As I am on an internet-free holiday right now I asked you to send me questions back in March so I was able to prepare some posts and you amazed me by sending lots of ideas 🙂
So here we go!
How do you deal with extreme emotions?
Not very well by the looks of it. It really depends on which feeling we’re talking about though:
For example I’m not able to cope with rage at all. For most of my life my tactic was to bottle it up and be eaten up with anger; a short time ago I started to experiment with letting it out which has mostly ended destructively so far.
I don’t really feel sadness/grief, I seem to be out of touch with those so no idea.
Concerning fear I view panic attacks as the most extreme example – I can cope with those by now. As tough as it might sound, one gets used to them, after a while you know that you’re not actually dying, start breathing earlier etc…
I guess I can’t really give any general advice on how to deal with the BPD-typcial extreme emotions…or maybe I can: It is definitely useful to know your own early warning signs.
Carrying on in spite of depression. How?
For me the absolutely crucial thing is routine, or more precisely in my case my job. When I’m depressed I only get up if I have to and a regular job is great for that (optionally, other people might have children/pets/voluntary tasks/whatever).
Apart from that these things are important for me: Getting out of the house at least once a day, dividing everything into baby steps (I just think about brushing my teeth, when that is done, putting on clothes and I never think about anything that comes afterwards so that the coming day can’t overwhelm me) and if there’s any energy, I work on the cause so that I don’t feel powerless: Be it therapy, be it seeing a doctor and getting medication (or simply vitamin D if you don’t see much of the sun in winter just like me), be it quitting a terrible job or ending a toxic relationship…whatever could be the cause can (hopefully) be changed.
Escaping from everyday life into a phantasy world…and rude awakening afterwards?
This question if difficult for me to answer as I’m convinced that I wouldn’t be alive without a certain dose of escapism. Basically one could view reading a good book or exercises where you imagine something such as the “safe place” as a way of escaping to a phantasy world and I have made nothing but good experiences with that. I can imagine that huge problems can arise when you actually lose connection with reality but a deliberate break in Middle Earth or at Hogwarts never did any harm 😉
Like I said, I’m using this consciously, for example in situations where I would risk self-harming behaviour otherwise. When it comes to coping with every day life I don’t try to avoid that by escaping to a phantasy world so I’m probably not really helping here.