These Are the Intense Emotions of My Borderline Personality Disorder
She asks: But if your emotions are so intense, aren’t you? If you’re happy, are you extra happy?
Yes, but happy doesn’t feel like happy. Happiness feels like the sun outside shining so bright and lucid that my eyes melt from my orbits and my skin gets red and turns to ashes and I collapse in a pile, burnt and melted. Happy is taking cupcakes from the oven because you crave sugar, but forget the oven gloves and burn your hand, and yet you put a cupcake in your mouth and burn your tongue as well. Happiness burns.
She asks if borderline and bipolar are the same.
Bipolar is a manic depression. Yes, I have manic depression, but I have a manic episode about five times a day. If I’m manic, I’m all-powerful and invincible and the world lies at my feet and the earth revolves around me and I’m the best this world has to offer. I don’t sleep and I don’t eat, because I don’t need it, because I’m invincible and I can’t die. I’m so energetic I have to run, spring, fly, dive, fall; but where others have to stand back up again and go on, I keep falling. The pavement turns so I scrape my knee on every paving stone, and I cry and I’m angry because my jeans are ripped. Mom says ripped jeans can be fixed, the media says ripped jeans are fashion, but I’m angry because my jeans are ripped and they shouldn’t have been ripped, because I wasn’t allowed to fall, because I had to go on and I’m sitting on my bed and I’m crying and I want to die. I want to die because my jeans are ripped. I want to die because of my jeans. And I’m tired and futile and I can’t do anything but sleep and sleep more until I wake up crying. And if there’s a moment I don’t wake up crying, the depression is gone and the mania is back and the whole thing starts again.
And being in love? What does that feel like?
Love is the devil and I’m her marionette. Love is an obsession, an addiction. When I’m in love, you’re the only thing that exists and I lose my mind and there’s only love. Love and attention for you, and I need to know you feel the same or I’ll go mad. And if you don’t give me the attention I feel like I deserve, I’ll get angry. If you make me angry, I’ll throw plates. If you make me anxious, I’ll throw plates. If you make me sad, I’ll cry and throw plates and go sit on my bed and cry some more, because I threw plates and the plates are broken and I can’t fix them. But you deserve it. You deserve to be bombarded with plates, because you didn’t give me the attention I needed and I can’t fix the plates, but you can’t fix me either. I need to take revenge because you didn’t try to fix me. You’re an obsession and an emotion and you fill me until there’s nothing else but love and revenge. I hate you, because you can’t fix me and you only break me more. I hate you so intensely that the blood in my veins boils like tea in a kettle. But I love you. I love you so much. We’ve only known each other for a week now, but I love you and the world crumbles if I’m not with you and turns to dust if I am, and my body, filled with you, aches.
How do you feel now?
Now, I feel empty. Until my emotions reach a threshold of intensity — I’m nothing. It feels like a balloon in my chest, filled with air and nothingness that keeps expanding and pushes outwards to make my chest ache and presses my trachea closed and the emptiness dominates all. Then the balloon explodes and the emotion takes over.
The advantage of borderline should be that intense emotions make life more colorful, but the more intense they get, the more they suck the intensity out of the colors and leave them as black and white.
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 reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.
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Unsplash photo via Tim Scharner