The pain will never go away.
I know, I know. Deep down inside I knew this. I write and write about this and that… trying to convince myself otherwise; that there was, indeed, a higher road. I tell myself, We can be remarkable despite our illness. It sounded noble and beautiful and hopeful. It was my battle cry; a way to turn mental illness up over its head and declare that, hey, there’s no looking back. How desperately I wanted to believe this. It was clean, pretty and neatly tied up in a bow.
And then life happens. BPD happens. The two collide and you find yourself back in that old familiar place: complicated, messy, and above all — painful.
In my hearts of hearts I want so desperately to escape how the pain feels. I still hold on to the idea that maybe it will disappear. That, in time, therapy will make it go away and prescription medications will christen me anew. My life will start all over and all the hurt, the mistakes, the self-hatred, the shame — it would all disappear. You have brief glimpses of that — moments of living like everyone else in the world. There’s contentment. There’s peace. You finally feel normal.
But as it is with borderline personality disorder, the feeling came in a wave and I was left in the wake of an empty shore, vulnerable to images, urges and actions I’d rather not share with my therapist.
And just when you think you can’t handle the pain anymore, you start looking again. Something to convince yourself to keep on going. Something to hang on to when it got tough, when it got messy, when you don’t know if you can get through it. Something that will make it worth all of this suffering.
Maybe making the pain disappear isn’t the point.
I grieve tonight and rejoice at the same time. The burden of doing away with pain and the urges towards myself don’t have to go away in order for me to participate in life. I can accept these very difficult, quite confusing, intensely emotional parts of myself and still, walk on. I can choose to keep pushing forward — even if the pain will never completely go away. That’s radical acceptance in a nutshell.
The pain will never fully go away and frankly, I cannot wait until then. There is too much to do in the time that we have here to wait for it to go away in order for my life to begin.