Twikst

Living in a world between normality and insanity


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The War

The deepest parts of my mind have come out to play. The segment that rarely get airtime raises its voice. The dangerous darkness begins to sing its song once again. But I am not the same person anymore and the Blackness cannot just engulf me without a war. The armies gather on either side. On the right is Recovery, tools I’ve gained armed with suggestions and good intentions, love and serenity. On the left is the Blackness, buried inside of me, wearing the known, the comfortable, spears of negative thoughts and beliefs of shame and unworthiness. The Blackness is putrid, rotten to the core. Old belief systems that are no longer true yet remain just as believable come back to the surface. I struggle to push them back and remind myself that I am loved, I am valued, I am cherished. I have won but the battle still remains. 

I have hope yet death intrigues me. I know reality yet believe the lies. I am torn between the darkness and recovery. On the one side I have everything to live for and on the other there is only suffering. But the darkness pulls, it lies but it comforts. It is known, it is safe. Lies, lies, lies but I believe even when everything and everyone screams otherwise. I fear that one day the darkness will overwhelm me, that I will give in to the nothingness and be surrounded, but not today. Today I fight with everything I have learnt. Today I let the light shine a little brighter. Today I live, even just for a moment longer. Today recovery has won. Tomorrow will be tomorrow and in that day I will fight another battle. In that day hopefully the war will not be lost. For now I relish in the victory that today has brought. I lay my head down and surrender to God that tomorrow another victory will be won and that one day the war will be over for good. 


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Fine but not fine?

maxresdefaultSpent lots of time up in my head today, both spacing out and thinking about what was said in my session and later with my sponsor. Wondering why I was craving so much last night, not just craving but the vivid images that filled my head. Feeling the blade press through the skin and watching the blood seep through the gap. Playing with it as it spirals and leaves tracks of red down my arm. Even now in the late afternoon the image is so real and tangible. I find myself leaving reality and fantasizing about it. Fantasy is all I have though, I can never go back down that road but oh how I want to right now.
This morning I spoke of being disconnected, out of sorts. I realize as I look through the day that yes, I could say disconnected which is a truth in a way, it is more dissociated than anything else. I sit in conversations and feel unreal as though everything is happening around me but not to me. I spend moments just staring off into the distance when I should be focusing on the conversations around me but I don’t feel a part of it. I don’t feel a part of anything at the moment. I think back to the images in my head and wonder why they remain more real than the life around me. Release stands out, pain stands out but denial stands out above everything. Avoidance of what might really be going on, fear of what I maybe don’t want to face. I can’t touch it though and through the day it feels like reality is slipping further and further away.
I don’t feel negative and thoughts like being unworthy or not good enough nip at the edges of consciousness but haven’t seemed to have broken through yet. I still feel generally satisfied with my life and where I am placed in it but I can’t seem to merge the emptiness with being satisfied and I am left confused. I do all the right things, work a solid program but still I am reaching for something and I can’t seem to grasp what it is. As I write this all I have eaten is a small cinnabon which is not nearly enough for the day. I realise that I have not been taking care of myself, not nurturing myself and if I’m honest I don’t care. So at the end of the day I can no longer deny that I am not in a low space but where does it come from.
I immediately want to blame a circumstance but off the top of my head, I tell myself that I am happy, that there is nothing wrong with my life. Is it true, I want it to be but I have just stepped out of financial security, leaving a job. Can this affect so much though? It sounds weird but I don’t want it to be my mood, that means looking at medication and puts me out of control but the more I think about all the symptoms the more I come to think that it might just be my mood. Living with BiPolar sucks, being Borderline sucks even more. I call myself stupid because by now I should know healthy coping mechanisms yet still I slip into melancholy and dreams of slicing my arms up.
The dreams have expanded now. I sit and have a smoke and hold the cigarette as close to my hand as I can without burning it. Playing with temptation but I can’t seem to stop myself. What if I go to far, what would happen if I let the cigarette touch the skin, kept it there until a blister forms? I can’t though, I would shatter so much, I can’t. Is it sad that the thing stopping me is not that it’s unhealthy but rather what others would say, what I would lose. It’s insane and once again I find myself not caring.
Writing this rambling is the first thing that I’ve connected to all day, the first thing I have felt involved in. I don’t want to stop in case I start to feel empty inside again, in case I slip off into the nothingness that has been hovering all day.


