My top moments of May 2020

Hello my beautiful darlings!

It is officially a new month! Can’t even believe it is already June! This year seems to be going by fast, despite all of the craziness that is going on. When you live with mental and chronic illness, it’s sometimes hard to focus on and realize all the good things that you have in your life. Often, your illnesses and the problems they cause can mask the happy moments, but it’s very important to remember that even though there is so much dark within our lives, there is also so much light. So today I want to try to start a series on this blog where at the end of the month/beginning of the next month, I share with you some of my happiest memories from that month because those are the memories that even on my worst days, I can focus on and smile. 🙂

Moment #1: Mothers Day

Mothers day this year was a day I was actually dreading. The week leading up to Mothers day, I was very stressed out and emotional. This was due to multiple reasons. The biggest one being, I always thought by this point in my life I would either have a child, be pregnant, or at least be in the planning stages. I never thought I would be sitting here realizing there is a high chance that I may never be able to biologically have kids. Realizing the state of my health and knowing I am nowhere near what I imagined I would be at 24, was really hard and weighed heavily on my heart that week. I was also feeling depressed over the fact that due to certain situations, our oldest dog Willie can no longer live with us at this time. It hurt knowing that I wouldn’t be able to be with all 4 of my fur children at one time but at least I would be able to see them all throughout the day. When Mothers day arrived, I still felt stressed but tried to just focus on making muffins for my mother in law. Before we headed over, my wonderful husband gave me a card that warmed my heart and really made me realize how blessed I am. He had made me a card on photoshop from all my pups with tons of pictures of them. He also wrote a poem from each one to me. I couldn’t help but cry. Mother’s day is my number one memory of the month because that was the day that I realized that even though my life isn’t where I thought it would be, one thing is true, I am still a mommy, my kids just have paws ❤

Moment #2: Getting my new desk

I know many of you probably don’t understand why this moment would be so important to me but it was more than just getting a desk. For many years now, I have had no space to call my own. If I wanted to do my makeup, I had to stand in front of my dresser which only caused my body pain. If I wanted to type, I would just transfer my surface to any available table or even my lap. Recording videos was always a headache because I would have to figure out a place to set up my chair. It was exhausting and not having your own space can really take a toll on you. When my husband set up my new desk in the corner of our bedroom, I almost started to cry. Finally, I had a space all to my own where I could create whatever I wanted to create. It was an amazing feeling and honestly has done wonders for my mental health.

Moment #3: Rescueing a baby Raccoon

Being a total animal lover, of course this had to make the list. I had gotten up to take Blue out like I do every morning when my grandma stopped me in the kitchen and let me know that she found a baby raccoon this morning in our yard. Besides for his one eye looking injured and not being able to open, he looked perfectly healthy and was very vocal. My grandma had him in a box with a towel on our back porch. I called my mom, since she has experience with rehabilitating animals, and she began to call other people she knew. She soon came down to give the baby some pedialyte and make sure he was warm. The little raccoon was so adorable and I even nicknamed him Rocket after Guardians of the Galaxy. We only had him for a few hours before my mom finally got in touch with a rehabilitator up near the Catskills who could take care of him. Turns out, he was really young and his eye was indeed infected but he is doing very well in the care of this guy. It felt good to be able to rescue this tiny helpless creature and get him to someone who was able to give him the care that he needed.

Moment #4: Taking Blue on his first real PA & socialization trip

One of the most crucial things that must be done when you have a puppy training for service work is socialization. Unfortunately, socializing during a pandemic is very difficult so we haven’t really been able to do so. However, this month I was finally able to take Blue out and do some real world socialization with him. My mom’s friend unfortunately, due to covid-19, had to close down her store. She was getting rid of and selling a lot so she invited us to come down to pick up anything we wanted. Since the shop was closed, the only people allowed to come were people she directly invited so everything was done in a very safe way. She told me I could bring Blue since the shop is right in town so I could sit outside with him and get him used to the sounds of traffic. Blue wound up doing an amazing job! Not only was he not scared of anything, not even the giant trucks that went by, but he consistently listened to me and his commands. Of course, he was excited meeting someone new but he quickly settled down and focused on me. I was even able to put a treat on his paw and have him leave it, something I didn’t think he would do in a new environment with distractions. Before this outing, I was getting pretty frustrated with him. As my trainer says, it’s completely normal at this age for them to test you. It’s like you take 500 steps forward and 5000 steps back. This can be mentally and physically exhausting though and at times, it’s very easy to start to doubt your ability to train and even your puppies ability to become a service dog. This trip though was exactly what I needed to be reminded that Blue and I are doing a great job and even though we still have a long road ahead of us, in my heart I feel like we are going to make it and he will become my service dog!

So there you have it, 4 of my top moments of the month. Of course, there were many other smaller moments that made up my month that bring a smile to my face. I encourage everyone out there who may be struggling with their health to try to keep track somehow of your highlights each month. There are different ways to do this, for me I keep track of them in my digital bullet journal. The important thing to remember is no memory or moment is too small. Anything that makes you smile should be documented because it’s those moments that you can look back on during a flare up or bad mental health day and be able to smile. It’s those moments that shed a glimmer of light into an otherwise dark world. And it is those moments that provide you the hope you need to keep going.

I challenge you to find something good in everyday. The more you do this, I promise, the more you will realize how much good is in your life. Also tell me down below in the comments about one of your highlights this month, I would love to hear them! As always, hold onto hope and remember that life, though difficult, can still be beautiful! ❤

Until next time,

Kaylee D. ❤

7 Positive traits of people with Borderline Personality Disorder

Hello my beautiful darlings!

In one of my recent posts, I talked all about Borderline Personality Disorder and shared for the first time my story of living with such a complex illness. In that post, I focused on the hardships and the negative side of living with BPD but I didn’t really talk about the positive traits that can come with having BPD. So since today is the last day of May and therefore the last day of Borderline Personality Disorder awareness month, I figured we could wrap up the month with a post talking about 7 positive traits that can be found in people who have Borderline Personality Disorder.

Trait # 1: We are very creative

Many people with BPD channel their pain and struggles into their art. We tend to be very creative people who find joy in an artistic field. This may be acting, dancing, singing, crafting, painting, writing and really any activity where you can express yourself. For me, I’ve always enjoyed acting, singing, photography and crafting but my number one creative outlet is definitely writing. Writing is not only a safe haven for me but a way for me to truly channel everything I have gone through and turn that pain into something beautiful. It’s a way for me to let others know what I am going through when spoken words fail me. Not only do I love to write poetry and blog posts, but I also love writing fiction novels and coming up with new story ideas. When I can just sit down and write, it’s like the rest of the world disappears for a while and everything I am going through, doesn’t matter. All that matters is filling the blank page in front of me with the words in my mind and on my heart. For me, writing is an escape from my reality. My number one dream that has never changed is to become an author one day. Something that sticks with me still to this day was my English teacher in high school telling me that “she can’t wait to see my book on a shelf” after reading the story I had to write for an assignment. On days where I doubt myself, and trust me there are many, her words stay with me and give me the hope and strength to keep writing. When I look at my life, I know I wouldn’t probably be able to write half as good if I didn’t experience the things I went through.

