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What Suicide Has Taught Me

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I’ve watched my mother deal through the grief of my grandpa’s and aunt’s suicide; the constant pain she felt and the way she teared up on their birthdays or suicide anniversaries. She hadn’t told me these were suicides; I would’ve been too young to understand.

I remember standing on the main floor, hearing my mom huddle into a pillow over the death of her father and I couldn’t comprehend it. I was only a toddler.

Why is it that, the day after my birthday, Matante killed herself and my mom had to leave with no explanation? I wanted to come with, but she couldn’t bare to tell me.

To this day, she is wounded by these suicides, and it has left a void that is way too visible.

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Suicide was a part of the family genes, but I was lucky enough to have been a child and have no understanding of taking ones own life. Until I was 15 years old, and my brother’s friend jumped in front of a train. I didn’t know him the way my brother did, but I knew him better than anyone else from school did, and he chose to end his life.

I, too, was struggling with suicidal thoughts at the time and connected on a deeper level with him. He did what I didn’t have the guts to do, I thought.

Over the months, I developed PTSD symptoms. I could see him; the terror in his eyes as the train approached and that force dragging him to be hit. I could feel his body flinging in the air and studied the direction his body would go depending on how he chose to jump. My mind was a gruesome minefield and he was the picture etched into my skull.

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His suicide ripped me to shreds; I lost a good portion of my hair and was no longer functional. I declined in school and in my extracurricular activities, and I was more suicidal than I had ever been.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot about suicide, about myself, and how I truly feel about suicide.


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Life Is Worth Living. People say this all the time without true emotion behind it, but I know how true this statement is.

Everyday, I get to see the sunshine, the smiling faces of the people around me and watch myself grow into a beautiful young woman with all the capabilities in the world. I get to watch my brother who was supposed to pass at the age of 16, grow into his twenties, and join my family for some of the most memorable holidays.

I started my writing career, which has been my dream since I was a child, and I couldn’t imagine deceiving myself in that way. Had I gone ahead and ended my life, I wouldn’t be able to see my abilities convey themselves onto pieces of paper. Sure, my work isn’t perfect but it never had to be. It just has to be the best I can do, which is a reward in itself.

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You don’t get rid of pain; you pass it on. It isn’t right for anyone to guilt trip you when you’re considering suicide because, that shouldn’t be the reason you choose to stay. You should choose to stay because you deserve life and you are able to be great.

But, there is truth in the statement “you don’t end the pain, you pass it on.” I’ve witnessed and experienced it. You don’t need to be family to have an impact on someone through a suicide; being an acquaintance is enough to affect someone in abundance.

Your pain is molded and transferred in a tragic way to nearly everyone who has come into contact with you, and it’s distressing to see.

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No; no one would be happier if you died. When we experience suicidal feelings, we often feel unwanted or unloved because someone may be experiencing feelings of frustration or anger towards us, but this does not mean they would be happier if we were gone. Even if they claim they want you to kill yourself, they don’t mean it. In reality, there would be great amounts of guilt on their part and they would be distraught with themselves for ever mistreating you; questioning themselves regarding their involvement.

I’m sure my grandfather thought the same way; maybe he felt he was a burden to his family. But, because of his death, I have a forever mourning mother, and I have been robbed of an important relationship with him. He promised to take me fishing with him; leaving me behind at such a young age to go with my siblings. He was supposed to be present in my life, teach me lessons and watch me grow, but he absented himself.

I am not happier that he died, nor is my mom or any of his relatives. There is no bad he could’ve done to make us feel happier without him.

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It’s a thought that can be changed. Suicidal thoughts stem from trauma or a mental illness; we are so desperate to end the pain and grief that we search for a way out. It is often said that people commit suicide because they want the pain to stop.

When you commit suicide, that pain never gets a chance to stop or evolve into something beautiful. It’s only a thought, a feeling, and it can be changed with persistence and a desire to change. You must convince yourself otherwise and move towards a healthy lifestyle that strays you from suicidal urges.

It is possible to live a happy life, and we want you to see it.

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Nothing will change if we don’t try. Since my brother’s friend passed, my life has gone full circle. It was worse before it got better. I was homeless twice, went to a treatment center, completed high school, was in a bad relationship and got out of it, have gotten my own place and got so far in recovery that I can’t believe how far I’ve come.

