Guest Blogger Madison of "My Meddling Mind" on her experience with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)



Please welcome Guest Blogger, Madison, of My Meddling Mind

I 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.


-- Madison 

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. 

8 comments:

  1. I came across this blog tonight as I googled DBT diary cards and after having a rough session with my DBT therapist today. I just started DBT and for years I refused to do it. When I was growing up people used to tell me that I will eventually just become another suicide statistic and that there is no hope for people with BPD. I hate those three letters with every bone in my body. Now I am struggling to do this...it is so freaking hard...when she tells me to take suicide off the table I feel like I am losing my best and only friend. I tell her I will and mean it, but the minute that I get dis-regulated it is all downhill and I struggle to be able to promise that I will stay safe...I hate this struggle. I just had a baby 6 months ago...I should be joyous and all my focus should be on him...instead I struggle everyday with wanting to die. I have to act like nothing is wrong all day long and put on a face so that no one has any idea that I am a failure at managing my own emotions. I am so exhausted and tired of fighting...but at the same time I am looking for the strength to fight...but not sure where to borrow it from. I am hoping that I can find some hope and see the light you provide so I can find my way along this dark, weary path. It is misreble feeling like I am alone in all this and I am glad that I am not.

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    1. I am go glad you came across this blog in your search. Long ago I was was told to go ahead and  make a will because eventually I would commit suicide. Well, here I am still standing strong, moving forward and proud of it. 

      I know all about that face we put on and the exhaustion, that pain and the fight within. I am actually going through the same emotions right now. 

      But what I have learned for myself is, the face I put on is my strength to fight and eventually that face becomes me. 

      When the pain becomes to much, I do what you just did, I search and I share, it let's me know that I am not alone and that there are resources and help available. 

      I also go see my therapist and pour it all out, my tears, fears the unbearable pain. 

      Yes, it can be a struggle, but we are bigger than the struggle, we perservere and overcome. 

      Congratulations on your sweet child, your baby is a gift on earth, just like you are. 

      Please, take a look at the BPD resource tab at the top of this site, there are many places where you can reach out for help. And do keep visiting here often. 

      Believe in yourself and never, ever give up!

      - Madison:-)

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    2. I suffered with post-partum depression and BPD, but I didn't know it at the time. That was 15 years ago. I know what it's like. Im so exhausted every day, I can barely get out of bed. But I have to get my kids off to school on time. My daughter is now showing signs of BPD but we've been told that she doesn't have it, after being in the hospital for 2 weeks. She's missed almost the whole shool year. Everyone thinks I'm just lazy and need to "try harder" to get over it.

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    3. Hi joyce, thank you for reading my guest post and commenting. Sorry, you have experienced such judgement, I know how hurtful it can.
      I have found that the more I educate myself on my illnesses and symptoms, the more I learn to utilize coping skills and advocate for myself.  

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  2. Thank you so much for this article, Madison! I so needed a story of hope today. I've been in "the worst of it" this past week. Just a few days ago I let go into the impulsive side of myself, and I'm lucky to be alive today when I really look back at things. Thank you for helping me to reflect on my own personal power to heal. <3

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    1. Hi Aeshe, I applaude you on reflecting on your personal power to heal and I am sincerely happy to know that you continue to move forward inspite of the challenging times, that shows great strength. You deserve every bit of happiness and I can see in your words, that you too, know how worthy you are. Practice self care and be proud of yourself for choosing to turn a negative into a positive.

      Madison:-)

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  3. Hi Madison and the caring host of this site,

    And dear Madison, are paths should meet here. I know that your heartfelt verbalisation, your transparency, your understanding to see beyond a label and understand you are so much more than that. So very much more. You share hope, you bring awareness and yes you bestow to those who are suffering, that they need never feel alone. To live with, rather than suffer from our illness and to know that our illness is only a small part of who we are, is a revelation and a positive step forward in our goal towards a better life.

    You rejoice in your validity, your self-worth and that is inspirational motivation. We share and we care. You have articulately displayed this in your posting that I hope many will see and take comfort in. And you know, I'm here for you, for anyone who needs some cheering on. We are all in this together, celebrating the diversity of an all different, all equal world.

    Like you, I'm not ashamed of who I am. We are determined to eliminate the unfair stigma that still surrounds mental health issues.

    Peace and empathy to you and the caring host of this site.

    With respect and goodwill, your friend,

    Gary :)

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    1. Hi Gary, how wonderful to see you here. I am glad to have been fortunate to cross the path of so many wonderful people who have overcome adversity and have shared thier experience and triumph with those who are struggling. Indeed we are in this together and together we can heal and explore our inner strength.

      Thank you for your continued support. :-)

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