Being hospitalised for planning to end my own life and finally being diagnosed with EUPD (Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder) was the best week of my life. It might sound like a strange statement but gaining a diagnosis and having my pain recognized after over 10 years of reaching out to various services, therapists and doctors was such a relief. I met a group of women whilst on the ward who embraced me and kept me company at my lowest moments. Two of which have become close friends.
My life before being voluntarily admitted to a psychiatric ward, was often very chaotic. I was often working 2 jobs (be that paid or volunteering), spending money I didn’t have, acting impulsively and erratically, dissociating & losing periods of time and having relationships that often were very intense. I was often either distracting myself from my thoughts or withdrawing from life completely. My GP had diagnosed me with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and Depression, but I felt like my experience just didn’t fit with that. I felt like I was constantly searching for answers as to ‘what is wrong with me?’
Living with EUPD and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is often very intense. A mood change or flashback can be triggered off by the slightest thing; be it a certain smell, unanswered text, or scene in a film. The paranoia, chronic emptiness and suicidal thoughts can often be unbearable. However, there are many positives to living with this illness. I can become intensely happy by listening to my favourite band IDLES. I have tremendous ability to be kind and empathetic. I am incredibly passionate about many different causes such as reducing stigma around mental illness and those who belong to the LGTBQ+ community.
Whilst struggling with my mental health, I have accessed many services including those at Hull and East Yorkshire Mind and worked as a volunteer. I have run an art therapy group at one of their supported living accommodations, been for talking therapies and attended one of their peer support groups. Finding an online community of peers with EUPD/BPD has helped enormously to come to a place of self-acceptance and communicate my experiences to others in a more honest way.
I now work at Hull and East Yorkshire Mind as a Peer Support Worker, using my lived experience to support others.