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Borderline Personality Disorder

Hope Beyond Borderline Personality Disorder

Hope Beyond Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Self-Harm

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Guest Blog written by Rebecca


My story of hope has to do with my recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and self-harm. For many years I had suffered from this debilitating mental illness. I am going to explain the lead-up to being diagnosed, how I hit rock bottom, and how I have transformed from the inside out.




Throughout my childhood schooling, I was bullied. This first occurred in primary school, when a young boy pushed me down a school hill and I broke my collarbone. When I got to High School, I was still being bullied. The worst was being strangled with a school tie by two high school boys, I was in either grade 11 or grade 12. The physical bullying was just the beginning of my journey and there were also times in school when I was an outcast, where I didn’t feel like I belonged or was accepted. And the bullying wasn’t just physical... there were also times when there were just mean girls at school. Through the bullying in school, and feeling alone, my self-harm and depression started.


Depression and Self-Harm


Before I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), I was very depressed and was repeatedly doing self-harm to my body in any way that I could. By no means was this for attention (further into my story, you will understand the reasoning behind it, but I do not condone doing self-harm). The self-harm had started when I was in high school. I was bringing along a nail file; not just your blunt nail file, it was a sharp nail file. And I would hide it when I went to school and I would do the harming when I had felt violated or threatened by others. I didn’t know it at that time.

Throughout school I had run away at times; I did not like school because of the bullying. After I had finished high school, I then started seeing a psychologist at the Family Challenge psychology clinic, now called the Psychology Café in Mooloolaba. At the psychology clinic, I saw 2 or 3 psychologists. I had seen psychologists for over 10 years or just under. At the time I was a danger to myself and sometimes the people around me.

Throughout the depression, there was a time when I did not work for four years. When I ended up working in Brisbane at the courthouse, I was commuting for two years and this was not good for my mental health. Plus, I went through some adult bullying as well. But I kept on going. I decided to resign from that work and that’s when I didn’t work for four years. But I then decided to volunteer as a Justice of the Peace (QUAL) at Maroochydore Courthouse. I volunteered my time at my local church, C3 Kawana Waters, doing admin throughout the week, and crèche and multimedia on the weekends. This was throughout 2010-2014.

Even though I was still going to church, there were times when I went to the rock ledge at Mooloolaba Beach. It wasn’t just to look at the pretty ocean on the coast. For me, I was not thinking and my thoughts were not in a good place. I had wanted to leave. When I was working in Brisbane courthouse and after I had resigned, my mental health was going downwards. I was self-harming more, including using a sharp knife and taking it with me to church. I would harm on my wrists, legs, and stomach. I would sometimes hide it with a jacket. The harm just wasn’t with a knife; I had used my fingernails to scratch myself till I was bleeding. I had even overdosed/took too many painkillers.


Disorder/Weight Gain


Once this was getting worse, my psychologist got me to see a psychiatrist. I had to be put on the right medication to stabilize my mood, anxiety, and depression. I was put on anti-depressants, which then led me to be put on other medications like anti-anxiety tablets, anti-psychotic tablets, Valium, and Valpro (which gave me weight gain). I was on up to ten tablets, sometimes for years.

When my psychologists, psychiatrist, and doctors saw I was getting worse, ending up in the emergency ward and the medical center ward far too many times from self-harm injuries, overdosing on Valium, punching and speeding off in my car... My psychologist had to give me a paper to sign that I was not going to harm myself, or be in any danger to others. After a couple of years passed by, my psychologist decided to look up the symptoms that I had, and she worked out that I had Borderline Personality Disorder, depression, and anxiety.

This had started to make sense because these symptoms included: Fears of abandonment or rejection, struggling with relationships, thinking and feeling in extremes, unsure of self-identity, and damaging the self to feel better. Escaping painful experiences through dissociation (like I’m here but I’m not here), attempting suicide & self-injury, intense mood swings, and emptiness.

Once I had been diagnosed things were still not good and I started to blame myself and I didn’t use the tools I was given to help myself. My psychologist had given me strategies to use every day from our sessions but I just didn’t listen. The Disorder had taken over. I had no self-love, no self-acceptance, I didn’t know how to love myself or have others love me for me. The weight gain made that worse.

My attachment issues with others had heightened, especially at church. I had left Harvest Church in 2012 (not on a good note). I had felt rejected & alone. My best friend in 2013 had invited me to C3 Church Kawana Waters. My mental health was still not good at this time. But I kept going to my church every weekend. Even though the Disorder was bad, where I got attached to others at my church and I would leave each time crying, sometimes to the point of even punching my car and speeding off dangerously...  I kept going because I knew deep down that I really didn’t want to give up on life. Volunteering as Justice of the Peace and volunteering at my church was definitely helping me get through life.



