by Ana Montana
First of all, it’s important to know that when you think you might have a mental illness, you could be misdiagnosed multiple times before you settle on the correct diagnosis. This is specially true with Borderline Personality Disorder, because of its chameleon-like ability to share characteristics wih many other disorders.
It took me until I was 24 to receive the right diagnosis. This led to mixed feelings, but also some relief. Now I knew accurately what the REAL problem was. At the beginning, I thought having BPD would define who I was as a person, because of the word ‘personality’. After some time, I realized it had nothing to do with who I am as a human being and that I could live a ‘common’ life embracing my diagnosis.
How do you cope with your new diagnosis? I’ll tell you some tips that helped me through this journey.
INFORM YOURSELF: If you’ve just been diagnosed try to inform yourself (you’re sort of doing it right now, right?) in order to figure out what BPD is to YOU. Don’t forget there’s a very BIG spectrum of symptoms that affect each person in a different way, also try not to believe all the myths and stigmas that surround Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s very common to find articles or information that show the ¨worst case¨ scenarios and cases. Don’t fall for that. Create your very own definition, incorporate what helps you and discard what doesn’t.
Don’t be afraid, you’re going to be fine. I know everything seems to be overwhelming right now, and believe me, it’s okay to feel hopeless and confused.
Yes, you can live a ¨normal¨ life, you are not a disabled person or a burden.
CHOOSE WISELY AND AVOID THINGS THAT TRIGGER YOU: Letting go of harmful people and keeping helpful people in your life is not as difficult as it sounds. Actually, you’ll probably start to lose people you thought were your ¨friends¨ but weren’t automatically. You’ll soon start to identify your gang and those who are not. Don’t be afraid to let those people go, you won’t need them. Stick with the one’s that’ll support you and the one’s who will stay right beside you no matter how hard it gets.
Avoid things that might cause you to indulge in impulsive behaviours, try picking up a hobby (I love drawing and reading) and of course, try to get access to medical help and therapy.
YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH: One of the biggest common themes in people with BPD is the feeling of ¨I am not good enough.¨ Let me tell you right now that YOU ARE… YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH and you’re gonna have to start taking care of yourself every day. It’s very important to find ways to in a non-harmful way.
IT’S OK: Hey! It’s OKAY to be scared, you may fear the unknown future that lies ahead, your mind may wander and it could convince you that this is, somehow, your fault… well, it’s NOT.
THE CHOICE IS YOURS: From now on, the choice is yours, you can either give up or you can choose to do something with these three letters: BPD. You can let them grow bigger than they deserve to be or you can light a fire to send youself running in the direction of success, perseverance and support.
YOU ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN THESE THREE LETTERS, YOU MIGHT HAVE BPD, BUT… DOES BPD HAVE YOU?