Finally, after two years of hospitals, clinics, GP surgeries, waiting rooms, needles, tests, being weighed, being measured, having my blood pressure taken, having my blood taken, of needing diaries to keep track of all the different dates and times and locations… finally there’s a reprieve, and it feels good.
My rheumatologist has agreed to allow six blissful whole months between check-ups, sometime earlyish next year the blood tests can (hopefully, assuming nothing changes dramatically again, which it has done a few times) be done every three months. My GP is also in the process of trying me on monthly – rather than fortnightly – appointments.
Therapy still happens once a week, and I’m waiting to have a molar removed and some fillings done, along with other dental work, but things feel quieter.
In a strange way, getting ill has been a blessing. I can’t remember when the relationship between my mother and I turned to fighting – probably as I approached puberty, when everything else seemed to fall apart – but knowing it’s ended is a wonderful feeling. We still bicker; we’re very alike and both very stubborn. I still fly off the handle on the odd occasion when everything becomes too much. She deals with it pretty well now, and on the whole we’re close.
It’s an odd feeling, finally being the sort of close to my own mother where she can link my arm and I don’t pull away from being touched, and I will confide in her about some incredibly personal things from the past without worrying about being judged. I’ve learned she won’t, now. Sometimes, I juggle with the idea of telling her about that thing – she occasionally says she wonders what the cause of BPD was as I wasn’t abused and it’s horribly common to find abuse in a BPD’s past – but the time is never quite right to begin that conversation.
Therapy is a struggle. I used to think my teenage obsession with psychology articles, books, and a couple of college courses was enough to make any therapy a breeze, but then I never responded to it before. It’s a mixture of CBT and DBT, with immersion therapy, and my current task (tasks are set every week) is to go for a walk alone.
There was a time not so long ago where I’d scoff at the idea of not being able to do that; I spent most of my life out walking alone, either along the embankment near my mother’s house, through the park into town, or just around my stomping ground. Now, however… I’m finding it incredibly difficult to step outside. Again.
Going outside if I’m meeting my mother isn’t too difficult, so long as I can get a taxi. Buses are out. Going out with S is difficult, and it’s never far from my mind that this introverted, reclusive, hermit of a girl is very different from the woman he met years ago in a pub on a whim. He’s been incredibly patient and I’m thankful as hell for that, because I don’t know if I could have got this far without him.
For somebody who is terrified of being outdoors, I spend most of my time thinking about all the things I miss about the outside. Autumn leaves. Friendly dogs. Different smells. Trees. Buildings. I miss looking at things, seeing new stuff instead of the same walls. I adore these walls, but I dearly miss seeing the grassy hills of the local park covered in pastel-coloured tulips in the spring, and being able to walk into a shop without fear of making eye contact.