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How I forged a successful career despite my BPD diagnosis

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Posted: 17 September 2017
There was a time I believed I would make nothing of my life. I had dropped out of education at 17, been fired from my previous two jobs and I was starting a legal case against my previous employe; I was at my all time lowest. I had listened to my demons, both emotional and physical, and I was ready to give up on everything I had worked for years to build up.

I experienced self destruction at its worst. From not attending college, to having too much time off due to my hidden, undiagnosed illness, I was close to breaking point; that was until my dream job came knocking on my door. I was employed at Manchester’s ‘biggest social media agency’ complete with every mod con and employee perk you could think of: unlimited holidays, dogs in the office and endless, booze fuelled parties, for the most part, I was in heaven.

It wasn’t until I found out their strong stance on eradicating mental health was a huge lie that I realised I had anything to worry about. I found a clause in my contract stating any mental health patient could face the sack at any time (but in more legal-sounding terms), and eventually, after 4 months, my time was January 2017. I lost friends, a job, and I even found myself in the middle of a legal case trying to get some answers as to why my undiagnosed illness was the reason I was let go, as I was asked to leave the business an hour after the CEO was told I was struggling with my illness. I didn’t have the money to take the company to court when they wouldn’t settle. They got away with it.

In the midst of defeat, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, and with no psychologists trained to deliver DBT in my area and no guaranteed medicinal treatments, I was left alone with no money, no career and no help. I was distraught and it was at this time I was terrified my underlying, now diagnosed illness had destroyed my life.

I’m happy to say, not even a year later, I am happier, but this was no easy transition. I quickly realised that I needed to fight, just like I had fought to get justice for myself a few months earlier. I created art, read books, wrote my story countless times and told people it got better, and I eventually started to believe the words I said. My emotions were words on a page, or a watercolour hung on my bedroom wall, they were real, and I was allowed to feel them, no matter how painful they could be at times. It was just a case of translating this passion into my career before I could get myself back on the metaphorical horse, and get myself another job.

Just 4 months of self help and controlling my emotions, I helped create an influencer marketing network. I am now Head of Influencer Relations at the said network, and my passion is my caree - with my heightened emotions playing a completely positive role in the rapid and consistent growth of the company.

It’s the biggest cliche out there, but it gets better, and your mental health may even lead to incredible things. Out of work, I enjoy campaigning and spreading knowledge about BPD and how it affects my life, and I often talk about it in a positive light, purely because I have stopped treating it as my demon, and rather befriended what it was that once made me a weak person. Strength is possible, and you can overcome anything.
Written by: Emily Ware
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