Everything that occurs in my life is one extreme or the other. Either immensely good or devastatingly bad; there is no in-between, no shades of grey.
And sadly enough, lately in my life it’s been a lot more bad than good.
This all or nothing concept is something I’m working on with my therapist and will learn better strategies on dealing with it in DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy) which I’ll hopefully be starting soon. Here’s what all or nothing is like for me..
All or nothing isn’t referring just to things that have happened and the way that I judge certain events but also a way of viewing things that haven’t happened yet. Over thinking and over analysing a situation that is yet to leads me to a place of doubt; expecting the worst to occur, even if it isn’t necessarily the most likely scenario.
This way of thinking often makes me isolate myself from others, fearing the worst. I had never realised fear of rejection was a symptom of mine, because I don’t often put myself in a place in which rejection can occur, but that in itself shows how deep the fear actually is. My all or nothing thinking makes me assume that I’ll get rejected, so I isolate.
Isolation is such a horrible thing; isolation = depression = isolation.. you get the drift, but that besides the point anyway.
This all or nothing concept also can be used to describe my emotions. I either feel something will all my might; so deeply it consumes me. Whether it be sadness, anger, happiness, no emotion is exempt.
If I’m not feeling an emotion with my everything, I am feeling nothing at all. It’s hard to describe ‘feeling nothing’, it’s like a void inside yourself, being completely numb to everything around you. It’s a crippling feeling.
This is where self harm/addiction often comes into the life of someone with BPD (well it does/did for me)
When you are feeling so overwhelmed with an emotion, it is so hard to make it stop and all you want is for it to stop. Cutting distracts the mind for long enough to snap you out of it and alcohol (or other substances) can numb you and make you forget. On the flip side, we have emptiness. When we feel nothing, all we want is to feel something, anything and will go to any measures necessary to feel.
All or nothing thinking also leads to the horrible feeling of worthlessness; if you’re not the best at something, you’re the worst at everything. Constantly feeling like you’re not worthy does horrible things to one’s ego. You unnecessarily shatter your self worth and it is hard to come back from that, to build yourself up again.
This in particular is something I need to work really hard on.
When you feel worthless, you don’t exert yourself as you normally would. You don’t attempt things you are actually capable of, because you feel like you won’t be able to achieve your goal.
I will come back to this post, there’s definitely more to add!