My Embrace Experience 2018

This month I had the chance to go back to a retreat I first went to last year. Last year I didn’t really get too much out of it, but I enjoyed it because the worship was great, and I learned a bit more about God. This year I had high hopes that it would be better for me because I’m personally in a better place than I was last time. Each year there are different ‘Kingdom Electives’ as they call it. In each one you learn about that subject and go around the city of Toronto learning to know Jesus more deeply, and how He is working in the city.


This year I chose the Sidewalk Scripture, and I went into it not really knowing what to expect. I just thought that the description sounded unique, so I went for it. Our weekend started off with amazing worship, and was totally FULL of the Holy Spirit. There were so many more people than last year, which was surprising, but they were all super friendly and welcoming. On Saturday we grouped up and started out in 3’s going through the city on a prayer walk. We had outlines of ideas on what to pray for as we walked.

a) Pray the names of God. God, what are you revealing about yourself today?

b) Pray the will of God. God, what is your will for the city of Toronto?

c) Pray for the provision of needs. God, how could I meet a need today?

d) Pray for a spirit of giving and receiving forgiveness within Toronto

e) Pray for deliverance and freedom from the temptation of the evil one.

This outline was not only helpful on our walk through Toronto, it can be used for prayer walks in any city. Anywhere. I didn’t pray aloud, but I did so in my head and God still revealed more about Himself to me throughout the day.

Once we got to our appointed destination we found out that the Women’s March was being held there, and we were going to take part in it. I was very surprised at first, because I didn’t know what to expect. We were each invited by our leader to be present and notice things. Notice people. See others through the eyes of Jesus.

It was interesting listening to all the speakers, and seeing all the signs people had made for this event. Some were cool, some were weird, and some were even a bit funny. I was somewhat surprised to find that most of the women there weren’t ‘angry’ like media portrays them to be. They were just people marching for a cause they were passionate about and want justice for. My eyes were opened to so many different issues regarding women and the patriarchy, and equal rights. I learned that Jesus cares about injustice, He is found among the suffering. We were asked afterward if Jesus would go to a march like this, and after seeing it first-hand and learning how present He was, I definitely believe He would have. Just to interact with the people, and show love to them. I found that the most impactful, I think, and was challenged to go out and be present wherever I happen to be. It’s not easy, and you have to keep your focus on Jesus, but it’s possible, and it makes a difference. So open up to people, strangers even! Ask them what their story is, let them know they’re loved more than they can imagine! Because the broken need Jesus the most.


To end, I’ll share a passage that is really powerful to me, especially when read aloud.

“Suddenly one like a Son of Man was coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before Him. He was given dominion and glory, and a Kingdom; so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve Him. His dominion is an EVERLASTING dominion that will not pass away, and His Kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.” -Daniel 7:13-14




Sad Goodbye…

As you may have heard by now, the lead singer of Linkin Park – Chester Bennington has died by suicide… When I first saw this on my newsfeed, I thought, ‘no way, this has to be fake’ – but not long after I found out that it indeed was true, and it’s very upsetting for me. Linkin Park was one of my top 2 favourite bands when I was in high school, their music got me through a very dark time in my life. In a way, their music kept me going, saving me from dying myself… It helped me deal with my depression, anxiety and self harm. It’s just heartbreaking to hear that he died because he couldn’t take it anymore. He deserved help. Depression is a serious thing and I hate that it gets to take lives away from people.

In grade nine, I started listening to them and all through high school I continued to connect with his music and the lyrics made me feel less alone, and I guess it gave me a voice when I had none. Even to this day, I still love their music, and although I haven’t been listening to it as often, it still gets me through the times when I’m feeling too much because of my BPD. Even listening to his most recent album and seeing the titles of all the songs – I could tell that they were all dark and that he was calling out for help in a way. It’s just sad and disappointing that he never got the help he so deserved. Chester left his mark on this world, and I believe his music will keep on helping people who need it just at the right time. I’ll never get to see him in concert like I dreamed of, but I sincerely hope he’s in a better place. If only he knew how many would miss him so dearly. RIP Chester.

Below are some of my favourite songs by them, ones that are most meaningful to me.






Progress is Progress

This is the 5th therapist I’ve seen, and I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere. I finally found someone who I’m comfortable with, and I am building actual trust. Those who know my story, know that I haven’t had the best track record with counselors so far. So this is a big deal for me. It’s so hard to find a compatible therapist as someone with BPD. I’m really happy with how things are going with her, and especially the fact that we meet every 2 weeks instead of once a month – which was WAY too long. Each time I see her I find myself opening up more, and I’m really proud of myself for that. She encourages me, and points out things in me that I’ve either forgotten about, or never even considered. I just feel so blessed to finally have a therapist who’s the right fit for me.