Trait # 2: We are intuitive and highly perceptive

People with BPD tend to know exactly how someone is feeling without them having to say a word. We have a way of being able to read facial expressions and tone of voice and can often notice even the slightest change in mood. We also tend to notice if something is said with an underlying meaning or tension. My friends have always said that they can’t hide how they are feeling around me because as soon as I see them, I just know if something is wrong. We also tend to have a higher understanding of the phrase, “You never know what someone is going through on the inside”. People with BPD understand that even when they are going through unimaginable pain, on the outside they look perfectly fine. We know that invisible illnesses exist and just because someone looks happy and healthy, doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling. This causes us to always be kind and also reach out to people who are suffering but scared to get help.

Trait #3: We are highly empathetic and compassionate

Many people who have BPD are also empaths. I won’t get into what an empath is too much here because i’m planning on doing an entire blog post about that topic in the future but basically an empath is someone who feels others emotions so strongly, as if they were their own. As soon as I walk into the room, it’s like I can read the energy and the energy also can affect me. This is a gift and a curse. To feel so strongly that you can actually feel others pain truly is something that, in a way, is magical. It provides you with a whole new understanding and outlook on human emotions. But it’s also hard because negative energy takes a toll on your mind, body and soul. It can be downright exhausting depending on the circumstance. My friends also know that they can come to me and talk about anything and i’ll always be there for them. People with BPD know what it is like to be in pain and feel like they are alone in this world. They don’t want the people they love to feel like that so often, they are very compassionate and always eager and willing to help a friend.

Trait #4: We are highly passionate and when we love, we love deep

Borderline Personality Disorder is all about intense emotions but this doesn’t just apply to the negative ones. That means we also experience happiness, excitedness and love very strongly. When someone with BPD truly loves someone and feels safe with that person, there is nothing he or she will not do for that person. They will go to the end of the earth to give that person everything they believe they deserve. We are very loyal and committed to the people we love and will be there for them no matter what. We also tend to be very passionate people who will put our whole heart and soul into what we love. This is why many people who have BPD, if they are well enough to have a job and love that job, are amazing workers because they are very dedicated to their craft.

Trait #5: We see the beauty of the world

Most people with BPD have been through unimaginable pain but still are able to smile. Because of the pain, people with BPD tend to be able to appreciate the little things in life. To them, any bright moment in their life is one to hold on to and is usually felt at an intense level. We tend to focus on those small details that help remind us, even in our darkest times, that life is still beautiful. People with BPD also understand the importance of slowing down and truly appreciating life in the moment. When you live with such a traumatic past and uncertain future, it’s important to be able to focus on the here and now. Someone with BPD knows at any moment, their mood can shift and/or their life can change. They know it’s important to savor the moment and truly appreciate the fact that, at this time in their lives, they are loved, they are breathing, and things are okay. People with BPD usually understand the importance of living in the present.

Trait #6: We are insightful and eager to help others

Once someone with BPD acknowledges that they have this disorder and begin to receive treatment, they often become very attuned with their mental health. Many people who have BPD are eager to spread the word and raise awareness for this disorder. They often are very interested in learning about their illness and letting other people know the complexity of living with BPD. A lot of people who have BPD will become advocates for the disorder and mental health in general because they understand how crucial it is for awareness to be raised.

Trait #7: We are resilient and strong

To live with BPD, you have to be strong. Many people with BPD have been through unspeakable things and have to fight every single day just to function, just to survive while looking completely healthy on the outside. We have to deal with the negative stigma Borderline has in society, as well as many people judging us and making us out to be these awful people that we are not. People with BPD are some of the strongest people out there because we had no choice but to be strong. Not only will someone with BPD show strength in themselves, but we will show strength for the people we love. We will stick up for the ones we love and fight for them, no matter what. People with BPD are not these weak, broken individuals the media often makes us out to be, but instead very strong people who constantly fight a battle we never asked to be a part of.

So there you have it, 7 positive traits that come with having BPD. I hope through this post I showed all of you once again that people with BPD are not monsters but instead misunderstood men and women dealing with deep childhood wounds. I also hope I showed that even though having BPD is a very rough disorder to go through, that there is some light and not everything related to having BPD is negative. When I look at my life and the traits that I have, I smile knowing that something so dark within my life can result in some pretty amazing qualities that shape the girl I am. I am not ashamed of my BPD and am learning more and more everyday on how to embrace this disorder and only hope I can help others out there who are struggling to do the same. As always, hold onto hope and remember that life may be difficult but it still can be beautiful.

Until next time,

Kaylee D. ❤

I can no longer stay silent on this issue…

I have sat at the computer over and over, typing and deleting, trying to find the right words. But even now, I’m realizing there are no right words for the state this country is in. And I am scared. I am scared because there is so much hate all around us. I am scared that someone can take someone else’s life and not feel an ounce of regret, knowing they killed one of God’s creations. I am scared that after all these years, these issues are still so prominent in the country that is supposed to be the land of the free.

Each time one of these senseless murders happen, I keep quiet. I keep quiet because I don’t let myself get involved in politics. But I can not stay quiet anymore. Because by staying quiet, you are only contributing to the problem. I am beyond heartbroken knowing, yet again, another innocent black life has been taken. Knowing this kind man had walked out his door to go shopping, something so many of us do every week, and never made it home because a man filled with hate decided to take his life. Living with anxiety, each time I leave my home I can’t help but worry I won’t make it back and the sad reality is that for people of color, they think this as well. But they think this because they see over and over again their race being murdered for no reason at all. They are raised to watch their every move, and to be cautious at all times, even around the people who are supposed to be protecting them. The people who took an oath to protect the human race but are all too often the same people who time and time again commit these unspeakable acts.

How can someone listen to another person cry and beg, telling them over and over that what they are doing is causing them to not be able to breath; saying they are going to die and still continue to do the action that ultimately will result in death? How can someone stand and watch another person as they slowly kill an innocent man and do nothing to prevent it from happening? How can someone who swore to protect people, live with himself knowing he took such a wonderful man from his family and friends for no reason? How can someone live with themselves knowing they signed up to protect people yet chose not to save this man while he was being murdered right in front of them?

I am truly sick to my stomach thinking of all the innocent black men, women and children who have lost their lives for no other reason than pure hate. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Treyvon Martin and countless others, taken from this world way too soon because of their skin color. Their memory will live on and their deaths must not be forgotten but rather fuel the fire for change. The way people of color, as well as all minorities, are treated in this country is a huge problem and something must be done to fix it. It is time for everyone to stand up and fight for what it is right. We all need to make our voices heard and be clear that this kind of disgusting, brutal behavior will not be tolerated any longer! We need to stand with our African american brothers and sisters who still in the year 2020 are being denied basic human rights. No one in this country should have to fear for their lives!

