Lessons I have learned from anger

Good day to you lovelies. Are you all settled in?

I thought today would be a good time to finish my lessons learned for now. Today’s topic is, I would say, a bit contentious to those of us with EUPD. Mainstream media would paint us as aggressive, quick to anger, and act on blind rage. Whilst I have had moments where rage and anger take over, this is simply because for myself I do have difficulty in dealing healthily with anger. It is one of the most potent emotions I experience, an ever-consuming fire. But it would always be contained, in the past I did not handle it well at all and it turned into suffering.

I want to preface this by saying I have never acted on my rage and hurt others physically, nor do I condone this in any way.

Like all emotions, anger has its place in our emotional repertoire and experiencing anger in the way I have, and reflecting on this in therapy has taught me a couple of things.

When boundaries have been crossed
Now, we all have boundaries within ourselves that safeguard our well-being, whether we are aware of them or not. Some are instilled in our conditioning as we grow, others we explicitly form ourselves. It is common for anger to rise in me when my own boundaries have been crossed, whether through words or actions. I have learned now more about the boundaries I have, and when I need to put some in place temporarily to protect my well-being and reduce the chances of me having to experience anger. Though I have healthy outlets, it certainly does not lessen the intensity of the experience.

Anger signals when I view, hear or experience things that go against my values/moral compass
Much like boundaries, we all have our own values as humans that guide our morality and ethical compasses. Oftentimes, I have become angry when my values have been crossed, when I witness something that goes against who I am as a human being. For example, injustice, or reports of hatred in the news. There have been times when my anger has gone to extremes, I will not lie. But each time I become angered now, I ask myself why, what is it in particular that has caused this experience, what can I learn from it?

Not to hide emotions
This is a big one. For so many years, I was used to putting on a mask of sanity, if you will, hiding anything and everything for the sake of others. To lessen the stigma and annoyance by other people. Yet in reality, it made things so much worse, not only for myself but to others around me, they would think I was fine and that was not the true picture. In order to properly process my feelings and emotions, they need to be fully experienced, fully shown, appropriately expressed and then dealt with.

What has anger taught you?

Wish you joy and happiness,

L x

Lessons learned from mood swings

Good morning one and all. How are you today, have you had enough rest, plenty of water?

Let us get straight into this as I think it may get a little interesting. One of the facets that make EUPD so complex is the mood swings. For me personally, my mood could change in second and minutes, there would rarely be a day that passed where I was only facing one or two moods. It was an endless torrent of waves in a crashing storm. Once upon a time, I had little I could do except let the waves of emotions batter me about in a broken dingy.

I wish I could say I have learned many valuable things from my mood swings, much like depression and mania have taught me. I suppose in reflection I have learned some of the vital lessons in life but little in way of useful advice for you all.

How to fight
When I say how to fight, I most certainly do not mean violent acts. That is never the answer, which anger taught me (more on that another week). I mean in the sense of keeping on going, to ride the waves. To not let my emotions stop me from living life. I guess I only, truly, really learned on reflection when mood swings are at a minimum now. I was so sick of constantly changing, I cannot imagine the stress my brain was under, flurrying chemicals to chemicals and nerves and parts of the signal, an endless barrage. I guess I got so sick I wanted to show my brain what was what by keeping on. Never ceasing. Drinking and partying, college, work, relationships, episode after episode. I still kept on. That is how I learned to fight initially, just see the next day through.

Then 2018 happened. I had to find another way. And so I did. In seeking and demanding support. In defying misconceptions held by the mental health services, which is ironic I know. I wanted to start seeing the good, I tried to deny the villain-esque thoughts but that just made things worse. So I went further and fought for therapy. I went head on with whom I now call Medusa (borderline me). I showed Medusa her new cage and have carried on with life, with minimal interruption bar winter.

Life is messy
I have not had the most conventional life I will admit. But dang, if mental illness has not prepared me for the messiness that is life, then it has not taught me much. Life will never be a ‘happily ever after’ and I have made peace with that: I am just glad to have peace sometimes. There are always going to be setbacks, and instability and hard times, heart-wrenching times. But I have learned, with a healthy support network, a good partner by your side, and a determination like no other, then life’s messiness won’t always mean going back to square one.

We do not have to go back to square one, we could even go to square one and a half, we may take a couple of steps back, but we will always go forward. And I hope you take this as a sign, that if things are tough right now, there is a way forward. One thing that helps me sometimes (when I can do it physically), take the words from House of Pain “Jump Around”.

Much love,

L xx

Dealing with intense emotions

Good morning to you!

How are you faring?

I have talked before about my experiences with EUPD, one of the most well-known symptoms is having intense emotions and mood swings. For example, I have gone from crying to exactly 15 minutes later dancing around the house just because. Oftentimes, I will never react the same way to situation twice, I am capable of many, many intense emotions at the “simplest” of things. This does not in any way make me dangerous as many may think, it is simply more painful for me to experience.

Every emotion has the opportunity to be painful for me, to drain me, to rule my life for whatever period of time. I can be the most empathetic, loving, compassionate, caring person you may ever meet. But when that stops, I usually feel so depressed, like I feel the world’s pain upon my chest and my shoulders, I feel so empty and so hollow that I have no bones keeping me in place, only emotions.

Thankfully, through therapy and the right combination of medication, the darker side of emotions have less of a handle on me but that doesn’t mean I never get like this. It just means I have learned to deal with emotions more healthily. Today I thought I would share with you my process, it is not by any means perfect, I still falter at the hurdle sometimes but I am definitely in a better place. I thought that sharing my process might be of interest, maybe even of use. So let’s get into it!

Acknowledge the emotion

This is arguably one of the hardest things to do. Even though our mind has evolved to create astounding self-awareness in us as humans, it is by no means a perfect solution. But the first step is realising the situation I am in, what I feel, why I am feeling that way and accepting the feeling. This could be as simple as “I feel ____ because ____. I noticed this because of ____ behaviour.” It is a bit like having an intrusive thought (which 100% of humanity experience), I acknowledge it and do what I can to move forward.

Take self out of situation

This may be a little trickier depending upon circumstances but I always find once I have noticed my emotions running high, that I need to find my baseline. I do this first by taking a step back, putting everything on hold and just breathing. I usually tell someone, or they have told me I need to take a step back, it is so useful having a support network to possibly guide me through this process.

Finding the trigger

I may already know what triggered this. I check whether I have eaten, or drank something recently. Did I get enough sleep? Am I giving myself enough time to relax currently? It may sound basic, but things like rest and food are integral to maintaining a happier and more stable me. I myself am very sensitive to this. When I am angry, I usually find 9 times out of 10 that it is because I have missed a meal, or have low sugar levels, or even on the rare occasion I forgot my morning medication. (I am human not perfect)

It could be something or multiple things cause stress to occur when first waking up that has set the tone for later in the day. But it is important to look back to see what caused this.

Take action

From finding out the trigger I need to be able to move forward. Sometimes for me it is a case of just doing something like mindfulness or using distraction techniques to cope. Other times I talk to someone about how I am feeling. So long as no harm comes to anyone or anything, there is no right way to deal with emotions.

There are many ways to take action whether through mindfulness and sitting with emotions or creating something, making lists and plans, organising spaces, exercising, reinforcing boundaries. Self-soothing with things like having a bath, moisturising and changing the bed sheets can really help.

And that is how I deal with emotions these days, I hope it gives you a little insight or might even help you. But like always, if you are concerned about yourself please contact a health professional.

Much happiness to you,

L x