“I’m not quite sure how to say this, but it was pretty evident to me as soon as you stepped in the room: you have Borderline Personality Disorder. The impulsive kind at that.”
I cannot begin to tell you how confusing it was hearing those words. I cannot describe how I felt or what I expected to feel just from gaining clarification that there was a reason as to why I did certain things. I’m not sure how I explained it to my family and friends. I’m also not sure that they really understood.
It’s been two months since I was diagnosed and sometimes I think I’ve got this disorder on lockdown. That I can handle whatever it throws at me. Other days, it’s all that I feel and I so badly want it to engulf all of me. Of course, I haven’t actually got a clue.
But that’s what BPD is. It’s an empty feeling. It’s being permanently clueless. It’s being not sure exactly of what’s going on inside of you but knowing that it definitely doesn’t feel good.
Even when I’m on a ‘high’, it never feels like a truly great feeling. My thoughts jump from one place to the next about a million times a day. In the morning, I could think you’re the nicest, loveliest person I’ve ever met. By lunchtime, I’ve convinced myself that you actually hate me.
I get paranoid over the tiniest things. At the weekend, myself and some friends were talking about the effect social media has on people. Of course, we all get annoyed when somebody reads our message and ignores it, but on a rational level, we understand that they might be busy. However, for a BPD sufferer, if you read our message and not respond – well, it’s the end of the world for us. Automatically, as soon as we see the blue ticks appear by your message, you become an enemy. You’re 100%, definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, screenshotting my conversation and talking about me behind my back. You’re going to leave me. Abandon me. So I will then do all that I can to prevent that from happening.
It’s been a running joke with my friends that I’m needy; I need attention, especially on hangover days, and I will text you from the moment I wake up to the time I go to bed. It’s not so much a running joke when you realise it’s actually part of your disorder.
I get obsessed with things. Places. People. Routine.
But I lose interest quickly. It’s hard work keeping up with how I feel.
It’s also a good idea not to take anything I say *too* seriously. When I say “I love you” – I mean it. I just love harder than most people. I also love looser than most people. But I do love you.
Some days, I want to spend all of my money on clothes, holidays, food, even drugs. Other days, I’m manically trying to make sure I’ve got savings for the future. And then I get sad that I sometimes can’t even think of a future.
I struggle really hard with ‘no’. I went through a phase of saying that saying no could potentially mean you’re passing up an adventure/experience of a lifetime, but on good days, no is completely necessary. Don’t actually tell me ‘no’ though, because I will freak out. I can’t handle disappointing people.
I also don’t have a limit. Alcohol, drugs, food, sex, money…nothing is ever too much or too little. I push every single boundary I have ever known because why is it there? I question authority.
It’s hard to put into words how I feel on a daily basis. That’s a common sentence you’ll hear from most BPD suffered. Our emotions are scattered all over the place and sometimes they’re a good feeling, sometimes it’s a bad feeling. All we know is that it’s all of a sudden.
Our emotions can go from 0 – 1o0 in less than sixty seconds; our emotional scale knows no boundaries.
To somebody without BPD, a minor argument with a friend may feel terrible, but it will blow over eventually and it won’t bother you anymore. However, to a BPD sufferer, a minor argument with a friend is the end of the world. We could feel horrendous for a minute, an hour…or a day, a week, a month. Because our thoughts take over and instead of processing them – properly -, we tend to do things that we know will hurt us 10x more.
Something drastic usually. Drugs, alcohol, promiscuous sex, food, reckless driving. It might seem unnecessary to ‘watch’ us, but it could potentially keep us in a place where we’re not doing something more fatal.
You may feel like a babysitter, like you didn’t sign up for this when we first became friends, like you’ve got your own shit to be getting on with. But trust me, we didn’t sign up for this either.
Relationships are hard. So are long lasting friendships. We fear being left, abandoned. When we expect people to walk away or hurt us, we grab on tighter and try to do everything in our power to prevent this. We put up walls. We say horrible things. We push people away to prove that we were right to be distrusting in the first place. But those who will love us, will work with us.
It’s also not as easy as being able to ‘see’ BPD; we look like everyday people. We don’t have labels, or name tags, or big flashing arrows above our heads. We just have a hard time controlling our emotions. Everyday, we fight a battle with our thoughts. We have difficulty not acting on our impulsive behaviour. But we are capable of everything you are capable of, we just might have to work a little bit harder.
You can have a relationship/friendship with us. You just have to be committed to being there for us. We’re afraid of getting hurt, but this shouldn’t stop you from finding good ways to be a helping hand in times of a really fucking hard battle.