When I learned that shaming
my journey was creating a voice
that wouldn’t speak up
I discovered why i’d been
quiet all these years.
– Alex Elle
So, since so much is going on in my life right now with the divorce and all that comes with it, why not topping it off with some diagnosis talk? I guess there’s many reason not to do it all at once, but I’m ready. One of the reasons I share this with you now, is that I quite sudden became one of the (now) sixteen members of the expert group in the National Competence Service for Personality Psychiatry in Norway. Which is quite a big deal for me! And second: I don’t feel shame anymore. Why in the world should I feel shame for my diagnosis, where does that idea come from!?
Pour yourself some coffee and some chocolate and take your time to read… Maybe you’ll recognize something? Yourself or someone close? Everyone can learn something of this post. Everyone.
This is me. Most of you have seen me before. Today it’s lots of me. I’m not hiding at all.
Joining this expert group will be another thing that takes my time, but what can possibly be better than to share my story from my perspective as “the one with a disorder” with professionals that work with this on a daily basis? And hopefully make the system and treatment better, and to reach out to others with diverse personality disorders. To talk for an audience, be part of discussion panels and speak up – knowing that someone is actually listening and learning. What an opportunity, I’m so grateful!
Photo: Linda Eliasson, no one has ever captured me this soft, thank you Linda.
always mean to relive.
Sometimes it is simply
a reminder to give yourself
thanks for making it out alive.
Sketch by Jennie Blomkvist for my book project
Photo: Matilda Audas Björkholm
How much I’ve hated my reflection. Like pure hate. I don’t do that anymore. How bad myself and some others have treated me, how many scars I have on the inside and outside. It’s a part of me, and most of the time I accept it. It doesn’t mean what’s happened is fine, but I let it go much easier. I don’t want to be a slave to my story.
So, I already mentioned it – personality disorder. Mine is called emotionally unstable personality disorder, also called borderline/ bpd. I was diagnosed three and a half year ago, but have not been able to tell others what I suffer from. You know why? Because people might think they can know who I am by googling it, and make up seriously untrue stories. Who can tell your true tale except from you?
It’s a terrifying thought that people think they know me just by hearing the word borderline, and the world is far from that simple. I know about people who would think like that – that I would be what they read. But those people ain’t gonna have this much control over me anymore, because I am me and I actually quite like it.
Borderline to me and my life is about lack of trust because I really haven’t had a good reason to trust (and it’s extremely difficult to learn this when your an adult!), extreme sudden changes in mood and behavior, seeking control, triggers everywhere and how to deal with them, showing the worst and most insecure part of myself in close relationships, dysfunctional emotional regulation (two parts of my brain doesn’t speak that well together as they are suppose to, but I practice every day to make them work more smoothly), and sorting out what comes from within me and what comes from others?
Sometimes it feels like a sixth sense that is no good at all. But at long as I manage to sort out all of the things above, this “sense” is a huge gift to me. It makes me able to do, create and master big things.
My disorder is my main job. Really. To make my life work is my headliner every day. To be kind, soft and accepting towards myself also makes me a much better person for others to be around. It’s been a lot like hell. When I don’t want to wake up ever again – everything is black. Every thing you can imagine is not worth anything in that moment. And those moments have lasted for many days sometimes. It can take thirty seconds to turn everything upside down, and it can take thirty days to recover. Mental hospital and years of treatment. But god damn it – here I am, despite it all! So now I’m ready to steer my own ship and be a part of this magical journey in a way that I can handle.
Photo: my daughter, no one has ever captured me so happy, natural and with wind in my short hair
This paragraph is so important that I hope some of you read it twice:
I know how important it can be to be met in the emotional state you’re in, I’m almost an expert here, because I know that one of the most destructive things you can do to someone is not to listen when they need it the most. It’s heartbreaking! You don’t have to agree or increase the drama, but you do a big positive difference to someone if you say something like “I understand you’re in a very difficult state of mind and feel very sad/ afraid/ angry/ devastated right now. It will get better even though it doesn’t feels like it this moment. What do you need right now?”. And very often I have seemed very angry, that’s what I show, but actually I’m so sad and afraid that I can’t stand on my feet. My emotions have made my legs paralyzed for hours, and it’s one of the most frightening things I know.
I want to learn my daughter and her generation, and hopefully my generation (and older ones) too, to not avoid the difficult emotions and let mental illnesses still be tabu. It is not OK! I want to speak up, I want an open dialogue, I want to be proud of myself and I want my daughter to be proud of me and be the bravest person she knows. I want her to talk about her difficulties, and I want her generation to talk together. Listen to each other, ask difficult questions, speak up. You might save someone!
Photo: my daughter
Where I’m at right now is practicing what to do with all the thoughts that arises all the time. Every brain wants to think, it’s natural, but what to do with the thoughts? Most important to me now is not to push thoughts away, but yet not follow them. To let them pass. Takes quite a lot of daily practice, I tell you!
… And I can tell a lot by someone by what they choose to see in me, and I have decided to focus on the humble and soft people who get it and who are listening. Thank you in advance for thinking twice before you post an inappropriate comment to this post.
You loving yourself
opens up windows and
doors that can never be
closed by outsiders without
If you care about an open dialogue and knowledge about mental health, I would be forever grateful if you shared this post in some way on your social channels. It will help me helping others <3