I'm acting in a play called "Nobody Needs to Know." In one scene, a recovering alcoholic explains that she once thought alcohol--vodka in particular--was the answer to her psychiatric symptoms. When another character asks why it isn't the answer, she gives several reasons why it isn't. Here are three reasons I've learned as to why alcohol isn't the answer to borderline personality disorder (BPD).
BPD and Substance Abuse
Shortly after I moved into the downtown Indianapolis area, I started betting on horse races at a bar (off-track betting, OTB). I realized I now had not one, but two addictions when I joked about buying a horse and naming it "Beer Money." While I'm in recovery, I still speculate about how my symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) fueled my gambling addiction. Thankfully, I caught it early.
If you look at my records from Richmond State Hospital, you'll see that I am a marijuana smoker. I don't think this should be part of my record since I smoked it only twice, both times for medical reasons. But because marijuana is not approved for medical use in Indiana, that apparently makes me a marijuana addict. It makes me wonder: When does drug experimentation become drug addiction?
Addiction can be one of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder. In my case, alcoholism both fuels and is fuelled by my psychiatric conditions. As I've progressed in therapy, I've learned that everything addiction told me is a lie.
On March 25, I celebrated one year of sobriety by the grace of God and the fellowship of Alcoholic's Anonymous (A.A.). (Wondering if you're an alcoholic? Try the CAGE test.) I've been in a somewhat reflective mood and have considered all I've learned over the past year. Three sayings I've taken to heart are: "Fake it 'til you make it," "Anger is the dubious luxury of normal people," and "Keep showing up until the miracle occurs."
Can we be addicted to self-injury? Could the act of self-harm effect us like alcohol or a drug? Recently my therapist and I have begun to work on my addiction to alcohol. One session went particularly rough and left me craving a stiff drink. However, I also wanted to self-injure. It was my way to cope, my way to deal with the pain. I then asked, "Could I be addicted to cutting?" Is it possible to be addicted to self-harm?