I walk the path; I try to walk the path- staying in the middle of my mind and my thoughts. I walk the path, feeling the sun on my face and feeling it’s warmth. The gentle breeze moves through the trees and although I am alone, I can hear someone whisper ‘there is hope.’
I walk the path but fall to one side. I fall down a cliff and my thinking is black and white. I hate myself, I hate you and I hate everything about this world. I fell off the path. I can’t find my way back because it’s so dark and alone here. No one knows these thoughts of self-hatred except for me.
Ending life seems easier on this side of the path; less responsibility; less pain; less of me. On this edge of the cliff there is nothing to grasp on to; I feel the freezing cold air rush past my face and I fall deeper and deeper into this abyss. The fall seems to go on forever until I hit the jagged rocks at the bottom. I hate this place but I am here often. I have to work on getting back to the middle path.
I climb up the mountain side; trying to grasp anything I can but the landslide starts. I am dirty, muddy and tired. I keep slipping down this side of the mountain unable to reach the top. I can still see the rays of sunshine that once warmed my face just moments ago but now I am wet and cold. I can’t get up because it’s easier to lay here and give up and to think about how life would be better without me. Even though I am alone, I can hear a voice whisper, ‘there is hope.’
I start to climb again and although I am dirty and cold, I don’t care because it only shows me where I have been and the struggle that I have been through. The blood on my hands only shows me how far I have fallen and how jagged the rocks are; how jagged and distorted my thoughts have become.
I start to climb and there, above my head, is a hand reaching over the cliff. Someone willing to lift me up over the rocks and the mud. I get to the top covered in embarrassment and shame and I hear her whisper, ‘there is hope.’ She is with me for an hour and then I am on my own. I still know that she is close by but she is not physically with me and I wish that she could walk with me all the time to be sure that I don’t slip and fall again.
I try to walk the middle path but I stumble and fall over tree roots and rocks. Each stumble and each fall is just another part of my journey and although I am physically alone, I can hear someone whisper, ‘there is hope.’
She is there through each stumble and each fall. She is there when I climb the other side of the path; this side is full of joy, triumph and success. Right now, this side of the path is brief. The sun is warm here and I can feel love; something I know is there but don’t feel often because of my own self-hatred. This feeling of success and being recognized for my success and believing my success is so unfamiliar but there is that voice that whispers, ‘there is hope.’
I try to walk the middle path knowing that I need a balance between the two cliffs. I need to feel pain and I need to feel success. I need to feel sadness and I need to feel joy. I need to feel despair and I need to feel hope. One does not work without the other because walking the middle path is about balance and about letting go. Walking the middle path is about feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, the warm breeze brushing your cheek and even accepting the summer rain. Walking the middle path is about accepting both sides; walking the middle path is about radically accepting life as it is in this moment.
Walking the middle path is a new way of thinking and a new way of life.
Until next time,
Living with Borderline Personality Disorder is about getting muddy when you fall but knowing that the sun is just over the cliff if you are willing to make the climb.