Strength in numbers: the Strong Person award.

Trigger warning: contains talk of suicide and self harm. 

You heard me right! You are not weak, you are strong. You are not a failure, you are a fighter! This goes out to all mentalists. And it’s a gift from me (The Quiet Borderline) to you all – Please spread the love. Mental health is not something to be sneered at and it deserves much more respect. Stop the stigmatising.

I was wondering how to begin writing a post today. The anxiety has passed but otherwise… things have gone a little squiffy. Somewhere along the line, I lost control and grabbed for the closest crutch; food. Or rather, as little food as possible.

After yet another restless night, interrupted by stomach grumbles and dreams of cake, I woke this morning to an award nomination from The Quiet Borderline. It seemed fitting. The above quote is from her blog, explaining the award she’s created; I’ve given my opinion on blog awards many times but I think this one could become something special.

1. Make sure to add in the above text and image (below) to spread the love and add how little or how much you want! 2. Name your diagnoses – Stand loud and proud! You can tell us a little about them also if you’d like. How you’re affected by these diagnoses and how you are fighting your way out of them. 3. Add a photo of yourself, or some abstract picture that represents you, anything you like! 4. Send this on to as many, yes, as many, people that you like. It can be five, ten, fifty.

2. Depression. Probably my most important diagnosis is clinical depression; a permanent feeling of doom with regular visits to a hideous abyss I can only describe as being as close to hell as it’s possible to be. I know that sounds like an exaggeration, but I know there are others reading this who understand all too well how it feels to be trapped under the dark duvet of depression. Since puberty I’ve struggled with suicidal thoughts and occasionally actions; my first overdose (antidepressants I’d been stashing away for weeks) landed me in hospital for two or three days, and the second involved cups of hideous charcoal water and having my blood cleaned after I woke up, still alive but with bright purple blotches all over my body where the combination of paracetamol and strong coffee had taken its toll on my liver. After trying a couple more times and failing – ending up either in hospital or missing the vein on my wrist entirely and bleeding all over the bathroom for half an hour, feeling like an absolute twat – I realised that suicide was never going to be the answer. I still struggle with the thoughts sometimes… they creep up and try to drag me under. I just don’t act on them anymore. Medication keeps me just about safe.

Depression: why it was never about sadness

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  Eighteen months ago I had no answers for the way I often reacted to events; multiple psychiatrists and doctors had seen me in their offices over the years and tried to stick a label on my total inability to cope with, well, anything. To describe it all sounds ridiculous; hiding indoors in case somebody spots me (agoraphobia from a fear of being judged and laughed at) and panicking every time somebody says they’ll call me and are late. Banging my head against the wall because nothing makes sense. Because I’m so fragmented and messed up. Self-harming to cope with the anger inside me I could never let free; a quiet borderline, if you will.

What is borderline personality disorder?

Anxiety. Crippling, soul-destroying anxiety. Is that part of BPD? I don’t know. Everything melds together into one fucked-up disorder with no name. A combination of Cipralex and beta-blockers keeps me on a somewhat even keel. It feels like the fight or flight response in me is broken; I run away from the most ridiculous situations, freak out over next to nothing, and react to stress by hyperventilating and becoming convinced the whole world is against me. Watching me. Waiting for me to fall.

There are others. Bulimia. Anorexia in the past; I’m no longer anorexic but still restrict calories when I lose control over life. Major paranoia, but does that come under anxiety? The occasional psychotic episode.

3.

4. Passing this award on is difficult, because I’m sure there have been many nominations by now. If I repeat anybody, apologies; you greatly deserve the nomination regardless and don’t have to accept.

lalaemzo / Living with BPD / NZ Cate / atwistedfantasy / alwaysallegoric / buckwheatrisk / onxuncovered / Don’t Let Me Get Me / You Know You’re Borderline When… / makeupandmirazapine / Bats / Resilient Heart / notthinginmynoggin /  Diabetic Redemption / aasouthernbelle / Hello Sailor / mm172001 / mysterytopursue / Quit The Cure / roosiegoosie / Temper_Tantrum / Gypsy

Really, I could nominate a hundred more people and still not give everyone the respect their very honest blogs deserve. As time goes on, I may add more to the list; yes it’s a lot of links, but there are a lot of wonderful bloggers out there sharing their experiences and being brave enough to speak out.

You’re all awesome.

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30 Comments

  1. You don’t yet know how wonderful and magical you are. And one of these days, you will see this glimmer in your soul and wonder, “is this me?” and the answer will be ‘yes’ – all of you – the parts that struggle, the parts that giggle, the parts that works so hard to get through the day and the parts that notice the beauty in the most surprising of places. All you – all magical. Congratulations on a well deserved award!

    • Oh honey, that’s lovely; thank you so much. I get so much support from this blog that it’s often overwhelming, so forgive me if I’m not always great at accepting comments like this. I just… I look down on myself too much. Still, I do take it on board and I’m really touched. Thank you again, and I do hope your words come true one day.

  2. I love that photo, every part of it, but especially you being in it, and you sharing it with us. :) You deserve this award on so many levels. Keep it front and center in your mind. I hope one day you’ll see how strong you are. Certainly, I do. You are amazing. My delight to have found your blog, to have known you in the honest way you share yourself with us, it’s beyond words. *hugs*

  3. Congratulations!

    Thank you kindly for including me, I am humbled to be nominated. I am really touched because I look at what you’ve gone through, you have not given up, you’re still pressing on and dealing with life as it comes, that is a huge inspiration/encouragement to me.

    There may be those on TV or in film who *seem* to have it all together and have many fans, but to me, the ones who have walked through the fire and use their experience to help themselves and others, well, those are the strong peeps I’m a fan of! :) Yep, strong peeps rock! :)

  4. You more than deserve the nomination, luv, and I can say your words right back at you; you’ve been an inspiration to me (and I’m sure others) for quite a while now.

    You’re entirely right. Strength can be found in the most surprising places.

  5. Thank you, halfway. I have been so utterly amazed by your courage to be brutally honest since I began reading your blog oh-so-many-months ago that I’ve tried to be more honest with myself and others in my own. You lead by example and, in my view, that’s the best way. You deserve this award and I am so touched that you’ve nominated me as well. All I can say is, “Wow!”

    Oh! There’s one more thing. I, too, have bouts of anorexia and that, unfortunately, leads my body on a rock-and-roll voyage in the lavatory. I have fibromyalgia along with a couple of other disabilities. The thing about fibro is that it can play havoc with your digestive tract on a good day. Imagine adding NOT eating and you have me! My metabolism is way out of whack and I’ve got two doctors–one from rheumatology and one from gastroenterology–arguing about the best form of treatment to the point where I’d love to take the collar of GI’s lab coat to tell him, “Look, buddy, that is not the reason for my problems! Let’s get on with finding another, shall we?” Instead, I’m thinking about finding another GI doctor altogether. Perhaps I’ll find a nice female doc to go with the rheumy who was right all along. I’ve been sensing a bit of testosterone in the current GI’s attitude.

    • Thank you so much sweetie; your comment means a lot to me <3 As I've said to everyone else, you more than deserve the nomination and I really had to think over this award; you easily came to mind.

      Honestly… I didn't think about the connection between not eating and fibro and GI problems. Now you mention it; yeah, that makes a lot of sense. My stomach's always iffy, and I suppose I thought no food would mean no problems. Silly me. Would you advise seeing a GI doctor? I've never asked, although it's been offered. I just never seemed to have the time.

      And eh, some medical people… FAR too much testosterone.

  6. This is wonderful. I’ve watched you come from nowhere, into black and white, and now color… and you’re strong. Your strength inspires me.
    Great Post, and congratulations~~ what a great way to start any day!
    Meredith

  7. Love from a grateful fan! Thank you so much for your recognition of my blog for the Strong Person Award. I am happy to receive it from you, who are the strongest, toughest, tenderest blogger I read. And I love the photo, too! Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition. 8-)

  8. Pingback: The real posts are coming, Strong Person Award for now « Mm172001's Blog

  9. Pingback: Strong Person Award « Always Allegoric

  10. Pingback: Strong Person Award | Day in the life of a Busy Gal…

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