This time I was more aware, more in tune with what was happening. A true sign I’m learning!

Progress is possible!!

Being more informed regarding my mental illness (specifically) and mental health, in general, has been so important in my recovery journey.

Over the last year, I’ve talked and asked, read and listened. And I’ve benefited:

This time when the depression fog was heavy and my heart was at its lowest low. When the thoughts wouldn’t stop and the darkness took hold I knew what needed to be done.

I needed help and I asked for it.

Was it easy? Hell to the NO! It was super hard getting myself to help.  It took me an anxiety attack ridden full day to talk myself into it. I knew it had to be done! I knew and so I made the hard uncomfortable choice that needed to be made.

This time was Different:

In asking for help this time I was more self-aware of my thoughts my feelings. I knew about medication and doses. About possible therapies and support groups…

THERE ARE SEVERAL TREATMENTS THAT ARE MOST OFTEN USED TO MANAGE  BPD. Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) focuses on the concept of mindfulness or paying attention to the present emotion. DBT teaches skills to control intense emotions, reduce self-destructive behaviour, manage distress, and improve relationships. )

Most importantly I knew about me and MY BPD.

I don’t believe people with a specific mental illness like depression or BPD, for example, fit certain moulds. We are different people with different experiences and different reactions to things. My BPD may look way different from yours my impulses different my depression I think that’s natural.

People are different!

Don’t get me wrong it’s close and we definitely act similarly but not even are identical twins the same!

In that moment realizing while self-advocating in the hospital that I’ve done important work on my own over the last year.

I did two main things this year I believed helped me immensely.

  1. I talked to others with mental illness about their experiences. Real people with real stories. It’s been eye-opening realizing that others feel like me, think like me (again not exactly know cookie cutter stuff but really close!). Getting advice and feedback from others that may be further on their journey. Those that have been there and done that!
  2. Paying close attention to my triggers and my reactions. Even my non-reactions. Recognizing behaviour both good and bad. And it’s been hard at times because I’ve felt like everything was a trigger. But I’ve figured it out a bit.

Both have been life-saving for me.

You/ We can make progress:

This journey is exhausting believe me I know. From the moment of desperation and begging for help to getting assessed continuously to multiple diagnoses. All the way final diagnosis ( could take years and can change over years) and therapies and medications. It’s repetitive and emotionally and mentally exhausting. You need persistence and you need to be ready to work and be prepared for disappointments, not everything goes as we plan in our minds.

And along the way you’ll get tired, you’ll feel hopeless and unheard. You’ll question am I sick enough?

Just know it will take time, there’s no quick fix here,  I’m learning that. I’ll always be sick I can just learn to live a better life with it. And there’s a lot of band-aids but the real stuff, the stuff that can make the most difference that’s hard to find and even harder to actually do. But well worth it! 

So it’s possible… progress! And is it ever exciting when you see the hard work show up in your life.

About Jennifer Hope

I am a wife and mother of 3 that has battled mental illness my whole life. With a recent diagnosis of Borderline Personality disorder I am writing and talking about what it means to live with mental illness and specifically my own and to be diagnosed (finally) later life.

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