Please welcome Guest Blogger, Madison, of My Meddling Mind:
still remember the first time I read the term “Borderline Personality Disorder": I was 29 at the time and had requested a copy of my medical
records for personal use from my psychiatrist. As I read through my
records, the letters "BPD" stood out like glaring neon lights at a red
light district. For some reason I knew
exactly what the abbreviation stood for and although, I must admit, it
frightened me at the time, I still did not know the accurate definition
of the three letters, nor the signs and symptoms related to them. |
My lack of knowledge of mental illnesses along with my then interpretation of BPD was narrow to say the least. I thought it meant that a person had several different personalities and each of them had a name, that these personalities came and went, and did as they pleased without permission. (This is actually more descriptive of Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, or MPD).
That interpretation made absolutely no sense in my case. So, as a clueless person, I did what I thought would be best: ignore this particular diagnosis, and run with the other ones the psychiatrist diagnosed me with such as, "major depressive disorder." In my mind that one seemed more stable and acceptable. Little did I know that for me, all of my diagnoses went hand in hand and the more I ignored any of them, the more I found out they could not be ignored, and that, my friends, was no walk by the moon lit beach. In fact, it was brutal.
Going back as far as the age of ten, I've suffered from the many symptoms related to BPD, including issues with self-image, impulsive behavior, anger, making and keeping friends, separation anxiety, unstable romantic relationships, dysfunctional family relationships, constant feelings of emptiness, identity issues, depression, obtaining and keeping jobs, and more.
As I got older each symptom became worse and more difficult to deal with. Enter self-medicating. It was like the sound of shiny golden trumpets, when I realized drinking helped me feel better, and then, it was pure red fiery hell when the alcohol and symptoms mixed. Irrational thoughts, catatonic states, massive mood swings in the middle of malls, highways, my neighborhood, driving under the influence, judges, lawyers, improper use of medication, and promiscuity galore.
Oh, did I mention that in between all the chaos I wanted to be a rock star, and although I had no money to pay for car, apartment, etc., I managed to pay for guitar lessons in the west village, New York City?
Eventually, I hit rock bottom mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. My landlord kicked me out, my mother said I was not welcome in her home, I had no friends, no family, and my psychiatrist kicked me out of his office during a visit. He said I was not welcomed back into his office until I made a decision to stop drinking, to participate in intensive therapy sessions as suggested, and take my medication as prescribed.
I never became a rock star or learned how to play the guitar, but I learned something far more valuable.
In therapy I learned how to talk about my feelings, how to change a negative emotion to a positive one, practice self-care, build and maintain a healthy support system, and the importance of asking for help when feeling mentally distraught among many others things.
I also discovered my worth and all I have to offer myself as well as others. Today, things may not be perfect, but they sure are better than they were. BPD nor any of my other diagnoses define me, they are not who I am, they have however, helped me tap deeper into my inner self and discover wonderful things about me, things I would have not known other wise.
Please visit my blog at My Meddling Mind here is where I do my part in helping end the stigma attached to mental illness, share my thoughts, milestones, troubles and inspiration. My blog also serves as a therapeutic platform, where my readers and I share our experiences and support one another.