They say that pain makes you stronger. A bell should ring when I tell you that what doesn’t kill makes you stronger. That is another way to say it. I don’t get it at all. How can something so fragile but robustly change your personality. Don’t get me wrong, but it made break down multiple times. For example, I have extremely bad knees, a bad stomach, a memory where even a shrimp can win from, arms and legs that have been drawn onto for the rest of my whole life and a heart that weighs as heavily as a thousand liters of water and that shrinks together as if you were standing on a small, little Lego block. That does pain with a person. It breaks you, leaves you bewildered and gives you 9 chances of 10 a mental disorder.
A short introduction
Let me re-introduce myself: my name is Sanne Grieten. I am 21 years old, and they say I have Borderline. Death and I are friends, we have known each other for a few years now and we have been inseparable ever since. You would not describe our friendship as something positive. I just become more insecure, sadder, more afraid and uglier with it as my friend. I do like other things, but let’s say that death is jealous. Having fun without Death? Then it feels seriously shut out. But come on, it’s the oldest friend I know and no matter how ironic it sounds, it doesn’t want us to stay together forever. Because after a few times trying to make our friendship eternal, it always rejected it. So far our inseparable friendship.
Mental disorder, so what?
It has been almost 12 years since I came in contact with my devils. Precisely, from the age of 10 I am working non-stop on things that can destroy me, understand me and still ease the pain. These things were powerful at first, but no need to worry, they have become quite gentle. They made me who I am today and taught me different things. Like: I can’t trust nobody, I won’t take something for the truth right away, only material things can make me happy and perhaps most importantly: no one cares about what happens to me. I am alone.
And while I am alone, I am not. My bad feelings, thoughts and behaviors follow me every step of the way. They are the shadow in the light and the candle in the dark.
I’m getting help
It was 4 years after I came in contact with my devils that I sought help. Way too late. But really, guys: it was too late. In the meantime the black has settled in my body, death has taken over my thoughts and my devils have chased every friendship away. I was 14 years old and ended up with a psychologist. Here I was finally allowed to talk while she was cutting her nails and yawning every time she saw me. It felt good, even though she stopped me every 10 minutes to get a glass of water. For herself. After a few more years she referred me to my doctor and she once again referred me to a youth psychiatrist. I started on my 16 years with an antidepressant which I still have to take every day.
After 3 psychiatric hospitals, 20+ kilograms through medication, 10+ doctors and psychiatrists, 3 psychologists and 2 therapies; I am here. On my chair in the porch, at home, all alone. The psychiatric wards, medications, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and therapies did not make me who I should be, but they taught me different things. Like not trusting myself, not taking my thoughts for granted, only therapeutic things can make me happy and perhaps most importantly: no one cares about what happens to me. I am a number. I don’t want to finger-point these institutions and hospitals, they have done what they had in their power. They helped me where they could, offered me therapies and gave me the space I needed to be away.
My name is Sanne, I have Borderline and after 8 years letting someone care about me, I still haven’t been cured. Maybe I can never be helped and this because I started looking for help too late. Living with the black side of me, is something I have to take with me every single day. Crying myself to sleep every night has become a routine that I have to sustain throughout my life. Wanting to die is something difficult. And I wonder if I can ever accept this, but with the help of my family and best friend (whom I have met in psychiatry by the way), I am certain that death will no longer be so attractive.
Death is my friend, and is jealous and feels excluded. However, nothing can stop me from forming my life into what I want. I want a life full of travel, friends, love and challenges. Whether this is with a mental disorder or not.
Mostly Abroad – eh with a mental disorder?
A few things are going to change on the blog: I still write about my trips (next month it is Peru, guys!), but there’s also going to be blog posts with a psychological vulnerability in it. I still give tips and tricks to pack your luggage, but also how you can travel with this irritating weight on your back. My blog is called Mostly Abroad, and now that we are playing open cards, I am not usually abroad. I am usually with psychiatrists in a psychiatry. I am also often with the psychiatric patients, who everyone thinks that they are the “strange guys”, and those dear people: I now call my friends. I still take my medication every day, which sometimes makes it difficult to travel. Anyway, I try to travel, laugh, cry, accept and live the best I can. I try. And that’s enough.
Sanne Grieten is the travel blogger of Mostly Abroad. Just like any travel blogger, she loves to travel and discover new places. In addition, she also fights every day with her mental health. To end the stigma, she also writes about this regularly.