How lonely it is to have a mental illness

It’s been forever since I last posted on my blog, but today I had the urge to share a few things with the world — so here I am, again.

For those of you who don’t know me yet, I have an eating disorder and BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), which is absolutely no fun. It’s hard for me and for everyone around me, and I completely understand that. It’s even harder for people who don’t suffer from a mental illness to understand certain things, and I also get that.

When I say it’s lonely to have a mental illness, is because most people don’t understand the disease; or they think they do and get anxious to see you get better as fast as possible — which is impossible. When you’re physically ill, you take the medication needed to get better, and you do. But when you’re mentally ill, things are not that easy — or that fast. It’s important to seek help and get the right treatment, but that needs to be done at our own pace. I believe that’s the biggest problem when dealing with someone who has a mental illness: wanting them to get better fast, and getting anxious when they don’t.

Unfortunately, that’s how mental illnesses are. It takes time, it takes a lot of therapy and a lot of mental work in order to change the cognitive distortions happening in our brains. Every little step forward is a victory. People getting treatment can see that very clearly, whereas people seeing things from the outside, don’t. I’m writing all this because recently I’ve heard from people who I truly love that I’m not trying hard enough, and it felt like a punch on my stomach. It instantly invalidated all my efforts, and it almost took away my will to continue the treatment.

Is it easy for them? Of course not, and I know that. I understand how frustrated everyone gets when I fail, or when I take a huge step back. I understand how exhausted they are, and I wish I could get better over night just so they wouldn’t have to feel this way — but I can’t. I’m actually trying really hard here, but I don’t think many people acknowledge that. That’s usually when most people choose to leave — and some of them have. It hurts like hell to be ignored by loved ones, especially when you suffer from BPD.

There’s a very good article that explains all the symptoms of BPD, and the first one is the fear of abandonment. I can’t even start to explain how empty I feel now that my fear of losing loved ones became true. All my head keeps telling me is that it’s all my fault, that I’ve pushed them away. Maybe it’s true, and maybe leaving me behind was the best decision for them. It doesn’t stop me from feeling worthless, though.

Other symptoms of BPD can easily be misunderstood, like for example impulsive, self-destructive behaviours. Drinking, binge eating, gambling etc, can easily be seen as anything else, but not as a symptom of BPD. I know that, because I’ve been told I’m something I’m really not, just because of one of these behaviours caused by my BPD. But how can I say otherwise? The more you say you don’t have a specific problem, the more people will believe you do.

This is all very exhausting. Not only for me, but for everyone who I still have in my life. So I encourage you to read the article I linked to this post, and please understand I’m not choosing to do certain things. Even though it’s hard for you to believe, I AM doing everything I can to get better.

If you’re going through the same thing, share this post with your family and friends. And please, feel free to leave a comment if you think it’s necessary.

I wish you all the best.

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A letter to the dead

What would you say if you could write one last letter to the dead — a dead person you loved very much? Would you waste your last chance with sorrow or would you use this opportunity to say how much you love them and how much you appreciate everything they’ve done? Would you ask for forgiveness? Or would you let them know you’ve truly forgiven them? Now let me ask you a few more questions. What if the dead person was you? Would you be so kind and thankful towards yourself? Most importantly, would you forgive yourself for all the bad things you’ve done? Life and death walk side by side, we never really know when our last chance to redemption will be — so why not start today? People make mistakes all the time, we are only human. What makes the difference is changing what we will do in the future. If you’ve done something wrong, ask for forgiveness. If you’ve had an argument with someone you love (significant other, family, friends, etc), tell them you’re sorry. It might sound a little morbid, but pretend you are all going to die tomorrow. Don’t go to bed with regret — this is the worst thing in the world. Don’t wait to fix things up later — fix it now! Change everything you can in order to be happy. If you know you’re doing something that will hurt someone else, stop it. Find the will to surpass your ego — there’s nothing wrong in asking for forgiveness and admitting you were wrong. Don’t be the one responsible for someone else’s sadness. Never hurt the people you love. You never know when their last day alive will be — or yours.

Crazy cat lady

I’ve always loved animals. My very first friend was Roy, my dad’s Dalmatian. When I see pictures of myself as a baby with him by my side, I almost feel like I remember that moment. He was adorable. I grew up knowing how it feels to be loved by an animal, which is the best kind of love there is. Therefore, I’ve always known how it feels to love animals too. I was only 13 when I told my parents I wouldn’t eat meat anymore. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not because I think people who eat meat don’t love animals, but because I’ve never felt good about it. It’s not a secret that I prefer animals over humans. Their love for us is unconditional. So is mine for them. I had birds, turtles, fish, hamsters (one of them believed he was Spider-Man), a loving and friendly bunny called Anita and my dog Duddy, who lives with my parents. A house without an animal is completely empty. That’s how I felt when I moved out. Seeing how much I missed having a pet, someone I love very deeply decided to give me a gift: Ellie, my Ragdoll. I’ve never had a cat before. The things people read about cats are completely inaccurate. Ellie is not only my cat, she’s also my love. She’s my best friend. I’ve had a lot of pet-friends before, but none like her. She’s absolutely adorable, in every way. Where I go, she follows me. When I’m working, she sleeps beside my computer. I’m never alone because she’s always with me. Ellie is a cat and she is friendly; she doesn’t hide from strangers (just a few, but so do I). She plays fetch and she doesn’t ruin my curtains or scratch the couch. Ellie made me realize I’ve always been the crazy cat lady, but never knew before.

Here’s the link to Ellie’s YouTube channel, if you’d like to see how adorable she is: http://bit.ly/1rda2LY