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Rated: E · Book · Self Help · #2211362
This is a book for those diagnosed with BPD to give them knowledge and hope.You can do it!
#974632 added January 31, 2020 at 8:03pm
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Chapter 5
Chapter 5

You can say to me, “You don’t know what it’s like to be me!” You can assume that I don’t know what you have been through. You can beat me down and tell me I’m full of that unpleasant stuff that comes out our backside. Guess what? The first two you would be absolutely right. I don’t know what you have been through and I do not know what it’s like to be you. In turn, you do not know what I’ve been through and you don’t know what it is like to be me so you see it’s the same for both of us now isn’t it? I will never say you are full of it because let’s face it, having emotions that are as overwhelming as we do have, with the condition of BPD is not as easy as people think. It’s not something we can just get over. It’s not that easy. Most of the time when we talk about our problems all we need is a person to validate what we are feeling is normal.

We look outwardly because for some reason we feel like no one has validated our feelings. Our feelings are always normal for us. No feeling we feel is wrong. They betray us, yes! With BPD our feelings do betray us because they are not coming out in the situations they were created in the first place. However, once upon a time those feelings were drawn out for us somewhere in our lives. We need to take the reins on those feelings and validate ourselves. How do we do that? One way is to do what you are doing now. Know you are not alone. Read other people’s stories and see that in life people have struggles. Some people cope better than others is all. What works for others, however, is not necessarily going to work for us. Again, a person that really might mean well will give us the advice to put on our big girl or big boy pants and get over it. However, where most people are missing the mark is that our brains are not like theirs and for one reason or another we can’t. We need others to show us how to get over it instead of being told just to get over it.

There is a website when I was first diagnosed was the first to come up on my browser when I searched it. The National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD)1 that contains a plethora of information available not only for the BPD patient but also for the family and friends of the BPD patient. This is one of the leading sites I use for my go to information. All the resources they have are available to us at no cost.

We are like others without BPD. We get angry too. That anger is amplified in our own personality because of the condition. Where people are missing the mark though with just focusing on the amplification of the anger is that it is not just the anger that is over-exaggerated in us. It is any emotion the human body can feel. It is the anxiety, worry, happiness, elation, depression, frustration, etc.. All people have intense emotions at some point in their lives. You could say most people don’t understand BPD because they probably have gotten intensely angry as well. The difference between them and us, however, is the frequency. We can go from one extreme to another almost in the blink of an eye. In a patient diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, their moods span for weeks or even months before they are changing. In a BPD person the duration is much shorter with the changing symptoms sometimes occurring in the same day2. Furthermore an individual that does not have any mental health issues will experience the mood changes for a much shorter time and the duration is sometimes an hour or a day and they will not have it happen again sometimes for years (this last statement is a hypothesis of my own).

Maybe it only seems like we are a group of extremely angry people because of our super hero ability to go from one extreme to the other in the blink of an eye and unlike many others, most people with the diagnosis of BPD have been through early childhood trauma, and a majority have suffered though sexual abuse. Anyone would have extreme anger inside them with these two things. When we are in our early childhood what did I say before about that? We are being cared for and taught and among other things there are people in the position of being our protectors and we feel like we were not protected. In essence we were robbed of that aspect of human rights that are supposed to be afforded to every single individual born on the face of this earth. Notice I did not say we feel we were robbed. There is a difference. We were robbed. It’s a fact. It’s OK to be angry. It’s OK to cry. In the right place at the right time it’s OK to shout and scream and even punch things. Notice I say things. It is NOT OK to lash out at everyone you see or hurt people.

The first thing I can think of to communicate to a person that is newly diagnosed with BPD is when you hear the diagnosis. Sign yourself up for Karate or any other martial arts class, join a gym, plan some walks in the woods. When the urge strikes, and it will, your focus with your anger and lashing out can appropriately be utilized using a punching bag, lifting weights, even walking in the woods, as I did as a youth, and hitting and kicking trees and breaking falling branches and twigs. There are many physical activities you can use to tire out that anger and put it in it’s place.

Human beings, though a person who has BPD does not mean to do this on a conscious level, are not punching bags and when we are diagnosed, usually not the person or persons at fault for our trauma. We cannot blame everyone and moreover we cannot expect everyone to be our therapist either. Those are not good expectations to place on others in our life. The latter that unless they hold that PHD we cannot assume everyone will want to hear our story as they are in the process of creating a story in their own lives to begin with and that is a boundary, for them, we should never be over-stepping.

