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How Hitting Rock Bottom Started My Journey of Healing From BPD and Addiction

"Do you know how hard it is to be friends with a person who wants to kill themselves then 5 minutes later they're ok? It's draining. Well, I am that person. The struggle impacts me daily, however, last Saturday I had an epiphany that I've been working on and the days seem to be getting better."

Hello! Who are you?

Hello, I am Rodrigo, and am currently living in Chihuahua, Mexico. I am currently unemployed and working on a couple of personal projects while I ponder about what to do next. My projects are my podcast (in Spanish), my music, and my Instagram page.

I am divorced with two kids and my biggest passion is music, it has always been my only friend. If it weren't for music I'd be definitely dead.

I am happy, yes, but I do have my bad days but that just means I'm human and I have emotions. Not all days are filled with sunshine, right? And even in the brightest days you still need an umbrella to cover the sun.

💡 By the way: Do you find it hard to be happy and in control of your life? It may not be your fault. To help you feel better, we've condensed the information of 100's of articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet to help you be more in control. 👇

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What is your struggle and when did it start?

I have Borderline Personality Disorder, which comes with symptoms of extreme emotions that range from anger to sadness to happiness to everything else. But these emotions are always dialed to 11.

And it's not just one emotion per day it's all the emotions all the time and they are extreme.

I don't know if it's part of BPD but I never feel wanted by anyone or loved even, it's such a huge sense of not being loved or wanted or not being part of anything or anyone and not knowing who you are.

I don't know who I am (a feeling that has worsened now that I found out that my family is filled with narcissists). Also, I think I'm the most hideous-looking person in the world, and that no one cares for me. 

Hypersexuality is another big one in my case, when I'm in a relationship it’s all about sex, I can have sex all day every day if I want to and I do self-pleasure a lot because of the little dopamine I get from it I suppose… 

I've never done hard drugs, but two of my uncles are cocaine addicts and that impacted me greatly growing up, cause I felt what it's like to be around an addict that will be cured “by the powers of god”. What made me fearful of all drugs was one of my uncles craving a high and arguing with my mom (we were visiting an aunt in Pasadena). Things got ugly and my uncle ended up choking my mother right in front of me. I must've been 4 at the time.

When I get angry, I become irate. I don't get violent with people, I've never been in a fistfight, but I do get violent with doors, walls, and things around me. I have broken my hand twice hitting stuff.

I also have Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD) which makes me imagine things in my head that are not real… Most of the time in my past relationships I've always suspected of being cheated on to the point of breaking up.

Also, I always take things personally, even on tv, ads, sometimes I feel like everyone is out to get me and hurt me, so I keep to myself… I do enjoy my loneliness actually. It’s when I'm at peace and it brings the freedom to do what I want when I want

I can't pinpoint a time when this started since I have repressed all of my childhood, I remember bits and pieces but everything else is just a huge blank.

I would guess it started in my teenage years since that's when all the depression and anger spewed out. I must've been around 12-13 years old but I can't be sure.

The thing that caused all of it was having narcissistic parents. Parents that were almost never there and when they were there they were very critical of everything I did.

I come from a well-known family and my father has always been involved in politics so he's always been a public figure.

As such I was always expected to be the "perfect son" and was manipulated, blackmailed, and emotionally abused to submit and not be rebellious (I have the soul of a revolutionary I think 😂).

I’ve always lived my life “against the grain” so the more I pushed back the more I was insulted into submission.

So most of my life, all decisions have been made by my parents. I was taught that the world is out to get me and that the only people that can ever love me are them, that everyone else just wants to screw me over and hurt me.

There was some physical abuse from my dad, when I was learning to drive he would yell and hit me if I hit a rock or a pothole, and that caused me to be terrified of driving (I learned to drive when I was 16).

I was always shunned because he made me feel like I was stupid and mentally disabled and even said repeatedly "You are gonna end up on the streets", "you are stupid", "you are worthless" and all kinds of belittling things. This didn't just apply to me not knowing how to drive but to everything I did in my life ever.

Also when I was younger I was with some older kids in a sauna and they convinced me that touching them and doing sexual acts with them was "normal" so all my sexuality during my younger years was out of wack since my mother and father never talked to me about sex. I did things that I regret growing up, sexually, that I now have realized is not normal at all.

Over time it got worse, I'm an alcoholic and I'm just 38.

I started drinking when I was 15 and up until I was 36, the worst times were in college when I completely got lost in alcohol. I would sell stuff, ask for borrowed money, and basically blow out the monthly money I was sent on alcohol.

Weed was my companion for the last 4 years and it got bad, I was smoking every day to escape my horrible reality and the situation I am in. I was just numbing all the pain and filling the huge big black hole in my chest with anything I could find. It was either girlfriends, sex, buying things, alcohol, or weed.

