May 6, 2013
This is Todd, Edde’s husband. I happen to be going through my email and found a link I saved to this journal. I know it has been a few years since Edde last posted so I wanted to let you all know that she is doing very well. We just bought a house and are expecting our first child next month. Edde has come so far and has changes from night and day since she last wrote here. She has become the most positive inspiration in my life and a light to all around her. I just wanted to let you all know that hope is never lost, and change is never impossible. It took time, but with love and patience, she has won the fight. She has been off meds for more than two years, and been stable ever since.
Ever day I am amazed and in awe of how far she has come in a few years. The light in her eyes is without equal. Since being married to Edde my heart has always held a special concern for those with BPD, seeing the day to day struggles and the constant heart ache that accompanies both those who are diagnosed and those close to them. So please, if there is anything that Edde or I can do, we are here. We may not be available all the time, but I have set up an email for Edde and myself specifically for those of you that need someone to talk to. If you are suffering from BPD or know someone that does and need someone to talk to, please feel free to email and ask. Our hearts and prayers go out to you all every night. We know what you are going through and we know how each side feels. We have experience and we want to help. Mind you we are just two people, we are in no way a substitute for professional help, but we can supplement it with support with love and understanding. So please, if there is any question you may have please feel free to write us at:
In the subject line please put “Edde” followed by your subject if you want to write to her or “Todd” and your subject if you want to write to me.
God Bless you all,
October 20, 2010
My Wonderful Readers~
Although I have officially stopped writing on this blog, I am working on setting up a new site documenting my new adventures. I will post it as soon as I can!
In the meantime, I’m focusing on mental health advocacy….Please vote for my story! My cause is “Love is the Cure,” which promotes education and empowerment for those with Borderline Personality Disorder and works to further public understanding and awareness. (Visit their page at http://www.litconline.cjb.net/) PLEASE click on the link below to read my story and vote once a day if you can! If I win, US Bank will donate $5,000 to my cause! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
Love, Edde Jae 🙂
August 3, 2010
Hello! Just to clarify to my readers, as of July 3 I officially ended my blog “Falling Forward.” However, I will soon be starting a new blog within the next month or two about this brand new chapter in my life, and I will be sure to post the link here as soon as I do. Thank you all again for your love, encouragement, and support! Stay awesome! 🙂 Love, Edde Jae ♥
July 3, 2010
Never forget… the sky is always blue behind the gray… the mountain has another side…the stars are still there in the day…and caterpillars become butterflies.
I am colorblind
Coffee black and egg white
Pull me out from inside
I am ready
I am ready
I am ready I am
Taffy stuck and tongue tied
Stutters shook and uptight
Pull me out from inside
I am ready
I am ready
I am ready I am
Coffee black and egg white
Pull me out from inside
I am folded
And unfolding I am colorblind
I am fine
This has been the last day of sunset…
This is dedicated to all those out there who are struggling… whether it be with depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, suicidal thoughts… Anyone who is hurting, lonely, sad, hopeless…
This video and these words go out to you, as if said personally by me…
You are not alone.
I hope that whoever you are, you escape this place.
I hope that the world turns and things get better.
But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, kiss you… I love you, with all my heart…
I love you.
When you hold on to your past, you impede your progress.
The greatest thing you can do for yourself is to forgive yourself and to let go so you can move forward. This often the hardest and last step. It was for me.
Ultimately, you make the choice of how you want your life to be. No matter what has happened in your past, you can change your life. Make the decision. Right now. Decide to take responsibility from this moment on for who you become.
Start where you are. This moment. Stop waiting for a miracle.
I realized it wasn’t God that was punishing me. I was punishing myself for things that had happened and things I had no control over. At least not anymore. Living in the past does nothing. So I let it go and chose to begin a new chapter.
I gave myself the power back. I took the power away from my past, from my mistakes, from my abusers, from depression, from BPD, and gave it back to myself. I chose to rise above. When you accept what has happened and relinquish yourself from undeserved blame and guilt, while taking appropriate responsibility for your actions – you become empowered again. You are able to let go of the burdens of the past. You are able to forgive yourself and move forward.
