BPD &Substance Abuse

I’m wondering if anyone using this app has Borderline Personality Disorder and struggles with substance abuse.

After having a couple of mental health stays, going to rehab, and managing to scrape together a year of sobriety, I’m only now aware that I have BPD. It went misdiagnosed for a long time, but, of course, the more sober I got, the more evident it was that alcohol was just something I used as a bandaid, and wasn’t the actual wound.

I want so badly to be a supportive, reliable, and stable person, able to care for both myself and the people in my life. The cycles that accompany both the disorder as well as the addiction are so damaging, and I truly desire to be sober, both emotionally and physically.

The more research I do, the more I read how nuanced and challenging it is to overcome both of these issues, but I have hope, and am reaching out to see if anyone has similar experiences, and to hear what has helped you on your journey to become aware of both yourself and the world around you.

Much love to all the folks out there putting in the hard work every day. We’re in this together.

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Long time no see Kim. Good to see you! It has been a bit quiet on the BPD front on the forum lately, but if you search for BPD or Borderline I’m sure you’ll get quite a number of hits. For sure you are not the only one around.
Speaking for myself, about a year ago and about a year into my sobriety, I finally got myself diagnosed. The result was a mix of Borderline and Avoidant PD for me. The diagnosis made me eligible for Schema Therapy, a therapy primarily designed for people with BPD, covered by insurance over here (I’m Dutch). I’m halfway into a sixty session group therapy now and slowly I’m beginning to see the results. hard work but very very worth it.
This therapy is part of my recovery. Recovery is so much more than just abstaining from our DOC. Actually staying sober is only a small part of it, but on the other hand staying sober is the very first prerequisite for all else. As we also need to do all else to stay sober, it works both ways.
When I grew up and firstly soem therapist thought I might have BPD I fiercely objected. I kept doing that for thirty years or so, also because back then it was believed that personality disorders were not curable or even treatable. It said so literally in DSM IV. Thank god that belief has changed and there are now a number of therapies aimed at treating BPD and other PD’s, and these therapies are actually very successful in improving the life of people who suffer from them. A lot of people don’t fit the criteria for a PD no more after treatment, treatment that can take a couple of years though, again it’s work.
BTW, it’s not only therapy that can make for a better life for us. A whole lot of simple life rules, positive decisions, tools we have in our sober toolbox, they all help. Staying sober is the first rule for us though. Anyway, it’s good to see you again, hope this is of some help to you. Success in your journey Kim.

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Thank you. This gives me hope.

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When it comes to BPD we are ran by emotions a majority of the time. We do alot of speaking before thinking. Usually that will lead to relationship problems with friends,family,spouses. The isolated and anti social part of bpd can cause us to be alone and get bored which usually was when we would use. This is where you have to find what works for you. All BPD diagnosis are kind of different per person or case as some have more hypersensitivity then others. The better i manage and am aware of my BPD the easier its been to manage life and understand it as i know it and want it to be… Which in turn makes sobriety a bit easier by accepting it all and who i am and want it to be…

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Hi Kim

I am diagnosed bipolar 2 with borderline traits and then another Dr decided those traits were full fledged BPD. All I know is that since stopped drinking my mood has been so much easier to stabilize. I did a 28 week DBT course about 4 years ago and am on the wait list to go through that program again. What I learned during that course has helped me in many areas in my life. The emotion regulating and interpersonal effectiveness were my two favorite sections though. I highly suggest looking into DBT, it saved my life.

:sunflower::pray::sunflower:

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Hi!

I was recently diagnosed with BPD :slight_smile: I also have PTSD and ADHD. I’ve struggled with substance addiction my entire life! I have been going to 12 step meetings and working a program of recovery, and that has saved my life. My dr also recently switched up my meds, that work much better for mood stabilization than the previous one I was on!

Good luck :heart:

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Hi, Ive been diagnosed BPD amoung PTSD and sever anxiety and depression. Im pretty new to it all, been in denial a bit and being an addict makes things worse Im noticing. All of this has only happend in the last year. Im not who I used to be, I dont knw that I want to go back to the old me but I do knw this is not the life I wanted when I decided to leave my toxic relationship. It was supposed to be a good empowering decision that has gone completley wrong.

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We do tend to be totally different people while using. the old you that u remember before using will come back. Relationships have always made me break like a toothpick as your " favorite" Is no longer there even if i thought i was better off or not. It usually always feels like an abandonment as you were let down by them and who they were or let go. Then the splitting of talking it thru to urself of all the things that hurt then missing them and the good things as well. So i can understand even if the relationship was toxic it made a big impact on you and u looked for an escape. Its good that you are mindful of what you dont want to be. Being BPD its hard to know who we truely are as a person. as one minute we can be doing well and lifes good. then next day we dont know if this is really what we want anymore and we are not happy. So i feel your struggle and understand you not knowing who you are. Hopefully things get better and clearer after u do some Soul searching on a sober mind. Understanding your actions more now that you are diagnosed.

