4 Things I Learned About Myself This Year as Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

1. I’m not healthy enough to have a favorite person (FP).

My favorite person left me in May because I had become too needy and dependent on her and it was affecting her health. A few months ago I found a new favorite person. I was determined to make things different this time, but it ended badly again. I’m not healthy enough to make it a fair friendship. It’s too unbalanced and just ends up with both of us hurt and unwell. If my current FP ever talks to me again I need to work hard to make her into a regular friend rather than an FP, and if I feel it happening again with someone else I need to back away and make sure I establish boundaries.

2. I’m strong.

I tell myself all the time that I am weak and pathetic. But really I am strong. I’ve managed to make good progress with my obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) through hard work in therapy. I’ve struggled with both OCD and BPD, but I’m still here and still holding down a full-time job and writing articles that are being published. Living through and coping with the pain of mental illness takes strength.

3. I need to look after myself more.

At the root of my mental illness is the fact that I strongly believe I am a bad person and that I don’t deserve nice things. It’s like a vicious cycle because the more I believe this, the more I do things I’m not proud of to try and get others to validate my self-worth, which drives them away and that makes me hate myself even more, so I get more ill, which makes me even more needy. The best way to break the cycle is to be nicer to myself. It’s hard when I don’t think I deserve it, but my therapist told me I have to force myself to show myself compassion even if I don’t believe I should. Because the more I help myself, the more I’ll develop my own sense of self-worth, which will make me better and lead to better relationships with other people.

4. There are people who care about me.

Because I don’t like myself, I assume that no one else does either. I think if people are being nice to me, it’s because they feel sorry for me. I’m constantly thinking that people are getting sick of me. I overreact to things because I take them as evidence that people don’t like me and are going to leave me. But I need to consider that there is actually evidence that people do like me and care about me. I have one friend at work who I thought was getting tired of me because she didn’t always reply to my messages. Yet one day recently I told her I was going to a trampoline park that had just opened near me. And she said, “We should go!” There was no need for her to say that, she wouldn’t have said it if she didn’t like being around me. I have another friend who I thought was just being nice to me because we worked together, but recently she left the job and she’s still talking to me and wanting to be my friend. If she didn’t care about me, she would have cut me off when she left work. I don’t understand why anyone would want to be friends with me, but it’s obvious that there are people who care about me, so they must see something in me that I don’t see in myself.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Unsplash image via Alexander Solodukhin

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Borderline Personality Disorder

young woman lying on bed with hand on head

Why Fear of Abandonment Leads Me to Suicidality

Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. How can you not understand what you do to me? Are you really so blind every time you completely destroy me Remember when all I wanted to do was [...]
anxious young man waiting on job interview wearing jeans

Telling Your New Employer About Your Borderline Personality Disorder

Here’s the scenario: you have a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and you’ve managed to hook a job. How can you do now to maximize your chances of doing the job and keeping it? First of all, congratulations — it’s hard out there, doubly so if you’re weighed down by self-doubt or even self-loathing, [...]
16 Signs People With Borderline Personality Disorder Knew They Had a 'Favorite Person'

16 Signs People With Borderline Personality Disorder Knew They Had a 'Favorite Person'

If you live with borderline personality disorder (BPD), you may have come across the term “favorite person,” or “FP” for short. Though the concept of having a favorite person is one familiar to a lot of people in the BPD community, others might hear the term and think, “Is that another way of saying ‘significant other?'” While a [...]
digital painting of little girl drawing heart on the window, acrylic on canvas texture, story telling illustration

When Borderline Personality Disorder Makes It Difficult to Trust Others

If there was one thing that I could tell my closest friends and family, it would be that I’m still learning how to trust. As someone with borderline personality disorder (BPD), I feel a tremendous need to connect with others and a longing to share myself with people who can validate my experiences. When I [...]