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

Why EUPD can be exhausting

*Content Warning: discussion of suicidal ideation, episodes and delusions*

Happy Sunday beautiful people!

Today’s post is a bit of a more real picture on why EUPD can be so exhausting, I want to share my experience of how this exhaustion impacts me to shed a bit more light on what people with a similar diagnosis can go through. Of course, this is my personal experience and may not be reflective of the EUPD community as a whole and their experiences are just as valid.

I want to talk about this, I need to talk about this because on the outside I may seem like I cope well and am ‘fine’ but underneath everything, there are so many processes happening all the time that eventually, like now, I begin to struggle more and more.

There are a few main reasons as to why I can become mentally depleted that evolves into physical exhaustion or just generally ‘off’ or tired at the end of the day. For me, this involves psychotic episodes, multiple large mood swings in a day, a period of high stress through the day which may or may not end up with my having an episode, experiencing emptiness, loneliness or a strong fear. A thing to remember about me is I do have multiple diagnoses and they more often than not interact with each other making the whole mess worse. I can not under or over-state how difficult it can be.

Starting with episodes. I don’t usually remember my episodes, it is like a white canvas of nothingness covers my brain when I try to remember. But having spoken to family, friends and my partner I have a pretty good idea of what happens. When I was younger, the episodes were usually alcohol-induced, I would become increasingly paranoid and speak at an incomprehensible speed and end up chanting as my mother would describe it. Now these episodes would make me tired the next day but I would recover quite quickly. Naturally, the have evolved since then and it usually now takes me a week to fully recover from an episode. I have often have a delusion of rats in the walls, I am constantly changing mood, like another person, I feel suicidal which I am known to laugh about in these episodes. When I do eventually settle after an hour or so I wake up with dread when I feel that blank in my mind, my body aches like I have been squished in a cupboard for hours. I am then low for days on end until my mind decides it is better and I can carry on with life.

Episodes are usually triggered by what I first discussed, either intense stress, precursored by mood swings as an early warning sign, or experiencing many symptoms all at once (i.e. low mood, paranoia, panic attacks, being angry then happy and empty all at the same time then interchanging.) But having an episode can also cause all of the above to happen, it is not just a vicious cycle, it is an ever-changing puzzle, even after 9 years I am still struggling to match the pieces.

Mood swings are even more complicated, a part of having EUPD means there is no repetition to how I react to situations no matter how positive or negative my mental health may be, no matter the stability. Simply put, for every emotion I feel, and there are many, they each have their own trigger and their own remedy and I am still figuring that out. Some days it feels like I am trying to solve a quantum physics equation in my mind. I am very sensitive to what occurs around me. That is exhausting.

Chronic emptiness is a key symptom with EUPD and for me, I just feel hollow in my bones, some days it is like I have no bones at all. It’s like I’m here, with nothing in me and nothing about me. No purpose, no meaning, not even a drop in the ocean. These are the days where I sigh the most and go through the motions of the day, I may end up feeling ‘alien’ or depressed or end with hypomania, there really is no way to tell. That is tiring.

The unknown is a big deal for me, so I struggle when my moods go all over the place because there are two me’s inside of me. ‘Me’ me and ‘Borderline’ me (BM). Every day I am at war with ‘Borderline’ me. For years I wonder where I started and ended, what actually is me. I am so thankful I now know who I actually am and can identify what BM is. It is a love and loathe relationship, I survived these years with thanks to the irrational overprotection of BM but she caused much damage too. Finding that balance has never been easy, I am getting there, but these things take a lot of time. Again, it can be exhausting.

I usually say to people that I love to learn, knowing there is still so much to know, and EUPD is certainly teaching me much. I wanted to open up a bit more today because I am struggling, I am finding my happy moments to be a bit too fleeting at the moment. Next week I will be giving a little update on life. I hope you found this interesting, if anyone has any questions I am more than happy to answer them 🙂

Please take care of yourselves,

L x