Had I gone along and committed suicide, nothing would’ve gotten better. I would’ve never been able to see all the beautiful things I have now. I would’ve left during the worst time of my life, without giving myself a chance to become an adult and understand the world around me.

What a joy life is; and I am damn grateful I never succeeded during my suicide attempts.


If you are suicidal or experiencing crisis, please contact your local crisis line. 

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Understanding Self Harm; What Is It?

understanding self-harm; what is it?, www.slothspeedrecovery.wordpress.com, sloth speed recovery

Self-harm is the act of self-mutilation, where an individual purposefully harms themselves in hopes to alleviate stress, emotional pain, trauma, depressive feelings or find control. A large number of self-harmers are approaching or are in adolescence; using these methods to cope with new emotions, mental illnesses and overwhelming situations, though many are adults or progress into adulthood with these maladaptive coping skills. Some self-harm for short periods of time or in crisis, whilst others may become fully addicted or may not know that they are self-harming because the method isn’t widely known.

Self-mutilation is not a suicide attempt; it is a maladaptive coping strategy to find control in out-of-control situations and can be replaced by healthy ones. The individual self-harming is struggling and needs professional help. They may use a combination of self-harming methods.


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Cutting. Cutting is the most well-known self-harming coping mechanism and has been widespread on the internet over the last few years. It is the most heard of the bunch.

Most adolescents turn to cutting to cope with dysfunctional families, bullying, trauma, schooling and overwhelming feelings, though adults do also partake in this method. The act of cutting releases endorphins to the brain to deal with the emotional and physical pain, giving the cutter a high. It’s an exciting rush, followed by a sense of relief from what’s bothering them.

Cutting is often assumed as suicidal behaviour when, in actuality, it’s a very common way people cope with issues. The blood and mutilation factor frightens caregivers who feel they may have to bring their child to the hospital for an attempt, which is not a necessity.

It is important that, if the cutter chooses to continue, they use clean materials and clean their wounds to avoid infection and STD transmittal (as it can be deadly). They must monitor themselves; if they cut too deep, they need to request medical attention, as an excessive loss of blood can kill them.

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Burning. Burning is frequently used in combination with cutting. The individual takes a hot object and holds it to their skin until it cools down and a wound is formed. Some may use hot baths or tap water instead, which may not leave a mark, but is as serious. These burn wounds may bubble up and “pop”, oozing a liquid; it is important for the person self-harming to monitor this wound and ensure bacteria doesn’t contaminate.

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Scratching/Pinching. Someone may choose to scratch at their skin until blood surfaces for a quick sense of relief. This could be an occasional thing, develop into dermatillomania or be dermatillomania.

Dermatillomania (Excoriation Disorder or Skin Picking Disorder) is when the individual has an incessant need to scratch and pick at “imperfections” resulting in worsened bumps, wounds, acne or infection. This disorder can be combated through therapy and extreme efforts, but is not always noticed by the one doing it.

There is a difference between choosing to do it, and having a disorder. Someone with dermatillomania will scratch or pick during anxious or tense situations, but may not notice, while someone who is picking occasionally is constantly doing it on purpose. It must be monitored as the occasional behaviour can evolve into a disorder as they grow unaware of their actions, and lean on picking to cope. It becomes second nature.

Wound Interference. This ties in with dermatillomania and skin picking. The individual repeatedly picks at scabs which result in either blood or scars.

art piece watercolour trich trichotillomania bfrb sloth speed recovery

Hair Pulling. Hair pulling is because of a disorder called trichotillomania; a compulsive desire to pull out ones hair. The puller may notice bald patches from continuous pulling, self-esteem issues, and hair follicle changes (hairs growing in curly, thin or odd colours). Constantly pulling out one’s hair can increase anxiety, and affect their confidence, usually accompanied by depression. They may find flaws in specific hairs and feel that they do not belong, resulting in pulling it out.

Trich falls under the same umbrella as dermatillomania, (Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviour/BFRB) and is not always intentional. With over exposure to pulling, they become dependent on it and may not notice themselves acting out, and can be so severe that they pull in their sleep.