Being racist is never okay, something needs to change and justice needs to be served. It can not be ignored any longer for the longer it is ignored, the more innocent black lives are taken. I am angry, scared, and beyond all, heartbroken knowing this is the world we live in. I will not be quiet any longer and will do my part to show that these actions are not okay and will not be tolerable anymore. I encourage everyone else to do so as well! Use your voice, tweet using the hashtag #blacklivesmatter so it becomes trending, consistently share posts on Instagram and Facebook and anything else that gets the message out there! I fear for the lives of my African american friends and am saddened to know that this is how they must live. Knowing they must live in fear because hate is so strong in this country. I may not be black, but I see you, I hear you, I mourn for you, and I will stand with you. I hope everyone else out there will too because change will only happen if everyone stands together ❤

Until next time my darlings,

Kaylee D. ❤

Other ways to help make a change and end these senseless murders in America:

Please, sign this petition for justice for George Floyd and donate if you can! Every signature counts!

https://www.change.org/p/mayor-jacob-frey-justice-for-george-floyd

Also, donate to the memorial fund if you can to help George’s grieving family during this horrible time.

And lastly, go to this website to find out how to help end police brutality in our country.

https://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision

The truth about living with Borderline Personality Disorder

Hello my beautiful darlings!

May is not only mental health awareness month but also Borderline Personality Disorder awareness month. Being someone who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, I know all too well the difficulties it brings to one’s life and the negative stigma that surrounds it, even within the mental health community. That is why today I wanted to share with all of you some information about Borderline Personality Disorder as well as tell you my story and talk about what it is like to live with such a complex illness.

So what is Borderline Personality Disorder ?

For anyone who doesn’t know, Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD for short is a disorder that impacts the way you think & feel about yourself and others, causing problems functioning in everyday life. People with BPD often think with their emotions instead of in a rational manner. With BPD you tend to have an intense fear of abandonment or instability & you may have difficulty tolerating being alone. However, inappropriate anger, impulsiveness & frequent mood swings often push people away.

I tend to call BPD the ultimate contradiction disorder. A quote that tends to resonate with people who have BPD is “I hate you, don’t leave me”. This is because our anger can be so intense that we truly feel like we hate this person but as soon as that person shows any sign of leaving, we panic and beg for them to stay because we know without them, we would be lost.

BPD usually begins in early adulthood and has been shown to be more common in women. An estimated 1.4% of the adult population experiences BPD, but due to it heavily being misdiagnosed, the actual number of people with this disorder is more than likely much higher.

The unfortunate truth is many mental health professionals either do not believe BPD exists or will refuse to work with a patient who has a diagnosis of BPD. This is mostly due to its difficulty to treat, as well as many people who have BPD being in denial that they have it. It’s hard to treat someone if they don’t acknowledge there is a problem.

Sadly, 70% of people with BPD will attempt to take their life and 10% will be successful. This is higher than any other disorder. That number alone is why BPD needs more awareness in today’s society.

My Story

I have been unofficially diagnosed with BPD for about 3 and a half years now and officially diagnosed for about 8 months. I was misdiagnosed with Bipolar 2 disorder 3 times which is a very common thing. Many people who eventually receive a BPD diagnosis were previously told they had Bipolar. This can cause issues because some medications that are used to treat Bipolar have the possibility of making Borderline symptoms worse. It is also possible to have both BPD and Bipolar, but is less common.

When I first came across the term Borderline Personality Disorder, I had just stopped therapy with a therapist I did not get along with and was feeling very lost. That therapist made me believe I was this horrible person and I wasn’t trying hard enough to control my emotions, especially my anger. Being someone who was always very interested in psychology, I began to research what I was experiencing on my own and came across an article talking about BPD. I instantly resonated with what it was saying and knew I wanted to know more. After doing some more research, I bought this book called “Get me out of here: My recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder” by Rachel Reiland. Within the first few chapters, it felt like a fog had lifted and I truly felt understood.

Around this time, I began seeing a new therapist and psychiatrist. After my first meeting with the psychiatrist, he once again just passed it off as Bipolar 2 but my therapist saw something else. After a few more sessions with my therapist, we began to talk about the possibility of me having BPD. It felt so amazing to have someone actually listen to me. My therapist at that time though, didn’t believe in labels. We talked about how I showed many empath qualities and discussed how traumas in my life would have contributed to my behaviors today. During one of our sessions though, I asked her if she had to diagnose me, what would she say and she told me she would diagnose me with Borderline Personality Disorder. For most people, this diagnosis would have been heartbreaking and devastating but for me, it was a relief. I’m someone who likes labels because if I know what is wrong with me, I can research what can help. Getting this diagnosis finally gave me an answer as to why I behaved the way I did.

I worked with that therapist on understanding BPD more and where it would have come from. We had just started to really dive into treating my BPD when suddenly, she told me she had to leave the company. I was devastated and for a long time thought I would never again be able to trust another therapist. However, today I am back in therapy with a new wonderful therapist who I love and a new psychiatrist, both who have officially diagnosed me with BPD based on the symptoms I experience and my past traumas.

9 Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

So what are those symptoms you ask. Well, there are 9 main symptoms of BPD. To be diagnosed, you usually need to be experiencing at least 5 of them. In my case, I experience all 9.

So the first symptom is:

  1. An intense fear of abandonment, even going to extreme measures to avoid real or imagined separation or rejection.

I deal with this a lot. For someone with BPD, when they feel abandoned, it honestly feels like the end of the world for them. My poor husband tends to get the brunt of this. Whenever he wants to go somewhere without me, either out with his friends or just by himself, I instantly feel heartbroken and believe that he doesn’t want to be around me and doesn’t love me anymore. Obviously, this is not true but try telling my BPD brain that. This often will result in giant meltdowns or arguments because my emotions take over and cause issues. This is also very obvious within arguments. If my husband tries to walk away from me during an argument, I go into complete panic mode and will do whatever it takes to keep him in the room with me or stop him from leaving the house. In my mind, if I let him walk away, he will never come back so I must make him stay. It’s awful and often makes our arguments worse because he can’t walk away from me to cool down. Having extremely bad anxiety on top of BPD also makes this even harder. Whenever my husband even leaves the house, my mind won’t stop telling me that he won’t come back home. I am always so terrified that he will get into an accident or something will happen and I will never see him again. Thankfully, I have a very understanding husband who doesn’t mind texting me when he arrives to his destination, talking to me on the phone while he is driving there, and just keeping me updated throughout the day so I know he is okay. Still though, it’s exhausting to live with such an intense fear.

The next symptom of BPD is:

2. A pattern of unstable relationships, such as idealizing someone one moment and suddenly believing they don’t care or are cruel the next. This is otherwise known as splitting.

Looking back, it seems like I always struggled when it came to relationships. Whether is was a romantic relationship or a friendship, I always had issues. I definitely had many pointless falling outs with friends or boyfriends over the littlest things. I was definitely the kind of girl who, if you gave me attention, I clung to you and idolized you. I can’t even count how many boys I would crush on all because they gave me an ounce of attention, which usually landed me into trouble. When it comes to splitting, I do this a lot in many different aspects of my life. If you don’t know, splitting is a black and white, all or nothing mentality. There is no middle ground, no grey area. I definitely see myself do this with my grandma and husband. One moment, my husband is the best husband in the entire world who I know loves me more than anything and then something happens and i’m convinced he hates me and never cares. It’s like one little thing can have me believing something completely different, and usually untrue, about someone. I also tend to split when it comes to everything I do. It’s like if things aren’t perfect, they are bad, there is no in between. It is exhausting to live your life like this because the reality is nothing is perfect and many things in our lives exist in that grey area. It is also very hard for the people around the person with BPD to understand this kind of extreme mindset which just makes things that much more complicated.

