I first got on medhelp 7 years ago after a severe accidental overdose (over 60 meds including Dilaudid, Oxy, Valium, Xanax, etc. total variety pack) during a drunken fight with a boyfriend that I had a highly turbulent and violent 3 year relationship with. I say accidental because it was absolutely not planned, and yet as a youth I had already OD'ed on meds 3 times and was hospitalized the 2 times my family knew what was going on. Unstable relationships were the norm and that one almost killed me. Sound familiar to anyone here?
My 'main' issue seemed to be the drinking, which seemed to stem from wicked anger about the past and feelings of deep injustice, self loathing and constant depression and anxiety. My aunt's friend had raped me when I was 12 and he was 21. It happened again months later with a different friend, I was 13, again he was 21. I OD'ed a couple of times following that time frame. I became a huge 'partier', I liked to alter my conscience, I became a dealer. Sex became this weird issue of power, separate from intimacy and love. I had an incredible tolerance and became a 'high bottom' drunk. I didn't know the term at the time, but I learned later that outside of episodes like this I appeared to function alright. Despite my present unstable lifestyle, I wasn't getting arrested and ending up homeless, and since things looked alright, no one was going to step in & help me or attempt to stop me. My mom knew I was not one to be stopped by anyone.
But there was always an internal struggle. My 'story' was that I was the only child of teenage parents and a really young grandma and I knew these people loved me deeply. But, my mom was struggling with her own profound depression that kept her in her room and away from me. My dad became a workaholic/alcoholic, I never saw him. My grandma was also a workaholic from a severely damaged background who to this day lives in the sickest marriage I've ever known. I was surrounded by chaos, but it appeared somewhat 'normal'. I couldn't make sense of it. I didn't realize as a kid that there was a name for what I was, an empath. I felt things SO deeply, and analyzed everything to death. I was so intelligent as a child, and so I ran with it, not understanding emotions, or boundaries, or relationships in a healthy way. Books, music, film, I was an escapist, I still am. I survived my childhood and I adapted. This is what WE do. We adapt to our environment and the story we are born into. It does not have to be some horrible thing. My life was challenging at every turn, but it is no longer a past I feel the need to escape from. We develop weird habits within our families before the age of 7 to get our little selves through the day not knowing that we grow up with these same behaviors and thought processes and that they become a self imposed form of prison. I became a highly vigilant, intense, isolationist, 'savior'. It was exhausting, I didn't know better. But I learned, that we can change our brains, the science is there. BPD is not a life sentence. The past is a memory, it's not still happening. We can change our perception. We can learn forgiveness because after all forgiveness is for you and me and not for the other person, and we can 'get better' in so many ways.
I originally got on here because my mom, you may know here as 'remar', has been on here as a co-leader of several forums and she is a huge believer in the help this community can offer. When I first came here, my diagnosis was: Suicidal Ideation with Severe Clinical Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and PTSD. Good times, right? I currently go to my old University to see a therapist in their Community Psychological Services office, I started going over 10 years ago. I highly recommend talk therapy if you can find it on a sliding scale at a learning institution. I have had Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Therapy as part of a dual University medical study, and some Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. I've benefited greatly from all of it.
A little over 2 years ago I got the diagnosis of BPD. I tried to get off Xanax after years of being on it. My complaint about Benzo's being that they wreak your liver and memory & quickly lose there efficacy, but hey, in a pinch they do the trick. Anyway I switched to Klonipin and something happened. I went CRAZY-ER. My outbursts, arguments & aggressive communication coupled with the crying and total angst had my mom freaking out. We had lost my uncle to his alcoholism on my 90th day of sobriety and he had suffered with Bi-Polar II. Here I was, a couple of years sober in therapy, on an anti-anxiety med threatening to off myself because I could not get a grip on anything despite having a job, a place to live, a therapist, a family. My life was not a mess, but my head was and I was very dangerous to myself. My mom recommended I test for BPD. I joke that she's not a doctor but she plays one on TV, it's an old line from a commercial, but I swear she was a doc in another life. She just knew from tons of research that I had Borderline, and she pushed me to get diagnosed. Since then, it's like the light switch went on in the room I have been stuck in for all of these years. Once I watched Marsha Linehan on Youtube and read a few books written by my fellow BPD's, I felt, ok. Not alone. Definitely not crazy.
We are an interesting bunch. We are passionate and full of emotion. We can love so hard and feel so deep and also experience profound beauty and joy. We get every color of the rainbow in our existence and sometimes we get stuck on the dark side of things. But we can heal from this, it is not a condition that requires lifelong medication.
We come into the world with our own individual biology. Maybe my amygdala was super developed and my prefrontal cortex, not so much. That's what's said about us from a scientific point of view. Our 'fight or flight', our primal urge center is amped, and the edit button (that prefrontal cortex) is oftentimes not working for us so well. We may be highly sensitive or intelligent, unusual looking, different in some way, that in my case seemed to both attract problems and at times, help me get through the madness. Doctors don't seem to get us because we tend to have so much going on, we are complex creatures who present a myriad of issues. So I will tell you what I have been saying since I found Buddhism at 15 after 10 years of already studying Theology.... "No one can save us but selves. No one can, and no one may. We alone must walk the path.'
Turns out that DBT has roots in Mahayana Buddhism and Zen. I has already stumbled into yoga and meditation and found deep healing and peace not realizing this was the prescription I actually needed according to the current psychology. So I went into training to because a yoga instructor and made healing my life. Zen is rooted in non-duality, meaning there is no black or white. Things aren't good or bad, they just 'are'. Meditation helps us slow down and turn inward. It calms the 'monkey mind' that obsesses and tells us to cut, to drink, to sleep with that person, to kill ourselves. Meditation is what heals our brain. It is the 'self talk' that we can interrupt and redirect. No one here is broken, not me, not you, not my mama. We are all ok, we are better than ok, we are these amazing beings of light. Some of us are just lost right now and that's ok, we're all on a path and everyone is where they need to be right now to learn what they need to learn to make the next right move.