In my 20’s, after my diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, I tried to cope the old fashioned way – the way everyone without a mental illness is told to get a handle on themselves again. I believed in the hype of exercise and eat right and all your troubles will melt away into a puddle of endorphins and selfies. To me, the basis of a good life was to have a good job, get married, go out on the weekends. Smile.
Everything will be okay if you just pretend it’s all okay.
In reality I was on the road to destruction and I didn’t even know it. I’d covered up all the warning signs with nice clothes and inspirational quotes and it almost killed me. I was crumbling inside, and I didn’t let anyone but my therapist see that. I painted on smiles until the brush broke and ‘I’m fine, just tired’ was my mantra, but it quickly turned into my death march.
It all came to a head one Christmas. I came back from travelling around Thailand with no worries and no connection to reality and I couldn’t fit myself back into my life. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t happy even though I had everything a person could want and it made me hate myself. It made me want to die.
Having it all boil over and spill out saved me. I genuinely believe that. I’m so lucky because it could have gone the other way despite all of the beautiful people in my life I love so much and want to be here for. I could have so easily left all of that behind but fortunately I broke at just the right time.
Falling apart saved my life. Letting all of the walls fall down and all the pretend smiles wash away saved my life. Trying to kill myself saved my life, and I ended up finding out that rock bottom is the most solid ground of all and it’s the best place to start building from.
I’ve had some sucky times in the last two years since my attempt, but I’ve never not wanted to be here for them. I’ve never lost my interest in living, and wanting to die gave me that.
If you are having suicidal thoughts please reach out to family, friends and/or organisations. The universe needs you here.