To My Loved Ones Constantly Trying to 'Cure' My Mental Illness


Dear friends,

I know you mean well. I know you want the best for me. I appreciate more than you know that you are standing by, wanting to help and to give advice. The fact that you have stuck with me this far speaks volumes to me, and I am not about to discount that.

However, there is one thing I’d like to get straight. These illnesses I have — bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder (BPD) — are often lifelong battles. I’m not trying to be dismal, just honest. There is nothing that I can take that will guarantee the symptoms will forever disappear. I am on medication and it is good, but it isn’t always 100 percent effective at keeping the bad feelings, the downward spirals, the depression and anxiety at bay.

Sometimes I will go downhill. Sometimes I will get depressed. Sometimes I will rage against the things that make me scared and sad.

When this happens, I know it makes you sad, too. I understand it makes you desperate to help.

However, when it seems like you’re frantically casting about for an instant “cure” it only makes me feel worse. If you suggest that I call my psychiatrist so that she can put me on yet another medication, it makes me feel like you just want me “fixed.” Like who I am right now is unacceptable.

Instead, maybe just listen. Maybe just sit with me. Maybe just hold my hand. Maybe just love me through it and don’t frantically look for a cure. The spirals and rages do pass, eventually. If you sit beside me and help me to “ride them out,” if you help me to remember that hope lies just on the other side of the storm, then it will be very good medicine indeed.

I want to feel safe with you, to let you see the darkness in me, bare all my flaws and foibles, and know that this illness is not going to scare you away. This is what I need, most of all.

Thank you for your steadfast love,

Me.

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

Thinkstock photo via Archv

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Borderline Personality Disorder

painting of beautiful girl

The Subtle Signs of a 'High-Functioning' Mental Illness

Let me explain. I’m not that different than anyone else. In fact, most people I meet have no idea I have any struggle whatsoever. But underneath the layers of makeup and smiles, past the bubbly laugh and light step, it’s not so hard to see I’m hurting inside. I have depression, anxiety and borderline personality [...]
illustration of girl's back

When You Have an 'Unpopular' Mental Illness

At age 23, after several years of experience with high anxiety, major depression, trichotillomania, disordered eating and a long list of issues I didn’t yet understand, I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). This may seem like the cherry on top of an already difficult situation – especially considering the stigma associated with personality [...]
Pop art style woman portrait with closed eyes

Being 'High-Functioning' Makes Me Question the Validity of My BPD

While I was seeing my former psychiatrist, she once referred to my situation as “high-functioning” borderline. I identify with this label in a sense because while I do have the diagnosis and experience the symptoms and the consequences of them, at the same time I do get up and get my shit done nonetheless. I [...]
Man standing by lake covered with fog, rear view

When You Don't Fit the 'Classic' Definition of Borderline Personality Disorder

Editor’s note: If you struggle with self-harm, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here. The “quiet” borderline. It’s not something most people are familiar with, the perception of borderline personality disorder [...]