Success

Tonight I was talking to my mom and she was asking me questions about my life. One of the things she asked me was “are you doing better?”.  This question was in regard to my mental health. And my reply was that life was a challenge…which was kind of vague I guess, but that is a really hard question for someone with borderline personality disorder to answer.  She also asked me if my BPD was something that would get better or if I just had to live with it forever.  And the answer I gave was this, “I have to live with it forever—and a successful life of a person with BPD is that I die naturally and not by my own hand.”  Of course, being my mother, she didn’t like that answer much…. :/

Regardless, it got me thinking about success and being a successful BPD survivor… if there is such a thing.  So I decided to write about the success of being BPD.

Success comes in many forms—for those with mental illness, those successes are defined quite differently from those without it.

For me, being successful with my BPD involves the following:

  • Today I didn’t want to die as much as normal.  That is a success.
  • Today I didn’t scream at anyone.  That is a success.
  • Today I managed to get through the last hour without crying. That is a success.
  • Today I didn’t get violent.  That is a success.
  • Today I did not hate myself as much as I did yesterday. That is a success.
  • Today I did not lash out at anyone. That is a success.
  • Today I did not hurt myself. That is a success.
  • Today I did not hurt anyone else. That is a success.
  • Today I managed to get out of bed. That is a success.
  • Today I did not convince myself that I am a terrible person. That is a success.
  • Today I only cycled 10 times instead of 20. That is a success.
  • Today I managed to not commit suicide. That is a success.
  • Today I showered and brushed my teeth. That is a success.
  • Today I didn’t feel as guilty as I did yesterday.  That is a success.
  • Today I managed to remember I am worth something. That is a success.
  • Today my self-loathing was kept at bay for over an hour. That is a success.
  • Today I used my skills to self-soothe.  That is a success.
  • Today I was a little bit productive. That is a success.
  • Today I remembered to take my medications. That is a success.
  • Today I spoke to another human being with anxiety. That is a success.
  • Today I realized my anxiety wasn’t too bad. That is a success.
  • Today nobody left me. That is a success.
  • Today I didn’t push anyone away. That is a success.
  • Today I maintained my boundaries. That is a success.
  • Today I went to counseling. That is a success.
  • Today I got up for work. That is a success.
  • Today I combed my hair. That is a success.
  • Today I went outside. That is a success.
  • Today I was not too sad. That is a success.
  • Today I was not impulsive. That is a success.
  • Today I did not cry all day. That is a success.
  • Today I woke up alive. That is a success.
  • Today I managed to get through the day.  That is a success.

You see….all the things  normal people take for granted, those of us with mental illness, especially ones like borderline personality disorder, are hard-won, and even harder recognized. It takes a conscious effort to remember that we actually did succeed in some small way, even if that way was only to keep on living for another day…

BPD is such a chaotic illness. The suicide rate for BPD is higher than all other mental illnesses combined. Do you even realize how scary that is for us? Considering that the self-loathing, the guilt, the fear, the chaos is a constant part of our everyday lives, I cannot believe most of us even manage to make it through as far as we do….

There is no magical cure…the regular medication, both anti-depressant and anti-psychotics do not normally work for us–so we have to put in so much work to even be able to manage day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.  Its fucking hard as hell and it takes some serious strength to keep fighting this shit day in and day out.

There is always something wrong with me–I am either overly emotional or with meds I am flat-lined with rare bouts of emotion. YET, I still cry at the drop of a hat and I still anger very easily. I have to personally remind myself that I am worth something, even if that worth is not apparent to me…ever.  Don’t get me wrong, my right mind knows that I am not worthless—but it is damn hard to convince the regular me that that is the truth.

So those small little successes that happen need to be acknowledged and remembered and brought to the light as often as possible for us.

Because without them…………we are truly the nothing we believe we are.

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