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What It's Like to 'Lose' Your Identity When You Live With Borderline Personality Disorder

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Over the years I have had some time to get to know my borderline personality disorder (BPD). I feel this is such a funny name to describe my mental illness.

Each day, new mistakes, successes, disappointments and inspirations are sprinkled throughout. In a lot of situations in life, folks without BPD are able to separate who they are from what they are going through. When they go through tough times, they come out of the experience with the same identity as before it — the only change being they may have soaked in knowledge or developed a skill.

For me? As someone with BPD, in tough situations I can feel like I am a failure — or extra “broken.” Sometimes I think to myself that the world would be better without me in it. Oftentimes my reactions don’t take just me down, but those around me too. BPD, that I sometimes refer to as “my demon,” is always there, crouching, ready to plunge my soul into an oblivion that leaves me wondering if this is all really real, or if what I’m feeling is fake.

People with BPD often struggle to find their true identities in life. It feels like a crack in my system, and BPD is always messing with my emotions — continuously putting my heart and mind to the test. It sometimes feels like my “demon” is trying to become me, and take away who I really am.

Now, I’m sitting in Maui wondering why I’m here. A change in environment and activity seemed to be the best thing to help me find peace, but my troubles and my demon follows me. The scenic overlook of the Pacific Ocean is enough to take my breath away, but not enough to dismiss the borderline. I feel stuck between who I am and who I want to be… Insecurities consume my thoughts.

But I’ve begun to understand that I have lived so long letting my demon control what I do, influencing my fears and my successes. It’s time for me to take control. I’ve never felt what it was like to take control, and although I still may not know, I know enough to understand that if I don’t combat my demon, it’ll eternally own me. Don’t let your borderline enemy take control of your identity, because your identity is what needs to be eternal.

Photo via contributor

Originally published: January 7, 2019
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