I was very irresponsible with money and bought things that I did not need just to be happy.

Another bad habit was making decisions “on the go”. 99% of my life's decisions were in the spur of the moment, which lead to regret, which lead to depression cause “I'm so stupid”

I'm happy to say that today is my 12th day sober from weed. But yeah, over time it just got progressively worse and I grew more alone.

Do you know how hard it is to be friends with a person who wants to kill themselves and then 5 minutes later they're ok? It's draining. Well, I am that person.

This struggle impacted me horribly and made people see me as a weirdo.

Oversharing is a big one as well… as you might have realized… I am an open book to everyone but I do not see it as a bad thing. I am what I am after all.

How did this struggle make you feel at your worst moments?

I've never been happy in my life, man, ever. I am always searching for that little piece of dopamine whether it be from alcohol, weed, or falling madly in love in 5 minutes. I hid it for the longest time because, again, my parents.

"How can my kid have a mental health issue, he's supposed to be perfect".

Also, I live in a very conservative town so if I told anyone I have mental health issues, they'd think I have mental retardation (sorry for the word) so they talk to me slower and softer.

In my lowest and darkest moments, I turned to suicide, I've been suicidal all my life and self-harmed in my younger years. I’d carve things on my arms with sharp pencils and objects and also scratched my arms until they bled and then scratched some more. I hit myself, punched myself, and choked myself.

Last year, I caught myself falling into those patterns again but I have been self-harm free for 2 months now.

I have had 4 suicide attempts, one after I had a situation with my ex-wife during my son’s birthday party, that was the first attempt. I had bought a rope before and was looking for a place to hang myself but never went through until that day.

I was depressed, went into my closet and grabbed a belt which I wrapped around my neck, and proceeded to tighten. The more my brain told me to stop, the tighter I'd get it until something stopped me and I let go. I started crying and told myself “you're so useless you can't even kill yourself right”

Then it was two more attempts with a belt and one with a pillow over my face, searched the internet on painless suicide methods, had an open pocket knife in my hands just wanting to either cut my wrists open or stab myself in the chest, eye, or head.

It got dark, it got ugly, I had hit rock bottom and was digging.

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Was there a moment when you started to turn things around?

I remember it clearly when everything came to be. I was high playing a game and listening to music when it started dripping little by little.

Thoughts of "maybe my family is narcissistic", "maybe them doing favors for me and then asking for obedience is not normal" and then it opened up like a broken dam when the realization hit… My lord, was it horrid.

I felt all kinds of emotions, imagine having BPD, being high, and now being open to realizing that you never have lived your own life and facing all your trauma! I went into a psychotic breakdown and started crying quietly, laughing, I sent a message to a Twitter friend and she was super supportive but it got to the point where I believed God was here and that my friend was my guardian angel.

I had horrible stomach pains, wanted to throw up, and lost my sense of self completely. I was a baby again reliving all my repressed childhood memories.

I think the change was part of my circumstance. I have reached the lowest point in my life and somehow that made me realize that the things that happened to me are not completely my fault. I think hitting rock bottom made me realize a lot…

I think it was 100% caused by my circumstances. When an animal is cornered, all it can do is fight for survival, so in a way, I think I was telling myself “Fight and survive”.

And that’s what I started working on, fighting and surviving.

What steps did you take to overcome your struggle?

I really wish I could share tips on how someone else can benefit from this to overcome this kind of struggle, I really do! But it's a path that I recently started walking myself.

What have I realized in these few days?

