Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Road to Recovery...

Last week a Reader asked:
Do you think you could share a little about how you decided to address the pain and try to recover? There is someone in our life who we WISH would seek treatment, and I'm wondering what might get her there. Thanks.

How I decided to address the pain and try to recover. I wish I could give a completely selfless answer and say that I saw how I was affecting the people around me, that I realized how hurtful I was. I wish I could say that I wanted to stop lashing out and devastating the world around me. Unfortunately when I was taking out my emotions on other people I mostly felt like it was everyone else that did not understand me and the only thing wrong with me was that I was misunderstood. I felt hopeless. No one and nothing could help me because no one understood and if no one understood how could anyone do anything at all. Eventually I began Acting Out less and turned inward. I took out the majority of my turbulence on myself, Acting In. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still affect the people around me. It does. I’m just not as actively aggressive towards other people. Anyone close to me is still caught in my wake, or at the very least, sees what I go through, realizes that I’m hurting, and wishes better for me. It came down to the fact that I wanted to stop feeling so turbulent. I wanted it for me. First and foremost I want to feel better. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to be a better friend and be better to everyone around me. I absolutely do, but this wasn’t my main driver though it is a product of what I’m working towards.   The people that I’m close to care about me and they truly want me to be happy.

I’ve been an emotional disaster, especially when it comes to relationships, for as long as I can remember. It’s depressing. It’s painful. How I take it out on myself is excruciating. How I take it out on others is worse. I finally came to the realization that there has to be something better than living in constant pain and depression.

Growing up I fought the idea of therapy and medication. When I moved to New York I was involved in a very abusive relationship.  I bottomed out.   Finally, I sought therapy as a last resort.

Unfortunately as is often the case, it takes hitting bottom to have the greatest motivation to dig ourselves out of the holes we’ve dug. I wish I could say that was the only time I’d hit bottom, but it happens a lot. However, it got me to open up to the idea of therapy. Having the help to work through is invaluable and I strongly encourage this.

I think the last big kick in the ass was what lead me to the Psych ER {Intro, Part 1, Part 2, Morals}. The relationship I had been in wasn’t good but it wasn’t bad. It was just boring. I had no reason or inclination to stay in it and yet, when it ended I Acted Out in a way that got the cops and an ambulance called on me. I scared the hell out of my friends, terrified my parents, could have lost us our new apartment, could potentially have lost future employment… the repercussions of my actions were just not acceptable.  Especially when there’s no rational reason for my reactions to have been as extreme as they were. I knew something was very wrong for most of my life, but this was the last straw. I determined to stay on an anti-depressant, which ultimately was not enough, but it was a start. All these things; the realization of just how bad my actions could affect me and everyone else, remembering that through previous therapy I had begun to see bright spots again. I could see glimpses of better ways of living. I wanted not just glimpses of a better way, but actually walking a better path completely. Constant depression is a vortex of joylessness. I wanted to escape the blackness. No. Not black. Everything was grey. Grey, dreary, dull, nothing being crisp or vibrant for long enough to glean any happiness from. It’s no way to live and it doesn’t have to be that way. Finally I began to want for myself what my friends and family have always wanted for me; the chance of happiness. It’s why I created this blog; to help me as I work towards this. It’s something I want for anyone fighting a Borderline Personality Disorder.

The turning point came for me when I realized I want to get better.  No one can understand me, if I don’t help people understand me. If I don’t reach out to allow myself to receive the help I need. This is also my responsibility. This is a big world. I’m only one person in this world. There are plenty of people that love and care about me, but they also have their own lives to deal with. Ultimately, I am responsible for my own happiness and healing. This sounds like a sagely bit of wisdom, but for someone with BPD who wants so much to be close to other people without actually knowing how in a  functional way, it’s anything but easy. But it is possible. And it gets easier the more we work to embrace this.

I don’t know. I’m so tired of being so self-consumingly lonely, so sad and depressed, so misunderstood… so afraid… of everything. Life does not have to be this way. I refuse to believe that this is simply my lot in life. There is only one thing that can determine my fate, and that’s me. If I choose to be a different way, I can take control of my world and make it something that is worthwhile.  

