I sit here today feeling accomplished and generally happy. I feel ambitious, positive, healthy and capable. Tomorrow may shine a different light on my life, so I close my eyes and tell myself to live in the moment. The impending doom that I try so hard to avoid every day will eventually make an appearance. It might not be today, tomorrow, or even a few weeks from now, but the feeling of being swallowed up by the whole world and sucked into a deep pit of despair will rear its evil head. I believe that acceptance and being aware of what that looks like before it consumes you is key to surviving this whirlwind of a disorder: BPD. Borderline Personality Disorder.
Everyone has their ups and downs in life, but this is quite different. It’s the perfect storm of depression, anxiety, anger, emptiness, and unruly mood changes. It can be terrifying when you’re incapable of managing your own feelings and thoughts, and feel like something out of your control is changing the way you navigate through life. I like to keep some humor about it all though because if you don’t, you’ll drown. It almost feels like an ongoing cycle; things are going well for a while and you seem to be making progress, then you might make an impulsive decision, or it could even be unprovoked, and likely next you will break down and release all of the tension that has been building up slowly inside of you. You explode—Intense anger and self-hatred sets in. This can sometimes lead to severe depression, even suicide. People may have never thought that you could possibly be going through something, or be someone who might be depressed. I shy away from using the word depressed because it’s so much more than that. This isn’t a case of needing to get outside for some fresh air, being more positive, or going through a single traumatic life event. This is an inability to consistently function at a manageable level. It’s a constant battle with yourself and your emotions, and blood is almost always shed.
Overall, I live a very “normal” life. I have great friends, a great job, and positive life experiences along with some less desirable ones. My childhood was supportive, nurturing, and not the typical precursor to a mental illness. Although, since my first memories, I have felt this unexplainable internal struggle. I fought and fought with myself for 27 years until I finally decided to get help with how I was feeling. My sole advice is: Don’t wait! If I could sum up BPD, it would be that it is life on hard mode, but there’s many ways to make it a bit easier on yourself. Constantly reacting instead of responding, having little to no control over how things make you feel, and having tumultuous personal relationships can be infinitely exhausting. Why continue to struggle to such an extreme? I wish that I had asked myself that question long ago. I still don’t have a concrete answer for why I allowed it to go on for so long, but now being aware of my feelings and how I perceive things, as well as holding back from reacting to things in the moment, has done wonders for my mental health.
It’s such a beautiful thing when you finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. That light will always be just out of reach for me, but it’s comforting to know that I don’t need to sit in complete darkness. I am not embarrassed about this disorder and I want to be a voice for those who feel shame. Anyone in your life could be grappling with BPD, or any mental illness for that matter, so what you can do is be kind. Be kind to your parents, be kind to your friends, and be kind to every person you come into contact with. Be human.