Toning it Down

Toning it down.

The number of times we’ve been asked to keep it cool, just relax, come to our senses, shape up. To not distress others or cause a “scene”. & can we tone it down! To the degree that we lose contact with our feelings altogether, so well that some of us stop feeling entirely, begin to doubt own own reactions & dismiss our emotions. We tone it down.

When therapy is “full” and we try our best to learn how to cope with society & ourselves, vulnerable people become depending on someone or something else to make it through the day. Characterised by self-destructive behaviours, unstable sense of self & fear of abandonment, the situation is desperate & precarious. There is no coincidence that the demographics of borderline patients are primarily women, trans- & gender-non-conforming people. & as always, the most vulnerable are left out of the statistics, undiagnosed and without access to medical support, altogether. The story of BPD is the story of abuse, repeated abuse. Abuse from family or loved ones, abuse from society & working conditions, abuse from yourself & the medical establishment; a response to unfairness & invisibility. It’s political and a personal struggle. & sometimes it’s not getting out of bed in the morning or eye rolls about your mood swings.

In this zine, there are a bunch of quotes from the people we bump into, friends & medical professionals. The quotes are all anonymised as is some of the content. The bulk of the content is written by myself (& so doesn’t have my name written by it as the work of the other contributors), a wave good bye to a diagnosis I’m both leaving behind & resigning myself to; put together in the frustration that follows from invalidation. In being vulnerable, as everyone in this publication are, sharing medical records, notes directly from diaries & art relating to personal anxieties & fears; this is getting through the day & for once, not toning it down.

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