Borderline Personality Disorder, contrary to what you've probably been told in the past, is completely curable. Honestly, it’s not even really that difficult of a thing to do. I know, even as I write this, that a lot of people will completely reject this notion. But as somebody who once had the disorder as powerfully as anybody ever has, and who now does not have it, frankly, my opinion is the only one that matters here.
Do you know what one of the most complicated parts of recovery is? Sorting bullshit from truth. Guess where most of the bullshit comes from? From those talking the most about Borderline Personality Disorder, of course. And who do you suppose does the most talking about Borderline Personality Disorder? "Experts" do.
If you are somebody who has had all the “best treatments” and you still have Borderline Personality Disorder, what do you suppose that says about the true value of those treatments? Who is classifying those treatments as “the best treatments” to begin with? People the treatments cured? Or are they being classified that way by people who have their careers and reputations riding on the popularity of such treatment? The bottom line is, if you still have Borderline Personality Disorder after a certain amount of time of trying to get better, it’s because the information you have chosen to believe in is bullshit. That’s just all there is to it.
For whatever reason, it seems most people would actually prefer to believe that Borderline Personality Disorder is incurable, rather than to consider the alternative possibility: That the people who you assume to have the answers, and who are supposed to have the answers, are simply telling you the wrong things.
If you are one of the many readers who have serious, knee-jerk doubts about everything I’ve said up to this point, I genuinely hope you will subscribe to my articles, listen to my podcast, make use of every resource I make available, and then - not before, but then - judge for yourself whether what I have to say is logical, reasonable, and demonstrates an authentic, comprehensive understanding of this disorder; insights you may not find anywhere else. I clearly can’t include everything I have to say, or that you need to know, in any single article, or in any single podcast episode. That’s why I have written many articles, and have recorded many hours of podcast episodes - to provide the comprehensive insights on this subject that you need in order to trust me as a reliable source on this subject.
Borderline Personality Disorder itself is an ethereal thing, an abstract concept that is intangible and, literally, all in your head. Yet, there is nothing ethereal about its effects. They manifest visibly and physically, in the real world.
These two things together - the ‘imaginary’ cause, combined with the real effects - create quite a paradox for the analytical mind. It’s a hard thing to get a firm grasp on, in the beginning.
I've described in the past how I felt that if there were something I could physically get my hands on, I could fix it. Like when your car breaks down, you get up under the hood with a flashlight to get a good look at it, physically see the crack, the leak, or the broken part, and then get a physical hold of it. This is what the human experience of fixing things is like, as we are accustomed to it: With concrete, visual, and tactile, feedback.
So feeling lost as to where to start to fix an emotional disorder is perfectly natural. I myself felt the same way.
Let me list here the order of steps, or stages, in the process of full, complete recovery, as I personally experienced it:
1. Consuming information, but superficially. (Lacking true insight.) Able to parrot explanations like an academic professor, but not truly comprehending, or having deep insight, for the true nature of what these explanations represented in practical terms; lacking genuine understanding for their broad implications. The information, therefore, lacked any genuine influence or power over me.
2. Epiphany, or revelation. This was when a concept I thought I thoroughly understood was told to me, probably not for the first time, and yet, because of the way it was said, the timing of it, and the nature of the person saying it (I had a natural, genuine receptiveness to this person; his manner appealed to me), a fortress wall, which had been shielding me from genuinely seeing, accepting and absorbing truth, crashed down in an instant.
It literally felt like a wall coming down - or a waterfall of realization suddenly washing over me.
In fact, I will tell you exactly what it was like. Have you ever seen computer-generated, Hidden 3D Art? The technical term is stereogram. These were popular in malls in the 1990s. One moment, you are looking at a flat image that is a pretty display of color, but nothing more. You believe you are seeing the thing as it is meant to be seen, but you are not. This is what the ignorance before an epiphany is like. You look, and believe you see, but your mind is not ready to accept what is below the obvious.
With Hidden-3D Art, your eyes relax, and suddenly, your vision penetrates the 2D surface. A dynamic, fully-formed 3D image appears. You are no longer looking at a flat image; rather your vision has penetrated deep beyond the surface. The image inside is so plain to see - so clear - you wonder how you could have ever missed it! See if you can’t see the brontosaurus in the image below, and you will understand what I am describing.
For my recovery epiphany, from one second to the next, my eyes opened, and I saw the enormity of something that just a mere moment before I had been completely blind to. I suddenly saw how the concept we were discussing was not a concept, but an undeniable reality about a subconscious perspective that I was carrying around, which until that very moment I had been utterly unaware of having, and that was influencing my entire approach to life. This epiphany, or revelation, did not only involve the reality that I had been unable to see before, but I could also suddenly see the greater implications of it; how it was undeniably related to dozens of other aspects of my life.