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Irritable and Restless

It is that time in my journey where my medication is having to be changed again. This means detoxing of old medication, starting new medication, blood tests, liver functioning tests and new side effects. The reason, well sometimes new side effects pop up or the medication stops working. This time I have a new side effect (we think), irritability and restlessness.

293280-stress-and-angerEverything, and I mean everything, is suddenly irritating me. It is so frustrating and makes me feel so self-centered. Things that I normally enjoy and people I normally love are irritating me. I can’t show it, especially at work, but it is coming up with everything I do. My doctor thinks it is a side effect of the one medication I was on. So now we just stop that medication and try something else. I am running out of options here and it is really frustrating and I just want to cry sometimes.

The other effect, which has been around for a while, is restlessness. I have intermittent restless leg syndrome, whichrestlesslegsyndrome means my legs shake, tap, jiggle, all sorts of things. The worst is at night while I am trying to fall asleep. It gets so bad it keeps me awake. During the day it stops me from concentrating and I have to take regular breaks. Very hard to do when you are studying and have 3 hour classes. Friends who know me laugh at my jiggling legs but sometimes are worse than others. I know they are moving about and I can’t do anything to stop them. It makes me feel so helpless.

The new medication I am on now is supposed to help me get to sleep but I am not so sure because again last night I was still awake after 12 am. So why write about it? Well just giving myself some venting space, helping others know that they aren’t alone and keeping friends and family updated. This is my life and it gets frustrating. Aside from that though I have learnt to mostly deal with all these things and remind myself that it all helps me cope with life better in the long run.

The thing that helps me the most is remembering to hand it over to God. He is the only one who really knows what is going on and I believe and trust that he has a higher purpose for me. Well that’s what life is like for this Borderline, Bipolar, Addict at the moment. Signing out for today.


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Milestones Jitters

On Sunday I celebrated 9 years in recovery. Over 3000 days of 24 hours at a time. The strange thing is that even after all these years I still struggle around my milestone time. Saturday night was one of the hardest nights for me. Everything seemed to trigger a craving and I felt lonely and abandoned inside. The reality was that I have many friends and those that could kept me company via whatsapp messages, facetime and facebook.

So what have I learnt? Well one is to never take this time in the year for granted and to put things in place when my milestone comes around so that I am not alone and in a safe space. Second is to remember that this is a hard time for me. The week before my milestone was confusing and frustrating. My anxiety was so high and everything felt lost and empty. I couldn’t figure it out until the actual day. I need to be kind and gentle with myself and remind myself that this is normal for many addicts. We all seem to struggle in the surrounding times.IMG_0703

My sponsor has suggested that I write a journal. Something to catalog what happens and what I can do to ease the pain of the moment. So things to put in the journal are the fact that my mood is affected. Not because something has happened but simply because it is that time of the year. To set up safe spaces and make sure I have friends around me so the emptiness and loneliness are so present. To be kind and gentle to myself and take it easy.

All in all it was a great milestone. I shared at a meeting on Monday night and celebrated with a bunch of friends. I was reminded of how my recovery inspires others and that even though it doesn’t always feel like it, I am working a good program and people look up to me and love me. Hard to accept sometimes but that is the reality.

Here’s to another year of work on myself and change for the better.


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Alone or Lonely

companionship-fingers-197x300Sometimes I find myself sitting and wondering if I will ever find the right person for me. In the past nine years I have been single. For the first six of those I needed to be single to sort my own life out. I needed to learn to love myself so I could love others as well. It was tough and sometimes I wanted to give up but eventually I got used to being by myself. I got used to comforting myself and encouraging myself. I learnt to live with who I was and I learnt to love who I was.

But now, for the past three years I am ready to love someone again. Although I will have to learn to be unselfish with my time again, I want to have someone else around. Someone to cuddle and talk to, someone to be intimate with, someone who loves me despite myself. So where is this wondrous man that I am looking for? I don’t really know, but I do know that he is probably out there somewhere and I need to be patient. I also know that I need to get out there and meet people which is really hard for me. Meeting new people is scary but how else am I supposed to meet the person for me?

