Hi my name is Adam and I suffered from Borderline personality disorder, clinical depression and anxiety. My illness ruled my life from about the age of 10-11 till I was about 39 when in 2007 I had what I suppose you could say was a breakdown of sorts (I believed my actions would ultimately lead to people losing their jobs and people dying from my actions. A truly terrible time in my life). I never aloud myself to be happy because if I was happy it meant something bad was happening to somebody else and I couldn’t allow that to happen. I just grew up believing a was a worthless piece of shit who deserved nothing but pain and misery. I thought that was my place in the grand scheme of things. So you see I was in a very bad place for a very long time. I never realised the world could and is a beautiful place.
I want this story to be of hope and to show you there is a life after bpd, depression and anxiety. I won’t kid you, it is bloody hard but by God it is worth it. Its probably taken me about 10 years to get where I am today. Yes there was tears, blood (literally) and sweat along the way but slowly very slowly things got better. Today I’m in a better place, a much better place. I can’t believe how beautiful the world is. I can’t believe that I can experience such happiness and joy.
So what have I learnt along the way from the depths of despair to happiness and what can I pass on. I know that if anyone does read this that they may find it difficult to believe you can get better. That’s OK, when the time is right you will find it.
1) Your own happiness lives within you and not with someone else. No one can make you happy if you aren’t happy with yourself (yeah I know, frigging creepy idea but its true). Never give your happiness to someone else to control. Its your birth right so don’t give it away.
2) Get help (scary alert). The thought of saying to someone “please help me” made me run a hundred miles in the other direction. Don’t ever think it a sign of weakness, it’s not it takes an incredibly brave person to ask for help. Find a therapist you feel comfortable with (I know that can be hard especially if money is tight, I know I’ve been there). I’ve been in therapy on and off for about 10 years. I have a wonderful therapist who has really helped me through thick and thin.
3) Do a DBT course if you can, its great for bpd but don’t expect miracles to start with and it is very hard work.
It took me about 2 years to really understand it. A first I thought it was mumbo jumbo. I don’t think it helped that I was on a lot of medication at the time and made it hard for me to concentrate. Stick with it.
3) I found and still find music incredibly important to me and my well being. I play music most days and I’m making my own play list of songs that can instantly lift me if my mood dips. Its the kind of stuff you can sing your head off too and dance around the house like a crazy person, much to the amusement of the cats. They just stare in disbelief with “that” look on their face “ffs act your age”.
4) Stop listening to that negative voice inside your head (yes I’m talking to you, you know who you are. Your the one that’s telling the reader right now that I’m talking complete bollocks and not to belief a word I’m saying.)
Everything that negative voice tells you is a lie. It lives on your fear and grows in strength the more you feed it, it thrives on your fear.
The day you learn to stop feeding it, is the day you start to get your live back. You will not believe how quickly it will die when you stop feeding it. It knows this and will try to fight you every step of the way.
5) None of the above will work if your not serious about wanting to get better or are ready to get better. I’m not being rude when I say that, I just know that there are people out there who don’t believe there is life after mentally illness (I was one of them) That they can not see a way out because everything seems so bad.
Don’t let it ruin your childhood, your adolescence, your relationships, your life. Don’t wait for a break down like I did. Don’t let it ruin parenthood.
Take it from someone who has spent a lifetime in a dark place. There is hope, I love life now. I won’t kid you there are good days and bad days, but there just that a bad day, its not the end of the world.
I look for the warning signs and take measures to look after myself.
There’s no quick fix or cure, just plenty of hard work but its worth it.
You are worth more than your illness.