I was so certain I knew myself. After all, I’m me. Yet this epiphany (there’s no other way to describe it) revealed that I did not know myself. I had been living on autopilot, as a passenger within myself, never questioning why I reacted, behaved, felt, or thought, the ways I did; just going along for the ride. I was living with a stranger, and the stranger was me.
I’m spending a lot of time trying to explain this stage of my recovery, because I want others to strive to experience what I did. I deeply believe it is the single, most important breakthrough that must happen in recovery. All it takes is a single moment, just one eye-opening breakthrough like this - which can happen in an instant - to rip off the veil that is preventing you from making authentic progress.
Why is this so important? Because this one experience leads you to genuinely question, “What else have I been oblivious to?” It opens you up to authentically, for the first time ever, being able to sincerely search for, discover, and accept more truth.
3. Hitting rock bottom. This is when the weight of my losses, and the realities of the damage I had caused others finally became too much to bear. The pain became too excruciating. I decided firmly that night that there was only one option moving forward: To identify and fix whatever emotional unhealth I was dealing with, once and for all.
At this stage, I still did not know that Borderline Personality Disorder was the specific thing I was dealing with - identifying it would still not happen for months. But the fact that I had my hitting-rock-bottom event so long after I had my enormous epiphanies, is not, I would say, the order in which it typically happens for most people.
The lesson here is that there is no 'One-Two-Three' List that you can superficially follow for genuine recovery. The authentic cure to Borderline Personality Disorder is accurate education and insight, and your authentic insights, and education process, is unlikely to unfold in the exact same order as it happened for me.
So I often say, and it is true, that people offering 'Step Programs' are good at selling books, but that is all their approach is good for: Selling books.
And these 'experts' know very well that they are cashing in on other people's desperation, while not providing them with any real solution. Because in their desperation, and desire for a magic pill, people will buy books which offer the sorts of superficial fixes which involve 'Do this, then do this, and then do this'.
Because I speak of genuine recovery - of authentically leaving behind emotional unhealth, and of attaining a state of true, permanent, good emotional health, I cannot provide you a list of things to do in a certain order, because that is not how people truly become accurately and comprehensively educated, and acquire insight. Notice that in regards to the very list I am providing here in this article, I have been careful to explain that it is simply the order of stages as I personally experienced them; not that this is the order in which you should superficially try to repeat your own education and insight.
4. Consuming information again, but this time from a place of insight, or enlightenment, and genuineness. This was also when I began to suspect that much of the information from the professional community was erroneous. Before, I accepted whatever the professional community said at face value, on the merits of their position in society. Now, my powers of reason were being opened up, and I was able to pair new knowledge and understanding to direct experience.
5. Years of meditating and contemplation. There is not a lot to say about this. It is the longest portion of recovery, and for anybody reading, the most boring to describe. See, after a while, the Law of Diminishing Returns kicks in, and there is no new, important information to be obtained from external sources. At this point, recovery involves ruminating (when I speak of 'meditation', this is the only thing I am referring to: Deep thought, ruminating) over what you now know, and analyzing your personal life history under the light of new understanding, from every angle imaginable. This takes time. This is when you start achieving a comprehensive understanding of Borderline Personality Disorder; the broad, complete picture of how it came to be, how it went unnoticed, how it affected every aspect of your existence: A comprehensive, complete, authentic, intuitive understanding.
6. Discrediting the “experts". After five years or so of just going on about my life, while ruminating and contemplating, I had a complete picture of Borderline Personality Disorder. The puzzle pieces were all in place and fitting into their places without any wrangling. What this means is that my explanation for one aspect of the disorder did not conflict with my explanation for another aspect of the disorder. Instead, every single part harmonized. I could now see how one thing directly influenced another thing, and how everything was related to everything else. Once I got to this point, it was not difficult to see the clear falsehoods the professional community, in general, was selling.
Do you remember what I listed as the first stage of my recovery? That is where the majority of the professional community is. Their understanding of the disorder is superficial. The information you get from most of them is parroted. They intellectually obtained information which they then intellectually pass on to you. Maybe you’re wondering, “Don’t you have a psychologist to thank for your epiphany?” Yes, I do. But I had to go through fifteen psychologists before I found him and started getting accurate information and insights. Additionally, this was a psychologist who entered the field because he himself had recovered from something similar, and he wanted to use the experience to help others. This is a relevant distinction, and the reason I recommend that if others are going to search out a therapist, this sort of personal experience should be a requirement before they get the job.
