You down with BPD, yea you know me

You down with BPD, yea you know me

I hated the work books my therapist would have me add to my Amazon cart. They always came equipped with an “also purchased” display of herbal sleeping pills. Because people like me were insomniacs. They ate anti depressants in their cereal and kept a journal of poetry about their suicidal tendencies. They were also my friends and my family; people I’d never know weren’t firing on all cylinders. 

For a couple of years there I wanted everyone to walk around with a Hello My Name Is: Manic-Depressive sticker. Or Hello My Name was…is…used to be: Acute Stress Disorder, Body Dysmorphia Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Like the dumb little avatar Sims characters or everyone’s mom at their first PTA meeting. Something, anything to feel less alone. 

In my head, we all suffer. And in my search engine, I wasn’t too far off. According to google there are over 200 classified mental illnesses ranging from more common to less wide spread. All of them being a label that none of us want to wear; none of which any of us can diagnose on our own. 

“Mild to severe disturbances in everyday thought processes” sounds like an easy equivalent to any of my Mondays. But it’s the literal definition of a term that gets more bad publicity than our own fucking president. Mental illness is exactly what it sounds like; an illness of the mind and you wouldn’t walk away from a cancer patient, so where’s your empathy for a schizophrenic? 

It takes a real champ to stand up to their own unwavering ego. The voice inside our head that speaks at a painful volume with little remorse. When I was considering treatment for the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (get this, it’s just a work book, some flash cards and a yoga membership) I toggled with the list trying to find one that sounded more concrete. Because BPD made me feel like I was labeling my ongoing incompetencies as a head cold and nobody would take me seriously; not even my own ego. 

Below are some of the signs and symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder: 

* Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment 

* A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation) 

* Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self 

* Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating 

* Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days

* Chronic feelings of emptiness

* Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger

* Having stress-related paranoid thoughts

* Having severe dissociative symptoms, such as feeling cut off from oneself, observing oneself from outside the body, or losing touch with reality

Maybe you check off one of these, maybe you feel deeply about them all. Or maybe you think I’m completely insane for being any of them. (Wait until we outline pedophilia for that kind of judgement). You don’t have to be sick to understand crazy. You just have to be open minded to the fact that it’s not a choice to be ill. It’s a choice to be critical and unapologetically unhelpful. 

All I know in this life is that your mind is a terrible thing to waste. It’s either working for you or against you. Those of us who are at war with ourselves have a never ending internal battle that should be externally acknowledged and offered a hand. Nobody fights a war alone, that would be silly. So is mental illness being more taboo than weed in the year twenty seventeen. 

You wouldn’t call the morbidly deteriorating leukemia victim “ugly”, so don’t call us crazy. Call us…more often. To break everyone of this stigma that mental health is a facade of a generation unable to express itself; an excuse to be absolutely out of control. Nobody chooses to wake up and be overwhelmed by their own existence. Your poorly chosen name calling and ignorance to mere science are triggers. 

Work smarter, not harder at how you speak to everyone you meet, know, and may already love. You never know which of the 200 are plaugung their thoughts daily. Or maybe it’s just me, and the rest of the world is perfect. Who am I kidding, that’s just my bpd speaking…

Vigilante of Love

Vigilante of Love

I am an advocate for healthy relationships. Don’t let my all-too-often cynicism make you skeptical of my allegiance to love. Or romance. Or that [sometimes] painful, but ultimately raw intimacy that only a few of us find in our life time. I believe in good people and I hold constant faith in a humanity that has let me down time and time again. I always keep hold of it, because we only allow opportunity to cease when we stop believing in it’s ability to exist.

Somewhere between wanting to fall in love myself, and watching everyone else fall in love around me, I found a bit of a knack for drawing from people, their truths. And even when they don’t want to give it to me, I sense their lies deep within my core. One small reminder that I’m not the kind of girl who’s eyes are easily covered with wool and people just kind of share their skeletons before either of us know what’s happening.

“I’m a heroin addict. I want to cheat on my girlfriend. I hate my wife.

The only thing that feels good is this. New interaction.”

I’ve been told I feel comfortable. I assume people mean that they lack a filter in my presence and it feels….well, OK. I want every time I hear this to be special, because it’s nice to be able to console another human being with just your presence. It’s even nicer to change people’s lives by simply lending an ear. The truth is, being comfortable to strangers has found a way of making me less-than comfortable more often than not and holding too many secrets is a sure fire way to make yourself miserable; or so I’ve learned.

