I have spent the better part of my adult life living with depression. The diagnosis of depression is safe. It is familiar. It is like a security blanket at times. But then, my world was turned upside down. The final day of my hospital admission I sat in a room, with my doctor, a nurse, my closest friend and heard the words I didn’t want to hear. I heard that in addition to my depression, I was dealing with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Tears began to flow as the words washed over me.
I am a nurse. I knew what BPD was and if I am honest, I secretly suspected that this personality disorder might fit. But to hear the words said out loud. To hear them said by a psychiatrist. To have them said in front of my friend. It was too much. I wanted to pretend that I was cool with this new depression 2.0, but I wasn’t. I wanted to act like it was no big deal, but it was. I wanted for Tricia not to have heard, but she did. I wanted for BPD not to fit, but it does.
I needed time to process. I needed time to grieve. I needed time to figure out my next steps. I really just wanted to run away, and I did. For a little while I lost myself in some poor choices and took the focus off BPD, so I could just be the girl with depression for a little while. But then I couldn’t run away anymore. I had to face this new me. I still wasn’t ready to say the words out loud, but I was ready to start the process of accepting it.
I finally was ready to say the words out loud, just last week. I said them in front of my forever family at Celebrate Recovery (CR). How did it feel? It felt scary and strange, but it also felt like release. CR is my safe space, so I knew that if I was going to reveal my depression 2.0, this was the place to start. The first step in recovery is to get out of denial. I had lived in denial of BPD for a very long time. I ignored the signs and I left those parts out when I spoke to my psychiatrist. But I am not in denial anymore. Even though I don’t like it, I am ready to say the words, “I am a grateful believer in Jesus. I struggle with depression and borderline personality disorder. My name is Mel”.
Where do I go from here? I do the hard work. I continue to step out of denial. I admit that I struggle with BPD. I reach out to my friends when it all feels like too much. I remind myself that depression and BPD are not my identity. I remember who I am. I am the daughter of the King of kings and no diagnosis will ever change that.