Photo: © Europen Parliament/P.Naj-Oleari
pietro.naj-oleari@europarl.europa.eu

Drugs/Alcohol. Substance abuse starts off as using drugs and alcohol to cope. Someone may reach for a bottle when they are upset to “lose themselves”. With repetitive use, they will become heavily addicted and full-fledged alcoholics or drug addicts.

Their body will be tolerant of the substance and require higher doses for the same effect, develop a psychological and physical dependency where they may not be able to function without it as their body and mind experience withdrawal, and addiction. Addiction is the compulsive need for the substance and effort required to avoid or reduce usage.

Depending on the substance, risks include:

  • STDs from needles and injectors
  • Irregular heart rate or heart failure
  • Infertility
  • Lung damage
  • Memory loss
  • Periods of psychosis and disconnection from self
  • Seizures
  • Organ failure
  • Irritability, anxiety, jumpiness, sweating and shaking
  • Violence
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

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Hitting. Hitting involves violence towards oneself, where the individual hits and punches themselves for relief. This can result in bruises and painful areas.

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Disordered Eating Behaviours. Disordered eating is a common gateway to eating disorders. They feel they have lost control when it comes to food or their body, finding flaws in their figure or eating patterns. There are heavy influences in media and they could turn to Pro Anorexia Websites for tips on weight loss. Disordered eating can be controlled and restrictive (anorexia), strictly healthy foods only (othorexia), use of laxatives and vomiting after binging (bulimia), over eating (binge eating) and other, personalized methods.

This behaviour must be heavily monitored as a traumatic change in diet can remove years off their life, become extreme with no way back or fatal. They must seek out medical attention and learn not to use food to cope. The recovery process is not short and may take years; it’s best to catch and treat it early.


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“Suicide Attempts” (Testing the Grounds). These types of suicidal behaviours are parasuicidal, meaning it is suicidal in its nature, but suicide wasn’t the intent. This is very common with individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder as they experience chronic suicidal feelings and use this to cope. They do not wish to die, but to control an out-of-control situation. Facing death but not dying can be satisfying to some.


Remember: Self-harm is used to gain control in out-of-control situations. It isn’t use to get back at or punish anybody.

Self-mutilation should be avoided, discouraged and discussed in therapy. Overcoming self-harm will take time, but can be done when trauma, pain and other factors are discussed, and healthier coping mechanisms are implemented. When an urge arises, they should consider journaling, going for a walk, drawing, calling a friend, etc. Constant denial to these urges will improve their quality of life, as they ween off of their need.

Relapse is inevitable, but self-mutilation can be conquered.

If you are a worried guardian or friend, do not demean them. It may not seem logical to you, but it is necessary you open the conversation, lend an ear once in a while, and tell them that it is acceptable to talk about self-harm. If you use it against them, they will lean on the behaviour more, and could hurt themselves further. Don’t overreact, don’t under react. Finding a balance can be complicated, but worth it. They are dealing with a serious problem and need your support.

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10 Daily Borderline Struggles

Borderline Personality Disorder is a very intense disorder of behaviour and intensified emotions, often described by medical professionals as a roller coaster. Trauma and other factors contribute to the formation of ones personality, and borderlines experience extremes daily. Though the disorder may not be seen on the exterior, it is very real and is hard for anyone to understand, even one living with the condition.


The following are common daily occurrences for the average borderline, and may help you to understand the condition better.

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Fear of Abandonment. The most common Borderline trait is the fear of abandonment, and it is an everyday occurrence. As people grow older, they realize that people leave their lives, but we have witnessed it repeatedly in unnecessary forms. It could just be assumed abandonment or, other situations may feel like it. Having to leave a phone call, a coworker leaving work or having to say goodbye to a guest, though inevitable, can feel like abandonment. It is a repetitive pattern we’ve experienced which may seem irrational, but is a true fear.

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Unstable and Intense Emotions. It is no secret that borderlines can climb the emotional ladder and come down again in a matter of seconds. It may be an overwhelming trait, but it is hell to live with. Our emotions fluctuate and they lean so far to extremes that we may not be able to cope. A negative comment from a friend can upset us at first, and then spiral out into self-harming thoughts and behaviours. In very intense cases, the individual may not be able to function in everyday activities and may require disability funds.

