*Suicide theme*



It’s the instability aspect of “Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder” that troubles me the most at the moment. It’s not a rollercoaster. People enjoy those… supposedly. The build-up and then the rush when you come rocketing down…. you see…. with a rollercoaster you see it coming…. you feel the anticipation build as you wait to hurtle towards the ground. With EUPD/BPD you don’t see it coming. And it’s not a rush when it happens. To many who go on rides (which I don’t), the best part is the drop. With BPD it’s the worst part. It comes out of nowhere and threatens your life.


Just yesterday I was more or less okay. I don’t really remember how I was. I just know there was nothing particularly wrong. Next thing I know I’m sat writing suicide notes, crying my eyes out and having palpitations. I don’t know what triggered it. All I know is I was meant to be writing a list of things to take on holiday… not writing suicide notes.


I don’t know why I did it. Maybe it was a safety valve. Picturing me not being here anymore. Maybe it helped ease whatever I was feeling.


The other day I wrote something I wanted my former best friend to see. I felt so positive I was going to send it to her (somehow…. not sure how, as she moved house and didn’t tell me where to, and has me blocked online). The next day I decided against it. I now feel the next time she will hear from me will be after I’m gone. Unless she makes the move to sort things out with me in this lifetime, we won’t speak again until I’m dead. So I wrote her a letter for when the time comes. I don’t know if I honestly want that to happen or if going through the motions of it just allowed me to release what I felt towards her, in a more raw way, without all the BS.


I started writing other ones too. It was upsetting. It was very hard to wake up this morning and pretend this hadn’t been my reality last night. I thought I would have to take my emergency meds last night, but managed to get myself through without them. So it ended up being a success story anyway. But I am still unsettled by it all.


I wanted to reach out to people last night, and earlier. To tell the truth about how low I felt. Yesterday I typed out a status for Facebook. But I backspaced it all. I don’t ‘attention-seek’ anymore. Nobody cares what I have to say about my mental illness. I keep it all inside. I sort of feel if I write notes and then go straight online and talk about it then it’s just for ‘attention’. It’s not real. But this was real. Or the most real it’s ever been. I still feel incredibly low from what I wrote. Because what I wrote is my reality. I’ve spent so long talking about ending my life and not doing it, so I’ve stopped talking now. This being the exception.


Looking through my CMHT assessment letter I see “You described thoughts of not wanting to be around however there is no intent to act on these”…. “Fleeting suicidal thoughts with no intent and plan”. Of course that was in January. We’re in October now, and I lost my only remaining friend to suicide in May. These thoughts are not ‘fleeting’ anymore. I’m unsure of ‘intent’ now… I can’t guarantee anything. Same with a ‘plan’… no fixed plan, but ideas… it’s coming together. Planning ahead. I’m beginning to think about what I want people to know when the time comes. When… the time comes. Not if. That’s how things have changed since my assessment. It feels like a certainty now, that I will leave this world by my own hand. I just don’t know when. That’s how dark my mind has become. I see no other way. The death of my friend and the cold abandonment by the other friend, it’s all changed me forever. There’s no way back from that.


But like I was saying, it’s the instability that gets me. I can be plodding along just fine and then be swamped by painful emotions, or even numbness. It’s like a great looming suicidal cloud wafts in and takes over everything for the rest of the day. But then today, I was doing some tidying whilst people were out, and dancing like a maniac to some great music. Now I’m sat writing this blog… feeling the weight of depression and despair behind my eyes. Feeling paralysed by reality. Feeling detached from it all. Feeling I’m already dead.


Part of me sometimes feels hopeful, now I’ve finally taken the first step to getting some level of help. It’ll probably be at least a month to wait for an assessment, but at least it’s something to hope for… that they can help me want to live life again. I just don’t see how they could possibly fix someone this broken. I just hate how there are times I feel there’s a bit of hope. That I can do this. That I have to do this, because I have plans next year and want to be better by then…. and then there’s other times I’m certain I won’t be here for those plans. That none of it matters…. that it’s only a matter of time until I go.


It’s never been quite so extreme as it has been this year. In the past people may have noticed me seeming happy one minute and then being down the next…. feeling so lucky to have such great friends, to nobody caring about me….. but this is more dramatic than that. The highs aren’t high at all. But the lows would fool you into thinking there were great highs… I fall so hard and fast, and so far below where I used to fall. Having a day where I don’t contemplate ending my life – that is a ‘high’ point for me now. Though maybe I do feel happier than that sometimes, and just can’t see it right now, as I’m in one of my ‘lows’ again.


I have this difficulty that when things are bad I can’t ever remember them being good. I actually found the term emotional impermanence once – at least I think that’s what it was…. the idea that you can’t recall a previously felt emotion in its absence. I was looking at that from an aspect of relationship problems – that if someone isn’t showing caring towards me, I feel like they don’t care. They may be kind and say nice words at one point, but if they then go off the radar for a month or two and never check in…. that kindness, caring and those nice words no longer exist. They weren’t permanent. They were fleeting. I remember saying in a video journal I did sometime last year, about friends saying they care about me, and my thought was ‘How long for? A message? Then back to radio silence?’ – that’s one of the problems I have…. it’s why people like me need so much reassurance when we’re ill. We forget. We need reminding. It’s what I needed from people last year…. reminders that people cared. Rather than people assuming I know they care and are there for me, as they offered it once upon a time, I need them to remind me when I’m struggling. Because when I’m most ill I truly feel nobody cares. I need evidence that they do. Current evidence. So for the last year I probably seemed like I was ‘attention-seeking’ by saying nobody cared etc. – that was me asking people to reassure me that they did. So yes, I was seeking attention… but not to feed my ego or whatever, but because I honestly couldn’t remember the feeling of being cared for. I still don’t know how that feels. Kindness and positivity feel alien to me now. It’s like there’s a shield around me whenever anyone tries it. I can’t connect to either. I wish people would think of it like amnesia or something…. they wouldn’t blame me for not being able to remember something they said a few months back, if they offered support. But they expect me to remember it when I’m struggling with my mental health. I can’t. If something isn’t happening right here right now, I don’t know how it feels and find no comfort in sentiments that may no longer exist.


It’s like people saying to remember the good times with my granddad and how it felt. I can’t. I’m detached from my feelings. Apart from lacking actual memories with anyone, I can’t recreate feelings that are gone. Like looking at old photos – I can’t connect to them on any level. I have to trust that was me and I did those things. I sometimes do think I have some sort of amnesia. I look at photos and think I had a wonderful upbringing and was loved. But I’m basing that on photos and how much I love my family. I don’t recall how I felt growing up. I don’t know what sort of childhood I had. I have no memories of it. It’s like it wasn’t me. Sometimes I feel like an imposter in the body of this girl in the photos. I feel like a separate entity that has taken over her body but does not share her memories. It’s weird and slightly terrifying.


And my former friend… I miss her. I keep thinking about everything we’ve been through together and never will do again…. there isn’t a possibility in my mind that she ever really cared about me. A lot of the troubles towards the end came from me needing her reassurance and her not understanding this, so rather than reminding me she cared about me, she made me feel like a burden to her, and the distance kept widening between us… when all I wanted and needed was her to care about me, because I couldn’t remember a time when she did. The more silence there is, the more I split and forget how people once felt about me. She then effectively ghosted me and I’ve never been the same since. It was the final nail in the coffin of my sanity. I was left to fill in the blanks with my paranoid thoughts. I was left not only with an absence of her, but an absence of her care and supportive words, and worse than that, a feeling of being nothing to her but a nuisance. I see our whole history differently as a result. I don’t see any care in the highlights my mind offers me. I see detachment. I feel used. I feel tolerated. I feel pain and hatred. And all of this because about 12-14 months ago she couldn’t say ‘I care about you….. you matter to me’ and give me an hour of her time to show she still cared about me. None of this would’ve ever happened if she could’ve just reminded me of our friendship and who I was to her. That’s why I’m sad at the moment.


That and my recent loss. I remember Liv saying that the 4-8 month mark was bad for her mental health after her loss. It’s been almost five months now since she left. And I’d agree. I don’t know how I’m going to cope with this. I don’t know how to get through it. All I know is I can’t talk to anyone about any of it now. They’ve all made sure of that. I suffer in silence now.


My circumstances are the hurdle to me recovering. Having one friend ditch me and another take her own life…. leaving me with nobody…. no support network…. no safety net…. no rock to keep me going…. no reason to live…. I’ve never had to pull myself out of a place this deep and dark, and I’ve never had to do it alone. I know that will be the point… this has happened so that I can prove my strength to pull myself out of this wreck… and if I can survive this I can survive anything. The trouble is I don’t think I will survive this. Not right now. And if I do, then what? What am I surviving for? What life am I trying to get back to? I have none. I have nothing. I have nothing to aim for. If I somehow manage to survive and get well, I will be starting my life all over again…. but at a time where I’m also likely to face more painful loss all alone, as nobody’s getting any younger… which will just knock me back down again. It feels like a hopeless uphill struggle right now. I can’t see the light. I can’t even tell which way I’m facing or where the ground is.


I’m taking blind steps at the moment in terms of seeking help. It took me ages to send off the forms because I couldn’t fill in the box about my goals, and what I hope to get out of using the service. So in the end I was totally honest… told it like it is. Said how bad things are, that I can’t see a future so can’t say goals… listed all the problems etc. Obviously this worried them so they want me to see my doctor while I wait to be assessed. I have a tendency to put things off. I’ve been seeing my doctor every month for the last year or so…. there’s nothing she can do to help me. She knows how bad I feel. What’s the point in going back to see her to tell her ‘yep, still feeling suicidal’…? All it does is make me feel like a burden. I don’t like worrying people. I can’t do it in the next two weeks anyway, so not much point. It’s nice that they cared though. It’s an odd feeling, that unsettled me. Brings back memories of therapy two years ago… a problem in itself. But yeah I’m just going to have to put blind faith in them to help me find my feet. I’m just worried I’ll be beyond the realms of support they can give…. and I know CMHT won’t see me until they help me… so I’m kind of stuck at the moment. Too ill for anyone, but CMHT don’t want to help at the moment, plus the grief stuff kind of effs it all up too. Who the hell do I see first, and what for?? I don’t know how to solve the chaos inside me at the moment. I’m hoping talking to them might clear that up for me. It’s good they want to know why the mental health team didn’t refer me themselves and left me to self-refer. Gives me hope that they’ll do the right thing by me and get me to the right place.


It’s a long way off though. Many suicidal days to survive first. It’s exhausting. Especially hiding it from everyone and pretending to be ‘normal’. But I can’t open up anymore in real life. It’s impossible. Have to just take it a day at a time and put up with the unstable emotions and raging thoughts. Don’t have another choice. If I could sleep for a long time and wake up when I’m healed and life is better, that would be great. But sadly that will never happen. I have to tolerate this existence or opt out. Although my mind is preparing for it, I’m not ready to quit yet. So I must battle on.





Stigma: All’s Fair In Love & War… And Politics Apparently.

“My self-worth is not linked to your cruel words and actions.My self-esteem is not affected by your deliberate attempts to destroy my character.You have no power over me.You will not s



*Bad language & self-harm*



To the woman (I assume) who attacked my personality the other night…


This was going to be a post about people like yourself, who have a habit of diagnosing those you don’t agree with, with mental illnesses. I had collected evidence from the last few months of just that, where people said President Trump has Borderline Personality Disorder. I wanted to tackle the stigma that people like you are spreading with your uneducated opinions. But after the way you spoke to me the other night, I’m addressing you as an individual.


I never challenge things online. For reasons such as you. It took a lot for me to pluck up the courage to speak up. But I couldn’t see such lies about BPD being spread. You were saying that BPD is a ‘personality defect’ and ‘not curable’. You are wrong on both counts. I felt I had a duty to say something. I naively thought you looked like a decent person, and might be welcoming of new ideas. I thought you might be a reasonable person…. boy was I wrong! I’ve encountered some nasty people in my life – it’s why I am the way I am…. but you are by far the worst of all the people I’ve had the displeasure of conversing with.


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Your responses to me were full of sarcasm, attitude, anger and false accusations. You are a spiteful bully and a narcissist. You talked to me of ‘projection’ – projecting your own projection onto me … which is ironic, as that’s a part of being a narcissist – the same thing you actually mean when you talk about Trump. The thing you’re confusing with BPD. I was trying to educate you on the difference. It’s not my fault you’re a closed-minded bigot. You actually were trying to ‘gas-light’ me as well, by saying ‘you WERE absolutely asking me to have compassion for Trump supporters’ – that’s another narcissistic tactic, to try and create doubt in my mind about what I said and what I meant… to change the narrative to make yourself look better…. it’s either gas-lighting or you’re just dumb and didn’t read what I said at all. Maybe your understanding of the English language is below par.


I most certainly was NOT asking you to have compassion for Trump supporters, I was saying people should have more compassion for those with a mental illness, and since Trump supporters do not have this mental illness of BPD, I was NOT asking you to feel compassionate towards THEM. I was asking you to have more respect for those with the mental illness. They don’t have it. Trump doesn’t have it. You just hate him. I could easily claim that YOU and your lot have a mental illness…. I’d probably be closer to the truth with that too, as you seem totally deranged in your fanatical hatred of Republicans. But the truth is your lot also don’t have a mental illness…. you just have different opinions to Republicans… and those of you who seem crazy and show all your bad qualities are not mentally ill, you are just unpleasant people!!! You see? People have different opinions. Just because they don’t fit with yours, and you can’t accept that Trump is the President, it doesn’t mean that he and those who put him in power, have a mental illness… but I would seriously consider whether you have one….


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The way you went on the attack, and were so unreasonable causes me concern. It’s not normal to behave that way. Yes I was challenging something you said, but I did so respectfully, with goodwill. I was not rude to you, I didn’t swear, I wasn’t provocative, so I don’t know what your problem is. I think you are so livid with the result of your election, and hate Republicans and Trump that much that you swipe at anyone who isn’t as livid about it as you. You’d probably take a swipe at a Democrat who has even one ounce of reason or acceptance of things. You need something to control your rage. You are behaving worse than you are accusing others of being! You try and give off this sense that Democrats (just like Remain voters) are better people than those who won the vote…. but you show from the way you speak of them, and your violent, aggressive, hateful and divisive nature that you are in fact MUCH worse as people.


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I wasn’t trying to ‘shame’ you by saying ‘the likes of you’ – that’s a wild interpretation of a set of words…. those words simply meant ‘people like yourself’ i.e. you and others who feel the same as you…. but Twitter has a character limit, so ‘the likes of you’ fitted in better! Deary me if you’re offended by that… ! It was actually a way of not singling you out – not being so confrontational as saying ‘something that YOU are fortunate to not understand’ – for fuck’s sake, if my trying to not be confrontational made you angry then you need help! I honestly don’t see the offence in my words. However calling me an ‘arrogant know-it-all’ IS bloody offensive and I reported you for it and all your subsequent tweets.


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You also said that you’ll rush out and get a psych degree so you don’t insult ‘people who have no compassion or interest in other humans’….. First of all it doesn’t take having a psych degree to know how to be kind to people. I don’t have one, and I manage just fine. Most people I know don’t have such a degree yet know how to be a decent person. It’s not hard… though you obviously think otherwise!  Second of all you talk about these people who have no compassion or interest in other humans, yet you prove that you have no interest in how other people feel, no interest in changing your behaviour and wording so as not to hurt other people, and you have no compassion for mentally ill human beings…. I think this sentence tells everyone all they need to know about you.


You said to ‘whine at someone who cares’… you made it perfectly clear you are not a caring sort of person. You made yourself sound like a teenager having a strop. I’m shocked to discover you’re actually in your late sixties! Your behaviour does not reflect this in the slightest. I’d have thought you would know better how to be respectful of others. Clearly not. You said I was just ‘pretending to be on the high road’, simply because you recognised I was on the high road, and you wanted to drag me down from it.


You are a little bit delusional and dramatic if you think your country is crumbling around you… your own little world where you get your own way may be crumbling around you, but I don’t think things are all that bad. They’d be a damn slight better if you started accepting things the way they are. You’d find more peace. But you clearly enjoy conflict above all else. The ‘assholes causing it’ are probably those unwilling to accept the result two years on, as it is here. I respect you don’t like Trump, you don’t agree with the result, but calling his supporters ‘assholes’ won’t change anything. It won’t get you anywhere, and will only breed anger and division. You should calm down.


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You say I jumped into what was an obvious political discussion – yes, I did, because you were incorporating MENTAL ILLNESS in that political discussion, and my whole point was that was uncalled for. If it was solely political that’s different – when you bring mental illness into a political discussion it suddenly changes from a political discussion, to a political and mental health discussion. You don’t dictate what is allowed to be discussed henceforth. It’s indecent of you to label someone as ‘borderline’ simply because you don’t like them. Only I was saying it in a nicer way. But I’ll be straight now, and say – it’s a bitchy thing to do, and makes you a very nasty and uneducated person. You are adding to stigma and should be ashamed of yourself. There. Said it. I’ll speak your language, rather than trying to be polite about things… being polite and thinking through my responses still ended up with me being spat at anyway. At one point in our discussion I actually typed in the words ‘To use language you understand – fuck you!’… but deleted it, because I’m not that person. But actually after what you were like, and what it did to me… yeah… fuck you.


I wasn’t ‘lecturing you’, I was hoping it might guide you, inform you, enlighten you, and I was making sure people newly diagnosed with BPD know there is hope and that it doesn’t mean their personality is flawed. But you’re a closed-minded moron, so nothing will get through your thick skull. As for ‘think what you like’ – I realised I was talking to the thickest of walls, so your opinion is your opinion, feel free to think it…. but it doesn’t mean you’re right. Still makes you a bitch. Still makes you nasty and a bit of a sociopath to be honest, but keep doing it, whatever works for you….. Again, character limit.


But do you know what I noticed? I noticed that you picked apart every innocent word I said, and turned it into either an ‘insult’ or me being ‘above you’ i.e. ‘arrogant’. You read into words that mean nothing. You are either highly paranoid and need help with it. Or you recognised that actually I was right, and you felt bad, so had to attack me to feel better about yourself…. but since I was not offensive to you, you had to try and find some fault in the wording I used, to make it look like an attack on YOU – that is fucked up mate.


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I’ll tell you how you were being offensive – calling me an arrogant know-it-all. You called me arrogant twice. You don’t fucking know me mate. Anyone who knows me would tell you how polar opposite I am to that. You’re the arrogant one. There’s some projection going on with you I think ‘deary’. Patronising bitch. Fuck you. You only WISH you were on a high horse. You were on the ground, and losing ground, so you were wildly, viciously clawing at me, to make sure I was no better than you. You were trying to get a rise out of me. I managed to stay calm through most of it. My heart was all over the place. But I waited for it to calm down before responding. I wish I hadn’t given you as much as I did, because you will use that as ‘evidence about people with BPD being a certain way’. You’re wrong. Anyone would have reacted how I did when provoked. Of course your side of the story would be that I provoked YOU. That I baited you and then played the victim. But if you can’t take a little questioning of your spreading of misinformation on something quite important actually, and your ego is too big to be ‘challenged’, then I’m glad I did it. Because people like you need taking down a peg or two. You think too much of yourself. You think you’re right, and anything else is wrong. That much is evident from things you said to me, but also on your timeline. I simply made a comment in defence of those with BPD – that was not baiting you. It may be what you read into it, but it didn’t require a response, especially in the manner you responded. And you continued it even after I explained and tried to defuse your aggression.