Earlier this year, I lent an ear. And then I lent some advice. And then I totally used all of the intel I received against the person who I made comfortable enough to give it to me. But, frankly…he had been cheating on his girlfriend for too long, and fuck you, girl power. I’m not telling this story because I want to rat myself out for being a rat. I want to share this story because it went from a tiny step to clear my conscious, to one of the bravest and most important things I could have ever done for a stranger.

We swiped right on each other. His profile suggested he had been single long enough to be serious about a real connection. A handful of messages back and forth lead to the exchange of numbers and then almost immediately a phone call. He told me he lived with his friend, that he couldn’t wait for me to meet his dog, and that he had an ex who was ‘crazy’. As progression would go, I found his facebook profile a few days into our dialogue and there she was. A girlfriend of a lot of years.

It’s happened to me a few times, but usually when I call a man out for his blatant display of a relationship on social media he back pedals and apologizes for wasting my time, then ghosts like a true millennial. This one was different. He spent hours, days, weeks telling me sob stories about how he was being emotionally abused by this woman he barely sees anymore.

Fast forward to a month later when my gut tells me to reach out to the girl in the photos labeled ‘in a relationship with: the tool on tinder’. I went into it thinking I’d be a fool to think she would even believe me. Broken relationships are always filled with denial. I would know, I frequent that step of the grieving process often. She didn’t believe me at first; shocker. I provided her with months of back and forth conversations that otherwise deemed all of his stories a lie…down to the revelation that his roommate he spoke so frequently of…was in fact…her.

Man did that suck. Relaying to a woman who knew her relationship was rocky, that it was even rockier on the outskirts. And that someone knew only half truths about the woman she was because her sociopathic boyfriend confided in a complete stranger about their relationship, seemingly using the foundation of his twisted story to fuel compassion. He lied about the way she treated him. About the seriousness of their status. But most importantly he lied about being a victim to someone who truly played the part, every god damn day.

This story has a happy ending folks…cause when she found out, she eventually left him. It took her a couple months, as most many-year relationships do, but it finally happened. And despite how horrible it sounds to break two people up, I’m so grateful I was given the opportunity to do so, and did it without fear of repercussion.

This shit doesn’t fly with me anymore kids. I can smell a liar from across our cell signals these days. Don’t play me for a fool, or I’m gonna make your current girlfriend my more current best friend and we’re gonna roast the fuck out of your dick pics in the comfort of our own single-hood. It’s been a while since I’ve felt like a superhero, but if being online and trying to date makes me a vigilante for love, keep me logged in and signed up,  cause I’m ready to detect the bullshit you douche-canoes keep feeding me.

 

Boom. Nailed it. ūüĎćūüŹĽ

Plateau

Plateau

Rock bottom isn’t just a bar and grill, to some, it’s a platform for change. I’ve swam pretty damn close to the depths of sunken debris, where fellow friends visited and found permanent residency in the strength it provided. But, my lowest of lows never seem to be “bottom” enough. I haven’t been an unlucky divorcee, I know nothing of addiction, and frankly even amidst my saddest hours soaked in misunderstood tears, I’m still not seemingly low enough to always find a higher self. 

I find a bit of guilt in wanting to seek a lower-low for the sake of a higher-high, but this is a cliche and monumental line that makes me think about the what if’s of its potential. What if I already hit my rock bottom and did nothing with it? What if one persons rock bottom looks nothing like someone else’s? What if rock bottoms aren’t for everybody?

They aren’t. And it’s fucking purgatory

A place where we stand in limbo, totally dissatisfied with where we are; destined for neither hell nor heaven. What do we do here? Funny I should ask, because I’ve been told that the definition of hitting it is the moment you begin to question everything that you know to be true. 

I’m here. It’s happening

I never thought I’d long for a crash so fatal. The kind of carnage that leaves me with just a skeleton of shambles that need rearranging. For too long, I’ve been lost, playing hide and seek with myself over fifty states and too many years to count on one hand.  

At the bottom, you can look up and see how far off course you were. Staring at a road you paved with other people’s ideas of someone you never wanted to be. At the bottom, all of your previously-ignored defective behaviors are projected into the light. Finding each of your faults floating freely; as you sink deeper. At the bottom is a fresh perspective; a positive perception of a life that felt unsatisfactory. At the bottom is responsibility, humility, but most importantly prosperity. 

I’m starting to think “hitting the bottom” isn’t a once in a lifetime occurrence. It can facilitate its way into our lives on a weekly basis if we aren’t cognitive enough of it’s purpose. Just when I thought my bottom wasn’t as low as others, I realized quickly it was bottom-enough for me to hit restart and re-establish the person I am. Not only that, but publicly. 

