Finding myself… overcoming borderline personality disorder

Abstract by Chantal C.

Written by: Chantal C.

I have been living with mental illness since I can remember. My earliest recollections are during late childhood years. My clinical depression manifested itself during my adolescence. But now I struggle to understand the depth of my own Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  Last year I tried to take my life and was diagnosed with traits of BPD. Even though I suspected this for many years, the diagnosis is my wake-up call. I now ask myself…Who am I really and why did I live a life of abuse and self-inflicted pain?

Borderline Personality Disorder is devastating. Many mental illnesses can be treated with medication and psychotherapy. BPD is one of the most difficult disorders of the mind to overcome. I have lived a life, often lacking the ability to discern and cope: feeling helplessness and continuous despair.

I can’t say that I did not enjoy inspiration, wonder and love. As an artist, the BPD helped me to be creative.  Because I have and still do experience emotions so profoundly, it enables me, in an odd way, to express myself by painting, photographing and writing. Sometimes, the more I hurt inside, the more I feel and the more I create.


The baby in a dysfunctional family

bleeding heart by Chantal C.My “day one” starts with my earliest childhood memories as a sensitive little girl in a dysfunctional family. I was often ridiculed, rejected and experienced emotional rage and isolation because of a continued sense of abandonment from my elders. When I was eight, my brothers and sisters were in their teens and twenties. I was the baby in a family with seven brothers, two elder sisters, a verbally abusive and distant father but a gentle loving caring mother.

At fourteen, I became the rebellious teen no one cared to discipline. Even though the discipline should have started during my childhood years I was now “testing the limits”. I wanted to be loved, and so, I searched for it elsewhere. My life became self-indulgent: sexual promiscuity, drugs, impulsive behaviour and depression.

Low self-esteem, risky behaviour and failed relationships

My deep spiralling despair did not end during my teen years. It unfortunately continued to manifests itself in my twenties and thirties. During this time in my life, I struggled with the separation of my marriage and the affects it had on my first born child. As I still sought unhealthy relationships, I became pregnant with my second child. Her father was not present often during her life. I was a single mom, working, raising my daughters and yet still conflicted with emotional regulation, mood instability and continued depression. Even though these years were very difficult, they were also some of my best years. I was able to work in photography, other employments and take on the challenges of motherhood. I was truly blessed with two beautiful daughters. I strongly believe, up to this day, that our love kept us going all these years.

I do believe my trauma from childhood was the cause of continued low self-esteem, risky behaviour and failed relationships. I developed over time ways to cope with the pain of abuse. I blocked one failure after another and repressed as much as I could. As the unbearable shame and brokenness became such a pattern in my life, I eventually realized, this is the way I am and will never change…however…


Photo by Chantal C.

Photo by Chantal C.

Fighting the BPD monster

Four years ago I was hospitalized because of a depressive breakdown and review of medication. This past year however was the turning point for me. I lived many life changing experiences all at once. With another phase of inability to cope with life…I tried to commit suicide twice, carved on the side of my wrists and was hospitalized three times.

Change did not happen quickly but gradually. I had no support system in place. I was in shock of what I had done, disgraced with who I realized I had become and what I had repressed all these years. As I fought off, my “bpd monster”, I painted abstractly my feelings: anger, sorrow, love and hate. I was living with mental agony, deep sadness and the fear of panic resurfacing. I still felt alone and misunderstood.

When I experienced my spiralling suicidal attempts they were not just a cry for help. I had a deep longing to die, to end all my inner pain: a deep emptiness. I had no reason to keep going. However, I was blessed with the unsuccessful attempts and a second chance at life.


Photo by Chantal C.Finally…the right therapy and a support network

In the past four years, I have seen five counsellors and started a variety of therapies for mood, anxiety, self-esteem, anger management and dialectic behaviour. Having a problem in making commitments, I was successful at completing only one of them.

There is no medication for BPD. This mental disorder comes from a negative belief system that lives in my core, its outcome: lacking the ability to control thoughts, feelings and behaviours. I am presently working on CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) specifically for Borderline Personality Disorder. One thing I have realized is the importance to seriously commit to my new therapy. I am thankful that I now have the support of a clinician and am still seeing my doctor regularly. It is finally the time to seriously work on breaking the bad cycles from the past, trying to forgive myself, and reminding myself everyday, to not give up.

The CBT has helped me. I have since experienced some emotional acceptance, less anxiety and a glimpse of a better sense of self-worth. I have been living, to a certain degree, some freedom.

I am also a member of a local Consumer Survivor Initiative. This support network is welcoming, caring and helps me in my mental wellness. I have made new healthy friendships and am supportive to my peers.  I no longer have this need to be in a relationship in order to fill the void that was once in me.


Abstract by Chantal C.

A deep knowing…I can overcome BPD

I can overcome my Borderline Personality Disorder some day.

During my life I was often on and off my Christian path. I am not my old self anymore because I desire a new beginning…hoping and trusting. I am thankful that I had the guidance of a wonderful pastor.

I know I still have a long way to go but I realize that part of the healing process is to give back to those who suffer with similar pain and to share my hope in order to encourage others to find theirs.

I still live with many challenges of BPD and still have to confront often the despair. Even though I have just touched the surface of therapy, I do have a new outlook on life and the long journey ahead of me. Changing the way I have lived my life is not going to be easy, but it’s time, time to find my true self.



The Inner Child of a Borderline

I am seven years old
I stare out my bedroom window
On the eighth floor of this dreadful apartment
The city lights illuminate
I dream and long for a better life
Not one of isolation and aloneness
But one where I can exist
Where I am loved and accepted

I fear the pain of rejection
I cry often and run to my room
This is where I am safe
Here I can feel
Not out there in the throws of an adult world
I can’t show emotions
My father doesn’t say, “I love you”
And others, they ridicule me
Seven years of isolation
Looking out a bedroom window
What is beyond?

A rebellious teen
Promiscuity and drugs
Desperately aching for love
The cycle began
Spiralling in self-hatred
Can’t take this life no longer
I want to go but I can’t
My soul mate just might be around the corner

Life goes on
Twenties, thirties
Constantly searching
My emotions are out of control
I keep making the same mistakes
I can’t change
Where is this love?
Does it really exist?
If it doesn’t, how can I?

Then…I give up
This life within will never change
I am so lost and empty
I want to go
I try
But I fail

I was left with one thing
There has to be something more
As I cried out, I found a second chance
To believe in myself and to not give up
That I can commit to recovery
That finally, I understand my hope

I am not in my room anymore
I am stronger
I say to my inner child, “I love you”
“I love you too”, she replies
We look at each other and smile
And hold each other tightly

And everyday now, I say to her, “Forgive me”


Artwork, Photo and Poem Credit: Chantal C.

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  • Earla Dunbar

    You give others hope – so glad you have found your way.

    • Chantal

      I do wish for others to find hope on their recovery journey. I am happy and grateful that I have found my way. Even though I still face many challenges and setbacks, knowing deep down what direction to take that will sustain me is what helps me to keep going. This is not only from a clinical perspective but also a spiritual one. Thanks Earla for sharing your kindness and support.

      • Sharr

        Dear Chantel…your story is my story..cant believe another woman is living my life and expeienced my pain…..I keep asking why why why….what have i done wrong to deserve such a punishment in life…some days i cant see any lights nd i go in to deep dark moments without hope…cant tell you how many times i ran to my psychologist and asked for help…begging to help me…I wish there was some answer to all our im happy to hear you found hope but i havnt found any yet!!!

        • Liz

          I was thinking the same thing. I’m at some weird crossroads in life. I want to fight this thing so badly. I’ve lost two friends to suicide this year alone. Two of those friends I up and abandoned from this stupid disorder. I feel like a shell of myself and keep telling myself I wish I had the luxury. I want to go but I could never leave my child and husband (the man who I wish I treated better from this because he deserves better). I’ve isolated everyone I love and I’m so alone. My parents treated me so horribly and made fun of my every move growing up. They never encouraged us and mom said she didn’t love anyone when I would try. I never got to play with other kids and I thought my parents fighting/ being physically and verbally abusive was normal. I use to go to one girls home (who was a Saint and I wish I’d treated her better and our other pals) and feel uncomfortable as her parents weren’t fighting. I’d wonder when it was going to happen. My dad moved me in with my step mom and kicked me out a week later at 16. That was about 9 years ago and it still feels like a fresh wound. If you have any advice on self help I’d love to hear it. I’m sorry you all have gone through this hell, too.

