a woman wearing a hospital gown standing in shadows

On a '5150' Hold in the Psych Ward

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I didn’t know what “crazy” looked like until right now. I’m watching myself have a nervous breakdown, half-naked, in front of a mix of friends and strangers.

This isn’t good.

I’m crying and writhing around on a bed. I’m screaming and hitting myself. My fists are balled up, white with fury. I’m holding onto pills, lots of pills.

This isn’t good.

People I know and don’t know try to calm me down. I don’t listen. I just grip the pills and continue to scream and cry. I look different. I look wild. I look like a Jack that’s just popped out of its Box.

A voice says the ambulance is coming.

This isn’t good.

I wake up in the hospital. I’m tired. My brain is sizzling and my throat is splintered. I am happy. I am laughing. My best friend is here. She looks perturbed. I look at her, relieved, like “Well, I’m glad that’s over!” It’s not. She leaves and I’m left wondering why I’m here. I close my eyes.

I wake up in a small, cream-colored room. I’m sat at a table opposite two women. They are stern, wearing navy blazers, and asking me why I tried to kill myself. I’m confused. I wasn’t trying to kill myself. I was trying to make it stop. They question me for an hour. I tell them I can’t answer any more right now. I’m tired and not able to think straight. They stop and diagnose me with borderline personality disorder.

I’m taken to another room. It has a bed and a small desk. A stocky, black lady called Angela tells me to remove my clothes. I’m still confused. 

“Why?”

“You have to shower.”

“I have to go home.”

“You’re on a 5150 hold. You have to stay here for the next three days.”

“I’m not staying here. This is a fucking nut house and I’m not fucking crazy!”

“How about you shower first and we’ll talk after?” 

“I’ll shower first, then I’m going home.”

I wait for her to give me some privacy. She doesn’t. She leads me to the shower. It’s more of a wet room. The walls are lined with small, dark blue tiles. There’s no curtain. There’s nothing but a faucet. Angela stands in the corner of the room. I turn on the faucet and let the lukewarm water run over me. I stare at Angela.

“This is ridiculous.” 

She says nothing then hands me a small bar of soap. I half-heartedly rub the soap over the tops of my arms and nothing else. I will not wash my genitals in front of a stranger. I turn off the water. Angela hands me a towel. I dry off and we return to my room.

There’s a hospital gown on my bed. This is what I wear now. This is my uniform. I put it on and begin to cry. Crying turns into screaming. I want out. I’m not crazy. I’m normal and I want to go home. 

A short, white lady with red hair comes into the room. She tells me her name is Nina and hands me two pills. Ativan. I swallow the pills and continue to cry. Nina leaves, and I turn to Angela. 

“Where am I? Why am I here?”

“You’re in a psych ward. You’re on an involuntary psychiatric hold because you’ve been deemed a danger to yourself on account of you attempting suicide.

“I wasn’t trying to kill myself! I don’t know what I was trying to do. My brain was melting out of my fucking ears. I was trying to save myself.

I cry harder. After a few minutes, the Ativan takes hold. My tears come to an abrupt stop. I don’t know what time it is, but it’s dark now. The only light is the light coming from the hallway that shines through my always-open door. Angela is reading a trashy magazine. I stare at her. I study her face. She must be in her early 40s. She looks like she’s seen some shit.

“So what, you just going to watch me sleep?”

“Yes.”

“This is what you’re going to do for three days?”

“No, someone else will take over from me in the morning.”

I realize I don’t know what day it is. Angela goes back to reading her magazine and, in that moment, I hate her. I hate her for no reason other than she’s the only one here and I’ve maxed out on hating myself. I glare at her as she turns the pages of her gossip rag. Who does she think she is? Keeping watch over me? I lie down on the bed and turn to face the wall away from her. 

My body is heavy with fatigue. I feel myself sinking but my mind is fighting the Ativan and wins. A deluge of anxiety and despair hits me. I hear the frantic wails of other patients. My throat tightens. I can only hear static, static from hundreds of televisions at top volume. I scream a silent scream. My mind collapses on itself. I go to throw myself on the floor but Angela catches me. She’s on the bed. She’s holding me.

“Get off me!” 

She holds me.

“GET OFF ME!”

She holds me.

“GET YOUR FUCKING HANDS OFF ME!”

