Emotional burns

Every day continues to see a slight improvement on the day previous.

I’m definitely feeling better than I was a week ago, though tendrils of the fatigue and brain-fog remain. It’s been a trying week, being back in hospital again, and realizing that I don’t have things quite as figured out as I let myself believe.

This admission has been different though. Aspects of the material I am going through with the facilitators, which I have been through several times before, is connecting with me in ways that it hasn’t before. G, one of the facilitators attributes to the fact that each subsequent admission I’ve had things have not been quite as bad as the time before, resulting in me being a point in my recovery where I can begin to tackle some of the emotional issues that have eluded me thus far.

I’ve said before that I know I have the knowledge and the smarts to perform the skills. The hard part is going to be following those skills with action, actually allowing myself to feel the emotions.

I’ve been thinking about this last factor quite a bit since I’ve been in hospital, and even talked some of the nursing staff about it. Being honest with myself, I’ve said I was happy, or sad, or any other emotion you can think of, but looking back they’ve all those feelings ring hollow. Instead of actually feeling this range of emotions I’ve stuffed them down, piling on more and more until they all came pouring out in a flash, resulting in the suicidal ideation and depression that leave me back here.

The groups have given me some things I need to work on to help with my emotional regulation. For starters, I need to focus on external praise less, and internal praise more. I need to realize that everyone is entitled to an opinion, but at the end of the day I need to be content in myself. I have been able to find the talent within, now I need to find the confidence to back it up.

Something else I need to work on is being able to tolerate being uncomfortable. Emotions of any intensity are uncomfortable for most people. For people with who deal with both the trauma and the illness that I have been diagnosed with emotions are damn near intolerable.

Dr. Marsha Linehan, from the United States, once likened patients who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder to emotional third-degree burn victims. In short, the emotional pain can be excruciating. With how unstable my emotions and moods can be, I can personally attest to the statement being accurate.

The illness is frustrating, but it is just that, a recognized, diagnosed, illness. Add frosting as it is, I need only to look back a few years to see the progress I have made in dealing with it. The process has been more of a marathon than a sprint, but progress has been made. I need to allow myself that victory, while preparing for the next onslaught.


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