I think this might be the most important piece of advice I have for not only those with BPD, but anyone with depression, anxiety or who just feels a bit lonely: get a cat. It doesn’t have to be a cat. A dog, a lizard, a rabbit… really, get yourself a friend who isn’t a human.
This is probably going to be a short post, I’m writing it on my phone while on vacation at 4am: hoorah for insomnia! But I did want to write a quick shout out to one of my loved ones I’m missing most while I’m supposed to be relaxing. She has several names: Ella, Beedrill, Kit… Dickhead when she’s a bit bitey. Cheers for putting up with me when the majority of my species won’t!
Animal companions have been proven to greatly improve the wellbeing for, well anyone, but particularly those with mental health issues. They are widely used in therapy and while I cannot think of particular citations at the moment have been linked to longer lives. Many individuals on the BPD subreddit talk about their furry children, including a woman who has ten cats. One thing is unanimously agreed upon there: animals are the fucking best!
Animals are just generally less confusing than people… isn’t it kind of sad that it’s easier for many of us to understand those from different species than it is our own? They won’t shy away from emotionally heated conversations because the patriarchy has taught them that emotions equal weakness. They won’t use your mental illness as a scapegoat when they don’t want to deal with their own shortcomings. There is no agenda, no manipulation. They will kindly greet you when you come home, offer you endless cuddles, companionship and entertainment.
I sadly lost my beloved Ziggy, a sweet bunny I’d had since my teenage years a couple of months ago. A constant companion, he’d boop me with his nose when he needed (yes, needed!) his head patted and has comforted me through numerous heartbreaks. Ziggy: I love you and miss you tremendously.
My psych has suggested I find something to fill the emotional void left by his loss and my partner and I have always wanted a dog. I will be on school holidays for a total of six weeks, giving me a lot of time to dedicate towards some changes in my life. Enter Zelda. We can’t take our new furbaby home for a couple more weeks but this sweet Chihuahua will soon join our tiny family.
So, to all of our loyal animal companions, a big thank you from the BPD community! You’ve been there for us when our own species didn’t know how and you’ve offered us cuddles when you’ve seen us crying. You are our silent heroes.