Life in a Bind – BPD and me

Borderline Personality Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and my therapy journey. Listed in Top Ten Resources for BPD in 2016 by goodtherapy.org. I write for welldoing.org and for Muse Magazine Australia, under the name Clara Bridges.


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The work of therapy

I wish I could email my therapist. Sometimes you just want to reach out to the person your heart feels safe with. Not even for a reply or an acknowledgment, but to be received and wrapped in thought.

You know that it will pass. That you will talk about it tomorrow. But right now she is the only person you feel intimately connected to. And you miss her, very much.

I wish that I could say: “I’m crying, and you make me feel safe ; I just wanted you to know”.

But what could she do? And would it disturb her peace of mind? And one day you won’t be able to email her just because ‘you wanted her to know’; and she wants to prepare you for that.

When I was at university I held on at night through absolute fear during panic attacks, constantly fending off the urge to go and wake up a friend. It felt like I was going to die, and I needed reassurance that everything would be okay.

I never woke anyone up. It always passed. I didn’t die. But it always felt like terror and it always felt like death. I got through it alone. I got through it.

She would tell you that you’re not alone; that you have her with you because you are slowly internalising her. That you have the resources within yourself to get through it. That tomorrow is not so far away.

I know. But is it so wrong to want to reach out through words and say: “I’m crying and I’m so tired of battles and feeling hopeless and you – you make it better and even though you’re not here I wanted to share some of myself tonight”?

It’s not wrong – but……what feels like the greatest imperative is not always the things that makes the most relational sense. There is a shifting to adjust to each other, even when apart.

I don’t know, I don’t know. I need her, I want her, I’m confused. I’m sad, I’m lonely, I’m unhappy, I’m wretched. I’m.

Waiting for tomorrow. I can honour the space and relational language we are creating – that lives in session and abides in silent connection between times.

She told you once that you were brave. This is something that she sees in you. This is something you are living out. And yes, it is heartbreakingly hard.

Therapy is a work of faith, and ‘steadfastedness’, and love. Tonight, I’m doing the work of therapy.

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