deal with that. We are different in our symptoms and the way that we approach things. But I have a deeper respect and admiration for the few people who have never left my side.
We are through the roughest patch. At least I hope we are. And we are currently doing well. I have decided to take it one day at a time, which I think is all I can really do. One of the best things that has happened is that all of this has changed me as a person. For the better. I now understand how I affect those around me. WIth my words. With the words I don’t say, but are written across my face as if I had said them all. I have always known that I wear my heart on my sleeve. But I wear every other emotion there as well. I have had to re-evaluate what is important in my life. What I want to give effort to and what I need to let go of in order to become the person that I want to be. The last year has been one of the biggest struggles of my life. But I have learned more about myself as a person in the last couple of months then the entire last year combined.
April 27th was the one year anniversary of my suicide attempt. The weeks leading up to that date shook me to my very core. I found myself thinking about everything that happened prior to the attempt. And everything that has come after. On the anniversary I was at a softball tournament, playing with the new friends that I have become close to in the past year. I could not have thought of a better place for me. The majority of them have no idea of what I am. Of the damage that I can do to myself. But I find solace in their company. They see me for what I want to be. Not everything bad inside of me that I battle. But instead they see the good parts. And I never knew how badly I needed that.
I still do not know where this journey will lead. A month from now I do not know where I will be or what will be going on. But I am finding comfort in living in the now. Which is something that I have never been able to do previously. And for that I am happy. Because my now is a pretty good place to be. Maybe it will not always be that way. I know that. I have lived that. I know how quickly things can spiral. How a snowball can become an avalanche in the blink of an eye. But for now, I will choose to live in this reality that I have worked so hard to create. And I am happy. Content in myself and what I am working to become. One year ago I never thought that I would live to see this date. And now, I cannot imagine not being able to celebrate again one year from now.
348 days since my suicide attempt. 348 days where I have felt broken. Lost. Torn apart inside by something that I cannot give a name to. But I have also felt happiness. And hope. That what was once lost could be found. Rebuilt. 348 days in which I have struggled to define myself. To create for myself what I wanted this life to be. I have questioned myself. Questioned everything I have ever known. Or thought I knew. I fought to build a foundation on the rock bottom that I was at. 348 days. Taken one day at a time. One moment at a time. One hour. One minute. One second. I thought things were getting better. That I had finally come to realize what I was meant for. What all of this was meant for. And what I was supposed to do with it. But now I find myself just as lost. Just as broken as I once was. My life has been filled with lies that I was too naïve or too blinded to realize. Like sand slipping through my fingers. Trying to grasp it, but it just makes it flow faster. What I thought I was creating doesn’t really exist. And it’s too much to take. Too much to understand. Or rationalize. 348 days. Almost one year. And I feel like I am starting all over again. What I put my belief in. What I put my hope in. Doesn’t exist. Maybe it never existed at all. Maybe I was the one telling myself a lie this whole time. Maybe I was never better. Maybe I have just wasted every second feeding myself with the belief that I could have a better life. That I could create something better from the ruin that I once was. Or maybe that I still am. At this moment, I cannot handle reflecting on my life. It is too much. I feel too much.
Well, they are gone. Over the weekend we packed all of Vanessa, Todd and Audrey’s belongings into their car and a truck and moved them to another state. Lucina and I got back to our house yesterday. It’s so empty. So lonely feeling. We still have each other, but it’s like one whole piece of us is now missing. Immediately when we got home we got to work cleaning and organizing the empty rooms that were once occupied with so many things and memories. What used to be Audrey’s room, so full of love and life, is now an office/art room. The pictures of her little smiling face that once filled the walls are now gone. We found one of her bottles and a toy in our room. It broke my heart. When I had to say goodbye to her, I couldn’t even stop the tears from streaming down my face. She was half ours. We were there from her first kick in Vanessa’s stomach and it was like we had a baby and now have nothing. I held her and kissed every day since the first day that she entered this world. Every single day. For four months. And now, I don’t even know when I will see her next. I feel empty. And I had no choice in the matter. I tried so hard to not get attached. But I couldn’t help it. I fell in love with her from the beginning and now I will no longer be able to hold her and love her when I get home from work. I miss her so much that it is hard to even comprehend or explain the feelings. I know she was not ours. I know that Vanessa and Todd have to determine their own life path. But. I just wish we had had more time to spend with them. We were our own little family. Created through moments spent together during times when not much else was certain. But we had each other. And we all lived in that life for the better part of a year. And we all figured out together what it is like to bring a baby into a world and those initial months of figuring out how to raise and take care of a newborn. And now. Now, it’s just all gone. It’s empty. I feel empty without them.