Bold Beautiful Borderline

Bad Hours but Good Days feat. Mel

January 06, 2021 Sara Amundson & Laurie Edmundson Season 1 Episode 6
Bold Beautiful Borderline
Bad Hours but Good Days feat. Mel
Chapters
Bold Beautiful Borderline
Bad Hours but Good Days feat. Mel
Jan 06, 2021 Season 1 Episode 6
Sara Amundson & Laurie Edmundson

On today's bonus episode, you all get to meet our good friend Mel who is a musician, mental health advocate, and a psychotherapist in training. Mel joins us on the podcast to tell us her story to diagnosis, her experience in DBT, and what she wants you to know about recovery.

You can find Mel on IG @squeezemymel

You can find Laurie and Sara on Instagram to follow their day to day lives even further @laurieanned and @saraswellnessway. You can also find the podcast on IG @boldbeautifulborderline

You can also find Sara's business as a Mental Health Clinician and mental health coach at thewellnesswayllc.com

If you like the show we would love if you could rate, subscribe and support us on Patreon.

You can find our Patren channel at https://www.patreon.com/boldbeautifulborderline?fan_landing=true

For mental health supports:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Live Online Chat
SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline, 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727)
OR find a local warmline to you at https://screening.mhanational.org/content/need-talk-someone-warmlines 

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/boldbeautifulborderline)

Show Notes Transcript

On today's bonus episode, you all get to meet our good friend Mel who is a musician, mental health advocate, and a psychotherapist in training. Mel joins us on the podcast to tell us her story to diagnosis, her experience in DBT, and what she wants you to know about recovery.

You can find Mel on IG @squeezemymel

You can find Laurie and Sara on Instagram to follow their day to day lives even further @laurieanned and @saraswellnessway. You can also find the podcast on IG @boldbeautifulborderline

You can also find Sara's business as a Mental Health Clinician and mental health coach at thewellnesswayllc.com

If you like the show we would love if you could rate, subscribe and support us on Patreon.

You can find our Patren channel at https://www.patreon.com/boldbeautifulborderline?fan_landing=true

For mental health supports:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Live Online Chat
SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline, 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727)
OR find a local warmline to you at https://screening.mhanational.org/content/need-talk-someone-warmlines 

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/boldbeautifulborderline)

Sara Amundson:

Hi, everyone, welcome to the bold, beautiful borderline podcast. I am one of your hosts Sara and I've got my co host, Laurie here with me. And we actually have a really special guest on the podcast today our friend Mel who, um, I don't know Laurie, how you got connected to Mel but I got connected to you mel through the the BPD hashtag ban. And so I feel like now we're all just best friends and absolutely in love with each other. So we had to bring Mel on the podcast to be our first guest to just kind of share your experience now and like what you're up to, and you know, the things that you do to promote recovery for yourself. So we just can't wait to have you. And yeah, introduce yourself!

Mel:

Well, we've just been chatting here. And I'm just so happy to be here. And as you said, we first met about three weeks ago, and it feels like it's been actually forever. And that's probably I don't know if that's our BPD or if that's just us, and how much we've been connecting online. And I was saying when we first sat down, that it's interesting that people like us can feel like we've known each other forever. And we've only known each other for three weeks. And we have a special, almost attunement to each other. And it's this crazy, we feel so empathetic towards each other, our own communities and towards other people outside of our communities. And I think the whole process of we have, we're just going on and on about something that you have been yourself a little bit not aligned with, but now accepting yourself which is once again called radical acceptance. And I think it was really scary at first when we saw all of us -and I don't know if the word scary- we saw that we as a community that we had our own hashtag banned. And it was a beautiful thing that we all came together. And it was a beautiful thing that all three of us can now sit together and be like, yes, we've just came together. And we just got it back. And Yay. And Laurie, and all of us now we can talk about the change and the recovery that we all want to do. And-

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, well it would be it would be awesome to hear a little bit about your just like your story, your diagnosis, I know that you have a special celebration that you're doing today. This is the first podcast that I've ever gone on to and this is the first time I'm sharing. And the reason being is it actually, I've just come out, I feel like come out. Yes, I've just come out as having borderline personality disorder online just actually recently, like it's, I've been talking about it on my Instagram a few different times. But I decided to become more vocal about it because I really want to allow people to as well share online and to have a voice. But about six to seven years ago. It was a really, really, really dark time for me and I like literally couldn't get out of my bed. And I had had I had depression and anxiety and I was really, really low for a long time. But it was different. This felt really different. And it felt darker. And at the time, I knew I had to kind of talk about it differently. Sorry, I had to do something differently. So basically my sister was like, I- after a month of just being in bed straight. I was just in bed like straight for a full month. My sister was like I think you should probably go get a diagnosis so I didn't really want to go myself so she drove me to here- in Toronto, we have something called Sunnybrook Hospital. So I went and it was what- like people give you these tests online and you could do this test online and I've done them and you can fill out all the criteria online but it was probably the darkest room that I went into for Sunnybrook and I don't mean to scare anyone. I really don't want to do that for BPD here I want your podcast to be light.

Mel:

