The Struggle of Waking Up With a Flooded Mind When You Sleep Next to Someone


Ever since I was in grade school I can remember always “acting out” in the mornings or being “overly emotional.” I was constantly sick to my stomach and had an issue with vomiting, which later on hampered my reliability at work. Even though I still experience this, I somehow manage to make it to work most days. Sadly, it is not about me fighting down the nausea but fighting back thoughts and tears that honestly have no place in my life right now.

Every morning I try my hardest, however, I still manage to interrupt my boyfriend within the first few moments of me being up. I tend to have nightmares — roll around a lot and flail my limbs erratically. Needless to say, I have elbowed a lot of faces and sacked too many poor fellows, and now it seems easier to sleep in my own bed. I feel overwhelmingly guilty when I realize my boyfriend cannot sleep because of my overthinking mind. Whenever I go to sleep downstairs I cannot help the tears from forming in my eyes, and for hours I lay in bed thinking… “We can’t last if I can’t even sleep in bed with him,” “How are we ever going to get our own place for the two of us?” “He doesn’t love me… he can sleep, he just doesn’t want me here,” — and some more irrational fears I get thanks to an abusive ex.

I’m constantly having to tell myself it’s not fair for me to be upset for him to want sleep, that my emotions are valid but are too intense for the situation. Once I start to fall tired, I am proud of myself for managing to understand the situation is for health, not preference. Eight hours later I wake up to fight that same battle once more.

First thing I feel when I wake up is panic, whether it be I have to work and worried about which manager is in or if it will be busy or not; I have a huge pile of clothes to clean and put away; my mother texted me “good morning” and I don’t know if I should respond and be guilt-ed into a visit; or maybe nothing in particular is wrong that day but every tiny thing seems to set me off into a spiral of worry and shame.

Once I have started to spiral, it feels impossible to stop the thoughts from flooding my mind. Sometimes I can manage to put a smile on my face and try to distract myself from what I know is needless dwelling, but that truly does not last more than an hour where I can to try again.

For me, living with borderline personality disorder and depression just means I need to constantly hit reset on my days. I can be at work about to snap and break into tears but if I can luckily take my break around then I try to relax and pretend I am starting a new shift when I come back. I have to trick myself, in a way, to give myself that clear slate where I am not humiliated by my emotions.

Same thing goes when I am at home. In most cases, BPD causes forms of abandonment issues (or are formed because of past abandonment). Over the years I have felt completely rejected whenever a partner of mine went out without me. To this day I still get completely out of whack and can lose myself for hours listening to music and just wallowing like I was just broken up with. Things as small as not being able to share a shower with my boyfriend or grab a coffee because I’ve been hurting financially can seem like a huge problem, when in the back of my mind I know it is not.

Throughout the day I just continue to try and remind myself that things are not always as bad as they seem and I do not always feel this consumed. Hopefully someday the symptoms will lessen and I will feel the relief of not having a flooded mind. Until then the most important thing for myself, or for any of you, to remember is to keep reminding yourself of the good things — even if it means you managed to buy that coffee. It’s only $2, but it is something.

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Thinkstock photo by Lucky Business

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