She holds me. 

Everything is so loud. The static. The screams. My skull feels as if it’s about to explode and just like that, it stops. Silence. Angela is still holding me and I hold her back. I’m exhausted. I feel my body slipping away from me. I cling to Angela for dear life. There’s a rush of hands on me now. They’re pushing me down and giving me Ativan. I scramble to get back to Angela but there are too many hands, and the pills are taking hold. My vision blurs. I flail my arms one last time, but I’ve lost her.

You can follow Amanda Rosenberg on Twitter @AmandaRosenberg.

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How My Mental Illness Gave Me My Life's Purpose

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From the first day I started struggling with mental illness, I was shamed by stigma.

My experiences with mental illness began as they do for a good majority of people, when I was in puberty. I had a blog where I talked about the normal exciting things teenagers talk about: boys, clothes, school — you get the idea. But I began to write more about my feelings as I ventured into my first journey with depression, as I was experiencing feelings I had never experienced before. The darkness, the sadness… it was all new to me. As with a lot of teens, I didn’t really get along with my parents and didn’t believe I could tell them what I was going through, even as I became suicidal.

But I could blog about it.

Instead of getting the much needed support from my followers, I was faced with cruelty and was cyberbullied before the term “cyberbullying” had even been invented. What was the ammo my attackers used? My mental illness. In what seems like unbelievable evil of humanity, my attackers left anonymous comments on my blog.

“You’re not really depressed, you’re making it for attention.”

“If you were really depressed, you’d kill yourself.”

“The world would be better if you committed suicide.”

And I almost tried thanks to their taunting.

This went on for months, until my depression finally started easing up as spring came around. I didn’t know it, but I had undiagnosed seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and still get more depressed during the winter. I think because I was beginning to regain my self and the depression was lessening, I was able to tell my mom what was going on. After telling her how depressed I’d been, how I had been suicidal, she promised to get me into therapy.

Then we never talked about it again.

This further made me question if what I experienced was really that serious. No one seemed to take it that seriously. Earlier in that first depression, my friends told my guidance counselor I had started to self-harm. She called me to her office in the last 10 minutes of the school day and told me what my friends reported and asked me, “Are you cutting?”

“No.”

“OK, you can go get the bus.”

That was the full extent of our conversation. It was winter and I had on long sleeves, but if she’d asked me to roll up my sleeves, the evidence couldn’t be hidden. I was cutting. But she didn’t even spare enough time to have a real conversation about what was happening. She didn’t call my parents to warn them. Again, someone looked at it as no big deal. I felt as if no one cared about my mental health.

My mom. My guidance counselor. The cyberbullies. None of them took me seriously. So I rarely shared with others that I struggled with my mental health. I was alone and hid due to the massive stigma that surrounds mental illness. So I didn’t try to get help as it seemed like no one wanted to help anyway. Each winter, I struggled with self-harm and suicidal ideation all alone, as I was too ashamed to share my pain.

This invalidation led to a series of abusive relationships. I got engaged way too young,. I had a particularly bad bout of SAD during our relationship, but he discouraged me for getting help, even though I was an adult and ready to talk to a doctor about my depression. He told me that if I took psychiatric medication I’d become a “different” person and no one would love me if I was one of those “zombies.” His father, who had been highly abusive to him growing up, was a much nicer, better version of himself after seeking treatment for his narcissistic personality disorder, but my fiance hated this version of his father because he was “fake.”

There it was, another person discouraging me from getting help for what was a very real problem. Since I felt no one believed me, no one believed I had something wrong with my brain, I self-medicated. Pills and alcohol became my life. Though my family knew about the addiction, helpfully telling me to “just stop,” I still couldn’t open up that I yearly struggled with suicidal depression.

But all that invalidation came to a head in my mid-20s when I attempted, and almost died by, suicide via overdose.

The secret was out — I had a mental illness and now everyone knew as my family called relatives and my health deteriorated to the point that they transferred me to another hospital after my liver failed and I needed a transplant. As I was being prepped for my transplant, by some miracle, my liver began functioning again and I never got that transplant.

After that first attempt, I became out of control. My mental health deteriorated greatly and I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). I felt hopeless and was highly suicidal, being hospitalized almost 20 times in one year due to suicide attempts and ideations.