But obviously there’s a lot we have to work on. This is only one of the first steps to my actual recovery. She’s helping me to use the DBT skills I’m learning every week, and I’m supposed to fill out diary cards on my moods every day. We are also trying to work on my self esteem, which is currently almost nil. But once I’m done the DBT group, she’s signed me up for a group called BOOST, which will help work on my self esteem as well. So while I don’t want DBT to end, I’m also looking forward to starting the new group, which I’m hoping will help.

During my last appointment, I opened up more and I actually ended up crying in front of her, which to me is a pretty big deal  – because I don’t usually do that, or I try not to. I generally avoid crying in front of others, but this time I didn’t even feel the need to apologize. It was draining, yes, but I’m proud of myself for opening myself up, because that’s how healing comes.  I’ve got a long road ahead, but I’m starting to believe that I’m really making progress.

“Progress is progress, no matter how small.”

3 Years Self Harm Free

One month ago today, I was officially 3 years clean of self harm. The addiction that tried to take my life. I now add a month to that, and I’m still having mixed feelings about it. I’m shocked that I made it this far. I’m still having urges that are hard to move past sometimes. Every day the thought comes to mind and I ask myself what the consequences would be, and every time they are mostly the same. But I still think about it. Especially this time of year. One part of me is glad I left all that behind me, but another part of me wants it back. These two parts of me are always battling in my mind every day. The only escape I get is sleeping.

In a way I’m really afraid what will happen in the new year. Will I make it to 4 years? Should I? Because that’s the amount of time I was stuck in that cycle. I can’t imagine being free of it for that long…  Yes, I’m 3 years clean, but I’m still struggling with my mental illness. I should be proud, but I guess I’m both.

You’re Killing Me Here

Apparently if I want the proper help that I need, I have to literally go in and DEMAND it. I’m not that type of person, but I’m getting really frustrated. I seem to have very bad luck with all the doctors I’ve ever had, and it’s really just a shame. If you get paid that much, at least do your job and be good at it. Can doctors not be good at both medical and social skills?

Let me tell you that the doctor I have right now isn’t very great in my opinion and I’ve split on him very quickly. It’s not like I had a real choice, he replaced my original family doctor who retired. I do not like him at all. Plus the fact that I don’t want a male doctor. All he did was make a stupid comment which was totally uncalled for and that flipped the switch in my mind. I’m extremely sensitive as a borderline, and what he said really hurt me. He doesn’t know me at all – so he has no right.

That’s one thing I hate about most doctors, they don’t know a thing about your past or history, yet they have the audacity to make a comment that could potentially hurt you more than help you. I’m going to say this and only going to say it once. He told me that I was overweight. Like I didn’t know this. Like I could possibly do something to change this. But the truth is, I can’t. Had he known me at all, he’d know that I’ve been like this for most of my life, and even though I eat healthy, normal amounts of food, nothing changes. So why can’t these doctors shut up for once and not go and assume things? The truth is, that remark happened back in March and it still sits in the back of my mind and hurts me. Who likes to be judged? Nobody… This is why I hate my doctor. This is why I desperately want a new one. But at the same time I am afraid to ask. Because getting a new doctor could only make things worse. I could get another stupid one who won’t know anything about me and make the simple mistake of offending me. So I don’t trust them. I don’t trust most people.

So, today I had a short doctors appointment, just to get a referral to the psychiatrist who diagnosed me back in March – for him to sign some papers for my application to get disability pay. Yet he told me that I probably won’t be approved because my disorder isn’t ‘debilitating’ enough. I’m going to choose to ignore this, because he doesn’t know that for sure. He doesn’t even know the extent of my disorder. So he sent my referral as I asked. I also mentioned maybe starting a new medication for my BPD, and he totally dismissed that and asked if I wanted my current medication increased. No, I don’t. I am fine with the Effexor I am on, because it helps me quite a lot with my Social Anxiety and going out in public. What I want is something to help with my mood swings and intrusive thoughts – not to mention the black and white thoughts. I’m sorry, but DBT can’t do everything for me. It’s not a quick fix. I still deal with my symptoms of Borderline on a regular basis, and it gets really hard sometimes. I’m just saying it would be nice to see about starting a second medication that could help with what I’m dealing with. Apparently that’s very hard to understand.

