HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARSHA LINEHAN (5/5/43) 

Marsha Linehan is a noted psychologist. She is the creator of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and a pioneer for those with borderline personality disorder as she herself suffers from BPD.

Break for the Border(line)....

Normal - from the Latin normālis; made according to a carpenter’s square.

So many times lately I have heard people say those fateful words “I just want to be normal”. It’s a common phrase amongst us Borderlines, I’ve said it and thought it myself so many damn times I feel as if I ought to have it engraved upon my tombstone; “I just wanted to be normal” carved deep in Times New Roman across the dappled grey.

But what is this Holy Grail we seek? And is it really worth it? Do we really want the grass that shines so brightly when you’re standing on the wrong side of the fence?



There have been times my mind has been so stuck in its cycle of infernal misery that I would have willingly driven that orbitoclast deep into my own frontal lobe just to get some fucking peace. But do I really hate myself that much that I would rather sign myself up for a lifetime of mediocrity than spend another day inside my own twisted mind? Not right now. And not ever if I’m truly honest.

I was not made according to a carpenter’s square. I was not made according to averages. Nor boxes. Nor anything even remotely close to what is professed to be typical. I am more than any of these things and no matter how many limbs you twist and turn, there’s no way I’m ever going to fit into that frame of reference; and why would I want to?

Why would I mutilate and manipulate everything that I am to fit a shape that was never designed to house me? So that I can make others more comfortable? Whilst I am cramped and contorted beyond all recognition? How will that make me better? How will that make me the best that I can be?

Sure, I would like to not feel so fucking terrible at times. I would like to be able to feel things in a way that doesn’t blow my fusebox and cause all the lights in the house to go out until I can reset it. But what would that mean to me? If I lost the ability to feel things so intensely, how would my life be?

I wouldn’t get to feel so fucking happy I could almost burst into tears just because one of my favourite songs came on Spotify. I wouldn’t get so enraged at the injustice of the way something is being portrayed on TV and go into a hypomanic rant about how the world is fucked and we’re all going to hell in a handbasket whilst my boyfriend sits and smiles at me with so much love and joy in his eyes that my heart may just burst. I wouldn’t get to be so freaking excited that there are ducklings on the lake and oh my god they’re just so damn fluffy and I really wanna cuddle them and oh shit I almost fell in the lake.


I wouldn’t spend my summers marveling at the beauty of nature and running barefoot in the grass like a five year old because that five year old wouldn’t be living in my head.

And what about that five year old? And the 26 year old. And the Demon. And all the other personalities within my head that have been there for me when no-one else has. That have stepped in and taken my place whenever I couldn’t deal with what was going on around me. Those that allow me to be the social butterfly at parties, the crazy drunk girl on the dancefloor, the best friend, the mother, the obedient wife. They reside within me and like Hoggle, Ludo and all the rest, should I need them, they will come.

I may have no fixed sense of identity for much of the time, it may get confusing and it may make my head pound when one of them wants to take over and I’m doing my best to hold back. But my chameleon-like tendencies are second to none and as Charles Darwin apparently said;



BPD may be hell on earth at times but without it, I wouldn’t be anywhere near the person I am, nor the person I hope to become. I am passionate, I am intelligent, I am funny, I am creative, I am a writer, an artist, a book restorer, good with animals, good with people, I can talk the hind legs off a donkey or shut the fuck up and just listen, I give great advice, I’m good in a crisis, blood doesn’t bother me, I can glue a wound back together pretty neat, I have a good pain threshold, I work well under pressure, I do great in job interviews, I know lots of big words and actually generally know what they mean, I’m open minded, tolerant, I don’t judge people unfairly, I give money to homeless people whenever I have it, I pet dogs I don’t know, I feed squirrels in the park, I smile at people who look like they could use it. I am a good person.

I am going to do well in life, I am going to do great. I will make a spectacular counsellor. And if I make it to University (which I fully intend to), I will ace the shit out of Psychology and I will find better ways for all of us. Not so that we can be normal, not so that we can be ordinary, so that we can be beyond brilliant.

Because normality? Normality is for squares.

And I’d rather be the one walking the Borderline than the one sat in the box any damn day.

Curious about something

Reblog this if you have bpd (or comorbid bpd with other cluster B disorders) and have the experience of either getting along PERFECTLY with other borderlines and being BFFs or ending up worst enemies with no/very little in between. Esp if you experience this occurring much less frequently, if at all, with people who aren’t borderline.

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DBT Self-Help Resources: Ways to Describe Emotions

To be used with Emotion Regulation Worksheets 4, 4a

Also look at: Emotions List -  Using an Emotions List to help Label an Emotion

Search results for Emotion Dysregulation - Definition of Emotion Dysregulation

Source: Marsha M. Linehan (2015) DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition The Guilford Press

Copyright 2015 by Marsha M. Linehan.