As time passes, old wounds can grow over as we pay so much attention to the current moment, but sometimes something happens, and while we might not even know what that something is, on Monday we may be fine, but when we wake up on Tuesday, you are covered in weeping sores. Not on your body, of course, but those “emotional third-degree burns” that Marsha Linehan (Queen of all things DBT) refers to when she talks about people with borderline personality disorder.
It just so happens that Borderline Personality Disorder has been on my diagnosis list, off and on, depending who you ask, for a very long time. Since this past April, it is now very much on my diagnosis list, and I have been instructed to process this. And I have, and as much as I don’t want an additional label, I do meet criteria for the disorder and I have read books and articles and webpages about it, and it all just screams my name. If you aren’t familiar with the disorder, I really would encourage you to look at the link I provided above, or even Google search for articles.
I have talked it over with my therapist, and it isn’t that I have BPD in place of Bipolar Disorder, but that the two illnesses interact to make each other much worse and much harder to treat. I have put off making any kind of announcement on this blog about the “new” diagnosis, but now I am very certain it is something I am dealing with and have dealt with for a large part of my life.
I was afraid that I would be judged, that others would leap to conclusions about me, that people wouldn’t really understand, would just see a “broken” person. There is a great deal of stigma about mental illness in the world, and there is even more stigma and misinformation about BPD out there, than most disorders. This is something I am going to live with the rest of my life, and I will consistently have to manage my life in such a way that I do not devolve into all of the maladaptive behaviors and patterns that it is so easy to slip into.
There’s really a lot to this, and much more that I wanted to say. What I really wanted to do, though, was finally get the information out there, make the admission, state the obvious, whatever. I will follow-up with more thoughts about this (and all sorts of other stuff, too, I’m sure). My world is shaky right now, but I’m doing as much therapy and DBT and whatnot as possible, and if worse comes to worst, I always have LarBear and my family. Not everyone can say that, and I am especially thankful for them and their patience.