Saturday, November 18, 2006

I'm ok and flying :)

Over the past two months, I was sick for 6 weeks -- extremely sick-- and it came at a time when my employer put me on one insanely unrealistic deadline after another. Because I couldn't work very much, I got behind, and my boss let me know that I was being perceived as "struggling" and "incompetent." Although I had missed a lot of days due to illness, and had even gone to the hospital, had doctors' notes, that didn't matter. All that mattered to my boss was that I had missed my deadlines. Now, the whole department -- individually -- is being raked over the coals because they too are "incompetent" and miss deadlines. It's ludicrous. But at least I don't feel as alone.

The positive side is that I have been flying more in the last week or two, and my instructor thinks I'm ready to solo! Another very positive thing is that Ken, my flight instructor, is very cute and single. We are becoming friends at work and at the airport. It would sure be nice if he decided to kiss me...

This week I had down time at work after I finished a project. I studied for ground school, but still failed the test dramatically: I probably only got 50% of the questions right. I've always been a top student, so I was devastated that my understanding was so poor. Yes, I was very sick during ground school and missed a lot of days there, too. But the poor results struck another blow at my fragile self-esteem. Then many of the pilots I know came to me and told me about the time they had failed ground school altogether the first time, or failed their FAA written exam, or failed the FAA practical portion of the checkride (couldn't do anything right in the air). After that, and a lot of encouragement by Ken, I got over my discouragement and picked myself up to study for the final in a week and a half.

But the bottom line is that I've discovered something I enjoy doing more than writing: flying. I never knew I would love it this much. Each week I wait impatiently until I get to go up again.

It's the middle of the night. I've got to go back to bed.

I hope everyone is doing well. I'm not suicidal at all, totally not interested in hurting myself, am not depressed (certainly discouraged at work, though; but I'm even springing back from that), and am getting my health back.

Now if I could just find a guy that I like who would also like me back...

At one point, my boss told me that "Flying is not important and ground school is not important." Because flying is the only fun, positive, and self-esteem promoting thing that I am doing these days, I came home and burst into tears. I later told Ken about it, and he got mad. He's told a bunch of important people in the company about that. You see, I work for an aviation company that writes training materials for pilots. It only makes sense that the writers learn a lot about aviation and learn to fly. Even the president thinks that way. But not my department manager.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

depression and incompetence

So I'm depressed. It may be because I have weaned myself off Prozac, and now am reducing Wellbutrin. I hope it's just normal depression, because I really don't want to stay on so many drugs.

At work I am feeling absolutely incompetent as a writer. On my current project, they have assigned another person to do some of the writing. I'm not off of it, but the other guy will be doing some of my work. They don't think I can complete all the writing by the deadline. I have been sick with a flu/bad cold and missed a couple of days at work. But I should be writing faster.

I keep feeling like I'm going to lose my job. I don't know if this is a valid concern or not. I used to think that I was doing better than the other writer that was hired at the same time as me, but now I'm not so sure.

I'm going on a business trip to Portland Oregon starting tomorrow and will be gone five days. I'm still somewhat sick. I hate traveling while I'm sick. There is always the chance that I will get worse because of the stress. But I can't get out of it. The other guy from our company that is going wants to show me the bars in Portland, but I think I'm just going to go back to the hotel.

I'm thinking about taking the total amount of Wellbutrin that I was prescribed.

Got to go do laundry and go grocery shopping for the trip.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A borderline-- an optimist?

My life is generally going well. I am coping with work adequately. I am flying well and thoroughly enjoying it. I even do spins (from a very high altitude, not suicidal!).

But I'm still grieving over Frank. I look for his emails many times a day. I am obsessed with hearing from him even though "we" decided to be friends. He and I are going to go to a concert with John Mayer and Sheryl Crow next week--as friends. And I am going to pay to have him go up in a glider plane for his birthday, whenever I can get ahold of the glider club.

All seems to be going well. Yet today I am depressed. I am still managing to get some things done, like doing my laundry and studying for flight school and ground school, but I have this constant heaviness in my chest.

I have taken myself off of Prozac, but I don't think that is the cause. I think that I am depressed because I am still attached to Frank, miss him, and can't have him.

