Embracing Madness Disarmes Stigma

By Liliana

When I was 33 years old, I visited my sister in a city called Guadalajara, where she attended university and studied film. By that time I had built my own walls and I was not interested in bringing them down at all. I was convinced that due to having borderline personality disorder, I was not going to be able to achieve anything in any realm.  But it was a Sunday morning when the buzz of many happy voices coming from the living room woke me up just at 6:30am in the morning. It was so contagious that I got up smiling; I felt inspired and left my bed to greet everyone. It looked like a party, but they had actually gathered to coordinate scouting locations for a short film they were working on. They were there for less than 5 minutes and everyone left very happy. It didn´t seem an early Sunday morning they had to work through. I saw them leave while I was sitting by the window, thinking to myself What’s the difference between them and me? Why do they feel so happy? How can they work and function despite their personalities that are not so different from mine?

embrace gif
None of them felt ill, although they all went through depressive or manic periods or chaotic relationships. But they spent time working hard on what they loved and they also on adapting to their environment and healing before bursting and not afterwards. I believe if they went to a psychiatrist, they would all also be diagnosed with something. The only difference between their happy Sunday and mine was that I was convinced at that time that I could not do anything because of having BPD. Their emotional walls were as tall as mine, but they had the ability to climb them or throw them down and calculate the risks to approach life without breaking into pieces in the attempt.

Giving up on myself and denying my madness made me live in a self-inflicted stigma. The way that image of my sister and her friends impacted my life was inspiring. The advice is to try, to lose the fear of losing and to reset yourself as many times as required.

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