    • Anonymous

      Wow… Her experience (especially with her family growing up and then rebellious phase) reminds me SO much of mine! I just turned 24 and was finally properly diagnosed with BPD. I am seeking help, but it really is so difficult. I feel like I’m fighting a demon nearly everyday…

  • Cathleen Spacil

    Chantal, your story is amazing! We have a lot in common! I was a superhero a few months back… I LOVE your artwork and your photography! Hugs to you!

  • Rachel Miller

    Chantal, the last verse of your poem really resonates with me. I am currently at a place where I am trying to forgive myself and love myself. I’ve been doing some inner child work and I think it can be really powerful.

    We’re never prepared for a life of unstable emotions, rages, suicidal feelings and dysfunctional relationships. We just have to muddle through. But it is so good to know there are others out there, like you, to share our experiences. Makes the journey a bit less lonely.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Chantal

    Hi Cathleen, thank you for your supportive comment. I am happy to hear you have enjoyed reading my story. Being a Superhero on MHT is pretty amazing! I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity and the guts…lol…to finally start sharing some of my past and present situations concerning mental illness. I do look forward in writing more on my blog about how I am presently overcoming BPD symptoms through my faith, artwork and of course therapy 🙂
    All of this is quite new to me. I am excited and nervous! However, now that I have started…I am not going to give up. Thank you for enjoying the art and photography.
    I have looked at your website “Brain Be Happy”. So positive! Amazing what you are doing for others! I will definitely be in touch 🙂

  • Chantal

    Rachel, I am touched that the last verse of my poem resonates with you. It has been very difficult for me to forgive myself through all these years and to this very day. I am comforted that I have found my way of loving my inner child so much. She is the part of me, within, that I love unconditionally, like my daughters. There are times during a day, moments where I can not even grasp the meaning of forgiving myself, even though I know very well how to forgive others, and do know I am forgiven through my Faith. The extremes in thoughts and emotions that I experience with BPD hit so hard sometimes, nothing seems clear to me, just the inner turmoil. But then I remember, I meditate and smile at her, hold her dearly (and by this time, I have a huge smile on my face), and ask her to please forgive me. She always smiles and looks at me and says yes and keeps holding me. It is interesting how a person visions their own connection with part of their inner-self. She helps me…it is a slow process in loving myself, but it is happening.
    I connect so very well with most of what you commented above…unstable thoughts, emotions, behaviour, anger, suicidal idealizations and dysfunctional relationships. I do seem to get myself through it, but only do so with support from those dear to me in my life. We can’t do it by ourselves. I am so happy and feel “not so alone” right now, because yes you are right…sharing our experiences does make the journey a bit less lonely. Thank you so much for sharing yours: I have subscribed by email to your blog and am sure to be inspired. Thank you for your kindness.

  • Walter H.

    Great work Chantal. Stay hopeful and don’t give up. Take care.

    • Christian

      I’m glad I found your blog. My X suffers svereely from BPD, bipolar disorder and her global assesment of functioning is a 30, which I believe was inflated so they could boot her out of the hospital. She refuses to get help, believing that the whole rest of the world is crazy. I think that you may provide me with some insight from the borderline’s perspective. Thanks so much for sharing and I wish you the best of luck!

      • Chantal

        Hi Christian,
        Sorry I have not responded to your comment sooner. I am happy to know that my post/blog has provided you with some insight. BPD is a very messy emotional disorder and many suffer its consequences. Not only does the individual struggle, but also their families and friends. I am fortunate to be on medication, to have therapy and to be in recovery. Continue to educate yourself about BPD as it will help you to gain more understanding as to why things happen the way they do, but will also help you to be of support and comfort to her. Blessings to you and your X. Take care.

  • Chantal

    Hey Walter, Thank you for reading the post and encouragement…means a lot!

  • Chantal

    Hi Trish, Thank you for the opportunity you have given me to voice my experience. You have been supportive and kind and am grateful. You and Mental Health Talk are amazing!

    • Trish

      I am touched you would leave a comment with such kind words Chantal. It was truly an honour to work with you and to participate in a small way in your healing journey. I will be in touch this week to do the follow up I do with some of my guests–I thought you would appreciate the closure. Much love to you, Trish

  • Nicola

    Hello. I just want to let you know your story is similiar to mine. I am in a constant state of hoplessness and helplessness. However, after stumbling across your story it gives me some hope. So thank you for putting your story out there. Nikki

    • Chantal

      Hi Nikki,
      Thank you for sharing. It touches me deeply that my story has given you some hope. It’s good to get feedback from others who live in similar ways and so important that we encourage one another. In our “hopelessness and helplessness” that so many of us go through, we can try to remember that during the turmoil of it all, we are not alone. There is support out there. On your journey, you will find your hope. It will be new and special to you. Keep searching and never give up.
      Your comment is of great timing. I needed to be reminded of a few things…that my strength within me may lay low for a while, but no matter what life throws at me and how confusing it can be, I must continue to overcome my sorrows and pursue my journey of healing. You have given me some hope too. What a great chain reaction hope can be! Again, thank you and all the best.

  • Ellen

    chantal – how old are you? and how long have you been conscious of the fact that you have a disorder and how long have you been getting help?

    • Chantal

      Hi Ellen,
      I am forty four. I was officially diagnosed with traits of Borderline Personality Disorder and possible Bipolar 2, in the Fall of 2011 (in a psychiatric facility). However, six months ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 as well, by another psychiatrist in a health clinic I attend. In this clinic I also see a therapist every 2 weeks and have been for a year now. I have not missed an appointment which I view as a success for me because in my past I could never commit to any therapy or counseling. With this therapist I work on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy specifically for BPD. I have not worked for five years now. At the beginning of those years, I use to see my medical doctor every few weeks but now, since I have other professional support (therapist and psychiatrist) I see him every second month or so. Five years ago I had a major depressive breakdown and have been in recovery since.
      I have been conscious that I have mental illness since my early twenties. I have been on medication since. Back then, my illness was not specifically diagnosed as Borderline Personality Disorder or Bipolar Disorder but more so as Clinical Depression. I was put on a happy pill and life was not so bad for awhile, till the symptoms of BPD continuously progressed.
      During this past year and a half, while doing my therapy I have gained much understanding into the illness of BPD and suffer 5 out of the 9 symptoms. However, according to the psychiatrist, it would make sense that I have Bipolar 1 and because this is such a broad illness, the BPD falls into it. Medically I am being treated for Bipolar 1, therapeutically I am being treated for BPD, which I am positive I do suffer from. Sadly.
      Hope this information helps. Take care

  • Hannah West

    I am thankful for blogs like this! I have been dealing with depression on and off since I was 16. I started looking into BPD when I heard about it because the symptoms of being alone and abandonment are VERY strong with me. As long as I stay busy with school and friends I can handle my feelings pretty well, but as soon as I get a day off and I am alone at my apartment I start to freak out. I try not to talk about my problems because I feel like no one understands and that maybe if I ignore them enough they will go away. I am really scared sometimes its almost like I am living with a demon; I do not know what to do with my endless aching and pain.

    • Chantal

      Hi Hannah,
      Mental Health Talk is an awesome website that gave me the opportunity to write this post. I am glad that you are appreciative. I am too.
      My depression, as you read in the post, started during my teen years as well, therefore I can empathize with your pain. I also understand the symptom of fear or sense of abandonment from BPD. It’s very difficult to live through, that deep emptiness and does seem to often be worse when we are alone.
      In my opinion though, it’s important to open up and talk about these symptoms you are having. Hopefully you can find a good support network and share this pain you are going through. For me, this helped. Maybe people won’t fully understand exactly what you are experiencing concerning your specific inner struggles of BPD, but at least they can try to listen. The important thing is to share with someone you can trust and is willing to simply be there for you…so you won’t feel alone and can find a bit of comfort for your pain. There are good peer supporters and therapies out there. If you are searching for help, don’t give up. Keep searching till you find the right person, friend, counselor, support network in your area. I do understand your endless aching pain as I still experience it myself to this day. My heart goes out to you. Please find help and don’t give up. If you want to read more of my posts, check out my blog: “My Mental Illness and Christian Faith”…it’s harmless and who knows, it might be of some kind of support for you. Take care.