In order to do this, therapy has helped me immensely. Writing this blog has helped me more than I expected. Being able to reach out, connect with other people struggling with a Borderline Personality Disorder, knowing that I’m not alone, hearing from other people as they also fight, or as they seek advice, or simply leave a few words to let me know they’ve been by… knowing that I’m reaching out and connecting with others like me; helps. I’m also determined to stick to a medicinal regime as well. I’ve previously floundered with this a little, but I’m working with my Psychiatrist to find meds that will aid me. There is no medical cure for personality disorders, however there’s hope that meds can alleviate some of the symptoms like depression and anxiety.

Realizing just how much I could lose. The opportunities, the people I love , my friends,…  the disappointment… The thought of losing them or letting them down is my biggest motivation now. I have a lot of people that I love and care about, and I want to be able to be with them in a healthy way that won’t drive them away.

You need to understand that I’ve lived with this for well over half of my life. Almost two decades of feeling like things would never get better. It’s not something you can just turn to someone and say ‘cheer up, it’ll all work out’ when so far, for so long, it hasn’t. It’s hard to see a better way when you’ve never known a better way. It requires a leap of faith. A leap that is incredibly scary when so often things smash to bits on the rocks below. It’s looking for a safe way down to the ground when your path is lined with jagged rocks and chards of glass. Fortunately there’s never just one way around the obstacles set in front of you in life. It takes a shift of perspective, but that sense of being safe in your own Self, is absolutely attainable. At least, I believe it is.

I  hope that gives some insight into your question. Thank you for asking.

35 comments:

  1. Dear Haven,

    I really appreciate your taking the time to respond to my question so thoughtfully.
    It sounds as if what you are doing, and how you got there, is working for you. And that’s terrific!

    Sadly, what you shared gives me no hope that my fiancé, his kids or I will enjoy any respite from the behavior of his former wife/their mom any time soon. She is very high functioning, insists that the problem is with everyone else and never with her and demonstrates none of the self-reflection or self-knowledge that is at the core of your blog. Because she is so high functioning, and because her family members have learned to compensate for her specific functional deficiencies, it seems as if it may be a long time before she ever experiences consequences of her actions that are as extreme as the ones that finally changed your mind.

    Her kids live with her halftime (the other half here), and she functions well enough for that house to always have the bills paid, homemade meals on the table, family vacations and all the other tangible trappings of a comfortable middle class lifestyle. The kids are now old enough, and have been exposed to another more stable way of running a household (ours) long enough, that they sense something is “not right” at that house. But I doubt she would ever let anything so severe happen while they are living with her.

    What might happen when they go away to college – who knows? By then she will be 50 and, by all accounts, will have been behaving the way she is now for at least 3 decades. I would think that, like you, she would by then be wondering if there is another way to live that is less painful to her. Maybe when she experiences the “empty nest” she will have an opportunity for self-reflection that will bring her to the same conclusions to which yours brought you.

    In the meantime, while I can have compassion for the inner turmoil she must experience, I still think the healthiest thing my fiancé and I can do for the kids and for each of us and our marriage is to create rational boundaries and enforce them consistently. No matter how much she yells at us, blames us, shames us etc.

    Thanks again for the insight.

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    1. My own experience is that it is only once we get to a high functioning state that we realise what we do to others and how we are responsible for our own misery. I can see your point that if you appear high functioning there is less impetus to do the work and change, people make allowances for you. I'm nearly 50, my BPD is much reduced - not gone but much more manageable and I suspect that as we age we do lose some of the madness of BPD. I agree wholeheartedly with Haven though, it's therapy that is the start of recovery and it is through therapy that you learn what you are really like. I struggled with it to begin with but after two years I feel so much happier to have gone through it.

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    3. For the last 10 years I thought my mom also had BPD and couldn't for the life of me figure out why she didn't want to get help like I did. She acts very much in the same "childish" ways that I do (where I learned it!), but she lacks self awareness. When I finally started to describe to her my experiences, emotional extremes, and all of the pain my self-awareness caused me, this did not all connect with her. Our actions, behaviors, and patterns are very much alike and arise from very similar traumatic upbringings (she learned it too!), however, she is much more likely a Narcissistic type (with PTSD origins), not Borderline type (with PTSD origins). She lacks self-awareness and empathy. I don't think she's too stubborn to get help, I think she honestly doesn't see or understand it and truly believes everyone else is wrong. Be very careful diagnosing others based on behavior alone! And yes, boundaries for everyone, please!

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  2. Haven, this is a very well written,insightful post. Just want you to know I am here, listening and hoping I can help by letting you know this.
    By the way you can 'yoink' any quote from Camus or any other person (except me!! lol)you want from my blog...they are FREE!!!!
    Take care,
    Peace, Nico

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  3. Thank you for your amazing blog, interrupted. and thank you. Haven, for the courage to document your life! I am getting hopeful one day at a time, so to speak!

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  4. You are very insightful and thank you for sharing you journey. I too was amazed at how much my blogging was a turning point in therapy.

    Despite what "experts" and the DMS states my therapist believe that BPD can be "cured." This in the sense that I learn to be more mindful and make different choices. He also told me that it takes a very long time which most people don't have the resources to do so.

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  5. @Clueless... Yes, this is what I believe it means to be 'cured'. There's no drugs for a personality disorder, there's no cutting off a bit of who you are, but there is learning to manage your reactions and learning to deal and respond to the world around you in a healthier manner. And with time and effort, hopefully it's possible to actually see the world in a different manner. One that is more stable and pleasant to be in. It does take a long time. A long time that will be fraught with set backs from what I can tell, but the important thing is to keep pushing through.

    Thank you.

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    1. I will advise you to avoid the falsehoods that are buried in any religion. Religion does not assist, it provides unrealistic beliefs.

      Christianity and the Bible are rapidly being uncovered as the myth they have long been. As the world become smaller, shrinking through knowledge and technology, the false basis of religion is needed less and less. There are now entire countries that are 75% atheist (meaning: not following any religion)

      People are leaving religion everywhere that people can find access to information and where the people are open to a logical and realistic evaluation of life and of the world.

      In the Bronze Age religion and superstition provided many benefits. It gave a person knowledge of what would happen when they die, and many died very young. Life was difficult, disease was rampant, there were no doctors, and tribal hoards commonly would invade and kill an entire village just to take what they could.

      So, back then, at the end of the Roman Empire, the major Religion was Paganism. One of the last emperors of Rome was as intelligent as he was crooked, and soon realized that religion was a good way to control the people. To do this, he announced that Christianity was the religion of Rome (although he remained a Pagan) and thus controlled the Christians through their fears of superstition. It worked.

      had it not, had he not decided to do that, historians do not believe that Christianity would be a major religion today.

      Regardless, the Christian religion is, like any of the 50,000 religions this planet has known, no different than any other religion. They were useful in the stone ages, and they carried forward through the religious brainwashing that installs those horrible false fears of hell and the myth of heaven in children between the ages of 2 and 6--the formative years when a child's brain is forming.

      When fears are installed into young memory and forming brains, it may not be a recalled memory in later life, but it will still be a powerful fear and it will continue to keep that person believing the superstition.

      I expect this phenomenon to advance rapidly as Europe and the Northern countries are now all predominately atheist now. When it does, many will be pulled against continuing to flow with the social river of false beliefs or turn to the reality of science and life in a modern world.

      Those who are religious now and learning Zen and breaking free of the binding restrictions of BPD will soon find a very difficult culture shock when the world goes atheist.

      Humans cannot keep up this strange belief in an invisible God that has offered nothing for 2000 years other than a poorly written book of contradictions and a so called demand that we accept what we are told on "blind faith alone" and continue to make the Christian and Catholic Churches the wealthiest organization the world has ever known. Currently, those churches are worth more than many countries, worth more than the 10 largest corporations in the world and all they do is sell superstition.

      I suggest that you drop that religion as soon as possible and save yourself the huge setback that will occur, nearly ruining all the effort you put in using Zen.

      People... it's time to wake up and save YOURself. There is no God and there never was one.

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    2. Hey Haven,

      Thank you so much for your insight. My GF is a BPD for certain, and I dont know how to make her admit it. she has hurt me a lot, and I have been going nuts thinking how could she do it and now she is with someone else repeating the cycle. It lessens the pain to know she is ill but at the same time I havent been able to control my own emotions, suffered and partly for my own actions even knowing whats wrong.
      I truly appreciate that you have the courage to show people what it takes. I truly respect you. I hope one day she is able to do it and do it soon

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  6. Hi not got a lot of time to speak right now just to say thank you

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  7. I tried to understand myself for years but nothing has helped. When I read ur blog it was like reading my own life journey thank you for sharing it with me , believe me it is not easy to have borderline personality in Africa .

