My Inspiration

my inspiration
comes from deep pools of hope that
reflect in your eyes

— GB

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I Am In Remission

Some time over the past two weeks, a long time friend commented on one of my posts.  I had said that I was level and have been for some. She said that she was glad that I was in remission.  Remission…  It wasn’t until this evening as I was driving  home that I really thought about this.  Is it possible for BPD to be in remission?  Now that I have been diagnosed, I know that the diagnosis is right for me.  But before that, my treatments were hit and miss.  It wasn’t until half way through ECT that I really started to see the light.  There have been a few stumbles both up and down but it feels like my psychiatrist and I have found a good combination of medications.  I haven’t had an extended bout of mania or depression for at least six months.  If that is remission then I guess I’m in it.

Here’s where I question that.  Most of the BPD blogs I follow talk about it being very unpredictable.  They say it can rear its ugly head at any point in time, whether it is well controlled or not.  Since well controlled is where I am right now, how likely am I to relapse?  More importantly, how much faith can I put on being in remission? Can I relax?  I would go on with that train of thought but I know what all the answers would be… No.  I have to remain vigilant.  I have to keep taking my medication and keep seeing my docs and therapist as scheduled.  I have to keep doing the things, like writing on this blog, that keep me level.

Largely used in the Cancer community, remission is defined as: the state of absence of disease activity in patients known to have a chronic illness that cannot be cured. Since BPD is chronic illness that has no known cure, I suppose the use of that term is appropriate for us in the BPD community as well.  But is it right for me?

I don’t want to take anything away from those out there that are battling cancer, who have been in remission and are now fighting again, or are in remission and have been there for a while.  I, myself, am a cancer survivor.  My battle had lasted 3 months when I was pronounced cancer free.  I guess you could say that I am in remission and have been for 10 years.  I guess it all depends upon the type of cancer it is/was and what the prognosis is/was.  As for me, I have a full body scan every year and every clear scan is another year in remission.

Since I am already in remission (have I said that word enough?) I guess it is OK to add another one to the pot.  As long as I understand there are actions I must take in both instances to keep myself there.  As well as certain things I have to look out for and talk to my doctors about in both circumstances.

Hi, I’m Gavin and I am in Remission.

Dark in there

It is dark and cold in there.  I definitely should not be going in alone.  Please come with me, I never know what I am going to run into when I go in.  Besides I need someone to carry all the ammunition.  This weapon is heavy enough by itself.  What do you think?  Are you able to shoulder this load?  I am counting on you.  I have seen a terrible monster in there.  With big orange and yellow glowing eyes and sharp gnashing teeth.  It is better to fill it full of holes than let it get a hold of you.

Potential

Sometimes I see things for their potential to the exclusion of everything else.  That gets in the way of what I should be doing.  A good example is my music collection.  It’s not terribly, about 700 or so CDs.  Many of these CDs were packed into boxes when I moved from Virginia Beach to San Diego.  Most of them had been ripped before the move so I didn’t exactly need them in San Diego.  So, they stayed packed away.  The made the move to Sacramento when they spent the time in my grandmother’s garage.  Once I moved to my parent’s house here in North Carolina, I had full access to them again.  They were taking up space, along with other stuff, in the garage here.  My mom or dad would occasionally ask me what I was going to do with them and I would usually answer “I don’t know”.  That had been a pretty standard answer for me.  I think it was part of the low grade and then deeper depression I was in.  The other thing that was a player here was that I saw in those boxes a potential.  The potential that all that music held for me.  Music is one of my triggers, both up and down, good and bad memories, and these boxes held the potential to cause that type of reaction.  I think I was afraid to do anything with those boxes of CDs because I was afraid to start really feeling something again.  What if it did something bad?  It wasn’t until I came out of a long depression last spring that I decided to get those CDs out and do something with them.  My dad and I built shelves in the garage and I got a CD cataloging program and I went to town.  I spent a couple of days entering the CDs into the database and the next month or so listening to a lot of those CDs.  I continue to listen a lot.  I’m happy to say that even the music that has the potential drop me into a hole doesn’t have that effect on me.  I’m definitely in a better place than I was even 6-8 months ago.

Another good, albeit, shorter example, is my new phone.  I’ve had it for a couple of weeks now and other than calling and checking e-mail, I’ve used it for little else.  That’s because the phone can do so many different things.  I’ve spent that last two weeks learning about all the things it can do, researching all the free applications for it, then loading and trying out those applications.  But I’ve only just tried things out, I haven’t really used them.  This electronic device is so much more than a phone.  It has the potential to be so much more for me.  I just want to get it set up as best I can before I actually using it to its full potential.  What’s worse is that I suspect I’m robbing myself of the experience of using it.  Every time I find something new, I go running to my mom or dad saying “Check this it, it can do this.”  I imagine they are probably getting tired of that.  Spending time optimizing something is not time spent enjoying the use of it.

These aren’t the only examples, but I won’t go on.  I suspect it is some form of OCD and I should probably research it a bit more.

Do any of you out there have a similar story?  I’d be interested in hearing about it.  Please comment here or leave me a message using the Reply Form in the upper right corner.

These are the days…

These are the days you will never get back.  These are the days you will look back at and question, “What the hell was I thinking?”  These are the days you hope to forget.  These are the days you will always remember.  Why does it happen this way, when you have had both short and long term deficits?  These are the days that are electric; the events bore their way into your skull, until you have no other choice but to commit them.  These are the days that others whisper about in your company.  These are the days, oh yes.