    • Frankie

      Hannah, I feel exactly the same… I am so scared of being alone yet I am so scared of being with people.. I too feel like I am living with a demon,, That demon is half of me.. I know I am a good person but I cannot get away from that aching pain, Its like either there is a constant weight on my soul or I am on cloud 9. I long to feel normal and not have to deal with 17 different emotions each day sometimes I deal with 5 within an hour..

      • Chantal

        Hi Frankie,

        Perhaps you could read my post on “Spiritual Emptiness” from my blog “My Mental Illness and Christian Faith.” This might be helpful to you.

        Take care

  • Tobi

    My children recently diagnosed me with BPD (about 2 years ago) and I spent the past 2 years arguing with them about it. I finally am resigned to agree with them, and am now looking for literature to help me fix it. I do not have health insurance, so seeing a counselor is not an option, but neither is suicide. I appreciate your website, as it helps me to see that you can be a normal person and still have BPD. Now that I at least know what the problem is, I am on a quest to find self-help answers to it.

  • Chantal

    Hi Tobi,
    I thank you for appreciating my post “Finding myself… overcoming borderline personality disorder” on Mental Health Talk’s website.
    Accepting that you have BPD is the first step. This is good and very important. It is also part of the long process to insight, understanding and healing. I personally believe recovery is possible with time. Commitment is very important too.
    I am glad to hear you are on a quest to find help. I have done some research on the internet but I must say, not all links give you proper information, and some can bring on triggers. I immediately stop reading or viewing research if I feel any triggers coming on. Sights from hospitals and organizations for mental health are usually good ones. Some suggestions…Have you tried the NIMH website? Also, a book that I have read that has personally helped me is “get me out of here” by Rachel Reiland, and “The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Workbook for Personality Disorders”, by Jeffrey C. Wood is the therapy I am doing with my clinician.
    Please know that I am not a professional of any kind and that these references are a few that have personally helped me along my journey in recovery.
    Along your quest for knowledge, I hope that you find the support that you need and are looking for.
    I wish all the best to you Tobi. Sounds like you are on a new journey to healing. Good for you. Don’t give up. Many blessings.

  • Jake

    Go, fight for it. God will never give us problems that we can’t bear. You are talented, a true son of art. Miracles will come to people, who despite their problems, are still there, reaching people and continue touching others’ lives. I am happy that you are strong battling this disease. Don’t give up. Life is beautiful.

  • Chantal

    Hi Jake,
    You are right, we must fight the good fight and God does not give us trials we can not handle. Although the struggles are often unbearable, we somehow pull through them with the Lord’s blessings. I am so grateful to Him that He has given me the ability to share my recovery journey with others. Thank you for the encouragement, and yes, life is beautiful.

  • 1990

    I really see no point in living if I have this mental illness. It has affected every area of my life, I can’t hold a job and I cant stay in college I can barly maintain a relationship with someone. I have no money to get treatment for bpd and the free help that’s there is scarce. I m on a waiting list waiting 1-2 years just to get free help that is out there. I’m a christian too I had to give up my relationship with God because I was becoming psychotic full of fear of condemnations. My mom, the only person who fully knows about my bpd doesn’t even believe I have it. I honestly feel like God doesn’t care, why would he allow me to go through this much pain with no relief in sight? I can’t even have a decent relationship with him let alone anyone because of this. I have no hope. this is all nice and all but you have many counselors and support and yet you still struggle with bpd. If this is the only thing I have to look forward to then I see no point in living.

    • Melissa

      1990 Hello, I have BPD too and can relate to what you saying. Hope you are ok, I know it is hard but when I want to die, sombody tells me that that is the easy way out. We have to be strong for our selves and family,kids to get well.

    • Chantal

      Hi 1990,
      I thought I would write another comment for you. Like Melissa, who also commented, I do hope your ok. It would be nice to hear from you but I understand that is up to you. Remember…don’t give up and God loves you. Write to me if you wish

  • Chantal

    I am glad to hear from you 1990 and that you are reaching out for guidance and comfort. I know life seems devastating right now and it feels like there is no hope in sight. But there is. Sounds like you are living with many symptoms of BPD. I really would like to help more. Please email me at Or visit my blog My Mental Illness & Christian Faith there is some good posts on there about BPD and how our faith does sustain us through our darkest moments and times in our lives. I am a Christian too and I know how challenging it is to have a relationship with our loving God. He does not want you to condemn yourself and even though you may not sense Him He is there right beside you. You have to trust this.
    Living with this mental illness is destructive but we have to believe that there are better days. I have lost many jobs and have had broken relationships too. I tell you one thing, the only one that has saved me through out all these years is our Lord. Yes I am in therapy and am taking medication but I still have off days too and you know what gets me through them is my faith. You have to stray strong, however much, in your faith.
    Not wanting to live is a symptom of mental illness but it can be healed. I am going to be blunt here and tell you that you must find the will to live. There is no other option but to keep moving forward in life. I know this is hard to hear when we are unwell but it is the truth. I want you to not give up.
    Again I want to say, I am glad that you are reaching out for help. Talking about it with someone who has been there is a good thing. I do understand the pain you are going through, I have wanted many times to stop living; however I keep going even though it is extremely painful. How? One day at a time, even one moment at a time. Please do not give up and email me. I am here for you. Perhaps we can help each other. God puts good people on our paths for a reason. Don’t give up.

  • Stephanie-anneb

    Hey came across this post by accident iv also got bpd and i suspect major depression as well its nice to knw there are others like me who feel like i feel but when im deep in my depression i dnt feel like anyone knws or understands i am on waiting list for cbt but a long wait so going to other things ie stress management and not sure what else finally after years of just putting up with it( im 30 now) i decided enough was enough i have 6 children lost 4 (in care now) but have my son 7 and my daughter 2 that lives with me i fought for my son in spite of social services trying to put him in care when he was 3 days old went through assessments for 2 years til he was finally all mine. i need to get myself ok for my son he has adhd odd and some learning difficulties and at times in the day i feel hopeless and despair and it dnt help with my son as he has to be looked after 24 7 then add my 2 year old daughter going through the terrible twos it gets so overwhelming iv managed over the years to control alot of the traits of bpd i dnt gamble much anymore have to limit myself if i do go to bingo on the machines just not to be tempted, iv been clean of all drugs for nearly 9 years only thing i do is smoke a few joints of weed at night when kids are asleep its my way of coping, stopped the relationships was damaging my son and i think cos i have to look after him 24/7 he wears me out so much i dnt even have a libdo am with a great guy been together 4 months but knwn each other 8 years but find i cant handle it even tho i want to be with him i find it hard around my kids im not a very cuddling person (cos of my past ) sorry there is so much just thought id say a little piece i really need the support that i cant get from anyone cos noone seems to understand so thought id try people who has what i have who faces the similar thoughts struggles fears etc sometime i think im going mad and not normal all i want is to be happy and enjoy my life as i have everything i cld want 2 kids who have thier faults but r perfect to me a really good and helpful boyfriend who is very understanding and never pushes me always patient and calm with me and i can be testing at times a really good supporting family, my daughters dad ( we split when she was 10 weeks old) is really good and have her twice a week, i dnt have many friends i struggle with relationships of any kind but do have one best friend of 3 years and she is awesome no money worries in a small flat with a hyper kid and i worry about everything it drives me mad i just want to feel happy and not the way i do so sorry its long

