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Go Love Yourself

This morning one of my friends told me I inspired her. I think those were the words she used. My jaw about dropped to the floor since I don’t look ay myself as inspiring in any way. However, as I sit here and write this, I think “why can’t I be inspiring?” I have confessed my mental illness, I most definitely have an eating disorder from years of being told I needed to lose weight. My weight has been in the forefront of my mind for pretty much the last 15 years. I want to be healthy, but it’s certainly not healthy to obsess either. INSTEAD, I am going to work on loving myself right now and taking off the conditions I have put on myself. Like “I’ll love myself more when I lose 10 pounds.” As I write this I realize how RIDICULOUS that even sounds. We want other people to love us unconditionally, but many of us, including myself, aren’t willing to love ourselves unconditionally.

Today is a pretty good day for me mentally. I have woken up all week with 10+ hours of sleep and feeling guilty for not going to the gym. You know what? FUCK IT…..I’m OK!!! The gym does not validate me. GOD validates me. If you don’t believe in God then find something higher than yourself, but also including yourself, and put your value in that. It’s 11:55am and I’m still in my bathrobe, drinking my coffee. I need to go put dinner in the crock pot and get ready to start my day. I work in 30 minutes and I could be telling myself what a loser I am for having done nothing of real importance yet this morning but you know what? Someone told me I inspire them, and that inspired me to write this blog. If it wasn’t for my friend Dawn’s small amount of validation this morning I never would have taken a few minutes to sit down and write this blog. I LOVE to blog. It’s my favorite hobby. I get to sit here and put my thoughts out into the world and hope that someone reads them. Maybe my words will resognate with soemone else. I also get to sit here and watch my cat be a spaz.

Go out and be a FUCKING dragon or a unicorn! Just don’t be an asshole. No one likes an asshole. Don’t be intimidated to love yourself. I’m still working on it.

Love,

~B

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The “Heart of Judy” 

My forever inspiration....Judy....

My forever inspiration….Judy….

Tonight I went to my former hairdresser’s Celebration of Life. When she started doing my hair she was 60, I had just turned 21. She died at a young age of 71. Judy was incredible. Judy walked me through the pregnancy of my first child and how incredibly scared I was. The shock of finding out I was pregnant AGAIN less than 2 years later (again scared to death). She was supportive in my reasons to leave my children’s dad, then watched me have an affair, marry that man, and then helped me walk through the agonizing death of that same husband who committed suicide. She then encouraged me through the courtship and marriage of my current husband Gary.

In the 12 years that Judy was my hairdresser she heard many MANY stories about my life as you can see. Constantly walking me through the weathering of storms. And clearly, as you can imagine just from the above, brief description, she held my hand through a lot. She wiped my tears, hugged me like a second mom/grandmother. I NEVER once felt judged for anything I did even though I knew that she knew some paths I was/had taken were wrong. Judy would listen, nod, and give gentle words of encouragement; gentle words of wisdom. If I could describe it, I would describe it as playing the “devils advocate, with the heart of Jesus.” So tender and loving, but always speaking the truth even if wasn’t what I wanted to hear; It’s what I needed to hear. She ALWAYS spoke truth in love and prayer.

Tonight, as I reminisced in my head all the accounts of my life I had shared with Judy, I had what some would call a “come to Jesus moment”. You see, Judy loved fiercely. She never judged; 12 years I spent with Judy. In 2009 I became a nail technician. In that time I started working in a salon with my dearest friend Tina. I decided it was time to “try someone new” (as I recently heard from one of my own long-time clients). With Judy I felt like I had reached the end of an era. I made an appointment to go talk with her. As I told her I was going to try Tina, she looked at me with the utmost love in her beautiful eyes and told me she understood, would miss me so much, asked me to please come visit, and gave me the most beautiful and fierce hug I will never forget.

