About Me

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Midwest, United States
I am a first-born female over age 60. I am middle class, and have a graduate degree in Business. I have over 28 continuous years in recovery from alcoholism. I have been in Borderline treatment for over 14 years. I still have not reached full-time Serenity, but I have continued to survive this disorder using distress tolerance skills, interpersonal effectiveness, mindfulness, and emotion regulation. These are the 4 components of the DBT Skills as devised by Dr. Marsha Linehan. Email me with any questions at amy@alawebpages.com. Many thanks and blessings for sharing my interest and broadening your awareness of this disorder.

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Friday, February 22, 2019

A Good, Coasting Lull

The last six months have been very informative, self-introspective and body-strengthening for myself.  twelve hours per week at the gym.  Many supplements ingested per day.  Meditating and yoga.  Zumba.  Staying active.  Staying calm.  Even in adversity.  This is all promoting wellness and wholeness within my being.  I am speaking my truth.  I am standing my ground.  I am saying "no" more often than not.  My determination to stay free of disease, and to stay away from of "dis-ease" are of paramount importance to me.  They are my priority.  It appears to be serving me well.  

I turned 65 this month. What a milestone!  How did I get here?  Answer:  "One healthy day-at-a-time".  I am blessed.  I am helping others to achieve good mental health as well.  My days are busy.  My life is full.  I have for the most part rid my life of toxic people who did not validate me.  I have had enough of being an invalid of invalidation.

I published the eBook of "Destiny of Detours" in October 31, 2018.  I published the print copy of the same book on November 1, 2017.  I am due to speak to a consortium of therapists on March 20, 2020 about the topic of Borderline Personality Disorder in a 5-hour presentation.  I am enjoying pulling this much-needed and highly informative discussion together.  I have a year to do this.  Ordering information is at the following link:
http://bit.ly/2zUlhkW for both the print/ebook versions.

Life is good.  My mood is good.  I have a purpose.  I am still searching for parts of my Higher Purpose.  Amen.

Friday, July 6, 2018

When Did the Simplicity of the Andy Griffith Show Vanish?

I will go to any lengths to recreate a world of calm and assured relaxation for myself.  I stumbled on the idea of renting the series "The Andy Griffith Show", which was a favorite of mine from 1960 to 1968.  I started with the first season.  No matter how stressed or chaotic may day was....I could relax with an episode  (or 2) of Andy, Opie, Aunt Bea and Barnie. No loud-mouthed political chest-beaters on this show!  Lessons about Life and how to deal with its ups and downs were the main focus of the show.  It was an easy time....back then in general for a lot of people.  

During the time that "Andy Griffith" aired, I was 6-14 years old and dealing with a tumultuous home life, rampant with alcoholism and out of control emotions.  However, half an hour spent in viewing this TV show both then and now, have a very calming effect on my mental state and overall outlook.

A dose of "Andy" is like a shot in the arm of the "feel-good" endorphins such as seratonin, dopamine and norepinephrine (spelling?).  We all could use more of this and less of "Criminal Minds" and other short-effect (yet well-written) shows that populate our TV screens.

Several years ago, I actually rented and watched all the episodes of "The Waltons" (the 1970's) and "The Donna Reed Show" (the 1960's).  Very soothing with a lot of nostalgic portrayals of life when it was 'a bit simpler'.

Take me back to then.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Borderline Binge

It is Day 16 of a tumultuous 16 day spree of chaos, pain and angst.

My brother decided to move our mother out to California in early January 2018, and I wasn’t even told that this was going to take place.  How I found out was by a mutual acquaintance while dining out on Thursday night in mid-February.  What an absolute shock that my family would do this to me!  Mom and I talked a few times by phone….me crying and begging her not to go.  She said that my brother was pressuring her to come out. 

I went over to her retirement home the night before she moved and we had a nice talk.  I went over the next day to help with the move since my brother was delayed on a business trip and wouldn’t get there until later.  My boyfriend of 15 years wanted to go over and say good-bye to Mom.  But when my brother arrived at her home, with hate in his eyes and voice her said, “absolutely not!--- your boyfriend is not to come here today!” Can you imagine that? I stayed the entire 8 hours, helping where I could.

I called Mom on the 3rd of April to reiterate my sadness and frustration that she moved and I was even told.  My mother and brother COULD HAVE AT LEAST TOLD my boyfriend   (life partner), who could have related it to me.  But they didn’t choose that route.  That conversation escalated to my crying and wailing. I explained to her that THIS was what Borderline looked like.  I was hurt beyond belief.  She said weakly that “We were going to tell you at some point.”  When?  I asked.  It was already 2 weeks before the moving date when I found out. 

The next day April 4th, my brother sent me a highly inflammatory email saying that I had   1) caused a lot of pain in Mom  2) she was finally getting some happiness after the 5 years of drama that I had dragged her thru after her husband's death!  3) My brother then told me that he had blocked my phone Number from Mom’s.  I could not call her   4) all mail was to go thru him first.    I HAVE BEEN TOTALLY CUT OFF FROM MY MOTHER.

All hell broke loose on April 4th.  My boyfriend had to call 911 and the police and an ambulance arrived here at the house.  I was cutting my right arm repeatedly in a blind rage.  They took my to Community North Psych Pavilion.  I stayed inpatient for 4 days.  MOM CALLED MY BOYFRIEND to find out how I was on the night of April 3rd.  My brother's email to me on the 4th said that Mom was highly irritated that I had drawn her into some of my drama AGAIN, and that I was cut off from her by phone and mail..... and she agreed to it.  However, Mom and my boyfriend kept communicating by phone!  That doesn’t sound right to me.

Last weekend, April 14th, I contact my brother by text by text.  He was hateful in his words to me.  He, his wife and Mom were headed to see my niece and her boyfriend, and John didn’t want anything to upset that weekend.  (He and his daughter are estranged).   John also said “and tell stupid boyfriend to stop with all the stupid phone calls to Mom.  These phone calls are really pissing her off!”  I am blown away!  It’s like my brother is trying to cement in the wedge that is already between my mother and I.  I need my mother.

John told me Sunday night in a text that he would call on Tuesday April 17th. He would be in D.C.  He said that we needed to straighten things out so I could talk to mom.  I texted him 3 time when 8:00pm rolled around last night and there was not phone call.  He does things of this nature all the time.  Says he’ll doing something, then flake out.

He has all the control.  This is not right.  I was so hurt and crushed that they made plans to move her and I was making plans to try once again to improve my relationship with Mom and recover some lost time.  

I am despondent.  I am totally cut off from my family.  This Borderline is killing me as I repeatedly just want out of the pain.  I am self-destructing.  I hide my scars and bruises from everyone.  They do not know the pain that accompanies me daily.  There is no hope.  I WILL DIE FROM THIS.  

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A Blow I Didn't See Coming

It was a dark and stormy night.  No.  Let me start again.  My cardiologist emphasized that I needed to drastically reduce my stress this past December.  I had to put some toxic people on the back burner, and that included my brother and mother.  My mother lived 4.5 miles from me.  Long story short, after a visit to my brother's on the west coast at Christmas, they decided to move my mother out there to be with him.  I was not even told of their plans.  I found out in passing from an acquaintance of my mother's. 

I had 2 weeks of scrambling to adjust to this new situation before the movers came.  I saw her once, wrote 2 letters and took them to her living facility, and initiated 3 phone calls. She and I were able to sit down and talk for 2 hours the night before she left.  She said that she made a lot of mistakes by not being supportive of me when I was growing up.  She was very adversarial, and complained to anyone who would listen about how her daughter was such a disappointment to her.  She threw me under the bus whenever she could.  At 64, and a lifetime of the thousands of paper-cuts to my soul, I feel nothing at this point.

Now she thinks that a "new relationship" will be formed once she is settled 2,300 miles away.  My brother arrived on moving day, acting very distant towards me. After we had spent 7 strained hours together, with moments of weak connections between us, I left their company.  But before I did, I broke down crying....not for my mother leaving, but because I will never, ever have the relationship I needed and deserved from a mother.  All the love, smiles, and nurturing went to my younger brother. 

He texted me pictures of the two on them on the airplane, then in the limousine as they traveled to his home.  There has been a hole ripped in my soul.  The "golden-haired" son is with my mother, and the daughter-from-hell has been kicked to the curb.  They don't want to understand Borderline.  They don't even recognize that I am 28 years sober from alcoholism, and no one has asked about my heart health.  Not once.  Ever. 

This is bitter to swallow.  I want to cut myself and stick ice-picks in my eyeballs.  Welcome to a Borderline as she tries to make sense of her disappointing world.  Life isn't fair.  My life is a prison term of my thoughts, my emotions, and my trampled self-esteem.  I have been in Borderline recovery since 2004.  Don't let the stories mislead you....one can never get past the damaging effects of Borderline. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Borderline Reaction...of Course

I had a PULS Cardiac Test.  It is a very new test that measures the risk of a cardiac event. It measures proteins, other markers, lifestyle, and considers weight, glucose/insulin readings, smoking drinking etc.  I have a "heart-age" of someone in their 80's!  I was devastated.  My doctor was frustrated because there was nothing that I needed to discontinue in my life, or anything that I wasn't doing that I should be doing.  Good Diet, continual exercise, no smoking/drugs/alcohol...all the right things...except managing my stress.  It's a killer.  It's killing me.

