Author Note: This article is part of a collection from the previously lost Bordering Bears website, and has thus been re-uploaded and archived.
With any condition, it can be a double-edged sword finding out exactly what it is. While many may say it’s a good thing, as now you can start looking at treatments that are right for you, it may also bring on extra waves of concern or sadness. This is not just for those with mental health problems, but could be translated across to any kind of diagnosis.
The first thing to look at is to acknowledge your denial. There’s a high chance you may have had your suspicions about problems but, until given a definitive answer, tried to convince yourself that it isn’t true.
I get it. It’s normal. I also did it. I didn’t want to believe something was wrong. I certainly didn’t want to believe I had BPD.
For a while, I was torn between two emotions.
Relief – finally I had a name for what was going on. I could put it in a box and label it.
Despair – I have a condition. Something is wrong with me. I’m broken.
The two emotions battled each other, and I wasn’t sure what to think.
It can be very difficult to work through, almost akin to grieving.
Some things you may wonder are:
- What would I be like without this?
- Will I get better?
- Does this mean my life will be bad?
- Will I be able to get a job?
- Can I be a parent?
- Am I good enough?
Let me answer you now.
Your life might be different without your condition, but it might not. It may also be worse. As difficult as it is, dwelling on the matter is more likely to cause you a higher level of stress and anxiety as opposed to helping you.
Will you get better? Again, difficult to say. It all depends on your condition and you as a person. Some people find it easier to manage than others.
Life is what you make of it. It will be hard, but make sure you still live. Get out there and do the things you love. Just because you have a diagnosis doesn’t mean you have to give up things that make you happy.
The job one is difficult. Again, it all depends on you. I have had times where I’ve stuck at a job, and times of long-term unemployment. It all depends on where your mind is at. It can also be worthwhile considering the type of role you undertake. Whether self-employed, full-time, part-time, temporary, or not working at all, you need to find what is right for you. Yes, earning money is important, but so is your mental and emotional welfare.
That being said, remember you do need the means to survive, so it’s about finding the middle ground.
I’m a parent and I have a diagnosis. So I’m living proof that it can be done. However, there are people who struggle to look after themselves, so would not find it feasible to manage looking after a tiny human too. Again, this is something you need to weight up. It may be worth speaking to your GP, psychiatrist, therapist, or local children’s centre to find out what support is available and if they could assess you on fitness for parenting.
Finally, questioning if you are good enough. You always were, you are, and you always will be. Having a diagnosis doesn’t change your worth as a person. Some people simply can’t handle supporting someone with a physical or mental health condition. And that’s fine.
Bluntly, you need to be with someone who can raise you up. If the person doesn’t feel they are able to support you, or simply doesn’t want to, then you aren’t a suitable match. It wouldn’t be fair on either of you.
Relationships and friendships are give and take. Yes, you may require extra support, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give back too.
You are worthy. You are still the person you were before being given a label.
You are amazing, please never forget that.