Category Archives: Mental Health

Recovery from Addiction

I understood myself only after I destroyed myself.

It used to be thought by many doctors, and those in 12-step recovery programs, that addiction was a disease in its own right.  Conversely many people believed that alcoholism, drug abuse, compulsive gambling, and other addictions were due to personal weakness.  That it was all down to the search for instant self-gratification, and that addicts were just unwilling to stop ~ or perhaps unable to stop drinking, using, gambling…..

However, medical science no longer believes that pleasure-seeking alone drives addicts into their own personal hell.  Doctors and scientists now think that most engage in addictive behaviour not so much to attain euphoria as to escape physical, emotional, and spiritual pain and distress.

This is certainly true in my own case.  From time to time I drink far too much, not because I like booze or it makes me feel good.  I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, which is characterised by extreme emotions, and from time to time negative feelings such as anger, jealousy, paranoia, anxiety, and suicidal depression cause me so much physical, emotional, and spiritual pain that I escape into alcohol.  And you know what?  Drinking doesn’t really work.

In the USA 15.7 million people seriously abuse alcohol, and 2.6 million of those also suffer from a drug abuse disorder.  In all some 7.7 million people in all use illicit drugs in the USA, and / or abuse prescription drugs.  About 8% of the total population of the USA have a substance abuse problem.  Many of these have multiple addictions ~ gambling, excessive use of pornography, and promiscuity also ruin lives.    Doctors also believe that the type of addiction doesn’t matter at all; whether it be alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling, whatever…..  all addictions are the same, addicts are people who try to escape physical, emotional, and spiritual distress.

Some 47,000 people a year die directly from an overdose of opiod drugs, and alcohol claims the lives of some 90,000 people a year.  I know what that feels like, people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder have a 10% likelihood of committing suicide, which is over 1,000 times more than in the general population.

Some days I can barely breathe, I can’t eat and I can’t sleep.  Some days I blame others for my pain and problems.  Some days I am barely hanging on.  And, some days life is pretty good.

The good news is that there are a number of effective treatments for addiction; including self-help strategies, psychotherapy, rehabilitation programs, and in some cases medication.  (As it goes medication doesn’t work, and is actually dangerous for anyone with Borderline Personality Disorder.)  But, I can protect myself from addiction by having meaningful and mindful interests in my life, together with supportive friendships.  My problems and pain are very transient.  And life isn’t always supposed to be fun and filled with pleasure, into every life a little rain must fall.  Shit Happens

Some say that addiction only affects weak and pathetic people.  And that there is no chance of recovery from any addiction.  All I know is that I have many more good days than the bad days on which I hit the bottle.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

recovery doesn’t work for those who need it

recovery works for those who want it

Stay Healthy

rock bottom will be the solid foundation on which I can remake my life

Over the past couple of weeks I have struggled to cope with the Borderline Personality Disorder I suffer from.  I have been planning on focusing on my health after the Christmas holidays.  Well, don’t hold your breath.  Unless I can get much better pretty quickly I might be a basket case by the time 2020 rolls around.

If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it’s not all you want.  ~  Elbert Hubbard

I need to get some kind of recovery by avoiding booze, excessive stress, uncontrollable emotions, depression and anxiety, jealousy, and vicious mood swings.  Probably I need to avoid thoughts and situations that emotionally drain me.  I need to put my emotional health right at the top of my list.

I need to try to maintain my spiritual health by finding meaning and mindfulness in every thing I do.  Avoiding activities that I find meaningless or stressful.  Spiritual ill health weakens me physically and emotionally, and it’s easy to get sick if I am weak in mind and body.

Driving myself into the ground, finding yet another rock bottom serves no one.  It decreases my chances of living a long and healthy life.  Do I really want to sacrifice my health because of people, places, things, thought, and emotions?

My health needs to be positively maintained at all times.  I really need to commit to looking after my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health for the remainder of my life.

Perhaps I could try being happy for a change.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

having multiple personalities might be cool

one of them could be happy

Screwed-up

The ideal day never comes. Today is ideal for him who makes it so.

This is what the inside of my mind looks like.

I’ve not been well, although am much better today, with much to get through.  I’m hoping you are all well, and going to have a good day.

I’ve been very critical of myself, because I didn’t meet my own expectations.  Based on my own black and white thinking, my own standards of perfection, I will never have an ideal day.  Perhaps there is no such thing as a perfect day.  Each day happens just the way it’s supposed to, with its imperfections as well as its achievements.  If I have a terrible day, it’s only because I believed it was going to be a lousy day. By the same token, if I have a good day, it was because I believed it was going to be a good day, and not because the sun was shining, or we had a good conversation ~ (although that helps).

