Sharing stories of hope: Yanie Porlier
Borderline personality disorder is a serious and complex mental health problem that often leads to suicidal thoughts and self-harm. Yanie Porlier is one of the one to two percent of Canadians dealing with this challenging mental health disorder—but reaching out and getting help has made all the difference for her.
Operation Lifesaver’s (OL’s)new Today is Better campaign is a way to let Canadians, like Yanie, know that they don’t need to struggle alone. The suicide-prevention public-awareness campaign consists of 11 poignant and hopeful videos (six English and five French) featuring the personal stories of Canadians who’ve experienced suicidal thoughts but found help. Here’s part of Yanie’sstory:
How did you first realize you were struggling with your mental health?
Every time I got up to go to work in the morning, I cried. I had no energy, I was a bit on the autopilot. My body was straight but I felt really weighed down, like I had a ton of rocks on my back. Then it was as if they turned off the light quietly, inside me... And when I realized that, I wanted to ask for help.
How did you get help?
I went to the hospital, and I was immediately taken care of by a psychiatrist. She immediately identified that it was the borderline personality. She explained to me what it was. It was as if she was describing me as if no one had ever described me so well. All the symptoms I had, it explained exactly what I had. So already I felt better because I said, “Ah, I’m not an alien.” I wasn’t alone.
What difference did getting that help make for you?
As soon as my psychiatrist identified that I had borderline personality disorder, she enrolled me in a therapy group that was once a week. There was no judgment, you could really feel comfortable saying what you wanted. And, I’d tell you after three years of therapy—it seems long but it goes by so fast, and then it’s... it’s always better. It’s lighter all the time, every week. My shoulders, then my happiness came back. My smile was more sincere. And, in three years, I can say I was functional and I no longer had suicidal thoughts.
How are you feeling today?
Sometimes I have downs. I call my friends, who are there to listen to me. And... I know it’s going to pass. There will always be bad times, but now I look more at the good times, the joys. The little things that make me smile. So I remain positive.
If you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, a trained responder is ready to listen. Call 1-833-456-4566 (Canada) or 1-866-APPELLE (Quebec), anytime day or night. And to hear stories of real people who’ve reached out for help, visit todayisbetter.ca.