This is what happened for me, after years and years of blaming myself, of striving for unattainable perfection, of feeling guilty for everything I did.
Now I am moving on. Putting my past behind me, only taking what I have learned so that I may use it to bless my life and those around me.
I can allow myself to be happy now. To live, freely.
I can be me.
Day by day, step by step, I’ve become a little more unbroken.
And though sometimes I fall… I’m forever falling forward…
July 2, 2010
It is hard to believe that just eight months ago, I truly thought my life was over. That there was nothing left for me to live for. That I was worthless, used up, incapable of ever being happy again. After years of struggling with debilitating depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and what I later found out to be Borderline Personality Disorder, I was tired of trying. I was ready to throw in the towel. I was ready to give up the fight. Over a two month period I attempted suicide three times and overdosed on at least five other occasions. I coped with the pain of past and present abuse, trauma, guilt, and self-loathing with binging, purging, cutting, alcohol, drugs, and victimization. In order to survive, I either disassociated from my surroundings or changed my entire personality depending on where I was and who I was with. I didn’t know who I was from one moment to the next. Most people didn’t even know everything that was going on with me, because I was very good at putting on a mask. Life was chaos. Chaos was life.
I failed therapy after therapy. Medications made me even more suicidal. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder that things started to make sense. However, it still took me a little while to accept my diagnosis and to make the decision to change. It wasn’t until after my third hospitalization that something inside me snapped. I realized that if I didn’t commit to recovery now, I never would, and I would be miserable the rest of my life. It was a decision I had to make on my own. No one… not my family, not my therapist, not anyone… could make it for me. It was a deep, inner choice and true dedication to becoming healthy.
I am convinced that the one deciding factor to my success in recovery was my commitment in that critical and pivotal moment to becoming better.
Without that, nothing would have worked. Not the best therapy in the world, not the most perfect combination of meds, not even the most loving relationship. No…only that commitment that remained even in the most difficult, heart-wrenching moments when those voices screamed at me “Give up! Give up!” …that one small voice of commitment inside that remained, that whispered… “Remember, remember…” That is what made the difference.
My current state of happiness and healing did not happen all at once. It is a result of a lot of hard work, of a long and painful process. Healing, progress, recovery… They are all a result of a series of small, but very important, choices. Really, there is no such thing as a small decision. Every choice you make has vast consequences, no matter how insignificant it may seem at that moment. Remember that when you when you try to get down on yourself when you think you are “failing”… give yourself credit for the tiny successes…. They make more difference than you realize….For it is those seemingly small victories that accumulate and create something magnificent in the end.
Another thing that has greatly helped me in this process has been getting outside myself. The more I reach out to others, the happier I am. The more I isolate myself and retreat inside my own little world, the more depressed I feel. It is hard because I struggle with social anxiety, but just like any other skill, the more you practice, the better you get and the easier it becomes each time. One thing I love to do is bake, especially at night when I can’t sleep. But I don’t just do it for myself, I do it for my friends and family… There’s nothing more fun and rewarding than seeing the joy on someone’s face when you show up at their door with a plate of fresh-baked cookies. Talk about endorphin rush! Believe it or not, it’s little things like that that can really lift you up out of a rut. Try it. Experiment. Can’t hurt, right?
I also had to decide, at a point, to let myself be happy. For most of my life, whenever I started to feel happy, I would immediately begin to feel guilty. For me, I never felt I “deserved” to be happy, because only “perfect” people deserved to be happy. And since I was never perfect, I could never be happy. Took me a very long time, well… my entire life!… to realize that: 1) I am never going to be perfect, and no one is; 2) There is no such thing as “deserving” to be happy; and 3) I can (and should) be imperfect and happy simultaneously. Once I could accept that, emotionally as well as logically (and I still have to work on this daily, as a lifelong habit is hard to break) I was able to do things like enjoy the little things, be in a relationship, and get married (tomorrow!)