The fact is you knew I had BPD, and yet continued to lash out at me and hurt me. This either shows the FACT that you don’t know anything about BPD, and that therefore you should not cause such hurt to someone… though given your opinions about Republicans I’m wondering why you would think anything other than ‘I shouldn’t cause hurt to anyone whoever they are’ – as you think you’re so noble and morally superior….. Or it shows that you’re a psychopath and a narcissist and you take joy in making people like me cut themselves. Because that’s what I did. Repeatedly. Violently.


You were fucking offensive and aggressive, and you tried to excuse that by insisting that I don’t know you and called you ‘the likes of you’…. in what world is that even offensive? If you want offensive then read this bloody letter. I’d agree it’s offensive. I’d also say it’s true though from what I’ve witnessed with you and how you made me feel. I’m rightly angry about your bullying nature – this is the reaction to that. Your response was totally uncalled for, and out of proportion with what I was even saying. That’s because you’re so caught up in your hate-filled bubble about Trump, that you perceive everything as an ‘attack’…. you see everyone as ‘the enemy’ unless they agree with you 100%. What I said was not in the slightest bit offensive. And you people wonder why you get called ‘snowflakes’! Seriously. I don’t call people that, but being offended by a general term of ‘the likes of you’ – meaning ‘you and others similar to yourself’ is very snowflake-ish. How anything can be inferred about your character from those words I don’t know. But calling me arrogant is an offence against my character. There’s no mistaking what you meant by your words. So that’s how you were offensive. I notice you deleted that tweet soon after… did it reflect badly on you?


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I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with anyone so vile as you. There was one who I used to know who was offensive and resorted to personal insults, when they couldn’t bring me down any other way. But actually even she pales into insignificance next to you. You do your side of the political debate no favours. I don’t actually give a fuck about American politics. I don’t give a fuck whether I SHOULD give a fuck about American politics. I believe in democracy, acceptance and just bloody well getting on with it. But you have shown Democrats to be vile, deranged bullies. I’m quite upset that I also at the moment think badly of Americans. I know I will get over that, because there are lots of lovely American people, but you do them no favours by behaving in the way that you have.


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I’ve seen too much evidence of Americans attacking Trump and sometimes his supporters, saying they all have BPD. This is unacceptable. Nobody can diagnose someone from their armchair. Even medical professionals who say they think he’s got it, cannot and should not do that. You cannot diagnose someone unless you are qualified to do so, and have met them in person and evaluated their mental health. You cannot decide who has what mental illness. If you want to call him a narcissist that’s different, because you’re not referring to the illness of NPD, you’re just talking about his nature, if that’s how you perceive it. People can be narcissistic without having the personality disorder. But I don’t get why you can’t just state the fact you hate the guy, hate everything he says, everything he does, everything he stands for, and will never accept him as President, full-stop. Why bring mental illness into it?


Does it make you feel powerful or something? That would be my guess from reading such posts. It gives off an air of ‘I’m better than you – I’m more sane than you…. you’re a crazy person…. you have a mental illness…. your “crazy” is showing’. It seems like you’re all doing it to make you feel better about yourselves. Can you not see what is wrong with that mentality? To put people with mental illness down, to make you feel better…. to use a mental illness as a way of insulting someone you don’t like….. to imply that someone is incapable of doing a job because of a supposed mental illness…. you are stigmatising and discriminating against those with mental health problems. And when you attack one, you attack all. Even though in your mind you’re possibly thinking ‘Depression and anxiety are “good” mental illnesses…. BPD is one of the “bad” ones’. You are still discriminating against those with mental illness. Would you do the same with those physically disabled? Would you use their personal circumstances to make you feel better?


“No one would ever say that someone with a broken arm or a broken leg is less than a whole person, but people say that or imply that all the time about people with mental illness.”



I would hope that most of those throwing ‘BPD’ at Trump would in reality have compassion for those with such a mental illness. I’d like to believe that people still have their humanity. That if faced with a loved one with such an illness, they would be caring, compassionate and understanding, and defend their loved ones against harmful words like this. Either I’m wrong, and they honestly think those with BPD or mental illnesses are the scum of the Earth, in which case may they live long enough to experience such a mental illness themselves and face such stigma. OR I’m right and they do care about people with mental illness, and are just being foolish in posting such shit online. Maybe they don’t comprehend the damage they’re doing….


Trump is a controversial character. People love him or hate him. The hate is toxic. WRONGLY diagnosing him with BPD, and listing incorrect symptoms of BPD to back-up that false diagnosis, will cause trouble for those of us with BPD. When people hear about our BPD they will think of Trump, if these opinions are allowed to circulate unchallenged. Trump does not have BPD… not the recognisable diagnosable version of it. I realise I am equally unqualified to say he doesn’t have it, as I’m not his therapist – but the point is he would have to be assessed by a professional to be given a diagnosis, and I feel I know a fair bit about my own illness, to know what the symptoms are, and what they are not. People say he meets all the criteria. This cannot be assumed. How does anyone know how he feels about himself? About abandonment? Does he self-harm? Is he suicidal? Does he feel empty? How would anyone but a personal psychiatrist / therapist know any of that?


People seem to be basing this apparent ‘diagnosis’ on possible anger outbursts – which EVERYONE is capable of… doesn’t mean they all have a personality disorder; on ‘impulsive’ decisions he’s made; on ‘narcissism’ which they believe is a symptom of BPD; apparently ‘pathological lying’ which they claim is a symptom of BPD too – news to me! They talk about his BPD and how he’s self-absorbed, thinks he’s always right. They claim projection and triangulation (playing people off against each other), and gas-lighting are symptoms of BPD… these are all symptoms of NPD, and the two should not be confused! I feel convinced that knowledge of the different personality disorders varies in America from in the UK. I’ve often witnessed people lumping all ‘Cluster B’ personality disorders in together, as though they’re all the same. They’re not. There may be a little overlap between the disorders, but they are different. People have claimed that those with BPD lack empathy, therefore Trump has BPD. What bullshit is this?! Anyone who’s reading this and has BPD knows what a lie this is – we have an abundance of empathy… so much that it actually hurts when others are hurting… we are able to read the emotions of others. We wouldn’t hurt or reject other people because we know too well how it feels, to be hurt and rejected by others.


“With ignorance comes fear- from fear comes bigotry. Education is the key to acceptance.”



Everything they say about BPD is wrong. Some even refer to it as a ‘narcissistic borderline personality disorder‘ – there’s no such thing… it’s one or the other. I shouldn’t be too bothered, as they’re only showing their ignorance… but it’s sad that so many speak of something they know nothing about, and those words they speak are damaging and dangerous for people who already suffer a great deal. These people all paint a picture of people with BPD being ‘monsters’. If they only knew the reality they’d feel ashamed of vilifying us. People with BPD are some of the loveliest, kindest, most caring, loyal, funny, creative, generous, loving, understanding people – a damn slight nicer than those who insult them! Whilst people are painting the image of us as people who abuse others, we are in fact more likely to be the VICTIMS of abuse ourselves.


This woman who attacked me said that BPD is a ‘sad personality defect’. She is so wrong. Ignorance and the unwillingness to learn from your mistakes, and attack people instead is a ‘sad personality defect’. A stubbornness and arrogance. That’s what I would refer to as a ‘defect’. BPD is not a flawed personality, as we all know. We know about the movement to change the name, as it doesn’t reflect the meaning. It’s not about our personality at all. It is about our emotions, our difficulty regulating them, and how we relate to the world. It’s about how we cope with our emotions. People labelling Trump and followers with it are implying it’s who we are, there’s no cure, we don’t even accept there’s a problem (NPD), and that negative character traits = personality disorder. It doesn’t. Everyone has less than desirable traits – it doesn’t mean they all have a personality disorder. People like this woman for instance… she demonstrated many undesirable qualities in just a few short tweets…. do I therefore diagnose her with a personality disorder? Whilst the temptation may be ‘yes!’ because I’m angry with her, and appalled at her behaviour, there is no reason for me to diagnose her with any mental illness, including a personality disorder. She’s just an arsehole.


People can hate Trump. I have no issue with that. I don’t think people should be so offensive towards those who support him and voted for him…. I think these people need to become familiar with ‘live and let live‘… accept a difference of opinion and move on. But let’s just say for a moment that I don’t even care if people hate Trump voters too….. People can say what they like about Trump, the situation, the voters…. they can say they hate him, he’s a prick, his supporters are idiots, they detest their country now, their lives are ruined forever… whatever…. but mental illness? Come on! They’re ‘free’ to say what they like about that too, as we have freedom of speech still, for now, but I want those people to realise it makes them look like not very decent people. A lot of people in the world are trying to be more open about their mental health struggles, and battle the stigma, and such ignorance and hatred – trying to get people to hate those they deem to have a mental illness, is just so backward-thinking. So they can’t use mental illness as an insult, and then claim they have the moral high-ground politically.


Insults are the last resort of insecure people with a crumbling position trying to appear confident in their dumb decisions.



My question to those people would be – Would you speak about BPD in this manner if you weren’t associating it with Trump? Forget Trump is President… rewind a few years…. would you spread such vile opinions about a mental illness like BPD? Or are you just doing it to have a go at Trump and make yourselves feel better because you lost? If you would still do it then shame on you…. there’s no hope for you ever changing probably… though it would be nice if you could properly educate yourself about mental illness (note: this does not require going to university and getting a ‘psych degree’ – read a book…. read blogs…. listen to people who have BPD!). If you’re only doing it because it’s Trump then think. Be better than this. Don’t let your hatred of Trump and Republicans turn you into ill-informed, ignorant, insensitive arseholes.


I know nobody likes to admit they’re wrong about something. A part of me would be concerned that I honestly upset and embarrassed this woman the other day, and that she was just refusing to admit a mistake. But to be frank I think she’s just a bitter, angry woman, who loves hurting people and putting them down to make herself feel more powerful. I’ve met one or two of them in my life.


I hate people trying to paint me as some sort of villain when I’m trying to do something good in the world. I’m not a nasty person (I know you might think so from this post, but this is the releasing of emotions stirred up by a bully)… I don’t like confrontation. I hate conflict. I think the scars on my arms would tell you as much. I’m a peaceful person. I’m quiet and reserved by nature. And my only aim in what I said was to help people who have BPD… to defend them against such vicious lies. To stand up for what’s right. To stand up for those of us with this illness, who feel we have no voice a lot of the time. To try and educate people to stop the stigma. This woman has a fixed idea in her head what BPD is all about. She has demonised us and will never change her stance. Upon hearing that I am one of those with this illness, she obviously decided what sort of person I was and treated me in relation to her beliefs about people like us. This is her problem not mine. She got me all wrong. She misunderstood me as a person… she misunderstood my intentions, my illness, my words. She invented insults out of what I said. She interpreted what I said and tried to tell me what I said / meant, when only I know what was meant… she thought she knew my mind better than I do. She doesn’t know anything but her own mind. I think she lives in her little bubble of hatred… she’s blind to all else. The trouble is though, once someone like this makes up their mind about you, there’s no persuading them otherwise. She’d decided I was a villain, just like Trump and his supporters – I didn’t even have to be a Trump supporter myself to incur her wrath. Once I’d been put in that category there was no coming out of it. I could’ve been the sweetest person on Earth to her, and she would insist I was doing it to wind her up, and to pretend I was better than her.


This is what’s known as a ‘superiority complex’. It’s something that’s fascinated me in our politics too, where Labour voters perceive Conservatives to be ‘above them’… ‘looking down on them’…. ‘posh, rich snobs with no idea of real problems’. These attitudes are in themselves ‘snobbish’. Labour voters sneer at Conservatives and call them ‘Tory scum’, to put them down and make themselves feel superior. They claim to be morally superior to hide the fact they  FEEL inferior. The important thing to note is that they’re not actually inferior. And Conservatives DON’T think they’re better than them. This is why it’s called ‘a complex’. They feel inferior, so try to appear superior. Conservatives don’t look down their noses on Labour voters… certainly not for the reasons they think. More recently I’m sure a great many do, but simply because of the behaviour of Labour voters – the same sort of behaviour I witnessed from this woman. When people act like that, you do start to feel like you’re ‘better than them’, and ‘above such behaviour’. You do start to feel morally superior…. and in that way what people with a superiority complex do, is cause the very behaviour they’re afraid of… It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.


As someone with BPD I take on the negative things people think and say about me, as though they’re true. This comes from not feeling certain of who I am – I often split on myself, and go from thinking I’m a good person, to thinking I’m a terrible person. And words like ‘arrogant know-it-all’ scar me. They go into my negativity memory bank, for a rainy day when I’m hating myself. They will replay now forever. In a rational, more positive mind though, I know how wrong she is about that. I know I have the qualities of my granddad, and he was gentle, reserved, quiet and a good person who worried and cared about other people.


That was all I was doing by my tweet… worrying how those with BPD would feel. Standing up for them. Challenging stigma. If that makes me ‘arrogant’ in someone’s view, then so be it. I think it’s better to defend and explain a mental illness than to demonise it. I just chose the wrong sort of person to do that with. She wants to remain ignorant. I will continue to fight stigma where I can, but I will stay far away from anti-Trump fanatics from now on. They’re not reasonable people. And I’m not strong enough to cope with them.


Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.

Said by the husband of who that woman would
have supported in the elections. How ironic.




Sick Of Myself.



I can understand why the suicide rate for those with BPD is so high…. because for the first time in my life I am thoroughly sick of being me. I’m sick of this brain… these thoughts… and what a difficult person I am to know. I hate myself, and I realise I’m always going to be this messed up, so how on earth can I live with that? Don’t worry, I’m not saying I’m about to end my life just yet, but I have had enough of myself.


So much of my currently undiagnosed illness occurs on the inside. Nobody knows what it’s like to be me. Obviously if you follow this blog you may have some idea, as you yourself may have it. But I mean those around me don’t know what it’s like. It’s lonely.


I’m currently at war in my head. I’ve got it in my mind that people don’t like me. I posted a video the other day, explaining the emotional mess I’m in – I thought I’d ‘talk to myself’ as nobody else appeared to want to talk to me. I felt I didn’t have anyone there for me. And this is one of the most shit times of the year for me. Anyway, several times I’ve ‘reached out’ in the hope someone would notice my struggle and check in with me. Nope. Invisible. And to top it off, once I posted the video, something was said that made me question if I’d offended someone. I felt they were having a pop at me. Which is a replica of this time last year. I know you’d say it’s a sign of a guilty conscience if I think it was about me. But yeah, I admit I referenced something said by the person, but nobody would’ve known. And I wasn’t having a go at them, I was having a go about what happened for me, at this time last year which I’m still not over. What they said was merely a trigger for that memory, and those feelings about myself.


Fact is I am struggling so much at the moment, and that video allowed me to let some of it out – I was shouting, I was crying. And that’s the tip of the iceberg. I’m sorry, but I had to let it out somehow. If comments were made and they were about me, then I am not very happy. Not in the slightest. That would be a double whammy of triggers for me, from my past with an ex-friend. Not sure I could forgive that. My video was essentially a ‘cry for help’. It was to tell my friends I’m not okay, and I need their help. I’ve got a flipping mental health problem, why can’t anyone understand that?! I’m aware the comments may not have been about me. But I have a lot of paranoia at the moment. I feel abandoned by all of my friends. I feel excluded from a group of people, because I said I wasn’t up to seeing them all together yet… would’ve been happy to meet one-on-one, but a group is too overwhelming right now. But I feel they’re all getting on and being friends and I’ve alienated myself. It makes me think I am an outsider, and they don’t really want to know me… nobody wants to know me.


I feel nobody cares about me, and I’m sick of myself for constantly feeling that way. It wouldn’t matter how many times someone proved their friendship to me, I’d still have these episodes where I feel utterly, painfully alone and hated. And I HATE that this is my life now.


In the past I would’ve begged people to stay, or to talk to me. But I’ve become so used to being abandoned, and people disappearing on me, that I just give up. I go quiet. I pull away from everyone …. to see if anyone notices. They usually don’t. Or if they do it’ll take a good two or three weeks. Really tells me all I need to know about how much I’d be missed if I wasn’t here anymore…


I’m sick of not knowing what’s real. There are some things I’m not sure if they’re true, or if I’m just paranoid, or delusional. It scares me that my mind may not be telling me the truth about situations. I feel I can’t trust myself. But I also can’t check out the stories, so have to just go with my assumptions, as I have with the video thing. I may be very wrong, but I’ve gone with it, and have felt shit all day, because of the comments made in response, that make me feel effectively like I’m being ganged up on by my friends… not that they know anything about it. But this is why I can’t do a group again. I’ve been there and was severely hurt before. I had a friend in the group, run to the rest of the group when she fell out with me, and tell them all our business, and talk about me behind my back. It made it impossible to be in the group, and it all fell apart from there. I cannot go through that again. I already feel like an outsider with them, it would only make it worse if it turned out to be the reality.


But this is what I mean – I don’t know what reality is anymore. All I know is hardly any of my friends talk to me anymore. And I don’t know what I did wrong. Did I disclose too much about my mental illness? Do I express opinions they don’t agree with? Am I a horrible person? Because that’s how it makes me feel. I’ll admit, I don’t want to see anyone at the moment, and I suck at replying to people… but it would be nice to know they still care and hope that I’m okay. It would be nice to know they’re there for me in the bad times. Perhaps friends assume it’s a given, but that’s the difficulty with having a mental illness like this… nothing is a given. I need reminding, often, that I matter. And I’m so sorry that makes me a nuisance. I can sometimes just switch and forget anyone’s ever said anything nice to me, or done anything nice. All I’ll remember are the bad things, or the silence of my friends when I asked for their help.


I’ll remember the emotional distance. I’ll remember nobody ever letting me be there for them – they always come back with ‘I don’t want to talk’… makes the friendship feel uneven. I’ll remember that nobody ever says they love me. It’s not often been said throughout my life. I’ll remember that nobody ever showed gratitude when I’ve taken the time to do something nice for them. It’s not that I did it for a thank you, but it would be nice to know my effort was appreciated. Heck, even further, it would be nice to know I’M appreciated enough for them to put as much effort in for me! It’s not giving to get. But it’s knowing they value my friendship as much as I value theirs. I wanted to be treated the way I treated my friends. I wanted them to go that extra mile for me. And perhaps at some point some of them have…. but the state of mind I’m in now, I can’t remember such a time.


This is what I mean. I’m splitting, and can only really see the negative right now. This is the most severe and prolonged episode I’ve ever experienced of this. I can’t see myself coming out of it with friends on the other side. If they hadn’t already abandoned me, they will now. But I am so close to the edge, it almost doesn’t matter anymore. I can’t keep living like this. I can’t be me.


