Life in a Bind – BPD and me

My therapy journey, recovering from Borderline Personality Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I write for , for Planet Mindful magazine, and for Muse Magazine Australia, under the name Clara Bridges. Listed in Top Ten Resources for BPD in 2016 by



I feel as though I must have been living under a rock not to have come across this song until now – which was released in the UK in June 2014 and is still in the UK Official Singles chart. What I find just as unbelievable is that I had also, therefore, never come across the official video for the song – which has been viewed more than half a BILLION times on Youtube.

I watched the video for Sia’s ‘Chandelier’ for the first time a few days ago, and I was bowled over. It completely blew my mind. It felt haunting, disturbing, desperately sad. The words, the music and the dance came together to create a powerfully moving experience. But it wasn’t just an experience about a girl in a song, or a girl on a screen. How can you explain it when you know that what you’re feeling is profound and significant but you don’t understand how? That the song may not be directly about you, but your experience of it and response to it could reveal so much?

I watched it again and again and again, absolutely hooked, feeling completely taken over by the experience. My emotions were building, and pushing against my chest wall to get out. But it wasn’t until I read a beautiful and revealingย blog post on the subject of trust, that all of a sudden a switch was flipped, and a torrent of emotions started to swirl around and flow out. The song and the visuals had tapped into something – but the written words connected to it, magnified it, and set it free.

Looking back, it all feels somewhat unreal, and I’m still unsure of its meaning.ย All I know is that as I sat there with tears pouring down my face, in the middle of an emotional storm, confused about what my emotions were – I also felt grateful for the intensity. Grateful that I felt as though I could hardly contain the waterfall of emotion that wanted to pour out. Grateful that I felt full – however much fullness felt like hurting and despair.

At times like those, I wish that I could instantly transport myself to therapy, where it would be safe to fully experience those emotions, and to explore their meaning. I can’t help feeling that had I been able to do so, something significant, something ultimately healing, might have taken place. Instead, I tried to contain the tears as best I could, conscious that my husband was in the other room and could come in at any moment. And now, I don’t feel I have easy access to that place again. I can think about my response; I can try to understand it. But the emotion is no longer accessible to me.

When I write about songs that have had an impact on me, I sometimes quote lines from those songs. In this case, I want to quote quite substantially, because for me, so much of the power of the dance is in the way that is combines not just with the music, but with the words. It sounds obvious – but I often find myself listening to music without really hearing the words, and in this case, the words are vital. How many of us can relate to trying to numb the pain, to pushing it down? To that desperate sense of holding on for dear life? And how many of us feel so very young when we experience those things? As young as the twelve-year old child in this dance?

With apologies to Sia for a slight re-ordering of verses….

“Party girls don’t get hurt
Can’t feel anything, when will I learn
I push it down, push it down

I’m the one “for a good time call”
Phone’s blowin’ up, they’re ringin’ my doorbell
I feel the love, feel the love

Sun is up, I’m a mess
Gotta get out now, gotta run from this
Here comes the shame, here comes the shame

1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 drink

Throw ’em back, till I lose count

I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

But I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight….”

[Sia, ‘Chandelier’]



6 thoughts on “Intensity

  1. I hope my comments ties in somehow. I recently went on a ME Weekend of visiting places. What I admired most during the trips, was my ability to Laugh anyway and anytime I wanted. To laugh at myself, with myself or just wowing all the way at whatever I came across. I thought to myself how good it was not to be always trying to conform. You don’t wanna feel awkward and so you hold back the tears because Hussy may come in at any time, you don’t wanna seem like a clown, and so you only coil smile whereas a good big laugh would have satisfied both you and the emotion – the examples are boundless. I love this post and will listen to the clip in due time. Cheers ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Thank you so much Marie, your comment definitely ties in, and is very helpful. I love your comments and your examples, and I’m glad this post meant something to you ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re right, it is so liberating to feel you don’t have to conform, but it happens so very rarely for me. Trying to please and trying to not do anything wrong, are huge driving factors in my life. Those aspects come out very strongly in my therapy as well, which is good as we can talk about them and try to understand where those attitudes came from and how they’re affecting my life and my behaviour. But yes, it would have been wonderful simply to let go – sometimes to laugh, but on this occasion, to cry a river! Although, imagining it now, even if Hubby hadn’t been around, I would still have been locked into my ‘must do everything right’ attitude – I think I probably would have tried to save the crying for therapy, where I might have been able to interpret it, whereas just letting go there and then and not worrying about anything else, may have been an important lesson to learn in itself…..Thank you again for your comment, which has prompted a lot of thought!


      • It’s my pleasure sweet. Whatever little I can do for my brethren, especially the shaggy ones like myself, from whom I am also getting and learning so much, I wouldn’t hesitate twice. ๐Ÿ™‚


      • ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t really know you very well (sadly!) but when I think of you I think of someone with a very generous spirit, and your words always lift me, thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Pingback: Inner child and past child | Life in a Bind - BPD and me

  3. Pingback: Love song | Life in a Bind - BPD and me

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