As I walk in the same shoes, as a nail tech, being a “sober man’s bartender” for lack of a better term; experiencing and embracing my clients lives; I’ve come to realize I have not extended that same grace to my clients who’ve left. I’ve had several clients leave, all for different reasons. Two specifically were very painful, as I loved them fiercely, and walked with them through many journeys in their lives. I have to wonder…..why didn’t they come to me as I had Judy? Was it because they thought or knew I would be upset? As I sat tonight pondering my most recent encounter with my friend/client Tricia, I realized maybe she didn’t think she could tell me. After prying enough, through what I knew was coming, she told me she wanted to “try someone new” that it wasn’t personal, she loved my work, and that she still wanted to be friends. I wasn’t Judy in that moment. I wasn’t the heart of Jesus. I was angry, I felt betrayed, I took it personally because she had been with me for 4 years. We spent time together outside the salon; just like Judy had with me. I was with Judy THREE TIMES longer than Tricia has been with me. To top it off I ranted on Facebook about it leaving out her name. I know she had to have seen it and it probably really hurt her. It probably solidified what she thought might happen if she’d just told me the truth. I do believe I would still have been hurt; but less hurt had she come to me in person; however maybe she didn’t know this.

I want to be a Judy. See….if things didn’t work out with Tina, Judy would’ve taken me back in a split second. No awkwardness. I made it awkward for Tricia to ever possibly come back. But what I want her to know is that I learned tonight that no matter how much you care for someone; they may decide it’s the end of their era with me. Maybe they’ll be back. Maybe they won’t. But it’s my job to make sure everyone feels as though they would be welcomed back. I plan to apologize. I don’t know what will happen. But whatever does happen…..I’ll be ok with it. I know I messed up after tonight. I feel terrible.

Tonight I gained perspective, moments of clarity, and knowing I have the ability to make new choices and become wiser. I hope she can forgive me, that we can have that dinner and drinks she originally suggested. I hope it’s not irreparable. However; if it is….I’ll gracefully take the blame. 99% of this could have been avoided if I had approached it with a “Judy” heart.

I think I might make a sign for my shop that is always in my sight that says “approach this from a “Judy’s heart” knowing that means no judgment, no hard feelings. I plan to attempt this in all aspects of my life. Not just my business life. Many people have extended grace to me when I’ve messed up. It’s time to have Judy and Jesus’s heart and do the same…..
~B💗

BPD and DBT…

I learned a few coping skills at my first appointment on Thursday. I can tell you that I did NOT tap into those skills today AT ALL! I should have, but I was so blinded by anger and hurt that my head was spinning like something you would see in a Poltergeist movie! The fury that arose from being so blinded by fear and injustice was overwhelming; especially for someone with BPD. I will admit that while I had every right to FEEL the way I did, that my REACTION should have been different; instead of screaming and blowing up on my family member, I should have taken a break, grouped my thoughts together, and taken a more productive approach. But I didn’t. I blew a gasket. You know who this really hurts? Just me. My shoulders are tight, anxiety is high, I’m embarrassed and feel icky inside. I’m so tired of feeling like this and it’s just fueling me to turn my “Sadness into gladness” as my dear friend Lori put it today.

The world is sometimes a really scary feeling place and that is really hard for someone like me to admit. On the outside, I’m most of the time, sweet, bubbly, talkative, and friendly. Please hear me when I tell you this….I am not fake….I really, truly am all of those things. However, sometimes I have to force those behaviors in order to hide other behaviors such as fear, anxiety, depression etc.

I didn’t mention this in my last post because my head was a mess and I was just writing because I find writing soothing. On Thursday, my therapist asked me a TON of yes/no questions. Turns out, (so she says) that I have PTSD, and major depressive disorder. Now the PTSD I could not have predicted, but MDD? I rarely feel the need to stay in bed all day and feel sorry for myself. However, that is not what MDD really means. MDD is as follows:

 

• Depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities for more than two weeks.
• Mood represents a change from the person’s baseline.
• Impaired function: social, occupational, educational.
• Specific symptoms, at least 5 of these 9, present nearly every day:
1. Depressed mood or irritable most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report
(e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful).
2. Decreased interest or pleasure in most activities, most of each day
3. Significant weight change (5%) or change in appetite
4. Change in sleep: Insomnia or hypersomnia
5. Change in activity: Psychomotor agitation or retardation
6. Fatigue or loss of energy
7. Guilt/worthlessness: Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
8. Concentration: diminished ability to think or concentrate, or more indecisiveness
9. Suicidality: Thoughts of death or suicide, or has suicide plan

