When My Borderline Personality Disorder Holds a 'Morning Meeting'
Having a serious mental illness accompanied by comorbid conditions means I have to work hard every day to ensure I stay healthy. I’m happy to say that most of the time I am able to manage things reasonably well. However, there are days, sometimes weeks where my illness gets the better of me.
Living with borderline personality disorder (BPD), for me, comes with major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It makes facing each day complicated because any one of these can be triggered and impact my day.
In my mind, my BPD holds a morning meeting. This meeting will decide the outcome of the day and there is a push and pull between me and my BPD. I see the table we sit around like this;
- BPD sitting at the head of the table.
- Depression sitting at the next chair, slumped down in the chair, not making eye contact.
- Anxiety sitting opposite, moving about on the chair, unable to sit still.
- PTSD sitting down in the corner, begging not to be called on.
- Me as healthy me, sitting at the other end of the table, slightly nervous.
BPD begins the meeting like all meetings. He gives a shout-out to depression and anxiety for the great work they have done lately. He glares at me. He placates PTSD, telling him he won’t be needed but he knows he his our big gun. Then the meeting goes one of two ways: BPD either decides to send out depression or anxiety for the day, at which point I breathe in deeply with fear. And then, there is the big one: will BPD join the party? If he does, I feel instantly overwhelmed, at the mercy of the decision made as if I had no choice whatsoever.
So I brace for another day of struggling and wishing things were different. Sometimes it gets so bad that I feel it’s too much, that I have been through too much and shouldn’t have to feel like this all the time. I know that is my illnesses whispering in my ear, doing the job they were set out to do. Those voices can be loud and can turn into dangerous thoughts.
The other alternative is that I feel strong, so when BPD hands down his decision, I simply don’t accept it. I send depression and anxiety back to where they came from and it is me who ends the meeting. I am getting better and better at winning these fights. Instead of sitting idly by and feeling at the mercy of what is going to happen, I use the skills I have learned, sit up straight and reject BPD‘s plan for the day.
This daily battle is exhausting but has to be fought. I have to show up to the meeting every day otherwise I would be at the mercy of BPD‘s decisions to try and destroy me. I have to sit at the other end of the table and fight for myself. Fight to have a better day.
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash