On Wednesday, I went to a Galentine’s party with a girl I met at church, Alex. I forced myself to go because I’m trying very hard to meet new people and step out of my comfort zone. It was definitely out of my comfort zone.
That’s not to say it wasn’t fun, it just wasn’t quite what I expected. There were only four of us there and it didn’t take long to figure out I was the oldest in the room by at least five years. It was strange listening to these women in their early twenties talking about things akin to “I’m not getting any younger.” Not that they’re “too young” to be saying such things (I don’t know what kind of experiences these young women have had and I’m no one to tell anyone how they should feel), it just seemed so strange.
Did I say things like that at twenty-three? I don’t think so. Of course, when I was twenty-three, I was living with my boyfriend, had a job, and spent a lot of time with friends. I had it together at twenty-three. It was twenty-five where everything fell apart.
Anyway, that felt odd to me. Also, it was very clear that these young women were already pretty close and had a lot in common, which definitely made me feel like an outsider. They’re around the same age, so they’re going through similar things; they have similar jobs; they’re all church friends, so they have the same religious beliefs…
Let’s talk about that, for a moment.
I feel so very out of place at church. On my first visit, I thought it was mostly the anxiety, but each time I’ve gone I just feel… not like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but like a sheep in wolf’s clothing, trying to sneak through the pack. The sense of community is amazing–everyone is very friendly.
It’s just that I can’t help but wonder if they would be that friendly if I had met them outside of church and they knew I wasn’t “one of them.” I understand it’s church, but all conversations end up going back to God.
I joked with Pup that I feel like I accidentally joined a cult.
Speaking of Pup, oddly enough, I’m finding it difficult to let go of the romantic aspect.
It feels odd to me that, when we hang out, he leaves at the end of the night, now. I’m sure it’s just something I need to get used to, but there’s also a nagging voice in the back of my mind that tells me I’ve made a huge mistake, that my considering politics a deal breaker is just me being oversensitive, that aside from that he complements me perfectly, that all relationships take work, that just because we disagree on certain issues doesn’t mean that he’s a bad person or even a bad person for me. After all, he’s been unendingly supportive of me (even in regards to my political beliefs), always does his best to help when I need, is thoughtful and certainly make me think…
I get this irksome little din telling me that the reason I feel like I couldn’t be with him is because of my mental illness. That I’m taking a small conflict and blowing it up as an excuse to push him away–because he’s not absolutely perfect, he must be inherently bad for me. This is something I do a lot.
Which leads me into what is possibly the greatest cause of stress in my life, at current:
I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression when I was still in high school. And while I definitely tick the boxes for both, there are other issues I have that generally aren’t included on those lists: severe mood swings, intense and irrational anger (far beyond the realm of irritability), sharp fluctuations in how I view others (angel/devil dichotomy; either I idealize them or hate them with little in between and that opinion changes quickly and often over minor, irrational things).
The last couple years I’ve been doing some research, trying to figure out if I can explain these symptoms with the depression or anxiety–maybe I was just having really intense bouts, right?
Recently, I’ve come to the realization that I may have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). People who’ve experienced abusive childhoods (like, say, an older brother who physically assaulted them well into their teens) are at risk of developing BPD. I hit a lot of the symptoms and it would explain why I’m so back-and-forth in my relationship with Pup, among other things.
BPD is… kind of a big deal, though. It’s difficult to manage and often requires professional assistance. Without treatment, chances increase that other chronic mental illnesses can develop. But, I can’t afford to see a therapist regularly for treatment.
I can’t even afford to see one to get a proper diagnosis to find out if I even have it.
So, I’m feeling overwhelmed and stressed. It’s rough, but I’m trying to hang in there.
I love you all.
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