 

I would like to be clear to my friends and family who follow me here. I DO NOT struggle with self harm or suicidal thoughts and tendencies or dissociation. Thank the LORD! My therapy plan is a ONE YEAR commitment. Every Tuesday morning I will go individually, and group therapy every Wednesday evening. Group therapy sounds scary, but I’m trying to remember that everyone in this group is like me which is why we’re all there. We all have a common goal…and that is to get better.

 

One of the things I struggle with the most is commitment. I commit and then I flake. Mainly I flake out of the “what if” fear. I go into irrational thinking and talk myself right out of the thing I committed to. I am making a COMMITMENT to myself first and my family to do this. I WANT to get better! 1 year of my life and I can most likely be BPD symptom free? YES PLEASE! It’s not going to be easy but it’s going to be totally worth it.

 

If you or someone you know struggles with depression I encourage you to seek help. While I haven’t seen the effects of this work yet, I also don’t have any tools to work with quite yet. Oh, I do have one thing…..I can call my therapist 24/7 in the event that I need coping skills immediately. I exercised this phone call last night, and I should have done it today. Honestly it didn’t even cross my mind to call her today. I think it’s because this whole thing is so new to me.

Loves until next time,

~B

bpd recovery reality

Waiting for the Paint to Dry….

I’m remodeling my shop and I’m waiting for the paint to dry. So I thought I would take the opportunity to write this piece. It’s been a subject I’ve wanted to tackle for quite sometime.

It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to write a real piece. I thought I would take criticism pretty good, but I don’t. Here’s the deal….if you don’t like my blog then it’s simple….JUST DONT READ IT….unsubscribe….please! With that being said….here we go!…

For many months I have felt like I have been just “going through the motions” at work and at home. Get what I need to do done, don’t invest much….and move on to the next daunting thing on my list. I’ve been plagued with depression my whole life which sucks. I really don’t have anything to be depressed about. Unfortunately for some people it is completely out of their control and they just feel how they feel. For me it goes much deeper than depression. In May, of this year, I was told that it was becoming clear that I did indeed have something more serious than depression….and this is the first time I have been brave enough to speak of it publicly. I was told that I “suffer” from Borderline Personality Disorder.  So there it is…..I can’t believe I said it. I am a little scared, but there it is.

I’ve “suffered in silence” (except for a few close friends and my husband), so to speak, since May. There is no medication that magically makes the symptoms of BPD magically disappear. NONE…..so hears a funny story (kinda) about the day I was hit with this diagnosis. I walked into my psychiatrists office, ready to tackle all of life’s problems, being completely 100% open with him for really the first time EVER in 10 years. He told me there was no medication to fix BPD….not.even.one. My soul was literally crushed into a million pieces. Here I had been working on my hormone problems and got all that fixed. So when I realized some of my other problems weren’t disappearing now that my hormones were fixed I was LIGIT ready to pop some pills. Because seriously…who likes to feel crazy? Anyone? A show of hands would be great! No one? Just me? GREEEAAAT……lol. There is nothing more debilitating than feeling like you are one ticking time bomb away from a nervous breakdown ESPECIALLY when every other aspect of your life is pretty fantastic. So what did I do? What any other NORMAL CRAZY person would do…..I wallowed. I have wallowed in MISERY for MONTHS. I just can’t do it anymore. I have to take control of my life back. There is some light for people with BPD; it’s called DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Here is a quick breakdown of what it is:

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a well researched and comprehensive treatment approach designed to help people who have difficulty in regulating their emotions. This often results in a high degree of impulsive reactivity, self-destructive behaviors, and volatile relationships with others in their lives. DBT works by teaching participants to become more aware of their particular sensitivity to negative emotions such as anger and shame. At the same time, it provides the skills necessary to tolerate these feelings and then begin to regulate them. DBT also teaches assertiveness skills to enable participants to effectively begin asking for what they want from others and saying no to things they don’t want.

