This Moment of Clarity

Yeah, I was sitting here, eating my muffin and drinking my coffee, when I had what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity.” ~Pulp Fiction

Moments Of Clarity – Moments of Clarity are spontaneous, temporary periods when a person with a personality disorder is able to see beyond their own world view and can, for a brief period, understand, acknowledge, articulate and begin to make amends for their dysfunctional behavior.
Moments of clarity can be extremely gratifying for both people with a Borderline Personality Disorder (or any PD) and those involved with someone with BPD.  On the one hand, they may be hearing, saying, or feeling, for the first time, the very healing words and thoughts they have longed to for years. On the other hand, a sudden, unexpected change of heart, even in the right direction, can be disconcerting to a Non-BPD sufferer. There is inevitably the question of whether the change is genuine, permanent and without strings attached. The problem is, we really can’t know. And it’s not by some calculated intention to mislead. It’s simply because controlling our thoughts is arguably one of the most difficult things for us to do. While we may have something of an epiphany, holding onto these thoughts, internalizing these thoughts, not getting swept up in the maelstrom that can overshadow these moments is like trying to ride a tidal wave of turmoil that threatens to push us down and wash us over. I can’t internalize things long enough for them to not be drowned out. I mentioned this a little in my post on ANTs. I read something; hear something that is seemingly steeped in wisdom that I should be able to internalize. I’m not really sure why I have such a hard time internalizing. I suspect it has a lot to do with my lack of object constancy/permanence.  I have a hard time holding onto my feelings, my sense of belonging, my attachments for people if they’re not in my immediate vicinity. If they’re out of my sight, it’s like they’re no longer a part of my life, I’m no longer a part of theirs… and I think this extends to things in general. If my focus isn’t on something it’s as if it’s no longer a part of me.  I can recall the words, it’s not like amnesia or anything. It’s a sense of detachment or dissociation from the substance and meaning of it all. I can’t remember the letters but I can’t hold onto the sentiment in the words I want to believe.
These moments tend to be very emotional times for everyone involved. My biggest, was after I got out of the Psych ER and realized the way I live with my borderline disorder is absolutely not acceptable and that I needed to make a change. This experience impacted me enough that I was able to internalize the magnitude of this moment. Unfortunately this is not always the case. I read a lot. Almost constantly when I can. I often read words of wisdom, analysis, self-actualization and think to myself, “THIS! This is exactly what I need. This is how I want to be. This is the perspective I’ve been looking for. This is where I want my life to go and this is how I can do it”.  These moments rarely stick for long. I can read something, have a sense of calm and peace wash over me, and then 10 minutes later I’m swept off into whatever it was I was doing before or that has since distracted my attention from my epiphany. Maybe I just have a poor attention span for such things. I obviously have a poor emotional attention span, but that’s the nature of BPD.

It’s important to keep in mind that while these moments of clarity do provide a welcomed respite from the cycles of turbulence they are still subject to the nature of the Borderline. It’s not that you shouldn’t get your hopes up when a moment of clarity is experienced. They are really good indicators that someone with BPD is open and receptive to better ways of living. However it is important to remember that personality disorders are true mental health conditions over which the sufferer does not have complete control. Many of these moments of clarity are honest sincere attempts by an individual to try to reach a better place. However, it is very difficult to recover from a personality disorder and many do not make it. Most likely there will be setbacks, but each moment of clarity is a good indicator that more will come, even if they are small, and that progress for recovery will continue in a beneficial direction.  It’s important to be supportive or receive support and validation during these times to reinforce and embrace this positive change.

Because having one of these…

Can make you feel like this….

(I’m apparently feeling musical today)

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