This blog post is written by Mie and is about the semester we spent in Canada together, and our friendship:
Frist of all I will like to say to Christine, that I am really proud of you for bringing awareness about Borderline Personality Disorder, and I hope you can inspire others to do the same.
I am writing this blog post, because I wanted to give an insight into what it’s like to be a friend to someone with this disease, and how you can get through it without losing the friendship. So this is my story from my perspective.
When I first figured out the extent of Christine’s disorder, she was already hospitalized and she was at a really bad place. At that time, I was going through some stuff of my own, and I wasn’t really that involved in Christine’s process at first, nor did I know anything about the disorder, and to be honest I was scared of what it might do to our friendship and most important – our trip to Canada.
In the beginning of our study abroad, it was difficult for me to know how to act around Christine because I was afraid to say or do anything wrong, so she would either be sad or mad at me. Christine is a very outgoing person and she knows what she wants, and she is not afraid to say it out loud – in a lot of ways we are very much similar, and sometimes when two extrovert persons are together it can create some issues – and it did occasionally. I remember a very personal situation for both of us, where we hit rock bottom for a while, and I think we remember it differently – and that’s okay because we only see things from our own perspective and from where we stand in that moment.
It was Halloween (our first celebration of Halloween ever) and we both looked forward to spending it together with all our new friends. Five days before, I think, Christine got really sick and it was that serious that we needed to go to the hospital quickly. It turns out that she got a kidney infection and because of her only having one kidney, the doctors needed to move fast – which they did not btw (but that’s a whole other story)
After seven or eight hours she finally got hospitalized and the medicine she needed, and she got better. The next day she got home and everything was back to normal again or so we thought. About two days later at 7am Christine woke me up and told me she was not feeling good, and she would go to the hospital again just to make sure everything was fine. She left, and I went to school in the thought that she would return home later that day, but she did not. In fact, she was feeling worse and the doctors decided to hospitalized her again.
At that time, I felt like I couldn’t deal with it anymore. Some days before Christine got sick, one of our roommates left Canada, and later we found out that we lost her to suicide. I was really affected by that still when Christine got sick – we both were. I just have had enough and I just wanted to have fun and forget about it all for a while. I wanted to be there for Christine but still, try to get the best out of Halloween as we planned before everything.
Christine was of course really sad that she couldn’t go and about being hospitalized in another county far away from your family is really hard. At that time, I tried to balance it all, to be there for her as much as I could but at the same time to enjoy myself and the Halloweens parties without feeling guilty.
I woke up a Saturday morning with the worst hangover ever, and I was planning to visit Christine later that day. Before I went I cleaned up her room (she is not very good at cleaning her room – haha sorry Christine) so it was ready when she came home. Moreover, many of our Canadians friends were asking how she was feeling and wanted to visit her, which I thought was a good idea. I packed some stuff for her and went to the hospital with some of our friends, but before I got there she texted me that she was really sad and wondered why I didn’t come by sooner, and she didn’t want any of our friends to come cause she didn’t want them to see her like that.
I went up to her, and I could see she was sad and a bit mad at me. I don’t want to give details on what she said or what happened because that’s personal and between us. But I left the hospital very sad and I was feeling very guilty because she made me feel like I was the worst friend in the whole world. That was the first time, I became acquainted with the disorder for real. I remember thinking that it was like she was another person that I didn’t know, but at the same time, it was at that moment I for real knew the extent of the disorder and what it did to my friend.
We never spoke about the situation at the hospital, and I don’t know if she forgot how it happened or she didn’t want to think about it – so it was easier not to talk about it and act like nothing happened. But I understand better now, after reading her blog posts, because now it all makes sense. I think she at that moment felt insecure again, felt like when it all started, and afraid that she would miss out of a lot and not be part of those memoires and fun we had that weekend. Exactly as she wrote on her blog:
‘’My biggest fear was losing people around me, but I pushed them away by thinking the worst and letting everything get to me.’’
At that moment she couldn’t see that many people cared about her and wanted to make her feel comfortable. I needed to go home and reflect on everything and how we could move forward from there because we still had a lot of time left before heading home to Denmark. To be honest, I didn’t know if we could go back to normal so quickly because that side of her that I saw scared the hell out of me. How could I be a good and supported friend to her but still be true to myself?
My best advice would be to communicate with your friend. Say those word you are feeling out loud because it will only make your friendship stronger, and most of all not to compromise with yourself – it is okay not to understand it all (the disorder) and it’s okay to say ‘’this far and no further’’ because you can’t be a good friend, if you are not true to yourself. Communication helped our friendship and we learned a lot about each other for better and for worse and I wouldn’t be without all the experiences because it helped me grow as well. You can’t save a person with any disorder for that matter, but you can try to be there as much as you can, and the key is quite simple – good communication and understating each other’s differences. Christine and I are at a much better place now because of everything we went through and much closer.