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Learning to Cope, Living with Hope….Life with BPD

Learning to Cope, Living with Hope….Life with BPD

This is a follow up to Borderline Personality Disorder: A Survivor’s Story, written by Amy Allison for in 2009.   Amy shares how things been since that time; challenges, triumphs and her ongoing personal work. I strongly encourage you to read her first piece as well to truly comprehend how far she has come.


Twenty-two years of sobriety did not address my co-dependency, my lack of boundaries, or my need to “fix” things. At the suggestions of a therapist, I started attending weekly Al-Anon meetings. As of now in November 2016, I have attended over 350 Al-Anon meetings, and have learned how to more effectively conduct myself in relationships and situations that has proven to yield much happier outcomes.

I went through some extremely dark months after the death of my step-father in late 2011, as a lawsuit was filed to contest his financial trust by my mother and I. I was shamed and harangued in regards to my mental illness of Borderline Personality Disorder by the opposing legal team in a deposition to assassinate my character, in attempts to render my testimony invalid.

I was also subject to inflammatory, abusive conversations and literal attacks by my step-siblings to break my spirit and to remind me of the less-than person I had been all of my life, and made life hell for their father (my step-father).  My very character and being were on trial daily from February to August 2012 during this terribly difficult time.   Pulling on everything I have in my toolbox of recovery, I triumphed over this assassination of my character, and won the lawsuit. The importance of this is that I SURVIVED this entire travesty without drinking, cutting or being hospitalized.

I continued to make amends to step-children and friends I had alienated during my drinking career. I have re-kindled relationships with two ex-husbands, “Del” and “Tristan”. In the 43 years that I have known him, “Del” certainly has seen me at my worst, and has celebrated the triumphs over my years of inappropriate behaviors. My indebtedness and gratitude towards him are immeasurable. I have known Tristan for 33 years, and he found sobriety four years before I did. Re-establishing a solid friendship with him has been most gratifying as we continue to mirror each other’s growth in recovery. I am in a 14-year relationship with ”Devon”, who has supported me in my continuing recovery, and was instrumental in facilitating my diagnosis of BPD. Devon provides me with constant and immeasurable stability. I have an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor of 27 years, and an Al-Anon sponsor for 5.5 years, both extremely supportive.

In April of this year, I was asked by WXXI-TV’s “Second Opinion” (PBS) to appear on a show concernBorderline Personality Disorder: A Survivor's Storying BPD, along with two doctors and a narrator. It was taped on June 15, 2016 in Rochester, NY, and released nationwide in mid-October. I told my story about what it was like when I was drinking and living with an un-diagnosed mental illness, getting sober in 1989, being diagnosed with BPD in 2004, and how my life has improved since.

Life isn’t perfect. My Borderline symptoms can surface and catch me off-guard. However, I have the knowledge, tools, and support to deal with the “off-the-charts” emotions. I continue to research and add to my Webquest on BPD , which I commenced in 2009.

Since January 2016, I have been writing my second book, “Destiny of Detours.” It is my story…from conception to age 62, written in third person. I hope to have it published in early 2017.

Hopefully, my publicized journey may forge a smoother path for someone with similar struggles. I have a lot of gratitude today.


Amy Allison is a survivor of Borderline Personality Disorder and severe Alcoholism, born of a tumultuous home life of mental illness in both parents and alcoholism in her father.  Since her BPD diagnosis in 2004, she has found success and profound life shifts via Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and 12 Step Recovery.

Amy is the author of Prepare for the Harvest! – a meditation book of daily reflections for those struggling with addictions and BPD, published in November 2011. She is currently writing her story from conception to age 62, “Destiny of Detours,” which she hopes to have published by early 2017.

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT is the creator of with emotional and relationship health articles, guides, courses and other tools for individuals and couples. She is a frequent consultant for the media having appeared in,, and others. Lisa has a private practice in Marin County, CA and offers Emotional Health and Relationship Consultations via email, phone or video conference.

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