On top of all this, I asked him for a copy of the consultation report from back in March. I finally got my hands on it!! But when I read it over, it was very very detailed, and while most of it was accurate, some of it was not. I’m not even going to go into the details because it probably doesn’t matter. But the point is that I’m frustrated, and I want to get the mental health treatment I need. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very thankful for being in DBT, but some people just need a little bit more.

(Sorry if this was a bit long, but I needed to get this off my chest.)

Anxiety is Crippling

This topic just came to me last night as I was trying to go to sleep. Thoughts just kept racing through my head and I couldn’t even keep up with them. Anxiety is something I’ve dealt with for a long, long time. I don’t think I can remember a time when I didn’t have to deal with it. It was never full blown until high school, no doubt. I have SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) and it took me a while to find out. It was hard for me to even go out in public without the fear of constantly being judged. I thought everyone was out to get me.

I still think that some days. I’m sure it’s also a symptom of my BPD. My point being – I’ve dealt with a fair share of mental health issues, and it’s really hard sometimes. Anxiety hasn’t brought me anything good. I had to quit my first and only job due to my anxiety, which was brought on by BPD. It had gotten so bad that I’d constantly dread getting a call to go in, and if I did, I’d agonize with anxiety about actually going in – so I made a decision. That decision was to quit answering calls, quit putting in availability. Because I’d rather focus on my mental health before being employed… It was getting to the point of almost relapsing. It was so bad. All of this because of my old friend anxiety.

If you still don’t think anxiety is a serious thing, let me tell you this. Anxiety can cause you to feel physically ill. It has caused me to throw up before. While having a serious headache simultaneously. So if you think that anxiety isn’t a real reason to call in sick, think again. I don’t expect you to understand if you’ve never experienced it before. Because you can’t. But the truth is, so many people have. Anxiety can cripple a person if not treated. My medication is solely for that, and it only helps so much. At least it helps me to go out and function somewhat normally.

I just need to stop being ashamed of putting my mental health first.

Sad Truth of Hospital ERs

I was in my local hospitals ER today, waiting to be seen for a cold, and I came to this shocking realization. Two people got up and started yelling about how they have been waiting for 2 hours while 6 people who came in after them were called to be seen. This was a daughter and mother I assume, and the daughter had a migraine, and was puking as well.

Now, to me, I think a migraine is pretty serious. But maybe that’s just me. I’m now forced to believe that all hospitals are like this. Treating people according to the severity of their illness rather than equal humanity. It seems like just because the migraine was in her head, it wasn’t as serious. It wasn’t a priority. This sad reality needs to change.. Not be passed off as something that can wait. This goes the same for mental health. So many people seem to be simply disregarded in ER visits. One look at their chart, or the reason they are in and they are ignored, given looks, not treated with the same respect and care as other patients. All patients should be treated the same, whether their problem is physical OR mental.

This is really sad, and unacceptable. It takes a lot for someone struggling with mental illness to come in the ER at all – and to be ignored when they do just discourages them from ever coming back or getting help at all. That mother and girl with the migraine got up and left. She didn’t receive the care she needed. They were frustrated. More people need to get frustrated and do something about this problem in (seemingly) all hospitals. Something needs to be done, and soon.

Suicide is Not a Little Thing

I have written about suicide before, but yet – I feel the need to write about it again. Suicide has recently come up in the news, especially in and around the area I live in. Something needs to be done about it, about the mental health of all the people suffering. Our hospitals aren’t doing the main thing that they’re made to do – helping people. We need to start treating mental health like any other illness. I can’t stress this enough – you wouldn’t simply pass off a broken bone or cancer, would you? It seems utterly ridiculous if you actually think about it.

I live in Canada, and there seems to be a suicide cluster going on just in this year alone. In Woodstock, Ontario, (which is about an hour from where I live) 5 young people have killed themselves in only 4 months. While another 17 have attempted suicide. In London, Ontario, (which is just 30 min from where I live) over 20 people have died by suicide this year alone. It is a sad thing to know how many people are suffering and have no hope. There are so many resources in London, but there still needs to be more, and there needs to be change as well. Suicide is preventable, and there needs to be more attention paid to people dealing with suicidal thoughts and other mental illness.

Suicide is not something to be ignored and people still need to wake up and make a difference in the lives of those still suffering. There is still so much stigma surrounding mental health and even suicide that some people are afraid to even talk about it, but I won’t let that happen to me because it has definitely touched my life, and impacted me. Mental health and suicide is something I am really passionate about – something that gets me angry and something I can empathize with very easily. Something I want to change in my time here in this life.

