Physical health challenges have dogged me since 1994, when I was diagnosed with lupus. Despite this, I kept working, I kept teaching evening classes at a local college. I kept traveling for adventure. And I kept changing jobs in order to avoid something. Something I was unable to pinpoint.

I then learned of a borderline personality disorder (BPD) called “Avoidance Disorder.” I remembered that I was once diagnosed with BPD. Hmmm… I wonder why I didn’t get treatment for it at the time.

At first, I thought BPD was just a passing diagnosis, that when the dust settled from my parents’ divorce, everything would go back to “normal” for me. But then the symptoms escalated, and after my own marriage had ended the dust still had not settled…

Fast-forward to 2017 and this mental health issue feels like a dog nipping my ankles with every step I take through life, chasing me into a graveyard of dead relationships. ENOUGH.

First, I came clean to my husband who was desperate to understand what was happening. We discussed BPD and how I got this way (90% nature/10% nurture). Next, I came clean to my adult children to let them know I was starting a course of change that was going to take time and hard work.

The most successful treatment of recovery for the symptoms of BPD is a consistent combination of behavioral therapy, medications and cognitive/emotional exercises. So, I read as much as I could handle online, I got a good therapist and I bought a workbook for healing.

Fortunately, I have the intelligence and drive to do this (as well as good health insurance). I also have the loving support of my husband Mark, who is my hero, and my children, who are my inspiration. I am grateful for the love and forgiveness of my sweet friends, Sheila and Susan. We have stood by one another for five decades, and our friendships remain “steadfast and immovable.”

I am committed to leaving a positive, healthy and loving legacy to my eight amazing grandchildren. This former drama teacher is going to rock the world with positive thinking!