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5 Symptoms (and Superpowers) of My Borderline Personality Disorder

I’ve found my superpower.

It’s not what I expected. As a matter of fact, I was told for a long time to conceal it. I was made to be ashamed of it and didn’t know what to do with it. It was made out to be the ultimate evil — that “no one will ever be able to love me” because of it. My superpower is borderline personality disorder (BPD).

I’ve been reading through my blogs since I started this journey. It’s been quite the ride! It started with a frantic search for something more — a deeper connection, somewhere. I felt empty and looked for the answer in religion. I turned to professionals and I poured my journey into blogs in the hope that someone might relate.

This stage was followed by a deep depression and high anxiety.

My feelings were overwhelming. It felt as if all my nerve endings were exposed — I experienced everything so intense, I was so sensitive. It was frighting and painful. My brain was on high alert, constantly in fight or flight mode.

I was diagnosed with BPD.

Although my counselors and medical professionals always had hope, I was told by others that I would never get better. That there is no cure for my condition. I was told I’m sick and manipulative. Articles and social media posts were thrown my way to show I will damage my kids, that I will be a negative influence on them. I so badly wanted to climb out of this deep, deep pit with constricting muck, but every time I got a foothold, a glimpse of some light, I was pushed down by assumptions, stigma and uneducated irrational judgments.

After 18 months of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), five hours of counseling every week and medication, I can now say I am in remission. You see, I believe there is no “cure” for BPD, no medication, but it is treatable. I want to give hope to those who feel that they are being held captive by BPD. There are ways to cultivate the symptoms in order to build you up. Don’t run away or deny — face and grow.

BPD has been the monster of the psychiatric world for so long. People with BPD have been stigmatized to be manipulative, explosive, unreasonable, demanding and just downright scary. Although there are those who want me to believe I fit those categories, I’ve had this nagging voice in my head telling me it is not true. I don’t fit that profile. I am more than what some prefer to see. The truth is, I didn’t “catch” BPD. I wasn’t “infected” by it. I’ve always had BPD traits — but I now see them as strengths, and not my damnation.

  1. My fear of abandonment has made me a very loyal friend. Not superficial, but a truly dog-like loyal friend. I care deeply about my friends and will do anything for them. I have never held anyone ransom nor forced myself into their lives. I love my friends like family — I will protect them and always be there for them, no matter what. And I love being loyal.
  2. I am able to feel emotions very intensely, which allows me to get into someone’s shoes, experience their emotions and help guide them through tough times. I’ve been able to put these emotions into words and onto paper for others to read and possibly relate. I am able to live an experience to the fullest extent, so much so that I am exhausted at night, but I know that I felt it, I lived it.
  3. My unclear self-image has allowed me to be flexible through very tough times. I did lose my way somewhere in the storm, believing what others wanted me to believe about myself, but loved ones reminded me constantly who I am. With their help and guidance, I could grow through immense life changes and be flexible enough to correct my errors. Growing through this stage has allowed me to gather the tools to help my kids shape their self-image as they enter their teenage years.
  4. I’ve always related to the world a little differently — and that made me, me. I love being able to see the various hues of this colorful world. And although I mostly color outside the lines, these unusual thought processes have given me an unique perspective and character.
  5. There are symptoms I work on every day. My explosive anger has mostly been inward. At times these “inbursts” were so intense that I self-harmed to see my pain. I thought if I could see the pain, others would also understand how much pain I was living in. I never threatened to cut, I never cut where anyone could see, nor did I ever blame my behavior on anyone else. It was not a manipulation tool — it was a vice, a very bad vice. But I am grateful for the scars that remind me every day how dark my days were, and how far I’ve come since then. They make me appreciate every day and believe that anything is surmountable.

When I realized these character traits sculpted me into the person I am today, I knew BPD was not a big, all-consuming evil. When tamed and managed, the symptoms are my superpowers. They allow me to connect with people in a wonderful way. I can see the world differently, I feel it more intensely and that doesn’t mean I’m wrong, it just doesn’t make me fit the norm and that’s OK.

This realization allowed life-giving water to seep into my mucky dark pit, turning it into a well. A well with the possibility to give water to other weary travelers. This water was more powerful than any damnation or judgment. It raised me up with new strength, more love and empathy, more ways to serve others.

I’m grateful that BPD is not curable — I don’t want to be cured from being me!

Getty Images photo via alexandralarina.