During the next eight days after finding out this news (which was the Tuesday after Thanksgiving), I had a week from hell.  My emotions were off the Richter scale.  I could not reel myself in.  I wanted to drink and to cut myself, but being 28+ years sober, and 14 years+ in Borderline recovery put the damper on those outlets.  Have you ever wanted to self-destruct because you were in so much pain, but the pain of following the impulses was just a tiny bit more uncomfortable than than the pain of enduring what was doing on?  This was one of those times.  The discomfort of indecision added to my erratic behavior.  Now, I cannot comfort myself with sweets, since I have struggled to pull myself out of being diabetic to pre-diabetic to being in the normal range for sugar/insulin/glucose.  I've worked too hard to get here.  Picture main-lining Skittles.  That is how I could saturate my body with sweets and get a temporary fix.

Then I started taking yoga 3x per week.  Doing so has helped my mood, cravings and angst.  I also take a Y-C Cleanse for the sugar cravings. (Too much yeast/candida in my body).  So maybe this test's results were a wake-up call.  I don't know.  I DO KNOW that I have changed some more things in my life to get through this rough patch.  I plan to put these changes into "forever" behaviors.  I am trying to rid my body of the toxins that are diminishing my health. 
I am overdosing on Hallmark Christmas movies to help with my gratitude for my life as it improves.  It's a lot of hard work.  I will not let this disorder beat me.

Monday, November 13, 2017

BPD is Still a Part of Me

Hello, this is a wintry, cold afternoon in the Midwest. A long interlude has transpired since I last posted. Life happens. Sometimes not so good. But some very good things, too. I published my second book, "Destiny of Detours" on October 31, 2017.

I am trying to keep my spirits up. It's that time of year that can often get me, addicts, Borderlines, or anyone into a funk. This year....I am doing EVERYTHING to keep that from happening. Maybe it's overkill....but it cannot hurt. I try to stay busy. I have been involved in the planning committee for an Al-Anon workshop in on SELF-CARE. Planning took place over 4 months, and the workshop was held the last weekend of October. It was a fund-raiser, and we raised about $1,000 bucks for Information Services (Literature). YAY us!

I am going to AA and Al-Anon meetings. I am meeting with sponsees and working the 12 steps of recovery with them. I hold a weekly meditation group in my home and have since March 2015. I workout at a gym 6-days a week, yet sadly I do not have a body like Miss America--but it helps the heart and arthritis and stamina. I adhere to a diet that my doctor has been adamant about me staying on. No sugar. No wheat. No gluten. That just about takes all the fun out of my eating ANYTHING I get pleasure in. This has been extremely difficult for me. However, I border on being diabetic....and have successfully worked myself out of the danger-zone into barely having Type II diabetes.

I am taking a workshop in "Healing the Child Within." It can be gut-wrenching.....digging out all those old skeletons encountered at a young age. I try, REALLY TRY to use the DBT Skills I learned in 2004-6 in managing my Borderline Personality Disorder. I don't do things perfectly, and I sometimes relapse in my behavior. It is an insidious disorder. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. (But in being honest, I might. It would serve them right). 
I continue to work on the Webquest I designed, uploaded and maintain on Borderline Personality Disorder. It is a huge site, and very complete. I try to stay up on the latest information and books published on this disorder. "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me" is an excellent introductory book for those who are new to this personality disorder phenomena.

All in all....I am probably doing better than I have in a long, long time. I have attended life-saving Al-Anon meetings for over 6.5 years. This has saved my life and my sanity.

I am blessed and grateful today.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Why Me? Why This? Invalidation Kills

It has been a horrible day of misunderstandings.  I am excluded from a day-trip because my significant other could not allow me to take care of myself, and try to pull myself out of a mood....that was exacerbated by this person.  I was just expected to "pull myself together" and fly right.  Borderline doesn't work that way.  It takes time to return to base level.  He has mental illness.  Do I tell him to "just get over it?"  No, I don't.  I have withdrawn.  I don't know how long I will stay beyond reach.  I feel that I am trapped.  I cannot get out because I can't financially qualify for places on my own.  What a hard spot to be in!  I am not happy.  I want to be invisible.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer BPD Funk

     It's June 28, 2016.  It has been a pretty good summer so far.  I still struggle.  Maybe I'm not doing these Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills correctly.  I know them like the back of my hand.  I have been involved with them since early 2004.  I am 27 years sober from alcoholism.  I still struggle.

