I am no newbie to the mental health field. I've been diagnosed with bipolar, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder for years now. New diagnoses and meds do not phase me; I would even go so far as to call myself a pro at navigating how to properly explain my feelings to psychiatrists and therapists alike. I am a proud supporter of #endthestigma when it comes to mental health, as physical and mental health are both equally important; however, my new diagnosis that I received a few days ago changed my world forever.
I've always known that I'm a bit clingy. Maybe a tad controlling too. I like to make a plan and I like everything to go according to that plan. However, I only recently realized that there's a bit more to my strange habits than just being a bit quirky. I'm codependent. Here's why that's not a bad thing.
Every infant need to stay close to the family and in particular to the principal caregivers, in order to feel safe and protect. When a person is threatened or under stress, he or she usually seek social support and security; this is basically known ‘Attachment Theory’, and the principal caregivers are therefore, his or her attachment figure (Howe, 2011). In other words, attachment theory is known also as a spatial theory because the child feels good when he/she is close to the caregiver, while sadness, loneliness and anxiety are the main feelings when the child is far away from his/her caregiver (Holmes, 1993). Moreover, Bowlby (1998) stated that if the relationship between the attachment figure and the individual attached goes well, there is joy and sense of security; whereas, if it is frightened, there is anger and anxiety. Instead, grief and depression are of first essence if the relationship is broken.
I’ve kept so much to myself since the last three years. That was never me, I always loved to share myself with other people. Things changed though and i became very silent but now i feel the need to speak up. I come from a society where it is not acceptable to have mental disorders. So it was very hard for me to accept when I got my diagnosis. I’ve learned though that I cannot change who I am and just because of my diagnosis I don’t deserve love or happiness. There was a time when i had convinced myself of that. That I didn’t deserve to be part of the general community because I wasn’t normal. I was an outcast. That nobody deserved to be inflicted by my existence. Like I was the plague itself.
Being only sixteen years old and having to listen to the continuous lack of empathy due to mental illness is soul destroying.
So, in February of this year, I was prescribed a magnificent medication called Sertraline (or Zoloft). Now a couple of weeks into taking it, I was on top of an eight-story building ready to jump. I was going through a really bad time in my life and I was just ready to finish it all.
I'm lost again. My identity is nothing more than a floating existence with a name. I lie in bed and loathe myself, tears streaming down my face collecting on my pillow. I ask myself why repeatedly already knowing the answer but it never seems to quell the cycle. My chest is tight and a ceaseless pounding echos in my head. It's all my fault, it's always MY fault. If I could be anything but what I am it would've never happened like this. Prettier, smarter, thinner, fatter, ANYTHING but what I AM and it would've never happened like this. This has been my routine, this has been my daily endeavor. Any slight inconvenience, a loss of love or loved one, any change in stability or routine throws me into a whirlwind of lost. I try to hide it from the world but it shows, oh does it show. Living with borderline personality disorder is like living in a constant hurricane. The clouds churn and there is no clarity in sight. You try to ease the storm and for a moment, after enough alcohol, pills, the brief attention from another being, anything you can get your hands on, you might create an artificial eye of the storm. A temporary calm. But it's still there, forever lurking and after your eye passes you find you've only given it more power. The guilt and remorse of your effort to stop the chaos only fuels it and on you rage.
Borderline Personality Disorder—how can I describe it? The bane of my existence? The fears that keep you up all night? The sweat on your palms as you try to live through each moment?
Every day is an act to try to be the best boyfriend or the best friend you could ever ask for. I act like an idiot to make close friends laugh, intentionally mispronouncing things, and placing myself in traps of humble embarrassment, just for the sake of my loved ones amusement. But I also sit with them, consider politics and ideas with them, trying to get the staggered voices in my head into the room, and see how it sticks to the walls and on the faces of those listening. They all sit and nod, explaining their agreeable perspective on the situation, making our friendship even stronger.
Everyone has a friend that’s absurdly organized. With them, there’s a place for everything and everything’s in said place. They’re the type of person that’s got their closet organized by color, their shoes in order of height, and a to-do list is always within arm’s reach. Many people would look at them and refer to their sort of behavior as very OCD, but the question to ask is are they really afflicted with obsessive-compulsive disorder?
I’ve struggled with my mental health for as long as I can remember. I have always realised that I was “different” from everyone else but couldn’t quite work out why. As a child, I didn’t follow the crowd, I did my own thing, and that suited me just fine. I was bullied severely throughout primary school which damaged me more than I originally thought. I had a “Day Dreamer Chart” at school because I was never able to keep focused.