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When Borderline Personality Disorder Is the Best Thing Ever

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I’m not exaggerating when I say borderline personality disorder (BPD) can be hellish.

When I meet other people with it, I say: “That’s cool, we’re in the same club.” What I’m actually thinking is: “Dear God, I’m so sorry.” Knowing your mind works so painfully differently to everyone else’s can be an incredibly isolating and depressing experience, but there’s something else I want to tell you all about:

It can also be really, really fun.

Don’t get me wrong; most days, I feel like my life is 10 percent getting by and 90 percent flailing around on fire. But — and I’m especially talking to my BPD peeps — there are good aspects. I don’t even mean that flowery “all pain has its beauty” and “grace in suffering” bull that we all absolutely love to hear either.

I’m talking genuine awesomeness.

A common symptom of BPD is having your emotions turned up to 11. Something as insignificant as stubbing my toe can send me flying into a major depressive episode where my whole life is black hole of unspeakable pain and sadness (you should see it happen, it’s hilarious). I cry a lot, to the point even thinking about how often I cry makes me cry. But the extremely raw emotions thing works both ways; when good things happen to me, I experience joy like the tiniest most adorable infant you have ever seen. One time, a lady outside the supermarket gave me a free sample and it made my week. It was a mince pie — I don’t even like mince pies, but it was free and she’d looked me in the eyes and smiled and handed me food and it was beautiful.

One birthday stands out in my memory as being one of the happiest of my life. It was simple and followed all the birthday tropes: I was given cards by my friends, someone had baked me a cake (which had more chocolate than is advisable for human consumption), there was a bouncy castle and music and I ran around and laughed and squealed with excitement so much I was physically sick, and it was awesome. I was 24 years old, and I regret none of it.

Because of my extreme raw emotions, most of my memories are significant, meaning that having the right tools on hand can effectively yank me out of a bad place by the scruff of my neck. I only need to look at the cover of my favorite book (“Eric” by Terry Pratchett, in case you wondered) and I’m sucker punched by every good feeling associated with that first reading. A random meme sent by a friend can genuinely get me out of bed in the morning.

This is the main reason my style is so eclectic. I surround myself with things that keep me afloat, things that remind me of something that makes me smile. My coat collar is dotted with random pin badges, my backpack has a “Sailor Moon” decal, and even my cutlery has smiley faces drawn on — these are my ammunition. These are the arms that pull me out of the water — a backpack and a smiley spoon! You can’t tell me you’re not jealous of my brain.

I often find myself pointing out things I find cool, like a particularly interesting tree, and my friends will look at me and smile endearingly because I’m being so weird. It’s at times like these, I actually pity you normies. Silly things will never make you smile the way they can make me.

Follow this journey on the author’s blog.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Originally published: February 18, 2019
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