I started dialectical behavior therapy, a therapy designed specifically for BPD, and that was the turning point. It would be a few years and a hell of a lot of work, but I am now living in recovery from BPD. This doesn’t mean I don’t still have BPD, it just means that now I know how to cope with my illness and live a life worth living.

My sister had outed me on Facebook after my first attempt, and everyone knew about my attempt to take my own life. At that point, support poured in from friends around the world. And finally, I was able to admit to myself and to the world that I had a mental illness.

I used Facebook to go back to the days of when I blogged about my feelings, and I shared my struggles and what I was going through on this new platform. First, it was only to update my friends of my next stint in the hospital, but as I met more people online that also had mental health problems, I began to talk more about it. I had always had an interest in psychology, and now I had an insider’s perspective of what mental illness was like. Stigma had silenced me for so long that I finally struck back and began to be open, maybe too open, about my mental health.

And people listened. As I became more well known in my Facebook world, I was asked to be an admin of a mental health support group. It was there where I started to mentor my peers, talking with them when they were lonely, counseling them when they in dangerous territory and helping many people find doctors when they needed professional help.

I became more and more open about my struggles, knew from personal experience the power of stigma and I became an advocate for ending the stigma surrounding mental illness. As I got better, so did my advocacy. When I was actually living in recovery and had finished dialectical behavior therapy, my online advocacy came out of the computer and into the real world when I became an “In Our Own Voice” speaker for NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness).

The stigma that had kept me prisoner for most of my life was no longer holding me back, and I am now a force to be reckoned with. I publicly speak about my journey to larger and larger audiences. When my physical health made me take time off of doing public speaking, I started doing YouTube videos talking about mental health and BPD. I am still part of the online world, tweeting, talking on Facebook and even being featured on a Facebook Live event on The Mighty, where my video has been viewed over 18,000 times.

Mental illness and stigma cursed my life and ate up many good years of it. Now, I consider myself to be a voice for the voiceless. I speak openly and honestly about my journey with mental illness, and I speak loudly to speak for those who are still stuck in stigma’s cage or can’t speak out due to work, church or other institutional stigma. I never thought the worst thing that ever happened to me would eventually be my purpose in life. This year I was also trained to be a Peer Specialist, so I can also work using my lived experience to help others, but I prefer my work as an advocate and speaker.

Much to my surprise, I have become an inspiration to many people. People see me and know that recovery is possible. It’s still always surprising when someone tells me I inspire them. My favorite quote is “I want to inspire. I want someone to look at me and say because of you, I didn’t give up.” (Author Unknown). And they have. I now have found my purpose in life.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

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What ‘I’m Tired’ Means to Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

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Everyone procrastinates. We do it when we would rather watch a movie or read a book than start that work project, when we would rather go out with friends for coffee than start cleaning the house or when we would rather listen to music and relax on the couch than fixing whatever needs to be done around the house. It is human nature, but we get ourselves out of it rather quickly and tackle the task at hand with full force.

However, when I procrastinate it is not because I don’t feel like it or would rather be doing something else. It is because I simply cannot get myself to function and find inspiration to do anything. It is so much more than procrastination. It is the fact that I am too tired to exist. I’m not tired because I stayed up late working on something profound. I’m not tired because I had a great night out with friends. No, I am tired of being me.

Living with borderline personality disorder, I am in a constant love-hate relationship with myself and those I care about the most. One moment I absolute love my life and the challenges I face and the next I hate everything. I hate myself for being weak and pathetic, and I struggle to comprehend who could possible love this piece of work. I expect, no, I actually welcome, loved ones leaving me because if I can’t even live with myself how can they?

I am tired because it is a battle between good and evil every.single.day. I am constantly trying to find an equilibrium, a sanctuary for the ghosts that haunt me. I am yearning for a moment in time when the voices in my head will just stop — that they will stop saying I am worthless, I am not good enough, I am a failure, I am weak, I am alone, I am a burden, I am ugly, I am fat, I am old, I am a lost cause, I will never amount to anything… These voices tell me this is the truth about myself and there is nothing I can do to change it. The people around me will soon find out what a fraud I am and leave me. I try to act out and supply them with reasons to leave because if they do at least I know I was right and actually did them a favor. However, if they don’t leave, I have a predicament. I don’t want to be alone, but I cannot bear to put my loved ones through the upset I face every day. At this point the only way out is to eliminate the chaos and stop being a burden, and the battle in my mind continues.