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Feelings of Emptiness. Our intense emotions unfortunately includes emptiness. We may lie there, emotionless, trying to muster up reason for our living and life itself. Being empty can lead someone to risky behaviour and dissociation to retrieve feeling. Dissociation cannot be entirely controlled, but ones body resorts to this to escape trauma and an overflow of emotions. Emptiness can quickly lead to suicidal thoughts and actions as it can be mistaken as worthlessness, thus being a very dangerous emotion.

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Anxiety. Not all borderlines have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, though most do experience it. We constantly experience fear and worry. We stress over other people’s thoughts and emotions in response to our own, becoming terrified of what they could do. We understand that our vulnerability can be used against us and we may end up hurt. Not to mention, there is anxiety revolving everyday activities, along with overanalysing everyone around us. We are apprehensive of the possibility of someone not liking us along with their ability to harm us, which is ultimately terrifying.

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Self-Doubt and Self-Hate. Everyone doubts and judges parts of themselves they don’t love, but those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder experience it on an overwhelming level. We are uncertain about ourselves, our capabilities and our talents. Most of us have been continuously reminded in childhood of our wrongs, with our goods taking a back seat. The lack of acknowledgement of accomplishments in our childhood make it hard for us to see how amazing we really are. This self-doubt can affect our everyday functioning as we may not believe we are capable of handling phone calls, writing something down or preparing something for someone. When these emotions intensify, we become extremely self-destructive and implode, causing dangerous outcomes and needs for hospitalization. Understanding that we are valid human beings takes time, but can be achieved with constant Dialectal Behavioural Therapy.

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Boredom. Enduring boredom with Borderline is a complicated struggle. It is just as intense as any other emotion. Our response to this can be very unhealthy. To cope, we respond in extreme ways that are often self-destructive. Commonly, we turn to alcohol, drugs, risky sex, overspending, gambling and poor career decisions, all to reach satisfaction.

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Suicidal/Self-Harm Thoughts. It will never be easy to swallow, but we face this daily. It is agonizing to fight, but most of us manage to see the end of the day due to our strength and resiliency. We often consider these as options as a way to cope, but we fight our hardest not to resort to them.

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Identity Struggles. Have you ever noticed someone with Borderline hop job to job, getting invested in multiple hobbies, trying to start a career under a specific light, but quickly switching to a new approach? It isn’t strange for diagnosed BPD individuals to do this, and it can be draining to do. We may crave a label to identify us, so we can understand ourselves better, but it usually leaves us lost. It is a way to combat emptiness and boredom.

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Paranoia and Sensory Overload. Borderline Personality Disorder may not be a psychotic condition, but we are subject to slight psychotic symptoms. In states of worry and fear, we may become overly aware and paranoid, believing that we are being stalked, or someone’s next victim. When out at a local store, we can stress over the amount of noise and crowds, along with vivid colours and brash movements. This could be a subconscious way to cope with anxieties and mistrust.

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Rejection from Medical Professionals. The majority of borderlines who have sought out medical attention can tell you that you will be denied and stereotyped at one point for your disorder by mental health and medical professionals. There is a large stigma around BPD and most professionals do not want to work with us because of the intense emotions, dependencies and constant suicidal feelings.

As sad as it is, they would be liable for our actions, especially if we threaten suicide and they don’t take us seriously. BPD individuals make many threats because of emotional intensity, and they cannot send us to the hospital every appointment, but a misassesment could cause them an upheaval of legal problems. It is possible to find a therapist that will work with Borderline, but it may be a struggle if you haven’t begun recovery as they will refuse to engage the comfortable Borderline behaviours we are accustom to.

Being refused treatment can bring us down and make us believe that we aren’t worthy of help, but we are, and we deserve to feel better. Attending Dialectal Behavioural Therapy regularly and practicing healthy coping mechanisms can be the path to a healthy and happy lifestyle.


 

1

Holiday Self-Care

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The holiday season is often a stressful time for a majority of people; there’s gifts to buy, plans to make, food to prepare, etc. Sometimes, people have to face the holidays with one less relative, which is never easy. For the mentally ill, this time of year is all the more stressful. 

