10th Oct (I know I am late) was World Mental Health Day, a day to raise public awareness for the mentally ill. I know most of you would be shunning, "Oh, I don't want to have anything to do with the crazies!"
And this is exactly the reason why I have chose to blog about it. There is an absolute need to debunk the myth of mental illness. Blogging about my own struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder would make me vulnerable; in this stigmatising society which we live in, I might lose some friends or perhaps even my job when this entry goes live. But I want to do something, I want to give back to the society, I want to put a face to it, to show everyone out there that being diagnosed with a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a sickness, not a sin. And we can go on to become well and lead dignified and fulfilling lives.
This was me, 5 years ago. Having battled depression for more than half a decade, I was finally diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder at the age of 30.
And what was I like then?
I looked fabulous and could have impressed people easily, but behind closed door, I don’t even know who I really was. I was confused with my own identity.
I wasn't like those mad people you watch on the TV, locked up in an asylum. But I indeed stayed in a psychiatric ward in a hospital for a short time - 14 days to be precise.
I had poorly regulated emotions, which was why I would be nice on some days and screamed at the same person, the next.
Occasionally, I would have intense anxiety for no apparent reason, which made me retreated into my own solitary.
I was aloof because we didn't want to get unnecessary involvement, coz I felt it would always be me who get hurt in the end. I was superficial because the intensity of human relations drove me to my pits and I believed being indifferent will help me keep that facade.
I had chronic feelings of emptiness, that was why I jumped from people to people to fill the void, but I feared being connected emotionally at the same time. I fell for people easily and fell out of it, just as quickly too. I had abnormal fear of attachment, as I thought of attachment as future abandonment.
I was impulsive and self-damaging, I tried killing myself a few times. And I actually enjoyed self-mutilation because I believed the physical pain would lessen my emotional turmoil.
I used to be paranoid and depressive, I felt the world was an evil place. I didn't know how to take things lightly because my life was a matter of black and white, I didn't know how to accept the multiple shades of grey.
I hated everything, I blamed everyone, including myself, I wanted to be dead.
That was me.
Now, I have come a long way.
I am successful (in my own opinion), drug and therapy-free and loving each and every day of my life. And I want you to know, with early interventions, there is nothing to be afraid for being a little mad some times.