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The Difference A Day Makes

 

Put off 'til tomorrow what you want to do today! I had a client come in after a serious bout with suicidal thoughts. She had been struggling with depression, anxiety and had been sick with immune dysfunction problems for over 8 months. Chronic pain had been an integral component of her struggle. She had been in remission from depression and anxiety, but the medical issues were pressing in.



She was doing an amazing job focusing on the pieces in her life which she had direct influence. In fact, her faith life had improved through this challenge. But, she lived close to the edge, closer than even she had realized. When two days had passed and she wasn't able to sleep, the third day she hit rock bottom. She decided she had given her all and knew clearly that she would not tolerate living in her current condition any longer. She had made the decision to leave this place, to obtain the freedom of the place to come... to commit suicide.



She was as clear as she'd ever been. Then, something happened. She went to bed that third night AND SHE SLEPT! She awoke with better energy. Her body, though still sick, was restored to a better place than three days prior and this allowed her mind to access a different way of thinking. She had hope once again. She simply felt a bit of relief, not a lot but just enough so that she knew she could push forward.



Her partially renewed energy was integral in her decision to rejoin the fight for life. But the two greater lessons for her were that sometimes the smallest thing can can be invigorating (a little sleep). And just when you feel you cannot go another step and then you push forward anyway, there's the chance you'll break into something good.



She was very grateful to be alive, to tell me her story and what she had learned. She said that her medical struggle continues and that she cannot guarantee she won't fall off the edge again in the future. But, this experience, beginning with the decision to go to bed one last time before acting on her suicide decision, had given her much to think about for the next time she might face a period of hopelessness.



The moral to the story? You may not be able to guarantee that tomorrow will be a better day, but can you guarantee that it won't be? Hang in there.


 


Dave Turo-Shields (email)
Veteran Psychotherapist, Trainer & Life Coach

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"The world is full of suffering. It is also full of the overcoming it."

Hellen Keller

Ask Dave

QUESTION

[This is a single mother of a Borderline Personality Disordered 14 year old daughter]

My daughter and I have done nothing but fight tonight.  She is throwing the most hurtful things she can think of at me -- that I am cold, unloving, not compassionate, that I am alone because I push everybody away, that if she has to go to her dad's she'll never talk to me again, and on and on.  

I really don't know how much of this I can take. And I don't know what to do.  I have grounded her. From what I'm not sure.  I've told her that she has to get a job, because that's the only way she will get any spending money.  I will only pay for what I deem necessary. I wonder what the best way to end it all is, and I know I don't have the courage to do that.  Nor do I really want to.  But I do know that this hurts so bad I don't know how to deal with it. I don't know who to go to for help. 

Thanks for listening.

Joanne

ANSWER - 

Hi Joanne,

I'm so sorry to read about how
your last few days have gone.
I don't care for labels much but if your daughter isn't aware she struggles with Borderline Personality Disorder it may be time to teach her about it, with some guidance from a professional.

In doing so, you can begin to
teach her what the symptoms of
the illness are and work
towards her making a beginning
commitment to recovery
from this disorder.

I've included a web page link
below which lists a few
resources to read over for
folks like yourself who are in
the caregiver role with
someone who has BPD.

Caregiver Borderline Resources

I've also read several
articles from Laura Paxton and
found them to be helpful. She
has written a couple of books
and is in recovery from BPD
herself. She's also a
professional psychotherapist.
I've downloaded her books in
pdf format and have reviewed them.  They are excellent and even applicable to anyone who wishes to live a happier life.  There's a book and then the workbook that goes along with it.  The link is below.

Borderline Recovery Books

Your daughter  is railing against
boundaries and boundaries are
exactly what she is need of.
You're doing right things. Our
hope is to shift these patterns in
her life. You're doing your
part in intervening with her.
I know it is incredibly fatiguing and that you struggle with blaming 
yourself, but please know you 
are doing your best. Also know that the disorder counts on you
attacking yourself like it does through your daughter. This is a disorder you're fighting, not a daughter.

Namaste,

Dave Turo-Shields

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