Rock Bottom


I had hit rock bottom and realized that I had to change my life for the better, not give up on life, and had to stop my self-injuries. I kept ending up in the emergency room and at the mental health unit in Nambour. I had kept seeing my psychiatrist and doctor, and they both agreed that I was on the borderline of obesity. When they told me this in 2013/14, I was shocked.

This same year I had been sent to a DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) professional in Brisbane to see if they would treat the BPD Disorder that I had. After that first appointment, I knew things were bad. With all of the close relationships at church and out of church that I had damaged because of the Disorder, harming myself, sleeping most of the days... I even lost my memory for one week because I had taken too much Valium, wanting to feel numb.

This was also when the attachment issues at church had gotten worse. The people that I was looking up to and that I was close to, I was afraid of losing them. I got upset if I couldn’t say hello or goodbye to them, or I had taken words the wrong way. I felt rejection really easily. I got to the point where things seemed hopeless. I thought my own psychologist had given up on me, and others as well.

After realizing that my weight had gotten bad and my relationships with others weren’t good, to keep going to church and to not give up was a huge thing for me! In 2015 I decided to change my career and so I enrolled in the Cert 3 in early childhood. I graduated from that course and worked in childcare. Working in childcare wasn’t good for my mental health. Then came along my physical and mental transformation.



Before joining my gym, I used to hate exercise and I was too shy to talk to people. When I would go for walks by myself, my bad thoughts took over, so I would run away from my problems. In 2014, I decided to join Fernwood Fitness Maroochydore after my doctor and psychiatrist had told me I was on the borderline of obesity (I had weighed over 70kg). With my self-injuries, it was breaking my parents heart to see me hurting myself. It wasn’t until I had an appointment with Lisa Curry at Fernwood Fitness. She made sure that I had accountability, and the Fernwood owner was so caring and inviting when I first walked into the gym. At first, I was so shy I did not want to join any group classes whatsoever. But Lisa Curry challenged me to try group classes.

At first I was so nervous and scared. I hated doing anything to do with groups. But the trainers and instructors made it so easy and comfortable to just have fun and enjoy the class. Lisa Curry also gave me tough love by getting me off my backside. I did her boot camp through Fernwood. After the bootcamp, I decided to join the small group training sessions (similar to a hit session and yes it involves groups!) and I even joined the Zumba classes & the body balance class.

Throughout these classes, I made friends, got out of my comfort zone, had accountability, and had fun. I even went to the front of the class in Zumba after from starting at the back of the class. This was because the anxiety, depression and the Disorder... they were leaving.

I no longer take advantage of the medication I’m now on for my physical disability, I was determined to get fit and healthy, so that I could have good mental health. I’m now stronger with my upper body and I enjoy the Zumba classes I attend. I even dance at the front of the class and sometimes on stage!

In 2018 and 2019, I had a Labral hip repair. In 2021 I had a fall off my bed and was diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder. Through this, I had doctors not believing me, saying that it was all in my head. So I became disabled and use mobility aids.

But I’m actually stronger with my mental health. My lower body may be weak but my upper body is strong.




I no longer take Valium or anti-anxiety medication. I no longer overdose on medication or have suicidal thoughts. I have not self-harmed at all for 7 years. Yes, there are still ups and downs. But I know how to manage it now.

It helped to have the tough love from a few pastors at my C3 Church, and many others. These people taught me to write down what I’m grateful for each day. They stuck by me and Never Gave Up On Me and neither did God!

Exercise has helped my mental health. Through the journey, deep down I had a Never Give Up attitude. I had to challenge myself to want to change from the inside out. I found that exercise has really helped my mental health, as well as good coffee, great friendships, and my faith in God.

I now inspire others to realize that doing some kind of exercise can help our mental health.

I may now have Functional Neurological Disorder Disability and use mobility aids, but my mental health is so much stronger. I’m now a Para Bench Press Athlete and a Physically Challenged Bodybuilder with my pink walking stick and walker. I also love doing Zumba. These things I enjoy.

The tips that I can give with recovery from BPD and self-harm is:

1. Have good support around you. Find a support group, get active, join a volunteer group.

2. Write down what you are thankful for. Even if it’s just 3 things, start small.

3. Have a never-give-up attitude.

4. Be you. Be aware of your emotions, ride the journey and don’t stay down for too long. Pick yourself back up.

We are all on a journey and we are here to help one another. Don’t give up, there is hope!


 Learn more about my journey here: