It Does Get Better

I was diagnosed with BPD a year ago. It was a few days before my birthday and I was sitting in a beach cottage with my therapist. I was crying (again) feeling crazy and out of control. I had been drinking too much, hanging out with the wrong people and had been date raped. I felt worse than I ever had. My wonderful, caring therapist listened attentively, looked at me and said, "[My name], I think you have Borderline Personality Disorder."

I was like, what the hell is that?! It sounded really scary and I was even reluctant to get therapy because my family doesn't understand mental illness and doesn't believe in depression. I had been clinically depressed since I was 4. I was severely bulimic by 10, cutting and suicidal by 15. I had a 4 unsuccessful suicide attempts and was just over life. I couldn't take it anymore. Before my amazing therapist, I had been to three others who were all quacks. They didn't listen and just wanted to medicate me. They told me I was clinically depressed and had Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. While I agreed with the GAD and depression, I knew I was not Bipolar. My ups and downs were extreme and rapid. Anyway, something I had said in that session clicked and a light went on in my therapist's head.

First, she explained what BPD was and went over the criteria. I met all 9. The list sounded just like me. Then she pulled out a book, The Buddha and the Borderline, and told me to read it. I took the book and read it in a few hours at the beach. I cried. The author was clearly insane and that meant I was insane, too. It was like she was telling all my secrets out in the open. I felt so exposed, so confused and...so relieved. So there really was something wrong with me after all! I wasn't just dramatic or making it all up or too sensitive as everyone had told me all my life. I had an actual diagnosis, something that I wasn't aware of that was beyond my control. I felts so liberated! My behavior was because I DIDN'T KNOW ANY BETTER. You may be reading this and think, "Oh, please, people know how to behave, they know what's appropriate to express and what's not." But you see, people like me DON'T. We act like toddlers, throwing fits and crying, because we honestly don't know how else to express our emotions. For me, it felt like I was being choked from the inside of my body. I couldn't explain why things upset me so much and how insane I felt and how much it hurt and how I suffered inside my own mind. So I hurt myself physically to make the emotional pain go away.

Since being diagnosed, I went on prozac to deal with my anxiety and it was the best decision I've ever made. I don't have panic attacks everyday and I look forward to getting out of bed. I have my life back. I've researched BPD and how to cope with it. I did a DBT workbook and continued therapy. I don't have insurance anymore so I can't continue with my amazing therapist but we keep in touch and she recommends resources so I can continue to heal. I can identify when my emotions are out of control and when I'm letting the BPD control me.

I think the hardest part has been the criticism from my loved ones. They continually deny the fact that I have this disorder and tell me that I'm too sensitive, too emotional, too dramatic...blah blah blah. They tell me not to let some therapist label me. It's hard to hear them deny and downplay BPD. They have no idea how much labeling and understanding this disorder helps me. I think that maybe they're just afraid of it and I am, too. I don't want to think I'm crazy...sometimes I still do. Sometimes I wish I were normal but I'm not. I'm me and I have to learn to live with BPD.

vbunny vbunny
26-30, F
5 Responses Dec 4, 2012

My family is the same way. They do not want to believe that what i have is real and that their abuse could have something to do with it. I have recently come to the point of just accepting that i have bpd and i will have it til my dying day. The pain we feel is REAL. and it is terrifying at times. But i try to think of how intensely creative and loving we can all be as well. Stay strong, look up.

I think what can hurt the most is your own family not believing you- I've been there. I wish they could not pull away when I need support the most but one thing at a time I guess. Anyway, I'm happy for the time you did get to spend with a great therapist, its a dream of mines to find a great one, too. I'm also happy that you seem to be doing well, keep it up.

Wow, me too. My therapist mentioned i had bpd tendencies when I was 16 but said she would not put that in my chart because as an axis II diagnosis and insurances see that and run. Theres no cure, but intensive therapy and medication for the symptoms. This disorder ruined my life and it was just swept under the rug!

That book is one of my favorites and had huge impact on me. I also have all 9. Im 26 and tried suicide over 30 times, spend like crazy, have uncontrollable anger, was very promiscuous, and was riddled with anxiety and a permanant depression, cut myself, had an eating disorder, and everything else. I can identify with you completely, and say Ive felt the way you felt. It does get better, but hard work is required on your part. Everyday I gain a little victory over mine even if its just 1 incident and I only use 1 skill. I always feel like everything i do is wrong and feel that everyone else thinks the same of me. Slowly, im moving past that. Hang in there!!

Thanks for reading and sharing. Don't give up! It's so hard but don't keep going for all the naysayers, keep going for you! You deserve it! I've been there, trust me, I've been to hell and back and I promise you it gets better! It's not your fault that you have BPD but you can learn to live with it and even control it! Much love!

God, it's like Ur speaking directly from my mouth... I'm literally crying over here.... It's soooooo true the way we cope with things.. Tantrums and depression... Also how everyone doesn't see it as a problem other than u being a "baby" about things. Sensitive about things. I can't wait to get to the point u are at. Because right now I am feeling like this is it. Ill probably always be unhappy. This story was very inspiring, thanks for sharing and Also good luck to u