I’ll tell you who: my Sally cat.
We had to kitten-sit this little guy overnight while his parents were out of town and I’m pretty sure Sally thought the world had ended!
A kiss of death upon this land,
I feel I’ve walked for miles.
My feet are aching to the bone,
From marching me through trials.
Through lips so parched and eyes so blind,
The weakness creeps it’s way.
I fear that though I’ve long to go,
I cannot last the day.
The wind calls out to rest my legs,
And soon I lay in dust.
The light of death takes hold of me,
“No, carry on, you must”.
With blistered hands I find my way,
For I have seen the light.
And I know that when my time does come,
Each breath was worth the fight.
Would it truly be so horrible for me to have the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder? Can one not be a good person and have bpd? Sometimes I question it. So many people seem to want to “save” me from the diagnosis of it, to justify or explain away my borderline traits as if the label of bpd is such a terrible thing. And I know that their intentions are good, I don’t doubt that, but what it says to me every time is that it’s not alright to have bpd. In the end what it does is further enhance the shame and stigma already surrounding this disorder.
I often wonder if I made a mistake in blogging on here about my diagnosis and mental health. Generally what I write here was and is focused on my connective tissue disorder and chronic pain. My diagnosis of bpd came almost a year after I had started this blog and I thought about it for a few weeks before deciding that I would share it here. But, generally I don’t go into much detail about what exactly I struggle with in regards to my mental health or what exactly led me to seek help and end up with the diagnosis in the first place. I speak vaguely of it, but I haven’t even scratched the surface of my life with bpd on this blog. That’s because I don’t feel comfortable sharing such personal details of my life on here and because I’d rather keep the medical aspect of this blog focused on what it was meant to from the beginning; my physical health.
Hardly anyone in my personal life knows about my bpd. This is in large part because I’m often ashamed of it and also because when people find out they begin to ask questions, questions that I’m not comfortable answering. The only people that do know do only because I couldn’t hide my symptoms from them. They knew that something was wrong, and eventually it became so obvious that the only option that I had was to tell them the truth about it. When I chose to include this in my blog it was for two reasons. The first was in the hopes that other people in similar situations would reach out to me, and I wouldn’t feel so alone. The second was in order to help sort out my feelings about the diagnosis, and keep from coping through denial, replacing that with honesty and openness.
I will never make this a borderline blog. I will never be okay with writing out the day to day struggles of bpd and how unwell it makes me. If this were an anonymous blog then that would be different and I wouldn’t feel the need to be as guarded. Because of that this will also never be a portrait of life with bpd. If you expect to look through my blog and know what bpd looks and feels like then you will be consuming an inaccurate account of what to expect when it comes to borderline people. I don’t put out enough information on the disorder to be of educational use to anyone. That is why no one can read through my posts and accurately tell me that I don’t sound like I have bpd. If I described living with the disorder as I describe living with Marfan Syndrome that would be an entirely different thing.
What it comes down to is this: no one needs to pity me because of this diagnosis, and certainly no one needs to try and tell me that my circumstances and hardships excuse me from having bpd. I was struggling with major aspects of this disorder before I even knew what to call it, so for me the name really doesn’t matter. These things are all a part of what makes me me, both the good and the bad. I am a good person. I’m mature, sympathetic, strong and kind, and I also happen to have bpd, at least so I’m told by the “professionals”. Having this disorder does not make me a bad person. It doesn’t mean that I’m not capable of good things and it certainly doesn’t mean that I’m about to turn into Alex Forrest from Fatal Attraction at any minute. And maybe there will come a day when more is understood about mental health, and my symptoms fit into a different category, a day when I’m told that I in fact really don’t suffer from BPD. Like I said, the name really doesn’t matter, it’s the progress I make within myself in order to be better and overcome my demons that should be the focus. Which is something we all face anyways, “borderline” or not.
This is me. I’m not that “borderline girl” or that girl who has Marfan Syndrome. I’m me. The rest is just background noise, pieces of the puzzle. For now, I am someone who was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. And I’m okay with that. It validates a war that I’ve been fighting against myself for many, many years. It tells me that I’m not alone with feelings that I thought no one else in this world would understand. For now, it gives me an answer that I desperately needed.
I know this isn’t a cooking blog – not even close – but this dip is just so good that it would be selfish not to share it. Seriously, I could live off of this. It’s also super colorful and when I do cook – which is not often – I love using colors.
We call it “Surprise Dip“, the internet calls it all sorts of different things.
This recipe leaves a lot of room for tweaking, depending on how much you like each individual ingredient.
You’re gonna need:
Cream cheese: 8 ounce
Mayonnaise (or miracle whip): 1/4 cup
Sour cream: 1/2 cup
Canned shrimp (or fresh), drained: 1 cup
Seafood cocktail sauce: 1 jar
Pepper (red, green or yellow)
Tomato – let’s get messy!
