Hope is a 4 Letter Word

DBT is a recognized treatment for BPD.  This has been proven through clinical trials and it has been used to help many patients.  I was introduced to DBT while I was in hospital, even before my BPD diagnosis.  I found it to be very helpful for me, even in the small doses offered during my stay.  It was encouraging when my doctor let me know I was on the waiting list for the DBT program offered by the health authority’s outpatient department.  After a little research, I found that an actual program run the way it was intended by the founder of DBT consists of much more than what I had seen.  I had only been given a cursory introduction to some of the concepts.  If that was helpful, the full program may actually make it possible for me to live a fulfilling life!
   That was three months ago.  Last week I found out I am not on the waiting list for DBT.  The waiting list is in fact closed because the resources to offer the program are not sufficient to meet the needs.  There are DBT programs available in the private sector, but the cost is around $10,000.  That is impossible, especially considering my illness is keeping me from decent employment.  I often wonder if the cost of not treating mental illness is actually more than the cost to the government of an effective mental health system.  When you consider human suffering, I am certain an effective system would be much cheaper.
  So here I am with a diagnosis, the knowledge that a great treatment exists and no access to that treatment.  At least the system can offer medications, right?  Did I mention that no medications have been shown to be effective in treating BPD?  There are medications to help with some of the symptoms.  My latest one seems to be pretty effective so far for sleep and seems to work some for mood stabilization.  What I mean by that is that I find I am much more calm about this lousy situation I have found myself in.  I still think it is lousy and it is hard to see any hope.  
   For now I will take what help I can find and continue to search for more.  The hope I had when I left hospital is gone, though. 

Stigma

So far I have made it through another week.  Two days ago, I wouldn’t have given good odds on my being here today to write this.  I am so tired of just making it through each day.  I want to feel like I am actually living each day.  Maybe I would be happier if there wasn’t a part of me that knows that I could feel better than I do right now?
  The biggest accomplishment for me this week was an interview with social assistance.  I think it went well and hopefully I will have some income soon.  An advocate from a local nonprofit organization went with me.  Having the support, even just as a cheerleader made it easier.  Not being able to work and relying on social assistance has brought up some unanticipated feelings, though.
   My father was a conservative southern republican.  His views on social assistance were not kind to the people who need it.  I haven’t really thought about that in years and years.  My views and his have obviously always been miles apart.  I can only imagine what he would have to say if he were to learn that his only son is, in fact, a daughter who is not able to work because of mental illness.  
   Anyway, while I was growing up I often heard his take on anyone who couldn’t work.  I heard how mental illness is not real in his eyes and how anyone could just suck it up and work if they really wanted to.  This week I have found myself thinking his thoughts about me.  I have never thought that about anyone else, but I am applying his standards and his stigmas to myself.  It really sucks but I can’t seem to convince myself otherwise.  I feel so ashamed for being how I am and not being able to work or be productive.  On top of that, I am ashamed for sharing in any part of my fathers conservative views, even if they are just applied to me.  
  All this coupled with extremely dissapointing news about DBT treatment has made this one of the tougher weeks for me.  I think I will probably just hide at home this weekend to try to recharge for week ahead.  I really just want to be halfway normal and be able to find some joy in my life.  I hope I can get there someday before I destroy myself.

I Give Up

When I heard my diagnosis of BPD, I thought it was pretty grim.  I had responded quite well to DBT though and my doctor said she had put me on a waiting list for the DBT program the health system offers.  That was three months ago, the wait for the program was supposed to be 12 to 18 months.  Day to day life hasn’t been easy, but I knew the help I so desperately wanted was in my future.  Today I found out I am not on the wait list and they have in fact closed that list so I never will ne on it.  The help promised to me that has kept me going, is not available.  They have given me a diagnosis and shown me it is possible to overcome it but they will not provide the treatment to help me.  I am tired and can’t keep fighting on my own.  What I have been holding on for isn’t there any longer.