It’s like the transference issue I had last year, I’m writing a post, and spoke about it in the video, about how I’m convinced there was something there… even the most minute thing – be it curiosity… caring … concern … or just being flattered. I sensed something, based on my observations… on an energy level. I can’t say that to anyone, as they would tell me categorically I am wrong. That I’m imagining it. They would rule it out, without even knowing the situation or the observations. Now, I accept that I could be totally wrong about this. But again, this is a case of not knowing ‘reality’. I feel like I’m losing the plot… I’ve gone mad and I’m delusional. But I felt it. To me it was real. It didn’t mean a thing, it was harmless and I was in no way led to believe anything was there. It was more of an intuitive feeling. It’s all irrelevant now anyway, as I’ll never see him again. But it makes me question my sanity. And it’s very invalidating to constantly be told it was unreciprocated / unrequited, when my heart tells me something else.


I’m so tired of life. I’m tired of doubting my importance to those who I call a friend. I’m tired of pushing people away and of them never pulling me back. I’m tired of being such a burden and nuisance to my friends. I’m tired of being so depressed. I’m tired of feeling alone. I’m tired of the ups and downs of human interaction. I’m not strong enough for it. And I feel everyone must hate me… and if they don’t, I wonder why not.


BPD sucks. No matter how we may try and dress it up, or laugh it off at times. It’s emotional hell. It’s isolation. And it’s endless turmoil. Nobody would choose a life like this. Nobody. And I’m sorry to all those who know the suffering like I do. I empathise with you. Anyone who manages to survive with this deserves a medal. Some people don’t realise how easy they have it. I’d give anything to not be experiencing this illness.


Open Letter To MH Professionals, From Someone Lost In The System.


*This is in no way an attack on MH services, as I’m sure you all feel the same. It’s an expression of helplessness, and a plea to the powers that be, for something to be done, not just for me but for millions of people in this country, denied the support they need*


Dear mental health professionals….

I know you’re under pressure. I know you’re underfunded. I know you have rules and tick boxes that prevent you from doing the job to the standard you wish you could. You work hard and do the best you can, and I have a lot of respect and appreciation for the majority of you, who have chosen a career based on helping ease the suffering of others. It’s admirable. But can I just share with you my experience of being on the other side? Because whilst you may have the option of walking away from your job if it ever gets too much, I cannot walk away from my mental illness. So I’d like to share with you the struggle of existing in this world with this illness, and nowhere to turn for support……

Nine years ago I was doing a couple of courses of DBT. Little did I know at the time I was actually being treated for Borderline Personality Disorder. I hadn’t heard of this before, and was offended at the suggestion that I had this – especially as I had not been told I had it. I thought it meant there was something wrong with my personality… it felt like an insult. I now know that not to be the case at all! A couple of years later during individual therapy sessions I would be given the opportunity to see a psychiatrist, and get the official diagnosis… but it was suggested to me that it may not be a good thing to have this label, due to the stigma around it. I worried it might affect my chances of working. So I decided not to.

I left the care of CMHT and had to try and cope on my own. I’ve had a good five years surviving on my own as best I could, and coming to terms with the fact I do have BPD. But the last couple of years have been the worst I’ve experienced and my mental health has deteriorated. And now I find myself in a bit of a predicament….

You see, I cannot get the support I need. I saw the doctor, who said I’d probably not have success with CMHT, as I wouldn’t meet the criteria to receive their support. There’s no counselling service in existence unless I go private. And given that I don’t work, I can’t afford to pay to go private. So I tried an IAPT service… unfortunately I experienced a problem during this, which wasn’t handled urgently enough or in the best way, and further worsened my mental health… I felt more suicidal, my self-harm increased dramatically, my self-esteem plummeted. And I’m now trying to pick up the pieces alone. I’m not convinced they were set up for someone like me. I feel they’re more for those with mild/moderate depression and anxiety or phobias. This resulted in me feeling like a burden, and too difficult… ultimately a ‘lost cause’.

So I have nowhere to turn now. I cannot afford to go private. I shouldn’t have to. There used to be support for people like me in CMHT, but now it’s like those with BPD have been abandoned. And given that one of the major issues within BPD is abandonment, I find this incredibly troubling that we’d be subjected to that in a therapeutic setting.




I know some people with BPD are under CMHT. But this is probably because they have the diagnosis. I am trapped, because I do not have that diagnosis, as I rejected it all those years ago. Now I cannot access the services to see a psychiatrist to receive the diagnosis. So I will never get the support I need. I know those with the diagnosis often don’t get the support they need. But I feel even more stuck, because it feels like nobody understands my battle.

This is one aspect of my mental illness I want mental health professionals to understand…. I am very good at pretending to be okay. I have a lot of pride and dignity, and I contain how I truly feel, because I don’t want people to see me how I really feel. I don’t want to upset / disappoint / trouble other people. I want to maintain control over myself. I’m a very introspective person… I read up about my illness, to make me feel less alone with it and to make sense of it. So I seem knowledgeable / ‘intelligent’. On the outside I may look calm, collected, ‘together’, and even confident and happy at times. This is a mask. One I can’t wear much longer.

All my life I have had this problem – people couldn’t understand why I could do some things, and not others. They couldn’t understand my anxiety, or my difficulties. Because it wasn’t blindingly obvious. They probably thought I was making it up. I never show my reality outside of my house. I don’t like to cry in front of people. I don’t like to get angry. I don’t like people to know I’m struggling. I don’t want them to know about my suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

I may look ‘normal’ to the naked eye, but if you could see the storm underneath… if I could show you how I’m really experiencing the world, you would be shocked. You would be horrified and probably deeply upset by it. But I cannot externalise any of this, because I don’t want to lose control. I don’t want people to see me that way, for fear they will never see me any other way. I don’t want to hurt those who love me. I don’t want people to look down on me.




But because I don’t have public breakdowns…. because I don’t try to throw myself off a roof…. because I don’t slash at my arms in front of people, screaming “Just let me die!”…. people don’t know that’s how I’m feeling inside. They think I’m more capable than I actually am. They expect more from me, which overwhelms me and when I can’t do it, they can’t understand why. Just the mere fact I can verbalise what my inner experience is, makes people think I’m fine, when I’m not – I’m just trying to express the inner turmoil in the only acceptable way I know – with words. Because I can’t release it physically, I hope that talking about it will ease the burden… but the burden is actually keeping it physically hidden. And nobody takes it seriously. ‘Actions speak louder than words’. So it feels like it’s going to take me giving up control and losing the plot completely, for my pain to be taken seriously. And what if I still don’t get the support I need? Do I spiral until I end my life? I won’t have control any longer, and that puts me more at risk of acting on my urges. I’m scared of letting go. But it feels like mental health services don’t know how to help if they don’t see someone standing, bleeding in front of them, incoherent.

I actually had a therapist tell me to go away and think what help I wanted from them, as long as it’s within their skill-set. With all due respect to you all, you are the mental health professionals…. you know what your skills are, therefore what you can offer. You know all about mental illnesses and what therapies may help an illness. Yes, I am an expert in my own BPD as I’ve lived with it all my life… but I don’t know what options I have. I don’t know what help there is. It’s not my job to know. I’M THE PATIENT. If I had a total breakdown and showed how I feel inside, you would have to help me. You would know HOW to help me. You would take the lead, do your job and try to heal me. But because I stuff it all inside, so nobody can see, you think I’m capable of doing your job for you and deciding what will help me best. I am the patient, you are the professional – please tell me how you can help me, and if you yourself cannot do it, then please point me in the direction of someone who can.


I feel isolated. I can't get the level of help I need as I don't have the diagnosis, and can't get


I need to feel there are options for me. Because right now I don’t. I don’t see a future for me. I can’t see me getting through this, because I have nowhere to turn. I feel isolated. I can’t get the level of help I need as I don’t have the diagnosis, and can’t get the diagnosis because of lack of access to the services… so I have no ‘label’ to explain my emotional turmoil…. on top of that I don’t let it show, so people probably question if it’s really as bad as I say. So in a sense I feel I constantly have to prove I’m as ill as I say, but I can’t do this by showing them, I can only tell them… but if they don’t SEE it they don’t BELIEVE it. So I’m also stuck in that way. I’m trapped within myself. And I’m trapped within the mental health services. Nowhere to go. Nobody can help me. And that makes me feel suicidal.

Another thing I want you to note is this: If you ask me if I have thoughts of suicide and I say yes, but that I wouldn’t act on them, don’t just believe me and carry on as if it’s not a risk. I am afraid of the consequences of admitting to wanting to act on these thoughts. So I’m never going to tell you that I might do it. This is how people end up dead. They tell professionals they’re okay, it’s accepted and then they act on it. When I was on a course recently I had a conversation with a therapist, and they asked me if I could keep myself safe that night… I was the most honest I’ve been about it, and said that it would be difficult. I said I would try, but I went home and self-harmed, ending up at the MIU. I knew this was going to happen but didn’t tell them. I don’t want to burden people. And I don’t want them to judge me. I want to seem like a rational adult. 

I self-harmed during my course, and this was discovered by one of the therapists, who had to treat me and advised me to go to the hospital. It was NEVER my intention for anyone to know about it. I was hidden in the toilets trying to treat it myself. That was the closest I’ve ever been to revealing my reality. They saw me crying, panicking, they saw my wounds and scars…. I was a mess that night, and I felt ashamed to have let the barriers down, and let someone see the mess inside me.

This is what I mean…. I feel ashamed of the thoughts I have, the emotions I feel and the way I would behave if I felt it socially acceptable. I know some would think if you’re really that bad you’d have no control over it – well the incident at therapy was one example of when I lost control. You might think it can’t be controlled, but you don’t know me. I have major issues with control, and I guilt-trip myself into maintaining a certain image. I think I would be letting a lot of people down if I didn’t give a damn anymore and behaved how I wish I could. Control is possible, whilst being very unwell. I’ll tell you how I know this… because I can feel it slipping away. I am about to lose control. And it terrifies me. I don’t know what is going to happen when I lose that control. I don’t know what I’ll do, what the consequences will be, and I fear losing myself in the process.

The control I exert over my own mental illness is such a heavy burden. It is like I’ve got myself chained up inside. Like I’m holding my reality hostage. So believe me it’s there, and it’s possible. It’s why every single time I say “I can’t do this anymore” I become one step closer to not doing it anymore…. not hiding it anymore.


I know some would think if you're really that bad you'd have no control over it – well the incident%


I know that when I finally lose control, I will feel so ashamed that I will not want to live anymore, and I need to know there will be a safety net to catch me. I need to know it’s safe to let go and lose control, and fall apart, and someone will keep me safe. Otherwise when I finally show you all the pain I’ve locked up inside, I’m not sure I will make it out the other side. And I don’t really want to die. I just want life to not hurt so much. I want people to care about me. I want to have something to live for.

It shouldn’t be that I have to reach utter crisis point to get the help I need. The help should be offered to prevent that risk to my life. That’s what makes me feel totally worthless – that I’d be left to reach that point where I might die, before you’ll help me. It shouldn’t be that way. But I can see in my case that’s the way it’s going to be. Because nobody understands BPD unless they’ve had it. And nobody can understand a mental illness that they can’t see. If the only visible sign I have are my self-harm scars, then nobody could ever understand what leads me to cause them. This is my personal interpretation of ‘quiet borderline’. I know many don’t agree with me on this, and I’m still forming my own opinion on it, but my BPD is so hidden most of the time, that nobody would believe how much I’m suffering.




With most illnesses the strategy seems to be to treat the symptoms… but if I hide the symptoms, and only write about them, then those wanting to treat them cannot do so. And I’m neglected. I just want one mental health professional to stick with me while I fall apart. I want them to believe what I’m experiencing and let me express it, whilst protecting me from myself. I just want to feel safe and supported. And I really don’t right now. I don’t know who I can turn to. I don’t know what to do. I feel powerless.

You see we’re not all that different – you feel powerless to help me, I feel powerless to get help…. the only difference is, to you I will just be one more person who couldn’t be saved… a statistic….but for me, I will be no more. Gone. Dead. So please, will someone do SOMETHING to provide the help and support people like me need in this country? I don’t want to die. I need help. Someone please create that help – don’t leave us all to an ugly fate. There may be some misconceptions out there about those with BPD, but I know from talking to many of them, they are the loveliest individuals with a heck of a lot to give. And to lose all those lights from the world would be a tragedy.

I know you try your hardest to help us where you can, but more people need to unite to get help for those of us lost in the system… those of us in the middle, who are ‘too ill’ for IAPT services and ‘not ill enough’ for CMHT to help us… at least that’s what I was told. Where are we supposed to turn? BPD puts us most at risk of doing harm to ourselves, or taking our own lives… we are desperately in need of support. Please value our lives enough to do everything you can to get us that support. I don’t know what my ‘rights’ are as a service user. I don’t know what’s on offer to help me. It feels as though different sectors of the NHS can’t agree on what help there is for me. Can you please start to communicate with each other and come up with a strategy, so that when someone in dire need comes along, they can be directed to the right support? I feel like I’m floating around in the system and don’t belong anywhere, which is a reflection of my experience in life… the feeling I will never belong, that I’m worthless and a burden. These beliefs are being mirrored in my experiences of trying to get help. It feels like my life doesn’t matter. And too many others have this experience. Things need to change.



I want to start campaigning for more support for those with BPD. And when I feel mentally stronger this is something I will look into. In the meantime, I hope those within the profession can do all they can to change things from the inside. I know it’s a huge ask, and not something that can just happen – it takes a lot of work and money. I’m just asking if you have a voice within the profession, please use it to save lives. Those most in need are being left behind. This cannot be right. I know that most of you would agree, and are just as frustrated at the injustice. Hopefully enough of us can take action to try and bring about a change.

Thank you for taking the time to read.





*Apologies for any bad language – a slight personal rant included. Mentions self-harm & suicidal thoughts*


I don’t know if I’m just not understanding the meaning, but there seems to be something very misleading about ‘IAPT’ services…. ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ – how exactly do they do this? I had access to them for four sessions. Okay I did a twelve week group as well, but that’s very different to working on your own individual issues with support. Four sessions to fix not only the problems I had before the group, but just the one to resolve issues that were awoken by the group. So yes, I had access, but now I don’t.

I feel that by ‘improving access’ they mean it’s accessible to everyone – in other words you can refer yourself. And you will get seen because it’s such quick turnaround. They see you for a couple of sessions and then ship you off to a group course to keep you occupied, before signing you off of their books, and shipping the new recruits in.

In a word, it’s a FACTORY.

There was something I saw on Twitter recently about IAPT and the burnout rate for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners and High Intensity Therapists. This made me stop and think about the pressures that the staff are under to reach targets and provide the service they do. They may not have the training they need and the funding, to help those in need, and perhaps they feel powerless. But I had it pointed out to me that that’s not my problem.

I shouldn’t have anything to do with that side of things. I should expect top-notch care from people whose job it is to keep me safe and well. And if they failed me, they failed me. I shouldn’t feel sorry for them, that they are struggling too. I shouldn’t feel like a burden or like I’m too complex for them. I cannot help having the mental illness I have. I cannot help the fact there’s no support out there for people like me. I’m in need of help, and I should take up whatever help I can get – and it’s their job to provide that help. If they couldn’t do that, they’re not up to scratch, and that’s down to them.

Yes there are massive gaping holes in the NHS and mental health services. Something needs to be done about this. The staff are doing the best they can. They’re likely stressed and unsatisfied with the state of things too. But the difference is they are able to quit if they want. They can leave their jobs if it gets too much. I don’t have that luxury. I cannot quit my mental illness. I wish I could but I can’t. I need the help of people like them, in order to try and pull myself out of it. I rely on them. So I need them to do their best to help me.

And unfortunately in my experience I don’t feel all of them did their best. Even my doctor seemed disappointed in them. She knows how hard it was for me to keep going back to the group after my self-harming incident… that I pushed myself through the last few weeks of the course, to get the support at the end, and didn’t receive it. She herself had said weeks ago that the service was unlikely to abandon me at the end of the course, as clearly I’m not well……… that’s obviously not how the service works!! It seems they get rid of you, regardless of what state you’re in.




I wrote something about my incident so that the facilitators of the group, and my therapist would be aware of it. I believe those running the group read it, though I could be wrong – not sure I trust anything now, regarding this service. But I believed my therapist had it passed on to her. However it seems it was ‘added to my notes’ – which she clearly had no interest in reading. What was the bloody point?? I had already harmed because an encounter with one of the facilitators had left me feeling powerless, and that had made me question what the point in using the skills was, since they wouldn’t allow me to do so…. so to have my therapist, on top of that, make me feel like I wasted yet more of my time, I just think there’s no point trying with them. It’s not even like I’m a difficult person, refusing to co-operate! I was eager to learn, and to try things… I had knowledge and was pro-active. But it seems I was ahead of them in some regards. I knew what they could do to help me, but they didn’t seem to have a clue.

Is this my problem, or theirs? Is this a lack of training? Is it a lack of experience with someone like me? Am I too demanding? Am I too clued up about my own mental illness? Is it lack of funding to actually offer me real help? Is it apathy towards me?

Whatever it is, it felt like I was screaming out and pleading for their help, and they refused to give it. I felt like ending my life at times, as it would be doing them a favour, as I’m clearly a burden to them, just as I am to everyone else. I honestly thought they wouldn’t care if I did end my life, and they would’ve left me to get to that point. I actually considered doing this at one of the sessions. I harmed myself in a dangerous place, not caring about the consequences. But I was interrupted before it could go too far. I patched myself up and carried on as if it hadn’t just happened. They never knew this, and never will unless by some miracle they happen upon my blog and know it’s me.

At one point I spoke to one of the facilitators, and he said that if I’m struggling with the course and can’t go on with it, I could be offered a different therapy… I asked if that was through a different service somewhere else, and he said no, through this service. But me being a glutton for punishment, I chose to see the course to the end, and see my therapist. Now, if I hadn’t finished the course, would I have been offered this magical different therapy I wonder…? Because I sure as hell wasn’t offered it at the end. I don’t even know what it would have been!

I thought IAPT was about accessing different therapies – I thought it would open doors to recovery by being referred on to people who could help me… I thought it was this ‘stepped care model’ and with me being ‘Step 3’ I could be ‘stepped up’ to the CMHT if necessary. So do I assume that my therapist didn’t think I was ill enough to require this level of help? She clearly didn’t think I needed ANY help, as she discharged me! She thinks I need to help myself now. Well thanks a fucking lot! It’s not like I’ve been trying to do that for the last five years of my life!

Do they honestly think a twelve week course will help someone like me, and then that’s it? In a normal circumstance then perhaps… but given the disruption to my learning I experienced during that course, because of self-harm and transference, it’s almost impossible to feel I’ve benefited from the course, like others may have. So to treat me as a normal case, thinking I should be able to cope on my own now, because I’ve learnt the skills, taking no responsibility for the individual difficulties I faced because of this service, it’s not on. It’s not good enough.

And I hate to be someone who complains. I hate to seem ungrateful. It’s particularly hard, because one of the facilitators actually patched me up after I harmed myself, so I feel grateful to her, and the other one I admired greatly and felt emotionally attached to, so to slag off this service after the work they put in makes me feel really guilty.

