BPD Book: Pay Attention To Me!
A review of Kelly South's Pay Attention to Me: A Fairly Accurate Story:
This story of one woman's battle with Borderline Personality Disorder may be a short read, but it packs a few punches! It certainly brought up some memories of my own recovery days!
This book comes from two perspectives: from Kelly's journal and from her therapist's notes. The client - Kelly's - journey through her own Borderline Personality Disorder treatment will definitely bring up emotions in you.
If you have Borderline Personality Disorder, you will likely relate heavily to the suffering she describes in her journal pages. The simultaneous desire to live, to change, and at the same time, to give up on the fight. The ups and downs of therapy week by week. The confusion and chaos of trying to understand yourself and the world around you. The uncovering of trauma and pain and having to "hash it out" with your therapist. Though your story may be different in detail, you will likely see something of yourself in the author as I did.
However, as you read the therapist's notes alongside Kelly's journal entries, you also see a compassionate approach to treatment. And this is one of the main reasons I enjoyed this book so much.
Kelly's therapist, Robin, helps guide her through the process of examining herself, her thoughts, her behaviors, and her symptoms. It shows how powerful recovery can be when you have a therapist who is committed, and willing to go the extra mile. A therapist who is determined to stick it out with you through thick and thin, despite your own attempts to sabotage or quit.
Robin observes her client's ups and downs with a patient and professional attitude. Robin is the calm in the midst of the storm. She remains neutral and consistent throughout Kelly's treatment. She is both honest and gentle in her approach. And she commits to sticking by her client as the road to recovery unfolds in all of its chaos and glory.
In the end, it is a story of triumph and teamwork for both Kelly and Robin.
Robin and Kelly face one battle after another, but they do it together, as a team. Therapist and client, working alongside each other, each with their roles to play in the recovery journey. This book is a testament to the healing that can happen when someone with Borderline Personality Disorder commits to changing their lives... and when a good therapist commits to helping them, no matter what it takes.
Recovery with BPD is not an easy path. But it is possible. This book reminds us, as Kelly says in the afterword: "There is so much hope."