For those struggling with anxiety, they have to try to communicate with a cluster of people whilst avoiding panic attacks. Eating disorders; they have to figure out routines and be faced with many challenge foods they may not be ready to take. Depression; they have to try to seem jolly for their relatives to avoid being a “bummer”. BFRBs; they have to try to conceal bald patches, scabs and behaviours they may not have control over yet. Self harm; they have to try to control the urges around the cluster of people. Borderline Personality Disorder; they have to try to remain in control when things are out of control and hectic.

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Self-care is the best way to keep things under control at such a stressful time. You can consider your relatives, family and friends, but you can’t be fully you when your mental illness is pushing down on you. It’s important to identify when you need time for yourself; to pamper yourself, so that you can return to the festivities happily.


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Baths. Bubble baths are always great to destress. They’re great for relaxing muscles, which can tense up when things are overwhelming, and they give you time to think by yourself. You could put on some soft tunes, lay in a bed of bubbles and let everything go. It’s time for you. Why not pamper yourself with a face mask, a scrubbing and possibly a manicure? Take this time to loosen up, be with yourself and be positive. The world can wait.

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Yes, this is vegan.

Hot Chocolate. The holidays just don’t seem like the holidays without its signature drink; hot chocolate. It’s warm, frothy, delicious, and easy to make homemade and vegan (skip on the cayenne). Why not throw in some candy canes, top with vegan whipped cream and marshmallows for that extra holiday kick? Spoil yourself.

This kind of treat will definitely bring joy and self-soothe some of those holiday anxieties. It gives you time to enjoy flavour, spend time with friends, read a book or work on your computer. We all deserve to treat ourselves during the holidays, and this might give you that extra kick when you’re feeling the winter blues.

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Buy Yourself Something Nice. If you’re alone this time of year, it can be overwhelming to watch everyone make plans with their families and have gifts to share. In a time where everyone is spoiling one another, you can’t forget yourself. You deserve holiday gifts and joy as well, whether someone has some lined up for you or not. Go to the store, buy something that you’ve been wanting for a long time and enjoy it!

Thinking about what YOU want rather than what others want could be just the thing to make you happy. With mental illness, we often think about everyone else, and how they feel about our conditions and the repercussions we cause them. So, drop everyone else for a minute, and put yourself first. Your health, feelings and happiness is important.

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Decorate. Decorating and admiring the work you’ve done can feel rewarding and welcoming. It really brings the season to life and can lift your mood. Bright lights, glitter and old time classical songs are just the thing to calm you down and take away your blues.

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Puzzles and Colouring. Activities like these give you enough time to put your life on hold, evaluate your feelings and think about what to do next. For 10 minutes, you can focus, distract your mind and do something for yourself. Not to mention, seeing a completed piece you made can be fulfilling. This is a great coping mechanism to replace self-harm.

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Talk to a Friend. Our families don’t always understand us and can be insensitive; bringing in an outside party could benefit you and bring peace. Our friends are aware of our struggles and won’t judge; they can provide advice and company when we need it most. Good company can be the solution to many issues.


Here are some other ideas.

Stressed?

  • Read a book
  • Pet an animal
  • Go for a walk
  • Sing/Play and instrument
  • Write

Anxious?

  • Deep breathing
  • Touching different textures
  • Listen to soft music
  • Change rooms/environments
  • Put on comfy pyjamas

Angry?

  • Journal
  • Call a friend
  • Scribble harshly with pens
  • Yell into a pillow
  • Play a video game

Sad/Depressed?

  • Join people
  • Make yourself a hot drink
  • Read (forums, newspapers, books, etc)
  • Take a quick nap
  • Play with your hair

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Everyone should enjoy this holiday season, mentally ill or not. We have to focus on the signs of stressors or spirals and try to combat them with healthy coping mechanisms. It can be a fun time, if we allow it to and work on moving forward.

Take care of yourself.

