Concurrent Disorders is a term for any combination of mental health and addiction problems. There is no symptom or group of symptoms that is common to all combinations. – Google
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a very complex disorder to deal with that not too many people understand. Adding other disorders into the mix is just chaos. It definately was for me. Extremely deep emotions had taken over my body. Rage was my primary focus. I did what many other people with BPD do and turned to the easiest thing to make me feel better. Drugs and Alcohol.
I spent 3 years out of control. I would experience psychosis and cry heavily, self-harm by cutting, and it would always end in me either drinking myself into a blackout or running off and smoking street drugs. I was so angry that I had a bad childhood growing up and now my partner had run off with another, with my child in hand. Not to mention failing to tell me where they were. I didn’t see my daughter for 6 months. This abandonment sent me into a very deep, dark depression. I remember saying, “Blacker than space, deeper than an abyss.” I was so empty that my eyes looked dull. I will never forget those months putting myself in dangerous situations with dangerous people. The pain was so deep I just wanted it to end. This was the birth of my concurrent disorders.
For me, recovery was tricky at first because I didn’t know what BPD was. I had to research BPD first and it was tough reading through the information – that it wasn’t my fault, but it was up to me to pick up the pieces and make things better. This is where it got tough, because it was the truth. I wanted to see my daughter and child services were involved so I had to work hard.
I started by seeing a psychiatrist and then forced myself to attend AA. It took a few tries and I relapsed a few times but those episodes became fewer and further between until I no longer used. Now, I have years of sobriety under my belt. I threw myself into therapy, seeing an addictions counselor, attended sexual assault therapy and took classes on managing powerful emotions, such as anger management. I also saw my family doctor on a regular basis for medication to deal with psychosis and Anxiety. It was hard work but like anything, the hard work does pay off. I kept fighting and now I’m winning the fight. It took me 4 years to get on the winning side of these disorders before things started to really change. It came down to a choice. Do you want to go down this hard, scary road and be successful at the end or would you like to stay here, never knowing what therapy could have brought?.
Today, another 4 years later, I’ve taken my recovery to the next level. I speak at support groups, volunteer in my community involving mental health, I have a growing website about BPD and I’ve gained my daughter back. In my experience concurrent recovery comes in stages, not all at once. The more you know, the more you grow. I’m glad I made that scary leap into therapy, and believe me, I didn’t always like it. I’m nearing the end of my need for antipsychotic medication but I know that for now I need my anti-anxiety medication, until I gain more skills. I really never thought I would ever recover. I love knowing who I am now and being healthy.
I’ve discovered that it’s not a bad thing to have BPD. There are so many good qualities that we have. We are unique, caring for others and very genuine people. So real, that our perceived negative reaction from others is usually a sign of intimidation on their part. So don’t beat yourself up if the odd person steps away from you a little because they have no clue. Re-assure yourself that you understand what’s going on and you’re dealing with it and that’s all that matters. It’s about mentally gearing your thoughts towards what is right.
I’ve been down the hard road of living with BPD and addictions. I’ve been put through the ringer. I fought so hard against the world with rage but then I fought for my life back. I don’t call myself a sufferer. I call myself a survivor. So should any other person with Borderline Personality Disorder, with a concurrent diagnosis or not. Remember that you deal with what most others could not. I hope this helps ease a few minds out there trying to understand a concurrent diagnosis. I’ve been down that road for years and back again. Therapy in stages is key. Focusing on one thing at a time helped me. All I wish to do now is pay it forward with my story and hope it’s easier for the next person.
About Natasha Sinclair
With every recovery, there's a story to be told. Especially with Mental illness. Some of the most remarkable recovery stories come from these individuals. I am one of them. I'm a successful 33 year old Pastry Chef, but I'm also diagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder, Anxiety Disorder and Addictions Disorder as of 8 years ago. I want to talk about the many aspects of recovery. For years now I have devoted myself to my BPD Website, local guest speaking and a volunteer for local Mental Health events. I would like to share information I have gathered about BPD through experience and research. Positive and hopeful information on BPD is scarce in social media today and should be brought to the forefront like other Mental Illnesses. I would like to offer information both scientifically and medically I have found through research that may clear the air a little bit on Borderline. I feel this needs to be done more. The many different facts that I have discovered relating to human emotions and behavior are mind opening, which are key components to think about when journeying into recovery.