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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Five reasons why I wouldn't 'undo' BPD if I could

Don't get me wrong here: BPD takes a person to the deepest, darkest, loneliest, scariest depths of the ocean of human experience and emotions.It is terrifying to feel desperate, suicidal, frantically alone and confused.

On my BPD Orchid a couple of weeks ago, I asked people if they could 'undo' their BPD, would they? Most people who responded said that they would. The enormity of the pain, the stigma, the difficulty in accessing mental health and support services, the loneliness can make the experiences of BPD so unbearable people would do anything to erase the three little letters from their life. 

I would not take the experiences I have had with BPD away from me. Here are five reasons why--in a wierd way-- I feel grateful to my BPD.

1. The factors which gave me BPD are also those which make me who i am.

2. My empathy. I feel that having experienced a lot of difficult emotions and experiences means that I am open to the fact that life is not straightforward, emotions are complex and that people are not what they seem. I never take the surface as the person, because I myself know that my external self doesn't match up to society's view of what someone with a mental health problem looks like.  I feel that my empathy for others' pain and emotional experiences has opened up paths i that would have otherwise have never been so open.

3. Relationships. This point overlaps with 2, but when I opened up a couple of individuals about my story and what I was going through, it led to a deeper relationship, as if the mental health issue facilitated a facet of a relationship that may have never been discovered. It feels as though BPD has opened up a greater compassion between myself and others and led to closer, stronger bonds. Vulnerability is a powerful thing (see the famous TED Talk by Brene Brown).

4. Imagination. I often wonder what link my extremely flexible, lively and wacky imagination has to my BPD, but I feel they are linked. I think my plastic, creative, playful mind is bound to the ability my brain has to access darker parts of the human experience. Certain emotional states that are tied up to my BPD have been conducive to creative works, although by no means all. I should clarify that there is nothing less 'artistic' or 'creative' about a mental breakdown. In 2010, I slept, stared at a ceiling, unable to read, write, string two ideas together. It was a mind-numbing experience that was the antithesis of creative energy. 

5. Therapy. This has been absolutely amazing...can't describe how much of a revitalising, life-giving, fascinating, insightful, delightful, exciting, powerful, magical, interesting, inspiring influence it has been for all areas of my life: personal, creative, career, relationships, intellectual. 

This is a non-exhaustive list, but as a quick addition, I will post a quick line about Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. I felt such an emotional tie to Bertha, I felt a personal connection to a fictional character on a level that I feel was facilitated by my BPD.