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How I’m Defeating Borderline Personality Disorder

How I'm Defeating Borderline Personality Disorder, sloth speed recovery, www.slothspeedrecovery.wordpress.com, sloth speed recovery

I’ve had a good run with Borderline Personality Disorder, ever since I was diagnosed at fourteen, after a serious suicide attempt. It’s been over four years, and my emotions have seen the full spectrum. I’ve fallen into some of the worst coping behaviours, almost lost my life over a dozen times, but I never fully gave up. I’ve been in and out of treatments; centers, hospitals, seeing psychiatrists, doctors, therapists, group therapy, etc. I’ve seen practically all treatment options, and nothing has worked as well as this…

My current recovery method does include therapy and sleeping medication, but it isn’t the reason I am doing so well.

No pill will cure Borderline (though they help regulate moods), and doctors have been clear with the majority of us that that is the case. We are responsible for our recovery; it’s about routine and combating our destructive behaviours.


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Admitting to a Problem and Deciding to Recover. You can’t recover without the initial decision to.

I made the decision in June 2016 that I wanted to recover. I was DONE with BPD. I was exhausted with self harm and trying to manipulate people to stay, even if they didn’t want to. I was tired of trying to control things I couldn’t control. I accepted my condition and wanted to change it. I didn’t want to suffer every single day anymore.

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Attending DBT. The main form of therapy provided in mental health institutions is usually Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which challenges negative thoughts to alter behaviour, treating mood disorders. It is helpful but won’t cure BPD.

Dialectic Behavioural Therapy (DBT) was designed for people with Borderline by Marsha M. Linehan in the late 80s. This form teaches individuals to cope with emotion regulation and trauma, rather than reducing crises. Someone with BPD could be in crises daily, and it’s more beneficial to teach them healthy coping mechanisms to use during these crises.

I attended the Out Of Control Group near my town, using the Out Of Control DBT-CBT Workbook, which works wonders. It won’t help if you don’t dedicate yourself to it. Some weeks will be very hard because the book takes a blunt approach, and touches on sensitive topics, but you can’t quit. Stay persistent.

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Stop Self-Harming. No cutting. No pill popping. No alcohol. No burning. No disordered eating. Etc. You can’t recover while hurting yourself, even if your mind is in the right place.

I’m still working on this. I’ve gone over four years addicted to cutting, and I’ve greatly reduced it with a few slip ups. My blades have been taken away from me and it has improved my mental health, though I still crave it. My disordered eating hops in every once in a while but, I can distract my mind if I remind myself that being skinny and starving myself is only going to get in the way of my goals, not help reach them. I’ve used drugs and alcohol, and other techniques, but they don’t help. And I can get through a craving with that reminder.

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Hobbies and Meet Ups. A good portion of our lack of confidence is our inability to see what we are capable of. By starting a hobby, we use our natural talent and grow it into something more profound. If you incorporate local meet ups, other people can encourage you.

(Find out why it’s good to be involved in local groups/clubs here)

I attend a writer’s group every second week, and it encourages me to keep writing. They provide feedback and opinions, which will only further me in my writing career.

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Little Goals. Make goals for yourself every day. Take a walk, cook a meal, do a puzzle, etc. Little goals give you a sense of accomplishment, and can remind you of your capabilities. You suddenly notice that the person who wasn’t able to get out of bed can now go for a run, or go to social gatherings. It’s about reinforcing a routine and teaching yourself that you can function.

I ensure to keep hygiene regular, take in account my mood for every day, work on my writing, and work on myself individually.

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BIG GOALS. Eventually, your little goals can feed into a big goal. It will seem impossible to reach at first, but it is very likely, and attainable. every day, you make a little goal to work on it, and in no time, it will be done.

I recently completed my first draft to my first ever novel; a goal I never thought I would reach. With persistence, I finished that first draft in four months. My upcoming big goal is finishing the chapter edits and getting that out to my Beta Readers.

(If you’re interested in being a Beta Reader for this novel, read about it here and complete the application)


My quality of life has vastly improved. I’m attending weekly therapy, I’ve applied for disability, I’m in the midst of a job application, and I finished the first draft of my book. My almost dead relationship is currently blossoming healthily. I am gaining weight, and I understand that I am healthy and that it’s natural; cutting a meal because of a pound gained is illogical. The hair on my head is growing after my trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder) spiked in August. My hygiene is better, I’m taking sleep medication, I’m doing puzzles, I’m accepting time away from my boyfriend, I’m working on my book every day (even if it’s for five minutes) and I’m genuinely happy.

