Road to Recovery: In Candice’s Words

I’m thankful for another word on recovery from Candice. If you haven’t filled it out yet, please join in on the conversation and share your story about recovery here. Thanks!

What does recovery mean to you?
Sometimes I feel that I will always have the symptoms of BPD so therefore, I feel I will never achieve “full recovery”. However, I have been able to effectively work through the symptoms to where i have been able to maintain and excel in my relationships as well as go to work consistently and excel at my job. I feel I have recovered for the most part because the symptoms haven’t been damaging my relationships or my job anymore.

What has been your key to getting from remission to recovery?
Knowing the diagnosis was the biggest key to my remission. Once I knew that it wasn’t just something wrong with “me”, I was able to get the treatment I needed. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) definitely helped.

What are some myths or misconceptions about recovery?
I think the biggest misconception is that once you have recovered, you are fixed and the symptoms never come back. I feel that this is something that may never go away. I also think that most people that are not battling a mental illness expect you to be fixed once you start going to treatment. I think all of people don’t understand that you can’t just “turn off” those impulses and urges. It’s a constant battle and just because we don’t outwardly show what we are going through anymore, doesn’t meaning that we aren’t struggling internally.

Do you think the journey to recovery could be taught to others?
I think it can be taught if they really want to recover. But it may take a few different approaches to find the one that works best for a particular person. I went through several different therapists and treatments until I found the one that worked best for me.

There were many times when I felt hopeless and wanted to give up trying. But I always tried to tell myself that it was normal to feel that way but to keep pushing through the treatment because it will get better. Being mindful of the recovery process and knowing that I am human and would relapse from time to time helped me to forgive myself when I did and kept me from giving up all together.

1 Comment
  • Benzie Posted December 6, 2012 5:19 am

    I’m very interested in weehthr someone who has exhibited BPD behaviors since childhood does ‘outgrow’ it. One of my daughters was both more rebellious and more needy even as a young child. I had a lot of children and never felt I was able to give her the amount of attention she needed. After she started school I resented teachers’ complaints about her classroom behavior, setting children against each other, etc. I never saw any such things at home! She was for a time in Special Education for this, and to this day is excessively proud of winning medals in Special Olympics against children with huge mental and physical disabilities! She has an IQ of 142 and always was perfectly healthy! Friends tried to tell me that she instigated problems within my family. I just never saw it until she reached adolescence. At that point she blatantly played it all out in front of me. She began displaying for me the physical and emotional bullying she’d inflicted on the other children for years. She tormented them by locking them in darkened rooms, stole from everyone in the house, tried to forge checks, got the mail when she came home from school, tore it all open, then tossed it all in the garbage. She had her teachers and friends (and mine) convinced she was neglected and hatefully abused. As a divorced mom, sole support of the family and struggling with a physical disability, I had little time or strength to deal with the chaos. She simply denied, denied, denied…and smiled. The worst by far was that she somehow convinced other of the children that I did not love them, wanted to get rid of them, etc. How could all this happen right under my nose? She lured other of the children into a truly awful ‘church’, and they all ended up going to live with these ‘friends’ who I later discovered (it was my great fear at the time) exploited and abused them. I had one much younger child during all this that once the older ones left, I forbid any contact without my presence, even telephone contact. Those several older children have led lives of unhappiness and unproductivity, still blaming me for every problem. The daughter who caused all these problems has told every imaginable and unimaginable lie about me. It’s really impossible to defend myself, I’m not inclined to go around explaining to people that I never starved my kids, never beat them black and blue, never denied them medical care, wasn’t a lesbian, never practiced satanic worship in our home, etc, etc. I could go on and on the hateful things she’s done that brought her no payoff other than causing chaos and pain. When one of her sisters was married, she threw a screaming fit in the middle of the ceremony because I wasn’t there (hadn’t been invited). She spreads grief with a scatter-gun. I’ve wondered for years if she would have been okay if she’d been an only child. I knew early on she wanted to be the ‘favorite’, and later stated flatly she deserved to have been an only child. Only recently have I wondered if she suffers a mental disorder. Everything I read in this posting and the comments makes me think she does. I’m not stupid, am actually pretty intelligent and intuitive, and I’ve adored all my children since they were conceived. A few years ago, I finally dug out from an overwhelming sense of utter failure as a mother (and there was nothing in life more important to me than being a good mother). I suspect I will struggle with this the rest of my life. That youngest child I protected from contact with her, and two much older children who were out of the home before she ‘blossomed’ are wonderful, caring people, with extremely successful careers and loving families of their own. And I have a close relationship with each of them and they with each other. They still are mystified by the chaos in the middle, and I’m sure they wonder, as I still do, why I couldn’t prevent it happening. Thanks for letting me vent. Very painful.

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