Cheese (I prefer a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella)
Tortilla chips (or crackers)
In a bowl combine the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise, blending it until it’s smooth and well mixed. Take a glass baking dish and smooth the mixture out into the bottom. The smaller your dish the thicker the layers will be. I prefer to use a fair sized pan because I find that the dip’s easier to scoop up when it’s thinner.
Spread the seafood cocktail sauce over top of the base mixture. Feel free to add less or more to your taste. Drain and dice your shrimp and then spread it out evenly over top. The last couple of times I’ve made this I didn’t have shrimp and I hardly even noticed the difference, so if you don’t have it, don’t worry!
Chop, chop, chop time. This is where things get pretty. Dice up your peppers and spread them generously on top of the shrimp. If you’re like me and you love peppers you’re going to want to almost completely cover the dip in them. The more the better (for me at least). Do the same with your green onion. The green onion’s taste is more overpowering though, so I don’t use as much of it as I do the pepper.
Dice up a tomato, making sure to drain the pieces out before adding them. No one likes a runny surprise dip! (That’s probably a lie, I’d still eat it.) Now this may be fairly obvious by now, but you don’t have to use tomatoes if you’re not a fan, the same can be said for most of the ingredients.
This is the last step, unless you’ve thought of something else tasty that you’d like to add. Grate yourself a big bowl of cheese (whichever kind you most like) and sprinkle it over top. Then ta-da, you’ve just made the tastiest dip ever. Get yourself some chips or crackers and munch away!
You know those really annoying people that walk around with their ipod headphones on and blaring all of the time so that if you were to speak to them, there’d be no way that they’d hear you? Well, that’s me. Not all of the time and sometimes I will try to be aware of other people in case they are trying to talk to me but for the most part, I’m plugged into my music. And that’s the way that I like it. It allows me to completely block out the outside world and to just be in my own head and my own zone.
I also use the headphones to speak for me, say, if I’m seriously not in the mood for conversation – in the house, in a store and otherwise – I put them in, and loud, and hope that people will see that and refrain from attempting to make conversation. I don’t do so to purposely be rude, but sometimes I just get so lost in my own feelings and thoughts that the thought of interacting with people is just highly unwanted. Often times the action of going to a store is such a source of anxiety and displeasure, with which having to smile and chat instead of put myself on autopilot until I get the heck out of there is just so much worse. And, I’m usually in a hurry, A.) because I’m terribly impulsive with money, B.) like I said, stores make me uncomfortable, and C.) my brain is always so overloaded with pain that it’s so easy for me to forget or get confused and screw up whatever it was that I went shopping for in the first place.
For me, with my “brain fog” (this is the name they give to what happens to your brain when it’s always overloaded with pain signals), I’ve developed a routine for shopping. When I get out of the car I stop, make sure that I’ve locked it, make sure that I place the keys in my purse, make sure that I have my purse, all of this often repeated multiple times, just to make sure because I can’t trust my brain. Then as I go through the store, collecting the item(s) that I need I keep checking to make sure I haven’t put anything down and left it somewhere or that I’ve read the label on the item correctly so that I hopefully won’t have to come back and exchange it (even with the double and triple checking you’d be surprised how often this happens). Getting to the checkout is more of the same, make sure I grabbed every bag, triple check that I put my wallet back into my purse etc. By the time I get back out to the car my head is usually pounding worse and my back is killing me. Then I thoroughly make sure to put everything in the car, check to make sure I have my wallet again, and steady myself before driving.
Despite what you make think, aside from steadying my mood, having my music blaring during this entire process helps me focus and block out more external stimuli and interruptions. And since someone talking to me makes it impossible for me to think because I then have to concentrate so hard on what they’re saying, if the sight of my headphones deters any would be conversations than that’s a huge bonus. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be unfriendly, I’m just overloaded and on a mission and it’s not like if someone did try to talk to me I’d ignore them or be rude, because I won’t.
It’s kind of sad how much energy and prep goes into taking a trip to the store for me. My mom is the same way because of her pain. It’s just like Christine Miserandino’s “Spoon Theory” describes. Doing things when you have a chronic condition or illness of any kind takes so much more out of you then it ever would for other people. When you’re chronically ill you lose one of life’s best luxuries; the ability to just do, instead of think. Just do. have a shower without fearing one of my ribs will dislocate while I’m washing my hair, just give someone a hug without lecturing them on not squeezing me too hard first, run up the stairs without thinking about keeping my heart rate as low as possible, lift a bag without wondering if it’s under 20 pounds. I could continue on with this forever.
“…the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.” – The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino