It’s not easy to make others understand
Although the medication and talk therapy helped, things were still hard for me because my relatives didn’t take my condition seriously, at least at first. One of my aunts even suggested to my mother (who was my only champion at the time) that I was faking it so I could use BPD as an excuse for bad behavior. That upset me, but I never stopped trying to educate them. Thankfully, they came around after a while.
My family situation improved even more when my Uncle (one of my mother’s brothers) married his wife. She happens to be a counselor, and for the last year or so I’ve been going to her for advice and support. She taught me some coping mechanisms that turned out to be really effective and helpful, like the Wise Mind technique. I use it to curb my anxiety and panic attacks. Thanks to her, I’m now able to react to things in a more logical way.
I also surround myself with the things that I love—books, movies, music, and TV shows. Cleaning the house and cooking for myself and my mother also help me stay stable. I’m definitely no Jamie Oliver, but cooking is one of my favorite coping mechanisms. I started cooking a few weeks after my first visit to Doc Randy’s clinic. It gave me a sense of control at a time when I felt like my life was tail spinning into chaos.
What can you say to other people who are living with BPD? Do you have any advice?
If you suspect that you or someone you know may have BPD, seek help. I can’t stress that enough. BPD is not something you can fight on your own. The only reason I’m writing this today is because Doc Randy, my mother Tinna Bonifacio, and many others supported me when I was at my worst.
But as the saying goes, you can’t help someone who won’t help himself, so you need to be an active and willing participant in your own recovery. If you commit to treatment, things will get better for you, I promise. That’s what happened to me.
What are some of the misconceptions people have about BPD?
Having BPD is exhausting emotionally, mentally, and physically. It’s tough to be fully present in your own life while you’re fighting a war inside your head 24/7. Those who don’t understand that call me inconsiderate, lazy, et cetera. But I’m not. I’m just sick, and honestly, I’m doing the best I can with what I have.
People with BPD are often portrayed as dangerous and manipulative. I’ve read that many therapists actually refuse to treat borderlines, because we’re known for being difficult. But to tell you the truth, there are some upsides to having this condition.
If you have BPD, you’re a survivor and a warrior. Being able to weather your own stormy moods is nothing to sneeze at. People with BPD are also creative, intuitive, outspoken, passionate, and protective of those they hold dear. Many people with BPD—myself included—find that channeling their intense emotions into some form of art helps them stay stable. In my case, it’s acting, singing, and writing.
What’s the most challenging thing about having this condition?
When you have BPD, everything—even things others consider simple, like brushing your teeth or tying your shoelaces—can be challenging, because the sheer intensity of your emotions can paralyze you.
I had to step up and become the breadwinner of our family because my mother had a hemorrhagic stroke. You can probably imagine how tough it was for me to adjust to my new role. Suddenly I had to care for my mother, hold down a job, run the house, and manage my symptoms at the same time. It was hell for the first couple of years, but now things have settled down for the most part despite the ongoing pandemic.
Being the head of the household is still challenging, but it’s a little easier now that my family understands the full extent of my BPD. They’re more equipped to help me and my mother out now. I also found a good caregiver for my mother. Not only does she take point on caring for her, but she also does most of the household chores. I just pitch in when I’m not too busy or tired.
I’ve found that the key to making BPD less of a burden is to communicate with those around you. Let them know what you’re dealing with and how they can support you, because like I said, this isn’t a battle you can fight alone.
Learn more about Mental Health Issues here.