About Mary Hofert Flaherty, Author of "More Than Borderline"
Hi, my name is Mary Hofert Flaherty. I was born and raised in a Chicago suburb and moved to Hawaii six years ago where I am currently studying law. Prior to Hawaii, I lived in a conservative area of Michigan where I started college at 18. It was there, during my first year, that I became severely depressed and sought professional, psychiatric help. Unfortunately, it took eight years of regular therapy and psychiatric care from an assortment of professionals in three states—including an inpatient admission following a suicide attempt—to find the correct diagnosis of borderline personality disorder.
Suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder
I’ve suffered with maladaptive behaviors my entire life. When I was moody, they called me bipolar, and when I was disorganized, they called it attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, while the respective therapies helped a little, the behaviors persisted. It wasn’t until I received the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) that things started to make sense. While I may have an underlying mood disorder, the bipolar diagnosis never explained the extreme emotional reactivity to my environment, and while I may also have ADHD, the stimulants and assistive technologies failed to address the more complex psychological issues.
The last eight years have been rough. When I first dropped out of college, I thought my life was over. I was good for nothing and didn’t deserve to live. Little did I know that it wouldn’t be the last time I would withdraw from my academic pursuits. In fact, I attended four colleges before finally graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in nursing this past May.
To Live Well Means Finding Meaning in Suffering with Borderline
The last year-and-a-half has been a concentrated period of recovery. Not only was the source of my problems identified, but I finally found a BPD-literate psychologist and partner who get me. For the first time in my life, I am feeling hopeful that high-conflict relationships and bad therapists aren’t inevitable. I’ve undergone dialectical behavior therapy, schema therapy, and the natural healing process that comes out of a loving, healthy relationship. My partner and I are even engaged to be married this coming May. However, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Relapses make me realize there is no cure, and I will never be fully recovered. I am, and always will be, in recovery, and I (try to) accept that reality.
Writing for "More Than Borderline"
Becoming a mental health blogger is part of a larger, personal mission to become a mental health advocate. Not only have I always been justice-oriented—I am a proud feminist—but my experience running up against barriers in the mental health system has only further fueled my desire to fight for our community. One of my recent experiences working as a nurse in a psychiatric unit also heightened my awareness of the inequities surrounding mental illness and convinced me of the need for social justice.
My objective both here and in the rest of my life is to utilize my skills as a registered nurse, my knowledge as a law student, and my experiences as a behavioral health individual to provide support, education, and advocacy. I am committed to using this platform for the greater good, to listen as much as I speak, and, above all, to help spread a love of self and love for the people in our community. We are more than the sum of our experiences; we are More Than Borderline.
Flaherty, M. (2015, January 30). About Mary Hofert Flaherty, Author of "More Than Borderline", HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/borderline/2015/01/about-mary-hofert
Author: Mary Hofert Flaherty
Have you seen or heard of this writer/researcher before? It was hard for me to watch that video, because I felt attacked and insecure about being called a 'half-person'. What do you think? I'm not sure how to think of myself, it's usually not very good since my self-esteem stinks, but... I dunno.