Wait?! What? – Where the heck am I again?!
“Why are you even here?”
I have asked myself that countless of times. Looking at the facts doesn’t draw a good picture. I have BPD, which means I’m often a nuisance to those around me, hinder them, or demand they place my needs over theirs. I have PTSD, which means I struggle with shit healthy people don’t even think about. I avoid half a trillion places because they are triggering, I dissociate and am not even a proper part of the world when I do and I haven’t dealt with at least two thirds of my traumatic memories yet. I have no formal education to speak of and no degree in anything. The only thing I’m certified is crazy and dysfunctional.
Looking back, I can’t separate the individual occasions on which my birth mother let me know that I am the reason for her misery. That I was the worst punishment God ever cursed her with. She used to say that, word for word. Then she got a chance to get rid of me for good with minimal effort on her part – and jumped at it, never to be heard or seen by me again.
How she felt about me was how I felt about myself. I had no idea why I am here at all. The only reason why I am still here is that I stopped caring about much of anything and just drifted on, numb with occasional bouts of emotional crisis, wherever life took me. For eight years.
Until my new life began. Not really because I chose it, but because it chose me. I was still drifting.
Since then, however, I ran aground. With all the good and the nasty that brings.
Now, two days ago, I was sick, my mom and I talked. About lots of things, but what I am thinking about now is that she said “you matter” and “we’re glad to have found you”. And you see, she has a way of saying things in a way that I can believe them. Even good stuff.
The sickness bug is gone (thank God) but her words have stayed with me. And I have realized that it’s nice to feel like I matter to my family, but that I’d really like to know WHY I matter. I want to feel like I have a life that matters by my own standards, too.
So I figured I need a roadmap to a life that matters, because I tend to get lost on whatever way I want to go. So far I have put on my roadmap:
1. Going after what I’m positively passionate about, so that there’s meaning in what I do. Right now, it’s blogging. I’m passionate about how people with mental health problems get treated and the many stupid/ignorant/unhelpful attitudes people have. Also, about the things that help me get better. About the things I have learned. I’m pretty passionate about those. I want to share them. Blogging is a way to do it.
2. Going the right way, not the easy way. The more I think about this one, the more I realize there is a huge pull in society in general towards the easy way. People want outcomes, but they don’t want to be bothered with getting there. Mind you, I’m one of those people, quite often. What gets sacrificed is quality and having something proper. Take convenience food. It’s quick and easy. Hey, you can even have it off paper plates so that you won’t have to bother with the dishes. But is the food good quality? And can you truly feel good about yourself, knowing you burden the world with unnecessary waste for no other reason than your laziness. Everyone can answer that for themselves. The right way is often the harder way. But also the one that leads to something that matters.
3. Finding out what “right” is for me – positive principles to live by. This one is probably the hardest one for me, because it’s in direct competition with BPD. Being borderline makes me rush judgment and draw faulty conclusions to act upon. Positive principles require me to do the opposite. Virtues such as honesty, self-control, persistence, kindness, generosity and patience don’t come easy to me. Like, at ALL! But I want a life that matters in positive ways, so this is where I feel my “right” lies.
4. Keeping in mind that a roadmap is meant for a journey, not a destination. If I were there already, I didn’t need a map anymore. I need the map because I’m not there yet. In fact I’m far from there. Far from making the right choices, and choosing the right path, even when it’s a hard and long one. But that’s exactly what a roadmap is for. So I can look at it when I err or stumble. So I can keep track of where I am, even when I went the wrong way. So I can get back on track. Even when I need to do it a thousand times before I get anywhere.
5. Recognizing the good things along the way. If a map is not so much about the destination as about the way – and I can already see that the way is a long one – I might as well treat the way as if it were the destination and appreciate the good things that make going it worthwhile. For a life that matters, finding meaning in what I do is a good way to start. Meaning in the successes, when I manage to walk on the right path. But also meaning in going astray, like figuring out why I got lost and how to get back on a better path.
I want a life that matters. I want to be here to show that I can use my life for something good after all.