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Labels are for Jars

Labelling things can be useful. Labels tell us what’s inside - what to expect.

Labelling struggles with a diagnosis can be helpful. It can enable us (and others) to understand our difficulties and to realise what support we need.

However, labelling humans with a diagnosis can cover up what’s inside, preventing us (& others) from understanding who we truly are.

When people see the BPD label, they're often reluctant to ‘open the jar’, because of what they assume to be inside. They don't see that BPD is a label for our struggles, not for who we are. If they took time to look inside the jar, they might be pleasantly surprised at what they find.

In our last Art Group, we explored this theme. Here are the results:


​I am a rabbit mum, a friend, a crafter.

I am stuck, I am struggling but that is not who I am.

I am funny, emotional, friendly, quiet (at first!), kind, strong, brave.

I have many stories to tell. I hurt, I’m a mess, I am broken.

But I am human.



I am a mother, friend, sister, reader, coffee lover, music addict, adventure seeker.

I am sensitive, wild, free, loyal, fun, brave, passionate, messy, chaotic, quiet, caring.

I may have BPD, but I am so much more than my diagnosis.


My jar represents who I am - not just someone who has BPD:

The mirror represents my worry about self-image

It’s important to me to be a good loyal friend or partner.

I’m feeling lucky.

I have lots of love to give.

Something fluffy, soft and kind.

A medal for how far I’ve come as achieved in myself.

Shells as I love the beach


If you look behind the label and into the jar, you might get to know me. The little objects inside my jar represent just a tiny portion of who I am:

I have many roles - amongst those I am a friend. They call me ‘Eels’. I love to play, to learn new things, to make things and get creative. I love to sing. I smile and laugh a lot! My smile is what makes me shine bright.

I’m a bit crazy and have a wild imagination, but I also have a gentle side. I love many, many things, including Lego, cats and all animals. I love going to the farm and to the beach in the warm weather. I love icecream, bananas and many things Kawaii. I dream of going to Japan and I think dinosaurs are very cool.

Living with BPD can be tough , but I am a fighter - I have to be. The rainbow reminds me of the promise that difficult times do not last forever. My Christian upbringing and experiences have very much influenced who I am, for good and for bad. I am now exploring what my faith and beliefs are - for me, not for anyone else. The more I get to know myself, accept who I am and feel my feelings, the more I am becoming free to truly be me.

I have a diagnosis, but I also have a heart!

This jar was also made in the art group, but we don't have any words to go with it:

If you have BPD and want to have a go at making your own jar - feel free to send us your photos/writing and we can add them onto our website if you'd like us to! Let's help raise awareness that we are not our diagnosis!

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