Clients struggling with BPD have been the hardest clients to work with. Some of their reactions are very predictable, but that doesn’t mean those reactions can easily be avoided. There is a script running and it’s very hard to stop it. The first step as with all problems is to acknowledge that it’s there. Once they understand what is happening they can prepare better. They can realize substance abuse is not the answer, that the way (either people or situations seem to totally reject them or people and situations seem ideal, to put it very simply). When one knows what is going on one can keep his or her impetuous, emotionally charged reactions and reflexes in check, because these can do a lot of damage.

Helpful are:

(this is not a complete list of everything that can help, only a collection of suggestions)

– building a healthy routine and sticking to it for life basically
– realizing that nobody is ideal and there will be no ‘savior’
– the solution ultimately lies within
– exercise to channel excess energy, but not in an extreme way (generally: nothing extreme!)
– accepting that pleasure and thrill seeking is just a form of kicking the can down the road and will not lead to healing
– expression through art forms
– surrounding yourself with people who understand what is going on and can be supportive
– meditation, yoga, calming, balancing rituals
– finding purpose in life
– being in a warm, appreciative work environment (those work environments exist, but admittedly are not the norm…)
– spotting black and white thinking and actively building a reflex to no longer accept these extreme thinking patterns
– having a trusted counselor
– journaling
– writing a letter to a toxic parent (you can ask me for details if interested)
– avoiding drugs in any form
– avoiding social media (social media can trigger exactly the thinking patters a person suffering from BPD is already prone to…)
– reading about BPD
– realize how quickly you feel rejected and train your mind to reread situations before you conclude you are being rejected
– prioritizing deep and sufficient sleep and healthy eating patterns (careful, cause we modern humans are notoriously bad at putting a truly healthy diet together, best do this in cooperation with someone who knows food and is her/himself a good example of someone with a good eating pattern)
– have the patience to wait for a partner with whom you can build something and don’t jump into ‘easy’ hook-ups
– don’t fill ‘the void’ with extreme behavior such as overeating, substance abuse, hanging out with the wrong people, sex without love, dangerous behavior, etc Anyone with BPD will know more examples of what can be used to fill the void, or at least to have that illusion, cause the void cannot be filled with any of these. Sit with the void, and trust that answers will come if you don’t run from it, but sit with it in silence
– don’t idealize anyone and don’t condemn anyone to hell either
– having regular self-care rituals
– spiritual practices
– realize you don’t have to give into impulses or your mind in general, observe thoughts as they come and go, reacting is optional
– don’t look for quick external validation fixes, set long term goals
– find a way to serve with your talent

One of the challenges is that too much of a good thing can become a bad thing, so any helpful practice should be embraced with moderation and not seen as THE solution.

As I reread this list it’s almost as if am recommending people to start living like monks. That’s not what am suggesting. What am saying is that if you are suffering from BPD you will – in my opinion – have to be the very careful, very dilligent and very balanced herder of your mind, kind, but strict.

It’s a terrible thing to be confronted with, but there is a way out. With enough discipline, enough self-care and enough focus on actively attracting nurturing people and nurturing situations into our life and cutting ties with whatever is harmful. An important component is finding a way to connect, to contribute, to find meaning and purpose, a compass.

Luckily more and more is understood and mapped out when it comes to BPD, there are practices that work to learn how to live with it and not let the condition have such a negative impact.

If you are struggling with this and are trying to build a good life for yourself and those around you then you are a hero in my eyes.