Never would I of thought that my borderline personality disorder, or emotionally unstable personality disorder as the doctors officially diagnosed me with would of ever worked within a romantic relationship. Growing up it was something in which I had always struggled with, relationships!
I am not going to lie, the past four years of my relationship haven't all been plane sailing, but four years has been the longest in which someone has managed to cope with my mental health the way it is and accept me for who I am. This man of mine clearly deserves a medal, because it has been a long ride of ups and downs for him, not knowing what mood I am in from one second to the next or what impulsive tendency I have acted on this time that has gotten me into a whole heap of trouble.
In my relationship I tend to refer to myself as two different people. There is me, the loving kind and caring person who has a lust for life and a good heart, then there is the BPD me, an impulsive paranoid moody woman who can love you one minute then hate you the next, she will push you to your limits until you're ready to leave then be begging you to stay.
My partner has come to learn which person I am from each day to the next and he has come to an understanding of how to deal with each person. How when I am in BPD me that I need space, I need time to myself to collect my thoughts, I do not want to be suffocated or asked how I am every ten seconds, I just need time alone, in which he respects and gives to me.
We have also learnt that communication is the key. For the past 7 months I have been in a very low mood, I have been BPD me pretty much from September 2019 right up until January 2020 when I managed to crawl myself out of the hole in which I had taken cover all those months. I kept things bottled up inside of me and did not communicate how I was feeling or what was happening in my life to my partner. I acted out of impulse and as a result ended up in a pretty daunting and scary situation.
During this Covid-19 pandemic I have not been able to work, so it has given me a lot of time to sit with my thoughts and feelings and work on being a better version of myself. I opened up to my partner more about how I feel and what was happening in my life and together we have made a plan on how we shall overcome this. Being able to communicate freely and openly without judgement or fear of consequence is what is needed within a relationship, partners need to understand that sometimes the actions of someone with BPD are not always intentional and that sometimes the person in front of them isn't themselves and needs some guidance and love in order to get them back on track.
Relationships can work when you have BPD. I have read a lot of scare stories about how being in a relationship with someone who has BPD can never work, they will make your relationship a living nightmare and over all they are too much to handle. These kinds of stories and advice sites are not what we need within our society, positive advice and acceptance is what is needed to make mental health stigma a thing of the past.
Here are my top 5 tips on how to make a relationship work with BPD:
1. Communicate - Communication is key to any successful relationship. You need to learn not to bottle up all of those feelings inside of you, making your feelings open to your partner will bring you closer together and stronger as a couple.
2. Support - Gaining the correct support is crucial when it comes to BPD, accepting that you need support is a big step in the path to taking control of how you feel. Never let anybody criticise or judge you for reaching out for support.
3. Understanding - Understanding and teaching is something in which comes from both sides of the relationship. You as a sufferer have to guide your partner and help them to understand how you are feeling and what is happening within your mind, they are not going to be able to instantly understand what it is like when they have had no experience of these feelings in which you feel, so teach them what it is like in order for them to understand.
4. Self Care/Love - In order to stay on top of your mental illness you have to practice self love and more importantly self care. Once you start giving up on looking after yourself this is when you start to give up on everything else around you, your hobbies, relationship and self worth. Practice self care on a daily basis and learn that it is important to love yoursef.
5. Acceptance - Accepting who you are and your BPD is the key making a relationship a successful one. If you are unable to accept that you have a problem then you will never take those steps in order to get guidance and the support in which you truly need.
BPD is a part of you, it is who you are and what makes you unique, I have come to love my BPD and in return found someone who therefore loves me.