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My Borderline Journey at 37!
written by: Jenn Hope
This year was a year of epiphany for me. Finally recognizing how badly I needed help. It took a hospital trip for suicidal thoughts to be the catalyst for change. Honest change.
How could I want to die? I’m a mom, a wife. What kind of person could do that? Could think those things? Well a broken woman, that’s who. I suffered childhood trauma, never dealt with. I was exposed to things that matured me past my years and without proper preparation or guidance. I filled my empty spaces with love unconditional for my own babies, my own family. And promises to do it differently. But I wasn't fixed, just too busy to really notice the pain. As my kids have grown into teenagers and my friendships have dwindled I’m a lot less busy and left with dark thoughts and empty emotions. Life can change in a matter of moments. Mine has so many times. The overwhelming stress and untreated mental illness finally surfaced with an abrupt and very loud BANG!! And there I was trying to find a way out.
The best gift I can give as a mother is to acknowledge my illness, find treatment and educate myself on my emotions and my mind. And so I have started.
Intake at the hospital for the psychiatric day assessment was scary, I was shaking. After all everyone was going to know I’m crazy. I mean why else am I here. I sat in a filled waiting room looking around thinking, what where these people thinking of me? They must have opinions, Right? Wrong! Nobody in that room cared. They were all there just like me, for help. My nerves calmed slightly, and with my hands not shaking so badly I filled out hours of paperwork. Lots of detailed questions. Than more waiting. A meeting with a psychologist. He was nice enough, especially since I don’t trust men in power positions, of course on the list of things to talk about. Quickly cracking me open like an egg and oozing my pain out on the office floor he was done and there would be more waiting as he discussed me with the on call psychiatrist. Finally I meet with a psychiatrist. He was also nice enough for a person holding my fate in his hands. So to speak anyway. After about a four-hour day the words came out….. you have Borderline personality disorder, severe depression, mood disorder and anxiety. Time froze. There was finally a name to my darkness. And with a name and a diagnosis there was a clear plan for healing. I was so nervous, so unsure. Can I do this? Can I be dedicated enough? The answer was an exhausting yes!
It was layed out as a year of intensive therapy. Starting with group 5 nights a week and then one on one after care. Some DBT and then we would see if we would keep going. So my first follow-up was booked and I was on a waiting list for the intake to group therapy. There was a path. There was hope, and yet I was so afraid of the work ahead. I’m so flaky can I do this? The answer from my soul was yes! Show your kids how much you love them, love your husband and family. Show them you love them enough to work on you. After all they're the most important to me just as I am to them! And so I made a promise!
I’m going to share my journey through learning and accepting my borderline and I’m going to not be afraid of judgement or failure. I’m going to help others know we can do this. We can live with mental illness, we can accept and openly talk about mental illness!
So this is the start of my borderline journey at 37……. I hope you stay on it with me!!