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How Radical Acceptance Is Helping My Borderline Personality Disorder Recovery

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is one of the most stigmatized mental illnesses.

Many people attribute traumatic life events to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression. In my case, BPD took its course. It came out in severe anxiety, blackout anger, worthlessness and feeling incredibly lost.

When I was diagnosed last September, I thought I was doomed to a life of misery, instability and judgment from my peers. Since then I’ve poured my heart and soul into fighting for my mental health. My medications are stabilized, I’ve completed a round of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and begun another, and I continue to practice the skills I’m learning in order to improve my life and the lives of those around me.

There is hope for us. DBT has saved my life through a combination of mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation and, most importantly, radical acceptance. All of my life, I’ve been waiting to feel a sense of control over my emotions and, now, I finally know I am in control. In fact, I always have been — I just never learned the skills to do so until now. DBT is not a cure-all. You get out what you put in. It takes dedication and a strong desire to change, to feel better, to love and accept yourself.

I’ve finally accepted that my diagnosis does not make me who I am and it does contribute significantly to my personality. I’ve learned there are so many positives to my diagnosis. I’m very empathetic, compassionate, loving, affectionate and insightful. When I care for someone, I’ll go to the ends of the earth for them. When I’m happy, I’m ecstatic. I’m sassy, I’m quirky and I feel everything so intensely.

I’m incredibly grateful to all of the people who have made it possible for me to tackle this great big demon in my life. Without the desire to be a better person for my loved ones, I may have cowered away and never seen the light of day. I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful support system through my family, friends, co-workers and an amazing therapist.

Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

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