Catastrophic Ecstasy

I’m tired of all my emotional extremes, they’re slowly breaking me. Even when the bipolar is quiet my ability to turn mountains into molehills on a dime truly astounds me. I seem to subconsciously love to watch myself burn and then writhe around in agony.

Life can be so much more than a million shades of grey and while the bold, bright colours continue to try and bleed their beauty into my soul, for some reason, I can only seem to truly ever feel the world in black or white, all or nothing.

It’s catastrophic ecstasy.

It can be hard for me to form healthy boundaries, hard to care about things just a little, hard to know when to back off. I love passionately, I feel deeply, I rarely hate but I’m well practiced at indifference which some say is worse and I am acutely aware that fear drives many of my decisions. Fear of judgment, fear of disappointing or hurting someone and the underlying fear of being wrong no matter what anyway.

When the emotional sledgehammer comes down I want to pick death over consequence every time. I don’t know if it’s a need to escape pain, feel freedom from responsibilities, an attempt to gain some control by running away before my true nature can be discovered and I am hated by those who I cared for or at this point perhaps it’s simply become a bad habit. 

Whatever the root cause, if someone hurts me or worse I hurt someone, capital punishment for my real or imagined crime immediately feels like the only possible solution.

The other day in one of these unjustified fits of internal devastation, I wanted so badly to jump from a 32 story building – all because of a silent argument, no ill words were even spoken, simply a vibe I guess, body language I picked up on, just enough ‘signs’ to form the cracks in my fragile heart that allow that little voice space to squeeze through and spit it’s vile opinions. 

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“You know he hates you right? Deep down he regrets ever being with you. You are holding him back, he resents you, you have just been guilting him in to staying with you and he certainly deserves better than your ugly fat ass” 

I reviewed the half lit sobbing mess looking back at me from the mirror. I am disgusting; I am a worthless, hopeless broken child masquerading in a grown women’s body.

I peer gingerly from the window of my hotel room and look down at the lights of the city and the ground so far below. As I envisage a way out of this painful existence, the voice in my mind takes on an authoritative almost excited tone.

“You’re always going to be like this you know, you can’t just want to die every time he is upset with you, you’re a fucking sook, he can’t live his life walking on eggshells because you are too sensitive. That’s bullshit, that’s emotional blackmail and people like you deserve to die, do everyone a favour…fucking jump bitch!” 

It was true, he doesn’t deserve to be stuck with this mess, nobody does.

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I glance through the moon lit room back towards the bed at the snoring silhouette of my husband and put my hand on the metal window winder and start turning, quietly, one rotation at a time as not to let the oil starved mechanism wake him. Suddenly it stopped, the windows didn’t open far, certainly not far enough for my ever expanding frame to slip through. Heavy tears rolled down my cheeks and I crumpled to the floor pressing my face into the cold window glass and desperately searching the world below me for an answer to end this tragic woman I had somehow become. 

Train station, buses, drunken party goers stumbling around the streets looking to keep the night going. Hell even eating something from that dodgy looking kebab shack, the city was full of potential solutions to my problem but I was stuck 18 floors up in my pyjamas, too exhausted by the weight of living to sneak out of the room to the streets below.

The pressure in my forehead from trying to ugly cry silently was almost as intense as the waterfall of snot streaming from my nose and defeated I fumbled my way back into the bed trying not to wake my husband. As I buried my face into the pillow he rolled over and threw one arm around me “mmm I love you so much” he muttered, still sleeping. 

Turned out he wasn’t even angry at all, I’d somehow imagined the whole scenario, concocted yet another series of lies based on what? A funny look, a ‘vibe’? I can’t trust my feelings, it’s as though even when void of an episode of mania or depression I’m constantly being gas lit by a part of my own brain that clearly wants me dead and it’s absolutely exhausting. 