Every day is different.  Some days may be enjoyable, while others may be difficult to get through.  Instead of being judgemental, I can see each day as a mindful experience.  What I learn from the day, as well as my attitude about it, is my daily lesson.I have been having some very difficult days to get through. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  My expectations have been all wrong, and my attitude has been bad.  My mind is a complete mess.

I have screwed up in a very big way, let down my family and friends, and let down myself.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Borderline Personality Disorder is a very serious illness.

I have it, although I am recovering.

 

The Tears I Cry

every day is a new beginning, take a deep breath and start again

Yesterday I fouled up again.  I wrote a post called It’s Too Bad That Love Is Blind, which was both a bit negative and quite misogynistic, and that is not the way I generally feel about the world these days.  I guess I was having a bad time yesterday.  You may already be aware that I have some very bad interludes in my quest to be a very cool guy living a really great life.

For years I suffered from an undiagnosed and untreated mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) ~ which really fucks up your life.  Now I have had a proper diagnosis, but have still had no treatment for this malady.  To a large extent that’s OK, I can walk a long way down the road to recovery using self-directed therapy, which actually means buggering-on and doing the best I can to do things that will help me to get better.  With the help of two very close friends I am much, much healthier in body, mind, and spirit than I used to be.

And wouldn’t you know that both of those very close friends are very remarkable women.

I quite firmly believe that without their help I wouldn’t be here today.  Some 10% of suffers of BPD commit suicide, (which is about 1,000 times more than in the average population), but far more succumb to accidents, alcohol and drug abuse, and general ill health caused by a poor diet and bad personal care.  A couple of years or so ago, before I was on the road to recovery, I managed to contract pleurisy, double pneumonia, and somewhere in there I also broke 5 ribs, (and I have no idea how that happened).  I believe I would have died without the help of those remarkable women.

One of the symptoms of BPD is extreme and rapid mood swings, and in my case my emotions veer between happiness and anger, (poor labels but they’re the best I have).  The extreme and uncontrollable emotions I suffer today are nowhere near as extreme and uncontrollable as they used to be, and the negative episodes are fewer and father between.  Yet, sometimes there are days I am so angry I could cry, for no good reason whatsoever.  I guess yesterday was one of those days.

The tears I cry are just as wet and painful as anyone else’s, and the emotions I feel are real.  However, these feelings occur for no good reason except that somewhere in my childhood Borderline Personality Disorder was hard-wired into my mind.

Some say that crying is cathartic.  And that there is nothing wrong with a grown man shedding a few tears.  All I know is that almost unbearable mental anguish will have my crying tears of frustration.  I also know that tomorrow will be a new day.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

after all, tomorrow is another day

 

It’s Too Bad That Love Is Blind

love is when everyone thinks you’re crazy, but you don’t care

True love, real love, love, admiration, infatuation, insane desire ~ what we call loves comes in a rainbow kaleidoscope of colours and carries along with it every emotion known to mankind and the Gods.  And some of those emotions can be powerful and hurtful; lust, jealousy, paranoia, despair, desire, depression, anger…..  Love isn’t always pink clouds and faerie princesses.  Sometimes love is a dark forest filled with dragons and wicked witches.

But you don’t ever choose who to love ~ love chooses you, and love is as fickle and dangerous as anything that ever came out of Pandora’s Box.  You might just see her smile, or the way she speaks, or the way she walks, and then you’re lost in love, ready and willing for her to turn your heart to burned ashes and your nights to dark introspective vigils of regret.

There are some circumstances that make long-term love almost impossible, for example; she is already married, she is married and is dating other guys as well as you, she lives half a world away from you, she’s a slut who will sleep with anyone and does, she has a very active on-line sex life, she is far too young or far too old for you, she has a serious problem like alcoholism or drug addiction, her dysfunctional family has first call on her time all the time, she sees you as a bank that’s always open, she works in the sex industry, she’s a thief, she is utterly incapable of feeling real love herself…..  It’s not that I have ever had a relationship that’s had those issues ~ not all of them at the same time anyway.

If you’re in a relationship with a woman who has even a couple of those relationship problems, then perhaps you’re in love with the wrong woman.  And, if you’re in love with the wrong woman, then maybe sometime or other you have to find a way to make it without her.  Or it could be that she has all or most of those issues, but she is still the right woman for you, and you know that you will go on loving her ~ no matter what.  In that case a man is setting off on a long dark hard road that maybe will never lead to a happy ending ~ just heartaches and eventual regrets.  But for the sake of all the Gods, never ask that woman to marry you ~ she might just say ‘Yes’.

Some say that true love conquers all.  And that if you really love her, then you should go on loving her, no matter what.  All I know is that it’s over when you say goodbye.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

a fabulous ass, great legs, and an erotic manicure doesn’t necessarily mean that she is the right woman for you

Lonely Christmas

I have no one to talk to, and I’m alone

With only one month to go until Christmas Day I’ve been thinking about all those people who will be lonely over this Festive Season.

