Begin Your Recovery
Start your journey ... you are NOT alone! This inspirational parable may help those unsure how to get on the path to their personal journey of recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder.
A very interesting story is that of an Arab who wished to visit a friend living in a faraway country. The Arab was very poor - too poor in fact to be able to afford any form of transport for even part of the way.
He decided to make the journey on foot. It took him many weeks to traverse the deserts, climb the mountains, and ford the rivers.
Eventually, footsore and weary, he arrived at the home of his friend who greeted him with enthusiasm and amazement.
"However did you manage to make such a long journey?" the friend asked.
The Arab's answer was simple: "I started," he said.
Often when I am confronted with a task that looks as though it will be very long, difficult, or unpleasant, and I wonder how I am going to cope, I remember the Arab.
It is remarkable how much shorter, less difficult and less unpleasant a task will seem once it has been begun.
Frequently, we find that it is not nearly so bad as we had expected it to be; but be this as it may, there is no other way to achieve results than to tackle it.
It is extremely foolish to try to find a way out of, or around, a difficult job that simply must be done, and to put it off until a later date certainly does not help to make it any easier.
Conversely, delay may make the job seem harder.
Procrastination, we are told, is the thief of time. It is true that a great deal of time is robbed or wasted because people postpone acting when they should.
Opportunities are also wasted: those who procrastinate sometimes find that they have delayed too long and the chance has been given to someone else - someone willing to do the work on time.
The next time you are confronted with a task that you think will take a lot of your time, which seems to be beyond your capabilities or which seems as though it will be unpleasant, do not make it more difficult by wishing that you did not have to do it.
~ Author Unknown
How Do You Start the Journey of Recovery from BPD?
We suggest picking a Tool at random (whatever sounds nicest, whatever speaks to you the most, whatever your finger lands on with your eyes closed!) and focus on it for a couple of weeks. Notice where and how you could be using that Tool to improve things. I always suggest starting in retrospect. That is to say, don't expect that because you picked Tool A that for the next two weeks, any time XYZ situation occurs, you'll just whip out Tool A and put it to work. It doesn't work that way and is really a recipe for disaster/failure. Instead, let your life unfold as it normally does but keep that tool at the forefront of your mind. After a tough situation or a meltdown occurs, pull out the tool and work with it. If you'd been able to pull the tool out before things got out of control, what difference would it have made? What might have happened differently? How might that have looked and felt?
After a while with Tool A, pick another tool and spend a comparable amount of time focusing (retrospectively) on that one, Tool B. Go through the same processes: pull out the tool and work with it. If you'd been able to pull the tool out before things got out of control, what difference would it have made? What might have happened differently? How might that have looked and felt?
The more frequently you're able to visualize and understand the impact of the Tools (retrospectively) and the ways in which they can be used, the larger your Learning Library becomes. That means you're starting to train your brain to think in new ways with the retrospective work so that eventually you'll be able to stop yourself and say "Hey, this is like ABC situation and I bet if I use XYZ Tool, things will go better - let's try it!" and that is monumental. Half the recovery battle is slowing our knee-jerk reactions down so that we can employ our tools to formulate responses (instead of wild reactions.)
The other half of recovery work is, of course, practicing use of the tools to the point that they become your "standard operating procedure" - your default protocol - your knee-jerk autopilot. With each exercise you do in retrospect, you begin to erase the old default inner self-talk tapes that tell you you're unloved, worthless, going to be abandoned, etc. and you get to start recording new inner self-talk tapes to give you a better, more solid/stable, healthy foundation for your life.