Sometimes I look for a person or a reason for an answer to my Borderline Personality Disorder. And question why I have experienced particular traumas in my life. Undoubtedly there are reasons why I do have this mental health condition, but lack of faith is not one.
Sometimes when I am in despair, I think that God is punishing me with BPD for the hurtful things I have done to others. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
I do not have BPD because I didn’t/don’t pray enough, because I am a “bad” person, that I don’t read the bible enough, that I swear, or have trouble managing my anger.
No, in fact, I believe my experiences and struggles are what make me ‘me’. I admit that God can heal and has healed, but healing is not always in the human way that I or others perceive it to be. We are all broken and we all have our troubles and pain.
I am far from a perfect Christian. I am judgmental, I struggle to forgive, my language is terrible and I have struggled with addiction. But there is no such thing as a perfect life. And trying to be perfect by my standard or others is damaging.
It is only through God and my spirituality that I have learnt to use my diagnosis to help me see the value and meaning to my life.
Prior to being diagnosed, my life lacked meaning, purpose and connection. I didn’t see the true value of myself and I didn’t have an identity. So no, I don’t believe that God gave me BPD but through it I have found myself and connected with others more deeply.
God didn’t give me this pain, however, with this pain, I am able to do things I could never dream about. Yes, there are days I scream at God. I yell and plead that He will take this all away. But then I receive a message from someone saying how my story has helped them in some small way. It is then I realise my life, although I can’t see its value, has value to others.
What I want Christians to understand is that.
As Christians we are not exempt from hurting others or ourselves. In fact, to think otherwise is dangerous. Religious beliefs do cause isolation, lifelong pain and rejection. When really the love that God shows is authentic acceptance and love. That is not tainted by what I or others think.
So if you are struggling with your faith or your spirituality you are not alone. It is what makes you, unique.
If this is important to you. Ask your clinicians to support you in pursuing your spirituality. Whether that’s helping you incorporate prayer into your daily routine, using mindfulness to help you connect to a higher power and to help you make goals for attending faith-based groups.