7. Recovered from Borderline Personality Disorder.
Accurate, comprehensive education and insight is what cures Borderline Personality Disorder. I know this is impossible for a lot of people to understand. But there’s really nothing more to it. Education and insight undoes the root cause of the disorder, which are the two subconscious, distorted core beliefs I am always talking about, and replaces those false perceptions with perceptions that reflect reality. Reality, in turn, reflects emotional health.
This is what education does: It pulls you out of ignorance and informs you. Once informed, you can’t slip back into an uninformed state.
But this education has to be based on accurate information, and it can’t be limited to head knowledge. It has to be accompanied by authentic, comprehensive understanding, and insight. The fact that the disorder has a root cause (the two distorted core beliefs) from which the entirety of the disorder originates, is a great thing. It means you only have to straighten out one thing, not three-dozen things.
Don’t get distracted and misdirected by trying to control your anger, soothe your emotions (DBT), learn empathy, adopt tools for dealing with fear of abandonment, and all of these other things that do not address the problem. None of these things I just listed is the problem. They are symptoms of the problem. A DBT therapist can make you feel better temporarily - she’s soothing your symptoms. This creates an illusion of progress. But it is not progress. You will have to go back to keep getting your symptoms soothed, because the cause has not been fixed. It will forever be fueling the symptoms.
Genuine progress is not possible as long as the fundamental cause of the disorder is not addressed and undone. And the only way to achieve that is through a comprehensive, complete understanding of the two distorted core beliefs; Clearly seeing and understanding everything about their development and involvement in your personal life.
8. Depression was the last thing to go, as I've explained before, in various mediums. In fact, this is the origin for the identity of my work: The Last Symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder. It is an identity I chose because it reflects forward, genuine progress against the disorder, and offers hope; the light at the end of the tunnel. Though the journey through that dark tunnel is not fun for anybody, seeing the light at the end tells you that you're nearly on the other side.
You may be wondering why, if I was free of Borderline Personality Disorder for the first time in my life, would I be depressed?
Because new clarity and authentic understanding bring with them the ability to see the true, tragic nature of your losses and the harm you have caused to people you care about, and the horror of its permanence. This clarity and understanding also bring with them the ability, for the first time, to see the true nature and seriousness of the abuses that were committed against you when you were merely an innocent child, by people who claim to 'love' you, and you begin to realize that those people have never known what genuine love is, because love simply does not ever behave in those ways. You see the full extent and gravity of the effects of all of these inexcusable abuses, and you realize all of the good things in life that have been snatched away from you as a direct result of these past abuses. All of these things happened the way they happened and can never be undone, yet they were entirely avoidable. These realities are unbelievably heavy and tremendously sad. It takes time to digest them, and come to accept them.
In my case, I destroyed relationships with those I love so much; Such innocent, and good people, who authentically loved and cared for me. They were the last people on earth who ever deserved to experience betrayals such as what I put them through. This took me some time to come to peace with and accept.
The payoff is that it is followed by a sunrise, and the start of authentic contentment and emotional health. One finally emerges, for real, out into the warm light at the end of that tunnel.
There are different types of depression. There is depression that makes you feel bad about yourself and is hopeless. Then there is depression that makes you feel bad about what you did, or about what happened, but that is not hopeless.
My depression was a necessary, healthy, constructive, healing stage that I had to go through. A profound sadness for what I could not have prevented, and that I now couldn’t change, as well as regret for what I did to everybody - but minus any blame. I don’t blame myself. I accept responsibility, but I don’t blame myself. There is an enormous distinction there.
I was ignorant when I was being manipulated by Borderline Personality Disorder. I didn’t know I had a disorder, so how could I have prevented what happened? I reasonably could not have. And once my eyes were opened, I made every effort to eliminate the disorder causing me to behave as I did in the past. There is nothing to be ashamed about there.
On the other hand, if I never made an effort to understand what was going on and then change it, that would be a poor reflection of my character. What in fact happened is still horrible, and I’m still responsible for what happened. But it happened despite my character.
Constructive depression doesn’t beat you down more. It recognizes the good parts of yourself, while at the same time making you accept the bad things you’ve done, in the correct context. It causes you to mourn for the things you will never be able to change, but it doesn’t rob you of hope for the future.
Destructive depression, by contrast, is not based in emotional balance and health. It exaggerates the negative, and it causes you to beat yourself down non-constructively. It accuses you night and day, like a wagging finger in your face. It makes you question your inherent self-worth.