People diagnosed and living with Borderline Personality Disorder often think that they cannot empower themselves. The experience of having Borderline Personality Disorder is one that can often lend itself to feeling helpless or out of control. Emotional Dysregulation leaves many with BPD feeling as if they cannot help themselves, feeling as if they can't stand how they feel. This can often be the result of the shame and abandonment people with BPD are bound to and experience in cyclical ways. So how is it possible for someone with Borderline Personality Disorder to empower him or herself you might wonder?
The first question that might come to mind, if you have BPD, is, how can I empower myself when I don't know who I am? When I don't know who that "self" in me is? This realization and question can leave those with BPD feeling hopeless right there. The first important step in finding your own empowerment begins with challenging your negative thoughts and feelings. It is important to challenge any and all negativity. This is a tall order at first when you begin on a consciously chosen path of BPD self help.
Finding hope from the polarized reality and negativity of BPD is the first step to this empowerment. An empowerment that you can consciously choose today, if you haven't already. An empowerment that you can re-connect with if you've experienced it before but feel you aren't connected to the hope of it right now. Empowering yourself involves making space in your experience, especially emotionally, for a counter-balance of hope. Because splitting is so common in BPD, black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking, when you experience a negative feeling or thought it can obliterate your conscious awareness of the hope that you felt and/or realized in the past and that you can re-connect with again in the next unfolding moment.
Empowering yourself when you have BPD means radically accepting each here-and-now moment for what it is – for what it brings to your experience and your thoughts and feelings. Mindfully radically accepting what is without judgment is the first step to empowering yourself because it is a willing surrender of what has otherwise been a willful struggle to control things or people outside of yourself all in an effort to not have to feel anything that might distress you.
Taking this first step toward empowering yourself will help you to begin to lay down certain defenses that may actually be blocking the very change you need to get on or move further down the road to recovery. It is important to consciously engage preparing for recovery from BPD which is something that has a large and vital self aspect to it.
Empowerment is about committing to consciously working to help yourself to bring about change so that you do not continue to be a victim of subconscious choices that have become dysfunctional ways of coping and unhealthy patterns of thinking, behaving, and relating.
Empowering yourself by engaging in BPD self help means that you make a solid investment in meeting each unfolding moment in your life with a renewed sense of honesty. An honesty that is housed within your authentic self. An honesty that you will benefit from finding out more about and connecting to more often.
Even when you aren't sure who you are you can empower yourself by choosing to work at interrupting well-worn and painful patterns of thinking, feeling, behaving, and relating. In fact working to empower yourself and to become more aware of just how much you really can help yourself will, in time, create in you an unfolding awareness that will result in you understanding more about who you really are.
The more each person with BPD can come to an increased understanding of his or her lost authentic self the more he or she will be on the path toward a greater connection to that self. The most empowering thing in moving forward to improve the quality of your life when you have BPD is embracing the journey from false self to authentic self that means opening up to your abandoned pain – the abandoned pain that is the legacy of the core wound of abandonment and the seat of borderline rage and all that you experience that is negative and so painful that you may have believed it was safer to defend against the very feelings that often distress you. Those feelings keep arising because they need your attention. They need to be resolved.
BPD self help is a quest that has at its center an individual empowerment that offers you the opportunity to take personal responsibility for where you are right now. When you can better understand where you are right now, you can then begin to become much more aware of where it is that you want and need to go in your own process of being a seeker of more and of finding the kind of understanding about BPD that will mean you learning more about the legacy and impact of the shame of abandonment in your own life.
Empowering yourself through BPD self help means challenging the shame, feeling the pain, and consciously making new choices that give you the opportunity to experience different outcomes. Outcomes that aren't bound to the shame of all you have known and perhaps without realizing it, accepted as just being your lot in life.
BPD self help can empower you to an increasing awakening awareness that not only is there much more to experience in life but that you are worthy of experiencing it and you are worthy of finding your way to living in the rich paradox of what it means to continue to search for who you really are.
© A.J. Mahari, July 17, 2009 – All rights reserved.
A.J. Mahari recovered from BPD 14 years ago and is a Life Coach who, among other things, specializes in working with those with Asperger's Syndrome and their partners, relatives, or friends. A.J. has 6 years experience as a
Life Coach and coaches clients from all over the world.