In England this Christmas, one in five adults will be spending the day alone.  And the Salvation Army say that almost a million elderly people, aged 65 and over, will be alone on Christmas Day, and most of them will be very lonely.  Tradition and Hollywood both say that Christmas is a special time to spend with friends and family, and yet millions of people don’t even plan to leave their homes at Christmas.

If you are a mature adult the chances are that you have spent at least one holiday season by yourself.  There are many possible reasons for this, you may live far away from family and old friends, you could have been divorced, or your relationship might have fallen apart, or you may have lost a loved one, or you may be suffering from your own problems such as alcoholism, drug addiction, severe mental illness…..  Or it just might be that you had plans and for some reason they fell apart at the last minute.

This year I will be alone in the garret, and you can tick several of the reasons I’ve just mentioned as to the cause of my solitary Christmas.  I wonder how many of you reading this will also be alone over the Festive Season, and how many will be spending it with an aching heart looking back at the mistakes of the past.  Life can be viciously unkind, and not everyone we have ever met and loved was going to be worth the tears we shed.  How many times do we have to say that we’re sorry for the things we have done or not done before we are forgiven?  And when will we ever learn?

Not all need be doom and gloom if you are going to be alone at Christmas with nobody to talk to and nobody to even care.  There are some positive things you can do;

  • Don’t get drunk or high or take to much mood-altering medication.
  • Don’t spend Christmas day unwashed, unshaven / not made up, with your hair uncombed, in dirty clothes or your night attire.
  • Don’t stay in bed all day feeling unutterably melancholy or depressed.
  • At least go out and take a short walk to some place that has special meaning for you.
  • Make use of the empty streets to take some different photographs.
  • Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself some positive self-talk.
  • Trust yourself, even if nobody else does, things will get better, nothing stays melancholy and depressing forever.
  • Contemplate the past, the present, and all possible futures while listening to some inspiring music.
  • Cook yourself a special meal and be thankful that you are safe, warm, and eating well.
  • Reach out to those you would have truly liked to be spending Christmas with.
  • Clean up the administrative dross from this year, and make positive plans for the future.

Some say that Christmas Day is just another day.  And that it’s not being alone that makes you lonely, it’s that nobody even cares.  All I know is that I intend to make the very best of being on my own at Christmas.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

White Christmas Mojito

Melancholy Monday ~ Lonely this Christmas

lonely is not being alone, it’s the feeling that no one cares

Sadly, and by force of circumstances, I will be alone in my garret over the Christmas holidays.  I am quite afraid that I shall feel very lonely.

I’ve been alone over the Holidays before.  There is something poignant and tragic about being lonely at Christmas.

Please listen responsibly.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

where do the lonely hide at Christmas?

Living With a Personality Disorder

living with a personality disorder is to live in toxic confusion

Our personalities are made up of how we are programmed to feel, think, and then what we do about those thoughts and feelings.  A personality disorder means that your emotions, thoughts, and actions cause devastating and long-lasting problems in your life.  I have suffered from a serious personality disorder for most of my life ~ so serious that it qualifies as a severe mental health problem.  The symptoms manifest as character defects such as anger, jealousy, paranoia…..  in fact just find a list of character defects and from time to time I’ve had them all.  There are some more serious symptoms than that, up to and including a 10% chance of suicide.

The only way for me to live a life of genuine and long-lasting happiness and success is for me to work on my character and personality, particularly those areas I’d prefer to hide.  Overcoming and eliminating flaws in my character and defects in my personality is not easy ~ trust me it’s fucking very difficult.  I’ve been carrying this personality disorder around with me since my early childhood, and the character defects are hard-wired into who I am, or rather who I was.

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is who you really are, while your reputation is merely who others think you are.  ~  John Wooden.

There are some simple tests that can tell me who I am, and exactly what borderline personality disorder has done to me.  However, I have found that I need to constantly watch myself and remember what I see, what have I done that was utterly inappropriate?  and why?  When do I have to attempt to suppress my emotions?  and when do I have to try to hide my true self?  What embarrasses me about myself?  (other than everything)  What changes have I made that worked?  and what have I tried to change that completely backfired?  or just didn’t work at all?

In moments of anger or stress the uncontrollably negative parts of my personality surface, totally destroying the carefully crafted image of a very cool guy, living a really great life, that I’ve been trying to portray.  However, in order to reprogram the defective parts of my subconscious mind I have to constantly ‘act as if’ I am that cool guy ~ it’s a form of self-hypnosis, sometimes called Habituation.  It’s acting differently to how I feel.

If you think you may have one of the 9 different personality disorders, then you need help, and your first step is to go and see your doctor.  At least you may get a proper diagnosis.  Whether or not you ever receive appropriate treatment is another matter ~ medication is inappropriate for many types of personality disorder.