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  8. Hi Haven,

    Thanks so much for your postings. I struggled with depression and a suicide scare this past year. I had to leave my job in Boston, all my friends, and someone I was deeply, and still am, in love with to come home to live with my parents. It was crushing to know that my inability to take care of myself and manage my emotions and obsessive thinking cycles has brought the people I care about so much pain and stress.

    I think you have a self-awareness that I can really relate to. On the positive side, awareness helps you realize there has to be a shift in perspective. Thinking the same way just produces cycles of fear and despair. On the flip side, I think my awareness and analytical nature also helped me to justify my feelings of despair -- somehow I felt like I was misunderstood (like you) and that no one could relate, and I never wanted to reach out, because I wanted to seem strong.

    What really broke me out of the cycle was what I can only call a "surrender." While I indulged in my fear and despair, I also fed my ego that kept trying to hold on to the idea that I was in control and that I could and should be able to control my emotions, thoughts, and beliefs. In some ways, I was too afraid to relinquish this kind of control over myself and my life (even if it was control that led to bad things)-- I justified the control with my own empowerment, because if anything bad happened or I failed in some way or another, which it did, it would at least be my own fault, and I could blame myself for not being able to do what I needed to do to succeed rather than just accepting that some things are out of my power. I was too scared to put my trust in anything other than myself. So, for me, it was a cop-out. Yet I justified it by saying that I was indeed being very hard on myself and critical and maintained my standards for how I should do good/well/right.

    My turning point was trusting in God. And I know for all who read this may be automatically turned off, but to me at least, God is not about abortion and gay rights or any of that. God is the light in every person, the beauty of nature, the purest most basal energy order of this world, the love and forgiveness (however limited) we experience in each other. I finally put my faith in that thing "God" and I am now starting my next life adventure in living a life with God.

    The beauty (and strength) of it is that it is not a "cure" that happens overnight. It is a journey of recovery, sometimes we hold tight to our faith in God or light or whatever it is and surrender ourselves to God, forgiving ourselves and choosing to love ourselves as God does, sometimes we let the doubt and negativity and despair creep in and begin again to fear (and pity) ourselves, letting the dark convince us there is no light and we are alone. But having the knowledge that there is light and peace for us in this life, with constant effort, discipline and hard work towards putting this knowledge into practice, us humans suffering what we suffer on any and every level, have a real and true hope.

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  9. I am lucky that many things have worked out in my life, even if nothing is perfect. I really wish you and anyone reading this the best of luck -- I have so much faith that we are all improving and growing better and stronger day by day. It is not an easy journey at all.

    Last thing- some really great things that have helped me in shifting my perspective (for anyone reading):
    1) Give thanks. Think about everything in your life that you take joy in, small things you appreciate about the people around you, the grace that God's given you. Make a list. Make this exercise about the people you love,the little things that are good and beautiful in this world, and not your inability to make the most of them in this moment or how you've failed or fallen short.

    My therapist once said her mother told her: "For every loss or suffering or pain we feel, there are ten blessings that we did not see"

    The act of appreciation and acknowledging the things we do have in our lives instead of focusing on the parts of our lives that have gone horribly wrong and things we want but don't have is a really important step.

    This is all easier said than done, I know it, but we have to rely on each other to get through life, we must cheer each other on and forgive each other as we must forgive ourselves. We are inherently imperfect beings. Please know I am with all of y'all in spirit and (please forgive the preachy-sounding rhetoric) that ultimately, God's got a purpose for you, and His love and forgiveness are already yours - you just have to take it.