How can I think about suicide if I have so much to be thankful for? If I do this how will it affect those around me (I am “so selfish!”)? “Giving up” feels like showing what a failure I am and that I cannot handle pressure. To make this turbulence stop, I reach for those pills and swallow as quickly as I can before the voices fight again.

And then I wake up in the hospital. I didn’t die. People say I “survived,” but if they knew the constant war going on inside my mind, they may not see me as a survivor. They will understand what I mean when I say, “I am tired.”

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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Stock photo by Andrejs Pidjass

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When a Doctor Said My Borderline Personality Diagnosis Was Wrong

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Back in May, I was hospitalized for a suicide attempt. I had spent most of that afternoon in the emergency room until I was sent via ambulance to a hospital where they could better help me and provide inpatient services. I did not want to go at all. In fact, I fought my parents for allowing the ER doctor to send me away.

I got to the hospital and was ready to hate everything there. My eyes were threatening to release tidal waves of tears again. And before I knew it, I was in my bed, listening to the steady breathing of my roommate, wondering how on earth I was going to survive there.

I woke up the next day with my eyes red and puffy, too scared to speak to anyone. But I was lucky. My roommate immediately initiated conversation with me and introduced me to all her friends, and soon enough, I didn’t feel so out of place. I was ready to go at all the therapy sessions with my best efforts.

I was soon assigned many people to care for my needs. Each day, I was assigned a new nurse to answer any questions I had and to look after my general health. I was even assigned to my own psychiatrist. I wished I could’ve met with the psychiatrist I already had worked with at that hospital, but she was too busy.

So, I started over with a new psychiatrist. And although I was nervous to go over the same old questions and pour out my whole life to him, he seemed nice enough. I began to relax around him, and I actually enjoyed meeting with him.

We began talking about what I was struggling with, and I told him everything. I even brought up my diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, which was given to me only a few months before my hospitalization by two people on my mental health care team. I had never heard of that mental illness before, but it made sense and matched up with a lot of my behaviors and thought patterns.

I was waiting for him to explain further when he cut me off.

“You don’t have borderline personality disorder.”

Wait, what? I had been told by two people that I had BPD, and now apparently I didn’t? It made no sense to me, so I asked him if he was sure.

“My therapist and other psychiatrist told me I do,” I pointed out.

“Well, you don’t. Borderline personality disorder is found in adults and in those who have had a past of abuse. You don’t match up to either of those two standards for this diagnosis.”

“Oh.” That was all I could utter. I felt ashamed. He probably thought I was stupid for matching up some of my behavioral patterns with a diagnosis I didn’t even have. He probably thought I was just some naive teenager trying to find something to blame my problems on. He probably thought I was pathetic.

And after that conversation, I thought I was pathetic too.

I was furious — not even at him. I was furious at my therapist and other psychiatrist for making me look stupid. I was mad I was working so hard in therapy for a mental illness I didn’t even have. So I pushed away that diagnosis.

When my mom visited, I told her I didn’t have BPD. She was confused just like I had been. She was a little annoyed that the doctor had disregarded a diagnosis because unlike most of the people with the diagnosis, I wasn’t an adult or abused. I didn’t really care. I decided he was right and I shouldn’t acknowledge that as a diagnosis anymore.

After my release, I didn’t work as hard in therapy. I became stubborn. And my therapist noticed. I told her there was no point in me working so hard because I didn’t have BPD.

For the longest time, I remembered that doctor’s words and associated the embarrassment and shame with them. I’d believed him. Until recently.

My mom attended a conference about borderline personality disorder in teenagers. And it’s not uncommon, although that doctor made it sound like it was. Plus, you do not have to be abused to have this disorder.

So, what’s up with that? The doctor wasn’t up-to-date on new research. My mom wrote the hospital a letter, giving them the opportunity to attend the conference as well so they could have more recent research.

All this experience with this doctor did was make me take a massive step backwards in my progress, which is not what I needed at the time. I ultimately had to return to the hospital two months later.

