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My survival aids
for borderline


Life runs in waves, the sea already teaches us.


Which helped me to (survive) live with borderline

In fact, this is the last page I write and I put it off. The other content also makes me think, but on this page I am talking about people, animals, circumstances that really saved me .


I often remember an hour with my psychotherapist Anja, who gave me such support. I was crying and said to her: "Don't you see that you are fighting for something that I have given up for a long time? I don't want to live anymore." Anja looked at me and said: "Yes, Johanna, I know, but we can do it ." I am so touched by it.


I speak of people I yelled at, wishing them dead, I consciously hurt them in order to create a distance again. I wanted  Don't leave anyone behind my protective cloak - the cloak that assures me: If someone leaves you, it doesn't matter because they've never been so close. I feel this coat again and again, on the one hand it makes me sad, on the other hand it gives me a sense of security in which I am calmer. You may know that.  

But now to what particularly helped me and helps on the way to healing. You are now reading the following:


Stationäre Therapie für Sucht- und Verhaltensstörungen

Inpatient therapy for addiction and behavior disorders


The nice thing about inpatient therapy is being caught . I was finally able to switch off a little from my voices and my despair. There are professional therapists who showed me what I need. They catch me and know my clinical picture. I was in a facility that combined individual, group and sociotherapy . In addition, there were work areas in which I found stability and structure.


Structure is one of the most important things for healing. Little successes slowly gave me courage and confidence again . Conversations in which I was allowed to show myself gave support again. I cannot put into words what I was allowed to learn in these therapies.


I found respect and appreciation for myself. I learned to trust because my subjects were handled very carefully. I also learned to have relationships again despite being borderlineStep by step they showed me a way back to life, which in my fourth therapy I was finally able to experience as worth living again. And me as adorable :) 

Ambulante Therapie

Outpatient therapy

I used therapy regularly, sometimes having two therapists and sometimes twice a week. In retrospect, it's interesting that the right people were always by my side. The following therapies and methods helped me:

  • EMDR and hypnotherapy:

This is part of trauma therapy and worked very well for me. I could remember an amazing amount and so I could learn a lot in one unit. This form of therapy requires a certain stability , which is why I was happy about the previous inpatient therapies.​

I am very grateful in this area to Ms. Mag. Danneberg - psychotherapist , who supported , stabilized and motivated me with EMDR therapy, constellation work and conversations in a difficult situation. She lives in Vienna, but she has also given me a lot of support online and over the phone - so: warmest recommendation!

  • DBT behavior therapy:

I find this form very effective. The approach is that borderline people must first learn to control their impulses in order to survive at all.


How to observe yourself: How tense am I, where am I? Depending on the degree of tension, there are various effective exercises that bring you back to the here and now in a short time and reduce the tension. For me, that was a prerequisite for being able to live more relaxed among people at all. ​​​

  • Talk therapy:

This shape also helped me a lot. However, it is important to feel what shape you need . I had a therapist who just listened and never said anything. So I started looking for problems to avoid the uncomfortable rest - that was fatal. Since then, at the beginning of the initial consultation, I have said that I need a therapist (I only chose women, I preferred that) who would also give me feedback and "guide" me. By addressing this clearly, I always came to the right people afterwards.​

  • Constellations:

In constellations you take a situation or feelings and set them up with figures or pseon. Inner parts and experiences become visible , which can be resolved in a healthy way with good accompaniment. This form has always been very effective for me because I was finally able to get out of my confusion and understand what was going on. Especially when I had problems with relationships and borderlines, it helped me a lot to understand what was happening.

  • Group therapy:

I'm divided on that. I think it depends a lot on the leader of the group . If he works out what is important in a constructive way, finds topics where everyone can learn together, it makes a lot of sense. With borderline it is difficult because there is a great risk of triggering , that one triggers something that is ultimately harmful. I recommend checking carefully what is personally helpful for you and starting individual therapy. ​​

  • Coaching:

Coaching does not go as deep as therapy, nor should it. It looks where you stand and what you need now. In between and especially when I was further, that helped me. Nevertheless , I prefer psychotherapy (talk therapy, DBT etc.)

Methoden, die den Körper mit einbeziehen:

Methods that involve the body:

  • Grinberg method: This method assumes that trauma is stored in the body and works with tension. In my case, the therapist then massaged certain points, which was often very painful. I had to breathe deeply and suddenly I started howling and sobbing. It solved something, but it overwhelmed me , it was too much for me and it was possibly the wrong time.


  • Rosen method: You should find yourself again through gentle, careful touch on the body. That too was too much for me.  


  • Shamanic work: Yes, I even tried that. I went to a shaman who told me to undress and he massaged me. That was really weird. Although I was actually well informed, I could have left that out. I recommend that you only do something like this if someone you trust recommends someone .  


  • Massages: I consciously used massages such as Lomi-Lomi over and over again. I couldn't do that until I was more stable. I wanted to improve my access to my body . I only took women here because I felt safe there. It helped me see that my body was fine.  


