• Nick Hartkop

September 1, 2021 (BPD/Positivity)

When I was diagnosed and started treatment, I was given a workbook which I used called The Borderline Personality Disorder Workbook (Daniel J. Fox, PhD). It was a tool that helped me understand the symptoms of BPD and from that point I was able to work with my therapist on them.

The symptoms are: 1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment (APA 2013, 663) 2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation (APA 2013, 663) 3. Identity Disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self (APA 2013, 663) 4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self damaging (for example, spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating) (APA 2013, 663) 5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self mutilating behavior (APA 2013, 663) 6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (APA 2013, 663) 7. Chronic feelings of emptiness (APA 2013, 663) 8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (for example, frequent displays of temper, constant anger, and recurrent physical fights (APA 2013, 663) 9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms (Paranoid ideation is being afraid that others are plotting against you, and dissociation is mentally separating from physical or emotional experiences, or both) (APA 2013, 663)

You can find this list on page 8. I will include a link to the resource: https://www.amazon.com/Borderline-Personality-Disorder-Workbook-Integrative/dp/1684032733


If you have read about me or been reading these blogs, you'll know that I have displayed all of these behaviors in my life, and before I started medication or therapy, I displayed them very badly. Especially anger. Anger is the one I struggle with the most, and I still struggle with it daily. BPD is a spectrum, and unique to the individual, and my anger is intense. The book includes a lot of helpful information on controlling high risk situations, challenging and changing dysfunctional beliefs and growing beyond destructive fears, beliefs and wishes. It's a wonderful resource to use accompanied by professional help and medication. It's something that helps me actively think about my illness and to control it.


There has been a lot of good in my life that has come from the failures I have had. I am in a place where I am happier with the social circle I surround myself with who understands BPD and there is a mutual respect between us all. I get to spend every day with my wife who is my best friend and have adventures together. It is easy a lot of the time to become consumed by negativity when you are stigmatized by your mental health, but in my day to day, I live a safe fulfilling fun life. I'm going to use this blog entry to list things that I have had in my life to reinforce that it is possible to see beauty in the world and be happy even when ill.


Positivity:

  • Walking next to mountains holding hands with Emily. I like the way her hand fits into mine and how her palms feel.

  • The way she smiles at me and tells me everything is going to be okay.

  • The way she says I love you

  • Collecting old movies and games that we display on our shelf

  • Getting piercings and tattoos with my wife

  • Meeting with my rabbi and discussing mental health

  • Waking up every morning at 7 am to get a coffee for my routine (Routine is good for me. If I follow a day to day routine the stabilization of it helps my BPD)

  • Walking around Best Buy just because

  • Making friends with our neighbors and buying their kids gifts when they graduate school

  • Watching Emily paint

  • Writing music and being able to express myself through that

  • Having people message through this blog. It has made me feel accepted

  • Building computers. (I became obsessed with it last year, and I built a PC that was constantly struggling, so figuring that out is fun for me)

  • Going to the movies every weekend. Always stoned. Emily is straight edge, but I can't go out in public unless I smoke because of the fear I have of people wanting to hurt me

  • Cutting the grass in our backyard (Which I need to do today)

  • Looking at the sky and thinking about if there is an afterlife (It's a scary thing but something positive as well because we are all going to die)

  • Making Emily laugh

  • Emily making me laugh

  • Taking road trips (Which we haven't been able to because of COVID, but soon hopefully)

  • Going to Uwajimaya

  • Going to the bookstore to collect manga (Persona 5 currently)

  • Writing poetry

  • Being able to connect with people who face the same struggles I do mentally

  • Playing games with Emily. Its something we do daily and it's my favorite part of the day

  • Driving through the country to the little diner we go to.

  • Holding Emily while she falls asleep and laying next to her hearing her breathe.

  • Seeing people smile

  • Seeing families together having fun

  • Seeing addicts recover

  • Watching videos on people who make positive impacts with BP and BPD

  • Seeing birds fly

  • Seeing clouds just before it rains

  • Watching rain from my bedroom at night and seeing the droplets reflect off the lamppost in our neighborhood

  • Dreaming about a life where I don't feel the way I do most days

  • Dreaming about having a family

  • Dreaming about my father telling me he loves me just because, not because I had to earn it.

  • Watching the sun and the stars and the moon

  • Driving to the city for ice cream

  • The way Emily tells me I'm a good man and there is hope for my future

  • Being able to give Emily confidence and support

  • Cleaning the house and doing dishes so Emily has a nice home

  • Bringing her donuts and coffee in the morning

  • Having a friend and not feeling alone, even when manic, even when I deserved it. My best friend made sure I was never alone, and I make sure they're never alone either

  • Lighting candles

  • Eating Ramen

  • Playing Dungeons and Dragons

  • Printing off pictures we take and putting them into our book

  • Emily and I bought a tattoo gun and gave each other tattoos for our marriage anniversary.

These are just some of the things that are positive in my life, and when I write them out, I reflect on how much good I have. I am going to continue my treatment and journey into being the person I need to be, my past, BPD and BP do not define me, but they shape my future. I love my home and my partner, and the life we share.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to message anytime through the contact form, I will always try to get back to you.


Nick


Persona 5 Cosplay:


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On a music related note, I should have some updates on merchandise and the new album soon. Thank you to everyone who has inquired about it. I've been learning the violin and am trying to incorporate it into my music. I am starting to think the release is going to take longer than initially anticipated because I need this album to be able to accurately display the emotions I am trying to convey. I am really happy with what I've written so far, but I am in no rush to put something out, because I want to write songs again that people relate to. The release will have a merch and vinyl run that will go to charity, and I am hoping to share the art and title with you soon. Thanks for listening.


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