In all of this though I question my motives behind wanting a man in my life. Is it because I am lonely, scared of being alone or is it really about companionship. I have realised that I am not looking for someone because I need that person to define who I am or because I don’t feel worth enough by myself but simply because I was created to be in relationship. I look at my grandparents who are still very much in love and I want that when I am old, someone who I shared my life with. images

If you are single out there how do you feel? Do you long for someone, are you happy by yourself, does it not really matter to you. Let me know where you stand. Alone or Lonely? Proud to be single or longing for someone? Share your thoughts and opinions with me please. Do others feel the same as me or am I alone in this?


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The Ability of Choice

It was only a few days ago that Robin Williams passed away and much discussion has already been generated. The topic most discussed in my circles is the that of choice. Why would someone choose to commit suicide and or was is a choice at all. We’ve just had a lovely heated debate at college about the ability of choice (I am studying psychology). So I though I would write down my thoughts on the subject.

So do those who commit suicide choose to do so or is there really no choice in the matter. Let me start by saying that everything in life is a choice and I really do believe that we choose our actions. That said I also want to say that sometimes it feels like we don’t have a choice, that there is only one way. I know this sounds like I am contradicting myself but let me explain further.

If you are offered the choice between R1 or R1,000 with no consequences, most people would say there is no choice take the R1,000. I think it’s similar, while there is a choice it doesn’t feel like it and so we say there was no choice. Another example would be if you were driving along and in front of you was an offramp to the left and a cliff in front of you – is there really a choice?

In my experience with my own depression I rarely stopped to think about whether there was another option. Suicide often felt like the only choice there was. Now my friend at college says but that’s just avoidance and while I agree with her I do not think that in that moment anyone is aware enough to see the choice. So while there may be a choice it is shrouded in darkness.

Let’s say there was a choice, that someone chooses to commit suicide. What are their other choices? Continue to live life with no hope? Continue to feel the absolute pain? Continue to die a little each day. Are these really choices? Wouldn’t you choose to end it all if you life was filled with blackness, hurt, hopelessness?

When it feels like this is all life ever was, ever is and ever will be the choice to live gets taken away. I have been there and only through the love of God, my family and friends that I am still alive. It has taken years of hard work to raise the self-awareness that many who suffer with depression never get. I feel for every one of my compatriots out there who suffer with this illness. Love to you all.


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All or Nothing

Finally after waiting for weeks we got our assignment marks back. Now I am always eager to get mine and see how I did, so far I have never been disappointed. Well this time I was, not once but twice. On assignments that I thought I had worked really hard on. straight away my perfectionism came up and I was really upset with the first mark. The worst was the lecturer laughed at me when I spoke to her and said it’s a good mark.

phd012014sNow a good mark, I believe is subjective. If I am used to getting and A a B is a bad mark, if I am used to getting a C then a B is a good mark – subjective right. I obsessed the entire way home from McGregor when I got the first mark and let it affect my mood for the entire week. The second mark came through right before I went to bed a week later. Do you think I could sleep? No way, I lay up for hours obsessing over the mark. Then I switched to all or nothing thinking.

It went something like this, if I can’t get a good mark then I’m not going to try. Screw them (although I probably used more colourful language at the time). I totally wanted to give up. I was so demotivated, still am a little. I know that this type of thinking is both my addict and the borderline in me – doubly screwed right. I have worked hard at not buying into this type of thinking but when it comes to something as important as my marks I find it hard to just let go.

Anyway, at first I wanted my assignments remarked but realised that the educators would just laugh at me cause in general the marks are okay they are just my lowest marks ever. I need to move on and convince myself to give everything to the next assignments which are due in the next 2 weeks. It’s hard but I have good support and know that I am not alone. These little glimpses of my illnesses come out every now and again and I just have to fight harder till they fade away again.

All in all, as disappointed as I am with myself and my marks I will try again and again. Time to stop giving into the madness and get back to sanity.