So today, I made a big decision. Some of you might not agree with it, hell, I’m not even sure if it is the right one to make, but I will explain how I got there.
I took quite a few big steps last night, the first being going through my medicine cabinet, and throwing away all the old packets of Diazepam (Valium). There was at least 20 strips in there and I threw them all away apart from one. James was there, and told me he was proud of me, taking those final steps, and that he was glad I no longer felt as though I needed them to lean on. I explained that I found it difficult because even though I no longer took it, having it in the house was like a safety blanket to me.
We had a lovely relaxed evening together, and I tried to work out how to tell him I had this ‘assessment appointment’ the next day at 12. I still had not fully explained to him what these appointments were for. The last time I went I told him that it was just a check up, and that they had offered me a place on this course on how to stay well, and improve my life, rather than it was an assessment psychotherapy appointment because I was trying to get access to Mentalisation Based Therapy, the treatment specifically for Borderline Personality Disorder. Although I have told him about the Borderline, I have played it down, because I truly believe I am now in recovery from the Borderline.
Anyway, I was feeling a little uncomfortable because apart from this, and a couple of ‘things’ from my past, and I have been completely honest and up-front with him about anything, and skirting around the truth made me feel uncomfortable. So, I told him I had the appointment and he immediately picked up that there was something more that I was saying. He asked me about it, so I decided to try telling him the truth, that it was actually a therapy program called MBT (I missed out the bit about it being specifically for Borderline, thought that might be a bit much!) and that it was all about mentalising your emotions, and how you interact within relationships. He seemed to accept that, and told me that if I needed it, I should do it.
It is hard to explain how I felt about it, I was kind of like I want to be this normal person who doesn’t need therapy, and entering into the program doesn’t sit well with that. The conversation then went on and he asked me if there was anything else that I hadn’t told him. I repeated to him what I had said previously, that there was something that I wasn’t comfortable/ready to talk about just yet, but on the spur of the moment I decided maybe I should just be open and tell him – we have been together 6 weeks now, he says he loves me, maybe I should just be open. So, I took a deep breath, and I told him about the escorting. I told him that it was a really bad time in my life, and that although I can’t change it, I learnt how strong I can be. It also went against all my morals, hence why I ended up so screwed up afterwards. He seemed a bit stoic – as if he was trying to take it in. The rest of the evening wasn’t so good. Although the conversation happened whilst we were in bed, he was sat up and appeared to just be staring into space and thinking. I was lying down, trying not to fall asleep because I was so tired, and trying not to cry because I felt so overwhelmed with emotions – embarrassed, ashamed, scared, guilty, sorry for myself, even angry at myself.
I must have fallen asleep because he went downstairs to get a drink, but I do remember him coming back up, putting his arms round me and whispering ‘I love you’ in my ear. Small comfort though, as by this point I had convinced myself I had fucked it all up.
This morning I woke up, and tried to cuddle him, but he was a little distant. He still cuddled, but he wasn’t ‘right’. We talked a little about the night before, and about the appointment, and he told me that it was fine, but I could tell it wasn’t. I spent the morning at work twisting myself into knots until I set off for my appointment at 12. I phoned James, and we talked about the appointment. I asked him whether he thought I should take up the place in the programme or not. He told me that he couldn’t possibly answer that question, that it was my decision to make and I should make the one I felt comfortable with, but from the way he saw it, the thing I most benefit from is having supportive people around me and learning about myself, rather than doing a course through the NHS.
I kind of felt like I had to do it, because I have been trying for so long to get this place, but in the meantime, instead of sitting on my ass and whingeing about how bad I feel, I actually got my shit together and helped myself, and now I don’t think I am in the same place I was when I first started needing/wanting the therapy.
There is also the implications of work – the course is 1.5 hours (plus 30 mins travelling each way) every Tuesday and Thursday, for 18 months. They also said I may need time off work on the Thursday afternoon to ‘recover’. I work full time – first of all I can’t expect my mum to let me take the time off paid, and I can’t afford to take it unpaid with a mortgage and bills to pay. Plus, do I really want to delve into all those boxes I have so tightly locked away and disrupt everything that has now settled inside my head?
So, I went to the appointment which was with the normal lady and the MBT group therapist. We sat down together and talked through all of these points – and I came to the decision that I would no longer be proceeding with entering into the therapy program. They told me that if I felt I needed to do it at a later date that was fine, and they were glad I felt I had made enough progress to carry on on my own, doing what I am doing. I do feel as though a weight has been lifted. Yes, if I had been given this opportunity two years ago I would have bitten their hand off, but now I really don’t think is the right time.
On another note, I have slowly started reducing my medication. I am now cutting the tablets in half and taking one half per day, so effectively 10mg per day instead of 20mg. I plan to stay like this for several months, before reducing perhaps to 5mg, or even 10mg once every two days. I will see how it goes. The withdrawal symptoms (physical) are not good, and although I feel mentally well, who knows how I feel without the drug in my system.
I went back to see James at lunchtime and made a conscious effort to not make an issue out of it if he was still being ‘weird’ with me, which he was. I gave him a big smile, a cuddle and lots of kisses. By the end of 10 minutes or so he seemed a lot more back to his normal self. I told him about my decision and he seemed pleased I felt I was strong enough on my own. I love him so, so much. I’m just glad this bombshell is out the way and hopefully now we can return to what we have been…. A beautiful, honest and open relationship.