The second thing I can communicate to a person that is newly diagnosed with BPD. Nothing should be thought of as good or bad. We need to learn right away that people, places, experiences, and things just are without labeling them with stigmatic words. We have been through so much we need our focus on the facts and not our own interpretation of what things were and are.

You are not good or bad either. No person should bear a stigmatic word to describe them. We all are human beings with feelings and emotions. Words alone can really cut a person down. They can kill a person’s spirit. They can ravage through a group of people and be twisted and mangled to where one person who does not deserve the hurt and pain can be affected in a negative way. Humanity needs to learn this. We, as person’s with BPD, need to learn how to control those words. How to control them greatly depends on our ability to have self-control of what we are thinking and feeling and how we are reacting to those thoughts and feelings.

As BPD patients we need to come to the realization that our brain’s, as organs in the human body belonging to the nervous system, have developed connections to where they should not have been connected to in the first place. This occurs in early childhood development and since the human brain doesn’t stop growing until around the age of twenty seven years old, your brain is still connecting those neurons based on what you are being taught. Most of us are self taught how to regulate emotions. We lacked the direction afforded to us when we were little and still react according to how we have managed all these years.

This leads me to my third point. I cannot stress enough how important this is or how hard this is going to be. Do not self-medicate with a mind altering substance. The hope you have if you are under the age of 27, is that the therapy designed to reconnect those neurons of the brain to the right source that it originally should have been offers HOPE that when you reach my age, and I am fifty, many do not meet the criteria for BPD3 at all and have managed to cope the proper way. People with BPD that undergo DBT often go through a remission. Even at my age this is HOPE as science doesn’t really know a lot about the human brain and things are coming out where we didn’t know even three years ago.

If you add chemicals such as alcohol, heroine, pot, caffeine (my vice), cocaine, etc. to a growing brain, the human cells will struggle to reconnect to where they should. You will be depleting your brain of the water, oxygen, and nutrients needed and the HOPE will go down. When you stop it brings that HOPE back up again. Now I do not know how to tell a person who uses cocaine or heroine how to just stop using. I’ve never used and I do struggle with my caffeine and nicotine addictions as it is. I get it. It’s not as easy as I’m making it out to be. However, if you really want the help sometimes you have to do ANYTHING to get it. I do know what it’s like to stop drinking alcohol cold turkey because of not being in control over my extreme emotions at one point. Honestly I do not call it sober. I call it in control. As human beings try to control things. The problem is the lack of self-control versus trying to control others. Here is how I teach my daughter:

If you are driving a car and your friend is driving a car; your goal is to drive straight down the road. If you are focusing and taking the wheel of your friend’s car what is going to happen to your car? It will indeed crash.

That is what it is to be in control of one’s self. Taking the wheel of your own car paying strict attention to your wheel, rear view mirror, and where you are going instead of hopping into other people’s cars and trying to control those. The world is in turmoil because of control issues and the lack of knowledge of how to keep the focus on self and not try to control what others are thinking and doing. That is all done in vain.

When I quit drinking I did break ties with other people who enjoyed to drink. I gave up frequenting bars and those places that afforded me the greatest temptation to drink. I challenged myself to find places that didn’t involve drinking such as the gym, underage pool halls, and I even stayed home and bought my own microphone and I sing at home Karaoke-style. Alcohol is an expensive addiction. It was scary and I felt like a bad person because I didn’t talk to my friends who did continue to drink as much. Just because I broke ties and didn’t hang with those friends any longer did not mean I thought they were bad people. It just meant that I wasn’t living that kind of lifestyle any longer. I didn’t get the attitude I was better than them either. I’m no different than the person on the side of the street with tattered clothing and no place to live. In turn, I’m no different than the well-known person who has a mansion on the hills and drives a BMW either. I just AM.

Things just are. I gave up those things that didn’t serve me purpose and actually hindered me from driving my car straight down the road. It’s been 20 years since I did that. Most people when newly diagnosed with BPD are depressed to begin with and the diagnosis, itself, spirals a person further into the abyss of a dark hour point in their life. I will discuss those dark hour moments as well in this book. Adding alcohol, and/or other substances that alter brain chemistry in a negative way, to an already depressed mind is like putting lighter fluid on a bomb fire.

1. https://www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.org/who-we-are/
2. https://www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.org/what-is-bpd/bpd-overview/
3. https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/June-2017/Treating-Borderline-Personality-D...
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