So you follow the treatment and go through a whole course of DBT and things slowly start getting better. You feel you can work again and relate to the world again. You understand what you have and you can (at least sometimes) deal with it and… Then you stop being borderline Right!?
Well…No, there is no “cure”. There is remission of symptoms. You continue to feel everything around you with a monstrous intensity. The urge to self-harm comes from time to time. The tears too and the discouragement and the desire to drop everything and go back to bed, stay in bed. Sometimes you even go back to bed, but blame yourself for the rest of the week (or life). You have (more) obligations that sometimes you can’t fulfil, you plan the day before so you don’t do anything the next day because you were sleeping. But all this happens and since you’re no longer lying on a bed with a blade in one hand and a glass of vodka in the other, the borderline part is forgotten. You become dramatic, irresponsible, impulsive, difficult, crazy…
You must be thinking, “ok, and what’s the point of it then?”
I have to say it’s even harder than being in crisis. It’s harder to stand, control yourself, breathe, try to act assertively, try to take off the glasses that make you see everything so intensely and ponder. To think that tomorrow things will not be like today. Trying to make those around you understand that you can be having a so-called “normal” life (mean husband+stepdaughter in my case) and still act “strange” from time to time. That you don’t get angry for hours, you get angry for days. That you’re stressed is a hurricane and that can pass in a matter of minutes or months… I learned in my “normal” days that the stable is not that linear. And that we keep thinking that when we reach the so-called remission of symptoms, everything will be beautiful and beautiful and perfect.
No, it’s not. But you know what? It’s the remission that makes me see it’s worth it. That, as much as I sometimes want to put myself in that safe role of mine of “it’s not my fault, so bear with me!” and do all sorts of shits, my life today is worth living. My suffering is worth it, because I can see the beauty in the good parts. I didn’t stop having self-esteem problems, I didn’t stop being insecure, but I manage to find the strength to continue in myself and in those I love around me. I’m proud that I haven’t cut myself in over a year and a half. Of being in a job where people trust me. To have a beautiful family, my cats. Before, none of this was a reason to get me out of bed, nor was I a reason to get out of bed and see the day.
Don’t go looking for perfection
Want a life worth living? Want to be happy knowing that “being” can become “being” or “not being”? Enjoy the moment with your feet on the ground of those who know that the light at the end of the tunnel does exist, it just doesn’t shine the way we imagine. doing therapy for BPD is about learning to deal with things better, having the tools to get you through those darker times. It isn’t some miracle cure, but in most cases, it will allow you to get on with your life and stop hiding from the world. Sure, there will still be times you will want to do that, but they will be few and far between.
This post is by Nathalia Musa who is the author of several BPD books in the French language. Thank you so much for the post Nathalia.