My name is Alice Pirola and I am a byproduct of the 1960’s and 1970’s. I was born and lived most of my life in Manhattan, and then our family moved to White Plains, NY and later, Long Island, NY. I have been married to Joe for over 30 years and we have one daughter Niki, who is now grown and married. After we had Niki, Joe and I moved to the Tampa Bay area in Florida where we’ve resided for over 20 years.
I have also suffered from BPD all of my life, along with other coexisting conditions such as Panic Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Severe Depressive Disorder and Bipolar. Even before I was formally diagnosed with Borderline as an adult, I lived life exhibiting and suffering from a variety of symptoms.
Although I have been symptomatic for most of my life, I was still able with help, counseling and treatment to be able to spend many years as a Legal Secretary and Paralegal, having graduated from Adelphi University in NY with a Paralegal Degree. Later, after Niki came along, I worked for Mary Kay Cosmetics for 25 years, achieving high levels of status, including driving the infamous “Pink Cadillac” for 10 years and having Free Cars for my tenure with the Company. During my time with Mary Kay, I developed an area of independent beauty consultants under me that I mentored and trained while I also managed a large customer base of my own. I was ranked as an Independent Senior Director with Mary Kay and was able to conduct many workshops and attend makeup artistry conventions as I grew and developed my business.
I have chosen to write this book Searching for Grey which uses my story, as a companion resource to help those that have or still do live with mental illness...specifically Borderline Personality Disorder to show that although one may suffer from BPD, they can still with help overcome the symptoms and stigmas to go on to lead a full life as I have. If you have read this book, you know that my life has not been all “sunshine and lollipops” and that the symptoms and crises of BPD can be very severe and overwhelming. It is my hope that Searching For Grey will help BPD or mental health sufferers and family members of those who live with BPD and their loved ones.
After a lifetime of suffering, coping, therapy and medications, I am extremely versed in what life is like for a BPD sufferer. I have also been through three years of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, also know as DBT. Hopefully, my trials, errors and wins may help others to also be able to conquer their symptoms in order to have more good days than bad. There is no cure for this disorder, but it is possible to control symptoms so that the BPD sufferer can lead a productive life versus living with the symptoms that overpower them or opting for suicide as many do. As someone with BPD I want you to know that there is help and there is hope.