I don’t know if he went to the conference, but I do know how little he made me feel when he totally disregarded my diagnosis. All I can do is hope he looks into newer research so nobody else has to feel as little and ashamed as I did nor lose crucial progress in their therapy.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

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When You Don’t Know Which Version of You Is the Real You

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Imagine having this thought on a daily basis: Who am I?

I don’t mean it in some round-about philosophical way. I mean literally. Imagine not knowing who you really are. There’s a point in each day of my life that this strange question intrudes my thoughts.

I am so many different things. I shift so many times in a day to keep up with the different people who surround me I don’t know which “version” is the real me.

See, this is one aspect of borderline personality disorder which is often missed. Like most things, not every one with the condition will experience this. Yet, for me, it is one of my biggest (and often, most unbearable) symptoms.

If my best friends are drinking, then I’ll be a binge drinker. I’ll live for the weekends, dance nights away and spend the following week recovering from a hangover.

If I’m with my musician friends, then I’ll be a musician too. I can ramble on about practice, technique and gigs for hours.

If I spend the day with my work colleagues, then I’ll listen to them talk about their grown children and grandchildren. I’ll try to find a way to join in the conversation, talking about my goddaughter or young cousins.

The list goes on.

Everyone thinks I am someone who I’m not. It is utterly exhausting sometimes trying to keep up with who each person/group thinks I am.

The worst part, though? It has to be the fact that I’ve created so many different “versions” of me that I can no longer identify what I’m actually like as a person. I don’t know my own personality. I struggle to find my own interests. Sometimes, I don’t even know what I dislike because everything changes depending on who I’m with.

Does that make me fake?

No, because it’s OK to take some time to find yourself. When you eventually do, it’s OK if not everyone likes you. I’m still trying to get the hang of that concept myself, but one day, I hope I will confidently be able to say, “I am me,” and that will be just enough.

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When Borderline Personality Disorder Makes You Feel Unworthy of Relationships

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Relationships in the best of circumstances can be tricky waters to navigate. They require not a captain and a first mate, but two co-captains, who are not only plotting out a similar course but are willing to stick together when the tides change their direction. Surviving childhood sexual abuse leaves emotional scars that can twist your views and feelings on life and relationships, and the after-effects tend to weave their way into various areas of your life, often on a subconscious level. One of the main attributes of borderline personality disorder (BPD), aside from the intense fear of abandonment, can be a pattern of unstable interpersonal relationships. For me, the combination of the two is like being a one-eyed captain trying to navigate the seas on a raft, with no compass and a map in Latin. In dealing with both of these things, I had to self-protect in order to survive — and my coping mechanisms involved shutting down, among many things, trust and love.

That being said, living behind that wall of safety can also limit both our life experiences and the corresponding emotions. We may miss out on a lot because we are lacking in confidence, and remaining behind our wall in our comfort zone can seem a lot easier than facing the unknown fears outside. In my mind, it is a matter of weighing out risk versus reward. Is the risk worth the (in my mind) inevitable pain that will come at some point? I also tend to compare if this impending pain could be worse than something I have already been through, again trying to measure out the risk, and when emotionally rational, I realize there is very little in life that could traumatize me any more than what has already occurred. Now don’t get me wrong, that by no means implies I have broken down my wall and jumped head first into my fears. It is more a case of taking down a few bricks at a time, enough to sneak out, but leaving those bricks within arm’s reach in case we need to rebuild in a hurry.

Being a survivor, I carry with me a sense of shame, a lack of trust and self-worth, and the constant feeling of being a “burden.” I have major attachment issues, which are severely increased in intensity with the BPD — and the combination of that, depression and anxiety leaves me feeling almost unworthy of a relationship. How could I weigh someone down with my baggage and complexities without feeling guilty, or expect someone to put up with the frequent and extreme mood swings that come with BPD? If I feel all these negative things about myself, how could they not be clear and apparent to someone else — or is it me projecting my thoughts onto somebody else? Do I even know how to love properly, or can I trust enough to let someone pass through the door in my wall? Am I just too messed up to be loved? All those things have run through my mind so often and for so long they have become true to my emotive mind. And so I deem myself unworthy of a relationship, and by convincing myself of this, it becomes my reality. It is shoved to the back of my mind as a truth that no longer needs to be dealt with. After all, there are more pressing issues to deal with at the moment.

