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I Raised Myself All Over Again After Being Diagnosed With Mental Illness

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Editor's Note

If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, visit this resource.

I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and moderate depression last year. First, I panicked a bit. My first real life encounter with BPD was in the psychiatric ward. A friend of mine was diagnosed with BPD and she attempted suicide numerous times, even inside the hospital. She is much better now after a few sessions of electrotherapy. I spent some time trying to learn more about it, and found out I’m a “quiet” borderline. Every patient is a bit different and the label is there to help, not to divide or scare others.

I ended up in the hospital because of a very long series of unfortunate events that led me to stop taking antidepressants. The combination of emotions and depression weakened me to a terrifying state of mind. I thought to myself, “Something really is wrong.” I’ve always known I was “damaged,” but I was unaware of a lot of things that affected me in ways that could drive me to an even deeper state of depression, reaching psychosis.

I decided I had to change things after concluding I am a quiet borderline and reading about complex PTSD because of the abuse as I grew up. I learned that depression will not quite leave your life once you take your medication, but it does give your brain that little push to support itself better.

Because I was raised in an abusive household, I had to learn how to survive so I created habits to space out from reality. My memory worked around not remembering anything much. I have what the medical report called “an autistic tendency” as a mechanism to dissociate. I have been disconnected from my emotions for about 20 years, so I’m unable to recognize them now. My self-esteem is nonexistent and my mind has intrusive self-abusive thoughts every so often.

I am free now, but I am not free from myself. And I want all of us to know that we can change it. We cannot change our mental illness, but instead make it better and learn to live around it. We cannot change our circumstances or our story, but we can change what we know, our concept of things and our environment.

So, I decided I had to “reraise” myself. I had to make sure that what my head told me was accurate. That what I thought was not my neurons transmitting the only thing that was learned while growing up — abuse. Awareness is the strongest and most wonderful boosting power that we will ever encounter. And to become aware, I read. I read a lot of books on subjects that I thought were and could be useful to me. One of the things that changed my life was creating a YouTube playlist. What did I want to know? How am I different to the rest? How is my thinking process different? How do I change from thinking in black and whites to thinking in grays? How can I become productive? How can I stop sitting on my ass all day fearing for myself? Fearing that now that the worst is over, I have no time to catch up with the rest. It’s possible when you become aware. You can raise yourself again, become a new you that is able to fight back.
My YouTube playlist, “Things To Know,” has given me better guidance than my parents ever gave me. I added videos about guides, procrastination, some psychology facts, things I am interested in to take short breaks from receiving too much information…whatever I thought could help me change.

I recommend this to everyone and I hope it helps you as it has helped me so far.

Did you reraise yourself? Tell us in the comments.

Photo credit: iprogressman/Getty Images

Originally published: July 1, 2019
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