I have been studying books about optimism and how optimists think, and I really want to convert my thinking patterns to a more possitive, healthy outlook. Frank is an optimist, and he is a very attractive person because of it. Optimists, according to the study I've done, have a sense of control over their emotions, a resiliency that they know they will spring back after difficult times, and difficult times will be shorter and less severe than pessimists. They are healthier, live longer, and happier than most people. And it isn't because they were hard wired that way. Apparently, you can gradually change your outlook on life. It takes practice, sometimes even "faking it until you make it." But it can be done.

I look into the mirror and see lines forming on my face. I'm going to be 50 next year -- not an attractive age for women, especially women who want to find a mate. I worry that I won't be able to attract men. Except that I did attract Frank at first. I think that I am much healthier now, and could be in a much healthier relationship. I'm ready to be truly in love with someone. My first marriage was abusive and contributed to my deep depression. My second marriage was all about the worst of my depression, which eventually drove him away. Not that I blame him.

I don't want to bring my borderline personality into another relationship.

I think I am depressed in part because I see myself as a failure in another relationship, and have a sense of hopelessness -- classical attitudes/signs of pessimism. An optimist would say, "He chose not to have me. It's his fault, not my failure. I know I can find a man who will return my affections."

So the question is: How do I get there from here? I want to believe that statement that it's not my failure, and that I can find a man who will love me.

Are there any optimists out there who can comment?

I mean, shouldn't I be grateful for the recovery that I've had from deep depression, finding and holding a very good job, and learning to fly? How can I see myself as lucky, instead of as defeated?

I mean, if I compare myself with the 9/11 victims or their families, I am extremely well off. Or the tragic people in Darfour. Or even other people in my DBT group. I have been called "a poster child of DBT."

So how do I get myself out of the victim mentality, the defeated mentality, the pessimistic mentality?

All I know to do is to try to change my thinking, go ahead and take another step forward, and hope that I will see results.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Afraid of the job but not of flying

Frank with the wolves at the wolf sanctuary. Me in the background.


I am panicked because my job is very hard. They want an enormous amount of work done in a very short time period, and I don't think that I can do it. The other writer feels the same way. They keep changing things up on us, and yet still expect us to meet the original deadline. I am trying to cope with this, but I keep thinking: "I'm going to get fired." I don't know if I will or not. I guess probably not. But it doesn't make the stress go away. I am still taking Xanax, which I have to quit in order to take the FAA's pilot physical and be able to pass the drug test. But it's not going to help at work if I freak out, either. I'm having to choose surviving for the short term over surviving for the long term. It sucks. I tend to get tunnel vision when I am panicking and can't see anything else but the fear. Then I lock up and am not able to work. I stayed home today for the cable guy to come in, but I haven't heard from him. He was supposed to have been here already. I was going to go into work this afternoon, but it's looking like I'm not going to make it.

But flying is going well. I seem to have a knack for it. The instructor said I was the most fearless student he's ever had. I love doing steep turns. Yesterday, he put us into a spin, and I loved it. He said that he's going to have to stop babying me, because I'm not scared like the others. I also nearly did a zero G move on my own (where everything in the cabin floats in the air). He thinks I will love doing aerobatics, and I think he's right. At least something is going well.

I called Frank while he was in Texas on his birthday last week, and he seemed genuinely happy to hear from me. Then, after he drove 15-16 hours back home, I called him on Saturday to make sure he arrived safely. I think he likes having someone concerned about him. But now that his brother is moving to town, that duty will pass from me. We still email back and forth. He seems to want to keep me as a good friend, too. I'm glad, even though I'm still disappointed that it is not going to be something more.

On Saturday, I cancelled a first-time date with Dave because my cold was still lingering. We are making plans on getting together this weekend, though he wants to talk closer to the end of the week.

I went to Great Expectations to see if I wanted to join their dating service. It is really expensive. But all the people there are looking for marriage, so that weeds out quite a few. They also do background checks on everyone, which is nice. If you have a criminal record, then they don't accept you. But a big part of me says that I shouldn't join until I get over Frank. I will probably be comparing every guy to him, and that's not fair for anybody. The woman from GE is hounding me on the phone, continuously making better offers to try to get me to decide to join now. I have been ducking her phone calls. She obviously really wants her commission. I think that a part of me wants to join now so that I can get over Frank by replacing him with another. I guess that would work, although I'm not sure it is the healthiest way to do it. It would be a distraction, but I doubt if I would be as open as I would normally be since I'm still getting over Frank. The whole premise of GE is that you are encouraged to not settle for the person that you bump in to, only to find yourself in love with someone who is not compatible. So they encourage people to continue dating until the chemistry finds you. I don't know if I'm up for dating so many people. Some women apparently juggle several --up to ten--guys at the same time. I couldn't do that. I wish I could just be content again to be alone.

