Hi my name is Nicola, 33, living in Co. Galway Ireland, mother to J aged 10 and I have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Fibromyalgia. I remember when I was aged 4 – feeling different from others. As the bullying increased I kept wishing I had never been born. Unfortunately life came with massive blows and most memories I have at this stage of my life are bad memories. I can barely remember my childhood or most of my past. Growing up I saw many different professionals in the field of mental health and was told I had “just depression.” I have also suffered every form of abuse multiple times by multiple people and have lost two babies.
On the 9th of March 2014 at 5am after my then boyfriend used every negative thought I had ever had about myself against me. He told me that Jade and my family and everybody in the world would be far better without me. I took the two anti-depressants I was on at time, approximately 40 tablets, and I tried to end my life. I remember taking a photo of the handful of meds, which I have on my phone still, and sending it to my then boyfriend, “S.” I wrote “You win, I lose. I’m about end my life goodbye,” and with that I swallowed the tablets wrote out a note (which he stole afterwards) and sparked up a cigarette. A few minutes later the Gardaí walked in my door and started asking questions like “Why did you do something so stupid?!” “You wrote a note huh?! You think that will give your daughter and family comfort?!”
One Garda picked up the notepad read the note and threw it onto the couch beside me. He then left the sitting room to talk to S while the other stayed in the room with me standing at the fireplace and asked “You don’t really want to die though do you?” I started shouting at him “Why won’t you just leave and let me die?? I want to die!! Let me die!!! Just f#@k off and let me die already!!!”
Obviously I was told that it’s part of their job to make sure that I don’t die.
The ambulance arrived and brought me to Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe and put me on a drip which made me really sick and caused me to throw up the medication in my system. After I was sent to the acute cardiac ward I was talking to a lovely patient Mary, from Castlebar. If it hadn’t been for Mary, I would never have been brave enough to talk to the doctor and ask for help to prevent me from trying kill myself again. I got sent to the psych unit in a different hospital and different town. I stayed there an hour and spoke with a doctor, who agreed with me when I said if I stayed there I would walk out of there worse than when I went in. I explained that my Dad has me on his VHI plan and that I would try get help in a private hospital in Dublin instead. I had to tell my Dad I would go to Dublin but wouldn’t stay there and he allowed me go home.
I went to my GP the following day who even stayed late in the evening to help me secure a place in St. John of God’s Hospital, Dublin. I was in there from 3/14 to 4/16 it was during my stay there that I got my diagnosis of BPD.
I came home to a care plan meeting for J and was told that I wouldn’t be allowed have J come home to me. On 28/12/14 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, which really upset me. There’s no cure for the chronic pain and chronic fatigue. “It won’t kill you, but you will take it to your grave.” They said.
December 2014 I voluntarily signed J over to my Mam’s care as role of relative foster carer. Unfortunately, it seems that my Fibromyalgia and BPD are continued excuses as to why I can’t have J even stay overnight, never mind come home for good. Fingers crossed this time next year I will have gotten her home for good.
Since March of last year I have lost 3 stone in weight most of which has been through the help of Slimming World. Life is getting better, I have good people in my life and great friends and I get to see J at least 3 days a week and have a great relationship with her. She understands all about BPD and Fibromyalgia and even takes it upon herself to educate everyone she comes across about both illnesses.
She feels that without educating people they will always be “mean” towards me. I don’t hide who I am anymore and I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I believe the more we educate others about mental health and “invisible” illnesses that can we try #endthestigma and be #stigmafighters.
Since October of last year I have become more and more vocal about my illnesses and how they are part of me but I am in control of them for the most part rather than them being in control of me. I am lucky to have made a great friend in Slimming World, and some great friends on Twitter who have BPD and Fibro as well. I’ve gotten to do an interview on my dear friend Aidan’s blog www.endthestigma.ie which I’m so very proud of.
I have also become a proud supporter on his social media platforms. Aidan is making a difference here in Ireland and is becoming an ever growing advocate for mental health reform and elimination of discrimination. Thanks for taking the time to read my story. Thanks Sarah for giving me this opportunity it’s truly an honour to be asked to tell my story to others. I hope I’ve shown that it’s important to not give up and never be ashamed to get help and speak up about mental health.
Hi I’m Nicola and live in Co. Galway, Ireland. I’m 33 years old and have a 10 year old daughter who is my greatest and proudest achievement in my life. Another of my proudest achievements is having wrote an article on www.endthestigma.ie doing an interview on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Fibromyalgia.
Nicola can be found on Twitter.