It is coming up to a year since I was discharged from a 9 month long inpatient admission in a adolescent psychiatric unit. It has been a very interesting year. Somethings were more challenging than I had thought they would be other things were a lot easier than I thought they were going to be, but over all life out of hospital is not what I expected it to be. Its been interesting to see that all of my hospital friends have followed different paths since we all left the same ward. Some have gone back into CAMHS wards others have turned 18 in the past year and have been admitted to adult psychiatric units. Some of us have gone back to school and gotten part time jobs. Some people have really distanced themselves from everything to do with their time in hospital. Everything that everyone has done is understandable and has its own merits but it is interesting how we have all done such different things in the past 12 months. For me, the past year has been about finding my feet at home and working with my mental health team to get the right balance of support while also maintaining a social life. The friends I have made in hospital are a huge part of my life still, we are a cheer squad for each other through the tough times and we are there to enjoy the happy times too- because we all know how hard we have each worked for those smiles. I’m incredibly aware of the fact that some jokes I made in hospital are not funny to people from the ‘outside world’ (keeping hospital friends close for these moments is crucial.) I also have come to realise some of the stories I hold from hospital are unique and hysterically funny to people who I have re-told them too. I’ve learnt that a year on from discharge I still am in awe of the staff I met on the ward and miss them everyday. I have also learnt that it isn’t a bad thing to miss people and I don’t have to beat myself up over feeling this way it’s a natural human emotion after-all. The past 12 months have made my relationships with my family grow even stronger and made every happy moment (however small) that we share together even sweeter. With my loved ones help I have been learning more than ever to find things that I truly love and grab onto them with both hands because if I’ve learnt anything in the past year its that those are the things that life is all about.
I currently have a diagnosis of Borderline personality disorder, PTSD and bulimia. I am in recovery for each of these illness’ and I am giving it all I’ve got. Recovery is about enjoying the better days as much as you can and looking after yourself through the darker days. This isn’t easy and sometimes it can really feel like a losing battle, but I recently stumbled across some statistics around BPD which surprised me quite a bit. They were;
-BPD has remained relatively unknown. However, researchers estimate that about 1.4% of the population has BPD
-About 70 percent of people with BPD will make at least one suicide attempt in their lifetime.
-between 8 and 10 percent of people with BPD will complete suicide; this rate is more than 50 times the rate of suicide in the general population.
Despite all of this I have made it to a point that I am happily and safely living at home with my family and enjoying life with the help of my community mental health team. I am in no way ‘fixed’ or fully recovered but I am always making those baby steps in the right direction. I am proud of myself and all other BPD sufferers for making it through to this point (whatever point others may be at- you have still done incredibly well). I have attempted suicide countless times and to still be here living, breathing and fighting is remarkable and by the sounds of some of these statistics the odds weren’t exactly in my favour. So I will wear my recovery with pride because against the odds my baby steps have got me here and now the road ahead is looking a lot brighter.