I lived with Borderline Personality Disorder, unknowingly, for the first thirty-five years of my life.
Notice I just spoke in the past tense. I really had the disorder affecting me as powerfully as anybody ever has, and now I really don't have Borderline Personality Disorder.
After a major crisis which resulted in the total collapse of my life, and the excruciating loss of everything I held dear, I was forced to become an authority on Borderline Personality Disorder out of genuine, personal necessity. Over the course of roughly seven years, I managed to rid myself of the disorder for real.
I now speak openly of the experience, sharing the intimate insights I gained along the way. I educate others on the subtle (and not-so-subtle) falsehoods that saturate so many popular sources of information on this subject. It is misdirection that will only interfere with your efforts and keep you pointed in the wrong direction. I want to help you from wasting time on the same conflicting and erroneous information that I myself had to sort through on my way to authentic recovery, so that you might accomplish the same for yourself in less time.
I'm just a regular guy. I'm not a doctor, I'm not a psychologist, I'm not a therapist. I have no legal license in any field of emotional health or mental Health.
In fact, many things I share directly contradict the professional community in general. Still, It's not unusual for those within the professional community, worldwide, to reach out for my feedback. I'm simply a guy who gained tremendous insights from a life-long, first-hand experience, and who now shares those insights with others.
I have the unique advantage of understanding Borderline Personality Disorder (which is an emotional disorder, not a 'mental health' anything) intimately, from several directions:
1. As a person who once unknowingly had it affecting every aspect of my life. 2. As a person trying to rid myself of it. 3. Now as a person completely free of it, looking back.
My hope is that my overall body of work will provide you with every accurate insight and resource you could possibly need to do the work yourself of authentically recovering from whatever emotional disorder you might be dealing with.
A Bit More About Me
I'm originally from the central-Appalachian region of the US, where West Virginia, Kentucky, and southeastern Ohio meet. I was surrounded by wilderness growing up. One of my regular chores was to go down into the woods with a couple of buckets every night, to a naturally-occurring fresh-water spring, and haul water back to the house for my family to drink, cook, and wash with. Other chores included chopping firewood in the winter and things of this nature. This intimacy with the woods has carried on throughout my life, and today, I'm an avid, year-round, long-distance wilderness backpacker.
In my twenties, I moved to Columbus, Ohio to integrate myself into the Latino community there. I did this in the interest of mastering the Spanish language. Afterwards, I moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where I remained for over a decade. I still consider Philadelphia my adopted hometown.
After the crisis which led me to realize that I had Borderline Personality Disorder, I left Philly and spent several years near Boston. It was here that I fell in love with baseball, and particularly Fenway Ballpark and the Red Sox. Of course, I also love the Philadelphia Phillies.
I have experience in both blue-collar and white-collar professions. I worked for years as a builder, and also very extensively with stone. During the years of my manual labor, I was hard at work mastering the Spanish language, which became an all-consuming passion for me. Eventually, I became a professional Spanish interpreter in the medical field. I take much pleasure and pride in my experience as an interpreter, and I consider the development of the required skills a fine art. I've had the privilege of being on medical staff for several major, renowned hospitals in Philadelphia, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. My professional experience has placed me in the middle of every sort of high-pressure medical situation that one can imagine.
Few people know that at one point, I had very serious intentions to become a pilot. I studied aviation intently for a year and invested heavily into my preparation. There are several reasons why I ultimately gave up this pursuit. Regardless, I continue to love aviation and I still study it for pleasure today.
My Experience with Borderline Personality Disorder
At the age of 35, while married and living in Philadelphia, the accumulative pressures from a lifetime of trying to manage the effects of unidentified Borderline Personality Disorder reached an unsustainable level, and I suffered a crisis. My distorted thinking and destructive behaviors during this period ultimately led to the loss of everything: My wife, my home, my friends, most of my material possessions. Though not directly related to the emotional crisis itself, I also lost my job during this same period of time.
