Living With Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD as it is often referred to, is my daily struggle since childhood. The definition of BPD is a mental health disorder that impacts the way you think and feel about yourself and others, causing problems functioning in everyday life. It includes a pattern of unstable intense relationships, distorted self-image, extreme emotions and impulsiveness. I am and have always been text book in every way, shape and form.
Until last year I struggled with my mental illness and the stigma attached to it. I was diagnosed officially in 2000, but the signs were always there.
The hardest part for me always, has been that people see the behavior and episodes and never the reason why. My family has always made me feel like I was a bad person. It is not normal to be so angry when you are 7 that you punch a window out. After your uncle horsing around knocks your retainer out and you demand him to pick it up, only for him to refuse. My reaction to this was to run in the house, rip out a drawer of knives, grab a butcher knife and attempt to go kill him for what he did.
My reaction to things that I saw as wrong has always been extreme. Sometimes perhaps my intentions were warranted, but the way I reacted and handled things always has had a detrimental effect on me and my well being.
In October of 2016 after reading, Fast Girl, by Suzy Favor Hamilton, I got help. Help that has changed my life! I have a psychiatrist now and a medicine regiment of Prozac and Abillify that have made it so I don't have these extremes any longer. In addition I have found happiness and a desire to live that up until now I have never known. I no longer care what people think and how they see me and choose to judge me. Now I see my illness, not only my actions. It has made it ok to be me. I no longer feel unworthy and self defeatist about myself.
One of the first things that happened after getting help and being a healthy, functioning part of society was finding a healthy relationship with a man. When I met Timothy life seemed perfect. Though brief, the relationship was the first of its kind for me, healthy. We dated and spent time together and had a relationship like "normal" people do. This was the first time a man had known everything about my past and there been no secrets. It was refreshing in so many ways. When Timothy came to me and said he wasn't ready for a serious relationship even though he thought he was, I didn't want to die, or feel like my life was over. For the first time ever I saw the relationship as positive and I was grateful for the time we had.
I am not perfect, so on New Year's Eve when Timothy and I were at the same event, I was distraught. It ended up being ok, but I truly missed what him and I had, and it was clear he didn't feel the same. I realized that was his problem and hangups, not mine. I did relapse though for about a day and a half after this relationship and night made tabloid news falsely reporting we were engaged. My first reaction was panic and should I warn him. I reached out to our mutual friend, Carrie, that hooked us up in the first place. Her and Timothy's reaction was not what I expected. He thought it was funny and asked if he was on TMZ. So Carrie and I retweeted it and I made fun of it by wearing a ring. Then with no fail someone pretended to be Timothy and said things about him and I that just aren't true, but it brought light to the fact that we were no longer together. I proceeded to self medicate with morphine like I had done two years ago when the Michael Phelps story broke. It started off ok, but I couldn't stop and I made myself sick. I got up and locked my morphine away in my best friend's safe to stop my behavior. The next 24 hours were brutal, but I forced myself to be productive and active despite the pain. Within 24 hours of that I was back to normal.
I believe the morphine superseded my regular medication and allowed me to drift back to old Taylor and a full BPD moment. My Psychiatrist was proud of me and my coping skills to get out of this situation. This was the best feeling ever. His approval, truly meant the world to me in that moment.
Since this all happened I have met another guy named Timothy, I know, the irony...LOL Once again there is an honesty that most of my life I have never known. I am not going to lie, unlike the first Timothy, this one knew nothing of my past until I told him. It never gets easy divulging my life story. I always fear my worst trigger, rejection. This was not the case and Timothy and I are still going strong and I am happy.
I no longer have these delusional, euphoric ideals about my relationships. I can even look back at what I had with Michael and be grateful for the experience and all it taught me. Without that chain of events happening I wouldn't be here today. People still confuse my posting and commenting about the past as not being able to let go. The reality is, that's the reason I am famous to begin with and why I did a film and wrote books. Unlike most people in the adult field, I get residuals off my films. I get residuals off my books. It is in my best interest to promote them always. I no longer am made to feel bad by a small group of people online that don't know me and choose to hate, bully and spread lies about me.
Nothing that I have done since Michael do I feel ashamed of. I no longer torture myself over the sins of my childhood and all the bad that has happened to me. I see BPD for the illness it is and I got help and I feel happy finally in my own skin.
I encourage people to talk about mental illness and not keep it a secret and allow the stigma to go on. The only way to get better is to be comfortable enough to talk about it without judgement and be encouraged to get help. Unlike other mental disorders there is no magic pill or cure because it is not a chemical imbalance. Most of the time it originates from childhood trauma. When I think of how much of my life was wasted on self loathing, suicide attempts and no desire to live, I am truly saddened. I wish I had had the support system to get help decades ago. No one should die or be made to feel less than because they are mentally ill. There is help and options. It may take trial and error to find what is right for you, but know there is hope.