But I think it is possible to be grateful for the help I did receive, to feel the way I do about one of them, and still say the help I received was not enough. It was a bad experience. They could have done more. And should have done more. I’m trying to come to terms with this conflict. I am grateful, I liked the facilitators as people, I feel strongly about one of them still, but as a service they let me down. And in fact each member of staff I came into contact with let me down personally in one way or another at some point. But people make mistakes, I know this. They are only human.

I don’t know if I’d use this service again. If I did I’d ask to see a different therapist, as I feel like we didn’t really gel. In fact I didn’t like her attitude at all. But right now I just need to recover from using this service. In the new year I hope to look at my folder from the group, and really reflect on what was discussed, because right now it’s a blur of emotions when I think about it. But otherwise it’s just business as normal – I have had to survive on my own for years now… no, I shouldn’t have to… I should get the support I need, but obviously that’s not going to happen, so I have to continue on as before, just with more psychological scars to contend with. I’ll give it my best shot… either I’ll sink or I’ll swim. I’ll either recover on my own, or I’ll reach the point where I can no longer be denied the help I need. That’s the sad state of the mental health services now… you have to be on death’s door before they’ll even contemplate helping you anymore. Either that or you have to be mild / moderate to be helped by IAPT. Unfortunately I’m more complex than that, despite what this service’s paperwork indicates (they said I had something like moderate depression and mild anxiety – you can’t diagnose me from that piece of paper, let me tell you that! It doesn’t cater for people like me). But the thing is I’m not actively trying to kill myself, therefore I’m not ‘ill enough’. So I, like many other people, particularly those with BPD, am stuck with nowhere to turn. That’s why being abandoned by this service now is a kick in the gut. I’m isolated because there’s no suitable help out there for me.

IAPT obviously isn’t geared up for those with BPD. But is that my fault? No. When I was discharged from the CMHT I was told that this service I’ve just used, is my option. In fact they’re my only option. So that’s why the doctor told me to speak to them. They’re most suitable for those with depression and anxiety, and hooray – I have both, but I have more than that too, which they can’t help me with. But does that mean I cannot have help? Since I don’t have an official diagnosis of BPD I’ll probably never get the level of help I need. I’ll probably never be able to see a psychiatrist to even be given the diagnosis now, so I am well and truly screwed. I, like many others with BPD, appear to be a casualty of the system, yet again. Not well enough to be treated by IAPT, and not ill enough to be treated by CMHT. Yet we as BPD soldiers, are most at risk to ourselves, so how it can be allowed that we suffer on our own I really don’t understand. At times I feel we’re deliberately being left to fend for ourselves, so that we will become part of the statistic, of ‘1 in 10 dying by their own hand’ – perhaps they want that particular statistic to grow. Maybe society wants us gone. Maybe I am a burden. Maybe they want me to kill myself as I am deemed ‘weak’. Like survival of the fittest, and although we’re stronger than most people will ever be, we’re viewed as ‘pathetic’ and ‘beyond help’… whilst those at either end of the scale for mental health are ‘worth saving’.


for your very special wishon thanksgiving!


The damage that is being done to those of us who already have in-built beliefs, that we are worthless, a burden, unlovable, and we fear rejection and abandonment, is off the scale. I’m screaming inside ‘WHY WON’T ANYBODY HELP US?!‘ Do we not deserve help just as much as someone with mild depression? Have we not got as much to offer the world as someone with moderate anxiety? Does my life mean NOTHING??

Mental health services should be there to fix these beliefs we have about ourselves and life. They should be helping us to feel worthy. To make us realise we’re not a burden and we deserve love. They should be supporting us and encouraging us, not neglecting us and abandoning us after a couple of sessions. Many people with BPD, though not myself, have experienced neglect or abandonment as a child – to have that replicated by mental health services in adult life, is shameful.

I feel I was neglected in this process. And now I’m on my own again… with more negative beliefs lumped in, just to make it all that more difficult. I feel resentful towards them.

But the only good thing I feel right now, is a unity with all those other people out there with BPD, who cannot get the support they need, and are just as desperate as me. That gives me strength right now, to fight for justice for them, if not for me. The mental health services may not think my life matters, and I might not think my life matters, but I believe the lives of other BPD soldiers matter. And none of them should be let down like I have been let down. So I will keep speaking out for them. They are the only people who understand how I’m feeling right now. They are the ones who know what it’s like to constantly be at war in your own head, and to feel like your heart is screaming in pain, and exploding silently in your chest. The only ones who know the battle to get up in the morning, and pretend that a night of crying and harming yourself didn’t happen… we live to fight another day, with no hope in sight. They are my family. And they matter in this world. If mental health services can’t see it, then at least I do.

I know the strength it takes to ride this rollercoaster every single day. I know the ‘highs’ that aren’t actually all that high, and I know the lows, as low as Earth’s core. I know the feeling that we will never fit in, and function in this world like ‘normal’ people. I know the self-hatred. I know the intense emotions and the emotional and physical scars they leave us with. I know the despair, the fear and the loneliness. I know the pain of just living. Whilst others enjoy their lives we simply exist, and try to survive. We deserve more than this. But we can’t do it alone. We need mental health services to help us. That’s their job. So unless they want blood on their hands, it’s about bloody time they do it.






Poem: One Slash.

*This poem is about self-harm & depression, so read with care*


One Slash.



One slash of skin and the monster within

Breathes new life.

From that moment the whirlpool had me;

I pedal hard beneath the water, but to no avail,

I cannot escape the clutches of darkness…

I’ve tried and I’ve failed.

The fog has thickened,

The tunnel has collapsed,

The weight of the world has doubled upon my shoulders;

My heart has grown colder.

There is no joy anywhere in sight.

Everything troubles me, nothing is right.

Erratic emotions,

Volatile moods,

One word and then SLASH,

The monster stirs, clawing at my arm;

Although it is a part of me, it wants to do me harm.

Never before in my life, have I been victim more –

Victim to my unstable mind,

I watch my life as it all unwinds.

My sanity splatters against the walls of my soul,

I’ve lost my compass, and all of my control.

Torn apart from all that held me together,

That one slash of skin has changed me forever.

The path I walk is treacherous in nature,

And frightful to the eye;

A slice of me no longer cares if I live or die.

They summoned the demon inside,

Walked away, and now I’ve nowhere to hide.

Its grip on my heart cannot be denied.

The sickness tells me they want me to perish,

An untimely death.

If I cannot help myself then I don’t deserve breath.

If they knew the violence of the monster they’ve released,

Would they swoop in and help me tame the beast?

One slash was all it took

To lure me back, and have me hooked.

One slash, one bad relapse,

One letting of blood and now I’m trapped.

Please save me someone, save me from myself;

I’ve drifted miles away from everyone else…


Suspended in purest black,

I’ve fallen too far, now there’s no way back.

There’s no safety net as far as the eye can see…

Could this be the end of me?

I’ve lost the person I used to be.

God, take me back before that night,

Make those blood-stained tiles dazzling white;

Take that razor from my hand,

Make the encounter go as planned;

Undo my actions, and heal my heart,

For that one slash is all it took for my life to fall apart.

Constant Conflict.







* Self-harm / suicidal thoughts mentioned *



The constant battle. The battle between your head and your heart…. your reasonable mind and emotional mind….. between your will to survive and the urge to give up.

Having a mental illness is tough enough to recover from, without having a ‘voice’ inside you, urging you to stay down… to get worse… to undo all your hard work, and do yourself harm, or worse.

If you’ve never experienced it then you’ll never understand why mental illness can be so exhausting. You might look at someone like me and think ‘Well you don’t do very much compared to me, yet you’re always so tired…. you’re just lazy’. And that is unbelievably wrong.

Having a mind in constant conflict with itself has to be one of the most exhausting things in the world. Imagine being bullied, to the point you want to end your life. Think about how it would feel if your best friend suddenly turned on you, and told you what a piece of shit you are, every single day. Or picture yourself climbing a steep staircase, and just as you near the top, someone stops you, and pushes you and you tumble all the way to the bottom, and have to start again… and they keep doing this every time.

Now imagine all those things happening at once. That is what it’s like to be me. Only the bully is in my head. I am the best friend who turned against me and abuses me every day. I am the one pushing myself back down the staircase every single time. My mind is my enemy. My emotional mind is my enemy. And it wants me to give up on life. It wants me to keep harming myself. It wants me to do things totally out of character for me.

It is the thing urging me to go back into the toilets at my therapy group, harm myself again, only this time do it right, and make sure I don’t wake up. It’s the thing telling me to find a tall building, or a bridge and contemplate the end, so that someone can save my life and make me think I’m worth something. It’s the thing telling me to sabotage every good thing in my life, so that I have no reason to hold on anymore.

I am battling between the desire to be well and make everyone proud of me, and the wish to have a complete breakdown, where I’m not responsible for my actions, and nobody will judge me for what I do, and I won’t have any guilt or shame for it. I want permission to fall apart and not be okay.

The fight inside me right now is about my next therapy session… do I really show willing to do better than I did a few weeks ago? Or do I do what the voice inside wants me to do, and repeat what I did a few weeks ago? I battle these thoughts by saying they’ll likely kick me off the course if I did it again, and my life would spiral from there. But the voice inside me screams ‘I don’t care!’

It’s like being an adult, yet having a three year old inside, throwing a tantrum whenever you suggest something that will help you. And I feel like a parent who’s been worn down by that toddler, and is about ready to cave in and give it what it wants. I can’t battle any more.

Constant conflict. Internal battles. A split mind. That’s the story of my life right now.

One part of me wanting to get better… the other wanting to self-destruct and put myself in hospital. One part desperate to let go of the past, the other desperate to cling on. One part shouting at me telling me this transference thing ‘ISN’T REAL!!’… the other saying I should stop invalidating my feelings. One part of me in awe of the miracle of being alive, and the other hating life. One part thinking I’m an awful person, and that’s why everyone treats me like shit, and the other part thinking I’m a good person, and don’t deserve to be treated like shit. One part loving someone, and the other wishing I’d never met them.

My mind is split between the reasonable and the emotional… and I think the idea is that mindfulness is supposed to help the two come together, to reach ‘wise mind’ and allow me to make better choices in the present….. I tell you, it’s going to take a heck of a lot more than mindfulness to fix my mind. I cannot see it working. The emotional mind is screaming too loudly. It’s too far gone… it’s in despair.

The scales are tipped in the wrong direction for me now. There’s less desire to hold on, be strong and fight the urges, and more desire to give up and cut, and not care. And I feel so ashamed about this. I expect better from myself. But I’m just so sick of fighting the whole time. Nobody knows how noisy it is inside my head every day. Nobody understands the urge… the need to lose control and do ‘something stupid’. I’m so fed up with having a conscience that keeps me trapped in conflict. Why do I have to think about consequences? Why do I have to consider the impact on other people? Why do I have to care what people will think of me? Why can’t I just be like other people and just do what I need to do, without hating myself? I’m sick of being this person. And then I feel guilty for not wanting to BE this person… for wanting to go against my morals and values. I can’t bloody win! I beat myself up whatever I do.

The war won’t stop. I just want to make it stop.






Battling The Stigma Of BPD.



So yesterday The Guardian published an article called ‘Personality Disorders At Work: How To Spot Them And What You Can Do’, by Dr Mary Lamia, a clinical psychologist, and professor. It has since been taken down, under review, but that doesn’t erase the damage done to breaking the stigma of mental illness, and it doesn’t change the impact it will have had on anyone with BPD who happened to see it before it was removed.

This article has upset a lot of people, myself included… you can tell from the discussions on Twitter and from the comments on the article itself. This is not just someone disagreeing with the apparent description of themselves – it’s a widespread knowledge that the ‘information’ in The Guardian’s article is wrong. It is misleading and very damaging.

The article discusses personality disorders, but the language used is sloppy and appears to lump everyone in together, as psychopaths, sociopaths, anti-social personalities, narcissists and borderlines, as though they’re all the same. It describes both NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) as ‘Anti-Social Personality Disorders’. When in reality Anti-Social Personality Disorder is a diagnosis of its own, and is very different to BPD.

I’ve written a post before about the difference between BPD and NPD, as I came across another highly stigmatising blog, that lumped us in together. They actually described somebody with the traits of NPD and labelled it BPD, and as a result a lot of people who were new to their own BPD diagnosis, felt like they were ‘monsters’. People with BPD should not be made to feel they’re awful people…. dangerous… to be avoided… a burden… a monster. Because WE are the people who will take that to heart, and will feel we’re not welcome in this world, and will never fit in. People with BPD are at a higher risk of suicide. 70% of people with BPD will attempt suicide in their lifetime. 10% will complete it. Making us feel like freaks, psychopaths, and like we’re a burden will only push more of us towards that. It’s hard enough to feel like we can fit in, simply because of our BPD, and the existing stigma around it, without the added stigma created by articles such as this.

I originally began this blog to try and break the stigma attached to BPD. There is so much misinformation out there about this personality disorder, and the stigma makes us hide our illness. We bury it deep down, through fear and shame, and we don’t get the help we need.

I don’t have an actual diagnosis of BPD, but I was told that was what I was being treated for through my DBT at the time. I identify as someone with BPD. It makes my world make sense. I didn’t want a diagnosis of it as I didn’t want the label back then. I had read up and discovered the stigma surrounding it, and didn’t want this to affect my future employment. I wish I’d taken them up on the offer of it now, as in some ways it may have helped explain things, plus with the state of mental health services now, the likelihood of me getting to see a psychiatrist to get the diagnosis now, is slim.

But I don’t need an official diagnosis to know who I am. Besides, I am more than a diagnosis. I am more than my illness. And that is the whole point of this post…..

First let’s look at the stereotype for someone with BPD:

It’s generally thought we are –

  • Young women, and we will ‘grow out of it’
  • Attention-seeking / drama-queens
  • Dangerous / violent
  • Needy / clingy
  • Manipulative / controlling
  • Impulsive
  • A lost cause / untreatable
  • Self-absorbed / lack empathy
  • Crazy

These beliefs are held by others because they believe what they read online or hear from a misinformed friend, and are too lazy to properly research for themselves. If you want to know about BPD then ask people who have it – we’re the only people who actually understand BPD… friends and family, even psychological professionals, DO NOT understand BPD and cannot understand it fully. But WE do. People should be educating themselves about BPD, by learning from those who have it.

I’ll admit there probably are some aggressive, manipulative people out there who also happen to have BPD, this does not mean that all of those with BPD are dangerous, controlling, attention-seekers.

We are all individual. Every single person on this planet has their own set of individual traits. Just because we have a label attached to us of ‘Borderline’, it doesn’t mean we’re suddenly all the same. There is a scale with BPD too, and for those without it to think of it as ‘us and them’, like we’re this stereotype, is exactly the black and white thinking that is associated with BPD. I find it quite amusing that someone like me, with BPD can see the grey area.. the scale of BPD, whereas ‘non-sufferers’ can’t see this. We’re either one thing or we’re not. This is ignorance.

People of all ages, races, any religion and gender can be affected by BPD. It’s not a teenage girl thing. It is not an attention-seeking illness. It is not being a drama-queen… this is more likely to be another Cluster B personality disorder known as Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD). Even then it’s not to be mocked or judged. But people tend to generalise and blur the boundaries of different personality disorders and saying we’re all the same… particularly when it comes to the Cluster B personalities.

The reason people think we are attention-seeking, manipulative and controlling, is because of the emotions that arise from our behaviour. For instance people with BPD often self-harm. This is a very touchy subject for some. Unless they’ve been there, some people can’t comprehend how someone could cut into their own skin, or understand the reasons why. They don’t understand it, so it scares them. It makes them feel uncomfortable. It stirs up emotions in them, because they care about the person who’s self-harming… they feel shock, sadness, anger, confusion… and because these emotions have been stirred up by someone’s act of self-harm, they feel they are being controlled and manipulated to respond in a certain way. This is very often not true though. Self-harm is done in private… secret even. It is not done to provoke some reaction or emotion from another person. It is done to cope with overwhelming emotions inside. We’re not trying to get attention or manipulate anyone. Any concept of manipulation is the problem of the person feeling it. If a friend or family member of ours feels manipulated, more often than not this is their problem, not ours, and they need to work through their own emotions.

We’re not dangerous and violent. I admit, I have outbursts of anger. But that anger will never be used against anyone else. It will be used against myself, or my environment – to hurt myself. In this way I may be ‘dangerous’ but only to myself. I may be ‘violent’, but only towards myself. I have anger issues. But my anger issue is that I think anger is a BAD thing. So I bottle it up until it has nowhere else to go, and it explodes. I don’t know how to cope with anger in a healthy way. I don’t know how that is done. I either witness it in a bad way, or don’t see people getting bothered by things, and both of these make me believe that anger isn’t normal, and makes me a bad person. I would never hurt anyone else. I couldn’t live with myself for mentally hurting someone else, let alone physically. I’m not an exception to the rule. Most people with BPD are lovely people… peaceful people… caring people… who just struggle with emotions and take those emotions out on themselves.

We’re not needy and clingy, and these terms are not helpful. Yes we fear abandonment, but the term ‘needy’ is one I hate. It’s thrown around generally by players, who aren’t interested in fulfilling a woman’s emotional needs. We all have needs. We all need to feel loved, cared for, appreciated, respected, secure… and these types of men don’t care about making a woman feel that way. They say she’s ‘too needy’, when in reality she’s asking for the basic human needs, that we all have. So when it’s implied that people with BPD are needy and clingy it annoys me, because it makes it sound like we’re too demanding. When in reality we’re neglected. The people in our lives are not fulfilling our basic human needs, and then on top of that they’re making us feel as though we don’t deserve to have those needs met. Like it’s too much to ask. That’s how very often our self-esteem ends up six feet under.

In some ways we can be impulsive, I agree. However, at the same time I have been found to overthink things as well. To over-plan things. To problem-solve for weeks on end, before making a decision. It’s not always black and white. It is possible to sometimes be impulsive and other times not. We don’t always act without thinking.

I assure you I think about other people a lot. In fact the reason I’m where I am right now is because I put others’ needs ahead of my own for a long time. I was still accused of being selfish by the people I prioritised, but that’s the way of life unfortunately – do good for people and they take it for granted, take advantage of you. Yes I might be a bit selfish sometimes and look after my own wellbeing – but that is part of having depression, a mental illness, and needing to get well.


Bryan McGill, Author


The idea that we lack empathy is ludicrous. Absolutely ludicrous. Narcissists lack empathy – I’ve met a few of those in my time, believe me! People with BPD have empathy in abundance. We have overwhelming, overflowing empathy. A lack of empathy is a disconnection from emotions… others’ and our own. It’s not realising the impact of our actions on the emotions of someone else. I am very much connected to my emotions. I have a certain amount of understanding about them. I can read the emotions in someone else – in fact I think people with BPD can pick up on emotions that others wouldn’t even notice in a room. We’re very sensitive, and perceptive. And my God, if I upset anybody or feel like I’ve caused any emotion in someone else, I immediately apologise. And then I beat myself up for it for ages afterwards. After I had a bit of a breakdown a month ago, and harmed myself at my therapy course, I was swamped with emotions – most of them relating to other people. I was aware of the effect my actions might have had on the therapists running the group, and I actually had more concern for their feelings than I did for my own.