The third symptom of BPD is:

3. Rapid changes in self identity & self image that includes shifting goals and values and seeing yourself as bad or as if you don’t exist at all.

I have never known who I am. It feels weird to even write that but it’s the truth. Throughout my entire life, I have never had a grasp on the person I really am. I’m someone whose personality is shaped by the people I am around. This is just one reason why now that my chronic illnesses have caused me to be stuck home almost all of the time, my sense of self is slipping farther and farther away because I am hardly around people. I didn’t realize how true this was until I was in college. I had never been a party girl or even a girl who dreamed of going away to a 4 year school. But that all changed when I wound up hanging out with a new group of people. Within a couple of weeks I went from being the girl who was ready to settle down, get married and start a family to someone wanting to go to the clubs multiple times a week and drink and go away to a 4 year college. The change was so drastic that I lost track of what was important in my life and even wound up losing Tom for 4 days. It was in those 4 days though that I woke up and realized how “not me” I was acting. It’s always a struggle thinking “okay, do I really love this thing or do I love it because the people around me do?” I also changed my major 5 times in college because I kept changing my mind on what I wanted to do. I was constantly changing my plans for my future. I also do this with my self-image. It’s the reason i’m constantly dying or cutting my hair or changing up my style. In a way, I think I believe if I just keep changing things, one day one of these changes will stick and i’ll know who I am, but it never happens. It’s really hard going through life without knowing who you are because who you are really shapes the life you live.

The fourth symptom of BPD is:

4. Periods of stress related paranoia and loss of contact with reality, lasting from a few minutes to a few hours or even days.

I tend to be the girl who is always paranoid. This is heavily due to my anxiety but there are 2 paranoia thoughts that I have that really take a toll on my life. The first of these being that whenever I leave the house to go somewhere, especially if it’s the movie theater, a concert, or the mall, I am convinced that place is going to get shot up. It has become such a problem that I stopped going to concerts all together and often do not want to go to the movie theater because I spend more energy on watching my surroundings than I do watching the actual movie. Everywhere we go, I am on high alert. It’s debilitating living like this but it’s more than just a fear, my mind practically makes me believe that this is going to happen. The other major paranoia thought happens anytime i’m alone and it’s the belief that someone is going to break in and kidnap me. This has been a fear since I was little and one I still deal with today. My doors and windows are always locked and if I hear even the slightest noise, i’m often running upstairs to hide in my bedroom. I also suffer with dissociation, or the feeling of not being real or present in your life, daily. My psychiatrist now believes my dissociation episodes are so frequent and intense that they are more than just a symptom of my BPD but it’s own dissociation disorder called depersonalization/derealization disorder. This means I do experience this at a higher level than someone typically would with BPD, however, any level of dissociation is disorienting because how does one function when they don’t even feel like they are real and everything and everyone around them are just a little off and fuzzy somehow.

The next symptom of BPD is:

5. Impulsive & risky behaviors, such as gambling, reckless driving, unsafe sex, spending sprees, binge eating or drug abuse

I have always struggled with overspending money. Especially if I was going through something stressful, I always felt comfort in shopping but when the bill would come in, I often had no idea how I would pay off my debt. This was especially hard when I would buy expensive things such as a new camera or tablet. I got into debt many times because of this. Today though, this is not as much of an issue, only because for a long time, over a year, I had no income coming in that was my own and had to rely on everyone else to buy anything. This was so difficult to deal with so now that I do have income coming in that is my own, I am much more careful with how much I spend. However, especially in certain situations, I easily fall back into the habit of buying a ton of stuff. I also have struggled with alcohol in the past. For a while there, I was drinking almost every single night. Drinking not only helped numb the pain but it allowed me to be able to let loose and truly be me without all the stress I usually hold. It seemed like anytime we would hang out with friends, I had to drink just to have a good time. Again, this has now stopped only because I was put on a lupus medication and can no longer drink a lot. But honestly I do feel if I never went on a medication, this could have spiraled out of control and become a much more deeper issue in my life.

The sixth symptom of BPD is definitely the heaviest on the list and that is:

6. Suicidal threats or behaviors or self harm, often in response to fear of separation or rejection

I have suffered with self harm since middle school. There were only 2 instances I can think of where I actually made my arm bleed though because I was always too scared to really harm myself. Instead, I would scratch at my arms. I would use either my nails or an earring back and scratch over and over until my arm burned. Though this is much less common today, I still do suffer with this self harm behavior here and there, especially after intense arguments. For me, not only does feeling that pain remind me that I am alive and really here but a lot of the times, I have this deep belief that I deserve to feel that pain because of my actions. It’s messed up but it’s the reality for so many people out there and needs to be talked about more. Recently I also learned that chewing my fingers is a form of self harm. Now I chew my fingers constantly, sometimes unconsciously even, to the point of them bleeding and hurting. To find out this was actually self harm was a shock to me and something I have been trying hard to not do nearly as much. I also have suffered with suicidal thoughts, especially when I was in high school. Today, I don’t really have suicidal thoughts per say. I don’t want to die, it’s the exact opposite, I want to live but I do struggle with suicidal ideation. Suicidal ideation is basically this belief that everyone would be better off if you weren’t here and you wish you were suicidal because of it. This is truly a devastating thing to come to terms with but when you live with multiple chronic and mental illnesses that truly affect every aspect of your life and the people you love most are forced to do more things because you physically can’t, it’s very easy to slip into that kind of mindset. If you are feeling like this, I am so sorry but please know, no matter what your mind may tell you, it’s lying. You matter in this world and people would miss you more than you could ever imagine. No one’s life would be better without you here, no matter what your mind tells you. It’s heartbreaking to think about how many people struggle with this in the world and how little is really being done to make things better.

The next symptom of BPD is:

7. Wide mood swings, lasting from a few hours to a few days, which can include intense happiness, irritability, shame or anxiety.

Borderline Personality Disorder should be nicknamed intense emotion disorder because that is what it is like to live with BPD. Every emotion, every mood is intense. They often compare people with BPD to people with third degree burns because that is how vulnerable we are, we have no emotional skin. The slightest “touch” can feel like a knife. These intense moods can often switch very quickly. On average, I would say I go through 6-8 different moods a day. I can wake up feeling happy, become angry by noon time, and then drop into a depressive state by dinner. It’s exhausting mentally and physically living like this. Often these switches happen due to a trigger, either an obvious one or an unconscious one but they also can occur without reason. These are always the worst because they could strike at any moment. BPD doesn’t care if it’s a holiday or you’re on vacation, at any moment it can cause your mood to switch and there isn’t much you can do about it. Heck, I was in Disney World for the very first time ever, at Mickey’s very merry Christmas party, on my honeymoon and I had a mood drop. It was awful! The worst is dropping from a state of pure happiness and euphoria into a deep depression because it’s such a drastic drop. It gets to the point that even when you are in a mania type state, you start to worry because you know what is to come next but have no idea when it will happen. It’s so hard having to explain to people who ask “what happened, you were just fine” because I often really have no idea what happened. It’s even harder explaining to someone “why you are so angry or irritated suddenly” because often, there is no real cause. You just feel tense and can’t explain why. But that’s just my life and unfortunately, I have to deal with it and just learn how to cope living with emotions so intense that can switch at a drop of a hat.

