Day 19 – Childishness

I was listening to a podcast this morning about BPD, called Survivor Radio Cafe. In it they interviewed AJ Mahari, a counsellor and recovered BPD’er. There was some really good stuff in there, that I’d like to share.

-The first thing to remember is that we are already survivors. We’ve been abused and abandoned, but we’re still hanging in there. Some of us have even survived an attempt to end our own lives. We are still here though.

-Due to our tendency towards black and white thinking, when we have a bad day it’s easy to think that we’ve failed in our recovery, and that the bad feeling is permanent.  One little slip backwards can feel like the end of the world. There will be good days again, and we are still getting better!

-Suicide and suicide attempts usually occur in high achieving BPD’ers; we have such high expectations on ourselves that a setback feels like a complete failure. Perfectionism and black and white thinking sets us up to fail. The key is to be gentle with ourselves, and realistic about our progress.

-Because of the circumstances of our childhood, we need instant gratification. Our needs were not met, so we had to fill the void with other stuff. Because of this need for instant gratification, we indulge in impulsive and childish behaviours, and give up easily. We are stuck with the emotions of a child. We need to accept our reality and learn patience, qualities that children generally lack.

I’ve recognised this childishness in myself for a while now. My fits of violent rage are merely the tantrums of a child not getting her way, and railing against her “unfair” reality. It’s time for me to grow up. I’ve never really stuck with anything long enough to get good at it; education, jobs, hobbies, even my attempts to get better had all fallen by the wayside when they failed to deliver instant results.

This time won’t be the same. I’m going to recover from my disorder, finish my education, get a job and be a grown up.

I don’t want to risk becoming overwhelmed with all the different aspects of my disorder that I need to address, so I will put down here the steps I think I need to take (this may change as I learn more):

1. Accept my reality

2. Learn to regulate my emotions

3. Heal the abandonment wound so it no longer colours my reactions to current situations

4. Grow my self esteem

5. Understand my needs and learn to meet them myself

6. Kick my love addiction

That is the rough order I think I need to take, but I am still chipping away at them all at once.

I’m getting there.

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