But when I entered the room, she was a very sweet doctor and she sat down. She gave me what looked like, how do I describe this? Because this is a podcast, it was a huge pamphlet, like and it was, as all the questions you would get the normal questions. So you for a normal- for a normal diagnosis, you're answering the questions like the fearful questions, all the questions, if you have abandonment, all the things, but this was really long. This was about six pages, front and back, very detailed. And I'm filling this out. But I didn't know what I was filling up. She was like, this was- I had no idea that this was supposed to be for BPD. So to, I'm not going to make this too short, I just want to keep this detailed, but I'm filling this out, just took me about 45 minutes to fill out this whole six pages. So at the end, she was like, um, can you please sit here for 15 minutes, and I was like 15 minutes turned, she left the room. Sorry, she leaves the room for about half an hour, maybe 45 minutes. And I'm sitting there and I'm sitting in this like, kind of cold room. And she comes back. And she said that she had spoken to her colleague and she was like- it felt weird when someone's delivering this news to you because I had no idea what BPD was at the time. So this is six to seven years ago. And for all the information that they've come now that I know and all the information that I have done- all the work that I've done, but this was six to seven years ago, she- the way that she were to deliver- went to deliver this to me, it was really sweet. It was really nice, but I felt really weird at the time. She was sitting cross, like talking to me, but she was like, so I'm gonna let you know that you have BPD, borderline personality disorder. And I was like, I have What what? And I'm like sitting there like you have Uh huh. And no one wants to hear they have a disorder. You know what I mean? Like, it's like, you're being told you have anything like, if you're going to be told that you- I knew what bipolar was because in my family, my sister has this, my bubby had this. And this is why this is really important for me because I want to, you know, take care of people always. But at this point, I didn't want to have any problems. This is why I always stayed in my bed. I avoided talking to people about this. I always knew as a kid I was happy always but it got weirder and weirder as I got older. But this was, you know, so I did the- she handed me the classic. These are your resources. These are your doctors, you know, I can help you if you need help, but like, sent me home, and I'm home and I went straight to Google. Google is probably the scariest place as someone with BPD. Also, Google is like the scariest place on the planet earth with trying to look up anything. Like I suggest no one ever goes to Google. It's like Google, how to look up anything. Don't ever do

Laurie Edmundson:

How old were you at this time? it. It is so scary. I remember, I remember when I first got my diagnosis. And going to Google, I was like, the scared-ist person on the planet. Also, I googled all the doctors, and all the people that were giving help for DBT therapy, the BPD groups in Toronto... so minimal, almost nobody was free. Nobody can help me... so expensive. I am so fortunate that my parents didn't think it was too absurd to get help that way because of my sister, because of our background, because of my family. You know, they understood because of what I was going through and they wanted to see me get out of that. But oh my gosh like

Mel:

So I don't mind. I'm 33 now. So I was in my mid 20s. So like, and so I'm four years sober off alcohol today. So I was severely struggling with drugs and alcohol. I had I just kind of finished university. I was severely struggling with men like in and out of bad relationships. I could do a whole other podcast on love addiction. I could do a whole other blog. Yeah, I could do a whole other podcast. So-

Sara Amundson:

Unreal.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, I could do a whole other podcast on alcohol. I could do a whole other like, I don't know how long we got today. But you know, just describing the diagnosis. Yeah, just describing the diagnosis here, you know. So anyways, basically, when you get resources and you get a huge pamphlet, and you also get a diagnosis, and I really don't want to scare the people listening, what I really what- I wanted to say to the people listening, because it's important is that it is scary at first. But what is not scary is that you are not alone. And that you are not to go to Google, I want you to not first go to Google, what I want you to read is that every combination is different. There are 259 combinations. We are all different, you might only have to have nine things on the list, right? So I don't want you to go to Google, first. What I want you to do is take a deep breath, which I never do, which I never did. I do now. And I want you to realize that there is recovery, it takes time. And so what I didn't do at the time, was Listen, I never listened to a single thing going on. I just took the pamphlets and took the Google and when I so you know, so I slowed down. And I started going okay, what can I do? Cuz I didn't listen, I didn't radically accept the situation. So I started being okay, what can I do?

Mel:

So, you know, it is processing growth. So I started right, I had to start with therapists. I had to start with a group. And oh, boy, oh, boy. Oh, boy. Oh, boy. Like, because I have to say it does take time to find what works, right? Because there are 259 combinations. And we are different personalities, and we are different individuals. Are we going to like each therapist we get? Are we going to- No, the answer's no. Are we going to like each group BPD support group that we enter? Not necessarily. Are we gonna- Are some of us going to have to take medications because of the combinations? Yes. Are some of us going to have to find a different therapist right away? Yes. Are some of us gonna hate the group that we enter right away? Because we just don't like the other people in the group? Maybe? Yeah. Are some of us gonna, you know, not understand the skills right away? Yeah. And have to, like, fight them. So basically, did I hate my first therapist? I absolutely did. I must not lie. It was like the scariest process ever finding a therapist, because what I had always had, I had been in therapy. I've come from a therapy background, my family.

Sara Amundson:

It was so funny to hear you say like, um, not all of us are going to like, you know, our groups or our therapists or whatever. I remember when I- because I too, came from a background of like, been in therapy since I was 13. But I didn't get diagnosed until I was 23. And I didn't start DBT until I was like, 25. And I remember my therapist saying, okay, Sara, Listen, because I had my individual therapist outside of DBT. And then you have your group therapy in DBT, and your individual therapist in DBT. And right, it's a lot but my therapist who referred me to DBT sat me down or whatever. And she's like, Sara, listen, you're going to want to quit. Many times. These people are going to dysregulate you all of the time, like you're a bunch of dysregulated people sitting in a room together, you're going to hate it. I really need you to stick it out. And I just wonder if other people have had that same experience, because I remember sitting down and being like, motherfucker, can you shut up and like, Can we move on? You know, like, I felt like that in DBT all the time. So hearing you say, you're not going to like everybody makes me feel so normal.

Mel:

Are you kidding? Like, it's- you're not stable yet. And I hate the word. Sorry. not- stable isn't the word but you're not. You're finding yourself. We're. Look, it's not even a BPD thing. It's a human thing. We're humans. We're trying to find our way communicating. You know, we're trying to find what we like who we are. Like how we like, like who we are, we have personality disorders. So and we aren't our disorder. So look a mood disorder, it would be like, I'm in a bad mood for three days, fuck off, let's get- let's get on with it. Personality Disorder is look, like this is my comment, this is where I'm at this hour, you might be really vulnerable that hour, and someone says something and you're like, hmm, I'm not feeling that that hour. So it might not even have been that person that hour, it just might be that hour. So and you have to go to group and you you're showing up and you just showing up is enough. And then someone's talking about their work, and you're in a group, and you're going, I don't really understand. And somebody had, yeah-

Laurie Edmundson:

We had this one girl in our group who she- she came in halfway through. So they would do like rotations. Like, there's four modules. So at the end of a module, we could, like have new people come in or whatever. And she came in, and, you know, my group was awesome, and I love them, and I still love them. But she came in and was like complaining about her neighbors and how they didn't scrape or like rake her- rake the leaves properly. And we've got people that are literally, like, on the verge of death, who are homeless, who are sex workers who like all of these things, and it was like that one person, like, I don't even remember her name, but she didn't last very long. But it was like, your problems are not the important part right now. I mean, like, like, and I get like we're all in a group and I love group therapy. Like, if I could do group therapy all the time, I would. It worked really well. For me. I always say that it was the first time I ever met people that said, I know how you feel without me wanting to punch them in the face. Because literally, I had never met somebody with border- or like that I know h s borderline personality disorde . And it was such a game chang r to me to be able to look in t e mirror, and especially look n the mirror at when people we e dysregulated. Because Yea , people get dysregulated n therapy for sure. And go, oh y god, this is what the peop e around me are seeing when I m doing this. And that in itse f was a significant eye opener f like, Oh shit, I should probab y figure this ou

Mel:

And you know what, you know, what's actually, like crazy is like some weeks, people, like I never felt this, but at the end, so I went through four different groups. So four different groups, and like you said, every group would turn over, some people are graduating through the group, and I'm meeting so many different people. So many, I made so many different friends and walks of life. And in some of the greatest experiences one of my group, the very first group, it was hard to follow. So I actually had ended up leaving, but that had to do with the teacher. Never in my life, did I not find about 10 to 15 people like absolutely connected with. And I don't know if that was a BPD thing or not. But like you said, in every group, there was always a couple people that they were a little bit over here talking about their problems that weren't connecting with what the overall group were. And but what's funny is, it doesn't matter if they were talking about, you know, raking the leaves that day, it was really hard for them, versus someone's really, you know, really going through the rough grounds and like maybe they can't get out of bed and they're suicidal. Because just surviving some days even because in your mind, it's so hard, like for people with BPD. And it's just the survival some days just holding on because people with BPD like social- social anxiety and just stuck. So I'm an I'm not to interject that what you're saying, I get it because sometimes you're like what we're like talking about some deep dark stuff. And this person is talking about just raking their leaves. I don't get it. But the truth is, is that raking their leaves some days is that frustrating for me. Like it's like, and Steve like my fiance would be like, Why are you so frustrated? What happened? Because I'm frustrated abcdefg by the time I've got to rake my leaves. I'm like, why am I kicking like, I've kicked a hamburger across the room before like you were like, I've laughed at your podcast before because I've done- raking the leaves is so hard for me because I'm so frustrated by all the other things. The really funny thing is that person who's complaining about raking the leaves is probably darker than all the people talking about the darker stuff. Yeah, you belong in that room too.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah. And I have to admit, like looking back, this was what like almost 10 years ago. Yeah. Yeah, anyway, eight, nine years ago, and like, I do feel bad that we all got so triggered by her because you're right. Like it's, I mean, yesterday, I had to find my SIN number and I like couldn't find it and I know I should have had it memorized Mom, I'm I'm aware, but I don't. And like, and I got so frustrated that I was like, you know what I don't even care. Like it was a COVID like, stimulus thing, whatever. And I was like, I don't even care about the free money. I'm just gonna not find it because I'm finding my SIN numbers that hard and, and yeah, it has nothing to do with that it's like not that hard to find, but I just got so stressed out by it that I just couldn't do it shut down.

Mel:

But it is- that's important. That's the most important noticing. Sorry, sara. Are you saying?

Sara Amundson:

Oh, no, you're fine. I was just gonna say that. That is like, that's the whole thing about group therapy, right? Is my therapist was like, Look, Sara, these people are gonna piss you off. Like, there's gonna be some crazy br in the corner talking about raking leaves. And she and I say crazy broad because I am one right. Like, it's a little bit different if you don't have a mental illness to say that, okay, but I do. So here I am. But like, my therapist was like, these people are going to disregulate you, you're they're going to talk about raking leaves, and you're going to think it's absolutely ridiculous. But the reality is, you're 15 people in a room that have an emotional regulation issue, you struggle with it. And you have to stay in that room. Because this is the only place you're gonna learn these skills, like you're not going to go out into the real world, and be around a ton of other people that are constantly dysregulated and triggering your dysregulation. You need to stay in the chair, you need to show up, you need to do the work. And it's like, I'm really glad that those people pissed me off. And I had to sat through- sit through it. And I can't say I radically accepted it, but I share a shit fact checked it right. Like, yeah, like, that's where the work happens.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, that's where you're getting triggered in a controlled environment where there's a teacher standing there going, like, Oh, I can see that you're dysregulated right now. So let's do mindfulness, or let's whatever it is.

Mel:

And the funny thing is, some days, no one would talk but me. And like, it got to the point where I, my very first group, the first therapist I had was the same therapist that I didn't get along with. And she told me I talked too much. So everyone in the group pulled me aside and they said, Why have you stopped talking? You know, why have you, all the people with BPD, and so why have you stop talking? I said, you know, my, the therapist, and she said I I talked too much in the group, and she wants there to be room for other people to talk. So I started sitting back, you know, and letting people talk more. Then I made a noticing that everyone really liked me talking. It actually brought them inspiration to talk more and to feel comfortable to open up more because this particular first group that I was in, everyone was scared. They were scared. Like there were this first group also didn't have what my second, third and fourth group had. They all had, I'm not sure if any of your groups had. Did you guys have like notepads? Like slinkys fun toys, like distractor things? Did you guys have those?

Laurie Edmundson:

I don't remember?

