11 Texts People With Borderline Personality Disorder Would Love to Get on Bad Days

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Living with borderline personality disorder (BPD) can sometimes be an isolating experience. Many people find it difficult to control the mood swings and intrusive thoughts caused by the disorder, which can make maintaining friendships especially hard. But when you do have a connection with a friend, it makes the relationship all the more meaningful.

Sometimes being supportive means giving someone space while still offering love and empathy. We asked people in our community living with borderline personality disorder to tell us what texts they would want to receive from their friends on a particularly bad day when they might need to be by themselves.

If you have friends living with borderline personality disorder, here’s what they might need to hear:

1.  How you are feeling is valid, and I believe you. Stay safe, I am here when you're ready. YOU ARE LOVED.

2.  I know you are having a rough day, how about when I come home I'll cook us some supper and clean up the kitchen after so you don't have to worry or get overwhelmed?

3.  I love you.

4.  It might feel like your world is crashing down around you, but that's just it. Feelings are just feelings. You will get through them. Tomorrow is another day, full of different feelings. Just get through today.

5.  If you're unable to find your way out of the hole today, that's perfectly OK. Please stay safe and know I love you very much.

6.  Hey, I know your brain is a little sick, but that's OK. I know it's not you, and I still love you.

7.  You're not broken.

8.  I know you're sick of feeling like this, but it's not permanent, and you can get through this.

9.  Everything will get better. I am here for you whether it’s 2 p.m. or 2 a.m.

10.  Nothing's going to change my love for you.

11.  You are loved. You are loved no matter how much the monsters in your head tell you otherwise. They will tell you lies and be very convincing, but remember they are not true. You are here for a reason, you might not see it at the moment, but you will, you just need to get through this until you see the rainbow on the other side. Just breathe and do whatever will get you through the next second, the next minute and the next hour, until you see the sun rise again tomorrow.

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How I'll Explain My Borderline Personality Disorder to My Future Husband

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I expect we’ll have the conversation early, during the dating phase of our relationship. I’ll want to disclose my mental illness early in the relationship for several reasons: to give my future husband the opportunity to truly understand me, to see if there’s a chance he would possibly stigmatize me and to give him the option to go in the other direction.

Hopefully I am wise in choosing who I want to marry, and I choose someone who will accept and love me despite my mental illness. I hope my future husband does both of those things, and will open his ears and his heart and truly hear me as I explain my borderline personality disorder (BPD) to him.

I’ll start the conversation by telling him what BPD is: a personality disorder that makes it difficult for me to regulate my emotions. It’s characterized by unstable moods, behaviors and relationships.

After giving him the definition, I’ll encourage him to not be wary, and tell him that most of the time, it isn’t as bad as it sounds. I will be honest with him, though, and say that for me, sometimes, it is exactly as bad as it sounds.

After defining BPD to my future husband, I’ll describe my symptoms. I’ll be honest about how unpleasant they can be, and be up front about how they may affect him and our relationship.

I’ll start by listing the symptoms I experience most often: emotional instability, feeling worthless and insecure, impulsivity and mood swings. I’ll go into detail about each one and explain how each symptom affects me. I’ll explain how my emotional instability makes it hard for me to express myself. I’ll tell him that my feelings of worthlessness and insecurity sometimes make me hate myself. I’ll describe how I act when I’m impulsive, spending money I don’t have and being dangerously spontaneous. I’ll explain that my mood swings are hard for me to deal with, and that they may be for him, too.

I’ll remind him not to be discouraged, that not all of those symptoms surface at one time and that all of them are manageable.

I’ll be honest with my future husband about my treatment, because it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’ll list my medications and their benefits and side effects, and be open about going to therapy.

I’ll tell him I’ve learned to cope on my bad days, and tell him how; I busy myself, write out positive affirmations and practice mindfulness. I’ll also tell him what he can do to help me cope, too, by giving me space when I need it, by encouraging and supporting me, and by being busy with me.

I’ll tell him about how I may act out on a bad day. I’ll be honest and tell my future husband that when I manipulate or lie to him, I don’t mean it. I’ll tell him that at times, I’ll be at a loss for words, so I may choose the wrong ones. I’ll explain that sometimes I will be easily offended, that I’ll take everything personally, and that I will overreact.

I’ll ask him to please call me out on my poor behavior, because in order to catch myself next time, I need to be made aware of my hurtful words and actions.

I’ll explain that on my good days, I’m overzealous about almost everything, more excitable than usual and overly ambitious about my daily and life goals.

I’ll let him know that my love for him may seem exaggerated on a good day, but that he should take it as truth, that I really do love him that much.

Finally, as the conversation comes to an end, I’ll ask him to be patient with me when my symptoms become hard to tolerate. I’ll ask him to please be compassionate and patient with me as I experience them.

