The Buddha and the Borderline

January 21, 2019 Uncategorized 0 ★★★★★

The Buddha and the BorderlineThe Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism, and Online Dating by Kiera Van Gelder
Published by New Harbinger Publications on August 1, 2010
Pages: 248

Kiera Van Gelder's first suicide attempt at the age of twelve marked the onset of her struggles with drug addiction, depression, post-traumatic stress, self-harm, and chaotic romantic relationships-all of which eventually led to doctors' belated diagnosis of borderline personality disorder twenty years later.

The Buddha and the Borderline is a window into this mysterious and debilitating condition, an unblinking portrayal of one woman's fight against the emotional devastation of borderline personality disorder. This haunting, intimate memoir chronicles both the devastating period that led to Kiera's eventual diagnosis and her inspirational recovery through therapy, Buddhist spirituality, and a few online dates gone wrong. Kiera's story sheds light on the private struggle to transform suffering into compassion for herself and others, and is essential reading for all seeking to understand what it truly means to recover and reclaim the desire to live.

Holy shit, this book was life-changing for me. Like, it’s already starting to affect how I discuss my emotions. Stating when I feel invalidated, trying to get in touch with those inner mes, and seriously thinking about therapy once again.

When I first started reading this book, I started crying. Literal tears streaming down my cheeks, ugly sobbing. I’m pretty sure there were some snot bubbles all anime style in there somewhere. Why? Because this book, her journey, was describing my fucking life. The highs and lows, the need for approval. Drugs were never my impulse, but spending, naughty texts, self-harming and a variety of other self-destructive behaviours were, and in many ways still are. 

Recovery seems to be two steps forward, one step back, and Kiera Van Gelder shows that in this breathtaking memoir. Despite all the learning, the advancing, she struggled still with the BPD emotional mind. She speaks openly about her self-harming behaviour, her sexuality, the spending, the addiction, the way another person could completely take over her personality, and believe me, I understood and felt every word as though I were reading my own story.

The best part is, though, that this memoir gives me hope. Despite recovery being an ever-changing and fluctuating process, it is something that can be achieved. Being open, frank, and sharing her demons, I was able to start to heal some within myself. To find the words I needed to hear and to speak. 

If you have BPD, if someone you knows has BPD, please, please read this book. It is well worth the read.


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