Nothing to Lose

by irenedavid

So, I can’t deny it anymore. I have a mental illness. It’s not as severe as it could be, for which I am deeply grateful, and because I am in my 50’s now, a lot of the symptoms are not as pronounced as they used to be.
But all the same, I am mentally ill. That is no fun to say.
The wall I keep bumping into is that I have a somewhat mild form of the disorder. I don’t fit all the criteria listed for a diagnosis; I’m missing two rather common components of it (thank You, God). That said, I don’t know how people with a severe form of borderline personality disorder ever live to see 50. If my disorder were any worse, I’m sure I would have killed myself by now. The pain of dealing with a mild case has been excruciating. The more I read about it, the more I wonder if I will ever be rid of the nasty little demons that plague my soul.
30 years ago, my husband suggested we go to counseling for our marriage; I said no. I didn’t want to talk about the “dark night” of my life–the days of deep depression for no reason I could name, the rages over imagined criticisms that ended with me either smashing or throwing something, the deep-seated feeling that no one would like me if they spent much time around me.
I don’t rage anymore and I’m on meds for depression, but my nemesis remains–the feeling that there is nothing to like about me, that I am unworthy of anything good (this really causes havoc in how I relate to God), and the struggle to believe I am not despicable.
Those feelings are just compounded by how much time I have wasted being a tortured soul who ended up creating demons for the people she loved most–the husband who has stuck beside me for 35 years, who is also in therapy for a problem I didn’t create but certainly didn’t help, and my precious daughters, who knew a mom that could become a horror of emotional outburst without any warning.
I am praying that there is still time for me to become somewhat semi-normal. Peeling this onion can be exhausting, but I’d give anything to make the process go faster, even if therapy fatigue set in.
I am mentally ill. The words don’t scare me anymore…I’ve got nothing to lose.