I wanted to clear up what being recovered from BPD is . . . and what it is not. The word ‘recovered’ is deceiving . . . Like you are ‘cured’ from an illness. Recovered in this sense, does not mean you have no more symptoms, or that, your sufferings are now a thing of the past. Rather, it means that you have progressed to the point where you can handle them.
Having my Psychiatrist say to me “I think you no longer qualify for the disorder” was surreal. What she meant by it, was that, my personality was not considered ‘disordered’ to the degree it once was . . . It did not mean BPD was completely gone from my life. My doctor than added: “There will be things in your personality that come up, and we can work through them as they arise.” . . . What types of things, you might ask. All the common traits of a Borderline will still come up, but, with my new self-awareness and healthier coping skills, I am now better equipped to tolerate and manage them. However, my battles are far from over . . .
Can get so anxious I grind my teeth until they break; I have had two root canals for severely broken teeth.
Can get so anxious I pick at my skin, creating bleeding sores
Can get so anxious I obsessively clean, run errands, change my home furniture around, reorganize, purge belongings, exercise, and stay in a constant state of busy-ness. – Doing, instead of being
Can’t always distinguish the reality of a situation – whether I’m having a healthy thought or a Borderline thought
Can have recurring nightmares of my child or myself drowning
Can get so stressed I experience disassociation from time to time – Depersonalization
Can crave abusing drugs and / or alcohol
Can impulsively spend money
Can have suicidal thoughts and ideations
Can feel emotions more intensely than the average person
Can experience extreme mood swings; euphoria and dysphoria
Can think dark thoughts as soon as I’m alone
Am afraid of rejection and abandonment
Can have a hard time making friends as getting close to someone requires trust and vulnerability
Can experience intense rage and lash out; breaking things or breaking my bones from hitting objects.
I am afraid of engulfment in my relationships therefor, I hesitate to really get close or connect with people out of the fear that I will smother them, and in turn, they will leave.
Can get so tense that my muscles spasm creating chronic back pain
Can battle with the desire to reach an unattainable goal of perfection
Can struggle with black & white thinking; All good all bad categories
Can have to fight discouragement to continue tasks or projects
Can have to constantly challenge my belief systems of not being good enough and / or not being lovable
Can feel completely terrified of the judgment and stigma surrounding my illness
BUT I CAN AND DO seek out self-help material, and free group-therapy programs covered by BC Medical and I journal everyday
My recovery is not static, it is continuous. A daily, hour to hour, minute to minute, reality. For me, being recovered means, I have less crises events in my life. Less hospital stays, less medication trials, less self harm/suicide attempts, less weekend benders and dissociative states. These crises were at one time, my norm – just what I called life. Now, thankfully, I am no longer condemned to live from crises to crises, but I still struggle with the illness. It is a fight against myself and emotional pain and darkness lurks within. It is a fight against every ounce of me that would rather find an easier – a toxic way – to cope rather, than doing the work that is required to change unhealthy patterns.
This honest list is a small glimpse into the harsh realties of living with Borderline traits. Albeit, life has significantly improved in ways I couldn’t have imagined, still, life has a way of slapping me in the face – of reminding me where I came from.
What helps me on my journey now, is knowing myself well, and challenging myself regularly –pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. Every time I push through a frightening situation – and survive it – I build both my resilience, and my self efficacy (belief in myself).
My path to recovery led me to discover my broken belief system – i.e., I am not good enough, not lovable. I came to understand that these inner whisperings were lies . . . Than, I discovered Truth . . . I have to remind myself of the truth every day . . . that I AM worthy, good enough and lovable . . . This new self-perception was and still is life changing. Truth had set me free from the false beliefs that had held me prisoner. Make no mistake, recovery is a journey. Although deemed recovered, the fight continues, but it is so very worth it!
Recovery form Borderline personality IS possible; my story is just one example but there are many others. In fact, there is an entire book dedicated to just recovery stories. 24 stories including my own is featured in this publication: Beyond Borderline True Stories of Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder.
Here is a preview of my story contribution in this book:
Get inspired and get your copy HERE
Keep healing, growing and finding your truth!