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5 Things I Wish You Could See About My High-Functioning BPD

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With borderline personality disorder (BPD), no two people with the mental illness are alike. Some even describe it as a spectrum. I find myself on the higher functioning side. I live by myself, keep track of my appointments and have a few stable relationships. However, there’s a lot to my BPD that people don’t see from the outside looking in.

1. While I live alone, I’m still afraid of being alone.

It’s a struggle. When I’m at home, my TV or radio is always on because hearing other people eases my fears. I also sing to myself and rely heavily on the fact that my cat is always around. I find pets make it a lot easier. Even with all that, deep down, I’m deathly afraid of being alone. It seems like no matter what I do, I’ll always be afraid.

2. Even though I may look polished, my apartment is constantly a disaster zone.

I can’t focus on cleaning for the life of me. It feels like I’m constantly trying to do six things at once, and nothing gets done. It gets especially worse if I’m depressed. I have a full-size bed. Yet, I currently sleep on the edge because the rest of my bed is covered in things and trash. I want to be one of those people who’s really organized, but it’s hard to be when you have trouble finishing things.

3. While I’m outwardly outgoing, social situations in groups are challenging.

Trying to keep up in a group of five or more people is near impossible. Everyone is firing off their own emotions and following the conversation can be hard. Taking in everyone’s information and trying to process it before I say something just creates a delay. Most of the the time in these situations, I simply just stay quiet. Even with my family, it’s hard for me to engage.

4. I look a lot better on the outside than I feel inside.

I took up makeup as a coping skill, and as a result, most people think I feel better than I actually do. Makeup or no makeup, I have a lot of underlying anxiety and depression. I wish people would stop assuming I’m fine just because I look good. I, most of the time, look good because I feel bad and need something else to focus on. Even if I look like a million bucks, ask me how I am.

5. I spend most of my time in a dissociative state.

You can’t outwardly see that I’m not all there. I like to call that the autopilot effect. I may answer your questions. I will make decisions, but I’m not taking in any information. It makes me forgetful. While I try my best to be in the moment, sometimes, there’s not much I can do but ride it out. I lose complete days to dissociation. So please, don’t get mad at me if I don’t remember what happened, what day I’m supposed to do something or what you said. I’m trying my best.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: January 20, 2017
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