Life tends to throw things our way at the most unexpected times. I find it happens often in therapy, where you think you have done the work to get past an issue, and boom, there it is in your face again, and all you can hope is to put some of the new coping mechanisms into action before the innate instincts of self-protectiveness take over. So after having spent the last few years convincing myself I would be alone for life, suddenly someone walks right on in. At first, I don’t take anyone’s interest in me seriously, because I can be a convincing outside package, but when they find out the truth about my emotional instability and traumatic past, they don’t stick around anyway. In the past, I have tried to hide it, but one can only mask their true identity for so long. So this time I decided I would just get it over with up front — part of the basics: “I love soccer, animals, ice cream, and I am diagnosed with more mental health issues than you can count on one hand.” After my spew, I put my phone down, fully expecting that — like with everyone else — that would raise enough red flags to have her running in the opposite direction. Instead, the conversation continues. She starts asking questions about BPD, and every answer I give her comes with no reply of shock or judgment.

The longer we talk, the more she asks, and although she may not understand everything, she seems to be accepting it, which is amazing. But it also sets off my BPD abandonment issue; the closer they get, the more it will hurt when they leave. It also raises red flags with the survivor part of me that has yet to develop a proper sense of self-worth. So as the days pass, some of my past comes out, and again it is met with understanding and empathy rather than intolerance and apathy, which brings both a sense of ease and fear to the table. Ease because the comfort level has almost a sense of familiarity to it, like you have known each other for years, and the fear because the closeness is completely overwhelming. Taking a few bricks out of my wall was the plan, but now there’s a full door, someone standing at it and not leaving.

I would like to say after all the therapies, workbooks and readings, I employed all my acquired and practiced coping mechanisms and am dealing with the situation in a rational manner with a level sense of emotion, but that would be untrue. Instinct and BPD took over in full force, and although I tried to fight it, it carries the same comfort and familiarity as that favorite old sweatshirt you just can’t let go of yet. BPD has this fabulous quality that can in essence make you test people as a child would test their parents, almost a form of “go away, you are too close” to “please don’t leave me.” And as with most everything else BPD-related, these emotions can bounce around five times a day or 100 times a day, with almost incalculable speeds.

So I push her away, thinking every time will be the last. And she stays, so I pull her closer, and the cycle repeats. I discount the positive things she says about me, and she patiently reinforces them without hesitation. BPD can also include this fantastic trait of impulsivity, which for me, is primarily verbal. When my words precede my thoughts, she doesn’t get angry, but rather quietly listens and asks to learn more about BPD and depression. I figure if I tell her about the suicide attempts and constant thoughts as well as the history of cutting, that will be her breaking point and she will definitely leave. But instead, she says she is sorry I had to go through all that and allows me to express the ideations at my darkest moments, without fear of judgment. My mind is spinning. This is not how life works for me.

Fast-forward to today, and even with a countless number of tests, the rounds of verbal impulsivity and the rest of the issues that come with my mental illnesses, she remains, and despite the inconvenient circumstances which I will not get into, she makes sure I wake up to a morning text and go to sleep with a sweet goodnight. Despite the physical distance and her hectic schedule, she makes an effort to spend time with me and is always willing to provide an ear to listen or kind words of support. I have only ever had this depth of relationship once before, many years ago, and she remains my best friend to this day. I am trying again to learn to accept love, to believe I am worthy of it, and to grasp the idea that someone sees not what I think of myself but the things I can no longer see. And as much as the BPD is screaming at me to push and pull, I am trying to recognize when my emotive mind has taken over so perhaps I can control the impulses a bit better.

This is a big risk for me, letting someone get this close, allowing vulnerability and trust, all while trying to put a muffle on the BPD, which is screaming about fear of being left yet again. That being said, being a minimizer, I convince myself the possible impending hurt of being left can’t be worse than the other traumas I have endured to this point in my life. My instincts (my gut feelings) have kept me alive this long, and if they are saying take a chance, then I follow that path. After all, the heart truly is a remarkably resilient organ.

I hope she knows how appreciated and cared for she is, and how thankful I am for her support, patience and understanding, and for choosing me and following me down this often dark and unpaved road when she easily could have exited and taken the highway.

Image via Thinkstock.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

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