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The Linkin Park Song That Describes 3 Symptoms of My Borderline Personality Disorder

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When I’m feeling bad, I listen to Linkin Park because Chester Bennington has a knack of explaining in his lyrics what I’m feeling inside. Of course we all know now that Chester was struggling with his own demons and sadly took his own life last year. There are many Linkin Park songs I could choose that I relate to, but the one I find resonates with me the most is “Somewhere I Belong.” Below, I’ll break down each verse and what it means to me.

(When this began)

I had nothing to say

And I’d get lost in the nothingness inside of me

The “nothingness inside of me” is a great description of my emptiness. Chronic emptiness is a symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD), but is also part of other mental illnesses such as depression. From the wording of the lyrics, I can imagine Chester too had felt this emptiness. I find the emptiness hits me the most when I’m around a group of people talking about their lives. I’ve lost “favorite people” (or FPs) because I couldn’t stop talking about my illnesses, because I felt like their sympathy was the only way to get attention and validation. When I’m in a group and I can’t talk about my feelings, I feel like I’m putting on an act and I have nothing to say. The last time I saw my ex-FP, I barely said a word as there were others there and I couldn’t talk about my illnesses and I felt like that was all there was to me. The emptiness was really bad that day. Sometimes it feels like it is swallowing me up, that I can’t escape from it. We all feel empty from time to time, but if you have a mental illness like BPD or depression, the emptiness is pervasive.

(I was confused)

And I let it all out to find

That I’m not the only person with these things in mind

(Inside of me)

But all the vacancy the words revealed

Is the only real thing that I’ve got left to feel

(Nothing to lose)

Just stuck, hollow and alone

And the fault is my own

And the fault is my own

This verse makes me think first of all of the feelings I had when I was diagnosed with BPD. I realized I wasn’t the only one to feel these things, and that made me feel a bit better for a while. However, what Chester sings next is completely true — I’ve been scared in the past to try and get better. I’ve been afraid to lose my BPD, as sometimes I feel that’s all there is to me, that this is the only thing I have left to feel — and what would I be without it? It’s also true that no matter how often you realize that other people have these symptoms too, when you have a mental illness, you still often feel alone. At the times when the illness is at its worse, I feel like I have no one, that I am totally alone. I have my wife, my family, my friends, but still I feel alone, like no one cares. And finally, that last line, “and the fault is my own,” really strikes a chord with me, as I blame myself for everything. Everything that happens is my fault. And it’s my fault I have these problems. At times I even believe I am being punished for something and that I deserve to feel this way because I am a bad person.

I wanna heal, I wanna feel

What I thought was never real

I wanna let go of the pain I’ve felt so long

(Erase all the pain ‘til it’s gone)

I wanna heal, I wanna feel

Like I’m close to something real

I wanna find something I’ve wanted all along:

Somewhere I belong

The chorus expresses what I want above everything — to heal, to get better, to stop feeling the pain, to have a “normal” life without these thoughts and feelings that weigh me down every day. And most of all, to have somewhere I belong. We all want to belong. I’ve never really thought I belonged in this life. Sometimes everything feels wrong, at other times it’s better, but I’m always reminded when I’m around other people, that I am different. That not everyone overreacts to simple comments or things that happen in life. That not everyone thinks everyone hates them, that not everyone wishes they were dead whenever something small goes wrong or someone says something critical. My BPD is all about trying to belong. Trying to get validation from people because I can’t find it myself. Always thinking I’ve found the one person who will make me feel worth something. I hope that one day I will be able to heal.

And I’ve got nothing to say

I can’t believe I didn’t fall right down on my face

(I was confused)

Looking everywhere only to find

That it’s not the way I had imagined it all in my mind

(So what am I?)

That last line encapsulates the BPD symptom of lack of identity, of not knowing who you are. You may find somewhere you think you finally belong, you may find the person you think makes you whole. But if you haven’t dealt with your problems, all the bad feelings and thoughts will come back. I am married, and even 10 years ago, I thought no one would ever want me. I found the one person I thought could save my life, but while I was happy for a while, all the problems came back because I am the only person who can save myself. No one else can do it. Life will never be the way I want it to be until I learn to validate myself and find my own sense of self-worth.

What do I have but negativity?

‘Cause I can’t justify the way everyone is looking at me

(Nothing to lose)

Nothing to gain, hollow and alone

And the fault is my own

And the fault is my own

This verse describes another symptom of my BPD, the paranoid thoughts — thinking everyone is looking at you in a certain way, is judging you, hates you and wishes you weren’t here anymore. It’s something I have to live with often and sometimes it gets so bad that I have to go home sick from work, because I feel like I am surrounded by people I feel are looking at me in this way and who hate me. I can’t be around them. And sometimes it’s like negativity is all I have, as if I’m incapable of thinking positively.

I will never know myself until I do this on my own

And I will never feel anything else, until my wounds are healed

I will never be anything ‘til I break away from me

I will break away, I’ll find myself today

Following on from what I said above, I can’t rely on anyone else to “fix” me. I need to do that on my own, or at least with the help of therapy. But ultimately, it can only come from me. I know I will never feel better until I learn to be able to validate myself, to develop my sense of self-worth. I have a lot of wounds I need to heal and it’s going to be a long process. By finding myself — my true identity away from my mental illnesses — with the help of therapy, I can break away from the chains I feel are restraining me in my life and my relationships.

I wanna heal, I wanna feel

Like I’m somewhere I belong

I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m

Somewhere I belong

Somewhere I belong

I just want to be free of this illness and feel good about myself and be able to live a “normal” life and have normal relationships. I want to feel like I fit in and that I’m not always on the outside, different to other people. The song has a powerful message for me.

Header image via Linkin Park Facebook page

Originally published: August 22, 2018
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