I’ll ask him to forgive my shortcomings, my outbursts, and every time I slam a door in his face. I’ll ask that he forgive me, but also be honest about his feelings, especially when they are hurt, so I can make it right and forgive myself, too.

I’m not afraid to tell my future husband about my BPD. I’ll do so in detail because I believe honesty is the best policy.

I’ll explain every aspect of my illness, but I’ll save the most important part for last: when I don’t love myself, I will always love you, no matter if my words or actions say otherwise.

Image via Thinkstock Images

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The Double Life of a College Student with Borderline Personality Disorder

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We have heard and seen the reports that rates of severe cases of anxiety and depression are spiking amongst college students. This is an entirely understandable outcome given how competitive and stressful the climate of college is. While it’s deeply important to discuss feelings of anxiety and depression brought on by the pressures of college, I can’t help but feel somewhat upset these discussions have neglected to bring the experiences of college students living with other chronic mental illnesses to light. This upsets me because I am one of those students. In addition to my diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), inattentive type, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), I also have one of the most stigmatized and widely misunderstood mental illnesses, known as borderline personality disorder (BPD).

As someone with BPD, I see the world in black and white polarities. It is difficult for me to reconcile two opposing feelings or concepts. Because of this, I struggle to understand how I can be both a successful student and an individual struggling with a relatively debilitating disorder at the same time. This has caused somewhat of a rift in my understanding of where I stand in society and who I am as a person.

On the one hand, I’m a high functioning student. I finished my first year of college with highest honors, and I’ve been selected for competitive positions, such as university ambassador and student assistant to faculty advisors. I even work as a research assistant in a mood and behaviors lab that focuses on non-suicidal self-injury and suicide, two things many people living with BPD would describe as a daily struggle.

On the other hand, I live with a disorder that has a number of crippling effects, such as emotional reactivity and extreme fears of abandonment and rejection, which for me has resulted in years of self-harm and parasuicidal behaviors. As I sit there in my research lab, I often feel like a counterfeit. I wonder if the professor, the graduate students or the other research assistants in the lab can tell I have BPD. I worry they have figured out why I know so much about dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), the main treatment for BPD, self-injury and suicidal ideation. I think to myself, “You are so stupid for thinking you deserve to be the one working on these studies and not the one participating.”

With every A received on a paper or test, with every day spent working at an open house and giving campus tours and with every invitation to join various majors and honors programs, exists the dreaded and inevitable crash that comes with finishing my day and returning to my dorm room. When the day is over and I have no classes or unfinished homework to distract myself with, I am forced to confront my thoughts. I become enveloped by loneliness, sadness and emptiness. I think about how much happier I would be if I possessed the emotional stability and security to have a functional romantic relationship. I wonder how many more friends I would have if I didn’t constantly operate under the assumption everyone is repelled by me. I worry about my future because if this lonely and isolated life is my reality forever, I’m unsure of how I will survive.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult for me to disclose my experiences to others, specifically friends. Although, I do not hide my general discontent with life from my friends, they do not know the breadth of this discontent. They do not understand when I opt not to go out with them to parties or all-school events, it’s not because I just don’t feel like going. The truth is I am dealing with so much internal pain and chaos that leaving my room and being around people who seem happy and undisturbed by their minds could trigger me.

There are times when I wish they were fully aware of my daily battles, which probably stems from an underlying need to be validated. There is something about BPD that is so perplexing to those who do not suffer from it. Out of a fear of being gravely misunderstood, I keep it a private matter.

Thankfully, I have a very supportive family who has the means to send me to therapy twice a week. I know this is a rare commodity, especially in the BPD community. I am continuously grateful for that. In therapy, I have discussed this feeling of leading a double life to my therapist.

In DBT, you are encouraged to think dialectically. The concept of a double life is highly dichotomous. If I was to think dialectically about my situation, then it would go a little something like this: I am a successful student and I struggle with mental illness. As I continue to cope with my diagnosis of BPD, I must routinely remind myself that this is not a zero sum game, where my credibility as a functioning and high-achieving member of society automatically decreases with each instance of mentally disordered thoughts or actions.

If anyone with BPD is reading this, I want to end by reminding you this disorder is not a guaranteed barrier between you and your hopes for the future, whether it be college or a different venture. You are not a stereotype. You are a person with a beautifully, unique mind, who is capable of achieving whatever it is you set that beautifully, unique mind to.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. 
 
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. 
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Every Day Is a Surprise When You Live With Borderline Personality Disorder

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It’s hard to explain exactly how it feels to have borderline personality disorder (BPD). For me, it’s almost like you live your life as a different person every single day, and after awhile, you no longer know which one of those people is the “real” you.

