borderlinegirlliveshere











A simple yet compelling series of illustrations that highlight much of my world.

Sometimes simplicity is the best way to make a point.

After seeing firsthand how mental illness can take a toll, Marissa Betley decided to sketch out how it truly feels to struggle with a mental health disorder. She then posted the minimalist illustrations on Instagram. The results are simple, yet powerful — and thus, Project 1 in 4was born.

The initiative is aptly named for a statistic that many people still have yet to grasp: Approximately one in four American adults — or about 26 percent of the population — suffers from a diagnosable mental health condition in a given year.

Despite the fact that it’s so common among men and women, mental illness is still incredibly stigmatized — and that could prevent those who experience it from seeking the help they need. Betley says she created the project for this reason.

“So few are talking about [mental illness] and initiating change,” she told The Huffington Post in an email. “I thought if I could just find a real human way to raise greater awareness then maybe I could help break down the stigma surrounding mental illness that is preventing so many people from getting the help and support they need. Maybe the project could even save lives.”

Betley posts one illustration a day on the project’s Instagram page and plans to do so for 100 days. She also shares the images and other mental health resources on the project’s website.

Project 1 in 4 isn’t the first of its kind, but it’s a welcome initiative for a community of people who often feel alone in their experience. Anti-stigma projects like singer Demi Lovato’s Be Vocal campaign and beauty brand Philosophy’s Hope & Grace initiative also assist in promoting awareness about mental health issues. But society still has a long way to go: Only about 25 percent of people who suffer from a mental health issue feel that others are understanding about mental illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I hope the project will help erase the stigma surrounding mental illness that prevents so many people from getting the help and support they need,” Betley said. “Also to provide a sense of comfort to those suffering, knowing they are not alone. Millions of people around the world are up against many of the same daily challenges.”

Ultimately, for those one in four individuals experiencing a mental health disorder, Betley hopes the project inspires acceptance within themselves.

“You deserve to be happy and healthy — don’t forget that,” she said.

We couldn’t agree more.

Check out the slideshow below to see more of the Project 1 in 4 illustrations:

CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE

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Moods. dysregulation, like pleasantly drowning in quick sand, the sensation leaches into you, like that slow pin prick into a vein. You feel that warmth, blanketing like mugginess on a hot day, steaming and settling onto your skin, the poison, velvety caressing into your veins, drawing you down. Each breathe is a sinking , languid melt you don’t want to fight off, it’s easy to slide into that comfort of turning off the pain, the triggers, the hurt, the chaos. Each breath deeper into the warm mud, closing in, safe, terrifyingly safe. Depression is a womb, it comforts and envelopes, seals you off into a space where you’re suspended in hurt and sorrow, all you know, timeless, un-seeing. There is no up or down, around, sights, smells, all you feel is hurt, bone deep hurt, everywhere, out your eyes, in your skin. You’re meant to fight this, don’t sink into the warm cocoon of the sand, don’t slide into the mucus of the womb, because once in, you’re trapped, coming out is a labyrinth of emotions, and days of recovery.

But how to elude the crumbs of safety, come in and we will make you safe, warm, turn off that outside world, to hell with working through all the pain, let it welcome you, let’s revel in it, become it, and lose oneself in it.

I know I don’t want this but I am just too tired to fight all the triggers, they’re all around and I am tired. Each one seems bigger than the next though infinitesimally smaller, crashing in never ending waves and I’m drowning, can I not just drown?  I am tired of swimming, I am tired, and I am tired of people and their pokes and prods, tired of smiling, tired of trying to be me, the smiling me.

So easy to let go, so much easier to find that hole and crawl in, womb, wave, sand, take me to nothingness. Instead, put the training on, the hard hat and back to fighting, fighting all the demons that come within it, inviting me down down down to their opulent palace of oblivion and panacea of anaesthesia.

I will win the fight, again, as always. In the meanwhile, let’s face the pain. Pray its sticks and stones and not knives and bloods.



{June 5, 2015}   Funerals make me sick

Triggers, the little buggers, they can come at you out of no where. Ambush. You think you’re fine, great and next thing you know you’re not.

I got asked to help with a funeral, a very high profile funeral 2 days ago. No big deal, I manage things for a living, generally not dead things, but the same principals apply. I didn’t think I’d have an issue with working on a funeral, till I had an issue working on a funeral.