This blog is a constant rock bottom. I come here to recognize my failures. To accept self pity and take responsibility for how my life is lived. It gets me out of hiding and allows me a platform for vulnerability when my feelings feel hardest to feel. It allows me to loath, to be thankful and to sometimes be completely numb to everything I just stated above. I witness it connect me with old friends, and often times it connects me with complete strangers; but most importantly it connects me with me…time and time again.

The Coward With The Key

The Coward With The Key

I think I’m going insane. 

Not the kind that voids me of being a productive member of society and forces me to medicate pharmaceutically, just the kind that makes me cry on my drives home from work to songs that are other-wise meant for dancing. I used to chalk it up to mother nature; engulfing my hormones into a fiery inferno of mass hysteria every month like clock work. Making me eat chocolate chip cookies by the handfuls and overreacting about literal spilled milk. [I’m clumsy, it happens.]

But this, this isn’t my menstrual cycle anymore. This is a men-suck cycle; this is war. Some would say I ask for it. And those people aren’t totally wrong. I ask for the attention by way of social media, by the way I wear my makeup or the low top cut I adorn. I ask for it on the dating profiles I solicit; in the blog I post publicly for everyone to read. It’s funny cause I rarely get what I seek. The kind of attention that is more than just a hit off the pipe, the kind that starts as a friendly gesture and could manifest into a true connection but finds its way instead to be reckless and debilitating.

I may have asked for ‘it’, but ‘it’ is vastly different to two totally different people who’s lives have yet to collide on anything deeper than a filtered selfie and a couple of drunk late night “I miss you’s”. These days, I miss you is equivalent to “I miss your body”. I want you is just backwash for “I’m scared to be lonely”. It, to me, is always just some sort of foundation of reliability from an outsider. The ability to come together as two humans with similar interests and mutual respect. Day one, we’ve got it. Day thirty six, it’s gone. 

I wish people who plant trust-seeds in strangers’ hearts and forget to water them weren’t long for this world. I’d say I understand the idea of being selfish, but I really fucking don’t. Even people whom I don’t believe deserve a second more of my time, got it. Why? Because communication is the key to mental health stability. And everyone’s just walking around with all of the answers in their pockets; tight lipped…destroying society. You know what changes the whole game? Not even playing one. Just being as straight forward as it’s physically possible to be to make sure that every word you say is followed by a similar action.

Because, when things don’t make sense, and the world seems so very fucked…that’s when the mind gets weaker and the heart grows an aversion to love. And frankly, that’s all we ever need in this life. To love and be loved. The idea that someone can strip us of that possibility feels like murder: Death by coward; the one with the key. 

Accutanked. Month 2: My Accutane Journey 

Accutanked. Month 2: My Accutane Journey 

Today I announced to the office team that if I died in my sleep, I wanted to make sure I said out loud that I had been feeling weird all day. You know, for the record. For the coroner. For the person who couldn’t figure out why my cold body lay strung across my couch; two puppies licking me to, well…more death. 

Someone mumbled about me being on “those crazy pills” while another coworker reminded me that I lived alone, and that they’d be too busy to find my body for a few days, maybe even weeks. Thanks guys

It’s the end of month two of my Accutane journey and I’m not gonna lie, not as stoked as the first four weeks. For one, I’m getting some residual break outs. Ones that were not apparent for the first six weeks and I feel like those people who buy a product that looks pretty darn amazing out of the box and then it breaks on its second use. After they’ve already put a 5 star review on Amazon. After they’ve told all their friends about it. Yea, I’m looking at you Chop Wizard

In addition, I have experienced way too many side effects for my liking. 

  • Pain behind my eyes (headaches) 
  • Rashes on my hands and arms 
  • Tachycardia 
  • Severe chapped lips 
  • Irritability (I want to punch everyone’s babies) 
  • Weight gain

Ok fine, that last one isn’t the meds. I just recently found out about Sonic’s cookie dough shake and I CANT QUIT YOU. 

My face originally felt like a seal. Not the scarred up singer from the batman soundtrack (although, who knows what month 3 will bring me) but the ever so soft and slippery mammal that sits on rocks in the San Fransisco bay. I was so thrilled that I would successfully be able to apply a thin layer of foundation to a less than rough terrain of a face. And then things took a turn for the worse. I wake up everyday with my skin being patchy with dehydration. Additionally the rest of my epidermis must suffer. Down to my ankles. My FUCKING ANKLES

You know how when you have pain somewhere in your body and you take an aspirin, that aspirin just knows how to handle that spot. Like “ooo my tailbone hurts *pops pill* and boom, tailbone feels better. Then you get kicked in the shin so you take an aspirin and your shin starts to feel better. It’s like the medication KNOWS where to go. That’s what I wish would happen with accutane. Like, fix the skin on my face. No need for you to be jacking up the back of my arms, stupid. 

