Well, we decided to stay in Michigan for a while. I know that isn't really a good place to start a story, but it'll have to do. I'm really happy that we made that decision, actually. I love Chicago, but since moving back here it's started to feel more like home. I don't know that I'll stay here forever, but everything was screaming at me to stay for now, so stay we will.
Many new changes on the horizon, too. New apartment, raise at work, lots of personal emotional discovery and finding my family for lack of a better term. Maybe it's my age, maybe it's the level of maturity that I've reached, it could be a lot of things... but the last year or so (the last few months, especially) have done quite a lot for helping me build my "tribe" as Em likes to refer to it. Honestly, I like to refer to it that way as well but I don't want to seem like I'm stealing the term.
If I had to pick a center of my social circle, a touchstone if you will, it would actually be Em now that I think of it. He and Elaine have pretty much been the crux of a lot of the emotional progress that I've made. I enjoy having people close to me that are relatively even-keeled, that I can rely on and get honest feedback from. I had a bit of a drunken braindump on Em last weekend, but I don't regret it at all. If there's one thing I can say for alcohol and I, it's that it only makes me more honest. Important discussion was had and I'm glad for it.
The chess pieces of my life are moving around, but I think things are finally finding a good balance. Some people are shifting forward, others backward, a few laterally. I'm becoming a bit less reliant on unhealthy habits, as well as unhealthy people. I'm learning to hold my own when I'm judged or when assumptions are made about me. I still have a good solid chunk of social anxiety, but I'm beginning to have a little more control over it.
I'm out of meds. I stopped taking them about a week ago, for better or worse. I was in the process of trying to make an appointment, and after several frustrating brick walls I started to think about WHY I was trying to make that appointment. Yes, the Wellbutrin helped a lot of things. It made me less tired, less socially anxious, kept my head above water when the depression or frustration tried to drag me under. Honestly, though, a lot of the things that exacerbate my issues involve my terrible self-care habits. I don't get enough sleep, I eat crap junk food all the time. I don't make the effort to make myself cute often enough. I don't take any vitamins, I don't drink enough water, I don't exercise. Does this stuff cause my BPD? Of course not. But it does amplify my issues and make them more difficult to handle. So what's the plan for the short-term? Take better care of myself, generally. Get 8 hours of sleep every night that's reasonable, even if it means less free time. Eat better food, and less that comes from a drive-thru. Take my supplements, including 5-HTP for a month or two to see if it helps. Get out of the house more often. See people, possibly even by myself once in a while. Talk about what goes on in my head to people that matter and who can be good sounding boards. Keep my brain occupied by reading often and trying to extend my attention span, as well as studying when I have the chance. Ride my bike, go swimming, go for a walk. Do these things with the above-mentioned awesome people in my life, and kill two birds with one stone.
So I guess that's the bulk of what's been going on with me. Lots of "finding the important things." Lots of figuring out how to take care of myself, how to properly take care of others. Cherishing the moments when I'm reminded of how far I've come. Oftentimes those moments come from less-than-enjoyable encounters with people I know who have similar issues, but I've stopped being as judgmental and used them as learning experiences. I'm finally at a point in my life where I have "enough" of things, and it's time to start spreading that around to help those that I'm close to that need it.
I haven't finished the journey by a long shot, but I feel like I'm finally on Book Two and turning that page feels amazing.