I started getting mad, very mad. BPD come up from within and consume you emotion. Listening to the details needed for this funeral caused the slow burn to start. Budget was not an issue, thousands and thousands of dollars in flowers, catering, flying world renowned entertainers in to perform, all these things were just so important… colours, napkins, music… meetings hours after the person was deceased to work all the details out. The vulgarity of it made me sick to my stomach. Sick that death had become a spectacle.

Sick to my stomach at the 3-ring circus this death was. Have you ever been to a funeral, is any family member actually happy to be there? To talk to people? Every funeral i have been to the widow is distraught, beyond sad, barely able to speak yet he/she has to be there, has to be there because he/she has guests to see and entertain. There to watch his or her public sorrow. Are the kids ever happy to be there? Their parent has just died and they need to smile and entertain relatives and guests. Who is this for? Does anyone want to eat and drink? Does the open bar draw a crowd?? Shall we take selfies to say we were at THE funeral? Hashtag #bestfuneralevercircus

The decor, the food and the entertainment, do you come to a funeral for good food and entertainment? Isn’t it crass that someone you loved has just died and you’re more worried about what people will think about your funeral arrangements than spending time with your family in mourning? Who cares what people think, if they think badly of your funeral then obviously they shouldn’t be classified as a friend. There’s a reason people bring you food when someone dies, it’s because you shouldn’t be thinking of cooking and cleaning and entertaining, they’re not important, love, feelings, family, that’s what’s important. It’s so pompous that even in the death of a loved one people are still more worried about perception. That they are so important that appearance and vanity supersedes being human.

My black and white BPD came out in full force and I could not think positively about anyone involved in the funeral. So much so, I had to bow out because the judgemental side of me could not be put down and I knew I would come away vilifying people I work with on a day to day basis for their decision to work on this funeral. Everyone has a right to make their own decisions, and I realized this, which made me realize I had to walk away and shut this out or I would destroy and walk away from relationships as a consequence.

funeralI walked away, shut down for the last 2 days and I’ve been in a churning hole. I am so disgusted at the materialism and showmanship. The fact that this funeral has become a production, a production, like we’re putting on a gala dinner and show. The thoughts and images keep turning and turning in my mind. I can’t sleep, my mind wants to tear apart the people involved in the funeral, to make them bad to fit my judgements. It’s trying and exhausting winding the emotions and feelings down, finding the middle ground, taming the judgement and making sure I stay mum and do not engage.

They say, memories and experiences in your past create situations in the present where a seemingly innocuous event can cause a blown out of proportion reaction. When my father died, my extended family was very involved in “helping me” wih the funeral arrangements. So much of what you “should do”, I shouldn’t have to do anything, this is my father and the only thing I should do is be with my family and mourn my father. But the should do’s continued, i should pick the right casket (he’s dead and getting cremated) and spend my time looking at upgraded and premium versions of wood and lining. He just died yesterday who cares about the wood? We should get flowers and wreaths, who the fuck cares? My guests? Are they going to judge me for not having flowers on my dead father’s casket? He’s dead, he doesn’t care, he’s the most important perons here. We should get on the phone and call everyone and send invites even though my heart just cracked and broke. We should invite every person who has ever come into contact with my father, really? Why? So in addition to mourning I can smile at strangers, find the right words to say and wish like hell this was over and then pull out a cheque book to pay for all the people who felt they should be here because i felt I should invite them. Is there anyone that actually wants to go to a funeral? If they loved my father, saying good bye is not a public spectacle, it’s done inwardly, towards the heaven, the soul, whichever faith you believe in. It is most definitely not at a party with good food and entertainment with 600 of your closest friends. The straw that broke my back was my aunt wanting to film the funeral. Can we get some reality here, this is sorrow, a way to say good bye, not a movie I plan on re-watching every year.

Yes, I’m scarred, funerals are not a show, death is not a show. I’ve seen death, people close to to me have died. Maybe you need to see death that close to understand what loss is and how private it is. That celebrating pain is not a celebration. Misery is not a party unless you’re a narcissist.

That these people and their lackeys are so self important, that their china pattern, canapés, entertainment and napkins mean more than finding the space and time to mourn their loved one privately with class and decorum.

This is all opinion and judgement, I am well aware of this, hence, I have nothing to do this funeral or anyone involved with it. Walk away. If something bothers you, it is my prerogative to walk away. I walked.



et cetera
Life after BPD

Life after Borderline Personality Disorder; making a life worth living through love, laughter, positivity and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

confessionsofbpd

The secret life of high-functioning borderline personality disorder.

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