The Mighty Logo

The Unpredictability of Borderline Personality Disorder

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

I used to wonder why it is called borderline personality disorder (BPD). That is until my symptoms got worse, and I had to find the answer the worst possible way.

It literally feels like you’re standing on the borderline of emotional and mental instability. Some days, you struggle to make sure you’re still “sane.” Other days, it feels like you’re not, like you barely have control anymore. Then, you get better for a few days and think that maybe you were just over-analyzing it before. Soon enough, you’re back to your nightly sanity checks.

Living with BPD can feel like a nightmare because how you feel about everything — friends, school, life, even yourself — is just so unstable.

You find it so hard to trust completely. You’re always needled by the thought that people would only befriend you if they needed something. You often wonder if your closest friends keep up with you because they actually like you or because they see you as an investment for when they’ll be needing help. You try to kill this mistrusting side of you, but you just can’t help slipping back. So you shut people out, even friends, until you realize over and over that you actually need them more.

It’s as if you’re wired to look at people in black and white. The worst part is that you have moments when you doubt even yourself. You think that maybe this is why you feel lonely, even when you have a lot of friends. You feel like you don’t have the kind of connection you see in other friendships. You used to think there was something about you that kept people away.

It turns out, you were right, except you were actually the one who kept them away. You hid behind a glass wall, and you weren’t even aware of it. Now, you realize the wall was in fact a sealed cage and you’re suffocating. Yet, you still can’t break the glass. Maybe you like it this way. Maybe you like tormenting yourself with the loneliness.

However, tormenting yourself is nothing new. You’ve done far worse. You have hideous scars on your forearm, a dozen rusting blades hidden somewhere in your room, crumpled papers that should have been your farewell note to the world.

Yet, the funny thing about living with BPD is that you keep surprising yourself. It’s like one day you despise yourself and you feel so inadequate. You think you’re ready to end it all tonight because there’s no point in continuing.

Then, something inside you changes, like a switch was turned off. You look in the mirror and regret ever thinking of hurting yourself because the best person you know is right in front of you. You’re wasting all your potential and future.

Living with BPD is like turning the switch on and off at such an unpredictable pace. No, it’s not intentional. No, it’s not something you can control or choose. No, it’s not just you’re making up a lame excuse for being mean and stubborn.

No, this was not your choice. No, you cannot just tell yourself to stop the random switching and be “normal.” No, you don’t feel “normal.” No, you don’t want their pity. You want them to understand. You just want them to be a little more patient.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: December 21, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home