How Borderline Personality Disorder Has Helped My Creativity

I have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  I've known for the a while but before that I was told that I had Bipolar Disorder (this is a common mistake apparently).  

I've had BPD most of my life but didn't know until someone showed me a list of the symptoms.  I looked at it and said "Yep.  Everyone of those is me."

Since then I've been taking what's know as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).  For me this is like "mindfullness" or "meditation" on steroids.  Daily, I am asked to "look inward" and notice how I feel,  how I responded to people and situations.  I've been asked to change the words I use.  For example instead of using "like", "dislike", "good", "bad" I might say "I notice", "I'm curious", "I feel (insert actual emotion).  This is where the creative change has happened in my life.   

I'm a teacher of creative digital art.  I've been doing this for 6 years now.  I've taught every creative digital art process that you can think of.   It's been so stressful and miserable until... 

I started bringing the skills that I was learning in therapy into my classroom.  I stopped judging how "good" my projects were and actually spent significantly less time on them.  I started questioning my students rather then telling them to "change" or "fix" their art.  Instead of me making all of the decisions I started allowing (and trusting) them to make them on their own with my guidance.  I began to allow the natural curiosity and wonder of the human mind lead me and my students in our creativity.  

I'm happy to report that this had made all the difference in my life as a digital art teacher.  Not just creatively but relationally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.  I was actually told for the first time in my teaching career by a student that I was a "good teacher". BPD and DBT has actually liberated me to act spontaneously and intuitively in my teaching, creative art and relationships.  

If you have (or think you have) Borderline Personality Disorder and want to get some tips click here.  Or if you want to just ask me some questions then leave a comment below or click here.

Mark Maya

Mark Maya Photography, Durham, NC, 27707, United States

Mark Maya is a photographer and educator from Durham, NC.

Mark Maya is a wedding photographer and educator from Durham, NC.