    God bless.
    -M

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  10. @ haven. I may be one of the yoynger readers of your blog but since i found ot it has opened my eyes tremendously! for the past 2 years of my life and marriage have hoped for understanding and i have finally found it through your blog. thank you. i am on my way to seeking therapy myself. i have known for a few years that there had to be something better something more tolerable. i dreamed of a life that i see others in and wish happiness that they have. i am scared ive been this way with no hope and therapy before scared me. i do not open up to anyone do you have any insight on not being so freightened? i have been married for 4 years now a marriage that started due to my acting out and rebelious behavior and i now have 2 children that need a better mother than what i am. i want a better me for them. i want my loveless mariage to work. my husband loves me and has not given up hope yet and i want to be a better wife and have a better life than the one im living right now. i have found motivation without hitting rock bottom i think by gods grace that is better for my family. i see now through your blog what my family has been telling me that there is a better happier healthier way of life. For th longest time me and my family have been at odds with eachother because they couldn't understand me but I see now it take more than just an understanding I have to open myself to them for them to see. Thank you for yur inspiration of a better life keep writing please! Can you give me help though I fear letting people in. I built a wall to keep them out and slowly its been coming down but I reach points where I raise it once again and have to start over because people are getting to close I fear their rejection and not understanding me and failure in myself. And while seeking a therapist I have yet to find one who helps meto open up or has any clue the problems deep within they only help superficial issues and I need more. How can I find one that will truely be beneficial? You can email me if you'd like sparks_1221@yahoo.com thank you again

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  11. I am reading your posts and it is helping me understand myself more and more. i was recently diagnosed with BPD,and i am adjusting to finally knowing an answer. i have always wondered why i had random fits of DANGEROUS rage.. i never felt like i could be alone..i hated the thought and i am a teen, but i have a bad habit with my x.. the same one over and over.. back and forth. he thought i was completely crazy the first time he say any sign of who i really was. i hve had so many therapists tell me i had an addictive personality, i am delusional, i am a dependent but that never gave me any answeres because i am perfectly functional in certain situations.. thank you so much for the elightenment and inspiration

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    1. Your welcome. I remember when I was a teenager. Things were worse for me then. I know that isn't going to be very encouraging for you right now, but at least for me, it has gotten better. I didn't know what was wrong at the time. Maybe as you gain a better understanding at a younger age, you'll be able to prepare yourself and increase your ability to make things better for you. Good luck!

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  12. Haven, just wanted to let u know i stopped bye.
    Im from argentina and its amazing how you put your feelings into words. Im a 29 years old man with BPD and i would resume everything with the words FAITH, therapy and lamotrigine.
    Thank u!

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    1. Thank you for your words and welcome!

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  13. I too have Borderline Personality Disorder. I am in or was actually in a a relationship with a female BPD. It has been one of the most tumultuous relationships I have ever had. And at 43 I have just been diagnosed with BPD. I too have started a blog it Nolongerrunning.com if you would like to check it out. Thanks for sharing Im really glad Im not alone.

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  14. Hi Haven. I've just read a couple of your blogs and I can relate so much. As I was sitting alone in my room tonight I decided that I should take a personality test because I think I have some kind of disorder. This whole time I've been trying to convince myself I don't need a glass of Whiskey to go to sleep tonight.) The test told me I may have BPD. So I began researching. A lot of the traits I do have. But then I looked up Alcohol and BPD, then found your blog. I too am a college graduate and got a pretty good job as a Stock Trader in Las Vegas. I had a couple really close friends there which I grew up with. But the life of a trader involves a lot of drinking. (something that I knew I had a problem with in college but got away from in my SR year of college) But in order for me to advance I had to be social and drink. I thought I was on top of the world. I had great friends, good job, bought a new house, and got back with my girlfriend. Then it began to spiral. I found myself not trusting people close to me all of a sudden. Then started becoming paranoid about them. I started stressing then turned to drinking. I lost my girlfriend cause I knew I had a problem. Then I just recently got laid off. Now I'm back with my parents. Short sold my home. I thought moving back here with family would help me get better. Yet, I still find myself in my room not really talking to anyone and having a drink. I know I never used to be like this. But anyhow I kind of enjoy reading your blogs because it does remind me of myself. Which is kind of scary in a way. But now I know I do have a problem. I know now I'll continue to read your blog daily. Thank you so much.

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  15. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google,
    and found that it is truly informative. I'm going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!
    My homepage : venaprotreatment.webs.com

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  16. I wish the night was longer so I could read more...

