This blog is probably the hardest blog I have ever shared. I have debated whether or not I wanted to share my personal information with you and then I figured, why the hell not? Plus, I just had ankle surgery and I am taking pain medication, so you know, it’s like alcohol… you are more brave.
I am not doing this for sympathy but clearly to help break the stigma of mental illness. Mental illness is not taken seriously because it often is not visibly seen and when it is, people don’t know how to deal with it. Have you ever told someone you have a mental illness or you are depressed? Suddenly, they are looking at the clock, rubbing their hair or checking the time. They are fumbling over their words like a baby trying to talk for the first time.
I hear all the time the following clichés: time will heal all wounds (lame), just stay positive (oooh, that’s a good original), maybe you are just tired (maybe, I haven’t slept since my son was born seven years ago), it just takes time (can you look at your watch and give me an exact time?) and my personal favorite, you’ll get over it (it’s not like I am crossing a bridge, you jackass).
Well, people of the world, mental illness is not that easy; if it was, I would do all of the above. No one, including me, likes to go through the bullshit of depression or emptiness or thoughts of hurting yourself. Who the hell wants to do that? Is there a sign-up sheet for depression or something? Should I be the point person for that? What the hell people?
Let’s examine how life would be for people that had diseases you can see; that you ‘understand.’ My grandfather had diabetes… I should have just fed him cake and told him to stay positive. Maybe if he stayed more positive, he could have eaten the whole cake and the sugar wouldn’t kill him. Maybe someone that was recently diagnosed with cancer, I could let them know that they will get over it. Yeah, all of those phrases seem sensitive enough. Maybe if I was a total bitch?
Seriously. What the hell? These are people that have serious conditions but because people ‘understand’ the situation it is accepted. Mental illness… is not accepted by most people because they can’t see it, they have never experienced it, nor do they have a family member going through it. And honestly, I wouldn’t give depression or any disorder to my worst enemy and I don’t like a lot of people… so, you know, I wouldn’t be that cruel. I hate that word by the way.
So, now it’s my turn to be open… like a freaking book in your local library. I have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
No, I do not have other personalities (although if I did, I would like one that was a chef and one that was a maid) but I fall into specific BPD categories and I was born with some of it. People who have this disorder are born exquisitely sensitive. Through childhood, you can go either way… to a normal life or to a life with BPD. The website below has a really good explanation if you want to read about it and God forbid, if you want to understand it (no pressure or anything):
I fall into all ten qualifying categories for Borderlines. At first I was distraught over the diagnosis and then my therapist brought me back to reality and told me that nothing has changed about me- I was always this way and she was right. After that it was time to throw a tantrum like a two year old in the therapists office and then learn how to deal with it.
Finally getting diagnosed correctly was a breath of fresh air. It was probably the first time that I really started trusting my new therapist. My therapist has helped me so much because she has made herself available to call anytime and she has taught me skills to handle my thoughts and feelings. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of anger and terrible thoughts but I have an amazing support behind me… which is Joe (my husband) and my therapist. If it wasn’t for these two people, I would probably have given up by now.
With my disorder, I think my main issues are fears of abandonment. I have had many people leave me, or promise that they would be there but as soon as life gets tough, they are out- much like a card dealer in Vegas.
I feel extremely alone; even in a crowded room. There is this feeling of emptiness and a hollow feeling in my soul. There is a feeling that I am not good enough; not a good mom, not a good wife and not a good person. There is a feeling of wishing I was never born and what would it really matter if I was here or not?
Don’t feel bad, it is just part of the disorder but also, don’t tell me that I will get over it or that time will heal all wounds because honestly, with my rage, I will probably bitch slap you. After I slap you, I would use my life skills and maybe meditate.
I am making strides but my therapy will take at least three more years; maybe longer, maybe shorter; who knows? I don’t mind the time but I want you to know that people with mental illness don’t want to live this way. Stop feeling sorry for me (or for anyone). Just be here for us; stop telling me clichés because if you keep doing that, I am going to throw you into a wall. I have written this before, just get me a drink, eat ice cream with me and make me some freaking bacon. Just listen to me; don’t try to fix me… I already have a therapist for that. I just need you to let me talk and feed me and I need you to stop being dumb.
To all you people that have mental illnesses out there… we have two choices:
- work our asses off in therapy and work hard on ourselves on the days we don’t have therapy and…
- literally walk around like crazy people and make others feel uncomfortable.
Much love to all of you and thanks for reading,