Well, I have finally got the internet back!
I moved house on Tuesday, which was horrible. It still isn’t very nice, as we’re not unpacked yet! The next day I went down to London to stay with a couple of friends.
This was a bit of a mistake. As you know I have not been feeling 100%, and then moving house and travelling the next day seems to have done weird things to me. Anyway, I saw my friends, which was lovely, and we went to the pub for the evening. They had work the next day so they lent me some keys and said I could come back later. What did I do? I went and had far too much to drink, sat up late into the night with the landlord’s daughter, came back to their flat and was too drunk to figure out the lock, and ended up waking my friend at three in the morning. He was, obviously, not very happy about that.
Next day I was in the flat by myself, and proceeded to smoke like a chimney, further upsetting my hosts, neither of whom smoke. (I did have permission to smoke, but they were not expecting me to smoke so much!) As a result I don’t think I am their favourite person right now!
I can’t remember a great deal about my trip bar those moments, as it happens, which leads me to think I have embarrassed myself in other ways but my mind has mercifully hidden them from me. I am really irritated with myself. How could I have been so thoughtless and inconsiderate? I love my friends, why didn’t I treat them with respect?
I, at this point, have to stop myself from thinking that I’ve blown it, that they will hate me forever, that I am a bad person who has forever fallen from grace. With me, you see, there is a drive for perfection which, if I fail in any way, makes me feel like a horrible person who deserves nothing, not even to exist. I am aware this is a problem. I also know that my friends have been my friends for some time, that they have seen me when I was really ill, and therefore a pain in the backside, and are still my friends. This voice of self-criticism, of self-hate, is really irritating, as well as being the root of my mental problems.
With regard to faith, on the one hand Christianity teaches that we really are not good enough, that we never can be good enough, but on the other it teaches that we assume goodness, that when God looks at us he sees the perfection of Christ and not our own troubles. That we should strive for sinless living, but that he is there to catch us when we fall. I have trouble accepting God’s forgiveness, accepting God’s acceptance of myself. At heart, and for all my head knows differently, I strive for works-based righteousness, to use the “Christianese” term for it, I strive to be good enough for God. And that I can never be. I wish that I could lay aside this quest for perfection and live, knowing I am “good enough”, a good enough person, a good enough Christian, good enough for God and that is all that matters really. My mother once went to a course where they talked about being a “good enough” parent – and that stuck with me, that we can try, and we can torture ourselves when we fail to meet up with a standard of perfection, but if we can learn to accept that we are good enough, that we are trying our best and doing what we can, then we can be more content. I tend to think I should be like that in my faith life as well.
And in general just be able to chill a bit! The trouble is that I don’t know how to silence that drive, how to drive out that voice, how to just let go, and relax.
Over the past few days I have been feeling strangely anxious – partly because of the move, and partly to do with London, I think, and somewhat down. Nothing too bad, but of concern given how well I have been for the past year. I hate it when I get the anxious feeling in my stomach but don’t know what is causing it. I really am guessing that it is the move/London which is causing me problems, I don’t know for certain. I was going to see the psychiatric nurse, but I am a bit worried. You see I am hoping to persuade my psychiatrist that I do not have borderline personality disorder (or, as it says on my notes, emotionally unstable personality disorder) and I am worried that if I admit to illness, even such a slight one as I have been having, that that very slightness will be seen as emotional instability rather than a minor variation on the bipolar scale, as I believe it is. So I am avoiding her, and hoping it will go away on its own. Maybe a bad decision, but who knows.
In the meantime I am going to try relaxing alternatives, baths and suchlike, and, of course, reading the internet!
- Difference Between Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder (everydayhealth.com)
- Borderline Personality Disorder For Dummies Cheat Sheet (authorjaenwirefly.wordpress.com)
- Types of borderline personality disorder (psychscoop.wordpress.com)