  • Chantal

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am glad you came across this post and yes, it is always comforting to know we are not alone and that others share and understand our pain of BPD and depression.
    It is good that you are seeking help, such as the CBT and stress management. I have been in CBT for a year and a half now. It is a type of therapy that takes a lot of commitment but is very much worth it.
    From what you write, it sounds like you are at a point in your life where you realize how important it is to seek help. This is a good thing. You are dealing with a lot with your family and seeking help for yourself will benefit them as well.
    It can be overwhelming to be a mother and with BPD this is an added challenge. It is good that you have managed over the years to control your symptoms.
    It is hard to not succumb to certain things in our lives that are not necessarily healthy for us, such as gambling, drugs and certain relationships. It is however, great when we can overcome them and change our lifestyle such as you have. Congrats that you have been clean for nine years now.
    BPD is difficult to live with and yes it does make us feel so unhappy and brings much brokenness in our lives. I do understand your pain. The symptoms of BPD, the illness itself is devastating but we have to believe in better days amidst the bad ones. It is hard to find stability in our lives but I personally believe with therapy, medication and spirituality one can eventually become more stable and find joy.
    You have great things going for you such as upcoming therapy, wonderful children, a good boyfriend, family and a best friend. This is wonderful! You seam like a very strong woman and I commend you for that. Your strength gives other people hope.
    Thank you so much for commenting and for sharing a part of your life. Be strong during the difficult times, have hope and never give up. Remember that happiness is in the moments. Many blessings to you.

  • Melissa

    Hi, I have BPD…Am wanting to better my life . Great to hear that others who have BPD have faith,hope and love. I need that too. I am 39 and diagnosed with this mental illness last year. I am just learning to understand it all. My life has been a up/down up/down, all the traits of BPD. Now that I am getting the right help..I am trying to change or cope better. I also paint. Love your art work.

  • Chantal

    Hi Melissa,
    It is wonderful that you are at a point in your life where you want to better yourself. Recovery is such an important part of moving forward and this does take faith, hope and love. It is always nice to know we are not alone in what we go through and need. Overcoming our traits of BPD is not easy but possible. It is good that you are starting to understand this. Once I had gained more insight into the illness it helped me to finally start healing. I am glad you are receiving help and are trying to cope, it is the fist step. Being creative is a great way to express ourselves and that also helps in our recovery process. It is wonderful that you paint too. Thank you for the complement on my art work and thank you for commenting and sharing. Many Blessings.

  • Melissa

    Hi Chantal,
    Thank you so much for your words.Helps to keep me in hope and faith..”Overcoming our traits of BPD is not easy but possible” I love that.. I also been reading the BPD for dummies book and other self help books..still yet to read many more and understand and learn new healthy skills. Unfortunately today my relationship with a man I love is ending because of BPD. I cut myself last week 2x and again yesterday, I hadnt done that for months and was happy that I hadnt until last week. A trait I have done since a young child, but back then never knew it was BPD. Today I am not crying over this as that does not help, Im doing things to help distract my mind from entering the black hole. Im trying to find a new home for me and my daughter to start over. Thank you.
    Keep up the good work Chantal.

  • Chantal

    Hi Melissa,
    So glad to hear from you again and am happy to know that my words comforted you. It’s great that you have been educating yourself by reading about BPD. I must say it saddens me to hear that you have been cutting yourself lately. I do hope you will find the will to not cut and endure the difficult times. I know it is hard to achieve this but we must try. When I am having thoughts of harming myself I try to ride out the emotional pain and after a while the anxiety and ideations go away. Remember hope and faith in times of distress. It is good that you are keeping your mind distracted and hopefully this will help you not to act upon your symptoms. I am sorry to hear your relationship is ending and I wish you all the best for you and your daughter. I thank you for your encouragement also. Many blessings and stay strong.

  • Austin

    I almost felt like I was reading my own BPD success story when I read this, because it sounded so much like me. But unfortunately, I have yet to overcome this terrible disorder that people like me are cursed with. This has given me some hope, and I hope to at least reach the step that you got to. Thank you and good luck

  • Chantal

    Hi Austin, thank you for writing. I can imagine that quite a few people with BPD can relate to my story in one form or another. For some they may be more advance in their healing process than others. That is something I do believe can happen for everyone…recovery. I am glad you have found some hope in reading my post and I sincerely believe with commitment you can reach the steps you need along your personal recovery journey. Don’t give up. Take care and many blessings.

  • just fuck me

    Im a 23 year old mothafucka…. dont know where the fuck am i going in life….. after reviewing the signs and symptoms of BPD, i think it is safe to say i display BPD tendencies, as much as i hate to admit it.

    Many times, i find myself not knowing what to do with myself. There are times as well, that i am overcome with feelings that i myself cannot explain nor can I reason…. Its like I become so caught up with a wave of emotions that i can hardly rationalize. Sometimes i think that i am slave to my emotions so much so that i lose a sense of control.

    I dont want this to continue as i dont want this fucked up void to persist in the future. you seem really experienced in this, what would you say to a hopeless, lost, young and naive fucknut like myself?

    • Chantal

      I have to tell you that I am no expert and am not a professional of any kind but I can share with you some of my experiences (such as I did in the post) and perhaps give you some insight and support.

      BPD is an emotional disorder that causes our emotions to be unbalanced. We get angry and enraged, we have thoughts that change rapidly, one moment we are fine, the next we have had a trigger and we are filled with a sense of overwhelming emotions. Our cognition does not work like it should which makes us think more irrational and unreasonable at times. We get sad, lonely and bored. We get depressed from a few hours to a few days. We feel a deep sense of unworthiness and emptiness (void within our very being). We fear abandonment and rejection. We have problems with relationships and substance abuse. We are impulsive. We have moods that constantly shift. We harm ourselves. We sometimes experience dissociation and paranoia ect. So…yes we do lose control.

      Five years ago after one of my major depressive breakdowns I started to research about various mental illnesses and I came across BPD. As I studied it, I could not believe that I had many of the symptoms of the disorder. Although I was not diagnosed at that time, deep down I knew (just like you).

      I have since been diagnosed with BPD (2 years now). It was sort of a relief for me to know what I had as it allowed me to move forward and try to get the proper help that I needed. Still, one does not need to be diagnosed to find treatment. Finding someone to talk to is the first step. I am sure you know that talking to a counselor can help. Sometimes we find it helpful to talk to a friend, peer, teacher, therapist (if you can get one) and even a pastor. I know it is hard to find someone to trust but we have to start somewhere. It took me five years to find the proper counselor and therapy (not that I want to discourage you). My point is that we have to keep on searching for the right people to help us and if it does not work with someone (give it some time though), then we have to keep looking and not give up searching for the help we deserve. Once we do find help, it is important we seriously commit.

      Like I wrote in the post I work on CBT as therapy. The workbook is titled “The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Workbook for Personality Disorders” by Jeffrey C. Wood if that interests you.

      You know I am going to tell you to not give up and that there is hope but I sense you are searching for more. For me it is my faith in God, therapy and medication that pull me through. I am far from being cured but still believe that I will recover some day from this mess of an illness BPD.

      I don’t have all the answers but I do know that if being in recovery from BPD is possible for me then it is for others. We each have to find what will give us hope.

      There are also good support networks out there…places you can go to and be with other individuals with mental and emotional disorders (Consumer Survivor Initiatives). Sometimes just being around peers helps us along our recovery journey.

      You need desire, to want to heal, you need to commit to whatever therapy you can find and you need to work hard. Somewhere along the way you will start believing in yourself a little at a time. Don’t give up on yourself and don’t give up searching for the right help. You are young and can be strong. You have your whole life ahead of you and this is the time to start your own personal journey to recovery. I am forty four and I wish I could go back, but I can’t. We keep moving forward.

      No matter what your emotions say to you, always remember that YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON AND ARE WORTHY OF GOOD THINGS.

      Glad you commented. Hope this helps. Take care and God Bless.