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Ive never had anyone put into words that they actually knew what I ment. That made me ball like a baby just now. Thank you fer real.
I feelike my heart wants good things and I try to follow it, and then I hear my head and its 80% negative, I have a hard time shutting my brain up. So Im constantly at battle with myself, even before using I had this same problem but I always told myself “As long as I dont say it out loud, its not real or it doesnt count”. Now that Ive been diagnosed and attempted to start to understand BPD, I realize that its been there all along and that I was shoving it in the corner this whole time letting it grow.
I just feel like Im constantly going thru the motions with a mask on ( pun, but not intended 100%) lol

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Alot of love and understanding is what i need to get through times im symptomatic its easy to get in a poor state of mind and everything is just so worthless. I can say or do things and think things that are totally out of character and look back think wTf like who am i or why think such things. Im learning to just take it easy and not fuel the fire with anything that masks what really lies beneath the surface. What works individually is a key step finding the balance for me medication and counseling continued maintenance is important for me to stay on steady ground. Keep up self care.:grinning::+1:wish u well

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Hi @SoulSister2720 Tracey, I hope you’re well today! I too struggle with depression, anxiety and negative self talk. It’s like ppl like us have a concrete weight on our ankle pulling us down, making life harder than it would be if we would not have to fight this battle. A lot of ppl are like us on here, in this way.
I wonder if you’ve tried talk therapy or CBT? A professional might help guide you through the challenges of the sick thinking. Wishing you the best!

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Hey,
So I do have a Mental Health and Addictions councillor I regularly am in contact with and I have done CBT (because of my anxiety and a bit of a learning curve I have a hard time using the skills) I journal alot and I color alot but those are things I can only do at home. Today Im having a hard time explaining how i feel, very disconnected

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Hi Tracey, I understand that a" disconnected "feeling, it’s pretty common among people with PTSD and BPD. I guess we use dissociation to deal with stressful situations and trauma, you are definitely not alone there. Sometimes I can almost feel like my mind is completely outside of my body, it is hard to explain. I am glad that you have found us here though and I hope that you continue to reach out and get support here. You never have to feel alone on your journey. :heart:

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Yeah its tough for other people to understand what BPD is like. For most my life i thought how i felt was normal and normal to feel as i did as we do tend to stay in the present. Also the sigma and myths of BPD are horrible. Many like to say we are not empathetic or have any empathy. That couldnt be anymore false. I feel empathy alot yet sometimes its hard to show it as i dont know how or feel out of place and awkward. Im horrible at showing how i feel. Unconsciously will say or do hurtful things then later feel horrible for my actions and sorry. Im always scared of arguments with partners or my “favorite” that i panic and scared that to fix it sometimes it is an unconscious gaslight to them as i didnt mean to hurt them. Then i always get shameful of myself splitting that im a horrible person and who would want someone like this. Its hard. I always tend to hold on to relationships long term blocking out the hurt they give back sometimes. I always feel they are justified to do so when i know ive messed up. My heart is always all in ,all the time and i fall hard once i let the person in. Which takes time for me to get comfortable with anyone even friends sometimes. when they stop wanting to be around me or cheat or leave me. Thats when all the hurt suppressed tends to claw at me when they are gone. I go thru the good and bad of it all as my feelings flip n flop as i feel alone sometimes and miss thier attention as it was never all bad or all thier fault. I always feel shameful and sorry when i dont feel i expressed myself enough or showed the love i should have. Then when the abandonment sets in. i feel hurt like they never loved me, it was lies and how can u just walk out like that but say they love u. Then im angry at them and feel i can be independent without anyone. just to feel empty, alone n lost in the next day or two. It always feels like this constant teeter totter. I hate it. I hate not knowing how to express myself to the ones that mean the most. I feel i try to always bring humor n joke to hide from my many problems deep within. Its hard for sure like a constant tug o war day to day. I try to stay busy and work non stop and sometimes that leads me to burning out and getting depressed. I definitely have to keep a balance and deal with it sometimes instead of run from it. I feel like when relationships give up on me that i wanna give up on myself and whats the use. Like always thats just my mind splitting and turning against myself. Many with BPD will harm themself before harming anyone else. This is where i feel we go off the deep end to use or drink as we dont care and its only harming ourself anyway. Which im sure u can relate to that. Self care is one of the most important things for me ( sleep,eat,taking care of myself). to be mindful of how im feeling and if im in an episode because someone or something has set me off or brought me down mentally. Sometimes propping myself up can be a task and other times its not. Usually listening to music for a while helps level me back out . Im sure if i had a pet it could help more with my dbt therapy but not really a feasible thing rite now. I hope you are feeling alil better and know that there are people that do understand even when u feel nobody does… Im glad i could reach out and good to see im not alone either in this.

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Thank you so much for that. It does make me feel a bit calmer knowing someone knws and understands what Im going thru. Thank you