Introduction to This Blog Series
I was 27 years old when I entered into the realization that there was something wrong with me and one of the original diagnosis was Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD.
I say something wrong with me because I was just not able to manage my life on my own and somehow knew there was something wrong with my mind.
Back then, not a lot was known about this horribly stigmatized disorder because BPD patients were considered impossible to treat or wrongly diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.
Along with BPD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS) were also added to my diagnostic mix.
ADHD was quickly debunked and over the past two decades most professionals leaned towards my having PTSD or a Dissociative Disorder – but something about these disorders never seemed to fit.
Add menopause to the mix and the confusion became even more confusing.
Here are past blogs I’ve written about my struggles with anxiety and what felt like PTSD or DDNOS:
- Managing Anxiety -The Space of No Mind
- Managing Anxiety and the Mind of Choice
- Anxiety – The Antithesis of Personal Connection
- Anxiety & Cannabidiol (CBD) & Exercise
- Trauma, Flashbacks and Dissociative Disorders
- AM I: In a Panic Attack or Trauma Response or Dissociation or Menopause? How Do I Tell The Difference?
As well, I have a history of alcohol addiction.
On February 17th, 2020 I began living an alcohol-free life.
My Struggles With Alcohol Can be Read in These Blogs:
- Mystic Order – Reiki Level IIIA – 21 Day Cleanse – A Miracle Has Happened
- Spiritual Discipline – My Alcohol Addiction – My Story Now
- Personal Development – Cutting the Ties That Bind – Saying Goodbye to Alcohol
- Is Too Much a Choice or Addiction?
- Personal Development – A Wild Woman’s Journey With Drinking and Hedonism While Walking the Spiritual Path
- Personal Development – A Wild Woman’s Slow Transformation Towards Her Best Self
- OYNB – One Year No Beer – This Wild Woman’s Successful Journey of the 28 Day Challenge and Beyond!
- Personal Development – A Wild Woman Walking the Spiritual Path – A Wild Woman Redefined? Absolutely!
- Personal Development – Living Alcohol Free – Musings During Day 78
- Just For Today – I Will Do My Work Honestly
- Just For Today – I Will Do My Work Honestly
- Personal Development – Living An Alcohol Free Life – Year One
At 52 years old, and after a thorough assessment by a seasoned psychiatrist – I was finally properly diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder.
This blog series called Owning and Unraveling Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder is my way of processing and understanding these complex personality disorders and how they manifest, interfere with and enhance my life.
And, as it has been said to me from friends who have family members with Borderline Personality Disorder, perhaps I can help dispel misconceptions and stigmas associated with these mental illnesses.
As well, perhaps I can shed some light and more personal information on what living with Histrionic Personality Disorder is like, for those who are also walking this path.
Clarity & Confusion
It is Day 11 since my diagnosis. I don’t know how long I will keep track of how many days I’m into my diagnosis.
For me, this feels like a way of tracking my processing.
I am reading Borderline Personality Disorder for Dummies by Charles H. Elliott & Laura L. Smith.
This book, so far, is a helpful way of observing “me” by reading the many examples of how this debilitating disorder manifests in people.
It is a lot to take in.
Missing Persons: Identity Problems and BPD
I’m reeling with the connection of BPD and as the chapter in the book calls it, Missing Persons: Identity Problems and BPD.
I have struggled with my identity for as long as I remember.
Wondering who I am and what I am like.
I truly do not know what people see when they look at me, because I do not know who I am.
I feel transparent, that people can see my thoughts and see right through me.
When I look in the mirror, I feel disconnected from me.
Very difficult to explain.
I was and still have tendencies toward morphing into the environment I am in.
Never showing my true self because I don’t know who that is or feel safe enough to let my guard down when I am having a good day and feel relatively calm and somewhat connected to myself.
I feel like I wear an identity, instead of feeling it.
As a result, sometimes I feel like a fraud – unequipped and unqualified – in any given moment.
Sexual Empowerment – HPD
Talking about my recent diagnoses is hard work.
Hard work because of how other people perceive it.
I have been very selective in telling people in person about my recent diagnoses, if an opportunity presents itself.
The HPD is especially difficult to explain because when I say what the symptoms are – it feels shaming because most people are uncomfortable talking about sex.
Yet, as I write this – there is a permission with this HPD diagnosis to embrace the sexual power within me.