  • CC

    Chantal, we share the same initials and you wrote this on my birthday. My life story is just about identical to yours. I had 12 siblings, who often used me as entertainment and would stare and tease me till I cried and then they would laugh. Not that it was their fault, our parents were non existent in our lives. I was never once told I was loved as a little girl. Was never tucked into bed. Never got a “atta girl” for bringing home straight A’s. And yes, just as you say in your article, the emotional pain I feel has only gotten worse over the years. I have read every pscychology book related to my childhood trauma, and I have tried many kinds of therapy as well, including EMDR. My therapist is amazed at the depth of understanding I have as it relates to my own abuse and how it has and continues to negatively impact my life. However, even with the insight I have, it seems I am just more and more isolated and feeling no desire for much human interaction. I have one grown daughter and 2 darling grandons I see about once a week. I too love to do crafts of all kinds. Lately I’ve been crocheting. I abuse drugs and have most of my adult life because it’s the only thing I have. I feel very misunderstood and have often wondered why when people have a physical illness everyone gives them sympathy, and wants to take care of them, but when someone has a severe emotional or mental illness, which is causes them profound suffering, everyone shuns them or calls them nuts, losers, drug addicts….which just makes the BPD worse and the pain deeper and hurt even more. The reason I found your article today was because I was doing a Google search trying to find out why when I have a deep understanding into my traumas, how they affected my life and actually an above average understanding of early childhood and brain development, why is it I still can’t heal and really to be honest, I’m getting worse. About a year ago I moved into an apartment ALONE. I had never lived alone before in my life (I’m 53), but I could no longer cope with people, whether it was my ex psychopathic husband or my multiple family members, who don’t know the meaning of love and have abused me my whole life. If I did not use drugs, I swear I would be locked in a padded room. I CANNOT COPE WITHOUT THE DRUGS. I have tried, and tried and tried, and it’s like I don’t even have the desire to interact with humans anymore (except for my daughter and grandson’s as I mentioned above). I try and stay connected to my faith in the holy spirit, I’ve been in and out of therapy for years. And quite frankly, when I read about the damage being ignored and abused as a child causes to one’s brain, I really question if I am able to heal. Living alone ….I love it! I can do whatever I want without considering anyone else, so I have chosen to use drugs and do art work. The depths of sorrow I would feel if I had to face the lonely wasteland my life has become…I just cannot accept how abandoned, lost and unloved I have always been. I have a “plan” to try and start a health regiment this spring and try and loose some weight. Maybe that will jump start some spark back into my soul…..but all I can do right now is one day at a time…..and sometimes I don’t even handle that very well. I recently read that BPD is the among the worst of mental illnesses, and most definitely the most painful, and very often they are the most rejected by society. Thanks society, I really appreciate that!

    • Chantal

      Hi CC,
      Please accept my apology for not replying sooner. I just replied to a recent comment and saw your comment that I had not read. I am so sorry about this. Every person and what they have to share means so much to me.
      It is interesting how the post was published on your birthday, that we have the same initials and have similar stories. We seem to have a lot in common when it comes to how our siblings treated us, the lack of love we had growing up in our family environment, the childhood trauma, the emotional suffering throughout our lives, artwork and our faith in God…
      Gaining insight into our illness, symptoms or trauma is so important to our recovery journey. It is great how you have educated yourself by reading and researching psychology, and how you advocate for yourself with your therapist.
      I do understand how, even though we may have some insight concerning our abuse and suffering, we can still be feeling ill and symptomatic, such as living in isolation. I wrote this post in July 2012 and have to say, I am still recovering from BPD. I often am still symptomatic and do isolate myself as well, depression and anxiety taking over.
      It is wonderful that you have a daughter and two grandsons that bring joy and love into your life. This is a blessing.
      I empathize with your inner emotional pain. Individuals with mental illness are often misunderstood because people do not try to understand and educate themselves on the illnesses, symptoms and how they could be supportive, instead of discouraging or triggering us. Stigma is still a huge problem. We suffer dearly because of the rejection, judging, lack of compassion, and, this can make the BPD worse. I experience the stigma as well. We all do, sadly.
      You say you are getting worse even though you have much knowledge on early childhood trauma and brain development. I think perhaps we “get worse” because life’s struggles are heavier and take over our knowledge—too much weighs us down. Symptoms of BPD are never experienced lightly. Sometimes the anger, the extremities in emotions, the fear of rejection, the worthlessness, the deep sense of emptiness, the ideations and attempts are simply too much and they override the intellect and the cognitive.
      Seems like you have done everything possible to stop using drugs, even therapy. Right know it is your means to cope with your emotional pain. I think it is wonderful that you have faith and believe in the Holy Spirit. This is powerful and a gift from God. Continue to pray for healing.
      I also have read that BPD is one of the most difficult mental illnesses to live with. That is why we cannot give up on therapy and recovery. We cannot lose hope. Continue to take it one day at a time. I still do.
      Thank you so much for writing and sharing. I wish you all the best and many blessings.

  • AN

    Hi! I’m AN, and I’m a teen. I’m struggling to a personality disorder I don’t know how to name. I’ve searched through the internet about how to cope up and then I found yours. I don’t know what to say. But I know you gave me courage. Hope. That I can still be well. It’s not helping me these college days. And my mom agreed for me to see a therapist. I hope it’ll be a new start for me. Thanks for this!

    • Chantal

      Hi AN,
      I am happy that you found my post and that it has given you courage and hope amidst your struggles with a personality disorder. It has been my goal to provide insight and hope to others who suffer.
      Therapy is so important and it is great that you will be seeing a therapist. This is a crucial step on your journey to recovery. Although therapy can be difficult at times, the important thing is to commit. You seem optimistic and this is wonderful! Continue to hold on to this hope. It will guide you to a new beginning. I wish you all the best in college. Glad you commented. Take care and many blessings.

  • Christine

    Hi Chantal,

    Thanks for the post. Perhaps my story will help or give hope to others who may come upon it…

    I became depressed in my childhood, and was started on antidepressants by the time I was 12. They never really worked. I was hospitalized for depression and suicidal ideation at 20, when they told me I had bipolar disorder… and the onslaught of “mood stabilizers” began. Nothing helped much or for long. At 26, I was hospitalized again for severe depression, and at that time, I was informed that my problem was actually borderline personality disorder… and that they (the hospital psychiatrists) couldn’t help me. I was devastated and felt completely betrayed. Of course, I rejected the diagnosis vehemently (because I was sure I didn’t fit the profile), so I lasted only one session at the DBT group after discharge. I hated it, and I was sure the therapist hated me. Antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and CBT continued to be woefully inadequate at controlling my anxiety and pain. I had issues.

    Last year (at age 29), my psychiatrist who had known me for 10 years suggested I begin individual counseling again, and recommended I see someone with trauma experience… and without my really realizing it, he sent me to someone who also does a lot of DBT. Although the therapist never used the term “DBT” or “borderline,” It didn’t take me long to figure out that this guy liked DBT and thought it might help me. I was a little offended, but decided to be a good sport and give it a chance.

    I can’t describe exactly what he said or did that changed me (or, rather, what got me to change myself), but by the time I stopped seeing him in May (2014), I was a new woman. Since then, I have been essentially free of the constant anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and helplessness that plagued me for so long. Although I am a bit embarrassed at how desperate and “needy” I may have been for most of my life, I now have a fresh outlook on the future, knowing that I don’t have to be who I thought I was: the self-declared victim. What happened happened, but the future is completely up to me.

    Now, with the supervision of my psychiatrist, I am tapering down or off my bipolar meds. I’m not sure that I was ever actually bipolar; I believe it may have been more BPD all along. Whatever the case, it feels so good to finally be free. For the first time, I feel like I am in charge of my destiny, and more importantly, I am in charge of my own happiness. I’m not searching any more for someone to swoop in and save me from my pain – I realized that the only person who could save me was ME… and finally, I did it.

    Old habits and ways of thinking may die hard, and some days it’s still a conscious decision, but as time goes on, it gets easier, and it gets better. For any now suffering, there is hope. Have faith in yourself and your ability to change. Do it because you’re worth it (and you are!). Be open-minded to the idea that you have more control in your life than you may think, and instead of being intimidated, realize how empowering that can be. Most of all, seek help. Don’t be frustrated if your therapist says things that irritate you. Be patient. If your therapist only makes you feel good, then s/he most likely isn’t actually helping you, and it’s time to find someone else.

    And please, never EVER give up.

  • Chantal

    Hi Christine,

    Thank you for commenting and sharing your success story. Very empowering!

  • Emma

    I want to thank you for this story. I was diagnosed with depression at 14, when i was first hospitalized for a suicide attempt. After that they said it was bi polar disorder when I was about 15 or 16. They said I showed signs of BPD but they couldn’t diagnose me until I was older. Now I have just been diagnosed with BPD after yet another suicide attempt and now that I’m diagnosed with it its as if my world has changed. I’ve been reading about BPD and its all bad, it makes BPD seem like a death sentence, so it really helps to read your story and see that there are people living with BPD.

    • Chantal

      Hi Emma,

      I am glad you have found my story helpful. It is so important that people with BPD share their stories and lived experience. This way we do not feel so alone dealing with our symptoms and anguish. Yes, BPD is a devastating mental illness and shocks many people when they find out they are diagnosed with it. It is a complicated disorder and so often misunderstood by many, including ourselves. However we can gain insight into the illness through therapy (CBT or DBT) and/or proper personal research. Understanding the symptoms and how they affect us is crucial to healing. I know that this is difficult to do as it takes time, many years for some. Nevertheless, we must hold on to hope and believe in recovery. Thanks so much for commenting. Many blessings.

  • gm-fr

    There are going to be all kinds of mistakes in what I write, I’m not a native English speaker (French).

    Thanks for writing this. It does not make me feel good but it keeps me busy. I have BPD (I think). I present all the characteristics of this mental disease, without any exceptions (since I’m 18, now I’m 25). I’ve been living with my girlfriend (French too) in China for almost a year and I really am struggling with this everyday.

    I feel like I’m hurting her by always feeling sad. I can see she loves me but I really have trouble making her happy. I won’t see people, won’t want to go out or anything. When I am with her, I’m sad. This sucks so much but I’m doing better on my own. I’m trapped.

    I must be a pain in the ass to live with to be honest. Many times I thought of leaving her, like I pretty much always did with others, but I also feel that I should try staying with her.

    She says that she loves me and that she’ll never leave but I’m sure she’s suffering. I’m sure she would like something different. Something more interesting, travelling, meeting friends.

    Things that I can offer her only by leaving her.

    I could keep on talking but it’s getting boring. I even bored myself. I hope you understand what I’m saying, I know my English is crap. Also, it’s the first time I’m commenting on a blog. I expect an answer to be honest, but you don’t HAVE to. I just noticed all the things you said to others and I selfishly thought I could have something too, even though it isn’t going to change anything.

    Good luck with everything

    • Chantal

      Hi/Bonjour, gm-fr

      Thank you for writing to me and sharing what is happening in your life. Je parle français aussi, mais ne l’écrit pas si bien. Alors, je vais continuer a écrire en anglais.

      Relationships are challenging for those who have BPD. This is essentially the nature of the illness. We feel so much due to our overwhelming and extreme emotions, and are hurt so profoundly due to our fragility and symptoms. Because we struggle so much with our own inner selves and emotional uproars, it is difficult for us to have stable relationships. However, do not give up on love and yourself. You will inevitably feel sad and empty because of the BPD. This is something you have to expect and accept. The struggle is to work around your symptoms and the love you wish to share. Like any relationship, communication is key. Let her know when you are unwell so that there can be an understanding, and when you are well, rejoice in those good days. Become knowledgeable about BPD and its symptoms and find hope in recovery. By healing yourself, you will be able to be in better relationship with others. This takes time of course.

      I understand your inner pain and know relationships are very difficult for us. We search for love, we find it, and then we question it due to our struggles with BPD. Sometimes we want to push others away and other times we desperately need them in our lives. It is confusing and heart wrenching. We emotionally hurt the other person, mean while we love them and they love us. However, somehow, we have to find a middle ground. Working on healing ourselves is the first step.

      I am glad you have commented and I hope that my words helped a bit.

      Prend soin 🙂

      Here is a post from my blog. Perhaps it might help.

      • gm-fr

        Hi Chantal,

        Thank you for your answer, I really appreciate it. I’ll make sure I come back on this site sometimes. I’m going to start a psychotherapy, in Hong Kong. I’ll tell you if I get better.

        Your French looked perfect to me, couldn’t find any mistake.

        À bientôt,

        • Chantal

          You are welcome gm-fr. I was happy to respond to your comment. It is great that you are going to start psychotherapy. I wish you all the best and would love to hear from you along your recovery journey. Prend soin…à la prochaine 🙂

  • Frankie

    Hi Chantal and all,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story, I am 24 years old and in July I got diagnosed with personality disorder. My doctor told me I was lucky that I have been diagnosed so early and my family are all sighing relief! However I know that I have so much further to go, I am awaiting on CBT but the list is nearly a year wait on the NHS I have been told.
    I believe I have had BPD for at least 10 years, I have completely isolated myself from the world in the last year, There is not a friend I have or can call, I have had numerous relationships that I break within seconds then I spend the next couple of months feeling abadoned because I got so attached, Then I do it again. In between that I am wreckless, do your normal BPD spending money, drinking alcohol etc.. The only thing that i have kept hold of is my job, be it just by a string a lot of times…
    This week I have been back doing art which is such a nice relief, I actually have motivation to do something I love again!
    What I find curious and wanted to ask about is..
    Everyone who I have spoken to have had marriages, Ok they might have failed but they have children.. I just dont think I am ever going to get to the point and forever be alone watching my family settle down and have children.
    How did you cope? Because I am just a wrecking ball..

    Have you any tips to help me?
    What age were you diagnosed?

    Thank you so much

  • Chantal

    Hi Frankie,

    Being diagnosed at an earlier age is always better than later years. You mentioned you have had BPD for ten years now. These are years where you have missed a good part of your life and self, suffering the symptoms of the disorder. However, it sounds like you are optimistic concerning therapy (CBT). This is good, and I am sure you will eventually get there. Therapy is a start and the fact that you want this is great. While you wait for therapy, there are also good self-help workbooks that may help you get by in the mean time.
    I completely understand isolation. I recently went through it myself this past winter and spring. However, the good news for you is that you have recently been diagnosed and now you can take the necessary steps towards recovery. Part of the CBT will help you to overcome the isolation. It takes lots of work but you will get there. We have to push ourselves to get out, even when we do not feel like it.
    Friendships and relationships are difficult for individuals with BPD. Due to extreme emotions, we have problems making and keeping them. We then feel so alone and abandoned in our sorrow. Being reckless is also a symptom of the disorder. However, again, once you start therapy, you will gain more knowledge concerning your inner self. We have to learn to love ourselves and feel worthy before we can truly love another in a friendship or relationship. Therapy also helps us to eventually become less reckless in our lives.
    It is wonderful that you are holding on to your job. This is not easy to do for individuals with BPD. Congrats! Doing art is an excellent way to be creative and to express your emotions. It is so important to our well-being and recovery journey. I am glad you have found motivation to do your art again.
    Many individuals with BPD are in long lasting relationships and marriages. I think success depends on understanding BPD and the love and support from the other person. Some people cannot handle the relationship/marriage and the problems the BPD causes. We often see break-ups due to this. The core nature of BPD is that the individual has difficulty with interpersonal relationships. This is the underlying problem of BPD. However people can make it through the challenges the disorder brings on. My marriage was a disaster but the relationship and love for my children was always very strong, and still is. When my children were young, I was not as sick like I was before they were born and when they got into their early teens. The best years of my life where the ones I dedicated to the special care of my children. How did I get by? I was on medication and had family support. I was still symptomatic though. I was reckless myself with spending and promiscuity. I had numerous relationships that were unhealthy. Either they would leave or I would. I also had problems handling my emotions, obviously, and anger. However, I was always there and strong for my children, as best as I could. For me, they were/are a blessing.
    My symptoms were caused and surfaced in my childhood years; I was severely symptomatic during my adolescence, early adulthood, late thirties and early forties. My mildest years were mid twenties until mid thirties. I have been on medication since my early twenties but was officially diagnosed in my early forties for BPD. I also have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder but believe this is a misdiagnose from my lived experience. I never had the proper medical care at a young age. As difficult it is to have BPD, you are fortunate to have your diagnose now. I think the best tips I can give you, is to stay strong amidst your symptoms, lean on your family if they are supportive, keep up your art and job, try to get out more so you do not isolate yourself, gain more knowledge into BPD (research on good websites), give yourself all the time you need to recover when in therapy and don’t give up on children and family life.
    I wish you all the best Frankie in your CBT and recovery journey. Thank you for appreciating the post and commenting.

  • Frankie

    Thank you so much for replying..
    The wait for CBT is painful,, So hard because I want to be better.. My mum raised me strong though,, Shes my angel. She takes so much time to research to help me.. I think if I didnt have her I would take a few more pills and pray that I die..
    I have messed up every relationship be it friends or boyfriends, to the point where they have labelled me as crazy…. Which hurts me more and then I get racked with guilt..
    I ask god everyday to either make me better or let me die,, why doesnt he?
    I am not crazy,,, you are not crazy… why dont people understand?
    People dont understand,, I am so thankful though that i came across your blog,, I dont feel so alone now. 🙂

  • Kenzie A.

    I know how you feel I go through the same thing.I sometimes just sit there and dream and want a better life. Can anybody with borderline personality disorder who has had a while to deal with it give me some hope and give me some advise?

    • Chantal

      Hi Kenzie,

      If you are not in therapy or have some form of support network close to you, this is a good place to start. It is important that we surround ourselves with good people that understand us, even though this may be challenging to find. Keep searching for that support until you get it.
      Also, starting a recovery journey is essential. This not only consists of therapy but possibly medication and also spirituality. It is in the desire to want to heal (recover) that you will find the hope you need. Know that there can be a better life.
      Thanks for commenting and all the best to you along your new journey.
      Much love and God Bless.

  • Mahi

    excuse my english in the first place.
    i was diagnosed with bpd yesterday and i couldn’t stop crying all day.i always tried to be fair to people around me, but sometimes i was feeling that i’m acting sadistically towards them, no reason. i don’t know how many of my friends was and are disgusted with me, what have i done to people around me.(practically can’t be more ashamed) i don’t know for how long i’m carrying this mental illness. and unfortunately i don’t know if there are qualified doctors around here or if i can pay them. i wanted to thank You for sharing. you’re amazing. i hope you find your true self someday.

  • Chantal

    Hi Mahi,

    Thank you for appreciating the post. Sorry to hear about your diagnosis of BPD and the pain you are feeling inside. It must be quite a shock for you right now. Though you may be struggling with this new diagnosis, it is the first step towards healing. Know that it is not your fault that you have this mental illness. BPD is an emotional disorder, where we have problems with interpersonal relationships. It is difficult to have healthy friendships and family life because of our symptoms. However, there are good support networks out there. Don’t give up searching for the help and guidance you deserve. Thanks for commenting. All the best to you.

  • sara

    I suffer BPD severely I hate my life my boyfriend nearly left me a few times im an arshole of a person I blame the fucking trauma that people fucking had put me through as a child I hope they rot in hell for what they had done I hope they suffer like I have in the last 1 15 years shame on those who judge BPD people we are people we have feelings we have a right to be here.

    • Paige

      Sara, You sound young and I feel your anger, and it is justified, at least by me. My therapist urged me to let go of those who cause or did cause me harm and even though I know it would be best…. all I want to do is see them in as much pain and dysfunction as they have caused. I was beat up emotionally all my life by being told it’s a choice to act the way I have. Adults think differently than kids and some kids like us were not capable of brushing things off, or ‘getting over it.’ It’s okay to be mad as hell, I am too!

  • Paige

    Your story reads much like my own, and like you, I too am an artist. I just received a referral for the CBT training so I haven’t started yet. They say at minimum, a 1 year commitment but I’m leaving the door open to longer. I am a 54 year-old, female, who raised three sons — two of which have disowned me. In addition to the sexual violations I endured before the age of six, there was a single mother who gave the job of ‘mama’ to’ my only sister. I grew up hard and fast by appearances while my insides were in a constant state of fear. Today I burn every ounce of energy I have, on holding onto the tiny piece of goodness inside of me, that one I know is there. As a former counselor, suicide, drugs, alcohol or sex have not been an option for relief. The talents I posses get locked behind a wall of protection and I am unable to create…for money that is. I cry nearly every day but I can’t kill myself. I have chronic total body pain that is still a mystery and I just want to stop. Stop the memories, the fear, the pain….and the stigma of having a mental health issue. That has been the sole reason for leaving therapy and only second to a ‘pills only’ method of treatment. I am also in the public healthcare system and the process is so slow, that alone makes the waiting much harder. I want to be happy, just for awhile.

    • Chantal

      Hi Paige,

      I know that feeling of longing for happiness and peace in life. I am now blessed to be at a good place along my recovery journey from BPD, however, I remember too well the inner pain I endured for so many years. There are days where I cannot believe that I have conquered, for the most part, so much emptiness and darkness from my mental illness. However, I have, and do rejoice in those days and moments of freedom. I believe someone who has BPD can recover. It took me over three years to get where I am at today. CBT, medication and my spiritual life all helped me to find balance. This “combination” I strongly believe in.
      Starting CBT is a wise decision and yes, it will take many years of commitment but well worth it. The hardest part is turning those negative core beliefs into positive ones. This takes a long time and much effort but one can eventually get there. CBT can help with the emotionalism borderlines deal with on a day-to-day basis. Letting go of our destructive emotions, thoughts and behavior is the key to succeeding in recovery.
      Holding on to that little bit of hope that keeps us going is so important to our mental health. As hard as this is, and as confusing and hurtful as the struggles are, the hope is what keeps us alive. We cannot give up. Even if we cry with the heaviest of hearts that torment us, we have to hold onto hope, always, even if it is far from our grasp. Continue to believe in that goodness within you.
      Being creative as an artist can also be challenging at times. Creating for ourselves in order to express and let go of our extreme emotions is deeply therapeutic. However, when we put the pressure to create in order to sell our work, this can throw us off in our recovery journey. Try to just be yourself when you create your art and live in those moments whether they are good or bad. Create from the passion or despair of your thoughts and emotions.
      I do hope things will turn around for you and that you will find that freedom from the past trauma and present turmoil. Happiness is there waiting for you once you recover, something everyone with mental illness so deserves.
      Thanks for commenting and sharing.
      I wish you all the best along your journey and will keep you in my prayers.
      God bless

  • Regina

    I am so sorry I wasted so many years thinking that I was normal. I always wondered how people always smiled and enjoyed life. I couldn’t understand that all my thoughts were so negative and hopeless. I am now coming to the realization that something has definitely been wrong all these years. all the way back to the attention seeking child who was never happy. I was made fun of within the family and at school, yet as an adult people say how beautiful I was. I always sought attention from men as a way of affirmation of my existence. How awful! To never feel good enough! To be loved and not believe it. To not trust. To think one bad move and people will leave me. To be so self judgmental yet let others get away with so much. Allowing others to hurt me because I believed it myself so I had no defense other than just being defensive. The pounding in my chest when I feel wronged and impulsively fleeing the scene or the relationship and having no way back in. To walk into a room and feel all eyes upon me. down to even having spinach in my teeth becoming a devastating moment. I am with a man currently who constantly points out my faults and wants to control me, and in others opinions verbally abuses me calling me names and cursing. When he just speaks I get chest pounding and swimming in my head and mentally check out so I don’t hear his criticisms. Its so painfully true, but I tell him these are triggers for me and I see him as partially sadistic but he claims to trying to help me. I ran away from him numerous times in a rage with adrenaline pumping, and das later leveling out to missing him and his affection. I do believe he loves me but I don’t believe he will continuously have the patience to deal with my behavior. I also think that this is not the ideal relationship for me because I also believe he is projecting many of his flaws on me as well. he would never admit being less than perfect and is a complete know it all. It makes me crazy and I don’t know if its my BPD or reality.
    In two weeks I will begin DBT therapy and I hoping that I learn and develop new coping skills and thought patterns and self esteem. I am also hoping to learn how to be alone and not feel as though no one loves me or that I am a failure. I want a healthier relationship and possibly to see whether this relationship is helpful or hurtful to my resolving issues of my past and help me to see myself as not settling yet again just because someone says they love me. I am fearful of also not having a man in my life because I use sex I believe as a drug. I am not promiscuous, but I so enjoy the way I feel after sex. I believe the oxytocin works temporarily for me to stay happy in the moments. two days later I am miserable again. I am very observant of others. I begin to think everyone has ulterior motives in wanting a relationship with me. I suppose those are trust issues that need addressing. I am trying so hard to forgive myself and the last thing said in the poem was to forgive yourself. Its so hard when you have imposed yourself on others including your own child and your parents and most relatives are dead and there can be no apologies and growth and understanding. I want to move forward now excited but fearful of the therapy. I want to know but I don’t. I suffer from so much guilt I cant take it. This whole thing brings tears to my eyes. Im trying so hard now feeling like its my last resort. I have an anxiety about time and that its running out. I am now in my 60’s and I just want to get it right finally. Thank you for sharing your pain and showing us all we are not alone and there are others who understand and know the pain. Thank you so much

  • dante

    Let me begin by thanking the author for sharing her story. As someone with BPD, I realize when one
    Tells their story it has a BPD element of re experiencing the events or memories. A memory or event
    we tend to play over and over again in our minds.

    I was lucky (part in jest) for being diagnosed with BPD when entering public school at age 5.
    I spent the next 10 years in various form treatment and couseling. Including a z-process treatment
    By the originator of the infamous treatment. It was the 60s and 70s pharmacological treatments were
    Not available which for me was a blessing. I dropped out of highschool but was board with the jobs
    available and went back to school and got a GED. I went to college and found it stimulating. I self
    Medicated myself through 3 years and left when my anxiety and depression got the best of me,

    Then for me the best and worst time of my life began, When
    I found my way into high tech. computers had always interested me, I discovered computers were
    Rather relaxing, their predictable experience was refreashing compared to people. But my BPD
    ended up coasting me a good job like many times before I lost control and said something or just quite.
    It seems like every couple years. I had to quite or leave. This started my journey with medications
    Including trying almost every antidepressant available. I was able to find another high tech job because
    Of my BPD and its capacity for memory or retaining information, my doc put me on a excessive
    Dose of a major antidepresent which allowed me to work. It did the job for the next couple years.
    Allowing me to work but BPD was always with me but more tame in its effects on me.
    I worked in development and was fortunate to live my dream but didnt make many friends, One of
    The worst experiences was getting off this drug. As I experience with a couple other antidepressants
    But not to that extend. I now am retired and use a less severe antidepressant for anxiety. I’ve learned
    That education, financial stability, and having a stable environment are critical for living with BPD.

    For me BPD was the worst in my 20 and 30s, I didnt think I would make it. It was a day by day thing.
    I just tried to make it through the day, the week. I couldnt allow myself to think of 5 years down
    the road. When my thoughts turned to suicide, I would recall Hamlets quotes “if it not be now
    Yet it will come”. I still use this line today when my thoughts turn dark. This thought for me is
    Relaxing. I had to sooth my BPD behavior with ideas to avoid taking action,
    and away from Alcohol, My usual self medication method to deal with the anxiety of BPD.

    As my income raised and my financial stability was stabilized. My BPD seem to be reducted.
    I had enough funds to deal with any worst case thought my BPD could recall or imagine. . In the last couple
    years. I found a house which again seems to reduce my BPD. I had realized after livingi in a downtown
    apartment and having a serve BPD episode. That my living environment was crucial to living with my
    BPD. For me, my place has always been a area to recharge and destress from the outside world. So
    In retrospect, I could have spent more time in finding a quite place to live and didnt consider it relevent at
    an early age.

    Let me finish by saying BPD is a genic characteristic. Their is ample research which show BPD genic
    Element at 60 percent up from 40in the 1990s, The reasearch also finds 60 percent misdiagnosis for
    BPD. So getting correctly diagnosed is a major problem. Then find people who know how to treat
    BPD, a group of people with their own nonBPD thoughts and book ideas. One treatment by a BPD
    Researcher DBT shows promise. I am third generation BDP. I believe it was my grandfather on my
    Mothers side who brought the condition to my mothers family, My grandmothers bewilderment
    at the actions of her husband and daughters always perplexed her. She was a rather even temperd
    Quit women. The stories she told me as a child about my reliatives and my own experieces. Leave
    me with little doubt BPD is a genic condition, Unfortunatelym if BPD is genic there is no cure and only
    ways to live with it.

  • Mark Osterloh, MD, JD, RPh

    Borderline Personality Disorder is the most difficult to understand and diagnose mental illnesses. As a consequence there is little awareness of its existence in the general public. If there were greater awareness, more resources would be brought to the table to help these people. I believe the biggest problem is its name. “Borderline” means nothing in helping us understand the condition. I have proposed that we change the name to Faultfinding Personality Disorder based on the most important diagnostic criterion – chronic finding of fault with themselves and others due to their black-and-white thinking which leads to disturbed interpersonal relationships. To back this up I wrote the book “Faultfinders: The impact of borderline personality disorder.” I explained the condition using examples of numerous famous people to make the symptoms memorable. I would be interested to hear what others think about a possible name change.

  • Laura De La Mora

    I can’t afford therapy. I was denied for financial aid. It was helping me. I’m scared. What can I do?

    • Trish

      Hi Laura. I’m Trish — I’m not the one who wrote this post but the founder and curator of this blog. Do you have a mental health non-profit organization that you can get to that perhaps gives free group counselling or peer support? I don’t know where you’re from but in Canada we have CMHC. Have you talked about your situation with your therapist? Can you approach your therapist and ask them about giving you free sessions in exchange for a skill you might barter like organizing your therapist’s files or cleaning their office? Have you reached out on social media to ask if anyone knows of a therapist who does pro bono and might take you on? Have you tried calling a mental health hot line and telling them your situation? — they may have other suggestions.

      I really do hope that helps.

      Much love,

      • Laura De La Mora

        No, I’ve looked and asked everywhere. I’m in Ontario, Southern California. It seems I’m screwed, more or less. I’m scared.

        • Trish

          How about someone you can trust to talk about what’s going on? Or your doctor — either talk to them or ask them for help finding someone/a group? Or a minister of your faith? Or the local hospital and inquiring about their services? I’m sorry that it has to come to the point where you can no longer see your therapist. I cannot imagine how scary it must feel for you. Please know you’re not alone. I truly care about your well-being.

  • Bernadette Mullan

    I am 62 years old and was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder disorder about seven years ago.i’ve had depression for years but never knew about bpd.I am suicidal with guilt for not showing my children the love they craved because of the emptiness i always felt.They nearly all have mental health problems or addictions and i know they blame me.Some have told me its my fault and one sone has emigrated to Canada with his girlfriend and never contacts the family.I am heartbroken with guilt and grief.My husband just tells me to stop blaming myself and forget it.I can’t sleep and have severe insomnia.I just don’t want to live anymore as life is to painful.

    • Trish

      Hi Bernadette. I’m Trish — I manage this site. I am so sorry to hear that this has happened to you. I am so sorry that you are living in so much pain. I am so sorry that you are experiencing so much shame and guilt. I don’t have any answers for you but I want you to know that you are human and therefore I can deduce that you have done the best you can given the circumstances.

      Please reach out to someone who can support you through this — a mental health professional, a hotline, a close friend. Please take that risk and tell someone your story.

      I have faith in you.

      Much love,

  • Bernadette Mullan

    Hi Trish.
    Thank you for replying to my e mail and for your thoughtful comments.I will do as you suggested and make an appointment with a therapist who I can advise me with ways I can cope with this.
    Love and appreciation

    • Trish

      Thank you for letting me know, Bernadette. I’m really happy to hear that — I’ve been thinking about you the last few days. If you wish, keep me posted either through these comments or use my contact page. xoxo

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