I'm Not Crazy, I'm Borderline
A Look at What It's like to Live with Borderline Personality Disorder
I have borderline personality disorder, and according to my shrink, it's a pretty extreme case of it. I know, I know, I'm basically fucked, right? Who is going to want to hire, marry, or otherwise socialize with a nutjob? That is what I used to think when I was first diagnosed at the age of 11. However, at the age of 23, I've realized that it's really not as bad as it sounds at first. Sure, I go through a range of emotions all the way from a to z every ten minutes, but I think I handle it with grace.
My whole life I've been misunderstood. People were constantly judging me, and making me feel like I was a bad person because of how I coped, or didn't cope, with my emotions. Ever since I was a child I have struggled with my ability to cope with and separate my emotions from eachother. This has interfered with many things in my life. School, work, relationships... most of these things have been a struggle for me because I am different than what much of society would consider to be "normal."
Many times when I was growing up I was labeled as being dysfunctional, unstable and mentally disturbed. There are so many people in the world who will be able to identify with these labels because they have been told their entire lives that there is something wrong with them. This is something that really gets to me because, although it is technically a mental health diagnosis, borderline personality disorder is not an illness, it is not a disease, it is a total overload of emotions.
Much of the time, BPD is caused by some form of trauma in early childhood, but this is not always the case. Some people are just born with a natural inability to cope well with emotions. This inability coupled with an overload of emotions can make for some pretty horrible emotional meltdowns. When I say "overload of emotions," what I mean is that instead of feeling one emotion at one time, you feel many emotions at one time. And these emotions aren't just your average emotions, they are deep and intense and almost impossible to deal with. It doesn't help that much of the time BPD is accompanied by other mental health disorders such as bipolar, depression, anxiety disorder, and PTSD. It often goes undiagnosed because all of these other disorders that can mask BPD or mimic it.
With borderline personality disorder, you feel angry when something makes you mad, but you also feel sad, scared, and anxious because you are feeling angry. To top it off, you can't tell whether you are actually scared, anxious, or pissed because all of these emotions just flood over you relentlessly.
Sometimes I even get so emotional that my skin feels like it's on fire, and that's when I want to rage... I want to scream and throw things and run; but I can't because I'm an adult and that's not how adults react to their emotions. So I usually just cry instead until my skin stops burning, then I try to sort out my emotions, but I usually can't so I just stuff them into the void and pretend everything's all good.
I didn't always cry when I got mad, I used to beat the crap out of anyone and anything that was in my path when my emotions came down on me. Having borderline personality disorder sucks, everyone thinks you're a psychopath because you get triggered easily, and you eventually start to think you are too because of how you react to certain situations... but you're not a psychopath, you're not crazy, you're just borderline.