There is a crippling mental illness that creates emotional chaos in the life of the sufferer. Borderline Personality Disorder or Unstable Emotion Disorder is characterised by extreme emotions that can swing at any time. It causes obsessive and destructive behaviours and thinking. Self harming is a way to cope for most people with this condition. It is incredibly difficult to live with and it affects the lives of all involved.

I went decades undiagnosed and used alcohol and medications to quiet my mind. Drink became a solution because when sober my mind never shut down. It was a whirlpool of negativity and paranoi. I latched on obsessively to anyone who showed me any attention and easily cut people out of my life just as fast. Because of childhood trauma and abusing alcohol from an early age I never developed any emotional coping skills. I lived in constant fear of being let down and abandoned.

Of course I could never discuss what went on with me under the surface. I hid my scars well and drank down the fear, shame and anger that was always present. I walked out on everything good that happened to me and felt comfortable in dangerous relationships. I was used to the unhinged sense of darkness that came with those relationships. I was once stabbed multiple times by a girlfriend who also suffered poor mental health and alcoholism, but I couldn’t leave her. I continued to be abused, physically and mentally by her. My idea of love was backwards. I didn’t understand it, I would just get obsessed with people, no matter how bad an influence or how they treated me.

Under the surface I became a boiling pot. Always on the edge of explosion. It was like I was living a life I didn’t understand. I suffered badly from depression and anxiety from a young age and was hospitalised on a psychiatric ward in my late teens. I was diagnosed with bpd for another 12 years. But when I did it was like joining the dots. I began to understand myself and why I had such poor coping skills.

Dialectical behavioural therapy was intense. I did 18 months in total and in the process began to take an interest in meditation, which was central to the therapy. I learned a lot about myself and why I ticked like I did. I finally understand why I got into such unhealthy relationships and why I became so obsessive over certain relationships. Usually with abusive people. I had to unlearn patterns of thinking and behaviours that were engrained into me from a young age. I had to learn new ways to cope with the streses of life.

Over time and with meditation central to my life I have overcome much of my destructive nature. I have managed to stay in a long term relationship. And it’s a healthy relationship built on communication and trust. I still experience destructive thoughts, but they no longer control and overwhelm me. My depression has lifted and I approach life with a new courage. Overcoming mental illness has been a huge part of my life. It ground me down and controlled me to the point of insanity for so long I thought recovery was an impossible dream.

If you are struggling with mental health never be afraid to reach out for help. There are avenues of recovery available to those who truly seek a solution. A normal life is possible despite a a serious diagnosis such as BPD. We all have the ability to recover. To live a life of peace and love.

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