For half of my life I’ve been told I was depressed. I was diagnosed with depression at 16 and have been through many different anti-depressants, counsellors, psychologists and self-help books. I’ve even been to Peru to participate in ayahuasca ceremonies. But even with all this effort my mental well-being has steadily detoriated; unable to maintain a healthy relationship or a steady job and I’ve felt ever more hopeless. Five years ago, after a relationship breakdown and a stressful job, I developed anxiety as well.
To be honest, even though I was so down all the time, I was never really motivated to help myself. I thought being on medication and seeing a psychologist every now and then was enough. I did little work myself towards getting better. I wondered why my life was so crap.
I was being a victim. It was all too easy to blame my problems on my traumatic childhood.
It wasn’t until the breakdown of my relationship (late last year) with the man I really love and my subsequent suicide attempt (two months later) that I decided that I couldn’t go on like this and that it was my responsibility to make myself get better. But two months after my attempt we reconciled and I grew complacent about my recovery again.
And I continued to deteriorate. I was depressed all the time, anxious about every little thing, insecure about our relationship, and starting to have violent outbursts whenever I felt he wanted to leave the relationship.
Three weeks ago I discovered I had borderline personality disorder. And it’s been such a relief. My problem had a name! There were others like me! Instead of trying to deal with a dozen different issues, I now had but one foe to vanquish!
So I kicked my therapy up a notch; I finally felt I’d made some progress, and a little bit of hope for the first time in years.
Even so, I slipped again. Last weekend I told him I wanted to break up, something I do when I’m feeling desperate. It’s a test, he was meant to say he wanted to stay with me, to reassure me. But it backfired, and he left. I threatened suicide, I threatened to destroy his life, I bargained and pleaded. Anything to not be abandoned again.
Of course I’m angry; I wish he could have seen how hard I was trying, and stuck around to support me through this.
But it’s been the kick in the pants I’ve needed to sort myself out.
And not to win him back (though of course that would be a bonus), but to get better so I can just live with myself…and maybe even learn to be happy.
The reasons for this blog are threefold; as a way to keep myself motivated throughout my recovery; to track my progress; and to hopefully provide some inspiration to others out there who are struggling borderline personality disorder. And maybe get a little support from others like me too.
I’ve decided to challenge myself to get better in 90 days, beginning tomorrow. I don’t know if it’s possible, but I’m going to try. And even if I’m not a brand new person three months from now, I know I’ll be on my way.
If anybody out there stumbles across this, I hope you will join me in recovering from borderline personality disorder, or be inspired to help a loved one through it.
The first thing to remember is: we can and will recover!
The second is: we aren’t just assholes or screaming banshees; we’re people who feel deeply, love deeply, fear deeply, and for some reason or another have trouble regulating our emotions. It’s a skill we can acquire.
Wish me luck!