The eighth symptom of BPD is:

8. Ongoing feelings of emptiness

I say a lot that I feel empty or I feel numb. It has always felt like there was something missing in my life. This constant void that no matter how many times I tried to fill, would always open back up again. When I was younger, I would always be like “oh if I could just have this” or “if my hair was only blonde” then I would be happy. But time and time again, the thing I would want would happen but the emptiness wouldn’t go away. It’s incredibly hard to live with this feeling of emptiness, especially when you have such great things in your life. I struggle with this so much because I look at my husband and our 4 fur children and I don’t understand how there can still be this hole in me. A lot of the days, it’s like i’m going through the motions, there but not really there. Just feeling empty and lost. Words can’t express how hard it is to live like that.

And the last symptom of BPD and I would say the hardest to deal with, with the exception of the suicidal one is:

9. Inappropriate intense anger, such as frequently losing your temper, being sarcastic or bitter, or even getting into physical fights. This is often followed by intense shame or guilt.

Let me just start off with saying, BPD rage is a thing and it is incredibly difficult to manage. I am going to use the analogy that my psychiatrist told me because I had never felt more understood before in my life. So basically, when someone with BPD starts to go into a BPD rage episode, it’s like they are caught in a wave and in that moment, they are desperately trying to escape this wave so they will do whatever they can to be free. For me, when I am in “the wave” I tend to scream, punch things, throw things, curse, and basically lose all control. In those moments, I see red. When I look back, I am deeply ashamed of the things I have said or done in these rage episodes because they are just awful. But when they happen, I don’t feel in control anymore. The best way I can describe it is the rational part of me takes a back seat and the irrational inner child in me, the core of my BPD takes the front seat and causes havoc. This child is so wounded that the only thing they know to do is lash out and make the ones around them hurt like they have been hurt. Now I am still present, it’s not like I black out or anything or that this inner child completely takes over but it honestly feels like I can not stop these actions and am forced to just sit there and watch it happen. Once it’s all over, and I am crying my eyes out while trying to pick up the broken pieces and mend the damage, that is when I am back in the front seat, back in control. I will not lie, these episodes are scary, especially because they can occur over the littlest thing. Even the minor ones though, are difficult. There are moments where I am suddenly overcome with anger and in such a bad mood. I tend to give attitude, raise my voice, and just not be a nice person when this happens. Often leaving my loved ones upset and confused of why I am acting this way. Managing my anger is my number one problem and definitely the symptom I struggle the most with and the symptom that causes the most issues within my life. But it’s important for loved ones to be able to separate the person from the disorder. No, this is not giving that person an excuse or saying their actions in these moments are okay because they are not and they need to work to fix them but people need to know that the disorder is causing these rages, not the person that they love.

As you can see, living with BPD is hard. I want to point out that I have never shared my story in such detail before like this. Yes, I am someone who is very open about her health and what she struggles with but I’ve never opened up about living with Borderline before. I won’t lie, I am scared. Scared that people I know will see this and treat me different, scared that i’ll be viewed as an awful person. BPD has such a negative stigma in society that when people hear you have BPD, you’re instantly labeled “psychotic” and “unstable” based on what the media has told them. But we are not monsters!! We are just misunderstood people dealing with deep childhood wounds who never asked to have this disorder! We are broken and just trying to figure out how to put our pieces back together and survive!

What causes BPD?

They are still unsure of what exactly causes BPD. Though they have found evidence of it being related to an abnormality in the brain, the biggest cause seems to be having a stressful or traumatic childhood. Many people with BPD report being abused or neglected during childhood, as well as growing up with a parent who had substance abuse or a similar mental illness. Others were exposed to hostile conflicts and unstable family relationships. When it comes to me, through therapy, we have pinpointed a few big events that have contributed to me developing BPD. One being my mom and dad divorcing when I was 5 and not getting to see my dad that much and the other being losing my grandfather, who was a father figure in my life, right before turning 13. Though these are the 2 big ones, there are many other smaller things I went through in childhood and up through high school that have caused me to develop BPD. In therapy I have learned that things I never thought would be traumatic actually were and as I dive into my past more and more, I think to myself it’s no wonder I have this disorder. But I also think to myself that i’m a pretty strong person to have gone through what I did and have to battle my mind everyday because of it and still be able to smile and see the beauty in this world.

Treatment

When it comes to treatment, it is definitely one of the hardest mental illnesses to treat. Though medication may help manage accompanying disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and mood switches, the main form of treatment is talk therapy. Through DBT exercises, dialectical behavioral therapy, you basically learn how to retrain your brain and manage your emotions. Talk therapy is currently my only treatment for my BPD and has really been helping. But honestly, the biggest thing that has contributed to me getting better was educating the people closest to me on this disorder.

For the longest time, I did not want my husband to read about BPD. I was terrified if he read about it, he would leave me. But it got to a point where I was feeling so misunderstood and alone that I decided I needed him to get a glimpse into my world. We bought this book, “Stop walking on eggshells” by Paul Mason and after he began to read it and my grandma began to read it, things started to get better. They finally understood that my mind doesn’t work like theirs does and that something that may not seem like a trigger to them, is for me or that the comment they made was invalidating and that is why I lashed out. My husband has even started to realize that my anger when he has to leave the house comes from fear and now instead of giant arguments every time, we can talk through things and I feel understood for once. It is so incredibly important for loved ones to educate themselves on BPD, I can not stress that enough!

Learning to manage your emotions, thoughts and behaviors will take time and the reality is even though you can, and you will, improve, you will more than likely always struggle with some symptoms of BPD. There will be good times where things are going great and you may even feel like you’ve recovered but then there will be bad times, where you break down again, you falter and you relapse. This is okay, this is normal and does not in any way make you a bad person. Setbacks will happen but what matters is you get right back up and you try again. With consistent treatment & support, a person with BPD can live a long, happy, and healthy life. Having BPD does not mean you will never find love or that you will never be happy. It just means, we have to work harder to have these things and the more awareness that can be spread on the truth about BPD, the easier living with this disorder will become.

I hope I shed some light on what it is like to live with Borderline Personality Disorder and I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you are someone who is suffering from BPD, please know you are not alone and you are not this monster the media may make you out to be. You’re a loving person who is just struggling with wounds you never should have gotten in the first place. Hold on to hope because I promise, it will get better.

Until next time,

Kaylee D. ❤

Links to sources used:

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Borderline-Personality-Disorder

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20370237

Links to books discussed above:

I’m back and I finally created a Youtube Channel!!