It's just that Frank and I started out so well. Then he lost interest, though I wasn't following his lead. I still was nuts about him. It took me quite a while to get over John, so I wouldn't be surprised if it takes me a long time to get over Frank.

In the meantime, I will start ground school in another week, and that and work should keep me very busy.

Since the cable company hasn't called yet, I may not go into work today. I don't want to have to miss another day of work by staying home for something so dumb as a cable guy. I guess it's better to completely trash one day, than to do it again and again.

What is a borderline doing with a full-time job anyway? I just don't know if I'm going to be able to handle this stress. At least the other writer is having the same problems.

Guess I'll go back and try to work at least a little while from home.

Are there any other borderlines or other people who are having a hard time coping with a job and the symptoms?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

SU with Frank and other negativities



Me at the wolf sanctuary getting kissed by one of the wolves. Yes, they are wild.

Couldn't get logged onto blogger.com. So my posts are a little behind.

Last week, I woke up in the middle of the night convinced that I knew what broke Frank and me up. I thought I had lied to him, and he knew it, and so backed away. So I wrote a despairing middle of the night email, which included references to flying a plane into the ground. The next morning, I wrote to him and told him not to read that email, but it was too late. I told him that it was a nightmare, but who's going to forget suicidal behavior in your former girlfriend? I go see my T on Tuesday, and will have to discuss that one. One of my friends thinks that I'm unconsciously pushing men away, but I don't think so. If anything, I think I was trying to CONNECT with Frank by letting him know my true feelings. Well, I know that I was emotional during that time and didn't make a very good decision. I should have called the hotline instead.

But now, I don't know, but I think this has driven a permanent wedge between Frank and me. Polar Bear thinks that I mind read Frank too much. Maybe I do.

Something else I've noticed is that I'm attracted to men who see the glass as half full rather than half empty. And yet, I view it as half empty. I really think this is coming up for me to work on. That negative, dark attitude has been around a very long time. How am I supposed to attract positive men when I myself am not positive? I've become so much more aware of it now. I'd like to see the cup half full. There are many positive things going on in my life. I have a good new job that pays well, and I'm getting compliments on my work. Now all I need to do is to change my attitude. And I bet that will attract positive men like flies.

I've been thinking about what the odds are that I will find a man that I am so attracted to and mesh well with in so many ways. Frank is going to be a tough act to follow. Will I settle for a "nice guy" that I don't fall in love with? It's possible. It's happened in the past. At least now I know that what type of guy I go for: they either have a computer or mathematical background, and have an interest in flying or Emergency Medical stuff. They are generally very positive and stable. At least I am attracted to the "right" type of person--positive and stable. Now I just need to have the ability to maintain a positive and stable relationship. That's a big order for a BPD.

Does a negative outlook on life go hand and hand with BPD? Is it essentially part of the Dx? Or can I change it? I hope I can change it. The question then becomes how. And I guess the old adage is that you first become aware of the problem before you can change it.

This weekend I came down with a cold and essentially stayed in bed the whole time, except when I was ordering really bad pizza. (Dominoes makes the worst pizza I've ever had in my life.) And that was good for me. I busted a gut trying to make a deadline this week (and actually made it), so I came into the weekend sick and tired. It has really been therapeutic for me to burrough for a while. I've been healing in the dark.

I hope I can get to sleep early tonight. Woke up late, so I don't know if that will happen.

I've been attracted to and "in love" with two men this year: John and Frank. I guess that shows that attractive men are out there. I guess that's positive. John was unavailable as a married man, and though Frank was available, he was available only as often as he wanted to be, which was once every 2-3 weeks. Not a good thing on a relationship.

