I am in the best place I have ever been with my BPD.
I have an understanding of what works for me and what doesn't. I have supportive relationships and an amazing therapist. I am almost a year into DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) and I have learnt how to use skills to help me cope with overwhelming emotions and distressing thoughts.
Lately I have been spending time in my one-to-one therapy sessions looking into my past and finding out why some things trigger me and activate a strong desire to self-punish and self-criticise.
The aim of looking at my past alongside doing DBT skills is to help me understand why I feel, think and act in such ways and to have more compassion for myself.
Although I am in the best place that I have ever been emotionally, Christmas still feels daunting for me.
I love Christmas and there are lots of aspects that I find enjoyable. However, it is also a time of high stress.
For one, I am surrounded by lots of people who tend to be quite excitable. I also can't help but feel under pressure with gift giving and making sure that I am being suitably cheery.
Most importantly however, Christmas can be hard for me because of the memories.
In the past I have had several crises during Christmas time that have seen me in and out of A&E.
I have had Christmases since then that have been shadowed by traumatic memories of previous festive seasons when I felt isolated and bleak.
This Christmas, I feel more able to cope with my BPD than ever. As a result, I have hope for the future. I can imagine myself living a life where I am no longer revolving through the A&E doors in and out of crisis.
Although there may be times this Christmas when I feel overwhelmed, I am sure I'm going to be able to use DBT skills in order to get through those painful moments. Being able to use skills, combined with the reassurance that my BPD is now less distressing than ever, means that I feel I will be able to enjoy Christmas this year.
More than anything, this is because this year I have what I haven't had since early childhood: a feeling of safety.