Am I really that monster in the mirror?

Content warning: This article contains touches on suicide, self harm and eating disorders. Please read and share cautiously.

The Mental Health Blog directors received this story from an anonymous student who wanted to share their story. If you have a story to share and are interested in being featured on the blog, please submit your piece to the google form:

To my Borderline Personality Disorder

When my psychiatrist told me that I had a personality disorder, I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock; something was “wrong” with a fundamental part of me, specifically my personality. I refused to believe it. As soon as I was released, I went home and looked up borderline personality disorder (BPD). I kept stumbling upon words such as “manipulative”, “attention-seeing”, “unstable”, “a monster”. A fucking monster. Site after site mentioned the horrors of interacting with someone with BPD.

I slowly started to believe it. I am an unlovable, manipulative, attention-seeking monster. I destroy the lives of the people I love. I ruin everything good within my life.

I started to push people away, to protect them from me. I was incredibly lonely, even though I was physically surrounded by people that loved me. I started to cut myself, I started to abuse alcohol and I developed bulimia. I started to dissociate; it felt like I was watching myself interact with the world through a TV screen. It felt like I was floating away; I wasn’t a part of reality anymore. This needed to stop.

I overdosed on my psychiatric medication and painkillers. My parents found me, and I was sent to the hospital. Four horrible days later, I was medically cleared to go home. My psychiatrist asked, “did you really do this because you wanted to die?”. I felt so invalidated and so alone.

I made attempt after attempt to end my life and I ended up at the psychiatric ward each time. I joked to my parents that if I got air miles points for every hospital admission, I could travel around the world. In the space of two years, I was hospitalized eight times. I needed help and I was clearly not getting it at this hospital.

I went to a different hospital and this time I got the help I needed. I learned more about my diagnosis in a non-judgmental manner. I am not a monster and my disorder does not define me. With dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and medication, I can get better. Slowly, I started to gain hope that I can live a better life.

There is so much stigma around mental health, which makes it much harder to seek help. The stigma makes it easier to define a person by their diagnosis (i.e. that depressed girl, that psychotic person, the crazy borderline ex-girlfriend, that schizophrenic). It dehumanizes the individual’s experiences, pain and suffering. You ARE NOT your diagnosis. You ARE worthy of compassion, care and love no matter what. Please seek out help, if you need it. It might be hard, but your life is worth fighting for.

To end on a slightly lighter but still personal note, what’s a song you’d like to share with your story?