Rachel Reiland’s personal story, shared in her book, Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder, is shocking and motivating. It is disturbing and it is full of hope.
Holding back nothing, Rachel writes with an honesty that is rare in today’s world. She admits to her darkest moments and shares heart lessons that go deeper than most of us will ever experience.
Instead of frantically attempting to cover up her shameful past, she exposes it. To read her book is to read the story of a hero. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is characterized by extreme moods, irrational thought processes, and behavior that is out of control. Those with BPD are both intimidating and infuriating. So much so, that even experienced mental health professionals often refuse to treat those with BPD.
Some of the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder include the following:
- Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
- A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation
- Identity disturbance; markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self
- Impulsive behavior in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)
- Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
- Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
- Chronic feelings of emptiness
- Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
- Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms
The list above can not adequately portray the battle that rages for those with BPD and those who work with them. However, the battle is clearly presented as Rachel does nothing to minimize the ugly strength of it all in her memoir. With no holds barred, she writes of the verbal abuse she dished out on her therapist in her sessions, on the phone, and even with notes on the therapist’s car.
She writes with raw honesty of her irrational thought process that led to behavior that affected her husband and children. Rachel sugar coats nothing. Instead, she writes of it as it was: the lowest times, the somewhat-OK times. She writes of the reasons why but never offers excuses.
Get Me Out of Here is not written for the purpose of shocking people. It isn’t written for attention and it certainly isn’t written for the purpose of being dramatic. Instead, this story is about courage and perseverance. it is about pain and healing.
Rachel writes of a journey that took four years: Four years of intensive therapy, several hospitalizations, two steps forward and ten steps back. A journey that involved a dedicated husband, resilient children, and a psychiatrist who would not give up.
As the introduction to the book states, “It is a love story: a mother’s love for her children, her husband, her psychiatrist, and ultimately, for herself.” Whether you are an individual caught up in the private hell of Borderline Personality Disorder, hating it, yet not knowing how to live beyond it, or a family member of a person with BPD, this is the book to add to all the others you have bought on the subject.
Chances are, all the other books you have purchased explain BPD, speak of the recovery prognosis (or lack thereof), and provide coping mechanisms for all those involved. Get Me Out of Here goes beyond that. It provides a promise of hope and a picture of healing.
As Rachel would probably be the first to put it, “If she can recover from BPD, anyone can.” And that is what Get Me Out of Here is all about — “Borderline Personality Disorder” and “full recovery” are two phrases that can be synonymous.
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