My name is Christine and I’m 24-years-old, born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, but now living in Canada. I have borderline personality disorder and have suffered from depression more times than I can count.
It’s hard to say exactly when my journey started, but I would say I was around 15 when I first started noticing something wasn’t right. I was in high school, life was confusing, puberty wasn’t my friend, and everything was just rough (as it is when you’re a teenager). But I noticed I was different than my friends. I would freak out over something that seemed like the smallest thing to others, but it was something I got genuinely hurt by and didn’t know how to ignore. For example, I remember freaking out in school because my friend didn’t sit right next to me. She was just making room for another friend, but in my head she hated me and she didn’t want to be my friend. To me, that was the only logical explanation. This happened in many different situations, and I would always convince myself everyone was out to get me and I would be left alone. The constant fear of abandonment was so overwhelming I ended up being extremely depressed.
I didn’t tell anyone about it for the longest time, both because I thought it might just be something everyone goes through, but also because I was scared of being judged. When I finally did open up, I got the depression diagnosis and was treated with antidepressants. This diagnosis was the one I kept getting since every time I would be treated for it, I would feel better, but once I stopped taking medication and I was left alone, my other symptoms would appear again.
It actually wasn’t until 2015, where I was 21-years-old, they finally found out what was actually going on. I had a mental breakdown one day where I just stopped talking and didn’t react to anyone, and that ended up with me being hospitalized for a while. That saved me! They finally gave me the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, and when they told me about it, I finally didn’t feel alone or weird- I felt a huge relief.
I started seeing a psychologist and I went back on antidepressants. I actually didn’t spend a lot of time with the psychologist because I was leaving for six months to Canada, to do a semester abroad, so I decided to try to deal with my issues myself. Being away from Denmark and the bad habits I had, ended up being the best way for me to deal with my mental illness. I changed a lot in those six months and I embraced my mental illness. I spent so much time trying to understand why I would react a certain way in certain situations, and once I became aware of that, it was easier for me to think about things before I reacted.
Today, my life is very different. During the last couple of years, I have worked so hard on myself, understanding myself and my mental illness, and I feel like I’m close to recovery. I’ve accomplished a lot in these years. I got my communications degree, moved to Canada, and started my own business. I’ve actually dedicated my whole life to help others suffering from BPD, something I would have never been able to do was it not for my mental illness! I write a blog about my experiences, about how I overcame a lot of my obstacles, and now I’m starting my coaching business to help people with BPD find their strengths and reach their goals. It’s all about finding your superpowers in your mental illness and using them in a positive way so you can live an overall more positive life! It’s something I learned how to do, and it’s something I want to help others how to do. Living with BPD, you are your own worst enemy, but I want to help BPD sufferers become their own best friend!
I’m lucky enough to have had so much support in my journey. My family has been great, my friends have stood by me, and my boyfriend has been my biggest supporter. I give them a lot of credit, because it really hasn’t been easy for them. Having to constantly reassure me that I won’t be left alone gets tiring, but also having to deal with my extreme mood swings couldn’t have been easy. I’m so grateful they all stood by me, even when I was so angry I couldn’t breathe, or when I was so upset I thought I would never stop crying. They are a huge part of why I’m in such a good place today!
I often get the question: what is the number one thing you have learned from your mental illness? It’s a simple question to me, with a very simple answer: speak up! We can’t expect people to be understanding if they don’t know what we’re going through. It’s my experience that most people will be open and ask questions, and that leads to an open conversation about a topic that can be so hard. How beautiful is that? Even if you do come across people who show no understanding, at least you tried your best to explain how you feel, and they can never take that away from you. Always try your best, be open, and be strong!
Mental illness can seem like the end of things, but really, it’s the beginning of a new you. Once you embrace it, you will see how beautiful and strong you are for battling yourself every day, that is truly something. Keep speaking up and keep going. We are strong!
#dontcallmecrazy. My name is Christine and I have #BPD but it does not have me.
- Christine Bladt, 2018