Understatments understate

“Your risk for relapse of symptoms of borderline personality disorder is greatest when you feel threatened by being left alone (abandonment).”
Relapse – is the reappearance of or increase in symptoms in a person with an illness or disease after a period of improvement
Saw this statement over at Health.com.
I’m so amused. As if the symptoms of BPD aren’t expected to reoccur. As if they ever go away in the first place (without treatment).
OMG Don’t leave me!
Maybe we should try a twelve step program. Personality Disorders Anonymous or PDA (Public Dispalys of Affection are acceptable for the Histrionic). Eh, hem. Step #1, “Hi, my name is Haven. I have a generally untreatable personality disorder but I hope by sitting with other emotionally volatile people I’ll be able to stop being emotionally volatile.” What? This may help if Step #2 comes with a straight jacket and step #3 is a lobotomy. Not that I haven’t considered lobotomy a viable option on occasion, but even I think that’s a little extreme after a couple hours.
Heh. Treatment for BPD is difficult,  though certainly, not impossible. The outlook is actually getting better and better every day, but relapse is going to be part of the process. Relapse is going to be a very common part of the process. To say that the risk of relapse is greatest when threatened by being left alone:
1.) There is no consistent cause for what sets us off.  
2.) Does not automatically imply abandonment.

Being abandoned does mean being left, but being left alone does not necessarily mean abandonment.

Or maybe it does but it’s a mild form of it.  Personally I need to be in a relationship for the thought of being left (not necessarily alone) to make me most crazed. That’s the kind of abandonment that would set me up for the greatest relapse.  Left and removed from someone’s life forever, abandoned to the ether to never be seen again. This does not mean just anyone leaving me alone.
I’m alone a lot. I live with one Roommate who has a boyfriend so she’s out of the apartment all the time. I’m very happy for her. She deserves someone who makes her happy. She’s one of the best people I know. Some people might consider this statement as me Splitting her into the all good category. She’s never let me down though, and until she does she’ll stay right where she is. I’ve known her for years. Hell, my very first memory of significance concerning her was of her taking care of me after I unintentionally gave myself alcohol  poisoning on vacation (I didn’t know I was drinking Everclear – never again). She didn’t know me and yet she took care of me. That’s not something that is easily overridden. Years later and she still hasn’t let me down in a way that people inevitably do. That said, I have begun to notice that I drink a lot more when she isn’t in the apartment. Drinking takes me out of my head, even just a little bit so the emptiness isn’t so bottomless. As I type this I wonder if part of it is some subconscious connection to the fact that my first strong memory of her was of her taking care of me because of alcohol. I digress.
I do have a pretty severe intolerance to being alone. I have a lack of object constancy. If you’re not with me, I lose my connection to you. What’s more, if I’m not with you I cannot internalize the thought that I am still a part of your thoughts or your life. How can I be an part of your life if I’m not doing anything with/for you? You’re gone. I’m gone. I don’t know where I am.
What also gets me is the statement of ‘after a period of improvement’. What improvement? I’m far from healed. I’ve just begun this process. Just because we’re not in a constant state of suicidal ideation or ripping open our arms doesn’t mark a period of improvement. It marks a period of lessened triggers. My symptoms don’t go away, they just aren’t as apparent.
As mentioned, I’m alone a lot. And yes, some of the absolute worst times for me have been at the thought of being completely abandoned by someone. Even someone I didn’t really care for. Take a look at my trip to the Psych ER. I didn’t even like Boring-ex. However, relapses are relative. My being alone when Roommate is gone is a pretty mild ‘relapse’, though frequent. When I was at University the stress and anxiety cause by the course load I took on, the fear of failure, the need to punish myself for lack of perfection drove me to some incredibly traumatic tailspins. I had a nearly complete nervous breakdown when I received a ‘B’ in a class. Keep in mind that my major was considered one of the hardest majors to complete. The pressure I put on myself was unreasonable, but it had nothing to do with being alone. All relative.  
There are so many things wrong in this write up. Maybe I’m nitpicking. Maybe I’m just rant-y. Bad article. All bad.
I guess my amusement comes from the incredible understatement of this sentence. One sentence. Totally enough to sum up BPD abandonment implications. Right.

Angry penguin is angry

Hollow – Criteria 7 / Emptiness and boredom

Criteria 7: Chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom.
 

Hollow. That’s often how I feel. Or don’t feel as the case may be. Like there’s a void where my internal receptors should be. There’s always a sense of seperateness, being removed from the crowd with only a hollow center to fall in on. I can never quite cross that emotional bridge that binds people together, I’m left to drift along the same river but never quite reach the shore.
Bored. I don’t know what it’s like to be bored. I hate to be bored and thus, never am. I plan and plan and plan ahead so that I always have something to do in case there is even 5 minutes where I’ll have to be left alone with my own thoughts. If you were to turn out my shoulder bag you would find, multiple books, my journal, multiple sketchpads, art/drawing supplies and my Netbook in case I manage to be somewhere with free WiFi.

When I was in school this was easy. I chose the hardest courses, would create elaborate study schedules and obsess over getting perfect grades. The more effort I put into my schoolwork, the less effort I had to put into my real issues. After I moved to New York I discovered the whirlwind that would become my social life. For months and months ahead of time I would have almost every day, every weekend scheduled away to see people, attend events, not leaving even an hour when I wasn’t off getting ready to run to the next thing. For nearly two and a half years I lived like this. Eventually the pressure and exhaustion caught up with me though and I turned inward once again.

Without something to occupy me I’m left only to think. My brain never shuts off, never slows down. My thoughts race. Being left alone with my own thoughts is dangerous. In the space of free time my thoughts can wander and roam. Often not to happy productive places. Feeling hollow it’s hard to hold onto the thought that there is anything good in me, when I feel there is nothing in me. What can there be to look forward to with nothing good inside? My thoughts are often ruminating and destructive, taking me down paths that will never actually be, except in my own mind. In this journey deep where those harmful thoughts dwell I have the power to destroy myself. I’m more a danger to myself than anyone else in this world could be. It’s no wonder I spend every spare moment trying to fill unused time with things that will allow me to escape the trappings of my own mind.
 
Maybe if I can make everyone see all the Stuff I do, I have, on the outside, they won’t notice how empty I am on the inside.