With no compass you cannot tell who the enemy is.
Are you lonely tonight?
Are you sad because you’re on your own?
There was a time when I lived the life of a celibate solitary recluse. Not just for a few days, or a few weeks, but for several years. I cared for nobody, not even for myself.
I think the important thing is caring about someone. It’s being by themselves that does people in, makes them old and bitter. ~ Thomas Tryon
I completely isolated myself in my garret. My only companion was my little teddy bear; Marmaduke. I hardly ever went out. I didn’t answer my telephone. I didn’t see any of the people who reached out to me in friendship. My only contact with the world was through this blog ~ and in its early days this blog was a pathetic spavined thing.
When I did go out it would be at very unsocial hours; the early morning, late evening, midnight. And, I didn’t go to places where I was likely to meet people. I walked solitary on a lonely beach.
Life wasn’t making me lonely, I was avoiding human contact, pushing people away, sabotaging any relationships I had. I was making myself lonely.
There was an underlying reason for this. It’s a serious mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder, and one of the symptoms of this illness is cutting off all communication with others because of a real difficulty in maintaining a stable relationship. It isn’t good.
It’s so bad that if I developed a relationship, then a part of me would want to destroy it. Perhaps I could keep a friendship for a while, but eventually the Mr. Hyde in me would do something bad enough to make that friend walk away ~ which is what I expected all along. Another of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder is an abnormal fear of abandonment, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I have been lucky. I have one friend, one long-distance relationship, and that friend has stuck by me, been my cheerleader, counsellor, and my muse. That friendship has got me out of the garret, encouraged me to grow, allowed me to escape the worst of my self-imposed exile from the real world.
Not everyone who has cut themselves off from the world is that lucky. But, perhaps we can all be that lucky if we are willing to take a chance, and if we are really willing to work at becoming a better, more reliable, more stable, more personable, and less threatening version of ourselves.
It’s scary. But real life is scary. Shit happens. With the right mental attitude we can all enjoy life. I learned to love myself and love others.
My life is good today. I still walk the lonely beach, but I’m no longer alone.
luckily, a teddy bear can’t really walk out on you
If you’re feeling good then nothing else should matter.
Like many who have had an abnormal Fear of Abandonment due to suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, I have been very used to feeling bad. Alcohol abuse, anxiety and depression, anger, low self-esteem, relationship problems, suicidal thoughts, problems trusting anyone, fear, disgust, sadness… In the past I knew all of these bad feelings intimately. My whole world was a pale, dead, dark moon.
The nadir of my misery was on December 11th 2017, when I suffered from mental, psychological, and spiritual distress that was almost unbearable. I felt as though I was having a mental breakdown ~ that my mind was broken and my soul was destroyed. I was physically, mentally, psychologically, and spiritually afraid. I was afraid that I was becoming a lunatic.
That is not a good feeling. But then, I was very used to feeling very bad.
The Christmas and New Year’s holidays came, and things were a little better. Once you have hit your rock bottom, then the only way should be up. It doesn’t work like that. Below your rock bottom is another, lower, more hellish rock bottom.
I know because at the New Year I caught influenza, and I did become a lunatic due to a fever caused by the virus. I don’t quite know what I did during the couple or three weeks I was deathly ill, except that I had strange visions and imaginings. I remembered things that never happened, and I remembered real events, and each memory taught me a lesson. Each memory lifted some evil from my mind and my soul.
Today I feel pretty good. And I’m struggling to cope with feeling good.
They got scared when they started feeling good, just because it was so unfamiliar. Like chronic prisoners facing release from their cells. ~ Lisa Alther.
When you are used to being Mr. Hyde, it’s a struggle to be a good guy. It’s difficult to love and trust when you are used to never trusting anyone. It’s hard to take a chance on people, even with someone you told yourself you cared for, when you never took a chance on anyone, ever. When you are used to feeling disappointment, anger, resentment, suspicion, distrust ~ when you are used to being Mr. Hyde ~ it’s scary to focus only on the good things.
I’m very uncomfortable with good feelings because I am so unused to feeling really, truly, genuinely fine. I wake in the morning and I distrust the fact that I feel good. I am expecting crushing disappointment, sooner or later, because I don’t expect these good feelings to last.
But I’m doing all right today, and step by step things are getting better for me, and for those I care for.
I have a strategy. I know I will have bad thoughts, bad feelings, and a temptation to return to my old ways of misery. I can accept feeling bad, but I no longer have to let feeling bad take over my life again. I can accept the bad thoughts for what they are, my old demons trying to drag me down to another hellish rock bottom. I never need to let that happen again.
Today, tonight, and tomorrow I can focus on feeling good. Feeling bad is a choice I need never make again. In future I will choose to feel good.
Spencer Tracy as Mr. Hyde
unease, self-doubt, nervousness, panic, desertion, neglect…
From time to time I suffer from deep emotional insecurity and feelings of abandonment, or rather a fear of abandonment. Perhaps most people have these painful fears ~ perhaps some suffer more, and more often than me. I know that my agitation and gloomy emotions stem from the painful loss of my maternal grandmother when I was but a very young boy. An event that left me with a psychological illness called Borderline Personality Disorder, which has at its core a chronic fear of abandonment.
