Sam's Story

Virginia Beach, VA USA

“I struggle with borderline personality disorder, major depressive disorder, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, an eating disorder, suicide ideation, and self-harm. I usually laugh when I tell a doctor, 'it’s easier to say what I don’t have'.

 

I noticed that I was struggling during my teenage years, but was able to manage the ups-and-downs of life. However, after joining the Navy, I had several experiences that I would not wish on anyone. This caused me to deal with everything that I listed above.

 

I was self harming, losing weight faster then I ever imagined because I wasn’t eating, and plain-and-simple, I just didn’t want to be here. When the doctors said that they wanted to test further for borderline personality disorder, or BDP, it actually made me angry. Do not read stereotypes on BPD because it can make you truly dislike yourself and make you feel 'crazy'.

 

I would lie to therapist and say everything is fine. But, finally, my therapist called me out. She said that I always smiled even when I was talking about something that most people should be sad or angry about. I told her that it was because, even if I’m having a bad day, people around me could be having a worse day and that maybe a smile or a 'how are you' could turn their day around.

 

It took me a while to finally be honest- that I needed to be helped. I was so close to taking my own life and had to admit myself to the hospital, which kind of made me finally open up to people. Friends thought I just didn’t want to hangout, but really, I just didn’t want them to judge me based off of my issues.

 

Finally, I talk about it. I’m an advocate for people getting help and to never be ashamed of what they're dealing with. I often hear friends say that they feel comfortable talking to me about things that they usually never open up about because I am so honest. And, if I can make small changes like that, then I know I’m doing something right. I should never feel ashamed or crazy about where I am.

 

At the end of the day, I still struggle every day, but I think it’s important for people to know that they matter and they will find people out there that make them feel less alone in their struggles."

 

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