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When Christmas Came Early During One of My Hardest Moments With BPD

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I was sitting in my group therapy session last week, and at that point I had been crying consistently for about 20 minutes. I was completely distraught and feeling utterly lost and hopeless about my life. Living with borderline personality disorder (BPD) puts a weight on my shoulders — one I feel like nobody can ever come close to understanding. I am constantly thinking about how much everyone hates me and how I feel so alone. I am in so much pain and completely not in control of my emotions, and it feels as though life for me might as well be over.

After screaming and crying about how much I hated myself to my group, one of the therapists asked me to recall any small positive moment that had occurred recently. Anyone who has BPD knows it can be incredibly hard to feel good about yourself or your life, and even if you do, your BPD may work in overdrive to tell you it’s not true or real.

I was trying to think long and hard about anything that had happened that had made me feel even slightly better. It didn’t take me long to realize that something good had happened earlier in the week — something that made me not feel so full of pain and anguish, even if just for a brief moment.

Earlier in the week I had been triggered by someone sending me a text that I interpreted as being hateful. Often times people with BPD will be triggered over small things that nobody else would even give a second thought to. This is one of the downfalls of feeling every single emotion to the most extreme intensity. When I’m happy, I feel invincible and untouchable. Everything is bright, my mind is working in overdrive, having constant thoughts and visions to capture the brief moment where I feel I can do anything and everything I want. When I’m depressed, it feels like the world has come to an end, and I am in the deepest darkest moment where my life might as well be over with.

I had convinced myself the person who sent me the message hated me, never had liked me and wanted me gone. I reacted in my typical fashion and fell into one of my usual BPD episodes. I was having complete “black-and-white” thinking. I wanted to die. I hated everyone, and everyone hated me.

I was walking back from class and to the library knowing that even though my brain was telling me I wanted to act out, I needed to get some work done. I ended up sitting down on the floor of the copier room thinking about how I was probably going to do something self-destructive when I got home. That was when one of my friends came in.

I hadn’t seen this friend for a while because of varying schedules. My mind had told me it was because he hated me and had abandoned me just like everyone else in my life. I was surprised this was the moment life had chosen to throw us in the same room.

I was visibly upset, struggling my hardest to hold back tears. I rarely show my emotions in public so I was mortified that he could see the tears welling up in my eyes. I knew he was busy since finals were coming up and didn’t want to bother him with my problems, but I guess it was so obvious that neither of us could ignore it. He continued to ask me what was wrong, and I continued to reply that I was fine and it wasn’t his problem.

At that moment his friend called him wanting help with a class they had together. He told him in very vague terms that he couldn’t, something important had come up and he would help him another time. I was shocked. I knew he could see the tears rolling down my face, but my mind was so clouded with feelings of unworthiness that I assumed he didn’t care. He then told me to get up and that we were going to go back to my room to talk about things and get something to eat.

So often I convince myself that everyone hates me, nobody cares about me and my life is worthless. I am plagued by feelings of abandonment and that nobody cares about me enough to stick around so I shouldn’t stick around myself. In that moment, I felt like I could overcome myself and my rushing emotions and thoughts. I had expected that even though tears were streaming down my face and my voice was crackling with pain that he would just leave me there alone to cry. I was so touched by his kindness and thrilled I had proved myself wrong. Someone did care about me, and even if it was just for an hour, it meant enough to me for me to remember it at my lowest point later on in the week.

Later that week, my boss and friends gave me cookies and candy in preparation for the holidays, but as someone with BPD I would take that moment of compassion over anything else this holiday season.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

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Thinkstock photo eggeeggjiew

Originally published: December 22, 2016
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