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A Borderline Personality Disorder 'Emotional Swing' Put Into Words

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I lay, curled up in my bed. The fetal position. I fight through breathing. Try slow and steady,  yet I can feel the tightness in my chest getting stronger with each breath.

Tears slip down my cheeks. Silent at first, then whimpers begin to escape. Even in solitude, I struggle with allowing myself to let go.

Who would be disappointed in me if they could see this right now? I can’t be doing this.

These emotions. Oh god, these emotions. Even as a writer, there are no exact words I can put to my emotions. They come in like waves on a beach. The first one comes rolling in. I can see it coming. More so feel it. Then it gets closer and crashes into me, leaving a physical force behind that thunders through my body. I see that emotion retreating, leaving me gasping for breath, only to see the next one coming in, gaining speed and strength. I brace for impact, my breath catching in my chest and the tears forcefully spilling over even with my eyes tightly shut.

I have work to do. How can I be so weak? They are just emotions. Right? Please let them be just temporary emotions. They have to be telling lies. This can’t be real. It’s not real. It’s. Not. Real.

It is real though. It is my reality. For a moment I was safe from those emotions. I could feel my breathing even out, and clarity came to my mind. Thoughts slowed. Rationality returned. It’s a floating sensation. My body feels light and almost tingly. Wait. Is this real? Or were the emotions real and this is my false reality? My kingdom of defense?

I want my emotions back. I feel nothing now. It’s empty. I can hear the world continuing to revolve around me yet I am not in it. I want my emotions. I want to feel. Let me feel something.

An ocean. I am the captain of the ship. Great sailors are not made docked in the harbor. Only great storms make great captains. I will be a great captain because I carry a great storm within me.

But I can’t. I am a failure. I lack the skills needed. It’s not good enough. It won’t ever be good enough. I have to try harder. Why am I letting my feelings of success rest on what the world thinks of me?

Oh. Here come the waves. I must look as “crazy” as I feel. Still in the fetal position in my bed. The tears are back and flowing. I smile. Yes. I smile. There are my emotions.

It is so confusing. Why does it have to feel this way? Stop. You wanted these emotions back and now you question them?

Calmness. Acceptance. I feel. Yes, I feel it all. Everything or nothing.

Here. Here I am sorting those emotions. This one is irrational, and it’s a lie I tell myself. Box that one up. Be ashamed that it was even felt. Shame on me. I have it good. A good life. No one needs to know the weakness I feel. Only a strong face. No; a smile. Only a smile will do. You must smile. You must become the social chameleon that you are expected to be.

No. That is an irrational thought that escaped internal filing. How many more have escaped and been accepted as truths?

My mind betrays me. It tells me lies. I am my own worst critic.

The calmness has returned, but for how long? My sea is never calm for long. The slightest change in weather can trigger those waves. Now I steep in the after effects of what just happened. The burning in my chest. Heartburn. An overall weakness and heaviness in my physical body. An irritable mood.

That noise. It’s annoying. I hate it. It has to stop. There it is again. Now my breathing changes. The irritability threatening to capsize me. Ignore it. Your senses are heightened. Ignore it.

It stopped. Thankfully, because I wasn’t sure if I could have made the irritability stop.

My body relaxes and I feel able to shift my position in bed. I can move! A success!

Congratulations. You have just sailed through a typical mood swing. What you have just read was a play by play of one episode that I could not control. It was one beach ball that could not be held down.

But this is my mind. It is how I think. I feel this multiple times per day, per hour. I tamper down one emotion only to have another come.

My emotions either give me the sword to conquer the world or the potion that poisons my mind.

I am exhausted. My eyelids are heavy. I can feel a headache beginning behind my eyes.

Now, I ask, are you a better captain to have survived this?

Mhmm. I am not sure if that question was for you or for me.

Wait. Who are you? Am I simply talking to myself or am I directing this toward someone?

The heartburn. It’s persistent. I may have to stop this and get something to quiet it.

But before I go…

Thank you. Whoever you are.

Photo by Brooke Cagle via Unsplash.
Originally published: December 6, 2019
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