Building self-esteem can require us to stretch beyond our limits, and sometimes our efforts may not bring us the results we hope for. When our self-esteem is poor, it's hard to keep ourselves motivated and positive. How do we continue to move forward after failing?
My name is Kate Beveridge, and I am a new blogger for the "More than Borderline" blog. I’m excited to share my personal story of living with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and tips for how to cope with the illness.
One of the most fascinating parts of dissociative identity disorder (DID) to people who don’t live with it on a daily basis is the concept of alters. Under the internal family system (IFS) theory, we all have parts of our personality that make us tick. While we may have one part that wants to eat a slice of cake, we might have another part that tells us to skip the empty calories. This isn’t so far from what people with DID experience.
Eating disorders are a deadly, but also, treatable mental illness. Still, in my early struggle to recover, there were many common eating disorder treatments that didn't work for me. Understand, I am not saying that they don't work for everyone. On the contrary, they work for countless people who suffer. This said, there is no one road to recovery...
For the last year or so, I have been doing a lot of work to process my childhood trauma. I've been in therapy, I've been taking medication, I've been doing outside reading, my therapist and I even found a way to work one of my favorite TV shows into my trauma work. In general, I think it's going really well, except for one problem: I don't know how to avoid causing my son the same trauma that happened to me.
If you’ve never self-harmed, you probably can’t understand why anyone would do such a thing. The notion of inflicting physical pain on oneself can seem illogical and terrifying. However, self-harm can often travel with dissociation symptoms. This means the person who self-injures might feel physically numb or have no recollection of the event.
I don't talk about my anxiety a lot. Part of that, I think, is because of how mental health stigma has shaped anxiety disorder as worries or thoughts that people can't seem to get past. It's difficult to explain to those people the depth of anxiety's impact, and sometimes even for those who do have a better concept and understanding of it, it can be tough to relay exactly how it feels.
Do you wake up sometimes and know it's going to be a bad day from the outset? I do. Sometimes before I put my feet on the floor, I know it's going to be a bad day. Now, I think, for the average non-sick person, this sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, if you think it's going to be a bad day, then it certainly will be. This is not the reality for a person with a chronic illness, though. Sometimes we know it's going to be a bad day. If you have this feeling sometimes, here's how to handle it.
Recently, I realized the importance of both fighting and surrendering to mental illness. I was hospitalized for a horrific bipolar mixed episode I suffered through for several months. I hadn't been this sick with mental illness since my four-year-long battle with postpartum depression and have never experienced anything like it. Now that I'm out of the hospital and slowly stabilizing, I'm becoming startlingly aware of a paradox in getting through mental illness -- healing isn't possible without both fighting and surrendering.
Lately, I have experienced a few uncomfortable conversations with some of my nonaddicted friends questioning the strength and tenacity of recovering addicts. I imagine the concepts and struggles of behavioral and substance addictions seem quite confusing to those who have never fought these horrific demons firsthand. I grew up in a home with addiction, so prior to experiencing this for myself, I also had a lot of questions and confusion around the topic of addiction. However, now I can truthfully say with confidence that recovering addicts are likely some of the strongest and most capable people you will ever meet in your life.