Mel:

No?, it was like my fun thing because everyone wants, they have mindfulness toys. So they want you to keep like, basically. So anyways, my first group, I ended up not leaving, I finished the group. But I ended up not finishing therapy with her. Because I realized that it's not that I don't have a problem. Look, everyone in life has problems. Those are things we must accept. How can we accept not our problems, but basically the things about ourselves that maybe they're noticing. So there are things that we can become aware of? And maybe I do talk way too much. And I'm like, how can I allow room for people to grow? So I was like, I can accept what you're saying, lady, but maybe you're not leading the group to feel inspired. Maybe you're not doing the work here. So your group to feel comfortable. So I went to the group 2, my group two, group three group 4, loved it. Like, literally, there are tons of people. And so I'm like, Hey, you know, that's no problem here. Like, you know what I mean? And I was like, I'm fine with that. So even by my fourth group, where I full certificate, and it's my favorite group ever, and I'll just say the center, I won't say because I don't mention places and people, the DBT center in Toronto, literally loved the group. There still, I still remember things like people said to me, I was bawling my eyes out when the group ended. So yeah, like, it can't be that the person leading the group tells you that you know what I mean, on your first interaction with your like, with the people that you're doing something wrong. You have to validate and you have to tell someone what, why, you know what I mean? How can they change in a good way? That's-

Laurie Edmundson:

They're almost just there to like, like, validate what's happening. Because I think that like the number one thing about DBT was hearing other people's stories and being like, Oh my god, I totally relate to that. And you're right. Like, I remember, I remember almost every single, like my core group, I called them because like we had a couple of people come in and out. I remember them. I love them. I'm still in contact with them, like six years later, you're not supposed to be in contact with them. But after our first-

Sara Amundson:

You are not supposed to get phone numbers

Laurie Edmundson:

You're not but you have to because-

Mel:

You can be in contact after not during the groups.

Laurie Edmundson:

Oh, we weren't supposed to be after either. Apparently.

Sara Amundson:

Yeah, we weren't either in the States.

Mel:

Oh

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah. Weird. So what what was so interesting, I was like, fine, I get why you're not supposed to be in contact after and whatever. Like, I get that. But what really sucks is like,

Mel:

That's mean.

Laurie Edmundson:

I know. Well-

Mel:

That doesn't make sense to me.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, at least if you feel like, your left, you're like, Okay, your group's done. And then that's it. And then you're back to being with nobody, and you can't contact them. So I vividly remember standing in the parking lot of our like hospital, which is where we were getting DBT and all exchanging numbers. And then we met at a mall food court once a week for like, a year and a half afterwards. And we just did the same thing. Shared our stories talked about skills, like we basically said, like

Sara Amundson:

Over Pizza?

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, or like, whatever.

Sara Amundson:

I love this

Laurie Edmundson:

I know. And it was like, the system that is telling us that we're, like broken and that were terrible, is leaving us without any supports after we're done this therapy program. And so we're gonna make our own supports. And it was so awesome. And like, I honestly wish that I should, I could just like, bring that group back together. But we've all kind of moved and all that stuff. So yeah,

Sara Amundson:

So I didn't stay in contact with a single person. Oh, after group and I can't. And you guys will have to tell them because Mel, you hadn't? Had you met your fiance yet? No.

Mel:

Definitely not. No.

Sara Amundson:

Okay. So I was I was married when I went through, No, I wasn't married, I was engaged when I went through DBT. And I wonder, like, had I gone through the program when I was single and younger, and not like, established in my career, and not a homeowner, and all of those things? Like, I feel like I would have been far more likely to connect with people then. But because I had like a partner at home and all of these things I don't, I don't know why I didn't do that. But now that I'm radically accepting my divorce. I wish I wish that I had stayed in contact with these people. And I feel like a sense of loss that I didn't.

Laurie Edmundson:

But actually, so the So the thing is, I think, and once again, the universe will give you the people, especially with BPD, and the communities, especially me and Laurie, and the people in your life that you need, you know what I mean? And if there is any way with those people in that place, and that committee that you can reach out that did Connect, you will reach out to those people, because there is for that center and those groups, I have only connected or kept in touch with a few the ones that were the ones that I really needed to and the other ones that have gone on their way. Like they kind of just did you know what I mean? Because it was like, so I think if there is a couple people that you do still feel that you should just reach out to them. But other than that, it's like, there are so many, like look what the hashtag did.

Sara Amundson:

I know, but it is so cool.

Laurie Edmundson:

That's why I'm like our community. I was gonna say that's what I agree with, like our community in it in itself is like that. That's what it is. And that's why these groups are so special. And I think that's why the hashtag ban was so incredibly triggering to us is because we've all had that exact same experience where we go to the psychiatrist, they say you have borderline personality disorder, we go online and they send you all you read is you're gonna die. Nobody's gonna love you. You're untreatable. There's no point in living.

Sara Amundson:

I just cried when I got diagnosed. By the way, I just bawled. Like, I was like, I hate myself so much,

Laurie Edmundson:

Because you're told that you're a terrible human being. And that is obviously not true. And that's why the hashtag BPD thing just hurt us so badly. It was because we desperately need that connection with other people like us. And I think Instagram, I mean, they have problems, but Instagram allowed us to meet people, like all three of us met on Instagram. And so like, we need that. And we're hoping that this podcast can kind of do that as well and like a different platform for maybe people that aren't as active on Instagram, but it's just that connection is everything because then you know, you're not alone. And you know that you're not the freak that everybody in your life has been telling you you are. And I also was gonna say something with podcasts because I went to look up a BPD podcast a long time ago and there was like nothing. It's a lot of people talking about their stories but in an unclear way, and I- and what I want and what I love about you guys starting BPD podcasts and such a dream is that anyone who has BPD that clues in and listens to this, I want them to think in a very positive way. We are three beautiful inside, I yes, you can't see our outsides, but we are beautiful too. But what I want you guys to know, when you're listening is that we are very driven. We are not not curable. We are all recovering. We are all strong, and resilient, and fighters, and whatever you go, and you can hear my story, you go to Google and you can get scared. It's a choice.

