I am a 35 year old woman living with the double-whammy of Bipolar disorder AND Borderline PD. One might think hearing this diagnosis that they should keep a healthy distance from me. But actually…people want to be around me a lot. And yet I am so isolated. The problem is…I don’t want to be around others all that much–not because I’m so unpredictably volatile as we are lead to believe people with BDP are thanks to media’s portrayals. It’s because intimate relationships are agonizingly painful to me and so I tend to push people away before they can get to close…or… as I see it-before they can reject me. My thinking is very distorted, which is the nature of both of these disorders.
Borderline traits keep my mood unstable throughout the day – Bipolar keeps my mood unstable for larger chunks of time. I hardly let anyone other than my amazingly supportive boyfriend into my world of ups and downs because stigma makes it hard for me to feel safe enough to share my truth with others. My boyfriend is safe mostly because he is a therapist…oh and by the way, so am I. I am an awesome therapist too. I think my ability to empathize in a way no one else can (not that I share this part of me with them) makes me a great therapist…not to mention I am highly trained.
I’m so thrilled that this organization has been established because I am a huge proponent of eradicating stigma around mental illness. I would love to live my truth out in the open and normalize mental illness for others so no one ever has to feel alone in their experience. Mental illness is most certainly nothing to be ashamed of…it’s not different from any medical disease. It’s about time the general public sees it that way.