A Tough Day in Recovery

When All You Could Do was Make It Through

What a day. Seemed like things began bombarding me and my recovery goals from the moment I woke up. A few times throughout the day I thought to myself, “Why not just quit today; why not just lay down and give up? This is too hard. I’m not capable of handling this.” Then it spread into, “LIFE is too hard. I’m not capable of handling ANYTHING, let alone this day. I can’t survive as an adult; I can’t even keep my head above water. Everything is falling apart because I can’t handle basic tasks.”

Then it spread into, “LIFE is too hard. I’m not capable of handling ANYTHING, let alone this day. I can’t survive as an adult; I can’t even keep my head above water. Everything is falling apart because I can’t handle basic tasks.”


After a while I would catch myself, and for a moment I would breathe and see the bigger picture, that hard days happen and difficulties in relationships happen and everyday hassles happen. I’m okay, and everything is okay, and there’s peace.

But on days like today, you find the peace and instantly something else comes in like a rocket and blows you away again. You’re left tumbling and trying to gain a foothold somewhere. You get your balance and here comes another one.


It’s been like that all day long today, from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping tomorrow is a little easier and I handle it a little better.

More than anything I’m just thankful today is over and that I got through it without destroying myself or anything else in my life. Sure, things happened and consequences happened and things aren’t perfect. But I made it through, and I know how I can do better tomorrow. I learned some things today that will help me in the future. And I wouldn’t have learned those things or been motivated to search for them had I not been in the predicaments I experienced on this crazy day.

I made it through, and I know how I can do better tomorrow.

When BPD Leads to Rejection and Abandonment

How we push people away when we have BPD

THE BRUTAL TRUTH

When you fear abandonment by the people you love, you start to see abandonment everywhere. To avoid being rejected, you push them away before they can hurt you. The result? No one can abandon you, because there IS no one.

Then the loneliness hits. You may or may not realize what just happened. But the end is the same. They leave and your worst fears are realized. Abandonment. Rejection.

BUT WAIT…

Borderline Personality Disorder can make relationships confusing.

I’ll be the first one to admit dropping someone like a hot potato at the first sign of potential rejection. Before mastering the DBT skills, I saw everyone as a threat to my fragile heart. If I cared about them in the slightest, they had the power to hurt me and I simply could not afford that most of the time.

Sometimes I actually managed to convince myself I didn’t need anyone. HA!

That wasn’t me talking. That was the BPD.

THE REAL ME WAS YEARNING FOR CONNECTION!!!

The real me loved people. Inside I cared about everyone; I was desperate for friends and relationships.

Furthermore, the real me knew I couldn’t survive for long like this. I needed people but I watched myself pushing them further and further away each day. Maybe they were rejecting me, abandoning me…maybe they weren’t. Maybe it was just me. Who could I trust? I couldn’t even trust myself.

HOW I STOPPED THE REJECTION CYCLE:

One of the things DBT skills taught me is that if I had thoughts telling me “no one cares” and “they’ll just leave you anyways,” there was a good chance my brain wasn’t telling me everything.

After I had that down, I started learning how to look at the facts to tell if abandonment or rejection was actually happening to me, so I wouldn’t leave good relationships based on an assumption. I learned how to tell the difference between feeling rejected and being rejected.

Ultimately, the skills taught me how to deal with actual rejection AND to heal from it. And they helped me make lasting relationships and deep connections with others, as well as myself.

THE CONCLUSION

Rejection, abandonment, and loneliness may be a way of life for you if you have Borderline Personality. And it may feel safer that way, from your experience. But that way of life will also keep you imprisoned and cut off from the true desires within you for connection.

If you don’t know where to start, that’s ok! I didn’t either. That’s what this page is for. Learn more about the DBT skills, recovery, and resources to help you break free. Surviving alone doesn’t need to be your only option.



32 Intentions For My 32nd Birthday

The baby face may have fooled you but I actually turned 32 years old today! So to celebrate my birthday, I thought I’d share some of the intentions I’ve set for myself based on who I am and who I am becoming.

As many of you know, I am diagnosed with some severe mental illnesses. I didn’t expect to survive this long; I fully intended to end my own life.

But with recovery, those intentions have changed dramatically. The difference is night and day. I share these intentions with you to give you hope that if your intentions have been to end your life because of your suffering, things can change. Life can be worth living again.