Who can benefit from DBT?

Studies have shown that DBT reduces:

  • Suicidal behaviors
  • Intentional self-injury
  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Anger
  • Eating Disorders
  • Substance Dependence
  • Impulsiveness

And Increases:

  • Adjustment in general and especially improved social functioning
  • Positive self-esteem

Fortunately I don’t really think aboout suicide nor do I inflict self-harm, BUT I do have a lot of the other signs. I called up my local DBT center and talked with the director. I wish I had not indeed wallowed in self pity for so many months and had just picked up the phone and called. But I didn’t, and the past is the past so I am now moving forward. I feel like I have some hope. The director made me feel so HOPEFUL! She told me there are people who have put their BPD into complete REMISSION!!!! YOU CAN DO THAT?? She went on to tell me that people who really put in the hard work (it’s a 24 week commitment minimum) can actually be completely 100% free of any BPD symptoms! I thought I was going to cry right then and there; I never dreamed in a million years that I could be freed from depression, anxiety, and oh the biggest one….the anger. Anger is one of the most debilitating feelings in the world because I don’t even know WHY I’ angry most of the time. When I told the director that I ran my own business and that I’m busy and successful she was very surprised. I can tend to keep it pretty together for 7 hours a day. I get my own therapy in talking to my clients and bouncing my stuff off of them.

I feel like I finally see a light at the end of the tunnel because tunnels without a light are dark, and scary.

Don’t be afraid to get help if you feel lost. Don’t wait months and months like I did. Help is out there. There is no shame in depression. It’s not your fault, you didn’t ask for it and there is help.

I have included a link to my local DBT center. It also gives a list of other DBT therapy places all over the United States.

http://www.dbtcenterso.com/index.html

I’ve had a lot on my mind these last few months as you can see. I’m super excited to say that my business of doing nails is absolutely ROCKING! I have some of the BEST clients EVER! So much has happened this year and I only had a few clients disappear. Was it due to the fluctuation of my mood because I had a lot going on in my life? I think so. But that’s ok. I’m learning fast that every single person comes into our lives for a reason; they also leave for a reason.

I plan to update this blog a lot more. I am hoping to empower more people to take control of their lives! I am looking for encouragement and would love to hear what you have to say.

Lots of love,

~B

The Story of me….Well a partial backstory

Hello fellow readers! My name is Bridget, I am a nail technician, (basically an unlicensed therapist), the mother of 2 beautiful children, a wife, a friend, a daughter, and a sister. I have so many crazy experiences and stories I look forward to sharing with you. This is the RAW account of my world. This is my Memoir, so to speak, only instead of reading this in a book you will get it live, and have the ability to interact with me. I ask that you please be kind, for I am continuing to grow as a person. Ask anyone who knows me well, and they will tell you that I am the first person who will admit my shortcomings….and I have A LOT! However, I am really just a girl who has been through so much; from dealing with an alcoholic husband who committed suicide, to getting married 10 months later. From the struggles of figuring our how to be a good mom, to figuring out how to be a good wife (the wife part I still struggle with!) I look forward to sharing with you how I see my world; I promise its a little warped at times….and I tend to poke fun at things that some people may not find humorous in the least bit. But this is MY story, and MY truth; I am the only person that holds the pages to this journey I call life…..

I have a bachelors degree in psychology, a minor in English, (you won’t always see me using correct grammar). l have no real therapeutic experience to “counsel people .” However, I do have real world experience, and have given advice to many women who have sat in my chair. I have people who have come in and out of my life who have utterly inspired me to down right frustrate me. All of these accounts are leading me to be a better person. I hope my stories inspire people to believe in themselves and to be kinder, gentler individuals. There’s a saying that I learned early on, in my 20s, from one of my dearest friends Miss Kay…..”You teach people how to treat you.” This couldn’t be more true; and with that being said, I hope you enjoys my writings and as I reveal myself to you….

Please note; to share a specific posting, please click on the posts heading, scroll to the bottom, and the link will be there. You have to be in THAT particular blog post ONLY to see the share buttons.

B~