When Borderline Personality Disorder Makes You Feel Chronically 'Empty'

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 741741.

I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) over five years ago. A lot has changed since that time, but the one thing that has remained constant is the feelings of chronic emptiness I experience daily.

I am a hollow being, without purpose or reason. I don’t know why I am here in this world. The thing is, I’ve never known. Even as a child when I would be asked the typical question of what I wanted to do when I grew up, I never had an answer.

I suppose we are all trying to figure out the purpose of life in our own ways, but when that lack of purpose haunts us every day, things become a little different. There’s the existential and philosophical questions of the human condition that are indefinitely unanswerable, but even if I narrow it down to try answer questions like, “why do I bother today?” I am completely lost.

People craft their identity in multiple ways, whether it be through their role in a family, as a friend or through their profession and passions. I sometimes sit here and wrack my brain as to figure out how I could possibly find something that important to really “identify” with.

What defines me? On all accounts, there is nothing special about me. I’m average. People who love me tell me otherwise, of course. However, without something to grasp onto and fill this void, life is very difficult to live.

I’ve lived with this as a child, a teen and a young adult. Please don’t tell me it’s “just a phase.”

I’m unaware if the accompanying depression has arisen because of this emptiness or if it’s another diagnosis on its own. The combination of the two is intolerable.

I wonder what would fill this void. Lord knows I’ve tried everything — good and bad. The point is there is something missing. The depression makes me wonder if I even want to find something to make me feel more whole. Hopelessness is another component to the emptiness.

Fear also plays its part. What if there really is nothing to make this constant crisis go away? What if I never find something important enough to care about to save me? Identity disturbance is another feature of BPD, which goes hand-in-hand with the emptiness.

I’ve spent days immobilized by emotion, longing for something I don’t even know exists. There is a hunger that subsists inside of me that yearns for an answer. I want to figure this out. I need to figure this out. Otherwise I don’t know how I’ll survive.

Does chronic emptiness make me suicidal? Hell yeah. After reading the multi-dimensional experience I’ve described, I hope you can understand why it would make me want to give up.

The solutions as I see it are slim. How can you medicate what feels like a lack of a soul? I’ve talk-therapied myself in circles over this one. For now, the quest for some sort of wholeness trickles along. I hope I find relief soon.

Getty Images photo via Grandfailure

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

Related to Borderline Personality Disorder

16 Things People With Borderline Personality Disorder Say That Are Code for 'I Need Help'

16 Things People With Borderline Personality Disorder Say That Are Code for 'I Need Help'

Oftentimes, when someone is struggling with their mental health, they won’t come right out and say it. This may be especially true for folks with borderline personality disorder (BPD), many of whom grew up in abusive or invalidating environments that did not encourage straightforward communication. Maybe deep down, you know you want to ask for love, but [...]
young woman against gray sky looking down at ground with black hair partly covering face

What I Told My Mom When She Asked Why I Write About Having Borderline Personality Disorder

My mom has asked me, on separate occasions, why I write about mental health. Specifically, why do I write about having borderline personality disorder (BPD)? It’s not really a pleasant topic to think about and definitely not to read about. So, why write about it? I haven’t really thought a lot about it until very [...]
asian man and wife

To My Late Husband, Who Understood My Borderline Personality Disorder Like No One Else Could

It’s been almost 12 years since you left me and this world. In that time, I have had more than my fill of time to think about our life together and process where everything went wrong and what was right about it. After you first died, the house rang with emptiness and I was consumed [...]
sad woman

The Guilt That Follows an Episode of 'Borderline Rage'

It happened again. A couple of days ago. I succumbed to my rage. What’s the reason you may ask? It was because of a small joke made by my mom that my mind somehow found offensive at that time. It sure is frivolous, but ended up drawing rage from the darkest corners of my mind. [...]