Pushing yourself to ‘breaking point’

The problem with constantly pushing yourself to breaking point, is that you’re constantly disappointed when you break.

Ever strive so hard to keep yourself busy, to keep yourself functional and ‘alive’? To keep forgetting? To keep running.  Keep. Running. Keep. Running.

My hand scrawls across the paper vigorously and the word ‘run’ repeats over and over again. I keep running, I keep panicking. To scared to even look at what is behind me. I am lost in that word, I am lost in the spaces between the letters and I hide there; nobody can see me.

I keep running and I keep hiding.

Keeping busy can be good. People are always telling you to do it. ‘Just keep yourself busy’ ‘Don’t think about it’ ‘Try not to think about it’. Have you ever tried NOT to think about something? What a strange paradox, surely any attempt to not think of something is only going to lead to more thoughts about that same subject.

One of the things I have found, though, with keeping yourself busy is it seems to have a bit of an endless snowball effect. Whereby you start to dust yourself in a light covering of snow and think ‘I won’t look at me, that’ll do. That light covering hides it all.’ And then the next day, you patch up the sections that have melted a little. You start to feel paranoid, like people can see your colours through the white dusting of snow. Slowly, you add more and more. You roll and you roll until you are so big and covered in so much snow you have no idea who is underneath any more; not even the faintest flicker of colour seeps through. At first, you thought this was what you wanted. To hide, to hide from everyone. But now you realise you’ve even hidden from yourself. You’re buried. But by this stage, you are so catastrophically encased you can no longer move to fight your way out.

So you are stuck there. Forever? Can you thaw out? Can you do it alone? You got yourself there, didn’t you? Can you get yourself out? Or does it take somebody else to pull you out?

What a hell to be trapped in side the case we made for ourself to be hidden in.

You cannot keep yourself busy forever. You cannot hide forever. You cannot run forever. Its implausible. Someday you might have to face up to things. Someday you might have to stop in your tracks, to look at the footprints that chase you there. You might have to turn around and walk back up those some tracks and retrace them. Look for what’s chasing you. You may find that the footprints that followed you stopped a while back, and it has just been a set of feet identical to yours you’ve been running from since.

Remember your self affirmations: you are not bad, you have done the best you could in the situation you were in. Remember that snow is beautiful, but that you are beautiful beneath too.

Don’t face things alone. Don’t be disappointed in yourself.

Accept your own footprints for what they are, you took that path for a reason.


Black and white thinking

Today got me thinking about black and white thinking a lot. As one of the criteria for BPD, you’d think I’d have given it some consideration before given I carry that diagnosis. But I wiped it aside, presuming I didn’t do that or feel that as I do with most things. But then I was talking to my DBT therapist today about continuum’s and where people may stand in them. Specifically, she described one end of a continuum as people who trust completely and approach everyone with open doors. Then she spoke of the other side, where people become isolated and untrusting of everyone. I thought, yes, that makes sense. Then she added a bit, about the middle and said ‘it was probably the best place to be’. Where you trust people who earn your trust, and don’t the others. I guess you learn how to scale it for yourself and judge it. She said just because you’re in the middle, it doesn’t mean you can’t be betrayed. But even if you are, the affect of having trustworthy people around you may buffer the betrayal. This all kind of made sense to me.

I realised how rarely I thought of this middle ground. Hell, I’m not even sure I remembered it existed. I either love my job and it’s my world, or I hate it. I spend whole days participating in hobbies, or none. I exercise religiously and ‘excessively’ or I barely move. I do or I don’t. I can or I can’t. I’ve known I’ve acted this for a while, but I’ve never considered just how black and white it is. It’s never occurred to me that having a bad day at work doesn’t mean I should quit, up and go travelling or do something reckless and damaging. Things aren’t as black and white as that. Things aren’t just good and bad, there is a middle ground. I can see it now. It is possible to trust someone without trusting them with your life. To be a friend without being a best. This is strange territory for me, but I think it might be helpful that I have seen it.

‘I want you to listen to me very carefully, Harry. You’re not a bad person.[…] Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and death eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us.’ J. K. Rowling.