Original art: Nov 2015.
Caption: Dec 2017
Therapy hit me like a ton of bricks; I had no idea how emotionally illiterate I was. I had never tolerated such intense emotion for such long periods of time. And what felt like a bombardment of “what are you feeling? What are you feeling” from my therapist felt extremely unpleasant. Not least because of my complete and unexpected inability to answer this seemingly simple question. I knew I was feeling an almost intolerable amount of emotion. But I couldn’t put a name to it or explain why.
Now I know this was alexithymia, and is quite common in BPD. But then, I had no idea what was happening to me. I was used to being numb.
In the two proceeding years, I have come so far. Now I can often name the emotion I am feeling. I can tolerate and regulate my emotions on a level I never knew possible and I can now, with coaching and support, almost always figure out the emotion most of the time.
Art Journal Sketch Series. Watercolour Pencil on Paper. Copyright Katy Matilda Neo, 26 November 2015.