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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.