Hello my beautiful darlings!! I know it’s been months since I last posted and I apologize deeply for that. A lot has happened in my life these past few months, some bad and some good, that I can not wait to update you all about! I have spent the last few months really trying to figure out my health and what I want for my future. Everything keeps reminding me that what I want most of all right now is to be able to share my story and help others out there who are struggling. That is why, I have renewed my blog and have finally created a Youtube channel!! This is something I have wanted to do for years but was always too scared to do so! However, I finally have created my channel so if you want to see me on a whole new platform, please check that out!

The other giant news I have to share with you all is that I have recently picked up my potential service dog! This is another thing I never thought would happen but finally has! Obviously, I will be writing all about him and our training adventures since I will be owner training him, under the guidance of a professional trainer. There is also a video up on my Youtube of us picking him up and his first 48 hours with us you can check out if you want!

I know my blog looks different right now, at this moment I am using the free plan but in the near future, I do plan on upgrading back to premium so I can get my old layout back.

I’m hoping to really be able to dive back into blogging and hopefully bring some joy and hope into people’s lives along the way!

Until next time,

Kaylee D. ❤

My 2019 Fall Bucket List (Part 1)

Autumn is officially in the air! The temperature is dropping, the leaves are slowly falling and almost every store you walk into you’re met with Fall & Halloween decor. Fall has always been my favorite season. I think one of the biggest reasons why is because Fall is the kickstart to the best time of the year! Once it’s Fall, I know that soon it’ll be Halloween, Thanksgiving and then finally, Christmas!! Fall is also my favorite because there is always so many fun activities to do during this season. If you’re someone who suffers from chronic and/or mental illness though, sometimes it’s hard to truly enjoy all Fall has to offer. I know for myself, if it’s not because my body is in so much pain that it’s hard for me to really move, my anxiety takes hold of me a lot and causes me to be too scared to even want to leave my house. This often ends with me missing out on making so many memories. With how my health has declined this year, the fear of missing out on all my favorite season has to offer is strong. But I refuse to let my illnesses ruin my Fall. So I decided to write down everything that I wanted to do this Fall that I believe my body will be able to actually do. I then broke up that list into three different sections based on the energy level I feel is required to complete that activity. I think one of the most important aspects when it comes to doing activities with chronic and mental illness is thinking of ways that will help you to be able to truly enjoy those moments without pushing yourself too far. By dividing my list, not only does it help me to prepare for certain activities but it helps me to better plan out my Fall so i’m not doing two high energy activities too close to each other. This will hopefully prevent me from burning out my body and help me to actually enjoy this beautiful season. Below, you will find my entire list but the focus of today’s blog post will be on the first part of that list, Fall activities to do that require low energy. In the upcoming days, I will do the same thing but with the next two sections so stay tuned for that!

My 2019 Fall Bucket List

Low energy 

  • Have a Halloween Movie Night
  • Have a Scary Movie Night
  • Bake Halloween Pillsbury cookies
  • Read 2 scary and/or Halloween themed novels
  • Dress up in a cute but comfortable Halloween Costume
  • Listen to Halloween themed music
  • Create a Gratitude Jar

Medium energy

  • Carve Pumpkins
  • Decorate for Fall/Halloween
  • Bake a Pumpkin Pie
  • Go for a Fall foliage drive

High energy

  • Go Pumpkin Picking
  • Go to Fright Fest at Six Flags
  • Host Friendsgiving
  • Go to the Great Pumpkin Blaze
  • Have a Fall-themed photoshoot

As I stated above, today’s focus is on the first section of my bucket list, low energy Fall activities. I wrote low energy instead of no energy because, let’s face it, when you live with chronic and mental illness, even just breathing requires energy. For me, a low energy activity is an activity that is done within your home that does not require a lot of movement. So with that being said, let’s jump into each activity in more detail, as well as provide all of you reading with some tips to make these activities even more enjoyable!

  1. Have a Halloween Movie Night

One of my favorite things about Halloween time is watching Halloween movies! I absolutely love watching all the different spooky movies throughout October but this year, I want to take one day/night and gather all of my absolute favorite Halloween movies and watch them in one sitting. These movies include Hocus Pocus, Nightmare before Christmas, Beetlejuice and The Haunted Mansion. Some tips to make your spooky movie night even more perfect include:

  • Wearing comfy clothing or Pajamas (Even better if they are Halloween themed)
  • Cuddling up in a big comfy blanket
  • Drinking Hot Coco (or whatever your favorite hot beverage is)
  • Eating your favorite sweet or salty snack
  • Watching the movies with a friend or significant other (everything’s better with a buddy!)

Having a Halloween movie night is one activity on this list that I am particularly excited about because it allows me to have a nice cozy night at home with my husband while also celebrating everything that makes Halloween the amazing holiday it is!

  1. Have a Scary movie Night

Going along with the whole movie night theme, another fun idea for some is to watch scary movies during the Halloween season. Now I’m not a huge scary movie girl. I honestly usually hate scary movies and tend to avoid them at all costs. With that being said, this year I really did want to push myself out of my comfort zone and since my husband has been wanting to watch scary movies with me since we began dating, I decided that maybe now was the time. So to add a small twist to this, especially if you aren’t a fan of scary movies, you could have your significant other or a friend pick out 1 to 2 scary movies of their choice for you guys to watch. The catch is, you can’t say no. Tips to make this experience a little bit more enjoyable (and tolerable) include:

  • Wearing comfy clothes or Pajamas (Again, Halloween themed are the best)
  • Setting ground rules for what movie(s) can be chosen (For me this is no horror movies based on real life events)
  • Eating your favorite snack (Helps distract you from the terror on the screen)
  • Cuddling up with a big blanket (To hide under during the super scary scenes)
  • Watching with a buddy or significant other (Never watch a scary movie alone, plus you probably wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for them)

I won’t lie, this is one activity on my list that I am scared about but it’s also something I know my husband is excited for and therefore, makes it a little less terrifying…I think..

  1. Bake Pillsbury Halloween cookies

I don’t think I am alone in saying Pillsbury cookies are some of the best cookies out there! Not only are they delicious, but the fun designs really help you to celebrate the season. Now I will admit, they can be a tad pricey but I think it’s worth the price at certain times during the year, Halloween being one of those times. This year, I plan to pick up both a package of the pumpkin ones and the ghosts ones and take one night, probably the Halloween movie night, where my husband and I make and eat them. Even though you have to bake them, I consider this to be a low energy activity because all you have to do is take them out of the package and put them on a cookie sheet. This is just another reason I love them because since they are pre-cut, it is a lot easier to bake than other cookies. I really don’t have any tips for this one because it’s already pretty simple and easy but like before, baking these with a buddy will definitely add a little extra fun to the whole thing and wearing comfy clothes is a must. 