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I never thought that I would get here; happy. I’m not living in the best place with the best conditions, but I make the most of every single day, and I’m thankful for what I have. Being happy and healthy is more important to me than wasting my life with Borderline. I will always have it; I will always struggle, but I will always fight. 

Thank you to those who supported me through this writing process, and who have supported my blog. I hope I bring you joy and inspire you to reach for recovery, just as I have. All together, we can overcome Borderline Personality Disorder, and embrace what it has made of us. 

1

When Should Borderlines Have Children?

when should borderlines have children, bpd, borderline personality disorder, www.slothspeedrecovery.wordpress.com, sloth speed recovery

Individuals who have never experienced mental illness may argue that someone diagnosed with should not be allowed to be a parent, and possibly, their children should be taken away. Though some are unfit because of their mental illness induced behaviour and other factors, there are parents who are diagnosed and were/are successful.

When dealing with BPD specifically, we experience extreme emotions, behaviours and sensations that can become violent and abusive, and should not be exposed to a child. Wanting a child is a common human desire for most, but it is evidently possible that we could hurt our child by just having this disorder and not knowing how to control it. No loving parent wants to turn on their child.

What if your condition IS bringing harm their way?

That begs the question… Should Borderlines be parents?


Well, it would depend in what stage you fit, and how far along in recovery you are.

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Just Out of Hospital/Recently Diagnosed. You are not fit to be a parent (at this time).

Parenting takes self-control and understanding, and if you have just been released from hospital for a suicide attempt or self harm incident, it would not be fair to expose a child to that. You are not in control, and that’s why someone had to take it from you, or you’ve handed it away.

The early stages of childhood can grasp onto trauma easily, and it is very likely that you will have an episode. The child will observe that and feel wounded; possibly blame themselves. You could physically harm them, and they wouldn’t know their rights or that that is not acceptable. Parenting early on into Borderline would only cause unnecessary trauma, and could enforce a mental illness upon them.

It will take a long time before you will learn self-control, emotional management and daily coping, and that’s okay. It is not necessary to be a parent immediately. Take your time; this is your journey.

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Going to Therapy and Seeking Treatment. Still a long way to go to being ready.

Going to therapy is a positive and it should be praised. Going doesn’t mean being active, though. It’s great that you are attending, but if you aren’t engaged, it’s not going to benefit anybody. It also doesn’t mean that you’re making the changes outside of your therapist’s office. Going is just that; going.

Seeking treatment is not being IN treatment. It means that you are looking, are on the waiting list or trying to take treatment into your own hands. You cannot be sure that you will attend mandatory sessions or be committed to the medication your doctor suggests until the time comes. In 6 months time, you may be living somewhere entirely different and not have transportation, or the time to attend, and thus, are back on the waiting list.

Taking on a child in this stage will only overwhelm you, and you will distance yourself from recovery. It is almost guaranteed that you will spiral out of control again. And no one wants that.

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Active in Treatment/Taking Medication. You’re getting there.

Being active in treatment whilst taking your medication is amazing. It’s one of the first steps to taking action in recovery but is nowhere near the final. It is important to continue trying to improve yourself every single day, and apply coping skills at home.

Medications may take several months to properly sit into someone’s system, thus is not fully effective. Early stages of medication actually creates more instability than not, and if not consistent and supervised, could bring you back to old patterns.

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Applying Coping Mechanisms At Home. Still a little bit further.

Being involved in treatment, medication and your own recovery will take you far. This stage shows that you are active in your recovery and are willing to give up anything to remain on track. You will be forcing yourself to go outside, do art instead of self harm, controlling your emotions, etc. This kind of behaviour demonstrates that you’re getting to a good place, and are coping with what comes your way.

Though, you should not have a child if you’ve done this for one week. You have to remain consistent, even when it gets rough. No self harm. No episodes. Keep it under control, because you know you can do it, and your future child believes in you.

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Coping Well/Recovered. Go ahead.

You are ready, recovery wise. Keep up the consistent coping skills, therapy and medication, and don’t give up.


Yes, some Borderlines are bad parents, some are mediocre and some are fantastic. Though everyone makes bad decisions, it doesn’t make them inherently bad.