Since I became aware that I actually had this problem, I’ve been able to cope with the symptoms pretty well, and I’ve been improving all the time. Mostly I don’t fear abandonment, betrayal, and rejection any more. Mostly I don’t have what were my other terrible symptoms, which included alcohol abuse, impulsive behaviours, and stupid jealousy.
However, yesterday I was in a terrible slough of despond ~ the putrid end of the swamp where the very air stinks and there seems to be no hope of escape or resurrection. It’s a terrible place to be. People who suffer badly from these feelings and evil emotions have been known to do very stupid things ~ up to and including thinking of suicide, or even attempting suicide
I guess I am a lucky man today, because I have learned how to deal with my feelings in a better and more appropriate way than I ever could before. Not only that, I know exactly why I found myself in this bad emotional state yesterday. Knowing why one feels bad is half the battle. I now know that it’s always darkest just before the dawn, but the dawn will come, all I need to do is have faith and hold on. Now I have a strong faith in my guiding light, my muse, and my Goddess.
A little while ago I sprained my wrist, which actually hurt like hell. And, for some unknown reason, when I woke up yesterday morning it hurt even worse that it did when I first sprained it. My whole arm hurt so bad I felt physically sick. You can trust me on this one ~ when you’re in physical pain, and you feel ill to the point of needing to throw up, it’s very difficult to maintain a positive mental attitude. No wonder I felt a terrible insecurity, loneliness, and fear of abandonment.
Luckily I knew that what I needed to do was have the physical problem treated, and the emotional problems would also go away. Actually, just knowing that the underlying cause of my distress was physically real and affecting my body, meant that the deep feelings of insecurity and fear of abandonment subsided pretty quickly.
Many people aren’t so fortunate as me, but they should know that there are ways of dealing with insecurity, anger, and jealousy ~ there are techniques for dealing with fear of abandonment, and there are treatments for borderline personality disorder. We don’t have to suffer, unless we want to, and that’s a perverse thing to want.
Have confidence, this is a good life, all we need to do is want it enough.
My inner child,
It was not your fault that you were taken from your mother and put in an incubator, just after you were born. You were not well when you were a newborn, and they had to put you in an incubator to keep you alive.
I know you loved your nanna, and that she loved you too. It was not your fault that she went away and left you . She was an old lady, and she just died.
It was not your fault that she died. It was not your fault that your parents did not explain that nanna had died. It was not your fault that nobody told you why she had to go away and leave you all alone.
Your parents did not know how to show you their love for you, and that was not your fault either.
I know you felt abandoned and unloved when you were a very young boy, but you were not to blame.
Please let yourself grieve for your nanna, and let her go to heaven to be in peace with the angels. Please forgive your nanna for dying and leaving you. Please accept that she loved you, but now she has gone.
Please forgive yourself, the blame was not yours to take.
Forgive yourself, and live in peace, happiness, and serenity from now on.
All my love,
your older self.
Pretty recently, it was revealed to me that I suffer from an ongoing, severe, and very unnatural Fear of Abandonment. This serious psychological problem most likely goes as far back as the death of my maternal grandmother, when I was about four years of age. I have described something of my own mental health issues in a previous post ~ I hate you, please don’t leave me.
Thirty seconds of pure awareness is a long time, especially after a lifetime of escaping yourself at all costs. ~ Kiera Van Gelder
The psychological illness I suffer from is sometimes known as Borderline Personality Disorder, and it carries with it some major behavioural problems. From time to time over the years I have acted in ways that any normal person would call insane, and while I won’t give specific instances, (the specifics are too painful and involve other people), here is a list of the some of the inappropriate ways I’ve behaved;
- Anger and blaming a friend / loved one, for no real reason.
- Depression, intense and highly changeable to euphoria.
- Impulsiveness and recklessness, particularly regarding money.
- Indifference to the feelings, pain, and suffering of a friend / loved one.
- Isolating myself, not allowing visitors to my place, not going out.
- Jealousy ~ intense and irrational.
- Lying and exaggeration to impress a friend / loved one.
- Obsessive love / inappropriate obsessions.
- Paranoid suspicion and lack of trust of a friend / loved one.
- Refusing appropriate medical treatment.
- Rejecting and pushing away a friend / loved one.
- Self-harm through alcohol abuse and prescription / over-the-counter medication
- Stalking, physically and on-line.
- Suicidal thoughts and not-serious attempts at suicide.
- Written and verbal abuse / attacks involving a friend or loved one.
This is my very personal catalogue of crimes, not copied from a book, and not based on the experiences of anyone else. I am pretty certain I could think of some more instances of my reprehensible lunacy, however that’s already a long list which would put me at the murky end of the personality disorder / character defect scale.
There is some good news. Now that I am aware of the cause of my occasional craziness, I can do something about it. This includes watching myself very carefully to ensure I stop behaving like a crazy fool as soon as the insanity begins, staying totally away from alcohol, and getting the appropriate treatment / counselling.
It’s slightly better than that. I also know, (probably), the life events which created this personality disorder in the first place. Because of that I can grieve, accept myself for who I am, forgive myself, and begin to reach some spiritual serenity.
A crucial element of the real self is its unconditional acceptance of itself. ~ Michael Adzema
The future is out there, all I have to do is want it enough.