Something else I’ve had to learn and work on is boundaries, especially when it comes to helping other people at the expense of neglecting myself. I’ve always had a bit of a “savior” complex, partly out of a genuine compassion for others, but also as a result of low self-esteem. I need to love, but also be loved, as much of my self-validation comes from others’ approval. As a result, I tend to give everything I have to others, whether they deserve it or not, and am often left empty. I give others validation instead of encouraging them to validate themselves.
Over just the last couple of months, I have learned (the hard way), that unless I am taking care of myself first, I am not good to anyone else. I had to learn to step away a bit and focus on my own recovery, otherwise I was at risk of breaking down again myself. One day, when things have settled down and I am comfortable and strong in this new chapter in my life, I will return to helping others in their journey – it is part of who I am and always will be. I love helping others – listening to them, comforting them, being a help and support wherever I can. But I always need to be sure I am in a good place myself first, before I can be a strength to someone else.
The best thing I can offer the world and others is myself – healthy and whole, with a voice that is clear, strong, and true.
It took me my entire life to learn this…
Even now it is difficult at times..
But the wonderful thing is…
Whether you realize it now or not…
That I would be good even if I did nothing
That I would be good even if I got the thumbs down
That I would be good if I got and stayed sick
That I would be good even if I gained ten pounds
That I would be fine even if I went bankrupt
That I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth
That I would be great if I was no longer queen
That I would be grand if I was not all knowing
That I would be loved even when I numb myself
That I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
That I would be loved even when I was fuming
That I would be good even if I was clingy
That I would be good even if I lost sanity
That I would be good
whether with or without you
A really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars. ~Carly Simon
I remember one morning, about two and half months ago, that I stood in front of my closet staring at the long row of twenty-something sweatshirts. Even though the the weather was starting to get warmer, calling for shorter sleeves, until that day I had refused to show my arms because of my many scars. I was ashamed of them, not wanting to be stared at or judged. I was deathly afraid of being asked questions and hated feeling self-conscious. Hardly anyone in my life knew I was a cutter, and the scars were too deep to use the “cat-scratch” excuse. So I used the easy way out and just pretended I was cold-blooded.
However, something changed that morning. For the first time, I didn’t care what other people thought of me. I had finally gotten to the point in my recovery where I was open enough to accept myself with my flaws and let people think what they may. Perhaps it might even give someone else the courage to not be ashamed of their battle wounds either. I made the decision that morning to love my scars. I closed my closet, walked over to my chest of drawers, and pulled out a t-shirt. That day, I walked around with bare arms, my struggle with depression and BPD exposed to the world. Sure, I got a couple of glances, I was a bit uncomfortable, but in the end… I was ok. No one asked any questions. I didn’t break down. I didn’t panic. The world didn’t end. I was fine. And everyone else was fine. I was just me.
Perfectly imperfect me.
Now, my scars have faded quite a bit, but they’re still there. I’m getting married tomorrow. They’re not that noticeable anymore, but I will still have to use some cover-up for pictures. But I’m fine with that. To me, they are just indicators of where I have been and the things I have overcome. They are my battle wounds…markers that I have fought… And that I have won. That I am a warrior. The most important scars are the ones you don’t see… The emotional scars. And I am happy and relieved to say that those have been healed. Through therapy, time, commitment, and love… Those have been healed. And that’s all that truly matters. It IS possible. I can testify of that.
Healing is possible.
Hope is real.
Love is attainable.
Believe in yourself…
Keep fighting your battles.
And be proud of your scars.
They mean you’re strong enough to survive it all.
July 1, 2010
This is the ending scene from the movie version of the musical Rent, one of my very favorites. The music and the message is profound and moving…
There’s only us
There’s only this
Or life is yours to miss
No other road
No other way
No day but today…
There’s only now
There’s only here
Give in to love
Or live in fear
No other pay
No other way
No day but today…
This has been the sixth day of sunset…