Our mental illness does not define our parenthood, but it’s important that we have it under control before conceiving to avoid causing necessary trauma to the child. That decision to recover could be influenced by your desire to have a child, and that’s all the more reason to get there.

Don’t give up.


It is important to note that recovery is an individual process for everyone. Some people can do it in one year, and others can take ten. Don’t rush to conceive. Take your time, learn about your Borderline and learn about parenting in the process. You can be an extraordinary parent, if you are ready.

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The Benefits of Local Groups

 

the benefits of local groups, sloth speed recovery, www.slothspeedrecovery.wordpress.com

If you struggle with any form of anxiety or isolative disorders, you will not be jumping at the idea to putting your big kid pants on and heading out the door to meet up with locals. Doing so could provide multiple benefits to your mental health and well being.

These groups usually involve a niche, and thus, you would be socializing with people you have common interests with. These individuals would understand your passions and be relatable for you, providing a positive ground for you. Not to mention, most of these are free to join, and thus, won’t rip a hole in your wallet!


But, why would it be worth it if I have a mental illness?

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Social Interactions/Meeting New People. A great deal of mental illnesses involve us isolating ourselves, and refusing to participate in social situations. This creates a decline in friendships and relationships we’ve formed in our life, resulting in negative feelings towards ourselves and the people around us. By pushing ourselves to go out and meeting individuals with common interest, we expand our horizons. We meet people from different age groups, backgrounds and professions, that all share the same passion.

These new people in your life will offer you more than you could imagine; from peace of mind to confidence boosters. Most individuals in these types of clubs are optimistic and supportive, and will likely desire that you succeed.

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Pushing the Comfort Zone. No one has ever gotten any better without pushing the boundaries a little bit. Progress is attained through discomfort.

Taking a quote from The Dinz Episode Get Over It!!, it should be clear that change should actually be less scary than things staying the same.

“If you’re afraid of change, just ask yourself. What’s scarier; the unfamiliar, or things staying exactly the way they are, right now, forever?”

-The Dinz, Get Over It!!

Change is a common experience for all humans to experience. It isn’t ever entirely comfortable for anyone, but if it was, it wouldn’t evolve us as people or teach us the value of things we have. It is an inevitable fact of life, and when we live with mental illness, we have to force changes upon ourselves to attain overall better wellness.

That boundary pushing is going to reduce your anxiety in the long run. The more that you expose yourself to these types of situations, the more comfortable you are going to get. The more vulnerable you make yourself, the stronger you will become.

We must learn to cope with our mental illnesses, and not let them define or control us.

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Hobby. Hobbies occupy time, and get the creative juices flowing. This type of activity can actually bring you to be inspired and motivated, and may surprise you with how able you are with your mental illnesses.

Not to mention, it adds more depth to your character, and that is an attractive trait. This level of independence and love towards your self-worth will attract more people into your life.

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Positive Environment. Environments like these are flooded with positive people who just want the best for you. If you are all joined in that group, you all share a passion, and no one who understands the passion will want to bring anybody in that field down. They will want you to succeed, and will provide positive feedback on your contribution or your work.

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Pushes Productivity. Constant support and belief in your character will push you to excel or produce a higher level of content. The positive reinforcement from your peers will inspire you. This constant flow of encouragement will make you more productive.

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Coping with Criticism. It is inevitable that you will receive criticism, especially in public situations. Though it’s not always easy to deal with, the kindness of your peers should be considered. If you are sharing a written or artistic piece, they may offer their opinions on what could better it to the public eye, or in general.

It is important to note that any comment they make, unless intentionally hateful, is never meant to harm you. It is important to learn this, and to fight the anxieties that criticism will evidently invite.


These local groups and clubs will involve you in the community, and overall, better your mental health and wellness. It is important to consider your future, and choose to consistently move forward, even if it makes it difficult for you to process.

If there aren’t any that interest you in place, why not try to build your own! (Look for that topic in upcoming posts.)

So, please, go out there, and get involved!


Don’t know where to start or what is available in your town?

Try searching for these groups:

  • Writing
  • Art
  • Theatre
  • Cooking
  • Crafts
  • Sewing/knitting
  • Photography
  • Sports
  • Etc.