I have so much empathy it drives me mad… I sometimes have to isolate myself to not pick up on others’ feelings and vibes, as it overloads me. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way – just about everyone who has BPD, talks about this empathy issue, and that we actually seem to have the most empathy out of everyone. So yet again, people are mixing up the disorders and labelling people with NPD as people with BPD. So the truth is getting lost.

Whether I am crazy or not is debatable. And crazy doesn’t have to be a bad thing. But I guess in this sense they mean off-the-scale, ‘not in touch with reality’ kind of crazy, and that is absolute rubbish. I may be a bit messed up mentally. I may be an emotional wreck. I may harm myself. I may make a lot of mistakes and react differently to things that wouldn’t bother other people… but my feet remain firmly in reality. I have enough sanity to question my own sanity. And that is a sign of sanity! Crazy people don’t know they’re crazy… I am ‘together’ let’s put it that way. I am able to recognise that my actions are not always healthy and ‘normal’, but I have researched enough about my mental health to understand why I am the way I am. And most of the time I would appear to other people to function like a normal adult. So I’m certainly not crazy. And though at the moment I FEEL I am beyond help, realistically I’m not. It is possible to recover. And BPD should not be confused with NPD – with NPD the patient is unlikely to seek help as they don’t recognise themselves as having a problem… they think it’s everyone else who has the problem. Whereas people with BPD accept they have a problem and are willing to work on it, as they want life to be easier and better. So there’s always hope for us.

So to recap – I am not attention-seeking… I am private, reserved. I am not a drama-queen…. I am simply struggling with life and dealing with it the best I can. I am not a danger to anyone else… my violence and anger is only ever self-inflicted, and I hate that I feel anger at all. I am not needy and clingy…. I fear abandonment, and I struggle to let go of things and people I care about, and I’m only asking for the basic human needs that everyone else seems to get met… I’m not too demanding. I’m not manipulative or controlling… my behaviours and words are my own experience… they have nothing to do with other people.. that’s THEIR own ego making it about them, rather than the pain I’m experiencing… It’s their own issue if they feel manipulated by my way of coping with life. I am not impulsive… I have episodes of anger where I’ll feel out of control, but otherwise I overthink everything. I’m not a lost cause… there’s hope for me yet – I can’t see it for myself right now, but I need others to believe there is hope for me… for them to not give up on me, otherwise I might as well give up on myself. I am not self-absorbed… I sometimes just need to focus on myself and protect myself from outside experiences because of the turmoil going on inside me daily…. I have a lot of empathy – I’m actually what’s called an ’empath’. It’s a part of what makes life so difficult for me. And whilst I’m ‘crazy’, I’m not insane. I’ve got my senses, my wisdom, my humour and a lot more sanity than many ‘normal’ people out there!

That’s what I’m not…. Here’s what I am…

  • Honest
  • Reliable
  • Trustworthy
  • Kind
  • Caring
  • Empathetic
  • Funny
  • Entertaining
  • Humble (although this list makes it seem otherwise!!)
  • Sensitive
  • Loving
  • Gentle
  • Wise
  • Intellectual / inquisitive
  • Loyal
  • Protective
  • Down-to-earth
  • Moralistic
  • Creative
  • Nerdy
  • Intuitive
  • Compassionate
  • Polite
  • Friendly
  • Genuine
  • Passionate
  • Reflective
  • Respectful
  • Open-minded
  • Tolerant
  • Understanding

It was incredibly hard for me to write that list – I had to rely on things people have told me, and a list of character traits as prompts, as I find it hard to think of good things about me. It’s much easier to list the negatives.

But the whole problem is that people hear the word Borderline and make assumptions about who we are… forgetting the fact that we’re human beings too, with a heck of a lot to offer. We have our good traits, and also our interests and hobbies. They also make up who we are. I’m not just a person with BPD. I am someone who loves her Godchildren so much her heart could burst… who has a passion for fossil-hunting… who loves playing the piano, writing poetry and enjoys art…. who is fiercely protective of her family…. who appreciates nature and loves animals more than she loves most people….. who likes to educate herself about the important things in life…. who will randomly burst into song when she’s happy but also when she’s sad, just to let it all out…. who never gives up, and picks herself up and dusts herself off, every time she’s knocked down. I am all this and more!

Life can be hard for people like me. I feel as though I will never truly fit in. I wonder how I will ever navigate my way through life, like a normal person. I don’t feel I belong anywhere and never will. Socially, romantically, professionally. Everything is a challenge when you have BPD. Relationships with others can be strained. Work is hard, particularly when faced with pressure and the public.

I help in a charity shop right now, to try and build my confidence up and propel me to bigger things. And I find it a struggle if I’m honest. Especially at the moment, where I’ve gone backwards in my recovery – I’m not feeling as strong. But when I’m at work I put on a face. I’m always really polite and helpful to the customers, and I don’t let anyone see the negatives. If I get overwhelmed I step out the back and breathe, before going back in as if everything is fine.

The article in The Guardian says about those with BPD:

Nevertheless many of them function well enough in the workplace to stay in jobs long term. That’s not good news if you work with one of them, since they are divisive, use power tactics, show intense or inappropriate anger, and regard others as either all good or all bad. Terrified of abandonment and tending to feel empty, jealous or envious, they often secure their ties to others in coercive ways”.

A person with borderline personality disorder, for example, would admit to ignoring the presence of particular co-workers when they passed them in an empty hallway to intimidate them”.

I would never dream of intimidating others. I live my life feeling guilty for ‘inflicting myself on others’. I don’t like to burden others with my problems. I don’t want them to know how screwed up I am inside. That’s why as someone with BPD I internalise everything. I am not divisive, at all. I try and include everyone, and work as hard as I can to fit in. I want to be treated normally, just with a little more sensitivity on my more fragile days. I crave to feel accepted and like I belong, so why would I sabotage that by ‘using power tactics’ and intimidating people?

Heck, the couple of times colleagues have upset me at work, I’ve just popped out for some air, returned, and when asked if they upset me I have DENIED it! That’s how much I don’t want my condition to infect the workplace. I soldier on through some very difficult emotions and tough days, and I do it all with a smile, and then I go home and drop the act and can be myself again. I try really hard at work to show my good qualities and to help as much as I can. It’s actually exhausting, pretending to be stronger than I am. But I do it, so that I can try to believe I can fit in this world somewhere, and it’s not all for nothing. I do it to give my life some sense of purpose and to feel better about myself.

If people have read that article it could make life very difficult for those with BPD. And life is already hard enough for us without accusations of things that aren’t true, and having people steer clear of us as though we’re monsters. People with BPD want to fit in. We want to be like other people. And vilifying us isn’t going to help us make a transition to recovery. I would suspect fewer people will disclose their mental illness now, after an article like that, afraid of the backlash.. the repercussions… the ostracism. So more people will hide their BPD, leading to more shame and secrecy, more stigma and a much harder life for those suffering already.

This is why stigmatising articles like that have to end. There has to be more understanding and compassion and less divisiveness in writing about personality disorders. What concerns me the most is that this article was written by a psychologist and professor! A supposed ‘expert’ showing a complete lack of knowledge on the realities of BPD. I think the world needs mental health professionals to learn less from textbooks, and listen more to lived experience from those with the condition. If I knew there was a way for me to get involved in educating professionals on BPD and self-harm, I would be all for it. I can’t see opinions shifting without this sort of intervention.

The article goes on….

If you work for or with someone who has a borderline personality disorder you are likely to experience similar emotions to them – what psychologists refer to as “affective contagion” …… In interactions with people who have a borderline personality disorder, you may feel the same sense of inadequacy, disconnection, helplessness or anger they experience”.

Like people with BPD, people who have a narcissistic personality disorder attempt to rid themselves of intolerable shame by behaving in ways that lead others to experience the emotion instead. People who bully others have similar skills”.

So this is saying we infect others with our disorder. Newsflash: You can’t catch BPD! If someone is that affected by our disorder that they start to exhibit signs of it, then that shows they themselves do not have a strong sense of self, and have lower emotional defences. This isn’t our fault. Most of the time we try and disguise how we’re feeling anyway. If I’m having a low day at home, I hide away from everyone, so as not to inflict myself on them. People need to take responsibility for themselves and their own emotions. If being around me when I’m feeling low, causes others to feel low, they need to look at why that is – it’s likely because they care about me and don’t like seeing me low, or they have expectations of me that can’t be met -which is not my problem. It’s a feeling they have to deal with themselves. I own my emotions. Others should own theirs and not blame them on mine.

The last comment implies we are like bullies. I’ll tell you what, the likelihood is that those with BPD have been the victims of bullying and abuse in their lives, so to then accuse them of BEING the bullying types is disgusting.


Five days of fun and feasting!


The article finishes:

What can you do?
Work relationships can be challenging if you have to deal with someone who has a disordered personality. Recognise that when a boss or a colleague has a personality disorder they will approach situations differently to you. They will not want to rehash the past if any wrongdoing is their own, but prefer to ‘forget about it’ and move on as though particular events have not happened. If you push the issue, you are likely to encounter rage. However, some who are especially skilful may inquire about any hurt or anger you feel, but inevitably they will blame it on you and not their behaviour. The same principles you might use to handle a workplace bully apply when dealing with personality disorders – in particular, maintaining your confidence, competence and composure. Trying to get on their good side will only make you look weak”.

How about rather than the selfish thought of ‘What can I do to avoid this person and protect myself?’ as though we’re about to attack you… you ask the question ‘How can I help?’ … Perhaps think about the things you can do to accommodate the needs of those with BPD. Think how you can support them to do their jobs more successfully, so that they can actually have a chance at recovery and a normal life. The depiction of us with BPD in that last paragraph is so incredibly wrong. It may not say BPD but the whole article mixes us all in together, and refers to us as having a ‘disordered personality’. The last paragraph describes narcissism, it does not describe BPD, and it’s a shameful way of closing an already terrible article on personality disorders.

People who write things like that, and those who read and believe them, forget that they are also human and have many flaws themselves! Nobody is perfect. You don’t have to have a personality disorder to have ‘undesirable qualities’….

Many people have these character traits:

  • Aggressive
  • Angry
  • Argumentative
  • Arrogant
  • Big-headed
  • Bitchy
  • Careless
  • Cold-hearted
  • Conceited
  • Controlling
  • Cruel
  • Deceitful
  • Dishonest
  • Disrespectful
  • Greedy
  • Harsh
  • Hateful
  • Immature
  • Inconsiderate
  • Inflexible
  • Intolerant
  • Irresponsible
  • Jealous
  • Malicious
  • Manipulative
  • Materialistic
  • Mean
  • Moody
  • Narrow-minded
  • Nasty
  • Patronising
  • Pompous
  • Quarrelsome
  • Rude
  • Scheming
  • Selfish
  • Self-centred
  • Sneaky
  • Snobbish
  • Stubborn
  • Superficial
  • Tactless
  • Thoughtless
  • Unkind
  • Unreliable
  • Untrustworthy
  • Vengeful
  • Violent

… And yet they will never be diagnosed with a personality disorder. This is just who they are. These are the qualities they possess. Yet those with BPD are singled out by this article, as though we’re the only ones with ‘flaws’.

Let me put this bluntly, I would rather BE an attention-seeking, needy, impulsive, self-absorbed young woman who inflicts violence on herself, who is also kind, gentle, loving, tolerant, understanding, honest and respectful… than to be like some of the ‘normal’ people out there, who lie, cheat, steal, are aggressive towards others, arrogant, superficial, selfish, rude, nasty, inconsiderate, intolerant, narrow-minded and judge people like ME for being who I am. You know what, I am a more decent person than 90% of the ‘normal’ ones out there. And the same can be said for anyone with BPD.


It's not always abouttrying to fix somethingthat's broken.


We are the some of the loveliest people you will ever meet in your life. We care about others. We have a lot of love to give. We are funny, intelligent, warm, giving, honest, trustworthy, creative people, and we would never want to hurt anyone else, because we know too well what it feels like to be hurt and abandoned by those we’ve loved and cared about. We would give you the world if you’d let us. Unfortunately as is the case with me, some of us fall in with the wrong people, who treat us poorly and bring out the negative sides, and make us forget our positive sides, and make us feel we’re unworthy of love and friendship.

We’re not monsters. We’re soldiers. Wounded soldiers. And we deserve respect and support. We are fighting our hardest to fit in with society, and it would be good if you could help us to do that, rather than trying to alienate us and undo all the hard work we’re doing, to have a better quality of life like the rest of you. You just don’t know how close to the edge some of us are, and how hard we battle every day just to function like you. Cut us some slack please and stop trying to make us feel bad for having a mental illness. We’re BPD warriors… we fight the hardest to get well and stay well… harder than you will ever have to fight in your lifetime. We should be proud of ourselves for not only having to defeat the demons within us, but also the ones on the outside, trying to bring about our demise.

A Low Point.


*Major trigger warning* Not for the faint-hearted, the weak-stomached or the easily-triggered. This post is about a low point I reached with my self-harm last week. Please don’t read if you’re likely to be affected by it.


The last few days have been hard. I’ve taken a big step backwards in my recovery, and hit my lowest point. But still I’m alive and fighting to get better again. I won’t give up just yet.

It started at my therapy course on Wednesday… I won’t go into the details here, but basically I had to deal with a situation that was getting in the way of my progress in the group, so I spoke to one of the therapists in the break, and it didn’t go as I’d planned, and I didn’t leave the conversation feeling better, but worse. I came away feeling helpless…. powerless…. lost. So I dashed off to the toilets as the group restarted, and locked myself in a cubicle, cried my heart out and then cut myself. It was the deepest I’ve ever cut, and bled more violently than ever before. As I watched the blood fall to the floor I was worried I’d gone too far and might be in real trouble… this had never happened before.

My main concern became cleaning the floor, and cleaning my face up, in case someone came in and asked to see me. I didn’t want them knowing what I’d done. So I got some tissue and bandaged it to the wound. And then went about cleaning up, all the while shaking and saying ‘Oh my God, oh my God’. Once I’d cleared up I closed the lid of one of the toilets and sat down and checked the wound. It was gaping open. I felt sick looking at it. I was saying out loud ‘What have I done??’ and ‘What am I going to do? I don’t know what to do!’, and as the realisation hit I stamped my foot on the floor saying ‘No, no, NO!’… I was panicking. I didn’t have my steri-strips on me. They were in a bag in the other room, with all those people. How was I going to get them without being noticed? I covered the wound again and rolled my sleeve down… did my best to look like I hadn’t been crying, but it was impossible to mask. I went back into the room quietly, and sat down, keeping my head down.

I wasn’t paying attention to what was being said. I think references were made to things I had said at the start of the group, but I didn’t engage with anyone. I kept my head down. I kept feeling sick, and didn’t last long in the room before grabbing the bag and going out again. I went to the room next door to sort myself out, and then realised it would be safer to hide in the toilets again. Which is just as well. I had sat down on the toilet again, taken the bandage off and got ready to treat my wound, when I heard one of the therapists outside the toilets speaking to me. I couldn’t tell what she said. She put the code in and came in, and spoke to me. I can’t clearly remember what she said, but I knew I couldn’t come out, and I ended up having to admit to her I had a problem. I started crying and saying I was so sorry, and told her I’d harmed myself and it was the worst I’d ever done.

She got me to come out of the cubicle so that she could help treat it. I was so deeply ashamed. I never wanted to be caught. And I certainly never wanted anyone to see my cuts. But I didn’t really have any other option at that point, and I knew it. She said it would probably need stitches. But she used my steri-strips to fix it up. You see – I was stupid enough to bring something to harm myself with, but smart enough to bring something to treat a potential wound with too.

She was really good, and told me that if I knew another way of coping then I’d have done it, and old habits die hard. She dealt with the problem at hand, and we didn’t have much time to talk about why it happened. But she went and got my bag and coat from the room and put them in an adjacent room, so I could avoid everyone else leaving at the end. And she got me to sit in that room and phone home for a lift, as I had planned to catch the train that night. She advised me to go to the hospital, but left it up to me. She said one of them would phone me the next day to check in with me and see I was okay. I asked who would have to know, and she said she’d have to tell the other therapist running the course – the one I’d spoken to in the break, and my own individual therapist too. I was mortified. I had wanted to keep something very low-key, and now everyone would want to know about it, all because I cut myself. I felt awful. I felt embarrassed, guilty and really bad for the therapists.

I got my lift home and then told my parents at home, and we went straight back out to the minor injuries unit. They checked it and said the therapist had done such a good job at the steri-strips that I didn’t need the stitches. They put an iodine dressing on it and said to come back in two days to have it changed. I did that, and again they said to come back in two more days at the dressing clinic. That was yesterday, and now I have to go back again on Wednesday, one week after it happened. So they’re definitely treating me well, and better than my doctor’s surgery would. And they’ve all been really good so far…. not asking me why I did it, or judging me, just getting on with the job of patching me up.

On the first night when I came home from the hospital, I was so angry. I was upset that I had been forced to resort to self-harm by a therapist. I was crying and raging inside, so I wrote it all out. The next day when the therapist who patched me up phoned, we got on to why it happened, but I said I’m finding it hard to talk about, and that I’d written it down, so I’m going to share it with them at the next session. On Friday I wrote a calmer piece about what happened, explaining it in more detail and apologising for what I did. I’m hoping to get there early this week to apologise properly and hand them the paperwork.

It’s going to be hard going back there again. I’m already being haunted by flashbacks, very graphic ones. I keep seeing the blood on the floor. I see the size of the wound. I remember the loneliness of crying in the toilets, panicking about what to do. I’ve never felt so alone, scared and ashamed as that night.

The last few days I have just existed, trying to get through each hour at a time. I’ve been living off of painkillers, anti-histamines, as I’m obviously allergic to the steri-strips, and I’ve had very little sleep. My mood has been so much lower at night and my flashbacks attack me more when it’s dark and I’m alone. I’ve been tossing and turning all night, or waking up with pain and discomfort, unable to go back to sleep. My appetite is ruined. I don’t enjoy eating anything really. I’m probably not drinking enough either. It’s just hard to focus on anything other than the distressing memories, and the wound. My life has been about dressings and painkillers this week, so it’s been a struggle.

I’ve tried jigsaw puzzles and colouring as visual activities to distract my mind from the flashbacks. I’m also doing a lot of writing it out. It’s all helping a little, but I know I’ll be haunted by that night forever.

I’m trying to carry on as best I can. I’m looking after myself. I’m trying to continue working as much as possible, but I’ve let them know what’s happened, so that they keep me away from pressure at the moment – not because I’m a risk to myself, but because I just can’t handle it right now. Instead of doing my usual, and shutting friends out, I’m planning with them still, as I know it’s important to see my friends. And it gives me something to look forward to. I’ve also got to go back to the therapy course again this week. It will be a challenge, and I don’t want to set foot in those toilets again. The therapist knows all about the aftermath, but nobody will ever know what I went through that night, alone. And that is such an isolating, lonely feeling. That’s why I have to write about it. I have to talk about it. I want to talk about it. But I know how distressing and sickening it would be for other people…. that’s how it is for me when I remember it.

