Wednesday, 21 September 2016

BPD Awareness Week Mind Museum

Here's the piece I wrote for BPD Awareness Weeks Mind Museum, which is in two weeks time. This drawing is also a drawing I did for my Grandma. She kept all my drawings and I think this is the most expressive and personal one I drew her at such a young age
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Ive always felt a chronic emptiness when it comes to me. Ever since I was little, I felt ‘different’. I have one memory when I was in year 1 hiding under my rain jacket because the teacher had pointed me out for something and made me feel ashamed. I always thought I was too much. Loving too much, caring too much and considering other people too much. People made me think its a bad quality to have but as I have got older and survived this disorder I would rather live a life where I can give more to people. I give without expecting and I think thats a good quality to have. When you consider people as much as I do, you can make anyone’s day. I even have had the blessing of making strangers days. 
I remember waking up in the hospital with the lights shining in my face. It didn't feel real and I didn't feel present. The nurse told my a psych doctor was coming to see me. The conversation is hazy but all I heard them say is the three words ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’. They were diagnosing me with it. I was 17 years young and I didn't know what to think, to do or to say. 
I still tried to be less. I didn't want to tell my friends the amount of pain I was in or over bear them with my emotions. So I drank to fit in, I put on my daily mask to show I was ‘okay’. I was living, but I didn't feel alive. People looked at my wrists and I would pass it off as falling off my bike or a cat scratching me. I dont even like cats. 
Hospitals became second homes. Friends stayed and left. I was in the constant state of push and pull. I wanted to let someone in but as soon as they came too close I spat them out. Not by choice, but because I didn't want them into my world of pain. I didn't also want to go through them eventually leaving so I sabotaged before it even happened. I didn't want them seeing me and my illness. Or having to explain or justify my behaviour to them. I just wanted someone to believe in me and not question me, see me for the best I have as I saw everyone else. 
I placed myself in horrible relationships as I viewed that as someone ‘loving’ me. I thought thats what I deserved because I have borderline. I started to become borderline. I let the disorder define me. People gave up on me so I gave up on me. There was no winning with me and I saw the exhaustion on the people who really love me faces. I was too much, I wanted to be less. I didn't want to be alive punishing anyone anymore. 
Then over time, I learned how to live with my illness known as Borderline. I knew most of the time I knew logically the correct behaviour, but with BPD is the emotions that over rule that. Once we become emotionally drawn to something or someone, nothing else matters. I know that will be a good thing with the right person, but can be costly with the wrong.
Six times I thought I wasn't going to be alive. I was ashamed that I spent so long self mutilating and being labeled manipulating, attention seeking and a lost cause. I know I am none of those things people who are uneducated have labelled me, and I learnt to concentrate on the people who loved me regardless of this disorder. The ones who dont take my good heart, consideration and empathy as a ‘bad’ thing. The people who love me and allow me to love them in return. 
I am now 26 years old. I drew this drawing for my Grandma who passed away recently when I was younger. I think this picture says a lot of how I spent my life living when I was growing up, listening to other people’s judgements and assumptions without considering the internal pain that is with me. 
The reason I am alive now is because I became a lived experience talker for Suicide Prevention Australia. The thing that keeps me alive, even when I have a day where suicide ideation comes up, is that people like me and you have to keep a float as we are saving lives. Talking about your illness is helping people stay alive and not feel as isolated as I have over the years. 
I am as special as everyone else is and there is a reason I haven't lost my battle with my illness, and that reasons is so I can help people without expecting anything in return. The things that happen when you consider other people’s feelings is very powerful.


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