  • You are an individual and as such you are entitled to be who you are, if people can't accept you for who you are then you don't need those people in your life.
  • Show yourself small acts of self-love, drink your favorite coffee, eat your favorite treat, listen to your favorite song, go to your favorite place, and tell yourself “This is from me to me cause I love me”
  • You are a miracle, but so is everyone else
  • Don’t do good expecting a material payoff, and don’t do good to boast about it on social media. Do good as an act of love and stay quiet about it, feel your blessing in your heart, and move on.
  • Look at the small blessings in your life, that's how life thanks you for being good!
  • Emotions are part of life. You can’t live life wrestling them cause you will never win. You gotta learn to accept that they are there and you just gotta live through them.
  • Weed and alcohol are the worst solutions to seek to fill up your emptiness, try to look for more positive outlets like writing, drawing, and playing music.
  • You do not need anybody to approve of anything in your life, your decisions can lead to failure and that is OK. You gotta learn to be hurt before you can appreciate anything.
  • Suicide is not the answer. Believe me, I tried.
  • It takes time for a tree to grow, but you have to put in work for it to grow. It's the same with yourself, it's not an overnight change. It's a tough road full of failures and trying and understanding. There will be days when lightning strikes you, some days a pest will come and gnaw at your leaves, and some kid will carve its initials on you with a sharp knife and that is part of it, keep growing and nurturing yourself.
  • Eat, your body deserves it.
  • Shower, your body also deserves it.
  • Let your emotions happen. For me, personally, emotions are like little children that need attention. I'm a parent so that’s how I picture it. If a kid comes up to you and tugs at your shirt you do not ignore it, right? Cause if you do you can hurt the kid and they throw a temper tantrum. It’s the same with your emotions: let them come and tug at your shirt and ask them: What’s going on? They may have scraped their knee and need a hug and a kiss. 
  • Do not send your inner kids to their room when they misbehave, they’ll come out angrier and more resentful, listen and help. For example, I used to hate people and I would just walk around giving everyone dirty looks and couldn’t stand leaving my room or my house because ew… people. I talked to my hatred and it opened up to my anger. I found that, since I’ve been bullied and hurt by people all my life, my anger was trying to protect me from being hurt ever again. I thanked the emotion and hugged it and told it that it was OK to be protective and it’s OK to be careful with people but not every apple is a bad apple! Now I'm a bit more open and more smiling and more accepting of others.
  • We are all on our own river. Sometimes other boats approach for a while but then a current comes and takes them away and that’s OK. They showed up, did their part, good or bad, and left
  • You are in control of how you feel. If a person is angry at you, it's not your problem, it's their problem. You can’t control their anger but can control how much you let it affect you. Take the anger and filter it into something positive if you can.
  • Let people be, you make mistakes too!
  • Everybody is responsible for filling their own backpacks with what they want, if you fill it with flowers it’ll be beautiful and fragrant. If you fill it with rocks, it’ll be heavy and painful.
  • You are free but there are consequences! Life gives you what you give it!
  • Love comes from the inside out, not the other way around
  • Even if you are crying in a Ferrari, you’re still crying

Have you shared any of this with people around you in real life?

I shared my struggles with “friends” but they just said “Hang in there” and “Oh yeah just be strong” so I ended up bottling up everything inside.

I am from Mexico, so there is a huge sense of “men don’t cry” here, and a lot of toxic masculinity. I honestly despise this. A man can cry, a man can feel, a man can tell another man “I love you”. That doesn't mean you’re gonna end up kissing. Due to my past trauma, I’ve grown quite comfortable with my sexuality and I stopped caring about showing my emotions to the world. It’s OK to feel guys!

My parents don't believe in mental health issues (I was told I’m not depressed, just lazy, cause for my parents I’ve always been lazy).

I have had to battle my demons on my own all my life and it's very damn tiring since nobody understands and you’re just “that weirdo”. But this has made me a fighter and has made me strong.

If you could give a single piece of advice to someone else that struggles, what would that be?

You matter, nothing that you’re going through is your fault and it can get better but first, it may get worse (sorry).

You are a miracle of life! You are not as alone, since you’ve got yourself. That is the only sure company you’ll have for the rest of your life so please try and make friends with yourself. It’s a long road, this life, might as well make it a little more pleasant with your passenger, huh?

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, YouTube channels, or other resources for you?

  • The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz - This book helped me realize that I was living the “dream of the world” and how to cope better with other people.
  • The Monk That Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma - This book helped me realize that life is not about things, but about how you live it.
  • The Mastery of Love by Miguel Ruiz - A very good book about learning how to love yourself.
  • No Bad Parts by Richard Schwartz - A good guide that has taught me to see my feelings not as other parts but as little children who need attention, taught me to play with the children and listen to them when they’re upset and angry. Help and love them when they are hurt.
  • Music helped me to cover up the horrible reality I was in. It got me through relentless bullying in school, and at home, it got me through break ups, and it got me through the darkness, it has always been my little ray of light and bubble in which I can get lost.

Where can we go to learn more about you?

My username on all my social media is: elgat0verde

I've also started a blog where I talk about my experiences, it's called The Barren Earth Diaries.

I am quite active on Instagram (I post all my favorite albums there), Reddit, and Youtube (I will be uploading music there, maybe some mental health stuff in English).

I also write music about living with BPD and depression. Here is my music on Youtube Music, Spotify, and Bandcamp as well.

Thank you for the support!!

💡 By the way: If you want to start feeling better and more productive, I've condensed the information of 100's of our articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet here. 👇

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Thrive under stress and crush your goals with these 10 unique tips for your mental health.

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Hugo
Hugo Huijer Founder of Tracking Happiness

Hi! I'm from the Netherlands, love skateboarding, ran 5 marathons, with one of them in under 4 hours (3:59:58 to be exact). I consider myself to be a data junkie and have tracked my happiness for over 10 years.

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