The Extreme Emotions My Borderline Personality Disorder Brings
What does living with a borderline personality disorder (BPD) brain feel like? Living with a BPD brain is exhausting. The uncertainty of not knowing how you will feel each morning when you wake up, and the anticipation of how many times a day your mood will swing from extremes. The highs, the lows, the anger and everything in between.
The lows don’t just feel like sadness; to me, they feel like grieving. The lows are sobbing until your eyes are so sore and swollen that it hurts to blink. The lows are having to be sedated with medication because it is hours later and you still can’t calm down. It is feeling so emotionally exhausted, you sleep the entire day. It’s self-destructing and ruining the relationships you care most about because you are scared of them leaving you first. A fear of abandonment you can’t shake off, terrified everyone will leave you.
Terrified of losing the people around you, because you don’t know how they could possibly deal with you any longer. It is anger that is so strong it makes you feel uncomfortable to sit with because you can feel the anger all through your body. It ends up in screaming and lashing out because you can’t explain how you feel and you are fed up. The emotions and suicidal urges are so strong that it can quite literally feel like the end of the world. It is therapy, and medications and endless meetings to try and get you better. The lows are like a black hole sucking you in and you can’t pull yourself out.
But then there are the highs. Feeling so happy, nothing feels like it could ever go wrong. Feeling like a hyperactive child again. Hysterically laughing until you cry. Not being able to sit still because you are so full of energy and you want to do everything at once. It is making plans to do everything all in the span of a week, and feeling so motivated you could complete every task you have been putting off within minutes. Texting my therapist to tell her “I am cured” because I have had five minutes of feeling better. Thinking I don’t need to take my antipsychotics anymore because I am definitely better. The highs feel like you are on top of the world, and you are untouchable. Nothing matters because you are so happy and nothing can change that.
These emotions can switch from one extreme to the other in minutes to hours to days. Living with a BPD brain is thinking in black and white, and it is desperately trying to find a grey area in the middle. The BPD brain lacks certain chemicals and neurotransmitters that can lead to feeling emotions in extremes, emotions other people might only feel mildly. These emotions and behaviors often seem disproportionate to the circumstance, but the person often lacks control over this. This isn’t a choice. Please be patient. We are exhausted from trying to regulate ourselves.
Getty image by Sergey Katyshkin