  • "Wholesome dancing": This is dancing that also includes psychological aspects . At first I was shocked because everyone was dancing around so wildly, sometimes very close. I then said I couldn't dance close and everyone told me I didn't have to.


The group was really very supportive. Slowly, step by step, I danced my way into the experience. I was amazed at how healing and effective it is . I completed two block courses of three days each. ​​


  • Tantra: I would have done it FAST and then canceled at short notice. I was later told by someone who was experienced in the field that I had made a good decision. With the history we people with BPD bring with us, it can sometimes be more broken. Here, too, great attention is required, which is really useful . I am not excluding it for myself, however, I have heard a great deal of good. But at the moment it's not my turn.


  • Meditation: I tried my hand at Zen Buddhism and meditation in general. Here I have to admit that I often get too restless and don't last long either. I can feel that it can be very effective , but I've found other ways to relax myself.


  • Riding therapy: I found myself again. Animals have always been unimportant to me. I think it was also difficult with my tension because animals felt it. In an inpatient therapy session, a really great riding therapist brought me closer to horses. He did the Jacobson relaxation method with me on the horse. At that moment I felt a deep calm . So I took a closer look at these horses and noticed: The eyes of these animals are so wise and soothing! I touched her fur and realized that the warmth gives me peace . Since then I have been looking for closeness to horses, also professionally, because their presence brings me into the here and now like nothing else and calms me down. Horses!


  • Mindfulness training: I did an eight-unit course. I can highly recommend that to you! Elements of mindfulness are also used in dialectical-behavioral therapy. The exercises aim to be in the here and now , which is extremely important for people with borderline personality disorder. It's simple and very effective methods that helped me a lot in my process!


  • Scents: I noticed that lavender, for example, calms me down very quickly. There are various fragrance lamps and essential oils that can be used to take advantage of the effects of fragrances. In an emergency, it is enough to smell the fragrance bottle. Try it out and find your scent that calms you down!

Natur und Tiere:

Nature and animals for the psyche:


  • Forest bathing: It is  scientifically proven that the forest has a positive effect on our mental health . There are really interesting studies there!


It helped and helps me too. In the forest I find myself and my calm again. I walk consciously and slowly, say hello to the trees, smell the fresh air and the scent of the forest. Hear what nature tells me - as crazy as that may sound, I've always found answers there !


  • Herbs: Herbs have a healing effect both mentally and physically. There are various herbs, such as yarrow and St. John's wort, that have a positive effect on restless minds. I took a herbal course and asked herbalists - nature really has a lot to offer here!


  • Cold bathing: I often went to a bathing lake early in the morning, until October and from February I went swimming. It was freezing cold and that's exactly what I needed. These strong stimuli  (this can also be the acidity of a lemon, some use a rubber band around the wrist and let it peck when tense)  immediately bring me back into the present and into my body .


  • Riding: For me it is horses that help me to get healthy. Maybe it's a dog, a cat, a budgie with you?  Horses helped me regulate my mood, as my riding instructor always emphasized that I had to go quietly to the horses. These magical animals are so sensitive and fearful (they're escape animals) - I often thought, funny, I'm like horses.

Körperliche Betätigung gegen Energieüberschuss:

Physical activity against excess energy:


It always annoyed me that everyone said, you know what helps - sport! Sport couldn't be the solution to everything. In fact, I realized that exercise is the solution to a lot . I get rid of a lot of my tensions through sport and can be calmer with people and myself.


Here, too, I tried a lot. At the moment, hiking, horse riding, cycling and tennis (I like to beat that) are right for me. Every type of activity gives me something special, be it decelerating, accelerating, being close to nature and animals or reducing aggression. I realized how much energy I have.


A therapist told me: The energy that I cannot get rid of in a positive way during the day, I turn against myself in the evening - and that was true. Since then, I've been paying attention to regular physical activity - and above all an opportunity to work out!

Musik zur Beruhigung:

Music to calm down tension: 

Music is balm for my soul and at the same time poison, if it is the wrong one. When I felt bad, chose  deliberately no music that amplifies this mood . If I was already aggressive, I didn't listen to music that increases aggression and tension. Three types of music helped me:

  • Classical music: It calms me down so much when I listen to classical music. When the strings play, I feel something caressing my body.


  • on YouTube everything that starts with Relaxing ... :) I very often hear "Relaxing Piano music" with the twittering of birds or the sound of the sea. This music does not reinforce negative feelings in me, it only does one thing, it calms you down.  

  • make music myself: I was lucky enough to have music lessons. Piano has become my second language. What I cannot express verbally, I play in melodies using keys . Sometimes very quietly, sometimes loud and wrong. What I had learned because I made music with many fellow patients in inpatient therapy: You don't have to be able to play the instrument. If you feel the music, you quickly notice: Every note is correct, everything is music. The sound guides your fingers and calms you down.