Some days, you can wake early and you’ve never felt more ready to face the day ahead. Everything is achievable and nothing impossible. You can plan your entire future out in the space of an hour. In your own little world, the sun is shining brightly and nothing can hurt you.

You are invincible.

Other days, you will not be truly “awake” until the late afternoon. Your head feels heavy and your sight is dim. All motivation is gone, and the anxiety inside you builds and builds, until eventually, it overflows in the form of tears and panic attacks. Nothing can be said or done to console you. You are trapped, a prisoner of your own mind.

You are invisible.

Then, there is the issue of attachment. And it is an issue, at times. Relationships can be difficult to form, but sometimes, as someone with BPD, you wish you had never formed them in the first place. Once you feel a connection with a person, it’s like a seed has been planted in your heart.

The more the person waters you with attention, the bigger and faster the plant grows. Eventually, it’s too big for the tiny pot that is your body. You start to suffocate, but you can’t pull away. You can’t uproot. You are trapped once more. Tiring of your need for love and attention, the other person will start to chop away at your leaves and branches. They may be your whole garden, but to them, you are nothing more than a weed.

As the distance grows between you, your love for them turns to resentment. They may try to get close to you, noticing your need, but you will ensure there is no way they can get near you again, as they will only cut you down. At least, that’s what the little monster in your mind thinks.

“Money is no object.” That’s what you think when you go on an impulsive spending spree. Only to find the following day there’s no money left to pay your bills. Yet, once in awhile, we are compelled to do it. We know what the outcome will be, but in that moment, we live. It provides a temporary feeling of happiness, but once this passes, the novelty of the new things wear off and you are back at rock bottom.

Rock bottom, for a lot of us, can mean locking yourself away, not eating and not sleeping. Abusing your body becomes a normal thing for a while. You are miserable in your own skin and you hope something beautiful lies underneath. All you find though, is ribbons of angry red and pain. You feel good for a second, and then worse for a month. The cycle begins again.

This is a typical month in my life. Sometimes all of this can happen in a week. Sometimes even a day. If I could describe my illness in one word, it would be unpredictable. Every day is a surprise, even for me.

Manipulative, scheming, blackmailing: These are some of the words which have been used to describe me, along with many others in the past. Perhaps, after reading this, people will think again before opening their mouths or taking to their keyboards.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. 
 
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
 
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To the Borderline Personality Disorder Playing Games With My Brain

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I understand where you are coming from. I know why you are here. I know you sprouted from my mother leaving me and my father failing to understand me. I know you opened the doors to let dependent disorder in. I know you helped anxiety take a hold of my brain.

I get it. You are what you are. I don’t have a choice to change you. I know life tells you who to afflict and like a brainwashed soldier you march. I know like a parasite, you fed off any self-esteem I had when I turned 10. You told me how I was only good for caring for my sisters, and I should have never been born. Then, my parents would have split earlier, sparing my sisters’ lives. You told me I was not worth love.

When I was born, I was already more sensitive to others’ emotions and had a greater ability to empathize with other creatures, human or not. So at age 9, when my mother began disappearing, life ordered you here and since then you haven’t left. You have been feasting on my self-esteem, shaking my emotions and playing games with my brain, as I desperately tried to understand what was going on.

I know you don’t seem to care, but I trust that, somewhere, you actually do though. If you didn’t, then you would have shaken my magic emotion ball again when I met Nate. You would have done like you did with my ex date-mates. You would have let me fall and then shake me up so I would get angry when they didn’t catch me, like you did with date-mates one through five.

Yet, you didn’t. You let me stay happy for two years. I still experienced the mood swings. I was still shaky at times, but I was truly, utterly happy. Then, like an explosion, you came back. The self-esteem I gained while you were quiet plummeted. You did what you were born to do. You shook the ball and ate the self-esteem. You even broke the four years I was clean. Clean from one of the biggest tortures I did to myself. I self-harmed again and again, desperate for you to disappear.

Since I was 10, I had never been hospitalized because of you or any of your mental illness friends that have called my head your home. Yet, this resurfacing, it broke me. I ended up in the hospital because I was keen on suicide. Yet, the ambulance workers, who brought me to this unit said I seemed fine. That made me laugh to myself because they couldn’t see the visions of me ripping my skin off until my disorders went into hibernation.

I wanted this to end because nothing helped anymore. The self-harm didn’t help like it did when I was 11 through 15 years old. You broke me at 19 and with the help of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) flashbacks, you made my emotions scream, helped anxiety twisted my insides, aided bipolar disorder in making me too tired for anything and fed depression my smile. You, borderline personality disorder (BPD), smiled as you began shaking your dooming magic ball.