     What people don't seem to realize is that a Borderline's defense mechanisms are hard-wired in our systems.  The Skills teach us how to "unlearn" these behaviors that enabled us to survive our childhood traumas.  However, the irrational thoughts and unfounded emotions stem from somewhere in us/me.  I cannot seem to keep them from coming to light in thoughts, dreams, and ruminations.  One slightly-off remark from a significant person can send me into a mental tail-spin of negative musings, self-deprecating thoughts, and conclusions to unfounded and mis-construed stories that may be quite far from the reality of a situation.  It is all so very exhausting.  Sometimes I feel like I am doomed to this continuous spiraling and fragmented mish-mash of angst.  It never gets me anywhere but in the doldrums.  Why?  Why me?

     At 62 years of age, I have managed to be part of some uplifting events that gave me glimmers of hope.  I wrote a book for Borderlines who also might have addictions.  The book is a 366-day meditation book of daily snippets of some tools to help get through our daily lives.  Here is a link to where you can view and/or purchase.  
http://bit.ly/oS227n   Another happening of note:  I was flown to New York to tape a segment on Borderline Personality Disorder by the "Second Opinion" show of PBS.  I was interviewed by two doctors--a doctor with a general practice, a psychiatrist and a host.  It was a wonderful opportunity to spread the word about what Borderline is, and what can be done to treat it.  This was a wonderful experience for me.  This episode will be placed on my website when I receive it from the "Second Opinion" producer, probably October 2016. 

     My website about this BPD disorder is at the following URL:
www.alawebpages.com/webquestbpd  It was started in May 2009.  It is full of information about this disorder.  I understand the disorder.  I know what it has done to my life.  I know how it feels on the inside of my mind.  I try my hardest to rise above the pitfalls of where my mind can go, harbor thoughts that lead to discontent, and at times prompt actions that are not in my best interest, or anyone else's, for that matter.

     I constantly struggle with finding a purpose in my life, often using other recovering peers as my yardstick...which gets me nowhere fast.  I have a good support system, yet they are people in 12-Step programs, but are not Borderlines with 12 years of recovery as well.  I cannot find someone just like me to share with and learn from.  No role model, just as I had no role models when I was growing up.  Just a family of highly-dysfunctional people with mental illness and addiction....and choosing to do nothing about it.  I am in a funk.  This too shall pass.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Me Thinks Spring Is Coming to the Midwest !!!!

The warmer weather is trying to come and stay!  The weather affects my mood, and I need a lot of sunshine to give me a positive disposition!  I am trying to stay steady.  I go to my counseling sessions, go to my meetings, I meditate, I do service work.  I try to give back to those who are struggling in their journeys that are similar to mine.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Another Re-Birth (16 Months of Re-Building)

It's been since October 13, 2013 since I have posted.  A lifetime ago.   As I refer back to my personal journal, I remembered I was almost hospitalized on 10-16-13, three days later.  My mother had become so frightfully hateful, and let my significant other know how much she absolutely hated me.  I had to consult my circle of confidants and spiritual advisers as to how to handle a very volatile situation.  The unanimous conclusion:  I needed to take a hiatus from my mother. She was emotionally and mentally killing me, and therapy and Al-Anon could not right the situation as quickly as she was unraveling it.  So,  until Oct. 9, 2014, I did not interact with her.  She was mad about that, and sent letters of hate to me.

My family could not and would not understand.  I was shunned again by those whom I cared about in my biological family.  My mother's chastisements were a lot more stronger than my actions "of taking care of myself."  I survived.  So did she.

In that year I kept on with my therapy, practicing my behavioral DBT Skills, going to my beloved Al-Anon meetings, reading,  my meditations, meditating, working the 12-Steps of Recovery.  In that year good things happened.  We bought and renovated an older home within two blocks of where we had lived for 10 years.  That consumed May through December of 2014;  no Christmas tree was put up that year.  We put all new everything inside this home, and we began to enjoy it.  We visited my brother twice 2,300 miles away.  I handled difficult situations better.  I made myself more available to friends and family.  I started enjoying things more.  I delved into more computer work and website construction, and have realized that I need to do more writing.  I guess you could say I got a new lease on Life...but it took the Darkness Before the Dawn.

The Midwest has had a somewhat grueling winter, but it is my home.  It is where I was born, and where I will die.  I love the seasons and the rhythm of Life.