Mel:

Life is a choice. And, you know, I think years ago when I

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah of course got a diagnosis, anything, anytime anyone gets a diagnosis, the first thing they always feel is fear. And I think why my hero, and you guys don't know this, my hero will always be Marsha Linehan. And I'm-

Mel:

Yeah, of course, and probably most people in tons of the BPD community. Like for me, it's like, I'm going back to school, January 4, I'm not gonna lie on this podcast, I'm scared. I'm scared for human reasons, not just BPD reasons. I'm scared. Because I haven't been to university in over eight years. I don't even know what APA style looks like, still, like I have to do this, because I care about BPD. But I care about it in the sense that I want people to feel better, because I know what it's like to have good days now, you know, and people with BPD we have bad hours, but I have great days. And that's a that's a really good thing. So I don't know what people think, yeah, we get angry. Yeah, all these things. But that's bullshit. And you know, and you know what, you can have a beautiful life. And it's a choice to get up every day and to do these things. So you know, there's another quote, I wanted to read here. And Marsha says she would get out of hell, and then I would go back to get others out. My life is I want to get other people out of hell. So they can feel good. I really want other people to feel good, too. Because there's a lot of people that want to sit in shit. And they just want to sit there and feel comfortable, feeling uncomfortable. And I don't think that we need to feel uncomfortable anymore. Keep being told, yeah, you're going to sit that way. And we're going to keep sitting that way. And you're cool that way. And that's the way you guys are the be. And yeah, we can keep talking about stigma, talking about the way BPD is, or we can talk about how cool we are and all the cool things about us. And we're badass, I'm sorry, what we are. And what I want to talk about is the fact that dialectical behavioral therapy, which dialectics and this is what we don't have too much more time, but what I was gonna say is seeing the gray, right, and it's been hard for us, and it's harder for us to see the gray. And for me, what I work on every day is seeing this middle area, you know, for me, I'm always like, it's either really good or really bad, right? But what I work on, and I think most people should work on that regardless, seeing the gray. So you know, seeing the gray would be like, Look, if it's not there right now, what is there? What can I do? What can I control? And that's like, accepting, like we talked about, but then changing your situation. And honestly, at the end of the day, that's so important in life. That's a positive, badass way of looking at life in general.

Sara Amundson:

Yeah. And how do you do that, though? So that's one of the things like saying, I'm a tangible, like, how do you see the gray?

Laurie Edmundson:

So if you have a statement in the morning, or anything that's bothering you, like, if you have any silver lining, write out anything positive that's going on with that situation? So if something is bothering you take try to write even three to five things that are positive, like, I could do it with you right now. And it's not a it's not part of DBT skills. It's part of taking a negative situation to a positive. I do it every morning. I literally do. We could do it right now. I'll take a notepad, right.

Sara Amundson:

Okay, who whose real life example are we using?

Mel:

We could do we could do any example like we could do? I don't like my toothbrush. You know what I mean? the bristles aren't hard enough. You know, but what it what do we like about the toothbrush? I have a toothbrush. I have money with to spend and get good toothpaste on the toothbrush, I have a working toothbrush, I can afford a toothbrush, I'm in, like a good country with a working toothbrush, you know

Laurie Edmundson:

You have a house to put the toothbrush in... like running water-

Mel:

Running water. The whole thing is once we have the radical acceptance, the growth and change can come once you save money, we can get a new effing toothbrush. You know, the whole thing is we always go to the negative first. And and we go, Oh, the toothbrush says. But at the end of the day, it's like, Where can we find that grayness, or even a couple positives or something small in that blah situation? And then we can move from there. And it's like, if we don't go, even if we drew a little circle, and we drew a bigger circle around it, the little circle being the negative, where what are the other statements around that big circle that are like the maybe ish, and then we can make more positives around? That little circle is going to start looking a lot smaller, you know?

Sara Amundson:

Yeah, I think like, the more that we talk about radical acceptance, and again, like I have to just claw my way to things, right. Like these things are not this is not a pretty process. But I like I'm really proud of the work I've been doing in the end of this partnership and marriage to just be like, you know, like, I tried, I tried something. And it was really beautiful while it lasted. And it didn't last forever. And it's not like this is something I've come to overnight, right? This has been months and months in the making. But like Laurie the other day, I think I sent her like a screenshot of something. And I was like, well signin' the papers today. Like today it's happening. And she's like, wow, what do you need? And I was just like, I don't think I need anything. I think I'm okay. And that's, I'm like really proud of that. So I get it now. Like, I get in.

Laurie Edmundson:

You should be. that like,

Mel:

100%

Laurie Edmundson:

... like, Can you imagine before DBT if somebody told you you're going to get divorced, you would have? I mean, I don't want to put words in your mouth, but you probably would have just been like, I would just die. There's no point I would just

Sara Amundson:

Oh,I would have been like Y'all better check me into the into the hospital unit now. Let's just preventive- preventatively put me in there.

Mel:

But you're- sorry, what? Sorry.

Laurie Edmundson:

Its like here we are like you signed the paperwork two days ago. You're here smiling. I mean, I know smiles don't mean everything. I've been talking to you. I mean, you're like my best friend now, I talk to you 24 hours a day, like, you know, you've seen legitimately fine, there's obviously those bad moments. And I wrote down a quote that Mel said earlier because it was just so beautiful. We have bad hours, but we have great days. And I like that's incredible. Mel, I love that. And that's exactly what Sara's having like she let's not pretend that this has been like a breeze, this has sucked for you. But at the end of the day, your day is like more positive than negative.

Mel:

We could do like a really deep one after for us. And then for like the divorce being over, and you signing a paper, but I was gonna say it's actually a really validating and beautiful thing when things end because actually what happens is New Beginnings happen. And it's a really beautiful thing when things end on a beautiful note, which I know that is happening for you. So what I was gonna say is congratulations. And I know that might sound really weird. But what I was gonna say with that is it's a beautiful thing, because you're entering a new chapter a new you and a new 2021 for Sara. And what does that mean for you? What does that look like for you? Right? And it's really scary. And it's tough. And it looks weird. And you're like what, like, I never thought that was gonna happen for me. All these things, but don't look at other people. And don't look at what you thought your life was going to look like. Look at what your life can look like now. Right? everything is in the way that you talk to yourself and the voice inside of your head. So if you can change the words that are coming outside of your head, inside your head, everything is 95 - - 95%. subconscious, right. So if we're going, Oh, you know this, dah, dah, dah. But you can go No, this is new. This is great. This is grand. This is beginning to look like the new beginning of my beautiful, beautiful, beautiful life. You get where I'm going with that. So it's actually a beautiful thing. So

Sara Amundson:

And actually you're the first person to congratulate me and like I think That means so much that word, congratulations because it's like honoring and validating all of the really hard self reflection I've had to do to get to this place of acknowledging like, I'm not gonna stay in a marriage that doesn't serve me.

