Borderline Personality Disorder, and the Merry-Go-Round I Can't Get Off
I was only diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) a year and a half ago, but the affects of the disorder had affected me long before that.
The impulsivity I experience means I find it hard to say no to ideas or plans. I overbook myself with everyone and when I only go out for one quiet drink with a friend, invariably I end up exiting a club at 4 a.m. with strangers who have become newfound friends for the night. I always keep pushing for just another hour, just a bit more fun. Sometimes a person can have too much fun.
My mood swings mean one moment I might be as high as a kite, bubbling through life and people, laughing as loudly as I can, and then the next it can all come crashing down on me. I’m sitting in the middle of a cafe at 5 a.m. watching a sea of drunken revelers chatting, arguing, at a table full of people and suddenly I’m completely alone. A wall forms between me and everyone else and I no longer feel like a part of life, I’m merely an observer. I don’t belong anymore. “I have to go.” I say hastily and get up from my seat, practically running out the door and down the street to go home where I lie awake and try to talk myself out of self-harming. The suicidal thoughts creep in.
The next day my friends are on the phone, texting me, worried, “What happened to you last night?” they’ll ask. “You left really abruptly.”
I shrug. “Not really sure, just had to go home.” How do you explain it? How can you explain the unanticipated crushing anxiety, the self-hatred that appears in an instant, consuming me and running through every part of my body.
People ask me how I’m doing and I always say, “Fine, we have good days and bad days, just taking it a day at a time.” Sometimes I mean it. Sometimes I really am just fine. Sometimes I’m way better than fine. I’m absolutely euphoric, I’m searching for the next high, the next fix that’s going to keep me on this manic path as I dance up and down the street like a whirlwind.
Other times I’m closed off, hands in pockets, eyes cast downward as I trudge along, trying not to make eye contact with anyone lest they see the sadness revealed there.
Next I’m having a conversation with one of my close friends, maybe a family member and they say something I perceive as mean, or spiteful and that person is instantly my worst nemesis. Everything they’ve ever done is to get at me, they hate me, they’re trying to hurt me and every memory we have is tainted a cruel black. How could I have never seen it before? I’m never speaking to them again, they’re a foul human being…
…Wait. I didn’t mean that. I love you. Why don’t you want to talk to me anymore? Think of all the good times we had. Can we really just let that go to waste? I’m texting. I’m calling. I’m obsessive and I’m sobbing. Why are you abandoning me?
It must be because I’m a bad person. Yes, of course I am, it’s all me it’s always been me… And so the vicious cycle goes on and on I spin round and round on a merry-go-round I can’t get off.
It’s exhausting. I’m exhausted.
I watch people come and go from my life. I consider myself to be “high-functioning,” and yet at the best of times my BPD takes hold of me and I can’t control it. I’m told the people who leave were never really friends in the first place. But I push a lot of people away. I watch people walk out of my life seemingly without a care in the world and question whether or not they ever cared in the first place. It doesn’t seem that way. They never tried. They never pushed back and fought to try and stay in my life. Even the people who know about the BPD, the ones who supposedly understand, just walk away.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.
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Thinkstock photo via Digital Vision