An update on being recovered from BPD (and how I have realised there is no such thing)

So things are still running smoothly in my life right now but I feel I need to post to get a few things down on ‘paper’ so to speak. Over the last couple of blog entries I have posted about how I think, or believe, that I am now ‘recovered’ from Borderline due to me not meeting the 5 out of 9 symptoms required by the DSM-IV. As much as I still agree with this sentiment, I have come to understand that although I am no longer displaying those symptoms, it is only through my hard work to manage my behaviour and sculpt myself into someone who doesn’t fit those criteria, rather than the fact that the emotional impulses have vanished or been ‘healed’.

Maybe this is the only way that you can move forward from BPD – through finding methods which allow you to adapt your behaviour – rather than trying to tackle to origin of the problem – and to be fair, we have to admit not much is really known about the actual origin of Borderline.

On a day to day basis, I am managing well. I do not have regular self harm urges or suicidal ideation, in fact the only time I have had either of those things in the past four months have been in times of extreme stress. I suppose this is to be expected as stress is a big trigger for me, but the important points for me to tell you are that a) I did not act upon those urges and b) I did not punish myself for having them – I radically accepted that they had happened and moved on.

My biggest source of angst in my life now is interpersonal relationships and I spent a lot of time analysing things. Things have progressed quickly with James, and we have been together for nearly 5 months now. Last weekend he moved in with me, in the cottage that I bought last year. Things are in a mess at the moment with the house as my Dad is renovating the kitchen for me and so most of the kitchen is strewn over the living room, downstairs bathroom, conservatory and garden! The only ‘haven’ is the upstairs bedroom which my Dad finished a few months ago, and it is so nice to go up there and shut to door to all the mess and mayhem.

If anyone tells me that their relationship is easy and is perfect I will actually laugh in their face. I do spend a lot of time (maybe too much) analysing other peoples relationships as I am so interested in the dynamics of them. The only real issue I have in my relationship with James in his mood swings, which actually came to a head last weekend. When he gets tired or stressed, he gets moody and it comes across as angry and surly. I feel as though he is taking it out on me, which of course is an in-built reaction to years of poor mental health. Of course, I take his coldness towards me and shortness as a personal rejection and then that rubs off on me and I get upset and down. On Sunday, I had finally had enough of this cycle and told him in no uncertain terms what I thought of the way he was treating me. I had tried to bring it up before he had somehow managed to make me feel as though things were all in my head and that I was being unreasonable.

This time though, I was different. Instead of worrying that he would walk away from me if I picked him up on his behaviour, I thought to myself that if he wasn’t willing to communicate and work through this, well, he wasn’t worth being with. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with someone if they were going to treat me like this and make me feel like a piece of shit, and then make me feel even worse when I tried to talk about it. It is mind games, pure and simple. This time, I wasn’t having any of it. When he told me he didn’t want to talk, I harshly told him we either talked about it now, or we talked about it later, but either way, I was going to have my say. He sat, and he listened to me, and he finally acknowledged his behaviour. I finally had some validation and no longer wondered whether I was making things up in my head! He didn’t apologise, but he did tell me he gets irate because he is frustrated, tired or stressed. I told him that him acting that way towards me made me feel as though he didn’t care about me, and then turned it round on him and asked him if I had ever spoken to him in that way, which of course, he could not tell me that I had.

I told him that I wanted to wipe the slate clean and start again, and that I would like both of us to make an effort. Me, to be more mindful when he is stressed or frustrated and needing to get things done, and him to watch how he treats me and not take things out of me. I know people always take things out on the people closest to them but I am at a stage in my recovery when I am working my ass off to maintain my health, I don’t need his stinking mood swings thrown into the mix too.

I tried to explain to him that things can still be quite difficult for me even though I don’t look as though I am finding it hard, and that he hadn’t known me two years ago. He told me that what I was like two years ago didn’t matter but I think he is missing the point. It is kind of like him meeting someone who two years ago was a paraplegic, and by some miracle had regained the use of their body, and he meets them today and sees them walking (carefully) down the street unaided, and him telling them that he wants them to run a marathon. Of course, they will say, but two years ago I was paraplegic…. and he won’t take that into account. Maybe he is right though. Maybe I should forget how far I have come and how bad I was, and just build on what I am now.

My weight is still an issue for me at the moment as I am now back up to 11 stone 6 lbs. I have stopped running (I don’t know whether it is because I don’t have the energy or just not the motivation) but I am still pole dancing on a Wednesday night (and sometimes a friday too). I get quite de-motivated sometimes because most of the people in the class are better than me but I am determined to stick at it and practice practice practice. Here are some pictures from a recent Wednesday night:

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So I think that’s pretty much it for now. I wouldn’t say life is easy, and I wouldn’t now say I am ‘recovered’ from Borderline. I still find myself having disordered thoughts, I just choose not to act upon them. An example is with James, when I start getting insecure and telling myself that he is going to leave me. If he leaves me, that is his choice, and there is nothing I can do about it. I keep telling myself that confidence is much more attractive than any changes I could make to my body, but it hasn’t seem to have sunk in and maybe this is something I have to work on further, not that I am sure how.

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5 comments

  1. It sounds like you are really using some good coping skills. I don’t know if BPD can ever really be fully recovered from, but possible go into remission. Glad to hear you’re still enjoying the pole dancing. I’m sure it helps with self confidence too!

    1. It really does! Thanks for the comment x

  2. This is why I do not like the term “recovery”. I personally prefer to look at myself as being exactly how I’m supposed to be and that I may have to work harder at certain things than others. As soon as I say I’m “recovered”, if I go into a rage then everyone around me thinks I’m slipping. It will happen, the rage, what is the most important is how I cope with it! I think that’s always the important part, learning how to deal with life (which is always easier said then done).

    1. So true! It’s almost as though making the claim you are ‘recovered’ – well you are setting yourself up for failure. I guess ‘recovery’ means perfection, and we all know that nobody is perfect, even those without the added complication of Borderline!

      1. Exactly! I had my best friend tell me once that I’m not recovered because I still get really angry. BUT I’m not excessively drinking, smoking, doing drugs, sleeping around, self harming, being depressed or letting people walk all over me. I go into a rage maybe once a week (for reasons) and that should take away all of my accomplishments? HECK NO!

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