Life in a Bind – BPD and me

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

Christmas present selfie


sadness 2

There is room in the Christmas story for sadness, grief, confusion, and doubts.” (Vicky Beeching)

From now on, I really want to try and learn how to embrace sadness, rather than try and push it away. I want to learn how to make a home for it and genuinely invite it to stay – for as long as it needs to – rather than trying to shove it out of the door as quickly as possible. I want to try and co-exist – peacefully – with it; rather than feel as though it is unlivable with. I don’t want it to be the housemate that I am forever frustrated with for ‘messing up’ everything I try and put in order; but the wise live-in relative who I am grateful to for showing me there can be a different order that makes sense of things, or a way of redefining order altogether.

I hope my new Christmas present, my little blue friend (Sadness) from the film ‘Inside Out’, will help to remind me of those things whenever I feel anger, frustration, or resentment, at Her frequent presence in my life, particularly at times, like today, when I so strongly wish Her to be absent. I also hope that She will remind me of my therapist’s words on the same subject, and I wish that those words will end up being true: “You may discover that having the feelings (without also trying not to have them) may be a simpler process than you imagine“……

10 thoughts on “Christmas present selfie

  1. I’ll second your therapist’s suggestion and throw in a pat on the back for your decision to act on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you……but I still find myself stuck as I have the will to act on it, but still now idea how…..


      • An old girlfriend told me how she felt undermined by living in the home of her new husband and his two children. He was a widower and the home was one her predecessor had decorated. Her pictures were, understandably, everywhere. Her husband’s parents remembered their late daughter-in-law fondly and they lived close by. My friend said it was “like living with a ghost.” When I asked her how she handled it, she said “I tried to make friends with the ghost.” Substitute your sadness for the ghost and perhaps it will give you the idea you are looking for.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Our comments crossed in the ether πŸ™‚ Thank you – and in fact I think this hints at what my therapist has been saying as well e.g. that one reason I feel excluded from her life and feel sad, is that I believe I ‘fall short’ in comparison with others, who do get to share her life. That I compare myself unfavourably….although of course I have no idea how she actually felt, one could speculate that with all of those reminders everywhere, making comparisons would have been inevitable – and feeling as though one was falling short, would be a natural temptation. Perhaps one might argue that in a genuine and close friendship, such comparisons are out of place – that making friends with the ghost is partly about seeing oneself as being on equal terms with it…I don’t know, am I taking the parallels too far?


      • Those who share in your therapist’s life do so by dint of blood relations or knowing her not as a therapist but as an acquaintance, business partner, or friend. It has nothing to do with you, but with circumstance, but is nonetheless something that might produce sadness all by itself. It seems you are saying that you haven’t earned the right to be sad. You are human, therefore you have the right, as do we all, no matter how lucky, prosperous, beautiful, and talented. The nature of being human has as much to do with appreciation of the good as with everything connected with our personal limitations and the limitations of life. I’ll stop there. But, certainly, you have the right to have moods, to feel pain, to suffer … I hope what I’ve said does not misunderstand where you are and what you’ve said in this thread.

        Liked by 2 people

    • ….though I had the thought as I was getting myself some ice cream (!), that perhaps nothing will change until I can go that step further. That is, perhaps the decision is not so much to accept sadness, but to accept that I’m an okay person for feeling it. This has come up a number of times in therapy recently….the fact that all I can see is that I feel I want something, or need something, or that an experience needs to be ‘remedied’ or ‘made up for’, but I don’t see beyond that to what I believe about myself (which may give rise to those needs and wants). So, I don’t go from focusing on what I can’t have in therapy, to thinking about the fact that this may be because I think I don’t merit or deserve them. That the reason I can’t have them is something about me. With sadness, I have been berating myself for ‘wallowing’, for being unable to be content with the ‘good things’ I do have, or to appreciate the small moments of joy without being ‘dragged down’ by other feelings. It feels like a shortcoming in me – I feel ungrateful, selfish, self-centred. So however much I try and ‘accept’ sadness, perhaps it will never actually happen while I focus on accepting a feeling, rather than myself….thinking aloud here….but this has occurred to me a number of times over the last few days, in different guises, and I want to write about it soon….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Sadness πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I want one of those! It’s one of my favourite animations. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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