The Different Types of Days I Have In Living With Borderline Personality Disorder
If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, visit this resource.
Shortly after I first received my borderline personality disorder (BPD) diagnosis, I described living with BPD as a storm inside of me. However, now that I’m several years into recovery, I’ve realized that not every day feels like a storm. In fact, I think that living with BPD is more like a weekly weather forecast filled with many different kinds of days.
I Have Destructive Days
Some days, I wake up seeing red. I punch the bathroom mirror because my reflection pisses me off. I blow up my friends’ phones. I break rules, I test limits, I drive my car too fast. I drink too much, avoid my work, and engage in self-harm.
These days are the absolute worst. Sometimes I feel like I’m outside of myself, watching these events happen while I try to scream and force myself to stop. On these days, I watch the world burn and pretend not to care.
I Have Empty Days
Some days, I lie in bed for as long as I possibly can. I try to eat breakfast, but everything tastes bland. I work, but I feel like the work I do serves no purpose. I feel hollow, lifeless, and alone.
Empty days are sometimes the hardest ones to weather because everything feels so pointless. These are typically the days when my suicidality reaches its peak, and I usually close myself off from my friends and family because I feel utterly unlovable. I feel lost, hopeless, and inadequate.
I Have Happy Days
Some days, the sunshine wakes me up. I put on a cute outfit, and I get right to work. I tackle everything on my to-do list. I laugh as I talk to my friends over dinner. I look in the mirror and don’t hate what I see. I feel genuinely satisfied with life.
I think many people assume that people who live with a condition like borderline personality disorder only experience sad or angry days. However, that’s not the case at all. Happy days do occur, but sadly they aren’t always the norm.
I Have Impulsive Days
Some days, I forget what the words “patience” and “wise mind” mean. I book a trip I can’t afford and order take-out because it releases serotonin and dopamine. I overshare with a new coworker I barely know. I chop all my hair off and throw away half of the clothes in my closet because I want “a different vibe.”
These impulsive days aren’t always obvious at the time. In fact, I sometimes mistake these days for happy ones. However, I often wake up the next day and see the aftermath of my impulsivity. Then, shame consumes me.
I Have Recovery-Oriented Days
Some days, I wake up motivated. I practice mindfulness. I label my emotions and communicate my needs in an assertive way. I use my skills and self-regulate. I set boundaries and step away when people push my buttons.
Obviously, there are ebbs and flows with any health condition. However, I feel like I’ve reached a point where these recovery-oriented days are much more commonplace. My therapist says this is what “living well” looks like, and I love the way it feels.
I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned about living with mental illness is that no emotion and no day lasts forever. Some days we just wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and we just have to do what it takes to make it through the day. Other days start out bleak but have the potential to improve if we’re willing to meet ourselves where we’re at and make the choice to turn it around.
Getty Images photo via Pyrosky