5 Things to Remember About My Borderline Personality Disorder Recovery in the New Year


Recovery is a long process, much longer than I ever anticipated when I began treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD) earlier in the year. It’s been incredibly tough at times; however, the rewards have, so far, outweighed the challenges. I can finally say I am on my way to overcoming my disorder.

However, there are a number of things I wish my loved ones really understood about my recovery. Mental health cannot be reduced simply to being sick and being recovered. There is a huge gray area between those two points, and most of us will fall somewhere within that gray bit. Moving into the new year, these are the five things I would like my loved ones to understand about my BPD recovery.

1. My moods are still intense.

I’m learning to regulate the intensity of quickly-shifting moods, but I don’t always have it completely under control. Sometimes, I may still be irritable, sad or angry for reasons that perhaps even I don’t understand.

2. I have trouble concentrating.

Medications for mental health problems can affect levels of concentration, and I still have trouble staying focused. If I seem like I’m drifting off mid-conversation, then feel free to gently let me know. Usually, I don’t even know I’m doing it.

3. It’s OK to ask me questions.

A big part of recovery, for myself, has been learning to open up and talk about my diagnoses. If there’s something you don’t understand or would like to know more about, then please, ask me. Communication is a two-way street, and if you ask me something I’d rather not discuss, then I promise I will let you know.

4. Trust me.

I know I haven’t always given you reasons to think I can make healthy choices for myself. Yet, part of my recovering from this disorder will come from those around me trusting me enough to make my own decisions. You can feel free to ask me about these decisions, but ultimately, only I can guide my recovery.

5. Sometimes, I just need space.

I know I’m not good at communicating when I’m overwhelmed, but I’m trying to be better. There are times when things are just too much for me. I need to recharge because social situations can be draining. It doesn’t mean you did anything wrong, but sometimes, I just need a few quiet minutes on my own.

The biggest tool I have been utilizing in my recovery has been communication. A lack of communication between myself and those who care for me has always been a major obstacle, not only in my journey to wellness, but also in my relationships. In expressing what I need them to understand throughout this holiday period, I hope to better communicate the needs of my disorder and gain more control over my life with BPD.

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

Image via Thinkstock.

TOPICS
, Contributor list
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Borderline Personality Disorder

Live Video: Stacy Pershall - Borderline Personality Disorder

Stacy Pershall is an author and mental health advocate who lives with borderline personality disorder. She’s part of the Active Minds, Inc. Speakers Bureau If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” [...]

Live Video: Andi Chrisman - Borderline Personality Disorder

Andi Chrisman is a mental health advocate and suicide attempt survivor. If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.
Women having coffee

'Don't Disagree or They'll Hate You': My Guide to Friendship With BPD

If anyone out there doesn’t like me, I’m doing something wrong. Not just a specific person. Anyone. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a massive people pleaser. As a child, I would write down the names of the other girls in my class (not the boys because ew, cooties) and evaluate my [...]
A woman curled up in a ball on the floor

A Photo Series About My Life With Borderline Personality Disorder

My name is Grace. I have borderline personality disorder. It sucks. I have struggled for so many years, had multiple suicide attempts, used drugs, alcohol and cutting as a way of coping when I couldn’t handle how I felt anymore. I recently completed a year of DBT and it changed my life. Now I’m studying [...]