Goliath and… me
I may be weak
but therein lies my strength –
the power to deceive you,
the wit to fool myself.
You see my flaws
and thus I find I’m strong –
I have weapons to surprise you
while you gawp at all that’s wrong.
You sense my fear
and, so doing, make me brave –
for I use it to confuse you
and I do not run away.
I may be feeble
but let that not deceive you,
as it simply makes me fight more
to prove what I can do.
Earlier this week I received an email from my publishers. Every time I see that I have an email from Jessica Kingsley Publishers my heart skips a beat (or two!). Part of me is afraid they will have changed their minds about publishing, whilst another part of me is afraid nobody will like the book – which is almost worse than nobody even reading the book! All the things I didn’t think through, as someone who suffers from borderline personality disorder, when I began to seek a publisher who would be willing to invest in my book.
The email said that the book has now gone to the printers – there is no backing out – we are on schedule for a publication date of 21st June. As this date draws nearer, the panic looms larger. I find myself feeling besieged by waves of anxiety and self-doubt. With the prospect of seeing my book, finally, in print, I am excited, terrified and mortified in equal measures, and questioning my sanity all over again.
A Sad and Sorry State of Disorder – A Journey into Borderline Personality Disorder (and out the other side) is an account of my journey, from diagnosis to managing the symptoms and leading a more stable and fulfilling life than I ever dreamed possible. I have been as honest as I can throughout the book, which inevitably means I have bared my soul much more than I would see fit to do so on daily basis. That said, I also decided to start writing a blog in an attempt to break the world in gently to the (mostly) hidden reality of being ‘me’, and in so doing I have, again, bared my soul much more than I would normally see fit!
Since finding a publisher for my book, and realising that any minute now the whole world will know about me and my BPD (should they choose to read my book), I think I am redefining what I see as normal. I once saw fit to not tell a soul about my struggles with mental health: I was embarrassed at best, if not ashamed. And whilst I am not proud of my struggles per se, I am beginning to realise that as long as my shame keeps me bound to silence, it also denies others the chance to understand, support, or be supported.
Admittedly, ‘I’m Tracy, I have BPD. Nice to meet you,’ is more of a deal-breaker than an icebreaker but I do believe that in the right context being honest and open about mental health will help to normalise it. It would be a huge relief if we could move away from being afraid or embarrassed of the subject of mental health, and it would be a positively healthy shift for the mentally ‘well’ as well as the mentally ill. As I said in one of my previous blogs: We need to be brave and keep talking until it isn’t a matter of being brave anymore, and it is simply a matter of talking.
Despite having a disorder that compels me at times to take life far more seriously than any gods ever intended, I do have a sense of humour, and it was my tongue in cheek sense of humour that I hold responsible for the title of my book: A Sad and Sorry State of Disorder. The subtitle: A journey into Borderline Personality Disorder (and out the other side) is my attempt to regather all those who may have scattered in horror, or slumped in despair at the initial suggestion of doom and gloom. It is not a negative book, but it is brutally honest and, I hope, balanced, and as the subtitle suggests I walk you through to the other side of the darkness.
Wednesday 21 June 2017 will be the longest day of the year; actually and literally. My book – my story – will be unleashed on the world, and I will most likely be hopping like a cat on a hot-tin roof, not knowing whether to hug or kick myself!
I hope it will help anyone who reads it – how it may help will no doubt vary depending on each individual and their circumstances and reasons for reading it. If you choose to read my book, I would love to know what you think; please go to www.thetracybarkerblogs.com/contact or @thetracybarker on Twitter or Facebook, and let me know.
I look forward to seeing you on the other side!