But, as luck would have it, this my life for another 120 days. Le sigh. I asked my doctor when the soonest I can stop would be and she said nobody goes off of it with mild symptoms until at least 150 days. And I’m only 60 in. Kill me. 

This is the price we pay for beauty kids. Beauty is legit pain. Pain in my head, pain on my skin, pain in my brain. But realistically, collectively both me and my doctor decided this reward was worth all of these risks based on how bad the acute onset of hormonal acne came on. I just didn’t know it had to get this bad to get that good. Like having sex with your ex, I’m just counting the minutes til I’m done. Hopefully this is just a “bad month” and I’m able to report month 3 as something of remission. Fingers crossed side effects subside and I can continue til the end of treatment. Or until it kills me. 

*insert frantic phone call from mom*

High[er] Life 

High[er] Life 

I’m the hit you feign for as you dig through your sock drawer, unsure of my existence. I’m the last bit of bottom shelf whiskey on your lips, too bitter to lick off, too harsh to wash down. Im the finely cut line of cocaine on your cd case, never too long to finish. I’m the late night binge. The overdose cringe. The give-me-more-of-that-lover. 
                I don’t do drugs, I am drugs.

 
My thirties are approaching and I can safely say I haven’t partaken in recreational drugs of an illegal caliber. Which is kind of a feat for an Orange County born native who grew up with a father who’s favorite stories were about the time he dropped acid and punched his mom in the face for looking like Medusa and an older sister who’s friends offered you cocaine at the door. 

When I speak of my drug-virginity out loud I usually feel the same way I do about counting my tattoos: one. maybe two. Ok fine, none. It’s not that it hasn’t presented itself to me as a girls-bathroom-stall option. Or an if-you-love-me-do-it-with-me relationship boost. I just, haven’t ever had the desire to step outside of a mind I’ve been so in touch with. I can’t imagine feeling my feelings anymore deeply than I already do. And that’s the absolute truth

I guess, just like anything else in life, you’ve got to have a desire for something before you follow through with it. Maybe as a one-through-twenty-something I’ve not yet had the desire for the experience. Or the need to step away from basic, and engulf myself in a broader spectrum of being. Like being more up, or being more down or pretending to be either just to fit in. I can imagine it would be identical to how I already feel when I drink or better yet, when I love. Pointless. I don’t need a vodka soda to fuel my inhibitions. It doesn’t take a flaming sambuca shot to rid me of my insecurities. And honestly, sober me has felt the most intense emotions by just falling for a man who couldn’t tell the truth to save his own life. Heroin withdrawals got nothing on heartbreak. 

I just wonder, that through all of the naivety, if my adulthood isn’t eagerly awaiting that psychedelic event of a lifetime. Or a whimsical stroll to the sandbox behind the school for an E-induced playground rendezvous. Every time I’m offered a bump, a hit, a sip or a piece, I say no. But, I always wonder, what if I said yes? 

My expectations of going through with succumbing to a moment of unprescribed pharmaceuticals involves a string of me repeating “I don’t feel anything” until I’ve overdosed and am either passed out, comatose, or even worse, dead. People don’t die from eating mushrooms. Or do they? And if someone’s going to, with my luck, it’ll be me. 

I already feel out of my god damn mind about 60% of my day. Like the oxygen I breathe is laced with hallucinogens far more potent than anything I could buy on the streets. If I told my friends I was high, half the time they’d believe me. So why risk my body for the sake of finding another level to be on? I like this level. But leveling up is in our blood. With that said I’ve found myself peeking at the syllabus to find out what else the world has to offer my ever-ready brain. 

Chapter 2: Taryn gets fucked up on MDMA and finally earns the intimacy she’s been looking for through ecstasy. 
 #The end. 

Accu-tamed: My Accutane Journey. Month 1.

Accu-tamed: My Accutane Journey. Month 1.

