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The 'Frenemy' That Is My Borderline Personality Disorder

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I’ve always been a free spirit. I didn’t like to have limits or boundaries. “The sky is the limit” has been put into our head since grade school, right? I’ve spent many of my years feeling comfortable in a position of authority, but not dealing well with others exercising their position of authority. Short fuse as a child was an understatement, especially when I didn’t get my way. This is considered “normal” for a child. Whatever the doctors and specialists say is normal, anyway. However, as I moved into pre-teen and teenage years, signs of something “abnormal” began to reveal themselves.

She was officially introducing herself.

She — my borderline personality disorder — was becoming demanding and uncontrollable. There were many incidents of outbreaks and breakdowns that still happen occasionally today. This includes external outbreaks of unexplained anger and hurt resulting in tantrums, hitting, kicking, throwing and laying on the floor. I scream and cry, unable to explain what I’m feeling and why I’m feeling it. When she comes out, it is only around close family and friends. She has hurt many relationships with those close to me. Other than those few who are somehow able to stick around, she stays in hiding and taunts me when I’m alone. She tells me it’s my fault, not hers. That I shouldn’t be this way and if I listen to her it will solve it. She makes me feel insecure, inadequate and alone.

Loneliness is a powerful feeling. It is just that — a feeling. I feel it for a bit and if I listen to it for too long, allowing it to trigger my brain, she will feed on it. It fuels her fire, making me sacrifice time and relationships with others in order to try and feel alive. Loneliness doesn’t have to mean no one cares. It doesn’t mean no one wants you around. It’s a temporary feeling of insecurity that everyone feels at some point or another. The temporary part is where she won’t agree with me. Aside from her, I blame the loneliness for many embarrassing and immature actions in my life.

It wasn’t until every doctor I met spent time trying to “cure me” and “solve the problem” I decided to take my alternate personality into my own control. Most people were convinced I would grow out of it, but I was told by an influential person, “Maybe you need to learn to live with her. Become comfortable with her and accept her.” I didn’t know what that meant.

I have a routine that has calmed me down and more importantly, calmed her down. I take four medicines that include two mood stabilizers. Medicine, like everything else she causes inside me, changes often. I have a few close people who can identify when I need to change medicines because the current ones have stopped helping. I’ve also learned to give her more of the attention she needs. I hear her and acknowledge her, but I can’t always agree with her. She has a well-intended heart, but a control problem. I am working each day to work on our temper and reactions. I am learning to make her verbalize what she needs. In turn, I am able to verbalize my feelings and why I am feeling a certain way. I can then relay these feeling to the few I am close with and they provide the reassurance, care and attention I need to get through her aggravating demands.

When all is said and done, I hope to come to terms with my disorder. Each day I have a decision to allow her into my life and accept her as part of my day. Every day is a journey, and sometimes a fight.

Even when she tells me otherwise, I am strong. I am important. I will make it.

The Mighty is asking the following: For someone who doesn’t understand what it’s like to have your mental illness, describe what it’s like to be in your head for a day. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: May 23, 2016
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