Recovery is a Two-Way Street for Peer Support

Two years ago, my life was turned upside down.  I had just been discharged from the hospital from my fourth suicide attempt within a year.  My wife informed me that we needed to separate, meaning I had to move out of the house we had bought together a few years before.  I lost my job – and little did I know, a career in software engineering that spanned 17 years.  I had to rebuild my life all over again, bit by bit.  A tough challenge for anyone, but in the mix, I was dealing with borderline personality disorder, major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Oh, and did I mention I’m a transgender woman? Continue reading Recovery is a Two-Way Street for Peer Support

My Identity Disturbance

Since being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), I’ve been interested in it and how a test uncovered something about myself that I didn’t know or realize.  Okay, the last line was a bit of a lie.  I’m not just interested, I’m obsessed about it.  And while some would say that in itself is unhealthy, those same people believe that knowing your enemy is the best way of defeating it.  BPD is particularly interesting because unlike other mental illnesses and like other personality “disorders”, there isn’t a medication you can take or therapy that will “cure” it for all people and guarantee its remission.  In fact, that would be like saying that there is a pill or a certain amount of a particular therapy that can cure you from your like of the color blue.  It’s ingrained in our personalities and part of those of us with it.  The best we can do is to try to reduce the behaviors deemed unacceptable in society (or would deter our ability to succeed in society).  Continue reading My Identity Disturbance

Retrospective

Today marks six months since my cardiac event and my life has changed more in the last six months than it ever has.  What I thought was a bad case of acid reflux turned into something much more serious when the doctor at the urgent care facility told me that I needed to go to the emergency room immediately.  Chest pain combined with an abnormal EKG isn’t what anyone wants to hear, especially exactly one week after their 31st birthday.  As my wife was driving our van with our two daughters in the back, I broke down into tears like I never had in my entire life.  Why was this happening?  Would I survive?  It was not my time to go – I had two daughters to walk down the church aisle at their wedding – and a wife to grow old and cranky with.  This could not be happening to me – I know I’m a little overweight, but nothing like the people you see in the extreme reality shows on television.  No, the doctor had to have been wrong about it. Continue reading Retrospective