Posts Tagged ‘Anxiety’

A Brief Autobiography – Part 2 (2006 to 2008)

By the end of 2006, just one year after moving to Virginia with my wife, my marriage came to a screeching halt. My marriage had been declining for a few years by this point. Everything was gone, the only thing that was left was familiarity and a sense of comfort. The type of comfort that comes from knowing you are not alone. The love, passion, and everything else that makes a relationship special was long gone.

So at the end of the year we separated. My intention was that if the marriage was worth saving, we would realize we needed and missed each other within a year. At first I cried, but only for a short time. It is not a matter of my being a heartless bastard, rather it was that I had already come to terms with the collapse over the last few years as my marriage was dying.

After I dropped her off I drove to see a ‘friend’ the following morning. We began to ‘see’ each other every few weeks. Unfortunately, the relationship, and I use the word loosely, was a big mistake. Nothing good came out of it and it set me back a good amount of money over the six months or so we were ‘involved.’ Eventually, things spiralled into a lot of bad blood and hostility toward each other. When she asked me to come see her and get a room so she could sleep with another guy and use my room to change and shower, that was the end of it.

During all this I was still chatting away online with people and having my cyber romances. Between 2007 and 2009, I had about five or six relationships online and none in real life. The quality of the relationships varied as much as the length.

Oddly enough, the one that last the longest was the biggest mistake, caused me the most emotional trauma and the only one I regret. Conversely, of all the online relationships during that time, the shortest one was the one I remember most fondly and the one that impacted me the must in a positive way.

I will talk more about the relationships shortly.

During this same period, I started taking better care of myself. It was during this time period that I first learned about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), was diagnosed with my mental illnesses, first heard of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), mindfullness and started immersing myself in books by the Dalai Lama.

As I mentioned in part one, in 2005 I attended a public talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This event led to my eventual ‘discovery’ of the concept of mindfulness, even before I heard of DBT or BPD. In late 2005 or early 2006, I began to immerse myself in books by the Dali Lama as a direct result of the talk I attended in 2005.

These books helped me begin the process of healing emotionally and psychologically. They introduced me to the concept of mindfullness. I began to see things differently, I began to understand and learn how to better gain control of my emotions and feelings. The whole time supported by my sessions with my therapist. For the first time life was starting to come together. I was truly starting to feel better about life and myself.

In early 2008, I was finally diagnosed with bi-polar disorder,a condition I knew I had as far back as high school. I finally had confirmation from a therapist. This made all the difference in the world.

I remember when I first found out. I was so excited. The year started off like any other year, but around May I met up with an amazing young lady. We began a relationship online. It would turn into a very short relationship, but it had lasting effects on my life.

The relationship ended not because either of us wanted it to end, but because it had to end. It was because of this relationship that I first learned about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). You see, it was while we were together that because of a near tragic event she was diagnosed with BPD.

When I heard what happened and what her diagnosis was I began to learn everything I could about BPD. I wanted to be able to safely interact with her. I needed to know how to help her and protect myself at the same time.

The more I read about it, the more I learned about myself since there are a lot of similarities between the two disorders. For example, both are characterized by problems with regulating emotions.

While she was in intensive treatment, we learned that there were components of our relationship that were toxic for her. Because of these components we had to end the relationship and go our separate ways.

I will never forget how I felt the day we said goodbye. I was filled with so much rage, pain and hatred. I wanted to share the pain with everyone. I wanted to just beat the hell out of people so that others could feel a small protion of my pain. But I knew I couldn’t do that.

I decided to turn that energy to something positive. I kept studying and learning about BPD, all the time learning more about myself, taking about it with as many people as I could. I started attending conferences on it. I started putting a presentation together on BPD. A presentation that I planned on giving at any local churches that would have me. I printed out flyers and posters from the NEA-BPD about BPD and asked businesses if I could post them. I left behind flyers for people as well.

Edited: January 19th, 2012

A Recent Personal Anxiety Attack and Sense of Failure

Ever since the phone call from my wife yesterday I have had some degree of anxiety and  felt like a failure. Every since that call I wanted to break down in tears and race home.

Unfortunately I was at work, with my work day only about half over, so I didn’t have the luxury of breaking down. I also couldn’t just pick up and run home.

Last night when I finally got to bed, after a few hours of fighting vampires and completing quests in Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, I laid down and started tossing and turning trying to get comfortable like any other night. The difference was after a few minutes of trying to get to sleep I finally had my chance to cry.

I cried for what seemed like a lifetime, overwhelmed with a sense of failure, but was probably more along the lines of five to ten minutes. After I finally stopped crying I laid there staring at the ceiling still feeling that sense of failure.

I guess I should take a step back and explain what happened and the reason for my wife’s phone call. During the middle of the day the fire alarm at the hotel went off. Under normal conditions this would be a traumatic event for anyone. Unfortunately, the conditions for us are anything but normal.

Two years ago my wife and I were in a severe accident that resulted in my wife being severely injured. As a result if the accident she was disabled physically. The good news is she should regain most of the mobility she had before the accident.  However, after two years she is still recovering and going through physical therapy.

So when the alarm went off, the cat got really scared and would not come to my wife. She was trying to figure out how to get the two of them out safely. This cat its the sweetest, most living animal I ever met. She means the world to both of us.

At the same time, the fire alarm is blaring, the emergency strobe light is flashing. This added to my wife’s stress because she is also epileptic and the strobes could cause a seizure. So she called the office and explained the situation to them. They of course had no clue as to why the alarm was going off. Thankfully, it was a false alarm and no real danger, but it has still left me feeling like I failed them and let them down. When they needed me the most I was not there to take care of them. I was at work, an hour and a half away.

The reason my wife, cat and I are staying at the hotel is because of some water damage to the apartment. So while the apartment complex finishes up work in our master bedroom  from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee we are staying in a hotel.

This isn’t the first time I haven’t been able to be there when they really needed me. During the earthquake on the east coast of the US, I was stuck at work. That day it took me almost five hours to get home. So twice in the last month, I have not been there when they needed me the most.

Today, more than 24 hours later I still feel the same way. Even now as I write this I am crying. It has done a number on me.

Edited: September 21st, 2011

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