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  17. Hello Haven,

    I don't usually comment on the blogs I read, just try to gain encouragement from reading. But, I feel the need to reach out because i feel so alone right now. I am 41 and was diagnosed about 6 years ago after many, many misdiagnoses. I have three children (14, 15 & 17) and I have done as good of a job as I could with them. They are turning out well despite my impairments. The problem is I have not found effective treatment and have a great deal of difficulty getting support from my family because they've never really considered this a "real" problem.

    I'm very concerned about my current state which is that of a hermit. I made a term for it before I knew about "Hermit BPD". I call it "cocooning" because I usually swaddle myself like an infant, move very little, think way too much and ruminate myself into oblivion. I had one therapist tell me this could lead to a catatonic state which scared the hell out of me and sent me to my one and only hospitalization. They did not really treat me there, so much as placate me with anti-depressants.

    I am what one might consider high functioning because of my IQ. Although, my life does not reflect such. I am currently trying to find another therapist after being out for the last 4 years. The therapist who diagnosed me crossed the boundaries. I had sex with him in his office and haven't been back in therapy since. To his credit, before that incident, he did teach me some techniques and skills that worked for a while, but now I am floundering BIG TIME and trying to compensate with my thoughts :) HAHAHA!!! AS IF!

    I try to soothe myself for want of any other medicine. I'm afraid of trying to get support because I can not seem to effectively communicate the depth of my sorrow, pain, loneliness, anxiety, etc. to any one. When I try to tell some one what I'm going through I feel so vulnerable and sad when they can't understand.

    I feel like I've been exposed for no reason and retreat again. I crave interaction but am so afraid to be hurt. I'm also not interacting with my children much and I fear how this is making them feel. Some days I feel that they would be better off without me, but I'm all they have. I'm going to try again this week to find a therapist and be consistent.

    I know I'm not the only one, but I'm the only one I know.

    You can probably relate to the above statement. It is SO HARD to go through this year after year. I've known something was "different" about me since I was very young. My story is much like others, I was sexually abused by a sibling and am also dealing with the issues that brings about within the family. I feel I am to blame for shining a light on his abuses and am less accepted than he is. This is in the face of family stating that they believe me and are "sorry" that it happened.

    I know that I'm rambling. Please forgive me. I haven't talked to anyone but myself about these things in months. Thanks to everyone for listening, relating, praying or any positive thought on my behalf. I want to continue to be strong but I'm getting weaker each year that this doesn't get fixed.

    I know it is my responsibility to keep trying, but some days I just want it to be over. I'm tired of life being a struggle. I want to be free of this. I am going to do my best to place it as a priority above the day to day life I live. It is an awful catch-22 I'm in. I need to focus on getting well, but I also must run my life well in order to afford it, have time for me, children, etc.

    Again, thanks for listening. I will try to update you on my progress. I love the way you write with honesty and compassion as well as forthrightness. I don't want pity or another excuse. I really just want out of this hell I'm in.

    nojoyinGA

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    1. ::hugs:: I very much relate to how you feel and I'm sure many others do. Yikes crossed boundaries in therapy are so hard! I always feared that if I had a male therapist that might happen, b/c something in me around guys, needs that kind of validation or control or something... idk. I could never have a male therapist so at least you were able to take something away from it!

      I know how hard it is to continue trying some days. That's what the 18 years leading up to therapy were like for me. And quite frankly I do still struggle with those feelings even now. Fortunately just not to the extreme that I used to, so that's progress. Don't give up! Finding a new therapist is a brilliant idea.

      In the mean time, if you need people to talk to or share ideas and experiences with, go towards the Forum I created! There are almost 200 of us there, many of which or more than willing to give their support and words of encouragement when you need them most. Good luck to you. You'll find your way. I have no doubt.

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  18. Hi Haven,
    I just came across your blog as I was researching for a story. This hits close to home. I was described as having bipolar disorder, but one way for me to cope is with sex. Different men and even as far as meeting guys online. I have even become a slave in a BDSM relationship. My question is, what constitutes one as having Borderline Personality. I always sabotage relationships no matter if they are good or not. I'm looking for answers.