Things I hope for my Therapist

I hope that she knows ample information about Borderline Personality Disorder.

I hope that she tries to understand what I’m going through.

I hope  that she will help at least a little.

I hope that the stigma of my disorder hasn’t clouded her judgement.

I hope that I don’t split on her and devalue her.

I have my first counseling appointment I’ve had in like, 3 years+ tomorrow. I’m a little nervous, but mostly looking forward to it, because of the symptoms I deal with on a daily basis. All of the things above I really hope for her. I’ve heard that some therapists think patients with BPD are harder to deal with and I want her to not think that. I do have an advantage, knowing her before hand. I went to see her when I was younger and dealing with depression and self harm. I have lied to her and not treated her well in the past. I am hoping for her forgiveness for those things. I am now ready to try again with her, and I hope that some good comes from it. At least I will have someone to see and talk to while I am on the waiting list for DBT.

Yes, I have been put on a waiting list. I have no idea how long it will take to get a phone call. Apparently it is very popular where I live. But I know that God has the perfect timing for me. And He will be with me in the waiting.



I have a Borderline Personality

I was thinking, how come I’ve been able to stop self harming, but I still feel that something is wrong? Why am I having all these seemingly horrible mood swings? I seem to overreact to small situations that rarely bother anybody else. I never knew when my mood was going to change, or what would trigger it. And it scared me.

They told me they’d pick me up at shortly after 6. I’ve been ready for 6 o’clock. I wait for 10 minutes. They’re not here, they’ve forgotten about me. They’re abandoning me. Who would want to pick me up anyway? They eventually show up at 12 minutes after. Well, why couldn’t they tell me 6:10???

My best friend isn’t just my best friend, she’s like, the best person in my life right now, and I always want to spend time with her, I always want to sit with her because she’s awesome. But when someone else asks to hang out with her, I get upset, because it feels as if she’s more important than me. How DARE my best friend have another friend!

At the beginning of January, I sensed that something was wrong with me. There had to be a reason for all of the things I have been feeling. I had a feeling it was BPD, since I displayed many of the symptoms. So I made an appointment to see a psychiatrist. My appointment was on Tuesday, and I was really anxious and worried about it. I didn’t know what to expect, and I didn’t want to say the wrong thing. I’ve been informed that you can’t say ‘the wrong thing’, you just tell the truth, and there’s nothing wrong with that. So I went in, and I waited. He called me in and he asked me a ton of different questions regarding my life and my symptoms. He asked me to describe each symptom and he went through the list. Overall the appointment went better than I thought it would. I was finally diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

It actually felt kind of freeing. Just to know, after all these years of thinking I was crazy. That’s the main reason I even made the appointment, was to get a diagnosis. Because now I know that it wasn’t just me. I connect it all with my past and it all makes sense. All the symptoms I’ve had through high school even. There’s a reason I acted the way I did. But why did it take them 6 years to figure this out?? I sat through pointless therapy and they didn’t even think to tell me I exhibited these symptoms? How did they not see it? Instead they told me I was overreacting. My problems weren’t ‘problems’.

I’ve been constantly researching and personally I seem to fit the ‘QUIET’ Borderline. There’s the classic, and there’s the quiet. They both have the same symptoms, and they’re both BPD, but the main difference is that the ‘QUIET’ Borderlines are ‘Acting In’, while the ‘CLASSIC’ Borderlines are ‘Acting Out’. There’s a video I’ll put below that explains it more.


Treatment is optional. The psychiatrist suggested DBT, increasing or changing my medication, or just simple counseling. From what I’ve read, I don’t really seem too fond of DBT. I don’t like the idea of meeting in a ‘group’ setting. I don’t like the idea of ‘mindfulness’. I read that it has helped many people, but I also have read that it’s not going to work for everyone. We are all different, despite having the same personality disorders. So right now I’m on the rocks about treatment in general. (If anyone has any advice or experience with these treatments, let me know in the comments)

I’ve also realized that there is a lot of Stigma surrounding BPD. So much so that I’m not even sure I want to tell certain people. Especially people I don’t trust, or people who don’t understand in the first place. That being said, as a Christian, the thing I am most afraid of – concerning telling certain people – is that they might immediately think they should pray for healing… It’s NOT something I need healing from. It’s my personality. It’s only something I can recover from. It’s something I can only learn to cope and deal with regularly. It’ll probably be hard, and it’ll probably take time, but I believe that I can learn to deal with this. And I’ll have God with me all the way.