Mel:

No,

Sara Amundson:

No

Mel:

No. And, and it's so funny, I have a tattoo on my arm that says, hold on. And I'm going to cover it up. Because everything with BPD is about letting go. Because at the time, I had a song called Hold on, and I'm like, Come on, now let go. Because it's so hard, every hour of holding on to these thoughts. But at the end of the day, what you can hold on to is everything beautiful that you had that was serving you. But now it's time to let go, what's not serving you. And it's an important thing in life, to radically accept what we need to change. And it's important thing to just keep growing. You know what I keep saying, honestly, every time I let go of things, growth and change, growth, and change, baby growth and change, baby growth and change, and I would just keep getting tougher and tougher growth and change every hour. Like you said, Laurie goes, Oh, every hour and then new day, like every hours, you can have a bad hour, but a great day, you know, fuckin Had a bad hour? Take a nap. Okay. I now feel like,

Sara Amundson:

Yeah, we all love naps.

Laurie Edmundson:

And now we're having a good day again, right? Like, we don't have to have a bad day, because we have bad hour. I think that's where the black and white thinking is really hard. Because I mean, I'm the same way with food. Like, the one part of my mental health that like is not good is like my relationship with food, right? And so, you know, if I have a doughnut then I'm like, Okay, well, I'm gonna have six donuts. And it's the same thing where like, right? So it's like, I'm having a bad hour. So therefore, I'm going to ruin my whole week, because I'm grumpy. And now I'm stuck in this like rut of grumpiness. And I hate that, like, I really hate that. And I think there are ways to get around that. But it's just, I think it's kind of natural to just like sit in misery. And it's trying to just move past that that's the part that you really need to do the work on.

Mel:

Totally. And I think I- uh, relationship with food don't even.

Laurie Edmundson:

I get it. And I think the thing is, when you talk to yourself in a kind way, it's like, hey, donut, love you. Like I get it. Because it's like, I'm like, you know what, I'm having a bad night. I'm just gonna call it off. And I just like, go for it with this, like 10 donuts too. But at the same time, sometimes you just have to, you just like have to have a nap. Sometimes you have to have a night with the doughnuts, right? But then you can't feel bad about it. Like, you have to just be like, I'm done. Like, you know what I mean? Yeah. And then the next day is a new day. Like, you know what I mean? It's like, or next hours a new hour, instead of dragging it on. I think the problem is, sometimes we're like, I'm going to drag it on, and I'm going to continue, it doesn't need to be continued. That's where the letting go has to happen. And I think that that's the important thing is like you're allowed to, you're allowed to have six donuts, you're allowed to be upset for an hour. That's not BPD that's being human. Yeah, I mean, that's literally just being a person. That's not a big deal. And I do think that's part of where like the stigma comes in is, we're B- once you have a BPD label, and I people are for and against labels, and I get that and I'm actually To be honest, I'm for them. Because I think that that has been like a key to my healing. But when you have a BPD label, and you do something that people consider BPD so like, yeah, you're you're emotionally you're emotionally disregulated and you sit in your anger for an extra hour than somebody else might, you automatically are considered like, "Oh, that's because she's BPD" like. I remember I was dating a really awful person for years. And I had never told him I had a BPD diagnosis. I had told him that, you know, I had anxiety, depression, whatever, it just I skipped the BPD bit because he was an asshole, and I knew that it was not going to go well. And then I finally got up the courage to tell him like two and a half years in, and the next day he was like I said something and he said, Oh, I get it, BPD, the exaggeration of effing everything and then left me and it was like, Well, I'm the same person that I've been for the last two and a half years so like, the stigma is ridiculous when it comes to symptoms like that that are completely normal. Everybody exaggerates like I may exaggerate a little more than Everybody else does. But like, that's just that's just what it is right?

Mel:

So do you think because there's some people that I feel safe with all the time, I'm like, Look, I'm just going to tell you, whatever I want. And I'm not going to tell you whatever I want because I BPD, I'm just going to tell you whatever I want. And then there's, you know what I mean, like, and then there's people, you can just tell whatever you want, like, I tell them whatever I want, because I have BPD and I'm comfortable to, and then you avoid because of your BPD. Like, you don't what I'm trying to say, like,

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, kind of like

Mel:

You definitely didn't tell him for two and a half years, like because of that. And because of the stigma. I'm trying to break that, not- Because I think it's important we don't do that, like, you know, I mean, I agree that you should be cognizant of the labels. But I think it's also important that we don't concentrate on the labels at the same time, too. Because then two and a half years later, and I'm so sorry, that fucking happened to you.

Laurie Edmundson:

Oh, no, God, he was the worst possible person.

Mel:

I could imagine. I couldn't imagine he is the definition of that.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, this was like the best possible thing that ever happened to me. But it just like, it wasn't a coincidence that I had told him my diagnosis, and then he broke up with me because of it.

Mel:

I just think also, we have to avoid that two and a half year wait, we have to avoid ever doing that. We have to stand. We have to be that resilient person. You are that story. You are bold and beautiful. And I don't want you ever to wait two and a half years, I need you to never do that again.

Laurie Edmundson:

And I never will. I mean, the thing- People ask me why my relationship with my fiance is so good. Yeah. And I think it's because him and I were friends prior to dating, and him and I we actually met in a restorative justice class. So it was all about talking about trauma, shame, all of this stuff. And he knew full well I had borderline personality disorder, he would come to my speeches and events that I was doing, like, and then he asked me out.

Mel:

I'm so in love with that

Laurie Edmundson:

I know, and I didn't have to hide anything from him. I still don't. I mean, there's days where he's like, I don't get you. But like, fair enough, sometimes I don't get me. But I refuse to hide that anymore. And Sara and I, this comes up all the time. But I know we're doing an interview tomorrow with somebody who's a guy who works in some, like a field that's like very, very male dominated. And he he really wants to talk about the fact that like, he actually feels like he can't come out. And he knows that I kind of like preach, like coming out is important. coming out is important. And I'm never gonna say that, like you have to come out. That's a personal choice, obviously. But it is so important that I do think that your life will be significantly better once you do like, Mel, when did you come out? You said it was recently.

