The Unpredictability of Anxiety & Personality Disorders
For me, however much I accept that I have a personality disorder & even friends & family around me do, sometimes even with coping mechanisms, plans, support & trigger alerts, it’s just so unpredictable.
I hate crowds & queues & navigation, yet on several days here in Orlando, I’ve queued got 4 hours in huge crowds to get on a ride that lasts a minute. I’ve made my way around the parks & back. Before I came away my biggest fears were the crowded theme parks. Back home, in Sheffield, England, I’ve had panic attacks on public transport. There have been times I haven’t left the house for 11 days & generally just withdraw. But my kids are my biggest motivator & even though I had a minor anxiety attack boarding the first plane in Manchester, I did it for my kids. Learning to parent with mental health issues can be so hard, yet I feel blessed that they are my safety net & my motivation. I adore them
So eventually I built up the courage to talk to them about my condition, which is Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder or formerly known as Borderline Personality Disorder. I also have Generalised Anxiety Disorder.
So as I said, for me it’s unpredictable. I’ve missed school plays & parents evenings, work has at times been challenging but I work for an amazing charity, Good Things Foundation, which helps people in gain digital skills which overall helps with both social & digital inclusion. They have been amazingly supportive & flexible when it’s come to my condition & allowing me to work from home on bad days. This has increased my ability to embrace my condition & be honest about it, blogging and sharing on twitter.
I also get to travel lots & no two days are the same, so I simply love it. The people I work with are so passionate about what they do £ helping others. There’s something about helping others that not only distracts you but makes you feel better.
But there are times when you least expect it & it’s awful. I lost my mum and then lost my best friend to suicide within 18 months & I fell apart. I struggle to handle emotions & I really struggle with bereavement. I try to behave as others would expect, rather than doing as I feel. I have little trust in my own judgement. I was unable to do anything, be anything. Now, these events were obviously big triggers, but sometimes a simple song, or a dream, or a colour or image will send me right back there & I’ll stay in my bed or sofa for days. There’s no build up, or warning, & however much I try to “pull myself together” & “man-up”, I just can’t seem to. But eventually, I do.
So I believe the biggest help out there is support. I’m on 2 Facebook groups for people with similar conditions
I use the Mind website a lot www.mind.org.uk but I also follow & read lots of other blogs, including Scarlett’s BPD Corner and Therapy Bits to name a couple.
So, all in all, we can survive this, we do need support. There will be good & bad days but I know I’m lucky to have a husband & children who want me around, even when I’m unwell. I gave a supportive GP & CPN and although I’m still at the beginning of my 18 month wait for DBT therapy on the NHS, I still more often than not, feel hopeful.