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The 'Inside Out' Character I Relate to as a Person With Borderline Personality Disorder

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“I’m too sad to walk. Just give me a few… hours.” — Sadness from “Inside Out”

Sadness is a complex, compassionate, and pragmatic character from the
movie “Inside Out” who is constantly over thinking situations. She is a realist, and she understands that sadness is a crucial emotion — a powerful and influential emotion. I relate to her as a person with BPD (borderline personality disorder) because she is real life, blunt, and unfiltered.

Sadness is black and white. Her reality is different many times from the other emotions in the movie. When I’m having a “BPD Moment,” as I’ve come to call them, I believe everyone is out to get me. It feels like no one understands me — just like Sadness felt many times throughout the movie. Sometimes, when her life becomes overwhelming, she lies down and cries on the floor. Oh, I can’t tell you how many times I have shut down and cried or slept for hours because of my own overpowering emotions.

Although her sadness is engulfing, Sadness accepts her limitations — she doesn’t feel guilty. When you have BPD, learning to live with your limitations and not holding yourself to unreasonable expectations is a necessary strategy to function well in life.

Sadness is also patient with herself, and she isn’t interested in changing for anyone else. I believe sadness has the most common sense of any emotion.

People who live with BPD realize they must also take their extreme emotions — both good and bad—and make friends with them. Borderline brings not only intense sadness, but also euphoric happiness. All of us with BPD must continually practice strategies to help us successfully ride the roller coaster of emotions we experience on a “normal” day to find the delicate balance between sadness and joy. Although borderline personality disorder makes finding emotional stability tremendously difficult, I will not give up. I refuse to shun any of my emotions or try to keep them buried inside because they make others feel uncomfortable. Through years of therapy, I now know I am allowed, even encouraged, to embrace all my feelings including sadness.

Because Sadness grasps what the other emotions cannot — that without her, there would be no joy; and that joy through sadness is truly beautiful.

Originally published: September 5, 2016
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