My anniversary for being out of psychiatric hospitals came and went sometime around the beginning of July. It's a bit hazy for me to remember the exact date, which is bizarre, you would have thought I'd remember it exactly, as it was such a pivotal moment. Freedom.
I'm so unsure of what to write about in terms of what I have achieved, there seem so many things that could be deemed as major turning points in my recovery.
Recovery isn't a word I like to use when I talk about after hospital. I don't feel like I'm in recovery, I feel like I'm learning how to be human and how to be ok without the crutch of alcohol, drugs, risky behaviours and impulsive actions. Since the tender age of 13 my life has been a whirlwind of unstable relationships, drunken nights and days, self harm, suicide attempts and basic mental ill health.
Last year it all came crashing down badly, I spent 2 weeks in a half-way house, 4 weeks in one psych unit and then a further 3 in another. Screaming at nurses, my family and anyone that listened that I wanted to die. I was quietened with medications, forced into an art group that became my only respite and saddled with the crisis team on more than one occasion.
I don't know how to feel about it all now, there were some brilliant moments in hospital though, which even if I tried to tell you about it, wouldn't ever transfer through the written word, a you had to be there, moment. There were countless nurses, some good, some bad, psychiatrists that wanted to see just how far they could push me.
Since leaving, I've remained on mostly the same medications, dropping one due to the horrible weight gain side effects that made me feel even worse than normal, my care co-ordinator has fucked off and I've begun the wonderful STEPPS therapy.
I have a lovely flat, with big windows and an amazing boyfriend, my relationships with family and friends has strengthened as I've attempted to learn to control my awful moods. Apart from Mayday (and that Saturday night where the ambulance took me to A+E because of an OD) there haven't really been any slip ups, which is a positive.
Yet, after 12 years in and out the mental health system, the idea of leaving it behind is fearful, and beginning to live just like everybody else is almost confusing. Borderline Personality Disorder doesn't just mean a diagnosis, it's almost an identity, with so many professionals chalking up my behaviours as my disorder.
Getting well isn't just about learning to deal with my disorder, but also about separating the person from the illness. Finding her identity, and finding the person that she deserves to be. It means not letting the disorder rule my life, which it has done in the past. It's about actually having a life.
No-one really wants a girlfriend, daughter or a friend constantly in and out of hospital, nor do they want someone that is going to swing wildly through a range of emotions, people want consistency and thats no bad thing, they don't want to be always checking on her, just in case.
I want to be better, and I want to do it for me, but I also want to do it for everyone I know, because they deserve it just as much as me.