Mel:

I know. So no, it's been it's really odd. So it's weird. Some people, it's been like six to seven months. Because I do the reels on Instagram, I put up a bunch of posts. But people think that I just came out recently, but they're reading it almost like it's I just put up more publicly on my wall, like on the actual wall. But I've been talking about it with family and friends for over a year. But, but they're very hesitant about it. Right? A lot of people are like, I don't really know if you should. And I'm like, I don't care. I'm going to keep talking about it. Because my actual dream is to be like a spokesperson and to be able to talk about it. Like at like, everywhere. Like I would love to be able to talk about it everywhere. Like I don't care, I want people to feel comfortable. I want everyone to be able to share, share their stories. I want your podcast, I would love to put your podcast up everywhere. I'd love to be able to just have people feel comfortable.

Laurie Edmundson:

Can you imagine if at the bottom of that pamphlet that you had were handed at the hospital said go listen to this podcast, you would have probably had a completely different perspective of what was-

Mel:

I wish there was at the time, someone or something or something easier to follow just someone to call for actual guidance and help because me having to call these people up by myself. And so little help at the time. It just was really not accessible, easily accessible. And the fact that it was so scary and I just felt really alone at the time. That's why the fact you have this podcast that's why I want to go and be a spokesperson in Canada and I want to have so much I want to be so much assistance and guidance in Canada for people with BPD because that's why I'm doing this and going to become a psychotherapist and get my masters because if people are suffering in Canada or I was or felt alone If I stumbled through school and fail, like so close to failing, I don't care, I will keep going. Because I want people to feel okay. If-

Laurie Edmundson:

You're going to be such a good therapist, I mean, even just the way that you're describing the skills right now, I'm like, You're not even like you haven't even started school yet. And the way that you're describing the skills is just like, incredible.

Sara Amundson:

You're so articulate mel. Like, you know, this chat. So I like can't wait for you to do that.

Mel:

I wish we could hug it out right now.

Laurie Edmundson:

Me too

Mel:

Through the zoom calls through the zoom, COVID lockdown.

Sara Amundson:

You know what really bothers me about DBT is like, yeah, our podcast would be cool for people to listen to. There needs to be a peer support model in DBT. And it really bothers me that there's not a peer support model, like, like, I would love to be partnered up now with people going through diagnosis, because I can be like, Look, look, dude, I know you feel shitty. I know, you feel a lot of shame. I know you hate yourself. I know like that you feel like the only way out is out that there's not a through but I'm here to like, tell you, like we can walk this path together.

Mel:

I think you hit the nail right on? Is it nail on the head? What is that expression?

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah,

Mel:

Because you we discussed that earlier in this because remember how hard it is. And you said people can't talk to each other. And even after the group they're suggested not to, they only have phone coaching, therapy, groups, and then therapy for therapists after but they do not have peer support groups models. So going forward, you are correct. There should be a peer support model.

Laurie Edmundson:

Well, the other thing that I find, and I mean, I get why in some ways, but it bugs me is that at least in BC, and I don't know what else where there's a lot of support groups for people that are affected by people with borderline. So we're talking like family, siblings, whatever it is, like, there's lots of those. But there aren't any, to my knowledge, support groups, at least in BC for people that have borderline personality disorder themselves. Because the thing about personality disorders is that it's considered like basically, you don't necessarily have the insight into your own behavior. So you're hurting other people, which, in some situations, I understand, but that's not the reality of what our lives are like, like, we hurt. Yeah, it's so important. Because, you know, it's not that we're just sitting here like la di da, like, I'm so happy, it's that we hurt inside and potentially hurt others as well.

Mel:

But once again, it's not a peer support model. But I have a feeling I know why it doesn't exist, because it can get I don't know how to say this correctly, without being offensive, but I don't want to be offensive, it can get dysfunctional in a sense.

Laurie Edmundson:

And it's because of liability.

Mel:

And I exactly,

Laurie Edmundson:

I hate when when organizations say the word like, Oh, it's because of liability, because I'm like, okay, but you're also killing people by not having this.

Sara Amundson:

Exactly.

Laurie Edmundson:

That's, that's what it is.

Sara Amundson:

So okay, this is what bothers me, right? Because I have my Master's in social work. And I provided mental I mean, I'm a mental health clinician, and I have borderline personality disorder, like, there is a way for a peer support provider who has to get a peer support certificate to partner with the mental health clinician to operate on a cross systems like crisis- cross- cross systems treatment team model to best support a patient and so that liability thing just irks me, because yeah, like, they have to get a certificate, they have to partner with a clinician, it is no different than asking them to attend occupational therapy, or like a like, like skills coaching.

Laurie Edmundson:

Well, and the other thing that I think is part of that is it goes back to the stigma yet again, here I keep bringing up stigma is that the the people that are making these decisions and funding these kinds of positions are thinking, Oh, well, people with borderline can't possibly be regulated enough to be a professional. Whereas like the three of us are regulated enough to be professionals. And so if we were to be those peer people that we would be no different than the other people in the room, except for the fact that we actually fundamentally understand what these people are going through and that right, like, we can say that to them.

Sara Amundson:

Yeah, can we just point out like, I have my master's degree, Laurie's in her master's program. Mel, you start your master's program on the sixth. Like we are not like, you know, like hanging out on a park bench having sex with like 12 different people and using drugs like no, so highly educated people in recovery.

Mel:

So it's possible we make this model and just do it ourselves. that in the end, maybe triggering so be it the liability issues, but 100% from the phone coaching the groups, the one on one, the one on one therapy, they already had that set. But I think that one step over the peer support model hasn't been done so far. Hello.

Laurie Edmundson:

Well, I also don't, like my DBT experience didn't have any of those additional pieces. I just had groups

Mel:

That you just had groups. And you know that one unit- never had one on one therapy, or?

