So, why do I run a website about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?
I have lived with BPD for a long, long time. In fact, there are many days that I marvel at the fact that I was able to survive myself because I spent years trying to kill myself. I made one very serious suicide attempt which, thankfully, was not successful but it had a tremendous impact on my life.
I finally got what I thought I wanted.
I ended up in the hospital for six months because I had experienced what they call a “neurological event”. I demyelinated some of the nerves in my brain. For the first six weeks I was on a respirator because I couldn’t breathe on my own. After that I was transferred to a long-term care facility where I spent the next three and a half months learning how to walk again, dress myself, feed myself and read a book again. I spent those months in a wheelchair. Finally, I was able to graduate to a walker, then a cane. It took months and months of rehab.
After I was finally discharged from the hospital, I returned to my home where I spent the next three months watching my husband finally die from lung cancer. He had been sick for two years and I could not bear the “abandonment” of him so I decided to check out first. He finally did die and I spent the next three years living like a shell of a human being in my house. I would get up in the morning and go into the living room where I would turn on the television. I’d then plunk myself down in the Lazy-Boy chair I had bought for him to sleep in when he was sick because he couldn’t lay down and still breathe. And I would watch television. I would sit there until it was time to go back to bed at about 10:00 at night. I ordered food in. The only time left the house was to go to the bank and pay my bills. Then, one day I discovered online banking so that took care of that.
I lived a tiny, sad, depressed life for years after my husband died
After another four years of existing like this, I finally decided it was time to rejoin the world of the living. But I woke up and discovered that all my friends had left me behind. While I had been so depressed, my entire support network dried up completely. I realized that I had no one left. My BPD swung into full gear.
After another year I decided that it was time for me to finally find another relationship. Big mistake. I was SO not ready. But, I proceeded full-tilt boogie. I eventually met a man who I fell head over heels for. We dated off and on for a while and then one night he just abandoned the relationship completely. He cut me off entirely. Social media. Would not answer my phone calls or return my calls. Same with text messages. Unfriended me on Facebook. I was devastated. I decided that I had really had enough and it was time to check out once and for all.
So I went to the liquor store and I bought a bottle of my favorite vodka and took home and mixed up a pitcher of Screwdrivers and proceeded to get shitface drunk. I also ground up about 100 sleeping pills and added them to the pitcher of Screwdrivers. Again, I ended up in the hospital and it was that stay which helped me to get on the road to recovery once and for all. I was reintroduced to the concept of mindful meditation and I took that lifeline and ran with it like i was being pursued by the devil himself.
I started learning about DBT and was eventually able to participate in a DBT course which was transformative for me. It changed my life for the better in ways I could never have imagined possible. I had to wait about 18 months to get into that DBT course and as I became aware of the horribly long waiting lists for this life-saving treatment protocol I decided that I could teach these skills to other people as well.
I’m not a mental health professional
I am not a psychiatrist or a psychologist or even a certified life coach. I am also NOT a DBT trained facilitator because you must be some kind of mental health professional to be certified by Marsha Linehan’s company, Behavioral Tech. They have no program to train lay teachers of DBT. I decided to launch my website as a way to offer hope to people who have BPD that there IS a way out of all the suffering. Marsha Linehan says, “In life, pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” There is a way to learn how to “create a life worth living,” as she says. For those of us with BPD, that way is through DBT.