In all honesty, I found it insulting at first when my Psychiatrist first mentioned the words personality disorder. Then I read into the diagnosis of BPD and realised that it described me; or at least aspects of me. Currently I don’t know how to feel about it or how to react to it. It seems confusing that I am me yet at the same time an illness. Most other diagnosis’ in the DSM go through acute phases with periods of remission or are one off episodes. To me that would be simpler to come to terms with; you can separate the illness from the person. But by definition with personality disorders, you and the illness become one and the same.
Then how come there are treatments and cures for personality disorders??! My internal monologue screams.
Fuck knows is my answer to that but apparently DBT, MBT and medications can do the job. I am at the very start of my journey to sanity and but I am not sure what sanity is. What does recovery look like? I guess it would mean less trips to minor injury units and trips to A&E. Maybe I would no longer visit the pharmacy and spend £30+ in steri-strips, antiseptic wipes and large dressings. I would like it to mean that my own self-hatred and subsequent self-sabotaging behaviour would stop dragging me away from success and fulfilment but what if that is just me and not the BPD label? What will happen if I discover that those negative aspects of myself are just inherent?
I can’t stand these uncertainties and unanswerable questions. I am more comfortable dealing with black and white, right and wrong. That’s why I studied Maths, Further Maths, Biology and Chemistry at A level. There are set answers and only a limited number of solutions. I stupidly also decided to sign up for English Literature A level and it was nearly the end of me. My poor family now shudder at the thought of all those sleepless nights over course-work and practise essays. It took up a disproportionate amount of my time as well as my stress load. Yet another one of my poor life choices. I think my perfectionistic tendencies have rather ironically caused most of my failures. Between September and early December of the first module of my medical degree, I made sure that I knew everything and more that I could on the lectures and practical sessions. By itself this was a great thing but chuck in chronic insomnia, excess alcohol and a desire to excel in the social sphere of university and I crumbled. Well more like imploded. It was messy. I reverted to my 16-year-old self and to my mal-adaptive problem solving and mind-set. What hurt most was not the embarrassment of dropping-out of Uni, but that my irrational behaviour that I had put down to teenage angst had returned and multiplied. I’ve realised that I am yet to discover who I am and I am now forecast for another tragic, teenage identity crisis and much more before I reach a state of recovery.
Wish me luck!