I learnt a lot from that mistake. I shouldn’t have come to the therapy prepared to harm myself if things went wrong. But I’ve not been in a great state of mind lately, due to grief, anxiety and beating myself up. I should’ve said no to talking in the break, and insisted we speak after the group. I should’ve admitted I was experiencing an urge. I didn’t expect to harm so badly, but I have to be careful, because if I cut impulsively, as violently as I did, I could do permanent damage to myself. So I can’t afford to put myself in that situation again, whereby I have access to a blade in a moment of desperation.

Therapy is hard. It’s opening up old wounds. It’s creating new ones. And I don’t have individual support alongside it. So I have to deal with the repercussions on my own. It’s almost making me worse at the moment. But at least now people know the extent of my problem, and I’m getting slightly more care and support right now. It’s still not enough, but it’s all the help someone like me can get right now. The support for people with BPD just isn’t there in this country now. You either have to be extremely unwell… psychotic…. suicidal…. to access the mental health services, or you just have ‘depression and anxiety’ and attend courses like I am at the moment. But I willingly accept this help, as there’s no more out there, and it’s better than nothing.

In all fairness I think I’ve wanted to harm myself that badly for many, many months now, so the chance of it happening again now is lowered. I think it had just built to a head, and now the shock from it happening is enough to not want to cut again for a while. For so long I have wanted permission to have a breakdown and just act and not care about the consequences. It wasn’t planned, but essentially that’s what happened last week. I had a breakdown, I harmed myself without caring what happened to me. I got found out and forced into treatment. It was scary. And as soon as I had harmed I regretted it. But it was refreshing to have it accepted by those around me. They understood. They didn’t judge. They just cared. I had been given permission to just look after myself for a while. This is what I’ve needed for so long now… a break from stress. In that moment, self-harm served its purpose, and cut out all the noise, and made it about me, and self-care and rest. Yes, to some that may seem selfish. To me I think it was necessary.

But it doesn’t mean I’m not beating myself up for doing it. I really am… the fact I have pain and itchiness around the wound now, I tell myself ‘Well it serves you right – if you will cut your own arm up, you deserve everything that comes with it!’ … I keep calling myself stupid and an idiot, because that’s what I believe I am, for doing what I did. And it’s what I believe others will think of me. Even my boss said I was a ‘silly girl’. I know it was coming from a place of love and caring, as she also gave me a hug as soon as I told her. But these things tell me that people don’t understand self-harm. It’s not a ‘silly’ thing to do. Admittedly it’s not a very wise thing to do! But it’s something I’ve done for sixteen years now. We’re past the point where it’s ‘silly’…. now it makes perfect sense to me. I fully understand my self-harm now, so it’s hard to be faced with people who don’t get it. But I have to keep in mind, I have lived with it for half my life…. this is brand new to them. It will take sixteen years of knowledge before they comprehend it like I do. They can’t help it.

My advice from my experience this past week, is to speak out and tell someone you don’t feel safe. And for God’s sake, don’t carry a self-harm tool with you, particularly when you’re facing something you’re likely to ‘punish’ yourself for. You might think you have control of your self-harm, but you never know what emotions might take over and impulsively make you do more harm than intended. And as awful as it felt to have to involve other people – let them help you. If you’ve harmed badly, don’t keep it to yourself. The hospital have treated me so well in the last few days, and I’ve needed it. You might find more support is out there for you, if you let people in on how much you’re struggling.

That’s all for now. I’m sorry this post wasn’t a useful one. I just needed to tell my own story, to organise my own thoughts, and to feel less alone.


Little Mental Health Things People Should Know About Me.

mental health

*Contains strong language*


Little Mental Health Things People Should Know About Me…

  • If you see me changing my profile picture / cover photo every few days, this is not narcissism. It is not me loving myself and my pictures. It’s the opposite. I’m hating myself, detesting my looks and feeling very insecure. Sometimes I’ll change to particular photos that are significant to me at certain times. Sometimes I’ll switch back to one from a time I was happy. My photos represent my emotional state.
  • Sometimes my profile picture will be a scene, or an animal. These are dangerous times for me. These are the times I can’t even bear to see my own face. I am hating myself as a person and will likely be withdrawing from everyone. I may even close my Facebook account down.
  • If you ask how I am, and I say I’m ‘okay’, then I’m okay. If I say I’m ‘alright’ then I’m not okay. Alright is my code word for ‘I’m struggling’. Nobody knows this, and they all assume I’m okay if I say I’m alright. But it’s my way of saying ‘I’m not good, but you don’t really want to hear the truth, you’re just being polite, so here’s your answer!’

  • Don’t start a conversation with me late at night. I will be in settling down mode – I have to do this, to avoid overthinking at night, which used to be the cause of my suffering. Obviously if you need my help and support that’s different, but small-talk at night pisses me off, I’m sorry. I might reply to a message at night, but that’s part of my settling down routine – I get necessary correspondence out of the way so I can relax and forget about the world. I mean no offence, but this is just my life now. If I don’t have my personal quiet time, after 9pm at the latest, I will get overwhelmed and stressed, and be up all night thinking. I’m sorry.
  • Don’t ‘poke’ me. Don’t just say ‘Hey’. I’ll feel like you’re bored and I’m just filling a gap for you. I want you to talk to me because you want to talk to me. And if you want to talk to me, you’ll have something to say. I’ve had too many conversations that are like ‘Hey, how are you?’ – ‘I’m good thanks, and you?’ – ‘Yeah, okay. What you up to?’ – ‘Not much…. have you had a good week?’ – ‘Yeah‘…. and I cannot stand this!! It makes me feel that you’ve got in touch with me, and when I bite, and reply to you, you’re not interested in an actual conversation with me. I’m just a boredom-buster. I won’t take the bait anymore as I don’t feel I’m a person to you.
  • Don’t ask me to answer your phone. I don’t do that, unless I know the person on the other end of the phone. It’s a phobia.
  • Don’t ask me for lunch, or any social meal – as nice as it is to be invited, and feel ‘normal’ for a moment, I cannot eat in front of people, unless I’m really comfortable with them – and preferably privately. I don’t do restaurants etc. I have residual elements of social anxiety, and the thought of a social meeting focused on eating, fills me with dread. And I can never empty a plate either, and don’t want everyone judging me for not eating my food.
  • Going to a new place or meeting new people scares me. If we’re meeting somewhere, please make arrangements to meet me outside so we can go in together.
  • Please don’t ask me what I’ve done to my arm if I have a bandage / plaster on – chances are I’ve self-harmed, or want to cover a scar. I’ll tell you if there’s some other, more interesting reason. And by all means ask me about my self-harm, for educational reasons, but please don’t make me feel judged…. I’m covering it up for your benefit, so that you don’t feel uncomfortable – it’s annoying enough having to hide it, without attention being brought to the fact I’ve hidden it!
  • Just because you see me smiling, laughing or mucking about with children / dogs… it does not mean I’m not dying inside. Babies and dogs are the very temporary ‘band-aid’ as they’d say in America. They allow me to escape my mind for a short while. But the second they leave, reality is still there, looming over me like a thunder cloud, waiting to strike me down to my lowest.
  • Please understand that I have depression. But I never want to burden you with it, so you will rarely ever see it yourself. This will make it hard for you to understand me, empathise with me, or support me… I know. But would you rather I looked how I feel?
  • Depression to me is not wanting to get up. Not putting clothes on. Not brushing my hair. Not doing my teeth or make-up. Not doing anything productive with the day. Crying. Staring into thin air. Over-thinking. Not eating enough, or comfort eating. Not drinking enough and consequently getting headaches. Feeling irritable. Isolating myself. Not having my medication until gone midday… sometimes not until 5pm. Taking painkillers just to make me tired at night, and block out reality. Staying up late thinking… sometimes until gone 3am. Worrying about everything, and caring about nothing. Negative thoughts about myself. You will never see any of this. This is a side to me only my closest family know about. I prefer it that way.
  • I take three different medications for my mental health – two anti-depressants, and an anti-psychotic. This puts limitations on a social life. But it’s necessary for me to keep living. I remember feeling very suicidal before I went on medication, and dread to think what I’d be like now without it. Medication isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if it helps then there’s no shame in taking it. One of the medications makes me sleepy at night, and I often don’t feel very tired until I’ve had it. Some of my medications have likely caused some of my weight gain, and I feel terrible about it. But better to be alive and fat, than skinny and dead, right?
  • You might find me hard to cope with sometimes…. imagine being me. I have to live with myself every single second of every single day. Don’t go thinking I enjoy it. If you don’t, then I don’t, and it’s even worse for me, because I can’t get away from me like you can. Now can you understand why I hate myself so much?
  • Just because it doesn’t matter to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t to me… and if you care about me you’ll make it matter to you too.
  • I’ve had a lot of things happen to me in my life, okay. I know everyone does. But to have BPD and I guess in some ways PTSD or a lesser form of it, makes it hard for me to let go. I am tormented by my past every day. It won’t leave me. And every new upsetting event just adds to the mountain of painful memories. The memories and feelings won’t leave me, and because of the BPD those emotions are more intense and difficult to deal with. So forgive me for still going on about things that happened at school, or five years ago, or last year… I’m not doing it to annoy you, punish you or get sympathy. These things altered my life. They changed how I see the world. They’ve ruined me as a person, and it’s not something I can easily overcome. But I am trying my best to continue living in this world, despite the evil I have witnessed in others. If you’re sick of hearing about it, how do you think I feel having flashbacks and reminders every bloody day?!
  • And another thing – just because I’ve stopped talking about it to you, it doesn’t mean I’m not still struggling with it every day. I probably just got an inkling that you’re fed up with me talking about it, so I’ve closed off from you. Even if I tell you I ‘don’t care about it anymore’ – that’s a LIE. I care about it very much, and I live in pain because of it. But losing you because of my feelings about the past, would only cause me further pain that I know I couldn’t handle right now. So I shut up, for your sake.
  • If you say you’re going to do something with me, and it is of great significance and support to me, please don’t let me down. Don’t ‘forget’ to sort it out and therefore not be there for me. I won’t trust you again, and won’t ask for your support or company again. And without extra effort from you, I will be distant. I need to see effort when I’ve been let down. This is a big one for me, after all I’ve been through. I need to see proof that I’m worth the effort, and that it’s not just empty words. If I’ve been lured by empty words and broken promises then I will doubt myself, and our friendship, and won’t believe a word you say anymore.
  • Sometimes I fear I’m losing you. You might think I’d become more clingy if this is the case, but often I do the opposite. If I feel I’m losing you and you don’t care, I will stop bothering you. I will stop talking to you. I won’t try and arrange meeting up. I won’t beg you to stay, because I deserve people who WANT to stay. And if you can’t show me that you’re staying, then we’ll drift apart. Please don’t take my distance to mean I don’t care about you anymore – it’s a defence mechanism as I feel you don’t care about me anymore. And to save myself from being hurt, I pull back. If you don’t notice this, don’t pull me back, don’t make any effort then I will assume my belief is correct. So if you notice a gap between us, please make the effort to bridge it…. because I won’t. I’m not running after anyone anymore. And the bigger that gap becomes… the longer we’re apart…. the harder it will be to get me back…. I promise you. This might not make sense to ‘normal’ people, and you’d think because I have the knowledge that I do this, that I should stop – but that’s my rational mind speaking. I struggle with my emotional mind, and it’s more intense, and I don’t know any other way of communicating or getting what I need from people. I need people to realise I’m scared of losing them, and I can actually feel them leaving me…. and for THEM to put in the effort. I don’t think this makes me needy. It makes me human, and I’m frustrated that nobody ever fulfils my basic human needs. They leave me to rot, alone, inside my head. I need one person to prove to me that not all people are the same…. I need one person to show me continual effort…. only then might I start to believe in people again. Only then might I know that not everyone is going to leave me.
  • I’ve had counselling, seen a CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse) for a number of years, and did two courses of DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy). I’m now having CBT and am about to start a group therapy course. There’s nothing to joke about with therapy. Some turn their noses up at it, but it’s personal choice. Some don’t want to talk about feelings, others need to. It’s hard work.
  • I struggle to work. I don’t have a full-time job like most people. I’m not having a party every day at home. Don’t go thinking I have it easy, just because I don’t work as much as you. Having a mental illness is exhausting. I’m working hard to stay alive and get well. Yes I know many with mental illnesses DO work… but don’t judge me because I don’t. You don’t know my story and my own personal struggles. I have reasons why having a proper job would be difficult, and until I can challenge those reasons I would be a risk to myself at best. I’m not lazy. I want to be normal. I want to work. I want to have energy. I want to make money. I want to feel worthwhile. And I’m getting there. This isn’t easy.
  • If I cry in front of you, please realise it’s something I rarely do. I don’t want to do it. So I have to really be hurting for it to happen. A hand on the arm, an arm around the shoulder, a hug or a tissue will make such a difference.
  • If I get angry and have an ‘outburst’, know that I don’t want that to happen. I am no danger to you or others, most likely to myself. I will feel utterly ashamed and embarrassed afterwards, and afraid that you will abandon or hate me.
  • You may interpret it as ‘overreacting’ or ‘letting something get to me’, but you have no idea how long things have been building up. I bottle things up, and when you finally see my emotional reaction, it will not just be to that one event. So don’t go thinking I’m crying over spilling a drink, getting mad at you for changing our plans, or getting upset over something one person said, that wouldn’t bother you. You’re not me. I’m not you. My reaction is my own. And it is intensified by a build-up of overwhelming feelings from unreleased emotions over the day, week, or even several weeks. I keep a lid on it most of the time, so it might just pop out at a peculiar time, that makes no sense to you. But it does to me.
  • If you upset me… apologise. It won’t kill you. And it’ll likely save our friendship. But don’t stop there. If you’ve badly hurt me then you need to put in more effort to fix our friendship. If I feel that isn’t happening, then I will detach from you. And if you still keep at a distance and don’t fight to keep me, then we’re no longer friends, as you’ve doubly hurt me, by the initial hurt, and by not seeing me as worthy of effort, to fix our friendship. I don’t need friends like that in my life anymore. I’ve had too many of them already. I need people to work at our friendship, to make me believe I matter to someone. And to make me believe there are decent people in this world, who understand social norms. I’ve so far only met those who live on a different plane, and can’t see what’s needed in any given situation. It’s funny… I always thought I was the one who didn’t understand social norms. But I have now come to realise that I’m the only one who knows the right thing to say and do, and everyone else is either too self-absorbed, too proud or too simple-minded to know how to treat other people.
  • If I pull away from you, then pull me back if I matter to you…. otherwise I’m going to assume I’m irrelevant to you. It doesn’t matter how close we usually are.. you are not immune from my assumptions. If I get it in my head that you hate me, resent me or have given up on me, I will distance myself from you. If you don’t put in the effort to make me feel loved, then I will disappear from your life, slowly and quietly. Don’t blame me if you lose me.
  • Yes I’m a self-harmer. Yes I have scars. No I’m not attention-seeking or crazy. I know you’d think so… I mean how can any ‘sane’ person cut into their arm? I cut into my arm because the world hurts too much. If I was ‘crazy’ then the world wouldn’t hurt as much. Therefore I am not crazy. As for attention-seeking – if you ever see my scars, then know that for months and months I have hidden them from sight. If you see them then it could be a sign I feel comfortable with you and trust you not to judge me… so please don’t. I don’t go around showing off my wounds and scars. When I was younger I’d go through summers wearing cardigans, pretending I wasn’t boiling hot. I didn’t want people to know. I still don’t want them to know – not in the sense of SEEING it. I wear a plaster on my arm all the time now if I’m out. And nobody would know if I’ve recently harmed or if I’m just covering old scars. I don’t want people to know. It’s private.
  • Learn my triggers and avoid them at all costs. If I feel you know what would upset me, and you do it anyway, then I will assume you are deliberately trying to hurt me.
  • Do not show me up in front of other people. If you have an issue with me, then talk to me privately. Do not argue with me and attack me on social media. Do not message me in a group about an issue. Do not humiliate me in a room full of people. Do not shout out about my mistakes at work, in front of customers. Just. Don’t. I will do one of two things – lash out at you, putting you in your place, or I’ll smile sweetly, screwed up inside, trying not to cry, and as soon as I’m alone I will slash myself to pieces whilst blaming you for the pain you’ve caused me. I’ve been humiliated enough in my life, that it is a big trigger for me now. If I’ve done something wrong, then have a quiet word, away from other people.
  • I need reassurance. I need to know I’m loved. I need to know people care. I need to know you’re not going anywhere – not just because you pity me or I’ve dragged it out of you – but because you honestly can’t imagine your life without me. I need commitment. I need stability and consistency. But DON’T consistently let me down. I’ve had this happen and now I don’t trust those people anymore to not let me down. I need effort. I already feel I don’t deserve any of these things, so if I don’t GET any of these things then that will confirm my beliefs, I’ll hate myself, and I’ll resent everyone for proving me right about myself and about them.
  • Just because I haven’t attempted suicide, it does not mean the thought doesn’t cross my mind every day. I am torn apart inside by the desire to make the pain stop, end the burden I am on my friends… and to keep fighting for my family, as they brought me into this world… I have no right to waste their love and care, or to hurt them. I’m in a body that wants two different things. It’s hard.
  • Just because you don’t see me crying, harming myself or talking of depression, and you see me smile, it does not mean I’m strong. You might see this as what it is – a front I put on to the outside world… that is not being strong. That is conforming to social expectations. It does not mean I am a strong person. Yes, in some ways I AM strong, to have survived all I have, and to still be alive now. But I am not strong in the sense that I don’t need anyone. I can come off as quite tough, independent and aloof… this is to protect myself from people hurting me. People have actually sided with those who have hurt me, because they see me as a stronger, tougher person, able to deal with life – it’s the furthest from the truth. I’m a weak little girl inside, and I just want a hug every now and then – is that too much to ask? I want people to defend me. I want people to see the vulnerability in me. I don’t even think my best friend understands the vulnerability in me. Because I don’t show it. I don’t know how to now. It seems you can’t win – you don’t show your emotions and vulnerable side and people treat you like nothing gets to you, and you don’t ’embrace your emotions’, so favour others over you… and if you show your emotions and feelings, people claim you’re too needy and clingy. So I lock everything up now. Even the one guy who I thought ‘got’ me… he didn’t see my vulnerability, the years of wasted time and mistreatment, the emotional side of me and the strong friendship I had to offer…. he saw it in someone else…. someone else with BPD, for fuck’s sake. And just because she’s shorter than me, guys will instantly be more protective of her. And just because she probably cried in front of him, she’s ‘in touch with her emotions’ whereas I’m not. Well sorry, but after being made to feel like a pathetic weepy mess, by other people when I’ve shown my emotions before, it kind of fucked me up, thank you very much. I bloody well have emotions, but you have to be pretty special to witness them. It’s your own fault if you don’t. But don’t go implying I have no vulnerability… that I’m ‘strong’ or emotionless and don’t need anyone. I’ve just learnt by experience that people don’t accept vulnerability…. except when they use it as an excuse not to be with you, but to be with your best friend instead!!! Sorry, personal rant over….
  • I have small touches of OCD. So don’t give me something to eat and put it straight down on a dirty surface. Don’t ask to share my food out of a packet. Don’t interrupt me eating certain foods, as I have to eat them in threes and have to keep count. Don’t touch my knife and fork near the bit where I eat from. Don’t drink from my drink. Don’t question why I have to wash my hands before eating – duh… germs.
  • I pick at and pull out my hair when I’m anxious, worrying or upset. Yes, it leaves me with short bits of hair, or small bald / thinning patches. Please don’t comment on it. I hate it, but it’s compulsive. You wouldn’t understand.
  • I will ask once, maybe twice to meet up. If I get no response, or get rejected those times, I probably won’t ask again. It will then be up to you to invite me. And if you invite me and let me down last minute, then I will keep my distance. I’m wary of people. I don’t trust any of you anymore. This does not mean you should stop trying with me. It means I want you to MAKE me trust you. Be someone trustworthy. I don’t know anyone who is. And I don’t mean offence by that – this is what betrayal and years of hurt has done to me.
  • Meeting new people scares me. I worry what they’ll make of me.
  • I loathe myself. I hate how I look so intensely, so please don’t take photos of me. Someone suggested I have Body Dysmorphia but I don’t think so… I think I’m actually just fat and disgusting. I’m not seeing myself as worse than I am, I really am that bad. In fact I can look better in a mirror than I can in a photo. I take selfies to try and get better photos of me…. they generally cut out most of my body. I’m sorry I can’t be body-confident… but I always used to be thin. I feel I’m in someone else’s body now. If I didn’t now enjoy food as much I’d stop eating, as I want to lose weight. I never really used to eat much food, and I’d eat upstairs so I could dispose of food without eating it. But I’ve learnt to have a better relationship with food now, and health reasons, medications and perhaps age, have started to have an effect… so I’m stuck. Do I go back to my borderline-anorexic days or do I have to learn to love myself as I am, regardless of a world that tells you that you don’t deserve love if you’re overweight? It’s tricky.
  • I blog to cope. I blog to feel connected… to SOMEBODY out there. I blog to be heard. I blog to figure out my thoughts and feelings. I blog to help others. I blog to let out the scream inside me. If my blogs hurt you, then I’m sorry. It’s my personal space to be heard and feel connected, as I don’t feel connected in real life. If I could speak to you I would, but I can’t okay? That’s the problem.

