I had my therapy appointment scheduled for last Thursday but I called and canceled Wednesday.
Let’s circle around it:
Body dysmorphic disorder is a type of OCD. It it like a bully in my head magnifying physical flaws or creating imaginary flaws sometimes. It is often hard to ignore and I was spending too much time avoiding reflective surfaces, car windows, spoons, fucking ridiculous. I also was spending a lot of time looking at things to do to my face, laser, surgery, whatever.
It was before Christmas when it was really becoming a huge cloud eclipsing my normal brain functions so I had called the institute, made a consultation, then came in for intake. I liked the therapist and she made it sound as if she could help me.
After a couple of sessions and her handing me photocopies of pages of books I can buy on Amazon for $20, I was insulted.
Also it had come up in the second session that I wasn’t sure if some thought processes were borderline personality disorder or body dysmorphic disorder as borderline personality persons (depending on the type and I have all 4 types at different times) also struggle with physical appearance.
With BPD, anything and everything can be used to crucify myself. It can be past mistakes or the way I look or just something stupid I said 10 years ago. When this spiral started, I didn’t have this giant cloud of self-doubt about the way I looked hanging over me. Sure, I had a procedure in 2017. But it wasn’t crippling. It was just something I dealt with, usually peripherally.
What was bothering me was finding the meaning in life, feeling like garbage, worthless and empty, wanting a way out, a permanent one. Is the BDD out of control because the BPD is there or are they separate?
As far as I have read, lots of people with BPD also have BDD (maybe about 50 percent). In my case, as far as I can tell, the BPD is the mother of BDD and addressing BDD first is like giving me an eye patch when I really need brain surgery to change my eyesight.
I question my self-worth often and that can translate into physical appearance or intelligence or even whether I am a kind person. As of a couple of years ago I was able to channel what I considered the negative parts of BPD into productive actions and thoughts.
Example: Need a man’s approval? Better to make it about your work ethic and your competence in your job and not the way your face looks when you smile or how your ass looks in some of your size 2 jeans.
Can’t be friendly? Be kind. If I tell myself to be friendly, I inevitably fuck it up by just being awkward but if I just try to be kind, I find it easier.
Manipulative thoughts? Use them in non-shitty ways. Cause no harm.
I had a hundred rules for myself to conceal these, what I consider, shitty parts of myself and in the end, it didn’t matter because it overflowed and caused a fire that I still struggle to contain. Addressing only my obsessive thoughts about the way I look isn’t going to make this more manageable. It will help me not to focus on the physical parts of myself that cause me anxiety but then I will just turn to other things that I can’t see or touch, things that are just in my head bouncing around and breaking shit and causing chaos and lack of sleep.
I haven’t directly told the therapist I am not coming back but I don’t think I am going back, at least not until I address the bigger thing.
A lot of things we discussed involved childhood and I always hate talking about that because I am introspective, I go over lots of things in my head, daily, combing through and analyzing. I am mindful. I know when I am in a mood where I am like a venomous, hungry snake and I want to bite someone just to subdue that instinct for a minute. And I try to turn it into something productive or beautiful.
I’m not sure where I am supposed to go from here. I can continue on, using up more mental energy than a normal person would trying to contain the monsters or I can look for a therapist that may help me. My issue is that my self-awareness of who I am, what I am, is there and if some therapist tries to “cure” me with printouts from books and other cookie cutter shit, I am insulted. I do not respond.
I will try to maintain this blog about these ongoing thoughts and struggles because it used to help me. The mental exhaustion is too much sometimes.
Also, in a bid to do exposure therapy for myself, I am trying to make myself take pictures, one shots and upload. No sitting there and retaking until I find the right one. There is no right one anymore, there can’t be. I will always find a flaw and, because I am human and have flaws, I will always find one and focus on it until it distorts the bigger picture.
I am working on it.