#dontcallmecrazy, My name is Anja

I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD). My mother says I started showing symptoms of anger and waves of emotional instability from a very young age. One second I would be an angel, happy and sincere – the next I would be aggressive and hateful. I first decided to get help against my own will, when I was 16 years old. My parents found out I had an eating disorder, which I still battle with to this day – bulimia. I started purging and binging at the age of 13, but hid it from my family for about 3 years. I was admitted to an eating disorder treatment outpatient program in my hometown and saw a psychiatrist weekly. I didn’t get better because I didn’t want to. I was angry at my parents for making me go. I was embarrassed. I was confused as to why I was even doing this to myself, to my own body. I denied needing help because I felt like it was normal to feel the way I felt. I was always angry, always judging everybody – myself the most.

I am currently 23, turning 24 this year, and have been getting treatment for my BPD, ADHD, my addictions as well. Due to my mental health issues, I turned to coping with alcohol and substances, which has caused great stress on my loved ones, and on my body. I can proudly say I am 54 days clean of any substances and have never felt better. I see my psychiatrist weekly, keep up with my medications, and I am learning how to love myself day by day.

Every single day is a battle. I used to have very bad withdrawal symptoms – nausea, shakiness, and anxiety because I was completely detoxing my body from everything. I have triggers everyday and even the smallest things can trigger me. Individuals with BPD feel emotions at a HIGH level. For example, if someone were to tell me that I could’ve done better on one part of my performance but the rest was amazing. I wouldn’t focus on the part that they complimented me on, I would dwell at the fact that they criticized me, even if it was positive criticism. I don’t have the skills yet that offset my triggers. I get angry way too easily and explode in rage. I see red, I break things,  and I lose control. But day in, day out, I practice self-control. I practice loving myself. I practice encouraging myself. I practice mindfulness.

My illness has changed my life – completely. With the addictions, impulsiveness and anger I have been put in situations I would never wish on my worst enemies. I have been a cocaine addict, an alcoholic and I’ve been in jail. But with all that being said, I would never change what has happened in my life. My family is still with me through it all, the people that matter are still beside me. Helping me FIGHT my FIGHT, all together as one. Everyone has demons. Everyone has a battle. But everyone has the choice to fight. You fight and you will find others that will support you. You will find others that will encourage you. You will find something in yourself that you never believed was there. There is always hope. There is a way, and I have finally noticed that.

I am a fighter, and I will never let my mental illnesses define me. They are extra letters beside my name. Nothing to be ashamed of, but something to be proud of, something that I am overcoming. 

#dontcallmecrazy. My name is Anja and I have borderline personality disorder and adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, but it does not have me.

- Anja Takac, 2018