Although I loved my wife, I had been carrying on a long-term affair with a woman from work, and I developed very strong feelings for her; a convoluted situation thanks to the disorder I had yet to discover I was living with. The mistress, who discovered she was pregnant with our child, miscarried. In her pain, due to many of my decisions and behaviors, she left and cut off all contact.
With my wife, I had been seeking help from professionals in the psychology field to understand many of the issues I was dealing with even before this event with my mistress. For two years, not one of them provided any practical answers or even so much as properly identified Borderline Personality Disorder as the legitimate issue I was struggling with. They continued to call me back weekly and cash my checks, while never providing anything of practical value in return.
Eventually, I did meet a down-to-earth, no-nonsense psychologist with real insight about the underlying issues I was dealing with. His plain, direct, helpful explanations were a breath of fresh air. Finally, after two years of throwing money toward well-intentioned 'experts' who didn't know what they were talking about, I began to experience profound realizations and epiphanies that ultimately changed my life as I continued to build upon them.
Within approximately five years after beginning to accumulate these insights, I had rid myself of Borderline Personality Disorder authentically and permanently. I now use the intimate insights and knowledge I gained from that experience to help others avoid the same sorts of false information and misdirection that I myself once had to sort through.
My Disclaimer, My Approach, My Guarantee
I'm not a doctor. I have no legal license in any field of mental or emotional health. I assume no responsibility whatsoever for your thoughts, feelings, decisions, actions, and behaviors. Choosing to expose yourself to any aspect of my work means that you yourself are accepting full responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings, decisions, actions, and behaviors, at all times.
My intended audience are those who are already receptive and sincere. I'm not at all interested in trying to convince disingenuous people of anything, nor in arguing endlessly with skeptics, or verbally sparring with those who have no real interest in achieving real emotional health. "A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument or theory."
Authentic recovery from an emotional disorder is an individual accomplishment, and as such, nothing can happen that the individual himself or herself is not sincerely interested in for himself or herself. My intention for those who are receptive, and ready for accurate insights, is to facilitate these insights, as well as to help them identify and avoid falsehoods, misdirection, and misinformation, which saturates nearly every popular source of information on the subject of emotional disorders, and particularly Borderline Personality Disorder. As you expose yourself to The Last Symptom body of work, you will begin to learn for yourself what these outright falsehoods are.
You will notice that I avoid using common abbreviations in my work, such as 'BPD' and 'pwBPD'. I shun these for several reasons: First, laymen often confuse BPD with bipolar. So to avoid any confusion, I usually write out, or completely speak, the full name. However, there is an even greater reason for my avoidance of these types of abbreviations: They improperly equate the disorder that a person lives with as being an inseparable part of what makes that person who they are. This subtle type of thinking is an obstacle to recovery. Therefore, you are not a pwBPD. You are a person, and you have a disorder. It is a separable, fixable part of something you are dealing with. It is not in any way an inherent part of who you are.
My general approach is harshly honest, in good spirit. Brutally-honest straight talk, and mean-spirited talk are not the same thing. The purpose of the first is to remove all vagueness in the interest of painful truth, and this is the approach I find most effective. In the case of those who have lived a lifetime mired in denial and ignorance, this is what is necessary for ensuring one's greatest chance at escaping this lifelong, powerful disorder. The purpose of the second type of talk is to insult, and this is never my intention.
I will always tell you the truth about Borderline Personality Disorder, no matter who likes it or not. I haven't invented any of the things I teach out of thin air, and I never speculate on things I did not personally have to figure out for myself, out of personal necessity. Many of the things I share directly contradict what the professional community, in general, will tell you. If you reject the answers I provide, simply because you don't initially understand them, or because they offend you, or because they contradict what other, more-popularly embraced voices on the subject have told you, you will miss out on truly great, beneficial things.
On the other hand, if you ask for, or search for, better understanding on any point you initially disagree with, or that you find offensive, you will be rewarded with profound insights that can accumulate into authentic recovery.
I believe that those who genuinely need the insights I have to share will recognize the information as accurate, and practically useful. They will snatch it up as something of value. I believe this because I myself had no trouble recognizing real insights when I finally encountered them. They were instantly distinguishable from everything else I had been offered up to that point.