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.

Addicted to feeling torn

14 Comments

Lyveden_New_Bield

Lyveden New Bield – Photograph by Ed Brambley, sourced from Wikimedia Commons

When you feel caught in painful tension between two choices, two ways of seeing things, two manners of unfolding, you have to ask yourself: is it the choices that you are really struggling with and that feel as though they are both calling and immobilising you? Or is it the state of being in tension, itself, that is holding you there, and that is the chief attraction?

Perhaps the most difficult thing about moving forward in a particular direction is giving up the addiction to feeling torn. It feels like the only satisfaction that lasts. It is endlessly repetitive and effortless to engender; particularly when you can turn anything into a moral dilemma by changing ‘could’ into ‘should’. Besides, who are you without something to fight against, even if that something is your own self? When comfort is predicated on conflict (because closeness comes from conciliation), and freedom to ‘be’ rests on a fight; it’s not surprising that what others call ‘self-destructive’ behaviour is simply an attempt to preserve the only self you’ve ever known.

A half-house stands on a hill: but is it an unfinished house, or a ruin? Which are you, and which do you want to be? The problem with trying to preserve that conundrum, and being addicted to feeling torn, is that the unfinished house – with so much potential – is transmogrifying moment by moment into a ruin, the longer it is left unattended to. If we can’t get past our love-affair with conflict long enough to work hard to put a roof on the house and glass in the windows, our only comfort will be cold comfort, and the self we’ve tried to preserve, will remain only an empty shell.

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14 thoughts on “Addicted to feeling torn

  1. This will resolve. You are too worthy and too courageous to stay permanently stuck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you – I really hope so, though at the moment I feel unworthy of so many people and things, including people in my life, myself, my therapist, and the process itself. It feels like an ugly situation to be in, this stuck-ness. But thank you very much indeed for your support….

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  2. Wow. You write so beautifully and eloquently. I think your writing is what my writing wants to be when it grows up. And your psychological insights are what mine strive to be when they mature. And for the record, I just told my therapist for I think the hundredth time that I want to quit because NO PROGRESS. Even though there has been so much. Like you said, feeling torn. Thank you for writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you – that is a lovely thing to say! It sounds as though your writing is already fairly grown up – that phrase in itself, is wonderful 🙂 I’m glad you’re keeping going, however many times you tell your therapist you are quitting. My experience (although it’s different for everyone and different at different times) is that it can go for ages feeling as though nothing is changing, and then a lot seems to happen in a short space of time. Once one domino falls, as it were, so do many others. Or, as my therapist put it, once you put in a key puzzle piece, it becomes easier to slot in a few more around it. The difficulty, as you’ve alluded to, is remembering that when we’re feeling stuck! Thank you again for reading and commenting 🙂

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  3. I feel like I know EXACTLY what you mean. Part of you wants to break away, but another part of you doesn’t want to let go. Sometimes it’s all just too hard. But you can do this, and I can do this. And we have to, because that’s the best option that we’ve got. I believe in you. Sorry if that puts pressure on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Please don’t be sorry, I really appreciate your comment and it doesn’t put pressure on, it feels really good to be believed in 🙂 You’re absolutely right, we can and will do this, because we have to and because it’s the best thing for us. I am wishing the very best for you and hope you continue to find the courage to move forward as well -thank you so much for writing! 🙂

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  4. I felt like you were speaking to me. I am stuck, I am afraid to move forward for the pain will be inevitable with anyone I interact with. And I am only a shell now. It want to move on but feat holds me fast in isolation. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading and for commenting – I really hope you feel less stuck soon. Fear is so powerful, isn’t it, sometimes it really does feel like it’s impossible to escape, but we can and do move through it and sometimes it’s amazing to see the progress that can happen. But then it’s so easy to lose heart again, the next time we feel stuck…I feel for you and am thinking of you…

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  5. You describe this ‘stuckness’ so well. Thank you for sharing. I am reading this at a time of all consuming stuckness of a big work / family life decision affected by BPD diagnosis and other complications. I have recognized that the self doubt, constant questioning and reassessing of how seriously to take myself, are crippling. But it is a break though for me to realize that this state of crisis it is also addictive. I will not let it go for fear of moving on.

    I feel your struggle. Even though you recognize this addiction it is still so difficult to come through it. I hope you can find a way….

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    • Thank you so much – and I hope the same for you too. I used the word ‘addiction’ almost without thinking, as it felt right, but then when I came to talk about it in session with my therapist, it was a revelation for me too, to really think of it in that way. My therapist says she had thought about it that way for a while but was waiting for me to come to see this for myself. She also brought home to me what a serious addiction it is, and how destructive it can be and has been in my life and also in therapy. I guess addictions are by their nature difficult, but recognising them is the start of being able to deal with them…wishing you all the best!

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  6. Pingback: More thoughts about inner parts | Life in a Bind - BPD and me

  7. Pingback: BPD as addiction | Life in a Bind - BPD and me

  8. “can turn anything into a moral dilemma by changing ‘could’ into ‘should’.”

    Thank you for writing this. I’m just starting counselling and this struck a reverberating chord with me.

    Liked by 1 person

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