Laurie Edmundson:

I had one, I had a one on one therapist prior and following my DBT. But I was going through the public system, so I couldn't see my counselor during DBT. Because then I was like draining resources or something. So. But I didn't go to like a private model where I had the phone, counseling, group, individual, whatever.

Mel:

And phone counseling is just offered when you pay.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah. And nobody takes it up. Because I remember I worked at a university that was focused a lot on borderline. And I remember asking, like, Man, that must be exhausting. And they're like nobody ever calls. It's like, Oh, all right, cool. Um, but yeah, I mean, so you don't necessarily need to have all of those components, like I just had group and I use the skills every single day.

Sara Amundson:

So in the States, you cannot attend a group program without having an individual therapist assigned to you from the same DBT institute that you attend.

Mel:

Yeah.

Laurie Edmundson:

Wow.

Sara Amundson:

Yeah. So like I had to. So I attended the Portland DBT Institute, and I had to have I had to attend group, I had to have my medication managed through them, I had to have an out-, I had to have my one on one therapist through them. And then I maintained my outside therapist as well, but I could not participate in the full program unless I received counseling and medication management through them.

Laurie Edmundson:

But that was a paid program, right. Like your like your insurance may have covered it, but it was like a private program, or was it through the government?

Sara Amundson:

Oh, I'm not Yeah, I'm not Medicaid eligible. So private insurance.

Mel:

That's private. And that same with Canada, the private program? That's the same with private Canadian programs.

Sara Amundson:

Okay.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah. We know, the DBT center here is probably the same I went to the hospital. So that's why like they the drain on resources thing, because if I was paying them 10 grand, they wouldn't care about draining resources.

Sara Amundson:

Oh, see, but I didn't even have to pay a copay. My insurance covered everything. But but that's the differences between right you guys have Medicaid for all or what is it called?

Laurie Edmundson:

Universal health care Okay, Mel, is there anything else you want to talk about? I feel like we kind of went on a little- Sara and I have like, I don't know why people-

Mel:

I could talk. I could talk to you guys forever. But I don't

Laurie Edmundson:

I'd love to hear about your journey with want - substance use. like

Sara Amundson:

yeah, 100%, and love addiction.

Laurie Edmundson:

I would love to. Yeah, I'd love to, like, literally I've got stories for days. I just like wanted to not do that on the first podcast. Yeah. Well, we should do that. Because I mean, like so personally, I don't have like substance use like issues, which is I'm very thankful for Yeah, um,

Sara Amundson:

But I however, am I drunk

Mel:

Me too

Sara Amundson:

I have a big alcohol problem. And I really am in the process of a addressing it.

Mel:

Yeah, that's okay.

Laurie Edmundson:

I mean, so many people with BPD do have like, serious substance use issues. So like, I'm always interested to hear those stories, even though they don't necessarily resonate with me specifically. So and I know that they resonate with Sara. But-

Mel:

Well, when you have so many different people going on here. You got to control the mind. Right? So then we've got it. We've got people to control. So yes,

Laurie Edmundson:

Well, and what's funny for me is like, I don't want to go in like, I don't want to start this episode. But for me, the reason I don't have substance use problems. I don't know what you guys want to call it, but I'm not gonna call it that substance use problem is, I've spent so much of my life trying desperately to be in control of what my brain is doing that using substances terrifies me because I feel like I'm out of control. And I know that that's the opposite. Like, a lot of people will use substances to kind of like, take away those emotions. But I've also Yeah, I just can't-

Sara Amundson:

Oh yeah, numb me out babe.

Mel:

Let's get the heck out of here. Let me just let me not think about what is Who am I right now? How many things are going on here? So

Sara Amundson:

Put me on a plane to Vegas, and I'll be up and down the strip until 5am on my own.

Mel:

Oh, my goodness. Yeah, too many times. I don't remember though. I don't know what story to tell you. Because I can't remember the end. But yeah, yeah, a lot of stories. And at least there's a happily ever after. So I'm happy to talk about that now for me.

Laurie Edmundson:

See now I just want to ask you

Mel:

Definitely happily ever afters for people with BPD Yeah, and you don't have to figure it all out today.

Sara Amundson:

I love that. I think that's the best thing we could possibly end on because, you know, like, and Laurie this goes back to the substance use stuff. I think people with BPD so often are planning 30 steps ahead to protect themselves from the pain of not knowing things. But like, that's where I think I can really apply radical acceptance in my life as for the first time ever, I have no plan. And I just feel like I'm like welcoming, whatever joy is going to come to me to come to me and outside of like creating and finding joy. I'm like, man, I don't know.

Mel:

And you don't have to know you don't have to figure it all out. It's not really have to having to figure it out. Why do you have to figure it out today? You don't have to? What would it be like for you just to allow? You know what I mean? You don't have to figure it all out today. You just have to kind of allow the growth and the change and just be like, that's awesome. You know, you know?

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah, anyways, well, thank you so much, Mel for coming on. And we'll definitely book you back. Because I feel like love addiction and alcohol and substance use will be-

Sara Amundson:

And also we just love you.

Laurie Edmundson:

Yeah. Also that

Mel:

Love you guys. Thank you so much.

Laurie Edmundson:

Awesome. Yeah, Mel, do you want to tell people where they can find you actually,

Mel:

Yeah, you can find me at @ queezemymel And you can DM me an time you want. I leave it open, because I want you guys to know hat I'm here for you anyti e you need to chat. I mean it.

Laurie Edmundson:

Awesome. Thank you so much. And we'll also put that in the show notes as well. So have a great day.

Sara Amundson:

Hi, friends. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the bold, beautiful borderline podcast. Laurie and I are so grateful that you're here with us on this journey. And we can't wait to dive into more topics in the future with you all about borderline, and even have some more fun and exciting guests to join us on the podcast. If you really enjoyed this episode, we would love if you would rate review and subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen. We would also love to see you interact with us on social media and on our Patreon page, the links to that are included in the show notes. So check us out there. We would be incredibly honored to get to know you all as you get to know us and our recovery stories. We love you and we'll see you next time.