(Also known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder)
Every month, the team at HMIY pick a new disorder to feature in this column. The hope is to raise awareness; unite those affected; and to learn more about mental health. This month, Grace, (HMIY Blog Editor), writes about her diagnosis, Borderline Personality Disorder.
When Susanna Kaysen, in Girl, Interrupted, first heard the words “Borderline Personality Disorder”, her initial response was one of questioning: “borderline between what and what?” In the seconds it me took to register this diagnosis, I formulated my own answer to Susanna’s question. Borderline remediable, and irreversibly broken. Borderline sick and yet, somehow, still not quite sick enough. Borderline permissible, and warranting vilification.
Although, medically, the border in question was one between psychosis and neurosis, I have always existed on the borderline of identities. Borderline black and white; borderline creative and critical; borderline self-assured and uncertain. In a world of binary oppositions, where certitude is paramount, I have often thought it impossible for borderlines like myself to survive. I have lain awake, imagining the borders my outstretched body intersects, clinging with the tips of my fingers and curls of my toes at either pole. Below me, a void of uncertainty into which I frequently fall. With each descent, I plunge a little deeper, my limbs grow a little weaker, the borders a little wider.
I always presumed the blackness of the void to be the black that engulfs me during depressive episodes. I always presumed its darkness to be the smog that clouds my head when I relapse into self-harm. I always presumed that light could only be found on the surface. I always presumed that my existence across the borders, although never complete, was my best chance of survival.
The last time I fell, I did not resurface. I am now six months into recovery, and the void has become my home. Here, the little light both darkens and illuminates my skin. Here, assurance is found in the uncertain. Here, I am not alone: the void is filled with innumerable others, living freely, on the borderline of existence.
Grace is a 21-year-old English student, responsible for the blog editing and newsletter writing for Hello Me, It's You. In 2017, following a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, she set herself the challenge to live unashamedly for one year. Six months, one blog, and a bold haircut later, she is finally starting to overcome the anxiety and depression that she once felt defined her. She loves tea, David Attenborough and, above all, Beyoncé.
Hello Me, it's You
Welcome to the brand new shiny Hello Me, it’s You blog! We are launching this blog with weekly content from different contributors, giving their opinions and experiences on all things Mental Health.