Dialectical

By Amy Lipsky. Amy, 27, is from New York, USA and living with Borderline Personality Disorder. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

People can be as foreign as language. This includes me, a woman who has always felt like a lost, missing, child inside of the depersonalized body that others have insisted is hers.

This has always been important to me: knowing where my roots are, knowing who I am inside of myself. I don’t think I’ve ever truly known.

Truthfully, I feel as though I am shattered on the inside, that my broken pieces have splintered, and I can’t quite fit them back together again. They don’t match, and it’s difficult to exist in a world where I feel so… fractured. And yet every morning, I peel myself from my sheets and try, for the sake of it all.

I don’t know when it happened, this partial resurrection, but at some point – may it be the medicine, or the therapy – I pulled myself out of The Great Depression, grave dirt buried under my fingernails and all. Yet despite the taste of a new era of self on my tongue, I cannot help but grasp at the fragmented thoughts of “who am I really without my disorder?” Who am I without that touch of sadness that resides deep inside of my stomach? It’s rooted there both in the present tense and in reflection like a sepia toned photograph, staining my memory every time I think back to when it was taken.

Who am I now that I am a woman with a diagnosis? I’m a woman who works – a woman who is expected to work, make money, pay bills, move forward in life and prosperity, since wealth is the safety net of the world we humans have created. I work to pay for medicine and therapy so that I can function in the workplace so that I can make money to pay for my medicine and therapy; it goes around and around and around. I am a woman who wants to be healthy, stay healthy, and yet is terrified to let go of her sadness and her demons out of fear that they are what make her up to be the person she is.

My mother says she’s grateful to have her daughter back, and yet I cannot fathom what that means. I’ve never been this person before. I can’t base my progress, my childhood and adolescence on a person inside of me when all I’ve felt like is a tangle of emotion. I’m still learning what it means to be Amy; I’m still learning who I was in the beginning, when the beginning was, and when the now started. I don’t know if I will ever be able to understand the person I was in the beginning, whenever you decide the beginning was. I do know that in order to work to become someone else then I must learn to accept the things that have happened to the person I was.

No, Mr. Foucault, perhaps it is not necessary to know exactly what I am, but I wish I did know. Who am I without my disorder? Who would I be without the gift of writing? Without the bilingualism of the written and spoken word? These questions will haunt me as they have done so for years. My main interest isn’t to become someone else in life, it’s to become someone that isn’t haunting, that alleviates my pain and embellishes my talents. My main interest in life is to live a life worth living as the person I am, whomever that may be at each individual minute.

I am only as good as my time, and right now, I am both different, and the same. Whatever that may mean to you.

2 comments on “Dialectical

  1. Kathy on

    Amy, this piece is heartfelt, raw, utterly sincere, emotive. I wish I could enfold you in my arms for a while and let you feel the pride and joy and love I feel for you, as you reveal and become the true you.

    Reply
  2. Travis Lundwall on

    What a brilliant piece of honest art!!! I was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1996 and I identify with this 100%!!! Great expression of the experience of mental illness.

    Reply

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