In the unit, I sat there with my insides burning and twisting, while outside I was just staring at walls. During meal times, I ate slowly and vacantly watched as the summer brushed its lips against trees and grass, causing the flora to dance. I ceased to process things that brought me joy.

I think back now and despite my world being in color, in reality that unit was gray, except for the psychology doctors. They are red. They hurt me just as much as you. There were too many people for them to even take time to get to know any of us at all. They listened for a moment. Then, they wrote down a problem, suggested a medication and then on to the next patient they went. It was like an assembly line of people and doctors. Patient, prescription, pill, patient, prescription, pill.

I felt like I was in a nightmare with no way out because no one would help me, while BPD and its friends tore at me inside.This unit was not beneficial. If it wasn’t for the fact I noticed one patient fill out a menu and leave before lunch time that day, then I wouldn’t have even known how to leave this place. If I wasn’t born with the ability to observe, the people there wouldn’t have even let me know I was capable of leaving. My anxiety held my tongue. Unless I was told something, I wouldn’t have been able to ask at the time.

Thanks to you BPD, I didn’t understand how to feel. While my brain had no logic to hold it to reality, you enjoyed shaking your ball like a baby enjoys a rattle. I was confused and yet calm. I was terrified and happy. Yet, I could barely muster up the energy to even eat. I would stare off and wait for my visitors. Nate, best friends, close friends and a friend’s mother.

Why no family? Well, the last time I had a bad mental breakdown, I was yelled at. I was told if I wanted to be “crazy,” then maybe my father should send me to an asylum. Screaming he asked if I wanted to be seen as “crazy.” Now, if I could go back, then I would tell my father, “Yes because at least then, maybe, I wouldn’t get to this point.”

Sitting here, I am 20 years old now, and as of this moment, I have over 3,500 scars and around 17 suicide attempts under my mental illness belt. If I had gotten help earlier, learned the skills of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and learned healthy coping skills, then maybe my count would probably be around 90 scars and two attempts.

BPD you have driven me to try and claim my life, while letting me scar my skin. So I say this now: If you are given more names for who to inflict BPD on, I will find them. I will hug them because no one deserves to not have anyone there when they go through this. No one deserves to be alone.

So I say this to you BPD and you better remember it well. No matter what you say to me or how you shake my emotions, I am valid. I am worth it. Even though you are part of me, you are not me.

Sincerely,
Chris,
A BPD survivor

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. 
 
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. 
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The Best Parts of Living With Borderline Personality Disorder

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It can be difficult to think positive when you have a mental illness, and it’s especially difficult to think positively about your mental illness. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) has affected me for as long as I can remember, and it seems like it’s all been in negative ways. My self-esteem, relationships and moods have all taken hits from my BPD, and sometimes that is all I can think about.

But, on my worst days with BPD, I try to remember the unexpected benefits of my illness, and the best parts of BPD. It’s true that having BPD makes it hard for me to regulate my emotions and control my actions in both positive and negative situations. When having an argument with my partner, I may overreact and threaten to end the relationship without even meaning to. On the flip side, when having a heartfelt conversation with my partner, I may express my intense love for that person. BPD allows me to love harder than most people, and I see that as a definite plus. And though it’s hard to regulate my emotions, I am grateful I am able to experience deeper emotions than most people. Yes, sometimes those emotions are bad. But I choose to accept the bad ones so that I can experience the good ones.

Along with experiencing my own emotions intensely, I am empathetic toward others and am able to feel what they are feeling, too. This allows me to form close bonds with others and offer genuine advice when I’m asked for it. BPD allows me to be passionate about the bonds I have with other people, instead of being a friend only when it is convenient for me. I am also compassionate when it comes to other people and animals, and go out of my way to help them and express my love for them, even when I don’t help or love myself.

Some people may see that as a flaw, but I see it as a benefit of having BPD. 

Having BPD makes me overly sensitive to a lot of things. My surroundings and my emotions are intensified because of my BPD. This means I can see and appreciate the little things in life; the soft texture of a rose petal, the feelings behind a painting in a museum and the taste of something as small as a chocolate chip. I am sensitive, also, to people’s comments and opinions about me, which can sometimes put me in a bad place. But again, I accept the bad in order to experience the good. I am overly sensitive to criticism, yes, but I am also sensitive when it comes to someone saying they love me, or when someone compliments me, and to me, that is good. 

In order to live happily with my BPD, I force myself to see and feel the best parts of it. In order to survive my BPD, I have to remain positive and encourage those close to see my BPD in a positive way, too. If I let every fight, every bad decision and every sensitive moment control my life, I will never be happy. I choose happiness, and I choose to pick out the best parts of BPD, and accept the bad ones for what they are.

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