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  19. Hi Haven,
    I was wondering if I could ask for your advice on something? I stumbled across your site a little while ago.. I don't have BPD but was in a two year relationship with a guy who I'm pretty convinced did. I didn't realize this until after we broke up, but I know he was struggling with himself to find some kind of answers to the conflict going on inside his head when we were together. In our relationship, he idealized me to a height I could never live up to and wanted me to be his everything... but when I got too close we started having terrible fights and I couldn't understand why. Then, suddenly, he broke up with me through a text message without really providing any information at all. We did not end on good terms as you can imagine, and shortly after he started dating someone else, a girl a few years younger than me. For a while I was really upset at him, but at this point we have been broken up for a while and I feel like I'm in a much more stable place in my life. I am over the point of trying to win him back or anything like that, but for the time we were together I always considered him my best friend. I have done a lot of research on BPD and I feel for the pain that he must go through every day. He also used to hit himself, and I've read that people who practice this kind of behavior are more likely to seriously hurt themselves at some point. I guess my question is this: If we ever catch up as friends at any point in the future, do you think it would be helpful if I talked to him about his symptoms? I know if he read about BPD he would identify completely... but I don't know how offensive it would be or if it's even my place at all... I just feel bad for the place he is in, and selfishly would like to hope that at some point we could manage some kind of a friendship. Do you think I should just leave it alone? Thank you for your blog, it is enormously helpful.

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  20. Thanks for writing your stuff. I have been living with BPD for 15 years it been a nightmare. I just started treatment it painful - at time I cant see the light at the end. I have hurt so many people and trying to get a hold of my life but finding it really hard and it hurts like hell when I hurt someone else. I live a very lonely life.

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  21. You sound very angsty- perhaps this makes things worse since you are experiencing cognitive distortions because you have to trained on how to think. Start with this: What is a personality disorder? Please define it and argue how I can distinguish it from some type of sui generis or double relativistic explanation of how what you think can be determined by a biological personality.

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  22. Note: Oops...guess I wrote more than I thought...I'll have to use two posts to post this.
    _____

    Thank you for sharing your experiences, Haven.

    I'm a 23 year-old man in the military, and I think I have BPD.

    Thinking back, I think it started growing up. You see, I was that stereotypical computer nerd, locked away from the world in his room. No car, no friends...I didn't care! I was having fun! My parent's didn't seem to care if I locked myself away--my mom worked 16-hour days and my dad sequestered himself in his room, reading his Bible and praying. I love him to death but resent his parenting. Growing up in a Christian home, I was taught that sex was for marriage, but it really came across as "Sex is bad!" and "We don't talk about that in this house!" I remember getting spanked for "you show me yours and I show you mine" with a girl from church when I was six. The few opportunities for sex I had as a teenager I botched spectacularly (and looking back, it would've been so easy!). Just the look in my dad's eyes could make me feel guilty. I came out of high school a deeply devout Christian at an uneasy truce with my soul.

    I joined the Army and realized how far behind sexually I was to my peers. Matter of fact, I seemed to be behind the curve in everything---friends, life experiences, and everything else. I clung to my faith for a while, but there was a deepening hole in my soul that religion couldn't fill.

    I eventually went to Afghanistan, and believe it or not, I felt better there than anywhere. It was the best time of my life--I had friends who would take a bullet for me (a few did), a kickass job that had meaning--I was keeping them alive, and them me. It's hard to explain, and I don't expect you'll understand. I just felt...alive, you know?

    Coming back from Afghanistan, that's when it really started. The friends I had downrange left the military or moved. I turned 21 and started drinking. A lot. On my 21st, I drank a 5th of Jack and a 12 pack of Budweiser in two hours and blacked out. I remember a friend and I going on a 60-beer drinking binge that lasted till 7 in the morning.

    Honestly, the first eight months back are a fuzzy, angry haze. And why was I angry? I didn't know. I felt there was more to my life than drinking alone, locked in my room with my computer. But something inside me couldn't stop, didn't want to stop. Like my mind was a dirty room, and I didn't want to clean it up cause I was scared of what I'd find.

    Then I applied (and was accepted) into a special operations program. The big guys. You were hot shit if you joined them. And they meant the world to me. I memorized their creed. My classmates were my comrades--intimite like lovers, closer than brothers. We shared the mud and bathed in each other's sweat. And when I gave everything, emotionally and physically, I had--I was cut from the course without a reason. And it tore me up inside. It was my identity; it was everything to me.

