Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself


Thursday, June 25, 2009

All The More A Pair Of Underwater Pearls

I'm continuing my recent trend of using favourite song lyrics for my blog titles, so forgive any obscurity! This last week has been perplexing and a challenge (not the least because I'm now 39 and feeling I am approaching that gray area known as "middle age", but I digress...). I spent the weekend at a fantastic seminar by a man called Ian Gawler, who survived a terminal cancer diagnosis over 30 years ago and now teaches meditation, healing and general wellbeing. The two day workshop was one of my birthday presents, from my parents (who both attended as well), and although it was exhausting to be out of the house and listening/concentrating for two full days, it was definitely worth the effort. The Saturday was completely devoted to meditation techniques and sessions - generally I only get around to meditating once or twice a week, but I'm determined to make it a daily practice. That's the way to get the most benefit, especially for someone in therapy and managing a mental illness. One of the things that struck me the most about the weekend was Ian saying that the idea of meditation can become a source of stress and anxiety (ie: "I really have to meditate, why can't I meditate better, why can't I concentrate", etc, etc). He suggests to find a method that works and do it in a comfortable way for just a short period of time until it becomes second nature, then increasing time spent in meditation and the style of meditation. I've always been particularly successful at guided meditation, and I found out that is probably due to my learning style (Auditory). My mum, on the other hand, finds she needs a visual focus otherwise she is distracted from the guiding voice by pictures appearing in her mind. Interesting stuff. I can't deny that meditation and relaxation techniques have helped with my recovery.

One of the weird things about my birthday is that I received a text message, and presents, from someone I mentioned in an earlier post. I hadn't heard from this friend for about 8 months, since I spent thousands of dollars on visiting her for her 30th birthday, so I had kind of assumed we were no longer sympatico. Of course, I hadn't had the chance or opportunity or desire to share with her the details of my breakdown in Dec-Jan. In my cracked BPD way I had assumed she hated me, and didn't care that I was crumbling, when in fact it seems she was imagining I was just busy and having a great life (and was therefore out of touch with her). It did my head in have this person and these feelings pop back into my life when it sometimes seems like that was a totally different Lil. The presents, the contact...they struck me as slightly "off", like they belonged to someone I used to be. There's no question that I have changed mightily, and necessarily. I am probably less fun, less apt to smile and indulge in banter. But I think I am a more whole person now, if that makes sense. I finally feel like I am working towards "real", after a lifetime of experiencing that horrifying Borderline "who the fuck am I?" emptiness. I hope that writing to my friend H, and updating her on all the ways in which the last 8 months have in fact been the antithesis of happy and busy, will enable us to move our friendship to a new level. It's worth a try, because as strange as it was to have her contact me, it also feels like the right thing. Now I've got used to the idea!

At work, things are going well. My boss took me aside last week (on my birthday actually) and asked if I was interested in more hours. It happens to me every time. I intend to work part-time, and then get sucked into the love-to-show-off, flattery vortex of being needed and agree to more hours, get more money, and then get tired and depressed and strung out. Not this time. I told her I would consider working every second Monday, which is a compromise that suited us both. Also, she tells me I will be getting a payrise next month because they think I am far-exceeding their expectations and in general doing a kick-ass job. Yay for me! I was relieved, because you just never know what people are thinking. I felt good about my standard of work, but it's nice that the boss confirmed it. I still love going there, and am gradually getting to be friends with one of the girls and am opening up a little to the other staff. It's an effort sometimes to be New Lil, though, because the quasi-comfortable craziness of Borderline Lil is still close to the surface.

This is a long and winding post. I have been tired and overwhelmed by life and learning and have been too long away from my dearheart bloggers. My apologies! I am slowly catching up on all the goings-on in blogworld over the last week.


Wandering Coyote said...

This is a great post, Lil!

First of all, you have nothing to lose by contacting this H person and it shows a lot of strength and character for you to want to be honest with her and attempt to evolve your relationship. So go you.

Also, congrats on the work stuff. That's excellent. And boundary-setting is so key - I'm glad you stuck to your guns.

Just Be Real said...

Great for the boundary setting there Lil! Well done!

I agree with Wandering Coyote, go for it with repairing your friendship.

It is understandable to want to take a break once in a while from your blogger friends, no need to aplogy dear one!

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to see you are moving in a positive direction. I'm no good at relationships of any kind so my input would be worthless. Of course you didn't really ask for it anyway. :)

There is a different tone to the posts you publish now and the ones you did when I first started reading your blog.

I'm sorry you're feeling overwhelmed, but if you are gaining tools to help you to be healthier then I guess it is a good trade-off.

You are always missed when you are away, but as JBR said, you never need to apologize.

Anonymous Drifter said...

The seminar you went to sounds really interesting. I wish I could have gone myself.

Meditation has been a struggle for me. I find it hard to stay focused on my breath and not my wandering thoughts.

I hope you're able to move your friendship to a new level. I'm also glad that you're settling in towards a "real" you.

Congratulations on your wonderful changes at work. You're moving forward yet setting boundaries too. The payraise is just great! Good for you. It must make you feel good to get such positive feedback.

Lady_Amanda said...

HI Lil,
I really liked your post. Mediation is excellent. To totally clear you mind and just sit with the universe is great. I am also proud of you about telling your boss that you wouldn't work more hours. Sometimes I take on to much too. Also the friends thing is kind of hard. It sounds to me like you have recently been diagnosed with a mental illness. I don't know because I just started reading your blog, but I have had a mental illness for nine and half years. Well, I have had it longer than that, but that's when I was digaonsed. Anyway, there is a point in therapy where the person you were before and the person you are now blend together. Trust me you will smile again!

Borderline Lil said...


@WC & JBR - I agree, I think the ability to set and hold boundaries is vital to my recovery and I'm so excited I can learn how to do it!

@Tricia - that's interesting about the different tone to my posts! I definitely feel "better" with the therapy (and without the large doses of meds), like I can think and communicate in a clearer way. Long way to go, still, but I'm on track.

@Drifter - I thought of you a number of times during the seminar, as you'd recently mentioned meditation. The teacher talked about not fighting the thoughts, just welcoming them and letting them come and go, and eventually they become fewer. Thanks for the congratulations!

@Amanda - welcome back! Yes, as you commented I was only diagnosed at the start of this year, although have had 2 breakdowns and numerous bouts of therapy and medication prior to that! Finally knowing I have Borderline Personality Disorder is a blessing, and learning DBT has just made all the difference. I hope you're right, that I will smile more often some day!