Meet Emily, one of fifteen inspiring individuals who spoke their truth during the UR Enough campaign. She bravely shares her truth and experiences of living with Borderline Personality Disorder and PTSD to help remind others who are struggling that there is hope and that you are worthy of recovery and self-love. Read on to hear her truth.
UR Enough: Please introduce yourself to the UR Enough community.
Emily: Hi there friends! My name is Emily Ager, and I am so very excited to be a part of the UR Enough community. To keep things short, I’m a 24 year old psychology graduate living in Toronto.
Throughout my life, I have struggled with multiple mental illnesses, life-threatening physical illness and domestic abuse. Despite having loving family and friends, many years of my life were dark and lonely. Thankfully, through therapy and acceptance the darkness has faded.
These diagnoses and experiences are simply pieces of me – not the whole picture. The whole Emily loves yoga, sunflowers, the beach, sunsets, peppermint tea, hugs and laughing uncontrollably. It has taken me years to finally realize that “I am enough”, and I will never go back.
UR Enough: Being a young cancer survivor, you have expressed that there can be a sense of loneliness and isolation from receiving such a label. How have you incorporated mental wellness strategies to push through the darkness?
Emily: Mental wellness strategies have definitely provided me with the strength to push through the loneliness and isolation of being a young cancer survivor. The most powerful technique that I have learned is mindfulness – to simply live in the moment. I try to take life day by day, moment by moment. Often times, I found myself reminiscing on the past or waiting for the future when all I really needed was to be present. I needed to feel what I was feeling and make peace with that. It has taken practice and dedication, but it has allowed me to let go of anxiety and regret.
To this day, mental wellness strategies are a part of my every day. Instead of feeling down and reactively trying to “fix” things, I proactively incorporate self-care techniques. I enjoy drinking tea, taking bubble baths, meditating, practicing yoga, eating ice cream and writing. These activities allow me to relax, rejuvenate and restore my mind and body.
UR Enough: In 2017, you were diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). From your diagnosis, you have told us that you discovered recovery and self-love. Can you explain how you came to this?
Emily: I was in a very dark place for 12 years (which actually equates to half of my life – haha!). I didn’t care about myself, I didn’t respect myself and I didn’t love myself. In fact, I despised myself. I despised the skin that I was in. I didn’t believe that I was worthy of life. I questioned life and the rationale behind it.
I started drinking at age 13 in an attempt to escape my haunting thoughts. To say that I was self-destructive is an understatement. I wanted the pain to go away. I didn’t want to be here. I didn’t want to be me.
In 2017, when I was diagnosed with BPD and PTSD, I found the missing puzzle piece. My thoughts, feelings and behaviours started to make sense. I started dialectical behaviour therapy and was matched with a therapist who saved me from my destructive path. She allowed a safe space for me to face my demons. DBT allowed me to take time for myself. For the first time in my life, I was determined to get better. It finally felt as though I deserved it – that I deserved to keep living.
I spent 6 months going to therapy twice a week. This was my recovery. It was there that I learned how important self love and self acceptance are. I found a deep love of yoga, mindfulness, meditation and all things self-care. I had neglected myself for so long that taking care of myself felt foreign. I often had to remind myself that I was deserving, worthy and “enough”.
My diagnoses saved my life. They allowed me to begin the journey to recovery and self love, and this is a journey that I never want to end.
UR Enough: Your blog is so beautiful, honest and inspiring. If you could, what would you say to someone who is struggling with recovery and self love?
Emily: Aw, thank you!
If you are struggling with recovery and self love, I want you to know that you are worthy. You are worthy of recovery and self love. Some days will be hard and you may feel like you aren’t, but I want to reassure you that you are. Recovery is worth the effort. You are worth the effort. Please remember that even on the bad days, you are still growing. You’ll get there. I promise you that.
UR Enough: What is one thing you love most about yourself?
Emily: I love my empathetic heart – my deep need to spread love and kindness. I know what it feels like to feel as though you’re all alone in a world of 7 billion people, and I would never wish that upon anyone. I wish I could hug every person who is hurting (or at least let them know that they aren’t alone).
UR Enough: In five words, what does the messaging and community of UR Enough mean to you?
Emily: You are worth living for.
Watch and listen to Emily speak her truth in The #UREnough Campaign, and become inspired to cultivate your own self-love and speak your truth, too.