Ups and downs
I don’t really know where to start with this entry.
The biggest event of recent weeks is that my care coordinator has now left his job and as such, I won’t see him again. Saying goodbye was very hard but we marked the occasion specifically by doing something different and that helped a lot. The enduring message that I will take from that meeting was his statement; “Things will be different but they don’t need to be s***”. I am trying to keep that in mind as I start working with my new care coordinator and navigating life generally from this point onwards. Change does equal difference but it needn’t equate to decline - I just have to accept the changes and move on, finding the new positives along the way.
I feel lucky that I have been allocated a new care coordinator who is taking over straight away - yes, that should be the norm but so often it isn’t the case.
After the elation and sense of achievement surrounding my last post about being 12 months admission free from hospital, my mood inevitably dropped and I have been going through a low and difficult phase recently. I am disappointed that this was the case but it was expected - just another dip in the rollercoaster of my condition.
One of the most horrible stereotypical impressions people have of people with EUPD/BPD is that we are manipulative. As a result, I was paranoid that by feeling so bad and requiring support, people would think I was manipulating the situation almost to prove that my care coordinator leaving was too much for me and that I couldn’t be left without one. Also, it worried me that people might see it as an attempt to prove I do still need support even after being hospital-free for a year. In response to that feeling, I held back from sharing how much I was struggling with my emotions and that just made it worse. By going out of my way not to appear manipulative, I actually ended up requiring more support than I would have done initially.
This is typical of my life with EUPD. Rather than upset others or engage with people who might judge me negatively, I isolate myself and try and cope alone whilst putting on a facade to the outside world. Sometimes this might work - over the years I have had to become pretty resourceful and resilient - but sometimes it actually exacerbates the situation and I end up creating a scene in some way, which was the last thing I wanted. I think far from making me manipulative, my EUPD makes me more caring and sensitive towards others so that I don’t want to bother or upset them and I am mortified when my attempts to leave them out of things actually ends up with me bothering them more.
That said, I have to say that recently I have relied a lot on the support of friends, who have been amazing and insisted that I haven’t bothered them at all. I am lucky to have these people in my life and am so grateful that they are. It can be hard to maintain some kind of a social life when you aren’t working - people are difficult to come by - but the friends I have, have stood by me throughout my journey and are only too happy to help out when I need picking up from a low patch. Thank you guys!
To me, having a small network of friends also illustrates that my EUPD doesn’t define everything in my life. If I believed the negative views of the condition, I wouldn’t think it possible to make and maintain the relationships with people required for friendship. However, I recognise that not all symptoms affect all people in the same way and also, that difficulties can be worked on and improved. I have made and lost many friends over the years but each interaction has taught me something and allowed me to move forward further the next time.
Having EUPD has a huge impact on my life every day but slowly, gradually and with patience, I am learning to live alongside, rather than inside, it.