Along with the bipolar and food issues when I was in hospital I was once also diagnosed with “Borderline Personality Disorder” by a doctor that frightened me, a doctor I hated. This was a diagnosis I fought hard internally to deny, because – well I can’t give a good reason ‘why’ because when it comes down to it I suppose it was purely related to stigma. I knew very little about BPD, I knew that a lot of people thought people with Borderline were mean, attention seeking, emotional black mailers and the thought of being viewed that way absolutely destroyed me. I also believed there was no treatment, so if he was right, I was a lost cause.

At the time, I had been hospitalised for an episode of bipolar mixed mania inclusive of a suicide attempt and I managed to convince myself that the doctor had only suggested BPD because in my manic delusional state I had gotten really angry about something I no longer remember and yelled at him rather abusivly (which was something I had never done before or since to anybody let alone a doctor).

Since then I have learned a lot more about BPD, it’s a bloody hard thing to live with but it doesn’t mean your ‘personality is flawed’ and there are a lot of overlaps with bipolar (mood stuff, impulsivity, suicidal ideation) and even my ED (which has always been a trigger for self harm), many of the other symptoms of BPD do in fact fit me too, the dissociation issues, extreme sensitivity. My current psychiatrist has known me for 3 years now, she says I don’t meet enough of the criteria to also be diagnosed with BPD although I do have a number of “traits”.

Honestly, I was relieved when she said that, it felt freeing, like the shackles of stigma from a misunderstood ‘disorder’ had been officially released from my bruised wrists and yet unfortunately the symptoms I had long feared were caused by BPD didn’t magically melt away when the diagnosis did.

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Mental illness, whatever the label, is the ultimate challenge, a constant fight against an opponent who knows all of your weaknesses, it can hurt so unexpectedly and so badly sometimes, it hurts like burns from fire and ice, but sometimes it opens your mind to endless possibilities, friendships and love.

Black and white, all or nothing, catastrophic ecstasy.

7 Comments on “Catastrophic Ecstasy

  1. Wow you conveyed everything I feel in a powerful post… The vibe issue the fear having been diagnosed or suggested I have borderline. My independent psych eval says I have both but the meds work so I’m thinking I just have bipolar but man do the intersect.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know it is easy for me to sit back and say this but be more kind to Kate. Before you had mentioned a possibility of DIDS which sounds fitting. I think, from a non-professional perspective, that these emotions you are thrown into may be different alters feeling different emotions at the same time. Has your doctor said anything about this since you opened up to her? I hate reading that you are suffering. I really think a diagnosis of DIDS would explain a lot or at least allow you to accept that there are multiple sides to you, which is ok because that is who you are and I adore you. It truly pains me to read about your struggles. I want to help any way possible. Please email me any time you feel you need too. You will never bother or inconvenience me, promise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, your support and kindness means the world to me. I do feel that the ‘Borderline Traits’ are very present in parts of us and not at all in others. I have been very ‘present’ lately, the dissociation has been less or at least less noticeable, I’m remembering things as they happen more and it’s hard to connect with “the others” at all. I can’t really feel their presence. I feel quite vulnerable, yet strangely empowered. I haven’t had a chance to talk to M more about that, a ridiculous amount of random mini ‘crisis’s’ keep happening a day or two before appointments so time gets eaten up with those.
      My mum did tell me I’d said all this stuff to her about my brothers wedding that a) I didn’t remember saying and b) was unaware of and felt like news to me when she said it. She swears black and blue I told her those things but I can’t think why on earth I would have. It irks me cause I don’t know if she’s losing it or I am dissociating 😕 I need to catch up on your blog too!! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just remember to stop and be kind to yourself. You are learning about yourself so don’t get so down on you. It becomes easier when you stop and make sure you are being kind. You deserve it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Completely relate to this. I have bipolar II and recently informed that I have BPD traits but don’t currently meet the criteria. I imagine non existant rejection/anger from my bf and instantly assume he’s going to leave me and I start thinking about dying. Its horrible. I’ve always been an all or nothing girl. I feel you xx

    Liked by 1 person

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