  1. Read 2 scary and/or Halloween themed novels

I have always loved reading. For me, reading allows me to escape my reality for a little while and when your reality is filled with being stuck in bed due to pain, sometimes being able to bury myself in a book is exactly what I need to keep my spirits high. Since it is spooky season, I decided I really want to read 2 scary and/or Halloween novels before Thanksgiving. Normally, I would say before Halloween but lately, my brain fog has made reading for long periods of time more difficult so I have given myself a more realistic time frame. Again, it’s all about adapting to make things easier for you. Some tips to make this one more enjoyable include:

  • Wearing comfy clothing or Pajamas (Especially fuzzy socks!)
  • Choosing a book you’ve never read before (Though re-reading books is always enjoyable, picking something new will provide you with a whole new experience)
  • Choosing an author you’ve never read before (Again, reading work from someone new provides you with reading a whole new style of writing which could be fun)
  • Read somewhere where you can be alone and not interrupted (Few things are worse than being interrupted when you’re in the middle of a good book)

I might not be a fan of scary movies but I do enjoy a good scary novel so this is something I’m excited about. Who knows, I may even discover a new favorite book or author along the way. 

  1. Dress up in a cute but comfy Halloween costume

One of the best things about Halloween is being able to dress up in costume. For one night (or multiple nights of the season), you can dress up as someone completely different than yourself and no one is going to judge you for it. Dressing up in costumes is definitely one of the main reasons why I love Halloween so much. But often in the past, the costumes I would choose wouldn’t be that comfortable or warm. Living in New York, wearing a tight, short dress with no sleeves isn’t exactly the warmest option I could have worn. I already knew that getting a typical costume this year wasn’t really an option due to both money and also just the way my health has been. But this in no way is going to stop me from dressing up. So what are my tips for choosing a cute but comfy costume? Well: 

  • Wear a onesie (This is the option I am 95% sure I will be choosing this year. Not only are onesies extremely comfortable and warm, nowadays you can find onesies for every character or theme you can think of! Plus, when Halloween is over, you can still wear your onesie at home which makes it a more practical option and cost effective option) 
  • Don’t wear anything too tight (If your costume is too tight, you will not be comfortable and therefore, you will more than likely not be able to enjoy your Halloween night as much as you should)
  • Choose a costume that is weather appropriate (Again being too cold or too hot can cause you to be uncomfortable which will affect your night. Often with chronic illness, extreme temperature can also cause pain or flare-ups and that’s definitely no fun)
  • Choose a costume you feel comfortable in for long periods of time (Not comfortable=not a fun night)

I have known since Endgame came out that I wanted to be spiderman this year. I haven’t fully decided yet whether I will chose the spiderman onesie as my costume or purchase an actual spiderman bodysuit but either way, I know my whole body will be covered and both options will be much more comfortable than costumes I would have chosen in the past. Dressing up is something I am super excited about this year and can not wait to show you all how my costume comes out!

  1. Listen to Halloween music

Music truly is the best medicine. I would be so lost in this world if I didn’t have music in my life. One of my favorite things to do each holiday season is create a themed music playlist on Spotify to listen to throughout that season. So of course, making a spooky playlist is a must do on my list. Instead of tips for this section, here are just some songs I’ve included on mine to give you an idea. They include:

  • Anything Rocky horror
  • Anything Nightmare before Christmas
  • Thriller
  • Classic Halloween songs (Monster Mash, Spooky Scary Skeletons, I put a spell on you, etc)

Music is a way to express oneself and what better way to express your love for this season than with some spooky music. My go to places to listen to my Halloween playlist is at home when I’m cleaning and any time we are in the car. If you would like me to do a whole post about every song I’ve included on my playlist this year, let me know in the comments below.

  1. Create a gratitude jar

This activity is actually one that I won’t begin until the first of November. I had seen something similar on Pinterest and thought, with everything that has happened this year, creating a gratitude journal is exactly what I could use right about now. So basically, every day leading up to Thanksgiving after November 1st, I will write down one thing that I am thankful for. Than, on Thanksgiving night, I will open up my jar and read all the things I wrote. It’s very easy when you live with chronic and/or mental illness to lose sight of all the good things in your life. But even on our worst days, there are always things to be thankful for. Some tips I have for this include:

  • Decorating your jar (You can choose to decorate it for Fall or any other way you would like)
  • Choose bright colored paper (Bright colors just ignite more joy than plain white)
  • Really think about what your thankful for (Nothing is too little)

By creating this gratitude jar, I will be reminded of how lucky I am during a season where nature even shows us how beautiful it is to be alive.

So there you have it, the first 7 things on my Fall 2019 bucket list that require low energy. I hope you enjoyed this post and if you did, please hit that like button! If you want to see more, especially the next 2 parts of this series, please give me a follow that way you know when my posts go up. 

Alright, until next time my darlings,

Kaylee D’Ascanio ❤

Just keep breathing

Today is one of those bad days. Those days where I can hardly move without pain shooting through every part of my body. I haven’t had a bad pain day like this in a long time so immediately felt discouraged when I opened my eyes and realized every bit of me hurt. I had a list of house work I had planned to complete today. I still had to put away the clothes from the laundry I did yesterday, I wanted to straighten up and organize the corner of our game/living room, and planned to make Tom and myself a nice chicken dinner. However, all my plans for the day were suddenly halted and I knew I would be stuck in bed instead all day. 

This is the reality of living with a chronic illness. You never know how you will feel day to day or even hour by hour. You can make an entire plan but if you wake up that day sick and in pain, your plans are completely changed and there really isn’t anything you can do about it. Sure, sometimes you can push through but not without consequences. If you push your body when you’re already having a bad pain day, it will only end with additional days stuck in bed or even worse, a trip to the hospital. When you live with chronic illness, you must always be aware of your health and how to take care of yourself. Self care must be number 1. But this is easier said than done. 

When I got up and realized I would get nothing done today, the familiar feeling of failure and depression crept up and I just wanted to cry. At 23 I don’t want to admit I can’t do normal everyday things all the time. I’m not okay with not being able to do stuff. But no matter how strong those feelings are, I force myself to remember that if all I do today is survive, then that’s enough. On days like today, all that matters is that I took care of myself and did the things necessary for my health and well being. This is something crucial all people suffering with not only chronic but also mental illness need to remember. Healthy people don’t understand what it takes just to keep breathing in a body that wants to destroy you. If they knew what it took, I guarantee they would start looking at us all differently because they would realize we are constantly fighting just to survive.

So the point of all of this is that I know it can be frustrating and demoralizing when chronic and/or mental illness prevents you from doing normal everyday things. I know for me it not only makes me feel like a failure of a wife but of just a human being in general. But what’s important is knowing that you are doing the best you can with the life you have been given and on days where just walking up the stairs makes you cry out in pain, all that you need to do is take care of yourself and keep breathing. And if that’s all you can do, well, that’s more than enough. Tomorrow is a new day, that list can wait, but your health can not. Just keep staying strong and never lose hope that things will one day get better

Until next time my darlings, 

Kaylee D. ❤ 

Health Update

My physical health has been up and down these last few weeks. I have my good days where I can get work done and enjoy life, but I also have my really bad days where I can’t get out of bed without feeling faint and dizzy. My mental health, on the other hand, has been consistently rough. My anxiety has gotten severe and even though I didn’t realize it at first, so has my depression. This is heavily due to the fact my future has been on my mind a lot lately, especially one certain aspect of my future; having kids. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed about becoming a mother. Tom and I had always discussed having children in our early twenties, shortly after getting married. But being diagnosed with Lupus has turned our entire plan upside down.

