Monday, May 23, 2011

A Mind Adventure, the Soundtrack

This week's Indie Ink Challenge was "A mind adventure". I took this challenge and added a little music to it.

This response is very personal, and a bit redundant of my blog in its entirety, but it fit the prompt nonetheless. As always, I welcome constructive criticism.

Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies. Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly, a girl with kaleidoscope eyes. Except there were no diamonds. Only pain. I couldn't bring myself back. I felt the darkness enveloping me, pulling me beneath the surface. It was overwhelming, yet at the same time, numbing and familiar.

And so this darkness consumes me, controls me, paralyzes me. I saw the world moving around me, but I couldn't bring myself to join it. I felt separate from my body, cold. And I knew something was wrong. No matter how hard I willed myself, I could not find the usual persevering light within me. It was as if an ocean of darkness had put out my light. And I knew that I needed to get it back.

And the first thing I had to do was look in the mirror, something I had never dared to do. Something I had made a habit of running away from. Train roll on, on down the line. Won't you please take me far, away. But this time there was nowhere to run, because every where I ran, I kept running into myself.

A quick google search confirmed my worst nightmare.

1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving).
5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.
6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
7. Chronic feelings of emptiness
8. Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms

Borderline Personality Disorder. Some call it a kiss of death. No cure, no medications, no streamline treatment. No hopeful discussion forums or encouraging websites. Instead I found websites, blogs, and forums that only deepened my overwhelming fear that I am inherently bad. There were sites telling our lovers to run the other way, support for family members talking about us as if we're parasites, evil, hopeless. The only medications treat our symptoms, not our problems. And therapists avoid the word "Borderline" because the diagnoses only tends to worsen the symptoms. But we need to be looked at. Accepted. Acknowledged.

I have spent my entire life feeling as if I was constantly battling this monster inside of me, this monster that was insecure, flighty, terrified, and filled with hate. I felt as if I have been climbing mountains my whole life, overcoming obstacles left and right, only to sit here with this diagnoses and realize that I am at the base of Mt. Everest. Climbed a mountain and I turned around and I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills, Till the landslide brought me down. But this time, I would not let this monster win. The child in my heart ached, throbbed. She longed to be held the way her mother never held her, longed to be unconditionally loved, but at the same time was terrified of the unknown, of "happiness". Can the child within my heart rise above? Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life? I knew something that others forget. I AM NOT MY DIAGNOSES. I am not Borderline. I experience borderline, I experience emptiness, fear, impulsivity, fear of abandonment...but I am not those things. I have been hurt, but I have been strong. I failed, but I have overcome. And I will overcome this, I will endure the pain, and I will transcend my suffering into compassion, strength, and wisdom.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take this broken wings and learn to fly. All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise. And I started, piece by piece. There were days I couldn't get out of bed. Days I cut myself, days I found peace in meditation. There were days I cried for my inner child, days I sat in my car and screamed, experiencing the anger I had stifled for decades. Some days I was sickened by how much I hated myself, and there were days I was so proud of how far I had come.

And the pieces of my life started to fall together. Since I was a little girl, I loved the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's; I identified, oddly, with Holly Golightly. And then, I realized that her character had BPD. My obsession with birds, with the feeling of being in a cage, all made sense. You call yourself a free spirit, a "wild thing," and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself. I thought other people were putting me in a cage, that my free bird needed to get away from the man I loved, the man who loves me unconditionally. My free bird was without a doubt singing of freedom, but it was singing for freedom from the monster inside of me, the darkness that was taking my song. And with facing that darkness, embracing my suffering, my free bird is spreading it's wings. Oh won't you fly, high, oh free bird, yeah.

And here I am, on my mind adventure, on a path towards happiness and enlightenment. But the best realization is that happiness is not a destination, it's a path. It's embracing the suffering in me, but also nurturing the good. I still have my bad days, and things aren't easy. My life is a mess. But that hatred is gone. And in it's place is compassion, compassion for myself and for the world around me, even those who have hurt me.

Blackbird, fly.


  1. Wow this is so powerful and moving. You have a way with words. Many times, people take happiness for granted. I hope you find your peace and the path soon.

  2. I'm with Janani. This is really beautiful writing. It may be difficult for you, but you do have quite a way with words, and maybe they can help you fly.

  3. Me three. Thats some really great writing there, and this journey of yours overcoming everything is as inspiring as it is difficult. I hope you find the peace you're looking for :)

  4. You are a strong writer and weave your words beautifully. I can imagine that your daily struggles pose a seemingly unfathomable challenge and yet... the courage and strength that you exhibit is truly admirable. It is easy to be strong when all is well, it is a true test of one's fortitude to continue that strength in the face of great challenge. Thank you for sharing this!