Good day, humans!
Being on the Write or Die show was my VERY first podcast appearance of all time. VERY exciting for me, indeed!
My name is Samantha. I go by Sam and use she/her pronouns. I’m from Welland, Ontario and a current resident of St Catharines, ON. I am a mental health warrior, a survivor of addiction, and a fierce advocate for and lover of people. I hope you’re feeling well today, whatever that means for you.
Some super important things we covered in this episode were Borderline Personality Disorder, which is something I live with, and the 9 different traits associated with it:
- An intense fear of abandonment, even going to extreme measures to avoid real or imagined separation or rejection
- A pattern of unstable intense relationships, such as idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn’t care enough or is cruel
- Rapid changes in self-identity and self-image that include shifting goals and values, and seeing yourself as bad or as if you don’t exist at all
- Periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality, lasting from a few minutes to a few hours
- Impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling, reckless driving, unsafe sex, spending sprees, binge eating or drug abuse, or sabotaging success by suddenly quitting a good job or ending a positive relationship
- Suicidal threats or behavior or self-injury, often in response to fear of separation or rejection
- Wide mood swings lasting from a few hours to a few days, which can include intense happiness, irritability, shame or anxiety
- Ongoing feelings of emptiness
- Inappropriate, intense anger, such as frequently losing your temper, being sarcastic or bitter, or having physical fights
You can read more about it here: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20370237
In the show we also talked about relationships and I’d like to take a moment to explain a little bit about how BPD caused problems for me in mine.
Because I entered teen years/early adulthood with this very powerful fear of abandonment, I had this tendency to latch onto guys who weren’t the greatest for me because, as we talked about in the show, being with someone was better than being single, or so was my belief at the time. Because I was soooooo afraid of rejection, I was constantly seeking a long-term permanent relationship, and sometimes that didn’t lead me to the greatest outcomes. My takeaway for you is this:
- If you are deeply afraid of being alone, you are NOT ALONE. There are so many of us who live with these deep feelings everyday. There are ways to maintain and keep connections with fellow humans without abandoning your self-respect, your dignity, your value, and without changing your personality. Often the most genuine, authentic and fulfilling relationships are the ones where you DON’T have to give up any of these things.
- A relationship will not save you. No one is more capable of taking care of you the WAY you are. ONLY YOU can meet your needs for care, compassion and love in the way that you need. If you have NO idea how to do any of these things, again you are NOT ALONE here. It takes time, it’s a process, and you matter enough to go through that process. Your first step can be making that call for therapy if that’s something you think might benefit you. It can be following certain people on social channels for inspiration and motivation. It can be just getting out of bed. That is OKAY! You matter enough to show yourself some love! I am a firm believer that we all have that deep love inside of us, that maybe we need to learn some tools to access it, and that’s okay. That love is always there when we need it. But it cannot come from someone else. Of course, it’s wonderful to be loved and supported and I am in no way suggesting you rid yourself of people who love you, and who love you well. Support is KEY. My point is that no one can help us, take care of us, and love us better than we can because no one knows our needs more than we do.
I mean I could go on and on about this for a long time, but I also want you to enjoy your day. So! I’m so honoured and SO PUMPED that I got to be on this incredible podcast, with an incredible leader having incredible conversations. It was a gift to be able to share parts of my story in a safe, open, welcoming space. Thank you Randi-Lee for everything you do! You are inspiring.
If you, like me, have a hard time dealing with difficult emotions, might feel like you want to get therapy but aren’t sure, feel like you might rely on alcohol or other substances a little more than what feels good for you and want to talk about it with someone, I invite you to reach out to me! I’m more than happy to walk you through a thing or two and provide you with some resources, should that be what you need. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading, humans! And be well!
Link to my latest one-woman virtual performance Subject to Change here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icwXv_va56I