Human Race: The This is MY Brave Speech I prepared... (04/29/2015)
May 2013, two years ago as of this week (the week of the show) I checked myself into Friend’s Hospital, a mental institution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although I had been in and out of therapy for few years, I had never been formally diagnosed. In fact, my therapist had reassured me that I did not have bipolar disorder, as my ex-boyfriend had accused me. –and she was right. I don’t have bipolar.
More than a week after checking out of the hospital and being sent to seek Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), I finally let myself Google it. I usually would have done it immediately. But I left the hospital feeling broken, like I couldn’t trust myself, like I should leave the work to the professionals.
When I read the Wikipedia site, I was alarmed to read DBT was designed for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). As I searched through literature and cinema, I found horror movies and self-help books for partners of BPD patients- about how to escape, how to leave… I went to my psychiatrist and asked him if this was my diagnosis. Before answering yes, I fit the criteria; he questioned me about why I was asking, why I needed to know. I told him, “I’m reading these books about DBT. I need to know if this is what I’m dealing with!”
For most of my life, I have suffered from depression, black and white thinking, fear of abandonment, suicidal ideation- I took too many pain killers when I was 22, with the intention to never wake up… and when the pain forced me to go to the emergency room for treatment, I accepted that I could not even die the way I wanted to… Now I’m 32.
Two years ago, I wrote this song- Not even realizing what I was saying… It was such a familiar sensation. For 30 years I had survived so many days of not wanting to get out of bed, not wanting to face the world, the human race… HUMAN RACE- other people, the rush between them, all trying to get somewhere… rushing to a finish line where there would be no winner!
When I wrote this song, it was beginning to occur to me, no matter where I went in this world, even if I just stayed alone in my bed all day… I could never escape myself.
Two years after my hospitalization, less than a year since I have stopped seeing BPD as a curse that no one can cure… From the days and nights of pain that felt unending- Now I see what a gift my personality disorder has been. I have more than seven job titles on my business card; speech pathologist, Reiki master, yin yoga instructor, nail technician, life coach, musican, and founder of aMUSEment EVents- a female artist collective that nurtures the creative spark in all women. I am exactly who I want to be! Without my “disorder” I would have never dreamed I could do so much…
I changed my vocabulary- I’m not impulsive; I have courage. I’m not manipulative; I’m charismatic… and I am not suicidal; I am ready to live and honor every day as if it were my last!