It is a difficult question to answer.
Because yes I still have Borderline Personality Disorder but I don’t identify with it anymore. It doesn’t define me nor do I look at myself through the lens of BPD.
Now, I use it as a guide through the darkness – to better understand myself and what I went through. The symptoms are the light that shows me what I have to work on; I don’t demonize them anymore nor do I fear them.
While, as I said, I still have BPD, the progress I have made has been tremendous. So tremendous, actually, that I no longer feel some of the symptoms that used to cripple me.
It all began when I went on antipsychotics and antidepressants.
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. That I am only doing better because of medicine and the pills. But you would be wrong. Oh so wrong.
What happened was that the medicine helped me in taming down my symptoms but it didn’t take them away completely. It only made them milder, more manageable.
The way I helped myself manage them, though, is another story. A beautiful one.
It all began by treating myself as a young child. Like, actually seeing myself as a young child and being a parent that I needed when I was a kid.
- First, I listen to my inner child and ask her what she wants and needs to feel loved, safe and cared for.
- Second, I do what she tells me she needs and wants. Whether that is going for a walk, reading a spiritual book, going to the library, eating something nutritious or anything that her heart desires.
It sounds easy but it takes a lot of patience with myself. I don’t always feel like doing what she says so I must always remind myself that what I do for her, I do for me too.
This practice has made me more compassionate towards myself and my needs.
Another thing that has helped me in ways I couldn’t have imagined, is listening to the podcast Back From The Borderline.
Mollie, the host, has been a mentor of mine for about a year now and her tips and advice have been my safe haven in the darkest moments. I am truly, wholeheartedly grateful to her for everything she has done for me through her podcast and social media. (Just a note to say that Mollie seems to be anti-psychiatry and anti-medicine currently which is something I strongly disagree with.)
I have learned about Martha Beck from the podcast, as well as how to be spiritual in a healthy way. As you know, I am an atheist and a sceptic but listening to Mollie, I realized I truly was spiritually starved.
That led me to Beck’s work which is filled with magic and wonder and joy.
All these resources have helped me come to the point where I am now. A place where I am working on my weaknesses with confidence, loving myself deeply, and taking care of that child who needed a grown-up taking care of her.
So, do I still have Borderline?
Yes. No. Maybe. Who knows?
What matters is that I feel good in my skin, that I am happy, and that the love I feel for myself keeps growing with each day. Self-care is not just a word for me, it is a way of living. A lifestyle.
As long as I keep breathing, I will keep moving forward.
Borderline or not, I got this.