  • I’m more than my mental illness. I may not feel like it right now, but I am. I had a lot to give before I got ill. If you asked my closest family right now, they’d tell you my better qualities, as I have a lot of love to give them at the moment. I’m sorry others can’t see it, but I don’t have as much to give at the moment. And I’m not feeling good about myself. I’ve lost what good qualities I thought I had, and I’m not even sure what they were now.
  • I’m in competition with nobody. My grief is my grief. My struggles are my struggles. My pain is my pain. I don’t care that you are also grieving, struggling or in pain. Let me reword that – I DO care that you are grieving, struggling and in pain, and my God if I had it in me to take your pain away I would. I care about you. But if I’m expressing my own difficulties and you keep saying ‘me too’ it is not having the effect you’d think. I know you think you’re making me feel more understood and all that, but you are actually dismissing my feelings. You are invalidating me. Yes we all have struggles. Yes others will always have it worse. Yes we can probably play ‘snap’ with how we feel, the hurdles we’re facing, the steps we’re taking etc… but I don’t want to play ‘snap’. I want for that one moment, you to just say ‘I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way’… ‘I’m here for you’…. ‘I hope you’re okay’….. ‘You’re in my thoughts’….. ‘You don’t deserve this’…… ‘Well done for what you’re doing’. If I feel you are trying to ‘compete’ with me in my darkest times, then fuck you. I will sit at my computer and think ‘What the hell is your point??’ I will not see you as a friend. My story is my story, stop trying to better it. Stop trying to hijack it with your own story. Stop trying to steal my thunder. I am trying to express my feelings, my hurt, my achievements, as small as they are – don’t make me close up again.

  • If I tell you I have emetophobia, and can’t even bare talking about ‘the thing’, then don’t proceed to talk about it to me, and why you don’t like it either – this isn’t just not liking it, it is fearing it and choosing death over it. So don’t you dare put me through it.
  • I’m a person, not a stereotype. I may have a mental illness, but there are so many varieties within that mental illness. We’re not all violent, we’re not all loud or drama queens, we’re not all promiscuous. I have good morals, and an inquisitive mind. I have a lot of knowledge about mental health, as well as other things. I’d say I’m quite down-to-earth. I just struggle to cope with my emotions healthily, and I’m very depressed at the moment. But I’m the same person I’ve always been, just with different challenges in front of me. Please don’t see me as my illness, no matter if I talk about it, it’s not the total of who I am. I’m me.

  • Sometimes I’m overwhelmed and can’t cope with life. I’m sorry I’m not there for you like I used to be, but I can’t deal with things anymore. I feel guilty about it, don’t worry. But I just don’t have it in me to give to others right now.
  • I know I seem selfish sometimes, but I’ve spent my life giving a toss about everyone else, and had nobody give a toss about me, whilst at the same time accusing me of being selfish. So I’m kind of in a ‘fuck everybody’ state of mind nowadays, and think if nobody gives a toss about me, I’ll give a toss about myself, and I’ll stop giving such a toss about others. If you notice a difference in my behaviour towards you, it’s likely I feel taken for granted, and I’ve done so much for you, and I’m not feeling the same back. I don’t do and give, to get something back, but after a while you do start to think, ‘Why am I bothering?’… When there’s such an imbalance of effort in a friendship / relationship, you do get tired and start to treat others as they treat you. That’s where I’m at now.
  • You wouldn’t survive a week in my mind. It might not look it, but there’s constant hurricanes going on in there. If I could externalise it visually for you I would, but it’s not possible. So just take my word for it – life is difficult and exhausting for me. So please don’t make it harder than it already is. I’m doing my best.

In Therapy.



Talking therapy is tough!

Nobody should ever joke about therapy, or take it lightly. If you’re doing it right, it is difficult, painful, hard work and mentally exhausting.

I’ve been out of therapy for a few years after my course of DBT ended. But having taken quite a knock backwards, or rather a series of knocks backwards, I decided to seek help. And what I’ve been offered is a short course of CBT (4 sessions) and a 12 week course to improve my relationship with myself and others, and to become more assertive, therefore more able to get my needs met, without using unhealthy behaviours.

Today I had my second session, and I get very anxious before my appointments. It really is hard work, having someone probe into the workings of your mind, asking you questions that really make you think… having to relive your past experiences in order to find better ways to move forward in life. When I came out I felt totally drained. I wanted to sleep. I felt physically tired! Last time it took a day or two to get over my appointment. I guess it might get easier as I go along, and perhaps I’m just out of practice. I’m not used to talking about my emotions and feelings anymore. Especially in the last few months to a couple of years, I’ve closed off. I don’t talk to my friends anymore about my feelings. I don’t even really talk to my family, although they do understand I’ve not been in a good place lately – but then they know the reasons, or at least some of them. The only outlet I’ve really had for my feelings has been on my blogs. I feel if I express myself through them then I’m not burdening anyone. It’s people’s choice if they want to read, and they don’t have to feel obliged to respond and talk to me about it… but they can if they choose to. I prefer it that way – I’m not so good at direct conversation anymore. I feel I’ve changed. Pretty much if you don’t ask, and you don’t read my blog, then you’re never going to know….


therapy 2

Something I talked to my therapist about was this cycle that I have, which I know too well. I’m hurt by a friend… I try to bring it up with them (though sometimes I don’t!)… they dismiss it, don’t want to talk about it, or are offended by me talking about it… I feel guilty so don’t continue to talk about it… I feel bitter and resentful instead… I distance myself from the friend…. I feel misunderstood and lonely as they don’t fight for me… I think there’s something wrong with me, and negative self-talk starts… this pushes people away…. more resentment and hurt….. and it continues. So I’m having to learn about breaking the cycle.

That’s where the assertiveness will come in. When asked where I would break the cycle I said I didn’t know. In my mind it took every effort I had to confront an issue with a friend, and if they handled it badly then surely it’s their response that is the problem… there’s not much I can do about that. But when asked how I sounded when bringing up an issue, I realised maybe I’m not strong and positive enough. Maybe I’m too apologetic about it, as I’m scared to confront problems with people I care about, as I’m scared it’ll mess up the friendship forever, and I’ll lose them.

Likewise, with my anger, I’ll react, shout, swear, storm off, slam doors, punch walls, and then hide away, cry and self-harm to lessen the anger and also because of the shame. I’ll feel embarrassed about my outburst, and hate myself. But through talking today I realised that my actions during my outbursts, whilst not ideal, are serving a purpose – by storming off I’m getting away from a situation that’s too much for me. And by shouting, swearing etc, I’m demonstrating that I’m not okay. I’m communicating my frustration and anger about something. I’m in emotional mind and that’s when you react without thinking. Everyone does it. Mine just needs containing, or harnessing. I need to practise mindfulness to bring me back to the moment and the physical world around me. I also need to find a more effective way to communicate how I’m feeling. I’ve expressed my feelings to people before though and they’ve never seemed to understand. I don’t know if that’s my fault for not expressing it correctly, so that it really conveys the pain I’m in, or the anger I feel, or if it’s their fault, for just not having the skills to understand and empathise… and validate me. Whatever it is, it’s not worked before, and although I hate my outbursts, they have let people know in the past that I’m really not okay, and I’m overwhelmed. And what works for you becomes a learnt behaviour. So it’s going to take a long time to learn new behaviours. And I feel it will be a case of trial and error. Some things might not work, but hopefully I will find a way.


therapy 3

I’ve definitely concluded I shouldn’t be too hard on myself right now. I used to be better at communicating and sharing my feelings with people. But then other people happened to me, and life events too… it’s all changed me. Through losing close friends, to being hurt by guys I cared deeply about, to being abandoned by people during my first experience of loss, when I needed them most, it’s enough to make anyone withdraw from the world. I don’t confront issues with friends anymore. I learnt this by past experiences. I don’t trust men anymore. I learnt this by being hurt too many times by them. I don’t talk about what’s still hurting me now. I learnt this by having people say they didn’t want to hear about it anymore. So I closed off. I stopped confiding in my friends. I stopped telling them when they upset me, and I bottled up resentment instead, and distanced myself from them. I stopped going out in the world, and took myself firmly off the market. I don’t want guys to show interest in me. I have no interest in them. I live inside my head now, and that’s why I’m so exhausted all the time, and nobody would understand why.

I’m a hermit. When I venture out I put on a mask. I don’t talk about my feelings. I don’t want to burden people. But it’s a huge burden to me. I feel alone. And those are the moments I contemplate not being here anymore. So I need to find a way to break out of it. My mind tells me the key to me re-entering life and returning to the world, is other people – others putting in more effort or being kinder, more compassionate, and helping me, but I know now that’s never going to happen. I have to find some way to exist, regardless of how other people treat me. I don’t know what the answer is yet, but I’m guessing the next few months of therapy might hold the key. I can’t claim to have total faith in this therapy yet, as I believe nobody can save me now… too much has changed to possibly change back. But we’ll wait and see. I could be proven wrong.

Whilst there is a lack of support for those with BPD nowadays, I’m grateful to have been offered what little I have. Even if I’m sceptical it’s enough, I will go with it, as the alternative is zero help. Got to be worth a try, talking it out, if only to teach me to open up again. I know that if I don’t open up again I’m heading down a one-way track, towards a bleak end.

I’ll try and share my progress with you, and pass on anything useful I pick up.

One good thing about therapy this time around, is I’m in a better state for learning – I actually got to ask the therapist how ‘normal’ people’s minds work, and how they cope with life… and what’s ‘normal’. I actually feel less of a freak after today – knowing that everyone experiences anger, and it’s normal to just react and regret afterwards. And they also all tend to do things on auto-pilot whilst thinking of other things. The key is to notice when our thoughts go to dark places, and to bring our attention back to the present moment, during those times.


therapy 4

Interested to know where this journey will take me – got to be to a better place than I’m in now, that’s for sure! Wish me luck!


Reality Of Symptoms.



*Long post – take what you want from it*





I saw this on Facebook the other day, and wanted to expand on it a little in a post. These symptoms do exist, they’re very real and quite distressing for those who experience them. Whilst some can be symptoms and signs of other mental health problems, for example depression, and anxiety, I have to admit I identify with almost all of those, minus promiscuity. So I wanted to talk about each point and the effects of these symptoms so that people can better understand the struggle of living with BPD, or any mental illness.


Needing Attention



Everybody in this world needs attention. When we were babies we’d all cry to get attention… to get our needs met. Whether that need was food, a changed nappy, or a cuddle and a bit of love and reassurance. We used our natural instinct to get those needs met – we cried. Even as adults we all have basic needs. And whilst some of us may have most of them met, for instance warmth and shelter, food, family, friends… it doesn’t mean we always have the love, support and understanding we need. We don’t necessarily have the reassurance we need, and the feeling of worthiness. And there are some damaged souls out there who cry out for this kind of attention… we want to feel loved and cared for. We want to feel we matter in this big, intense and often cruel world. We want to be understood and supported, and we want to have reassurance that the people we care for aren’t going to leave us. We need to know we’re not terrible people. So we may do things like push people away, to see if they care or not. If they just go, then they don’t care. But if they stand and fight for us, then we matter to them, and this gives us reassurance that our friendship /relationship is real and we’re loved.

Fine, it may not be the most constructive and healthy method of gaining this reassurance, but chances are we’ve tried other techniques and not succeeded in getting our needs met. Once we find something that works, that becomes learned behaviour and is repeated in future situations.

People often imply that self-harm and suicide attempts are a ‘cry for help’ or a form of ‘attention-seeking’… like that’s a BAD thing. We all need and deserve attention. And we all seek that attention in different ways. Some lucky bastards are given attention without any effort at all. Some show off their bodies to get physical attention. Some break the law, because negative attention is better than no attention. Some are ‘jokers’ and extroverts and gain attention that way. And some inflict pain on themselves. But 99.9% of the time it is NOT done for attention at all. In fact people most likely to self-harm are those who would rather not be in the spotlight. We don’t want attention in the sense of all eyes on us. The attention people with BPD need is compassion… warmth… love…. security… reassurance… consistency…. very basic things that every human being needs. But we can feel neglected in this regard, and asking for reassurance or love or loyalty, should not be seen as manipulative or attention-seeking… it should be a sign to people that they’re not putting enough into their relationship / friendship with us. I mean if someone feels so neglected, unloved and worthless, that they’d cut into their own skin, why would you deny them the basic attention they need?? We don’t do it TO GET attention. We do it because of a LACK of attention – it doesn’t mean we’re trying to make people pay attention, we’re just coping in our own private way with our feelings of inadequacy, after months and years of being forgotten, neglected and abandoned.

I’ll tell you, in my darkest moments recently, I have wanted to go to the top of a building and get the attention of the emergency services. This is SO of character for me and I find it disturbing, but it’s not because I’m an ‘attention-seeker’. I’ve just been in a difficult place, and felt isolated. I felt I had nobody to turn to, and wanted to end my life, and emergency services SAVE lives. And if they saved mine it would show I was worth something. This was because of a lack of love, support and attention from those around me. You seek it through any method necessary. If I couldn’t get the basic attention I needed in life, I would end my life. Attention – i.e. ‘human contact’ is so vital to survival. And nobody should make fun of someone or criticise someone for feeling neglected by the world.

Outbursts Of Emotion (Especially Anger)



This is something we hate about ourselves. It’s not something we’re proud of. We wish we could control it. But what these outbursts tend to be is repressed anger. I myself have always been afraid of anger as an emotion. I don’t know why. I don’t like conflict. I don’t like arguments. I don’t like aggression. And I see anger as a bad emotion to have. So I never showed it. I’d hide my feelings of anger. And often in the past I’d take that anger out on myself. And then through therapy I learnt that it’s okay to be angry, and I learnt to express that anger in healthier ways.

But sadly, over time I’ve lost those strategies of dealing with my anger, and without the support of the mental health services, I’ve gone backwards. I now try and ‘contain’ my anger again, and with life being so relentlessly hurtful, I quite often have ‘episodes’ of anger.

These outbursts are not meant to cause harm – physical or mental. It’s a build-up of stress and emotions, and they’re all crammed into this little space inside us, and our spirit can only take so much stress or heartache at a time…. but the world can’t see how much we already have crammed in there, so it continues to push us and push us, until the storage for all this stress is bursting and ready to explode. One more ounce of stress and BOOM, that’s it – we’re no longer in control of our emotions… they take control of us.

We all have triggers… things that set us off emotionally, and that’s why one tiny little thing (to someone else) can set off an episode that seems out of proportion with what’s just happened. But it’s because of a build-up of little things, and that last thing was the trigger.

We try so hard to ‘control’ our emotions, by pushing them away, denying them, ignoring them… but this backfires, as emotions want and need to be experienced. We have emotions for a reason. And if we ignore that reason, the emotions aren’t going to simply go away. They will morph into something even more powerful. They end up controlling us instead. We can’t control when these explosions happen. They are a loss of control. And that means the emotions win. Or the cause of our stress wins. The way to take back our power is to recognise stress and anger, and accept them as serving a purpose. We have to healthily express our emotions at an early stage, so they don’t build up.

But sometimes, no matter what we do, there will be some triggers that cut so deep… They’ll surprise us… Out of the blue they’ll attack us. I’m yet to find a way to put a safety on our triggers. I would guess it’s looking at the root cause of why a trigger is a trigger, and working through our feelings about it. But that would likely take time and a therapist – something which is hard to come by in this country nowadays!

Whenever I have an outburst, I feel incredibly embarrassed. It’s the last thing I want to happen. My outbursts usually involve shouting, swearing, storming off, slamming doors, throwing things, punching walls, crying, self-harming. I never want to harm others with my outbursts. I never want to hurt anyone else in any way. I’m aware I probably frighten others with my episodes, but I am also frightened at the time. You go into a dissociative state, where you feel like it’s not you shouting and swearing. You’re hyped up on adrenaline and can’t feel the pain of punching the wall. You’re afraid of what you might do. It’s like you’re watching yourself do these things you don’t want to do. And then you lock yourself away in a room, in a ball on the floor, in the dark, crying, and slowly coming back to reality. And you’re scared to come out and face people as you feel you’re an awful person. Usually someone will eventually come and knock the door and perhaps give me a hug. But I never feel I deserve it. I’ve had some pretty traumatic outbursts that I’m ashamed of and can’t get over. But there’s nothing I can do about them now. I never intended to make a scene. And these outbursts are usually triggered by other people’s anger. I wouldn’t have an outburst if it wasn’t triggered by an experience with another human being. It takes two people to create a negative emotion.