While I am 32 years old, I intend to:

  1. Be authentically myself, with no apologies
  2. Stand up for what I believe in
  3. Speak kind words to myself
  4. Complain about absolutely nothing
  5. Take more time off for fun and games
  6. Be patient with myself when I’m struggling
  7. Smile more, worry less
  8. Strengthen relationships with genuine people
  9. End relationships that threaten my peace
  10. Appreciate what I have more than what I don’t
  11. Practice gratitude on a daily basis
  12. Feed my body and my soul
  13. Be mindful of others and of myself
  14. Stop making excuses for keeping old habits
  15. Dedicate the time and effort needed to make new habits
  16. Challenge myself with new lessons
  17. Forgive myself for the past
  18. Love myself for who I am today
  19. Be gentle to my body
  20. Dance like nobody’s watching
  21. Sing like no one is listening
  22. Carry myself with confidence
  23. Take ownership for my actions
  24. Keep the bigger picture in mind
  25. Strengthen my boundaries and protect my well-being
  26. Spend more time outside in my bare feet
  27. Live out my inner truth
  28. Celebrate and contribute to the success of others
  29. Say no with strength and conviction
  30. Make no excuses for meeting my needs
  31. Prioritize those who truly value me
  32. Continue my growth with grace

No matter your age, no matter your struggles, it is NEVER too late to make new intentions for yourself and your future.

Send us a contact form to learn more about how you can apply intentions like these to your life!

Finding Treatment that Works for BPD

FINDING TREATMENT THAT WORKS FOR BPD

Before addressing the obstacles we may face DURING the treatment process, we must take a hard look at the difficulties of even finding treatment options.  Those of you who have been through multiple therapeutic attempts will know firsthand the devastating lack of valid treatment options for Borderline Personality Disorder.

If you are versed in the world of BPD, you know most suggestions include Dialectical Behavior Therapy, antidepressant medications, antipsychotics, talk therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, etc.  Often, studies suggest a combination of two or more of these treatments.  If you research the treatment choices online, you can usually find an abundance of doctors, therapists, counselors, social workers, and behavioral analysts who can provide you with “answers.”  You’ve probably heard most of them.  How do we sift through them all?

People with BPD struggle to remain with one therapist or treatment approach for an extended amount of time.  Therefore, the importance of finding a doctor/therapist who “clicks” with the patient is going to increase the chances that the patient remains in treatment.  The right one will be someone who can accept the client UNCONDITIONALLY, and work with him/her even in situation of distress.  The more knowledge of and experience with Borderline clients the better.  Just as important is finding someone who supports the theory that BP is a medical, neurological dysfunction of the brain.  A combination of medical treatment and therapy will give you the best chances for success.  Ideally therapeutic treatment will include group therapy as well as individual sessions.

Your treatment team should be up-to-date on the latest research concerning your mental illness.  New studies are coming out all the time with game-changing information on best treatment approaches both medical and therapeutic.  Even Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a relatively new treatment that your team should be following as reports come out about it effectiveness.

Keep an eye out for counselors that include keywords in their treatment descriptions, such as mindfulness and emotion regulation.  Also search for treatment options under different names for your disorder or other related disorders, e.g. Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Emotional Dysregulation Disorder, and others.

The context of acceptance and stability while reinforcing positive behavior changes requires people who can be flexible with their clients, patient in the midst of emotional turmoil, slow progress or even backsliding, and must be willing to approach the many comorbid disorders we find in people with BPD, such as ADHD, Major Depressive Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Also, don’t be afraid to try some new approaches like personal and family coaching!  Many people don’t realize this is an option when seeking professional help for someone with Borderline, but it can offer the flexibility and extra attention needed to clients who have time constraints or find it difficult to leave home for appointments.

BPD treatment is a long road, but it’s a road that will take you in the right direction, towards health and joy and positive relationships.  Once you start to see these positive changes in your life, you won’t regret the hard work it took to find the help that fits your specific needs.

3 Habits to Practice on Mindfulness Monday

Mindfulness Monday

 

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Mindfulness can’t be understood through reading self-help books or hearing about it from someone else.  Mindfulness must be practiced on a daily basis to learn and receive the benefits from its use.

So how do you practice mindfulness?

Keep reading to learn 3 daily habits to start practicing to increase your daily mindfulness this week..

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Borderline Personality Survivor Stories

Recovery is Possible.

There are so many stories of the pain and suffering of Borderline Personality Disorder.  Unfortunately, we rarely hear stories about people who have taken their control and their lives back from this illness.

But this documentary is different, and when it first aired on YouTube it was an eye-opening picture for many others like me: people with BPD who kept seeing all the articles of hopeless prognoses for their illness.

 

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