I have held back on writing this post for a couple of months whilst I tried to get my head around the situation. But it’s the final day of 2016 and as everyone is in a reflective, emotional mood looking back at their year, now is as good a time as ever.
2016 has been, on the whole, a very good year for me. I started the year determined to get myself back to work and to continue with my education whilst working on my mental health. By April all of these had been ticked off. The vast majority of this year brings back happy memories, new friendships and a lot of laughing.
I was happy at work although a niggling feeling had entered my mind that maybe not all was right. I tried to brush it aside, for the first time in a long time everything was going pretty well for me; I had a supportive family, amazing friends and a job I enjoyed.
In October I entered one of the most terrifying, sad and seemingly hopeless periods of my life. To say it seemed that everything had gone to shit would be an under exaggeration. I had been trying to carry on as normal, trying to ignore this overwhelming feeling of self hatred and it all caught up with me. I was appalled, shocked and heartbroken by my own behaviour and complete lack of self worth. Suddenly everything seemed pretty pointless again and I hit rock bottom. It had been a couple of years since I’d felt so low and I hoped I’d never be back in that position again.
It was so scary and my own thoughts became so worrying that I decided I needed emergency help. This resulted in me being treated by a crisis team at home in Manchester and my Mum coming to stay with us for a week. A totally abnormal situation but something that had to happen to ensure I was safe.
Around this time I was told I’d have an assessment with a consultant psychiatrist as I’d presented so many times in the last few years it was becoming clearer I wasn’t just suffering from depression/anxiety. This was something I’d wanted to happen for several years so we really pushed for it to go ahead and after a couple of weeks I got my appointment.
To cut a very long winded, probably extremely boring story short, on 31st October 2016 I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. The doctor went into detail after reading through years of notes on how he had come to this conclusion and I whole heartedly agreed. He asked me if I was upset afterwards and I told him I wasn’t at all, just very relieved.
If you’re really that interested you can search online as to what BPD is and what it means. My doctor told me it’s something I was most probably born with, and it’s just been brought to the surface more with certain events that have happened in my life. It is absolutely not the result of a traumatic childhood, abuse or anything remotely like that. I had a wonderful, happy childhood with the nicest and most generous parents anyone could ask for. One thing I realised after being diagnosed with BPD is how negative the connotations are surrounding it. I know that not everyone demonstrates all the behaviours associated with the disorder but it’s still quite hard to find a positive article to read or to take something pleasant from when you’ve just been diagnosed. I hope that this will change in years to come as more research and time is allowed for BPD.
So that’s that. I like to think of BPD as being an explanation for a lot of feelings I’ve had over the last 10-15 years. I’ve known for a long time that something just didn’t add up. I knew that my emotions and feelings were always greatly exaggerated compared to my friends. A low day to me was the worst day on earth but when I was having a good time nothing could stop me. As heartbreaking as it is when I am feeling at my lowest and I can’t see any point in forcing myself through the next hour, never mind the day, the feelings can also be reversed. When I’m having a really great time with the people I love I take note of every little thing, I enjoy it SO MUCH because I know how quickly it can change.
Overall I’d like to thank everyone who pretty much kept me alive this year through a very, very strange & scary time. My Mum who is always the strongest, bravest but most loving lady in any room. I simply wouldn’t have half the strength to keep going if it wasn’t for you. My flatmate & best friend Will who has now for 6 (wtf?!) years seen me at my very best and very worst and still stuck by my side. I’m under no impression that I’m not a nightmare at times but at least I’m good at washing up. Love you. To all my other gorgeous family and friends who listen to all my worries, laugh along when it’s good and hold me up when it’s not. And finally to my beautiful girlfriend Beth…..you have stood by me, cried with me, laughed with me and made me see a point in something when everything felt completely hopeless. Some days when I feel like I’m not really worth a whole lot I look at how incredible you are & think that if you love me, there must be something worth fighting for. Love you always.
Happy New Year, I have a feeling it will be a good one. xx