Borderline Personality Disorder – Mindfulness & Releasing Repressed Grief

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.

Anxiety

Here are past blogs I’ve written about my struggles with anxiety and what felt like PTSD or DDNOS:

Alcohol Addiction

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:

Present Day

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.

With hope,

Stephanie, 💛

Little Joyful Stephanie!
Little Joyful Stephanie!

Breathing “Wise” In & “Mind” Out

This is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) mindfulness technique from DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition, by Marsha M. Linehan.

There are so many ideas for practicing “Wise Mind” in the worksheets, I picked two to focus on for now.

It is just as the title says – breathing in I say to myself, “Wise”; breathing out, say “Mind.”

I focus all my attention on the word “wise”, then, focus all my attention on the word “mind.”

I continue this until I feel I have settled into Wise Mind.

This feels like a grounding way to get rid of thoughts that make me feel worse.

DBT Wise Mind

Photo Credit – Cam’s Kids

Participating With Awareness

The second Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) mindfulness technique from DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition, by Marsha M. Linehan is an activity in practicing participating in awareness and connecting to the present moment.

It simply is: becoming a word as I slowly say the word over and over and over.

A self-loving, supporting word that grounds me, comforts me and settles me into the present moment.

Words I want more of are:

Peace.

Calm.

Trust.

Settle.

Safe.

Love.

Repressed Emotions – Repressed Grief

My body has slowly started to tell me that I need to release emotions.

I have not been paying attention.

For the longest time, I was terrified the body spasms happening to me – that I labeled as somatic release – was PTSD related and some horrible past trauma that I repressed would resurface.

I now know, as I listen to my Wise Mind, that my body is finally grieving childhood loss.

Childhood loss I’ve been carrying around with me since I was a little girl.

Sadness of so much loss.

It finally hit me so hard, I ended up in emergency because my body was so sick.

I didn’t know what the hell was happening to me.

Then, finally I just started talking out loud the thoughts that were in my head.

And as I spoke, and my words were supported, the truth came to the surface.

My Wise Mind knew I had to start grieving a profound depth of loss that has permeated my entire body and soul for over 4 decades.

For over 4 decades, I carried these memories as “rational thoughts” – stories I could tell in therapy – and I have – over and over and over and over and over and over again.

But I have never felt and expressed/released the emotions connected to these stories.

I have held BPD sized grief in my body for almost all of my life.

Intense does not even come close to how powerful this grief is.

Starting to let it be free has been monumentally life changing.

Again, this is the power of a diagnosis- because I now UNDERSTAND MY LIFE!

There is more grief and anger to release.

Massage – myofascial release and acupuncture to calm my nervous system have been incredibly helpful.

As is practicing specific Qigong techniques to ground and calm my body.

For now, I am going to stop here.

My stories are powerful for me, and I need to unpack the emotions connected to them, very slowly.

Because, remember – they are BPD emotions – and are very intense.

S, 🌼

Owning and Unraveling Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder

Leave a Reply