Living With Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Have you ever heard of this before? And if so, what were/are your first thoughts about it? I ask this, because there were only two people I’d ever heard had been associated with it when I was younger – and they were the type of people who worried me. One of them used to blow up without warning and you’d be faced with having to deal with an almost psychotic fit out of no where, and then just like that she’d be laughing her head off like nothing had happened, and you’d awkwardly carry on with the conversation.. the other was plain nasty, vindictive and you’d have to be on your toes all the time to make sure you were in her good books – otherwise she’d wrestle you down with harsh words, and nasty statements until you were almost begging to stop her talking – seriously. But then flip the next minute and she was great! Fun! The best.
So those were my experiences, and I didn’t know too much else about it, just that the two friends who I knew most probably suffered from it scared me slightly and I didn’t know how to be around them.
Ten years pass fly by and suddenly arrives my long awaited trip to India. If you’ve read my post on it earlier, you’d see that there were quite a few highs and lows along that journey and I took comfort in befriending a girl on my tour called Tara, who I was able to confide in a lot. Tara was quiet and funny, warm and kind, and I am ever so grateful to her for talking me out of some of the low episodes I experienced on a few of those days. I was able to let my guard down with her, about how I was feeling and in doing so, was surprised to learn that that she suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder.
She told me about the mood swings she experienced, which are regulated on medication, the extreme highs and the awful, awful lows, leading her to try and commit suicide. Scars on her arms left me wanting to help and understand more about this mental illness, and I was left reeling in anger at the lack of support or understanding she received at her workplace as well as embarrassed as to how I could have judged her if she’d told me she had BPD before I got to know her.
“So I decided to try to be more open with other people in my life. But it’s hard opening up; it takes guts to tell someone about the thing you hate most about yourself – so their reaction means everything! At its best opening up can leave you feeling empowered, heard and hopeful, but at its worst it causes real damage”
Tara is a massive example of bravery. Even in India, when she was admitted to hospital for food poisoning, hospital staff made unnecessary comments about her scars, leading her to feel embarrassed or defensive but in truth, they’re a sign of strength through struggle. Tara, was courageous enough to tell me her story, when at any point she could have felt shame and I am so, so proud that she continues to OBLITERATE the stigma surrounding Mental Health through her honesty about her story.
I really hope this post leads you to researching the disorder, and hopefully having a more open view than I did beforehand. Information can be found at the below link:
Thank you Tara, for letting me share this incredibly personal story and for being a listening ear and a hug away.