I haven’t written much on how I am feeling lately. I think I will do that in my writing. As some may already know, I have aspergers and borderline personality disorder (BPD). This is a childhood disorder so when I was diagnosed 3 months ago, I had been living unaware of these disorders for some three decades. Yes, I knew that I was different, but in those three decades I had leaned to adjust to my environment pretty successfully. In a way, I should pat myself on the back.
Part of learning skills to combat mental illness is therapy skills. One of the skill sets I am slowly studying is DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) created by Marsha M. Linehan. She based most of the therapy on Buddhism. So lately, I have been reading about mindfulness and how it is achieved through Buddhism. Yes, it would seem that I found Buddha. I am not really interested in becoming Buddhist but I do believe that Buddha could help me lessen my suffering. It looks like Buddha had a lot of emotional suffering and learned how to control the suffering and find peace. It is worth taking a look.
Lately I have been really using mindfulness. I have been looking deeply into myself trying to find a way to recover from my disorders. It would seem that discovery and recognition of my symptoms has to come first before any healing can begin. Then find coping skills to combat those symptoms. This is a hard process that I have yet to get a handle on, but I have all the time in the world. I will recover.
How do I feel lately?
I feel shame. Yes, that’s right, shame. Last week I discovered what aspergers really was. I knew it was high function autism, but I really did not know the full extent of what autism is. I had spent all my time thinking BPD was the main contributor of my issues. I failed to see what aspergers brings to the table. Sadly, it brings a lot. My autism seems to have more influence on me than BPD. I have a theory that autism and BPD are such opposites that it neutralized symptoms in some respects, but not enough for me to be symptom free. I can’t prove that but it seems possible. Even my doctor thought it might be a good theory on how I managed to make it though three decades without therapy. I have no idea why things changed to where I am today but honestly, I did have a good run going.
It seems I have digressed, back to my feelings of shame.
See, I view myself as a very trustworthy nice guy. As I am finding out, that is not the case. For the most part I am a nice to everyone I meet but trustworthiness is something I destroyed. That is just a plain sad fact. I have lied to the people I love and those that I work for. I have covered up the fact that I had problems and kept it as my big dark secret. I had no idea I was sick and obviously wasn’t thinking correctly. Even so, it damaged relationships and now makes it hard to trust me. I was caught up in the stigma of mental illness myself.
Just to let everyone I have gone down road of forgiveness for myself. It was a hard road but a much needed attempt so I could start my recovery. With that said, I can not control the forgiveness granted to me by the people I betrayed. Even if they have forgiven me, it must be hard for them to trust me again. I sure understand that feeling. I would feel the same way.
So, that is where the shame comes in. As more and more of my past surfaces like a knife in my back, there is not much I can feel but shame. When April 2012 rolled around, it was like my whole world changed. I went from a guy that sort of had it together to a guy that had to clean up the mess made by someone else. That is how I feel. I have to clean up for myself. I have to take responsibility for actions and behaviors that I had no control of.
I am not writing this for pity. Just wanted to share a snippet of what I’ve had to deal with. I hope the future me is trustworthy and a very nice guy. That is who I think I am. I definitely have a long way to go on recovery and I am going to fight for it also.