Life in a Bind – BPD and me

My therapy journey, recovering from Borderline Personality Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I write for welldoing.org , for Planet Mindful magazine, and for Muse Magazine Australia, under the name Clara Bridges. Listed in Top Ten Resources for BPD in 2016 by goodtherapy.org.


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Being enough

I wanted to share another fantastic post called ‘On feeling like too much‘, by one of my favourite blogging therapists, whose blog I haven’t had as much time to visit recently, as I would like. Dawn Friedman is a family counsellor, helping individuals, younger children and teens, and her posts cover everything from parenting challenges, to adoption, to how it feels to cry in the therapy room. I have linked to a couple of her other posts before.

On feeling like too much‘ resonated in so many ways with what I experience, particularly in the context of therapy. ‘Feeling like too much’ and ‘feeling like too little’ are both difficulties I have been discussing with my therapist over the last few sessions. We’ve been talking about how hard it is for me to communicate and express myself during session, and I have realised that that is at least partly connected to a worry about being interesting enough, or about saying ‘the right things’, or about sounding confused or incoherent. I am anxious that what I talk about might be trivial. At the same time, I worry that if I do say something confrontational, critical or angry; or if I email my therapist too often in between sessions – that I will be ‘too much for her’.

These are both recurring themes for me in therapy. During a silence last week when I couldn’t think of anything ‘interesting enough’ to tell my therapist, I said that the only thing going through my mind was the bracelet I was nervously playing with, and wondering how much pressure it would take to break it.

“What would that mean?” came the question.

“Breaking this bracelet wouldn’t matter very much, it’s not that important. But it would be very upsetting if I broke that bracelet” (one that I associate very much with therapy, as it is inscribed with a poem that my therapist and I have discussed).

Am I worried that my ‘being too little’ will be too much for her? Too frustrating? That it will ‘break’ our relationship?

I think we all need to hear Dawn’s final words in her post – to commit them to heart and mind, and repeat them to ourselves when we need them most, so that eventually, we might start to believe them.  I hope we all find ‘our space’, whether that is the therapy room, the open air, or a different place altogether:

“You are not too much. You are not too little. You are enough. You deserve a space where no matter what you show up with, no matter how full or how empty you feel, you will be just right.”

 

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