I have a button, it is well hidden and I can live for years without even being aware of its existence. I call it my 'Self Destruct Default' Button. It is not driven by any suicidal impulses or self harming behaviours which are part of my Borderline Personality Disorder. It is, however, just as destructive in many ways, because it springs from the same source - my inability to value myself.
It starts to pulse - red - when things are going really well. When there are no crises in my life that require all of my emotional energy. When I am, for want of a better word, in danger of becoming 'happy' in my life. I have pressed this button many times in my life - provoking the breakdown of relationships (see I told you, it's not possible to love me), loss of jobs (See I told you I am a failure) and usually, as a result, the loss of my home (see I told you I wasn't worth helping - wasted resources).
I managed to do this every five years or so and kept repeating the pattern between the ages of 18 and 42, when I finally ground to a halt and found a GP willing to put the pieces together and see the full picture. My diagnosis, although a shock at first, opened doors of understanding for me after a lifetime of feeling that I was just 'over-sensitive' and losing a grip on reality.
I find myself in danger of reverting to my 'default' having completed the core Dialectical Behaviour Therapy course and realising that I have been 'stable' for a number of months. I know it is worth getting used to enjoying life as others do, but there is a core belief that I am not worth it. This I know, is the fundamental battle I have with my past experience of life. Everything up to the present period of my life has been designed to programme me to believe that 'self destruction' is safer than taking a risk with life as it is outside my experience.
But there is hope - if my life so far has programmed my default, it can be reprogrammed to a different default - one that says, this moment is as it is. To believe that my emotions do not have to rule my life, that at their worst they build to painful crescendos, but they do subside, if I am willing to wait for one moment more.
So I am looking at creating a new button to become my default and on it is written: 'Hope'.