The reality is that having Lupus does increase my chances of miscarriage, birth complications and even infertility all together. Yes, I know there are many women out there with Lupus who have children and had problem-free pregnancies but there are also many who have not. Just knowing that we could have problems getting/staying pregnant and there is a chance we may never become pregnant at all is a thought that honestly breaks my heart. Before this diagnosis, we had a plan. Shortly after our 1 year anniversary, we would begin to actively try for a baby as long as we felt we were in a financially good space to do so. But now, that can’t happen. I need my health to be in check before we even consider trying. But we are also still on a timeline because the older I get and the longer I’m on my medication, the harder pregnancy will be for me and the risk factor goes higher. It is so hard to hear friends and family ask me, “so when will you guys have a baby?” knowing that I don’t know that answer anymore. It hurts having to explain why we need to wait and even explaining how it may never happen biologically for us. I always feared infertility issues, always scared that my biggest dream wouldn’t be able to come true for me. I wish I could get testing done now, to know before we start to try and have to experience heartbreak over and over again if it turns out that I can’t become pregnant or hold a pregnancy. But doctors won’t run those tests unless it’s necessary.

I thought by 24, I would be pregnant with my first child or already have a child. I never thought by 24 I would be diagnosed with Lupus, uncertain if I ever would be able to become a mom. I’m trying my hardest to turn this diagnosis into something positive, to use my experiences to help others. But some days, it’s just so hard to look on the bright side. I feel like I’m grieving, I’m grieving the life I had and the life I thought I would have. The life that was robbed from me by this illness I never asked for. I still have big dreams, dreams that I want so badly to come true but I always fear that my mental and physical health will keep me from ever achieving them. I feel constantly trapped, having to rely on everyone for everything because I can’t do things myself anymore. I can’t drive, I can’t work, hell, some days I can’t even make it up the stairs without help! When I go out, I constantly have to monitor how I’m feeling, often going through periods of lightheadedness and just an overall underlying panic of something going wrong. I won’t even go anywhere if Tom, my mother or my grandmother are not with me because at least I know they understand and they know what to do if god forbid, I get really sick out of nowhere. It sucks having to live like that.

People keep telling me that “it could be worse” and that “I’m going to be okay” and though I know they are right, some days I don’t want to hear it! Because the truth is, yea, it could be worse but this freaking sucks too! And I have every right to be angry and sad about having my independence ripped away! Than on the other hand, I have people compare my illness to others with the same and that hurts worse because everyone deals with illnesses differently and everyone experiences different symptoms. Just because one person is able to work and drive with Lupus, doesn’t mean that I can. I’m trying my hardest but I also can’t risk my life and my health getting worse. I’m at my breaking point as is and basically being told I’m not trying my hardest, that I’m being lazy and using my Lupus and anxiety as an excuse, it’s just beyond heart wrenching and makes me want to cry. Because I am trying my hardest, I’m pushing myself as much as I can.

I’m not happy with my life but I refuse to just give up. I guess I just need to continue taking everything one day at a time, hold onto faith, and no matter what, stay strong. That’s the only way I’ll get through this challenging time. Friends and family tell me how strong I am and how well I have handled this. But the truth is, what other choice did I have? I either let this break me or grow from it. And even on days like today, where I’m deep in my head and am feeling so discouraged, I know I won’t let this shatter me. 

Until next time,

Kaylee D. ❤

Why I haven’t been posting…

Hey everyone. I know it’s been forever since I last posted on here. A lot of personal challenges have come around since this year has begun that has made keeping up with this blog very difficult. The biggest of them being discovering that I actually don’t have Rheumatoid Arthritis, but instead have Lupus. Prior to this diagnosis, my pain had reached very high levels, to the point that even typing became too much for me to do, especially on a daily basis. In addition to the pain, I was having heavy light sensitivity and concentration issues that caused staring at a computer screen to result in very painful headaches. I also began to suffer from brain fog constantly, to the point, I couldn’t really organize my thoughts or what I wanted to say. These new symptoms pushed me to go to a new Rheumatologist and after running blood work, she informed me of this new diagnosis. I have now been on medication for a little over a month and though I have not felt too much relief, I have my good days and my bad days.

When this was all going on, I had very much considered cancelling my blog. I can no longer work and therefore all the financial responsibility must lay on my husbands shoulders. To me, this expense was something that I thought wasn’t necessary. However, my determination and love for blogging caused me to renew. Blogging to me is a safe place and a place where I feel understood, which is very important. I am also in the process of trying to get my Youtube channel created, however, with being sick and in pain a lot, that has shown to be more difficult than I first thought. I do not want to make this long, I just wanted to let you all know where I have been and why I haven’t posted since the beginning of this year before I begin to post again. My hope is now being on treatment, I will be able to get back to some sort of normal and be able to blog even more than I once did. I created this blog and will create my Youtube channel for the same reason. I want this to be something that can hopefully help and inspire others, especially if they are suffering from mental or chronic illnesses that causes them to lose sight of the beauty of life. For months now, I’ve been just existing and it’s time for me to start living again. I may have Lupus and extreme anxiety, but those things do not define who I am. They are only a part of me.

My end goal with this blog is that it becomes a lifestyle blog that will consist of posts that will not only hopefully make living easier for people who have illnesses in their way, but also inspire them to not let their illnesses bring them down and make their life any less beautiful than it should be. I hope to raise awareness on Chronic and mental illnesses, specifically Lupus and Anxiety, as well as take you all on this health journey with me as I learn to cope and manage this new scary disease at only 23 years old. I plan to continue to post poetry about the challenges and other things that go on in my life, and lastly, I hope this blog helps others like me to feel less alone. Living with these illnesses, I often feel very alone because my friends and my family don’t fully understand what I go through. But I’m not alone, and neither are you. I look forward to blogging with you all again very soon!

Until next time my darlings,

Kaylee D. ❤

A part of me

Why can’t I just be normal, oh why can’t I just be sane

I’m sick of these thoughts, these worries constantly in my brain

All they do is make life harder for everyone, especially myself

And no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to get help

The anxiety is so strong it takes over my life

The depression so overwhelming I want to grab a knife

I want to stop the constant pain I feel inside

I want to curl up into a ball and find some place to hide

A place no one will ever find me

A place where I can’t hurt the ones I love you see

Oh why can’t these feelings just disappear

I’m sick of the worrying,the sadness and fear

I just want to be happy, is that so hard to ask

I never imagined being joyful would be such a hard task

For it seems everyday tears fall from my eyes

And on some days, I just want to die

Believing only in death will I finally be free

And that everyone would be much better off without me

I know these thoughts are awful and untrue

But some days the pain is too strong, i’m just too blue

Too blinded by the pain to see the beauty in my life

Too stuck in the darkness to see even a glimmer of light

Oh how I long to be normal, how I long to be free

But deep down I know, a normal life will never be for me

I’ll never be free from the demons within my mind

Even if they leave I know they will return time after time

Because I know in my heart, though it’s heartbreaking to see

Anxiety and Depression will always be a part of me