Not in a textbook manipulation way to get my needs met – but to step into the power – empowered – and flourish with the glorious feelings of being a sexual creature.
Tamara Levitt & Jeff Warren
This daily practice has helped me implement mindfulness when, as I know it now, the BPD emotional rollercoaster ride (emotional dysregulation) happens.
I will talk a bit more about this symptom later on in the blog.
With the help of mindfulness, sometimes I can bring myself out of emotional chaos.
Other times, I cannot.
I will talk about Dialectical Behaviour Therapy later in this blog.
If you have BPD and are reading this – another incredible skill I have developed by listening to Calm, (but still needs lots of work) is how I talk to myself when attempting nurturing self-talk.
I use the words of emotional support from Tamara Levitt’s Daily Calm and Jeff Warren’s Daily Trip.
Their kindness is authentic and a trusted source to receive emotional nurturing.
I use their voices in my head when I need emotional support – because I trust the source.
Truth be told – I instinctually do not trust my own supportive voice and do not trust the supportive words from family and friends.
Even my husband isn’t at 100% trustworthy status.
He’s at 99.8%.
This disorder is not easy.
It plays games with my head.
CBD & THC
CBD calms my mind and my body, so I’m not so quick to react.
THC – Sativa – gives me the clarity through the dissociative fog – to process thoughts. Indica is more relaxing with the body and mind.
A side note about THC – I DO NOT smoke it.
I AM NOT HIGH.
This is a medical prescription. Not my experimenting at the local marijuana shop to see what works.
And, yes with a medical prescription – I most certainly can get product that makes me high.
But here is the kicker – I cannot handle being high – it makes me paranoid in a way I cannot escape.
It is a state I do not want to purposefully put myself in.
As well, I stay away from THC edibles and oil capsules.
The effects are harder to manage when digested.
I never knew how long it would take to kick in and when it did – the effects seemed more intense – and can bring about the psychosis side of BPD.
I’ve experienced this and it is not fun.
I take CBD oil capsules and THC – Sativa and Indica sublingual strips.
I feel the effects of the sublingual strips within 15 minutes.
The CBD takes about an hour to kick in.
Again, I am not high – I am clear with sativa, and more relaxed with CBD and Indica (they also help with sleep).
How long do the effects last?
Hard to say.
I am most anxious in the morning and as I take CBD and THC over the day and into the evening, by evening I am my most relaxed.
In the morning the effects seem to be worn off as I am anxious again.
So I start again.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
I am beginning to see how my thoughts and feelings go from one extreme to the other – from feelings of loving connection to feelings of fear, distrust and disconnect.
In a matter of minutes.
This is particularly challenging.
An intense emotional rollercoaster ride.
It feels like I am crazy in the head.
This is where Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) will definitely help because it zooms in on this BPD symptom with specific strategies to manage it.
The woman who created DBT has BPD.
She gets it.
I think that is it for today. I will publish. Read. Re-read.
And re-read many more times.
Then the clarity I’m searching for in writing this blog will start to seep in.
Because I start to see myself.
Photo Credit – Lovehappensmag.com
Owning and Unraveling Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder
- Forget Everything I’ve Said – I’ve Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder – Introduction to Symptoms & Causes
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – Today’s Ramble on Identity & Calm & CBD & THC
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – Scrambled Egg Thoughts & Soaring Eagles
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – The World is Hard Work
- Borderline Personality Disorder – Emotions Borderline Style & Seeing Is Believing
- Borderline Personality Disorder – Intentional Interventions & Ah-Ha Moments
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – Anger & Lettin’ Loose & How BPD Am I?
- Borderline Personality Disorder – Mindfulness & Releasing Repressed Grief
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – The Stigma & Non-Social Acceptance
- Borderline Personality Disorder – Practicing Non-Judgement & Finding Synthesis Between Opposites
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – The Start of EMDR – Creating New Pathways to Calm
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – The Pros and Cons of Medical THC & CBD
- Histrionic Personality Disorder – This One’s Hard To Process – Gonna Be Baby Steps
- Borderline Personality Disorder & HistrionicPersonality Disorder – In Need of A Reset
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – Owning The Chaos – It Has Made My Life Interesting
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – Anxious – Ambivalent (Preoccupied) Attachment Style
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – Everyday Noticing Of What It Is Like Living With BPD & HPD