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Why I Can't Live Alone With Borderline Personality Disorder

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I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). I consider myself low-middle functioning. I cannot work due to becoming overwhelmed and having meltdowns. I also have communication difficulties with work colleagues and I lose motivation quite quickly.

I currently live alone–but I don’t actually live alone at all. I constantly need someone around me. When I’m psychically on my own, I get extreme anxiety, my paranoia starts up and I get drowned in my own thoughts and emotions. This causes me to have a full meltdown.

If I could explain what a meltdown is for me, it’s an intense rush of emotions which causes me to act out impulsively. This could include risky behavior, impulsive decision-making and thoughts of self-harm. When these emotions come to surface, I can’t hold back the tears; I’ll cry until I am in the presence of another person.

When I have a meltdown, I reach out to friends and family. I try to plan my days and weeks in advance. For example, I’ll stay with my mum for a week and then a friend another week so I’m not alone. When I do go home, I ask friends to stay over for a few days or I’m on the phone talking to somebody.

When I’m physically alone, the feelings of loneliness, being a burden and having an unstable life become too much. Having others around distracts me from my inside emotional turmoil. But when I’m alone, there is no distraction. Television, music, reading or basic household chores are not enough to curb the emotional storm brewing inside me.

I’ve come to accept that I cannot live alone. I need to have someone in the home with me. I’m currently looking into house shares in my area. I need a stable home life but constantly moving from friends to family isn’t stable.

I can become exhausted from social interaction — I’m actually quite introverted. I also have sensory overload. This makes me irritable, tired and just feel like everything is too much. I don’t need the person in the room to be constantly interacting with me. Just having them there is enough.

I wish people understood that I try to be alone; I try to adjust and make do, but it’s extremely difficult. I can last a few hours, sometimes a night if it’s a good one, but it’s not something I can do long-term. I wish people understood it’s more than being anxious or uncomfortable. It’s an actual fear — I fear being alone psychically and emotionally. When the fear is triggered, it sends me on a downwards spiral.

I’ve accepted living alone is something I can’t do right now. I don’t feel like this topic is brought up very much. I guess my fear is also related to abandonment. I don’t want my loved ones to forget about me or drop contact. I don’t fully understand why being alone affects me so badly, but I’m hoping it’s something I can face and overcome in my future.

Getty image via Moore Media.

Originally published: October 15, 2019
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