Today is my 22nd birthday which is a symbol of another year survived and this year I have to admit that I also thrived. It was a year of learning how to start taking care of myself rather than having people take care of me. It was a year of creating the lifestyle that I want to live, a year of perfecting my treatment plan, a year of taking care of myself. Turning 22 isn’t a huge milestone but it’s something I have gratitude for. Thinking as a 13-year-old that I wouldn’t even make past my 16th birthday, celebrating my 22nd is a blessing. Little things like birthdays, Christmas, vacations, and the different seasons throughout the year are something I no longer take for granted. You never know what you’re missing until it’s taken away and when you get it back it’s some of the most beautiful things you will ever get to experience.

One of my biggest accomplishments of this year was something a lot of people take for granted, I became my own receptionist. I was able to get my medical documents prepared for accommodations, I got my finances in order, I got a part-time job and start university part-time, I got my own apartment and I do all the cleaning myself along with performing my own hygiene routines and cooking my own meals as I continued outpatient treatment. A lot of people would see all of these accomplishments as simple everyday tasks, like eating breakfast or waking up with my alarm. But, for me, it was a whole new world. I have never had to wake myself up, distribute my own medication, keep the house clean or eat regularly. I’ve always had a doctor, nurse, parent, or social worker to keep track of my daily activities and health so switching from being 100% co-dependant to being independent was completely new to me. I am so proud to have my life organized, especially with a part-time job AND part-time school. I never ever thought I would be able to work and go to school to any degree so doing both part-time is a blessing.

Another one of my biggest accomplishments is creating and continuing this blog. I have been posting regularly and I enjoy it. I want this to be my career, I want to open a not-for-profit, stigma-busting company and hire people with disabilities exclusively to help create awareness of modern controversies. It’s my personal goal to get an education before I can fulfil that dream. This was the first year I took the time to keep updating my blog and keep up with current events. I met some beautiful advocates and I couldn’t be more thankful. I’m proud to have kept up this blog and advocating on a regular basis. I am thankful for all of you. If you sign up for my newsletter you’ll see that I have started to branch out and ask for guest-bloggers to write some material, be it about their own experiences, research, hobbies, or lifestyle. I want to give a voice to people who tend to stay quiet. I have a platform with this blog and I want to open it for others to use.

The last accomplishment I want to bring to light from this year is my sobriety. I did have a few setbacks but as we all know a setback isn’t a relapse and doesn’t take us back to the beginning. Recovery isn’t linear. Being sober in the first year of university is especially difficult since first-year is usually full of young adults who are just becoming legal. Luckily, my girlfriend has been a huge support with my sobriety and when we go on date night we avoid clubs, bars, and places where alcohol is a major part of the experience. Of course, I still have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) so I still get cravings, I still become impulsive and obsessive, I do engage in self-harm from time to time, and I do have problems with my interpersonal relationships, but I am at the point in my recovery where I am no longer just trying to survive…I’m now trying to thrive.

For my 22nd year, I’m going to try and continue to build a solid foundation in my life. I’m going to continue saving for my service dog, continue to work and go to school, continue to blog and be true to myself. My top 5 goals for my 22nd year include…

  1. Save enough money to adopt & start training my service dog, Peach.
  2. Find regular guest-bloggers to help create a wider platform to share diverse mental health stories
  3. Finish all of my homework and papers on-time without extensions at university
  4. Make some new friends around the school & create a friendlier exterior
  5. Be a full-time vegan!

I want to thank everyone for sticking around this year, I couldn’t be more thankful.

Rebecca Lombardo

Creator of #KeepTalkingMH

Karen Unrue

Creator of #KeepTalkingMH

Zee Malvern

Creator of CraZee

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The 9 Diagnostic Criteria of Borderline Personality Disorder

There are nine (9) diagnostic criteria for getting a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) diagnosis which I will be outlining in today's blog post, however, I want to add a few disclaimers which I have outlined below. These symptoms come straight from the Diagnostic...

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