What will I choose to be?
by Angela B. Chrysler
I’m sitting here on this warm November day, staring out my window in the rain. I’m thinking back on everything that has happened this year.
January. Raven. March. Broken. April. Mental ward. May. Book release. June. Diagnoses. July. Blog Tour. August. Awakening. September. Book release. October. Book release. November. Question. What will I choose to be?
This time last year I was living in alternate worlds that allowed me to escape then deny the decades of pain I survived. I decided to try. Then I decided to get stronger. Then I decided to help others.
Where I am now… I never would have believed it. I lived with fear, felt little to nothing except the constant state of euphoria fueled by my Mania. I felt the three day suicidal low depression that followed then the 30 day euphoria. If I wanted to feel anything, it had to be done through Mania. All other emotion was dead to me. I killed it long ago.
Fear. Fear was an emotion that I could feel without the mania. Fear was prominent. Fear was the leading emotion in all my choices. Shut down. Don’t feel. Turn into stone. Become cold. Let the fear in. Let it protect you. Now use the Mania to feel something through all the numb and the fear and the screams. And the loneliness. The insane depths of loneliness. My husband swore he knew me. I shook my head, lonelier than ever. You don’t know me. I’ve killed that part of me. No one knows me. I won’t let them in to see me.
Does any of this sound familiar? Now, what if I told you, you’re not only alone in this, but there is way to change it.
“Imagine a life where there is no fear. You wake up and it is your dreams, your hope, your desires that guide your decisions and not your fears. Imagine hearing a dog bark, a car backfire, a group of people shouting… and that is all you hear. No triggers, no fear, no war, no weapons. You’re relaxed all the time. You don’t cry. You don’t think about anything beyond, “What’s for dinner?” Your fears are gone. You can leave the house and enjoy yourself. Fear is an option. You’ve just forgotten how to live without it.
These words were first told to me, not by my therapist, but by my son’s therapist six months ago. I cried and said, “I want that. I want that so much. I want to believe you. But you’re talking unicorns and faeries to me. Lies,” I said. She answered, “You can have it. You will.”
And she was right.
Every day that passes, I see the other side more clear than ever before. Once, there was only danger and me armed with fear. Now, I toggle this line. I feel my mind pulling me over to danger, which triggers the fear, which triggers the defenses. But the other side is there. The other side where there is no danger. I should be relaxed and sleeping and smiling. “You are safe,” I say over and over. I fight the fear and the feelings of danger. I can feel reality fighting with the illusion. I can tell the difference now. I can see both sides now.
They aren’t real. The danger. It isn’t real. Did you hear me? They aren’t real.
Yes, they are.
And I gently smile. I know exactly how you feel. You have full reason to be afraid from the hurt… from the past. But where are you now? In the store? In your car? And yet you’re still afraid? Of what? It’s okay to be afraid when you should be. When there is a real threat or danger around you. But it isn’t okay… It isn’t normal to be afraid when there is no danger. Trauma distorted your fear response. I know. I was once just like you.
“I found the door,” I want to say. “I found the way out of this maze. There is a cure. You don’t have to live like this. BPD has a solution. If only you will believe it. BPD, PTSD… it’s all in your head. The fear. Not the experience. It’s your mind convincing you that you’re not safe when you are. And it has all the reason in the world to do this to you. You’ve been hurt… but… there is a way to stop living like this. And I have found the door. Please. Take my hand and follow me. I found the door. I know how to get out.
“There is a place where there is no fear. Where there is no danger. There is a place where there is no pain and loneliness. Please, come with me. Choose to leave this hell behind and come with me. Please try.”