Surviving on the Borderline: Life with Borderline Personality Disorder

Please note: This post contains potentially triggering information, as I discuss suicidal ideation and my diagnoses. Pay close attention to your own mind, body, and spirit when deciding whether or not you want to read it, and whether or not you are at a comfortable place with your own illness to be able to handle my post.

Almost ninety percent of the time, I do not tell people about my mental health or diagnoses. Usually, I never do with the exception of a few general postings onto my Facebook page and anonymous Twitter posts. Consider yourselves special, because this is a rarity—but, this is the beginning of me living a more authentic life. I am ready to share my own mental health story, publicly under my real name. More importantly, I want to help break the stigma around mental health and inspire other people to share their own stories.

I find it especially important to share my mental health story with it being just over a year since actor and comedian Robin Williams committed suicide. Many people were shell shocked when it came out that he suffered from depression, and some still are. Hopefully now, a year later after William’s death, family and loved ones play a more integral role in finding treatment for those in their lives they care about.

Because of the weight my mental illness has had on me in the past, I can’t help but feel like I am in one of those dreams where you’re standing in front of your high school class, naked. I would love to say that I am being all badass by not give a flying you know what about what people will think of me after I come out of the mental illness closet. Yeah, I have to be completely honest here though. I am terrified, but I know it will be worth it in the end. Regardless of the negative feedback I might get from coming out, I know there will be at least one person benefiting from my posts, and resonating with them. So for all of the mental health warriors out there, this one is for you…

I have, for quite some time now, struggled with Borderline Personality Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and social anxiety. For the last few years, self harm has also been a struggle for me. When my depression is at its most intense point, I often struggle with suicidal ideation. Thankfully, in the last year, my BPD symptoms including suicidal ideation have decreased, as I’ve been involved with an online Dialectical Behavior Therapy group. (DBT is touted as one of the primary therapies to treat and manage BPD).

However, there is still a lot I need to work on, and I am owning that. I know how easy it is to fall back into a cyclical pattern and spiral out of control again. After all, it’s been less than a year since my last stay at an inpatient facility.

Furthermore, intense, all consuming relationships are still something I continue to struggle with. Oh, and let’s not forget impulse control, either. Honestly, it is so incredibly grounding to admit what I need to work on. There is a beauty in all that honesty. I want people to know that my mental illness is an important part of who I am and I am no longer ashamed of it. There was a point in my life that I was in complete denial, but I have accepted who I am, and for that I am grateful. Now, my mental illness does not define me. But, I am a stronger person today because I have survived on the borderline.

It gets better.

If you’re struggling with suicidal ideation, call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1 (800) 273-8255

You can read more from Patti on her blog.

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