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Why I’m More Than Just a Number as Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

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One in four people have a mental illness. In addition, 1.4 percent of the U.S. adult population is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD).

I always knew I was unique and different. But it wasn’t until Thursday, September 19th, 2019
that I was able to put a name to it. This is when I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

This proved what I always suspected — that I am unique. Suddenly, the pieces fell into place and I was no longer trying to tear down drywall with a screwdriver. In one hour, a weight I never knew
was lifted off my shoulders. To me, this is a blessing. Questions that haunted me for years were finally answered.

Now, I could pick myself up and walk hand in hand with my diagnosis. I’ve seen a lot of ideas about fighting, beating or surviving a mental illness. For many people, mental illnesses do not go away. We learn to live and cope with them. Walking hand-in-hand with borderline personality disorder means accepting it and recognizing it as a part of me.

This one-hour appointment changed my life, giving me a new perspective. I have always been told I am resilient and strong, never believing it. To me, it’s better I carry this disorder with me than someone else who can’t. It means one less person must struggle.

I see the world differently. This means I can offer different insight to others. When I feel things, I feel them intensely. This means when I am ecstatic, I bring others up with me and my empathy sees no end. This means I am understanding. I might not have been through your experience, but I can resonate with your emotions in a way that you will never feel alone.

With a personality disorder, I have no idea who I am or where I am going. At times this is scary, overwhelming and disorienting. Remaining positive about having no idea who I am, I will always be growing and changing. The one certain thing in life is change.

I will immerse myself in hobbies and trying new things. Every day is a clean slate to find new enjoyment in this world — where there is no shortage of that. There will be a fiery passion
burning bright within me for each activity I’ve never seen before.

Each day, I discover something new about myself. This week, it has been that I share anti-climactic stories and I am creative. Each of these things are me and make me unique.

I am strong. I work with my borderline personality disorder every single moment of every single day. I am not a quitter; it is not in my vocabulary. Every time we fall, we get right back up stronger and better.

I will fight with every fiber in my being for something I believe in. I will work with my BPD with the same fiery passion I have for everything else. This is me. I am not just a number.

Getty Images: Olga Nazarova

Originally published: November 12, 2019
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