My entire life I have been so good to my skin. I never went to bed without taking off my make up. I moisturized, exfoliated and applied SPF everyday without fail. Not because I was supposed to, but because I always felt that one day¬†my efforts wouldn’t be in vain. As¬†a¬†kid,¬†mud mask parties were my savior. While everyone else just hid behind cucumber peel off’s¬†to expedite puberty, I needed them to soothe the pain.

ms doubtfire
I remember my father taking me to the dermatologist weekly to try an array¬†of new ‘technology’.¬†Prescribed¬†the tetra, the doxy and the my-god-is-that-enough-cycline’s, I found no comfort in pumping my adolescent body with antibiotics. We tried injections, pills, and what Stacey the esthetician called ‘the blue light special’. Despite what my father wanted to introduce into my very young body, my only hope was an attempt at balancing my hormones by starting a widely known medication called birth control. Funny story, I could hardly remember to do my homework at that age, let alone take a tiny white tablet every morning at breakfast. So, that was a giant waste of a copay. Additionally my father assumed that because I could now control birth, I’d try to test its boundaries by becoming the town whore or something. Yea dad, like that was gonna be the answer to my pustular prayers; a baby.

herpes
Life became a little less stressful as the years went on. Boys were my biggest concern and the only flare up they caused was in my pants. I found that makeup was my greatest tool; and ultimately perfected this asset to achieve a flawless complexion daily. The truth is guys, make up gets old. And so do you.

On my 29th birthday I sat around my friends listening to them talk about their botox appointments. All I could think of was how I wished I could even find the wrinkles underneath my acne. I was still dealing with a childhood disease that now found it’s way into an onset of adult hormonal acne. Don’t google that. It’s basically your entire¬†jaw line attempting to exit through¬†your pores in very large cysts that are painful and cumbersome to heal. ¬†I had to see somebody. Anybody.

help

My doctor was in shock at how bad I let it get before I saw her, and insisted that she had the cure. A medication called Spironolactone. Taken by men to basically become women, but also widely know for it’s effects on treating this type of acne. Essentially this diuretic was to regulate the hormones in my body¬†that produced such horrible skin irritants. The bottle read “Call your doctor if you develop any side effects”. Whatever the most graphic synonym for side effect is, that’s what happened to me. My face broke out into more open sores than I had pores, and I was sicker than a dog. Dizziness, headache, muscle pain, and most of all an acute onset of SEVERE break outs.

“It’s got to get worse before it can get better”

Le Sigh. We started on a laser light therapy equipped with a gentle suction facial every two weeks during this medication trial and she still had me continue it at it’s largest dose for almost FOUR MONTHS. I cried myself to sleep every night ¬†as I painfully washed the layers of make up that barely covered up my bumps. People take for granted that their skin is clear, all I wanted was a minute of relief.

After eight months and thousands of dollars in treatment later, I walked into my dermatologists office with tears in my eyes. I remember seeing her before the holidays and telling her that my one wish was to go to the pool the following summer without make up on. She looked at me disappointedly. It was time to bring out the big guns.

guns

Accutane, has been and will always be my last resort. The amount of side effects and regulations the FDA has announced over the years makes it almost impossible to want to swallow this pill daily. But, she and I knew that the reward was worth the risk at this stage. My quality of life was at an all time low when it was painful to do simple tasks like eat because of the cystic acne along my jaw. Not to mention the immense amount of confidence having a face full of zits takes from you.

So began my journey. In June of this year I started my lock out; a thirty day period in which blood is drawn, a pregnancy test is taken and paperwork is sent home with you on the medication and it’s usage. Almost a full month ago I started my prescription knowing damn well that the most potent of side effects had the potential to not only kill me, but severely deform any conception of a child. Luckily for me, I wasn’t planning on one any time soon. Well, what can I say for this medication?

It’s a friggin miracle.

With what I assume to be a 100% success rate after reading almost every single article that the interwebs has to offer, I can’t say a damn thing bad about it. Who knows what’s going on inside of me internally (I have my blood work retested every 30 days), but I do know that my skin feels like the ever-angelic touch of a newborn babies bum. Side effects have included: dry lips, increased sensitivity to already known allergens, suppressed hunger and dandruff. Other than that, the only other effect I’m noticing is that my skin is already 95% better after just 1/6th of my treatment. See below:

image1

Going from feeling like I was a prime slot in the next freak show, to having real hope for a clear face happened almost overnight. It’s only been 23 pills and I know for a fact that Accutane, despite it’s risks, is the only thing that could have and now is easing ¬†my suffering. Did I mention that this medication is paid for by my insurance fully? All $800 of it. I couldn’t believe it myself, but all of those prayers I’ve had for the past 20 years have been answered by a medication I was almost too scared to take.

I will post the next stage of my journey here in a month, but I bet my skin is going to be almost completely restored back to it’s normal youth, if not better than before. Isotretinoin is the only product out there that is¬†THE CURE. Excuse me while I go sign into my ipledge account, tell them I won’t be having any babies this month, and get my next month’s prescription for success!