A year ago, before I became friends with Becky, I hadn’t really heard of BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and had very little knowledge of how it affects those who struggle with it every single day.
For #BorderlineAwarenessMonth / #BPDAwarenessMonth I wanted to share what I’ve learnt over the last year and what it is like for me as a friend of someone who struggles with this condition every day.
In Becky, I see someone who struggles with her confidence and often doesn’t believe that she can do things or often wonders why people want to be friends with her, especially with everything that she struggles with every single day. I also see someone who dedicates so much time to supporting others, creating a charity to give Self-Care packages to others, someone who is so kind and caring and a pleasure to spend time with.
On the occasions that I’ve spent time with her, I can see a beautiful kind, selfless person who is a true friend. I have taken so much time to understand her condition and have been able to see that she is more than her condition. You can see the truly amazing person beyond that, someone I’m lucky to have as a friend and extremely proud of.
There have been times when I’ve seen that Becky is struggling, but instead of ignoring that, I have taken the time to help her, sent her messages of support and it is incredible how much difference kindness and support can have on someone who was struggling and then you see a fighter, someone who pushes themselves to achieve things to show that they can do them, someone who is always trying to become a better person and someone who is always so kind.
Through the good days and bad days, she really is an absolute hero. Seeing someone who means a lot to you struggling so much is one of the hardest things as a friend, but taking the time to support them and chat to them when they are struggling can make such a massive difference to people. It is something I always try to do as much as I can.
From having a group of friends who struggle with various mental health conditions, it has made me wish that the stigma towards them would stop. If we could all take time to understand what they are going through, learn more about their condition and ask questions when we need to, we could learn that they are more than their condition. There will be good days and bad days, times when they will need lots of support to get through the day. A true friend will always be there to support people every single day and we shouldn’t treat people any differently because they have a mental illness.
I have become part of an amazing community of people, incredible campaigners and people making a difference every single day. I have met some of the most amazing kindest people ever and have heard so many inspiring stories. There will be days when the person is having a good day and everything seems fine with them and days when they are struggling so much and you see the harsh reality that their condition is always there. There are just days when they can control it better than others. Every single day is different but what should never change is your support for them.
If we can see the person beyond the condition and support them always, you can make a massive difference to them and help them more than you’ll ever know and then you can take pride in watching that person shine. We all want our friends to succeed. Let’s fight the stigma together and help create a brighter world.
Take time to understand them, speak to those who are struggling and encourage them to speak out and get the support they need and help them as much as possible. You will make a massive difference to them and sometimes you may even save a life.
Without support, there are some people who wouldn’t be here so the simple message is to support them and help them as much as you can and you really could save someone's life.
Well now we ALL want to be friends with Becky! Do you have a friend who has helped you through? Someone who's been there for you? Maybe just someone on social media that you may have never met. Give them a shout-out in the comments below.
You can keep up-to-date with Ross on Twitter, where he's @rossclark2017 (or even Becky who's @strongertoget). If you want to read more from Ross, he has his own blog over at rossclark2017.wordpress.com