I’m in Washington, D.C. for the rest of the week at the National Alliance for Mentally Ill (NAMI) National Convention. So far it has been a wonderful experience speaking at the presentation, “Remarkable Women in Recovery.”
In the picture I’m with author and dear friend Kiera Van Gelder, who has just released a memoir, “Buddha and the Borderline.” BPD life coach Tami Green and author Randi Kreger were also presenters. Truly wonderful to witness these women in the BPD community come to life.
One woman from the audience patiently waited to speak to me. She thanked me for my talk and said, “If only my daughter was able to hear you speak. Perhaps she would still be alive.” She began to cry, and I began to cry too. I just gave her a hug. I felt helpless, wanting so much to console her. She told me of her daughter’s story, how she is survived by two kids and had battled with a misdiagnosis for half her life. I asked her for her daughter’s name.
“Heather,” she said. I searched for something to say.. the only thing I could muster up was, “Thank you for sharing your story with me. I can’t imagine how hard this must be. For what it’s worth, I’ll be thinking of Heather and remember your story as I make my journey.”
I’m going to do my best to make her proud. It is times like these that you realize how much work still needs to be done. I just know we can do it.