Brianna came home from school JK last week singing “reverse, reverse” and doing a little dance move with her hands that kinda resembled a funky bunny thing. When I asked what that was from, she breezily said “DPA—we do it every morning from the big speaker.”

Yes, I was just as mystified as you are right now. Especially since she kept singing “reverse, reverse” and dancing like a spastic chipmunk. I chalked it up to things that four-year-olds do and went on with my day.

Well, today the mystery was revealed. I dropped Brianna off at class with the treats for her Halloween party. Over the school’s PA system instead of the boring principal’s announcements about a pep rally or a bake sale, some Fresh Prince wannabee was rapping a series of dance moves over a funky tune. The eight-graders had come into the class to show the kindergarten kids the dance moves. Apparently, they do this every day for 10–20 minutes. It’s called Daily Physical Activity and it even has a web site.

“Step up, slide left, slide right, jump four times, slide back…”

It’s amazing what kids are learning in school these days. I feel old. ;^)

Ooo, what to do? Not a sausage to do…

I’ve been pondering how best to take care of myself Wednesday afternoon, after my first SO-DBT group meeting. Anxious doesn’t even begin to touch how I feel about this. At first, I was going to schedule a nice facial and massage for the afternoon. Pretty good my therapist said. Instead, I think I’ll go listen to the Dalai Lama teach “The Art of Happiness”. So much more fitting, no?

When I stop to think about it, what are the chances, exactly, that His Holiness the Dalai Lama would be giving a public talk in Toronto on the very day I start my dialectical behaviour therapy group? And the theme would be how to be happy? Thanks, universe. I took the hint and bought my ticket.

It’s never a bad day to listen to His Holiness.

My current sense of my day-to-day existence is feeling like I’m running down a big hill so fast I don’t know if I’m running or falling or both. Everything feels on the verge of being completely out of control. “Suicidal ideations” continue to arise endlessly. I continue to let them go.When I met with Shira for the group orientation, she told me that it is possible, with a lot of work on my part, to have a complete cessation of symptoms: no more suicidal thoughts, no more rage outbursts, no more self-harm. I started to cry when she said that. I simply had not believed that was possible. Now, I do. Not only is it possible, but I am determined that it will be my life.

Great faith, great doubt, and great determination. Everything anyone really needs.

The Peace of No Peace

Today I’m really feeling the strain of the last few weeks/months. I keep coming back to practicing mindfulness, but my mind won’t settle on what I’m doing at the moment. Thoughts and emotions arise, dark and powerful, and I feel like I’m trying to keep my head above water in the presence of a powerful undertow.

I can’t trust my emotions. I feel like I’m losing control, yet Bryan says that I’m doing great today. The child is really testing, pushing all the buttons, to the point where Bryan is losing his temper. (And if you know Bryan, you know that it takes a great deal to really piss him off. A great deal.) I’ve lost count of the number of time-outs she’s had today: throwing things at the dog, lying to us, screaming for a cookie, smearing shit all over her bed. I broke down crying in the shower. I’m trying so very hard not to yell at her or hit her—and so far I haven’t—but the emotions are so overwhelming that I have to find a way to soothe them but I don’t know how to, appropriately that is.

See, if I had some pot, I’d smoke a joint, take a deep breath and carry on. But I don’t. I won’t let myself hide in my room and cut myself or hurt myself—the presence of blood would help soothe the emotions but I won’t do that. I could eat until I feel sick, but I don’t want to let myself do that either. So here I am, writing about it, hoping somehow that these words will help me find my way back to sanity somehow.

I don’t know what’s true anymore, not that I ever really did. My emotions are so far out of whack I find myself questioning every feeling I’ve ever had: did I truly love this person or that person or were they just a warm safe place to hide? What do I really enjoy doing? I don’t know. I would say I like to read, but when I look objectively at it, reading is an escape from my reality. Besides, I haven’t been able to concentrate enough to really read anything substantial for a long time.

Beneath the crazy emotions there is—nothing. Just nothing. An empty space wanting to be filled. There is no firm sense of self to let go of, just a hazy shifting emptiness that clings to whatever is nearest and aches to know itself.

I turn from that and feel deeply overwhelmed by the minutiae of everyday living. Get the child ready for school, provide treats for her class halloween party, what do I make for dinner, pay the bills, clean the house, do the laundry—I feel crushed and lost and helpless and I long to escape, to make this feeling stop, to find some peace. Where is the peace in no peace?

Faith Mind

The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences.

When love and hate are both absent
everything becomes clear and undisguised

These are the opening lines to the Faith Mind sutra by Seng-Tsan, the 3rd Zen patriarch. Something in them calls to me, especially now.

I’ve been having these dissociative episodes, especially when I go to the supermarket. Something about the long lines of shelves and goods and the people makes me feel deeply overwhelmed. Things begin to feel unreal and far away. It’s scary and can bring on a panic attack. I’ve been avoiding going shopping in an attempt to avoid dealing with having another one. But we’re almost out of milk and it’s on me.

So I’m off to the grocery store and then to pick up Brianna from school. I don’t have to love BPD, but I need to let go of the hate and the fear. If it happens, it happens. I will be okay, in spite of what my emotion mind is telling me.

I just have to remember to breathe.

Next step: diet

I came across some interesting info:

The results of this study suggest that E-EPA may be a safe and effective form of monotherapy for women with moderately severe borderline personality disorder. (http://www.biopsychiatry.com/omega3-bpd.htm)

Alrighty then, salmon is going to be on the menu a lot more at my house. As this journey continues, I want to continue to do everything I can to support myself. That means learning about this illness and discovering new ways of helping my body/mind to heal. Who knew that fish oil could help with BPD?

I saw the woman who made “Crazy Sexy Cancer” on TV yesterday. She was right to change her entire approach to living in response to her illness. I knew that was what I have to do, but not all at once. One step at a time.

When I practice mindfulness, even in the midst of my craziness, I feel better. I don’t always remember to practice, but it’s happening more and more. So I will celebrate my progress and plan my salmon dinner for tonight.