Struktur und Projekte für einen Sinn:

Structure and projects for one sense:


What was and is very important to me is structure. I wrote to myself  precise plans of how I wanted to organize the day - exactly from when to when I do what with whom. I knew from experience - in every uncertain minute addiction and borderline find their way to destructive behavior. Whenever I thought I would not set the alarm clock for once, I just lay down - I had a relapse.


Psychologically, that makes sense to me now: If I set the alarm clock and get up, make my bed, I already have two experiences of success. Then I eat something healthy - three success stories. I do sports - what a great way to start the day . If I woke up at some point, I thought, the day is already in the a **** anyway, my life makes no sense. My downward spiral began immediately.


So I thought about what would work well for me, when should I get up, what should I do. I focused on what worked well, and excluded what didn't. So I found more and more things that are good for me . I stuck to the plans until they became routine. At some point I no longer needed to plan so strictly because I had understood what was good for me.

I also always looked for "projects" to make sense of myself . These projects could be:

  • clean up the room

  • Extend personal hygiene (filing and painting nails, etc.)

  • inform myself extensively about a topic

  • go hiking


These projects didn't have to have an outcome.  It wasn't about not turning it into an exam or a diploma or something material afterwards. But I took it very seriously and it gave myself a new purpose - for the day or to get up in the morning.


For example, I am currently reading a lot about body language, that interests me. I write the homepage, this is my project and I work on it with heart and soul. I am learning to cook better. I find out which herbs have a calming effect, which teas :) It  are many wonderful projects waiting for us.

Soziales und Beziehungen, damit ihr euch ausprobieren könnt:

Social and relationships so you can try your hand at:


Even if it is difficult for me sometimes or often with people: I need them . Although I see myself as a loner now and then, I can only do that because I have social contacts.


I couldn't assess myself before, I didn't notice how my moods jumped up and down. I needed the feedback, someone who showed me how I looked. It was a very long and difficult road for me. Who can I trust, will I get hurt again?


I was hurt again - and realized: That belongs to relationships. Injuries are not always done consciously, the most important thing is how we deal with them. People came into my life who showed me that I would stay. You told me that my kind was "under all pig" - and stayed. Gave me the chance to work on it. They helped me try my hand at relationships - how close, how often, how long? They wanted to get to know the person behind the injured facade. I took advantage of these opportunities (I keep hurting and disappointing, but gradually decreasing) and so trust grew.  

Relationships keep frightening me, making me feel insecure and sometimes I just want to run away and break everything off. But relationships are what carry me and in dark hours put your arm around me and walk next to me to the end of the tunnel.​

Ich selber helfe mir zu überleben:
Fazit, wie ich lernte, mit einer Borderline-Persönlichkeitsstörung zu leben:

I myself help myself to survive:

What? I was my own anchor Exactly. As you are yours. I kept running away from myself. Staged stress or destructive behavior. I got healthier when I learned  to be with me This is hell and beautiful :)


I have days when I want to tear myself apart because I can't stand it in and with myself. And there are days when I laugh with myself and think I'm really great. The path to getting along well with myself was needed  Practice, time and a willingness to take responsibility for myself . I know it can be scary to be "alone with the monster (borderline)". But it helped me to know: I had already existed without borderline - borderline does not exist without me.

Bottom line on how I learned to live with borderline personality disorder:

I've written a lot to you here, what helped me, what I tried. I will briefly summarize where I recommend you to focus on it :

  • Structure: get up in the morning, have a healthy breakfast, you have no work - look for projects. Plan your day (e.g. wake up 8 a.m., 8:15 a.m. breakfast, 8:45 a.m. start work / project, etc.)

  • Physical activity, especially in nature: it can also be nice in the gym, but for my mind it is better in the forest. I didn't try to think about burning calories. Feel your body and the harmony with nature, feel your breath.

  • Psychotherapy:  Which kind suits you best, sometimes you just have to try it out . If you have thoughts of termination that cannot be logically explained - talk openly with your therapist about it, it is a symptom of borderline personality disorder

  • Projects, social affairs or hobbies: For me it was often difficult in the long run with people - in principle I was afraid that they would see behind my facade. Nevertheless, I recommend that you look for something where you can be in company . Maybe a chess club, a sports club or even a self-help group. If I was alone too much, I immediately fell into loneliness. Find a hobby that can also be just carving wood or painting stones. 

  • Finds the balance: Our body shows us exactly what we need. We just have to learn to listen to him and trust him (sounds easy, yes :)). I slid from a deep hole into actionism, excessive demands, hole. When you plan your day, see what is good for me, who is good for me, what do I need. This should always include a bit of "me-time". The time with yourself to endure this is a key on the way to the life you deserve!

Addition for a person for whom I am very grateful: Mom, if you have proofread this below, thank you for everything.


My mother gives me the hold that I sometimes can't find in myself - in a way that doesn't push or intimidate.


But with patient love. Sometimes she gets a juicy one on the lid of my border guards (proximity is danger) - because at the moment I can't do anything else. But I'm working on it!

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