If you are thinking of living with someone who suffers from a personality disorder, I wouldn’t unless you’re prepared to devote lots of time and attention, love and understanding ~ and even then I’d suggest you think twice.

Some say that having a personality disorder is like having third degree burns over 90% of their emotions.  And that if they could find a way to check-out without hurting anyone else they would.  All I know is that I am recovering from a very serious mental illness.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

it would be nice to have multiple personalities

one of them might be happy

How to Live in Harmony

from discord, find harmony

When you are in harmony with yourself, four things are aligned: what you do, what you say, what you think, and what you feel.  In those mindful moments, things flow without any sense of stress, tension, or negativity.  Your senses, feelings, and emotions fit together and your life has less anxiety, depression, guilt, upset, and stress.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.  ~  Gandhi

Being in harmony with yourself and others is all about being authentic, honest, open, kind, trusting, loving, reliable, and at peace with yourself.  It is hard to be at peace with the people, places, and creatures around you when you yourself are not at peace.  It is impossible to be at one with nature when you are not at one with yourself.  Your heart and your brain should be in harmony.

He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.  ~  Marcus Aurelius

Sadly, most people never experience long-lasting harmony in their lives.  Most chase after material gain, instant gratification, and transitory relationships.

To be in harmony is to do the simple things right, and to the very best of your ability, energy, and strength;

  • If you want to stay sober, then stop drinking booze ~ don’t think you can ever take just one drink once in a while because you can’t.
  • If you want to stop smoking, then stop going through the motions and get serious about never, ever, smoking another cigarette.
  • If you want to lose weight and be fitter and healthier, then eat and drink well, and get plenty of fresh air and exercise.
  • If you promise to help someone, then remember to be there for them and do the things you promised.
  • If you think someone is being unkind and toxic, then stop pretending that all is well between the two of you.  Share what you truly think and feel, and then do something about that relationship.
  • If you feel anxious, depressed, and sad, then recognise and accept the emotions ~ in fact whatever emotions you feel, recognise and accept them.  But, if you want to feel better, then start acting as if you are 100%

If you want the grace to live your own life, in your own time, then be strong enough to live in harmony with yourself and others and all of nature.  Be authentic, honest, and open.  Some toxic and untrustworthy people will pull away from you, but if you do all this you can expect to have more authentic, honest, open, kind, trusting, loving, and peaceful friendships and relationships.

Some say one thing while they are thinking and feeling the opposite.  And most people lie, cheat, and steal.  All I know is we compose our own harmonies in our lives.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

to enjoy the scent of a rose

you must first brave the thorns

Storms and Friendships

a friend in need is a friend indeed

the light at the eye of the storm

When your life turns to dross, when you are there at the eye of the storm and you don’t know which way to turn, that’s when you find out who your true friends are.  When you are at your lowest ebb, and you’ve hit rock bottom, a true friend will seek you out and give you whatever help they can, even if it’s the toughest kind of love.

In my life I’ve been lucky enough, or worthy enough, to have found a couple of friends like that.  One kept me alive when I had pleurisy, double pneumonia, and five broken ribs ~ and like some very stubborn and stupid men I refused to go into hospital, then this true friend nursed me through my illness.  The other has always been there for me through my bad times, when the insanity of Borderline Personality Disorder had me drunk and attacking her verbally and in writing she stuck around for me.

I have also been fortunate to meet some people here, on wordpress, whom I consider true friends.

Anyone can be a friend when times are good, and I had plenty of ‘friends’ when I was the life and soul of the party, making more money than I could spend.  But that sort of friend soon disappears when the money tap is turned off, when depression hits, when times are bad ~ and I include an ex in that list of ‘friends’.  Maybe I wasn’t always good to my ex, but I did the best I could, and it turned out she couldn’t be a true friend when I was in dire straits.

True friendship, like true love, is perhaps not unconditional, but close to it.  I know this much is true; nothing in life is unconditional, if someone treats you bad you are not going to be their friend for long.  However, a true friendship is not a bargain nor a contract.  A true friend does not put conditions on their friendship.  Sadly most relationships are bargains, even if unspoken bargains ~ ‘I’ll do this for you, if you do that for me…..’  I’ll be your friend if you get sober for me…..  I’ll be your friend if you shower me with expensive gifts…..

As it goes, marriages are contracts.  The whole content of a church wedding is to lay out the terms of the marriage contract.  No wonder not many husbands and wives are true friends.

Some say that a friend is someone who will forgive your worst mistakes.  And that a friend doesn’t walk out when the going gets tough.  All I know is that anything is possible if you have a true friend to support you.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

when there is only one set of footsteps in the snow, that’s when your friend carried you

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