But bottom line is these outbursts are beyond our control, unless we can access the help we need to work on them. They are not something we enjoy or do for the hell of it. We don’t want to hurt you, and we’re often frightened of ourselves. Please look beyond the anger, and look at the cause… the trigger.. and the message it carries.

Not Getting Out Of Bed



I know this one quite well, especially in the last few months. This is more an aspect of depression, but that often goes hand in hand with BPD. I’ve had good reasons to be depressed in the last year, and as much as it would be good to keep busy and make the most out of my life, I’ve not wanted to participate in life.

Think about it… people with BPD often experience suicidal thoughts. It may not be that they want to die, they just find it hard to live. They want to escape pain and life. An alternative way to do this is to sleep more. Or to just stay in bed, because if you don’t get out of bed and participate in life, you won’t encounter other people or potential triggers. You won’t harm yourself as you won’t get triggered. You’re less of a risk to yourself, and feel less of an annoyance if you just hide away under the covers.

Sometimes I’ll wake up fairly early, but not get out of bed for a couple of hours. I’ll go online and read stupid things, or play a Facebook game, or write a blog post… it’s all a way of avoiding life. Avoiding decisions, stress and disappointment.

There is a downside to it though – we have more time to sit and think. We can actually make ourselves more depressed sitting doing nothing. I’ve done that before… I’ve looked at my friends’ social media and convinced myself they’ve forgotten all about me, as they’ve not spoken to me in weeks. If I wasn’t sitting around online I wouldn’t have time to concoct these ideas in my mind.

The other aspect of this is that having BPD or any mental illness is utterly draining. Those who don’t know about mental illness are lucky – they have no clue how exhausting it is, fighting with your own mind every day. To live in a body whilst your mind wants to die. Every little thing takes so much more effort when you’re mentally ill. If you experience anxiety alongside BPD that is tiring. The adrenaline involved with anxiety or with angry outbursts associated with BPD, can wipe you of energy and make you tired afterwards.

Depression makes you tired. It makes you feel weary in every sense. It makes you lethargic, like nothing really matters. Like everything is too hard to get through, so why bother. If you’ve never experienced depression then think yourself lucky. If you had it, you would want to hide away in bed too. It’s a tiredness that sleep cannot fix.


Social Withdrawal



Isolating yourself. It’s a protection tactic. You think if you avoid other people, you can avoid extreme emotions and triggers.

I’ve done this a lot in the last few years. You can always tell I’m in a very dark place if I come off of social media, or stop talking to my friends for a time. I had been doing this until about a week ago. I met up with friends I don’t see often or hadn’t actually met until last weekend. In my heart I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to see other people. I wanted to isolate myself.

We sometimes isolate ourselves to see who really cares about us. If people notice we’ve gone quiet and ask how we are, then we know we’re not invisible. This rarely happens with me now though. I know I’m invisible. I often have to instigate contact with my friends now, and I hate it. I feel such a burden and nuisance. I WANT people to notice I’m quiet… to MISS me and to actually DO something about it. Not just sit back and leave me on my own.

I’m not trying to manipulate people. I’m needing validation. I’m needing recognition as a person. I’m needing to see if I matter in anyone’s world.

Other times we withdraw to protect ourselves. If we’ve been badly hurt or betrayed by someone close to us, we shut down socially, so that nobody else can hurt us. We’re thrown as to who we can actually trust in the world, and believe the world is a nasty, scary place, and nobody has our backs. So it’s easier to cut ourselves off from everyone, since we can no longer trust our own judgement about people, to not see them as people who could hurt us.

And at other times we think it’s what other people want from us. We feel a burden. We feel like awful people. It’s our low self-esteem talking, and we think we’re doing others a favour is we shut the hell up and leave them alone. We think we deserve to be alone.

Sometimes though it is simply that the world is too busy and noisy, and we’re overwhelmed by emotions. And the depression and anxiety are too much, and drain us. So we need to take time to recharge our batteries. It’s nothing personal. We just need our space and some quiet time to rest, and prepare to face the world again.


Self-destructive Behaviours



This can be anything from self-harm, to drinking, taking drugs, gambling, sleeping around, reckless driving, binge-eating, excessive spending, to self-sabotage.

I’ve sabotaged my own friendships sometimes because of my illness. It makes no sense, but I feel if my own best friends think I’m worthless and abandon me, then it gives me an excuse to end my life. It’s something I do in my darkest times, and I regret it afterwards, and feel like I can’t come back from it. I feel like my friends would see a side of me they don’t like, and will honestly abandon me. And when I’m in a better headspace I don’t want that to happen. I can go from thinking my friends are lousy, to expressing that, to feeling like I’m the lousy one and I don’t deserve friends. That’s where I am right now.

I’ve never taken drugs and I don’t drink. I don’t sleep around at all. I don’t drive. I don’t gamble, although let me loose on the 2p slot machines and it’ll be hard to tear me away until I’ve won something!! I binge-eat when I’m emotional, and when I’m down or stressed I spend more money than I should in my situation. I try to control it though. And I self-harm.

These are all behaviours that are self-destructive. They undermine our spirit. Other self-destructive behaviours would be denying ourselves food and drink. Or denying ourselves sleep. Choosing to not give our bodies what they need to function, because we think we don’t deserve it, or we want to make ourselves suffer.

These things are often done to numb the pain we feel, or to cover it at least for a while. They don’t work though, not in the long-term, and they leave us in a worse position than we were to start with. But they are coping mechanisms, and we all have them.

If you see someone engaging in self-destructive behaviours try and recognise they need your love and support, not your judgement. They likely hate themselves and life. Why not give them a reason to love life a little more, and to see their own worth?

Some of these behaviours are compulsive though, so they’re not something we can simply stop doing. We will feel uncomfortable not doing them, and just sitting with our feelings. So we need support and reassurance throughout. Not to mention a lot of patience.

Being Clingy



I hate the word ‘clingy’ just as much as I hate the word ‘needy’. This is the language usually used by jerks, or more politely put ’emotionally unavailable men’ to describe a woman who has emotional needs that they cannot fulfil.

A lot of us ladies have been made to feel it is bad to show emotions, and not want to lose someone. We think it’s pathetic to chase after someone we care about, and to ask for what we need from them. It’s not. We’re not the pathetic ones. The pathetic ones are those we chase after who make us feel needy for making very basic requests of them.

For the purposes of explaining my point here, I will use the word ‘clingy’, but I do so reluctantly, as it has such negative connotations with it nowadays.

People with BPD are afraid of abandonment. We are afraid that people are going to get sick of us, discover something they don’t like, or get bored and leave us. We get attached to people, and feel emotions more intensely than others – so when we love someone we love them with ten times more intensity than ‘normal’ people. And the fear of losing them is even greater. So we are desperate to not lose them, and will beg and plead for them not to go. We will do anything to not lose them from our lives.

I have actually lowered my standards immensely and degraded myself to try and keep certain men in my life before, and feel extremely ashamed that I stooped to such levels. But I was afraid to lose those people from my life. I felt at the time, that I loved them. But now I have the wisdom to know that any man worth loving, will never make you beg, plead, and humiliate yourself just to be in their life. They won’t want to see you crawling on the floor after them. They won’t want to see you upset. They’ll want to lift you up, make you happy and be an equal to you.

Clinginess is actually a sign of love. Some people can’t cope with the idea of someone loving them. Clinginess is us not wanting to lose someone. People should be flattered, and if we belong in their lives it shouldn’t frighten them off.

For anyone who doesn’t like us being clingy – I guess this means you don’t like being loved and appreciated. It makes you uncomfortable. If you don’t want us being ‘clingy’ then simply reassure us you’re not going anywhere and we matter to you. This would calm our fears that you’re going to abandon us, and it’s all that’s needed. We’re not asking you to change who you are as a person, just to reassure us now and again. We shouldn’t have to change as people just because you can’t say a few loving words. If we’re afraid and insecure about losing you, why play on those insecurities and allow us to be afraid? We’re not ‘clingy’ because we want to be. We’re ‘clingy’ because you mean a lot to us, and we’ve had a lot of people betray and abandon us in the past, and we want just one person to prove not all people are the same… not all people will leave us. It’s a desperation to be proved wrong about people and the world. It’s a desperation to not be alone and to not be given one more reason to want to leave this life. It’s expressing our love to you. If you can’t handle the intensity of our love then perhaps you have issues of your own, you ought to work through.


Forgetting Things



Mental illness takes up a lot of mental energy. The tiredness mixed with the chaotic thoughts, can make us forgetful. It can be hard to concentrate. I sometimes get a sudden brain fog. I’ll be talking about something, and mid-sentence I’ll forget what I was going to say. I’ll walk into a room and forget why. I’ll forget an important date as I’m preoccupied with something else. At times I’ll appear to forget about my friends, but it’s because I’m trying to get through something difficult. I’ll forget the word for something. I don’t always feel very organised, and have almost forgotten a couple of appointments before.

We need people to be understanding and not joke about us having the memory of a goldfish. We usually have a lot of intense stuff going on in our minds, and sometimes our memory, particularly our short-term memory is going to suffer for it.


Getting Upset About Everything



I’ve been accused of ‘overreacting’ before. And of ‘letting things get to me’. Yes, things get to me that wouldn’t get to other people. So what? Not everyone is thick-skinned. Being thick-skinned to me signifies a lack of emotions. I’d rather be a thin-skinned human being, than a thick-skinned robot thanks!

Just because something isn’t a big deal to you, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be to me. You don’t know my story. You don’t know my triggers. There may be things that get to you, that don’t get to me – I wouldn’t invalidate your feelings though!

Sometimes it can seem we overreact to little things, but what most people don’t realise is that these ‘little things’ build up into bigger things, it’s just the world doesn’t see the build-up, as it happens internally.

Also remember we experience our emotions deeper than ‘normal’ people. If something upsets us we may seem more upset by it compared to someone who doesn’t have BPD, just because we experience more ‘extremes’ of emotion.

Sometimes people say we let things get to us, as a way of washing their hands of responsibility for the pain they cause us. It’s a way of not having to watch their words and actions, and turning the blame onto us instead. Never let someone say that you let things get to you, especially if that person IS the person ‘getting to you’… chances are they’re trying to deflect the blame, and don’t want to change their own behaviour. They want you to accept their manner and mistreatment rather than apologise for hurting you, and changing.


Bad Self-Care



This is anything from sleeping too much / too little, to eating too much / too little, to not getting dressed, washing, brushing your teeth, taking medications. This is something I don’t like to talk about too much, as I feel ashamed and like people would be disgusted with me and think I’m a dirty, smelly, lazy person. But sometimes, when your depression is at its worst, you don’t want to get out of bed. I have spent days in my pyjamas, not washing, not brushing my hair, heck, not even changing my underwear! That’s how debilitating depression can be. I’d lounge about in bed, no make-up on, or smudged from the day before, as I never washed my face. I’d have my glasses on. I’d not have my anti-depressants until 4pm as I was too depressed to get up and get them. I’d not eat all day. Or I’d scoff a whole big bag of Maltesers, whilst hating myself for being so fat. I’d not drink enough and then get headaches in the evening, and drink so much water at dinner time that I couldn’t eat much of my dinner. I’d take painkillers just to sleep better at night.

I still have occasions like this. But I NEVER talk about them. Nobody ever knows that sometimes this is my existence. Perhaps if they did, they might understand I really DO have depression. Because all they ever see is me with my contacts in, make-up on, teeth brushed, hair straightened, clothes on, clean, together, ‘happy’ mask on and making jokes and playing about, being friendly to people. How can anyone possibly believe my mental health problems if they never see it, and I never talk about it?

This is the reality of depression though, for many people. We pretend we’re better than we are… so then society can’t understand when we hit a limitation, or when we have a meltdown. They don’t see the signs. My closest family are the only ones who can tell if I’m in a bad patch. They’re the only ones who will ever see my real face. I hate this, as it makes it seem like I’m ‘two-faced’, but it’s not like that. It’s just being yourself at home, and being who society wants you to be, in public. They’re two very different personas. I feel people don’t like me already. If they saw the depressed me, no matter what they say, they would not want to be associated with me.

The thing with mental illness is everything is so much effort, and you get to thinking ‘what’s the point?’ … so you don’t bother putting clothes on, as you’ll only be changing back into your Pjs later on anyway. Why wash? You’re not seeing anyone. You’re not going out. It would require taking your Pjs off, and then you might as well get dressed. Too much effort. Why do your teeth? You’re not going to talk to anyone today, and you don’t plan on doing much smiling, the way you’re feeling… who cares what your breath smells like?? Why eat? Nothing tastes that good that it’s worth the effort of getting up and making it. And drink? That just means you’ll need to get up and pee – too much effort. Medication…? Does it really make a difference? Look, you’re already depressed, surely if they worked you wouldn’t be this depressed. So what if you’re late having it… couldn’t feel much worse right?? Going to sleep – what a waste of hours. The best part of the day is when it’s quiet and you’re on your own with no expectations. Better to stay up and think, and write. But at the same time, you’re wanting to sleep to block out the monotony of life. And then you can’t get up in the morning…. so what?? You’ve got no plans today. You’re not going out or doing anything with your time, why bother getting up?

I could go on. But you get the impression. Everything feels pointless when you’re depressed or mentally ill. And yes, doing these things would improve your self-esteem, but when you’re in a bad patch, it doesn’t matter, you can’t have thoughts like that. It’s hard to break out of. That’s why any little step, like brushing your hair should be celebrated. It’s a step towards recognising your importance as a person, and treating your body right.





Now, I can’t comment on this at all! I’ve never been like this, being celibate and all!! The only experience I can bring to the table is in my head I’ve been promiscuous, in the sense of having crushes on people. I always wish to have the attention of somebody… very often they are men who are spoken for, which I’m ashamed to say. But the reality is I would never in a million years act on any of these crushes, as it’s not who I am as a person. I have morals, and I’m not like some of my old friends who would put their desires ahead of the feelings of another human being.

But this mental promiscuity is a desperation to be loved. It’s wanting someone to return the feelings and validate me as a person, and make me feel I’m not going to be alone forever. The only trouble is I never communicate my feelings to the guys, I keep them inside, quietly hoping I’ll sense a connection. But I can have feelings for one guy one minute, and switch targets the next. I’ve actually liked three or four people at the same time before – some involved, others not, but I’d act on NONE of them, because I have such little confidence in myself anyway, and don’t believe a single one of them would ever choose me in a million years.

This is how I imagine people feel who have BPD and are promiscuous… they’re searching for validation, and someone to return their feelings, and make them feel like they matter. Perhaps they sleep around to feel like they’re attractive, when they don’t feel like they are. Perhaps they do it to try and find a connection with someone, anyone. Perhaps they do it to punish themselves, or numb some sort of pain. I honestly can’t say from my own experience, and I find it hard to put myself in that position. But I do know the desperation to be wanted, loved and ‘normal’, like all my other friends. So I could understand how playing the field would increase one’s chances of finding that. Not all people who sleep around love themselves and their bodies. I can guess that much.

Weird / Unusual Triggers



People have all sorts of triggers for episodes and self-harm. In this moment I can’t think of any ‘unusual’ ones I experience. Seeing others’ wounds / scars, or everyday cuts (not self-inflicted), can set me off. It’s usually being shown up, let down, making mistakes and other social triggers that cause me to go off on one. Afraid I really can’t say much on this one, as I can’t think of any ‘weird’ triggers. But the fact is there is no such thing as a ‘weird’ trigger. Triggers are personal to us. If they mean something and set off a chain reaction of emotions then it is what it is. What may seem weird to one person may not to another. I’m sure for some people, being happy can be a trigger, as we’ve experienced happiness before and it’s usually closely followed by heartbreak, or we don’t think we deserve happiness. But a trigger is a trigger – it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else. We own them.


Needing Validation



I’ve already touched on this in the Promiscuity bit… but it’s in more ways than sexually / romantically. We need validation as people. We need validation of our emotions. We’ve probably been invalidated too much in the past. Very often people minimise our experiences and feelings, and dismiss our fears. This can make us feel it is wrong to feel negatively about something. So we hide our emotions and then take them out on ourselves. What we need is people to say ‘I understand why you’re (angry, sad, scared etc), and I’d feel exactly the same way’ – no ‘buts’. Validate the experience, and validate our emotions. And don’t tell us we did the wrong thing in how we dealt with it. We’re doing the best we can with the skills we’ve got. Praise us for our efforts. Encourage us in our fight to survive and thrive. Tell us you admire how strong we are to deal with so much pain. Tell us we’re right to feel angry, betrayed, frustrated, and there’s nothing wrong with our emotional responses.

Validate us. We need to feel we are not bad people. We need to feel accepted. We need to feel our emotions are appropriate to the given situation, because for too long we’ve told ourselves it’s wrong to feel and wrong to show those feelings.

So please don’t dismiss us, minimise our situation, criticise our way of thinking. Support, encourage and reassure us we’re not insane, and we’re not bad people. It doesn’t take much to do. You just need to check yourself and make sure you’re not being dismissive. It’s an easy thing to fall into. You think you’re doing the right thing, telling someone ‘not to worry about it’ or to ‘calm down’…as you don’t want them to work themselves up over something, but sometimes fear and anger are appropriate emotions, and need to be felt and expressed. And telling us to calm down will have the opposite effect to what you intend. Encourage us to express our true emotions in a healthy way, and accept those emotions, whatever they are… even if they don’t make sense to you, we are feeling them, and calmly discussing with us, may make more sense of how we’re feeling, otherwise we’ll simply shut off and the emotions will intensify in our heads. We need to feel able to talk to you, and if you validate our feelings we’re more likely to be able to. Invalidate us, and you’ll be one more person we can’t trust and open up to. So don’t get upset when we no longer turn to you for advice and support.



Mental illness, particularly BPD is really misunderstood… as a whole and even when taken apart and examining each symptom. If people judge us by just one symptom, how can they ever feel compassion and understanding for our illness and for us as human beings? If people see us shutting down and isolating ourselves, and their reaction is ‘Fine, I’ll leave her on her own’, then they don’t understand mental illness. And if they don’t understand my mental illness they don’t understand me.

People need to educate themselves about mental health problems, particularly if they’ve been fortunate enough to not be touched by mental illness themselves. We only understand something once it happens to us. It’s true. But we can research in the meantime, especially if we want to connect with our friends and loved ones who are suffering.

There may be things you don’t understand about our behaviour…. maybe try asking nicely… learning… showing interest. Rather than judging and abandoning us for our uncontrollable mental illness. As BPD soldiers we already fear abandonment, but we’re aware our illness could make you abandon us… so it’s a vicious circle. Help us break that cycle and show us you’re not going anywhere. Accept our flaws. Accept our symptoms and aim to help us through them. Don’t stifle them. Don’t minimise them or make jokes about them. Don’t judge us for them. Not if you claim to care about us. If you care, you care through the good and the bad. And these are just some of the bad sides you’ll see of us. It doesn’t show the whole picture of who we are. I will be blogging about the positives soon. These are just some of the areas where people like me need understanding and unconditional love. I hope you found parts of this useful, please feel free to ask anything you don’t understand.

All the best xxxx