I am tentatively planning to go to Great Expectations (a large dating company). I suppose I will renew my membership to eHarmony. I think the connections they find between people ares good ones. It's not the same thing as Jungian matching. It has more to do with energy level, things of shared interest, similar or compatible politics and religious beliefs, and many others. Great Expectations records a video of you answering three questions that you've chosen ahead of time. Then they let you view other members' videos, and decide if you like them and want to meet them. It's a different approach to dating than eHaromony. They accept only people who are looking for a permanent relationship, so that narrows the field down quite a bit. Although I doubt if someone who is looking for casual relationships would go to eHarmony.

I didn't fly today because I wasn't feeling well. But I am wondering if part of my desire to fly has to do with Frank (he's a helicopter pilot). I know in the past, I have taken up many new areas of interest due to first being introduced by a lover. I just hope it's a permanent desire (to fly), because I am spending a hell of a lot of money learning to do it. It will benefit my job, of course, so I'm sure that I will continue until I have my Private Pilot's license.

Life is getting restructured without Frank. I'm going to have someone take him up in a sailplane, and hopefully let him fly it a bit. It will be a nice birthday present for Frank. The question is, should I spend that kind of money on an outgoing boyfriend (although an inbound friend)?

THE PHOTO IS OF ME AT THE WOLF SANCTUARY.

Frank took me, naturally. I wanted to touch him, hold his hand, caress him, etc. the whole time. I finally told him I was still attracted to him, and his reaction was that he was willing to give the idea of us becoming just friends more time. He truly is not attracted to me anymore. He's in Texas this week, which is good. I can still email him, but I'm going to try not to. I need to unplug the umbilical cord from him. I hope I can maintain him as a friend, but that's all up to me, now.

It's hard to realize that there might be someone else who comes down the road that I will be as attracted to, but I guess it's a possibility. Especially if I continue with eHarmony and Great Expectations.

I've just got to keep my cup half full.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Foggy brain

I'm exhausted from a very long and tiring work week. I notice that I am getting tired about 2 hours before I leave. Then things seem difficult, as if I can't see my way. It's like being in a fog. But my brain just won't function. And I get very indecisive. That's going to get me into a lot of trouble. I'm racking up writing hours without doing any writing. They will pay attention to their statistics and notice that I am slow.

When I was on Effexor and the devil drug, Zyprexa, my mind was always in a fog and my memory severely limited. Now that I'm off those and Lexapro, my brain has come back to me. But I'm wondering if the foggy brain that I'm having is meds-related, or just natural.

Does anyone else get so tired during the day that they become non-functional? And is it BPD related? I don't remember being at a full time job and becoming this tired in the late afternoon. I remember being foggy, but for long periods of time, when I was a book editor. Sometimes I used to take a 15 minute nap at work during the middle of the day.

Or is it age? I'm 49 now. I've got to find a remedy for it.

My sleeping is not very good. I ended up taking something to put me to sleep last night--one of the meds that will show up on a drug test weeks later. So the more trouble I have sleeping, probably the longer it will be until I get my FAA physical and drug test. My regular MD has put me on Neurotonin. One of the side effects of it is to make you sleep at night. Also, it supposedly calms anxiety. She's ramping me up quickly on it, which is good. But I don't know if it is going to be effective in putting me to sleep at night or not. Seroquel might do it. But I don't know if it shows up as a flagged drug or not. I know that several of you have used Seroquel. Does it work for putting you to sleep? And do you have a hangover the next morning? Can't have any drugs that last a long time.

I am flying now (will go out again on Sunday with a different flight instructor) and so with that, and with needing to be fully brain functional all day at work, I have to be careful what I take. That's why the med that I take now is so good. It's a benzodiazapam type, but it doesn't seem to have hangover effects. Except, of course, that it stays in the body for weeks afterward.

I don't take my Ritalin very regularly any more. It's possible, I suppose, that ADD is causing me to lose focus. But that doesn't explain the afternoon syndrome.

Tomorrow morning early, I leave for Frank's apartment. It will be the first time I've seen him since I made the decision not to let myself be in love with him. But I wonder what I'll do if I find him attractive and want to go to bed with him? Will it be safe emotionally? I am still hoping that I've come to terms with him not loving me. I suppose it is dangerous to go be with him, but I really want to keep him as a friend at least. Now you know he's got to be something special for me to still allow myself to be around him. Maybe he won't be attracted to me. If that's the case, then it's a pretty safe bet that we can remain friends. If he is attracted to me, that will be a lot more complex. But there is a big part of me that is hoping he still finds me desirable.