    After moving to Alaska, I started getting really bad mood swings. I'd wake up cheerful, then someone looking at me funny at the gas station would ruin my day. I'd go off the handle at something so small, even I know it was ridiculous. Someone touch my shoulder? I'd be ready to fight. Someone will say something at work behind my back, and he'll already dead in my mind. But he might be forgiven and my best friend at the end of the day. I can't help feeling so angry or sad, though I don't want to...about everything. And nothing. And its starting to scare me. I want to be calm, to be at peace, but I can't. It's like a light switch that doesn't turn on or off, no matter how much you flip it.

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  23. Damn....I knew that I was keeping a lot of anger inside,& just talking to a family member that has at least ss many issues as I, it is still hard for me to grasp the fact that I may be the 1 with tge problem, cause I'm the 1 that has lived in this grey area so long..I'm so disconnected from people and recently I finally decided I wanted-or I HAD 2 change if I am going 2 be happy. Reading your 1st statements about how you feel...it seems so close to the way I'm feeling, that I guess I'm just now realizing I'm probably so angry & confused b/c if course I'm not the 1 that's crazy...I know It may probably be hard for yall to even understand what tge hell I'm talking about-frustration..I dont have much time;but I wanted you to know that you're definitely not alone, cause the way you wrote how things felt for you, I feel so similar its almost a bizarre feeling. I've never gone as far as this line of thinking before-& maybe that alone even points to symptoms that I also have borderline personality disorder. I recently just had 2 stop seeing my shribk b/c my insurance all of a suddden stopped paying for my sessions. Today I AM going to find SOMEONE around here that knows about disorders like these.. Even just writing about it calms me down. I'm glad I stumbled across your blog this morning.. reading it feels like I have a chance for a better life. Thankyou for writing what you did-hope is out there-I just need to keep taking my thoughts to their end instead of cutting em off. I'll be back to read more of your story later.. people aint so different as I seem to think they are...or we are..or, thanks for opening a door for me where my confusion almost makes sense to me. Down but not out, C.J.

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  24. "Its hard to see a better way when you've never known a better way. It requires a leap of faith." Thats a hell of a statement! That kinda sums up getting better from any addiction,or trying to follow a treatment plan to try & get yourself out of the endless cycle of addiction-when getting high is the only thing you know. I'm speaking sbout myself,of course, & how I finally began to realize there was so much more happiness in the world than I thought possible,& for 25yrs of my life I'd been working VERY hard to actually keep love OUT of my life b/c I thought that happiness WAS that feeling of being high. Working to keep myself IN that depression that I'd been in for do many years. insane huh

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  25. Thank you Haven for your blog. It's good to know I am not alone in this BPD struggle. Good luck to you on your road towards your recovery.

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  26. Haven, you do not have BPD, I'm not discrediting the prognosis and diagnosis of a professional, but I strongly feel you do not have BPD, I'm saying this because someone, a friend I thought was a friend of mine accused me of having BPD, and that affected me to such a degree I actually believed her and created my own self fulfilling prophecy to some degree of BPD, I was also diagnosed but none of them pointed to BPD except in the mouth and words of someone I thought was a friend that turned out to not have been my friend forever and for a long time, I just failed to see that because I took on all the faults and damages of that relationship with that friend that I was overwhelmed with emotions and I just spiraled out of control and my emotions, she to this day blames me for all of it, telling me to take responsibility for it all, and not blame others for it because she is convinced as well as convincing many others that I have BPD therefore I was outcasted and subsequently I pushed a close male friend away also due to all this Haven. Please just seek help for depression, and not get it into your mind that you have BPD because if this is truly the case then over 98% of this world we live in have BPD, perhaps even those who run our governments all around the globe has BPD, if you stop to think of it, they might have because they bring about world wars and wars all over the world, those are truly destructive behaviors Heaven.

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  27. I must say thanks. I stumbled upon your page and can relate in so many ways. I have yet to study a description of thoughts more clear than yours. I almost feel as though you wrote my thoughts as I was reading. I will continue to read and hope to find the help. I need to pull through the mess of life I'm living. If it gives you any sense of appreciation, you may be saving my life.

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Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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