Life in a Bind – BPD and me

Borderline Personality Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and my therapy journey. Listed in Top Ten Resources for BPD in 2016 by goodtherapy.org. I write for welldoing.org under the name Clara Bridges.

Being enough

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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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10 thoughts on “Being enough

  1. A few thoughts: 1) I have a friend who always says, “Too much is enough.” 😉 2) If therapists were only looking to be entertained, we’d go to the movies instead of the office. Or, when you arrive at the office, we’d be paying you for the pleasure of your company. 3) If, on the other hand, you want to be the “best” and “favorite” patient, that is another thing entirely.

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    • Of course, of course I do 🙂 Want to be the favourite and the best that is – don’t we all? Or at least, those of us who are still therapy novices 🙂 Maybe wanting to entertain is part of being ‘best’ and ‘favourite’ -there are other parts too, but I absolutely love being able to make my therapist laugh, and I hope that she remembers those times, as I do. Having said that, however, that is not ‘entertainment’ in the way that going to the movies is entertainment – it is laughter borne out of a shared experience, that forges a deeper connection. It’s not laughter just for laughter’s sake…..ps is your friend a therapist? 😉

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  2. I have just nominated you for the 3 Day Quote Challenge. Details here: https://makebpdstigmafree.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/3-day-quote-challenge-day-one/

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    • Hi Joyce,
      Thank you SO much for the nomination and I’m so sorry I didn’t actually manage to take part 😦 I have been so caught up in what’s been going on in therapy recently, and so exhausted with all the emotions arising out of it, it’s been difficult to keep on top of work, my blog, family etc, and although I liked the idea of sharing quotes, I just haven’t managed to do this. However, I intend to share a few quotes that I found recently, over some Tuesday/Wednesday posts over the coming weeks, so hopefully that will be a sort-of substitute!

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  3. Pingback: Being enough | AlistarWolf

    • Thank you so so much for your humbling words and for the reblog. I just want to re-iterate what I’ve said before – that it’s comments like these that I try and remember when I feel so low that I feel my life makes no positive impact on anyone. The support we all get from each other in this ‘little’ community is awesome and we’re writing for ourselves and for each other. Take care x

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  4. Thank you for sharing this. And thanks for making me cry, which is something I’ve been wanting to do so bad but been unable to break through. That quote of Dawn’s at the end… Priceless. Really needed this right now.

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