I know, I know. I'm playing with fire. But my alternative is to either to not date, or to turn to another dating service. If Frank stays my friend, I may not date. But if we can't be friends, I still want a companion. So it would be very risky emotionally to start dating.

The dating service that I'm looking into only accepts people who are looking for a marriage. That clears out all the Franks in the world. The service video tapes you answering some pre-chosen questions. And from that you are supposed to give people an idea of who you are and what you are like. Then you go through the men's videos and if you find one attractive, you let him know. Maybe he'll be interested, maybe not. But at least you know that he is looking for a permanent love. I don't know if this method of matching people up works very well or not. They say that 1 in 7 of their members gets married because of the service. I have an interview scheduled with them on Monday afternoon. I don't know if I'll keep it or not.

Time to relax. I wish I could go to sleep early. But I doubt that my mind is going to let me do that.

And so the drama continues...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Clarifications

So I emailed Jerry, and he said that we just weren't the right fit. Oh well. That had to be the quickest date I ever had.

But I got an email from Frank, who wants to see me this weekend. I don't know if I'll spend the night or not, but at least we will get to go see wolves in a wolf sanctuary, have coffee, then have breakfast. His school is starting, so I know he will be busy. But that's ok. I'll get to see him.

His birthday is on the 24th, and I've decided to give him a sailplane (glider) flight as a gift. He's a helicopter pilot and has been up in a sailplane once, but would like to get back into it. He doesn't celebrate birthdays, but with any luck, I won't give him the chance to turn me down. Then in the first part of September my ground school starts, then in October, grad school starts. So I should be considerably busier. And hopefully not thinking about Frank as much.

I will see my T tomorrow early afternoon. At last. We can talk about the situation with Frank and see if it is something that I can accept for what it is, or not. I hope he and I continue to have occasional sex, but realize he might not be open to that. I just don't think I'm going to find someone I'm better matched to than him. I'm going to pull out of eHarmony. There's not going to be time to date anyone with school coming up anyway. And the only one I want to see is Frank.

I guess I just wasn't prepared for the reality of what calling it off with him would mean.

I think my sister thinks that things could progress over time if I would just relax and stop pushing. Maybe so. We can be companions. We're good companions.

I think that my reg. md may have found a solution to Xanax -- Neurontin. It should help me sleep, too, though not very strongly. I just have to get past my flight medical exam. They're not real sure how Neurontin works, but it is supposed to relieve pain and anxiety and cause you to be sleepy. It also doesn't metabolize in the body, and so won't show up on a drug test.

The crisis hotline suggested that I call my doctor and explain everything to her and what my goals were with the FAA. So I did. And the woman also suggested that I make an appointment with my T, which I have (it's tomorrow). My boss even told me to take the afternoon off WITHOUT working. That will be tough for me. I have to find a way to keep busy. Work isn't enough. Maybe I'll finally get off my lazy butt and start exercising and be able to go skiing with Frank. I know he'd like that very much. So he wants to be with me, just not as much as I want to be with him. I'm the only one who can decide if that's ok or not. He is just such a fabulous man, such a good fit, that it seems crazy to pass the opportunity by to continue to see him, even if it is not as much as I want.

What part of this is compulsive neediness on my part, and what part of it is realistically wanting someone who wants me as much as I want them? Neediness seems to be a big part. Radical Acceptance like in DBT would be so helpful. Just accept things the way they are.

I have a long way to go to come to peace with my heart. Maybe I tried to artificially end it too soon with Frank by demanding that he see me more. He's not scared off. That part is unbelievable.

My son is moving out August 24th, and that will be both a big relief, and a lonely thing. I need my space. I just need to get back to doing some of the things that I used to do, like watch more movies and read. I listen to music, but it reminds me of my heart breaking. I am having trouble concentrating at work. Again, it's Frank.

Is it possible to grow in love over time if one of us stops being so pressuring? (me, of course). Or am I wasting my time? He's such a good man, I can't believe it would be wasting my time. At this point it certainly seems worth the risk, and I am definitely a risk taker. I think I am an overachiever, at least right now, because I'm trying to avoid my feelings of pain. But I think it would be better if I just cried. I need to have a good cry to get in touch with my pain and stop pushing it away.

At least I know he cares about me as a special friend. We're just going to have to define what "special" means.