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The Part of My Borderline Personality Disorder That Makes Me Feel Like a ‘Firework’

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My kids and I have been fighting the flu for the past five days, and we are all exhausted. I’m very social, and I need to leave the house as a form of self-care to keep my mental health balanced. I haven’t been able to leave because my kids have needed me (they’re 6 years old and under) and I’ve needed to take care of myself as well, so leaving the house hasn’t happened.

My husband and I decided that my 2-year-old needed something to help with her cough so she could sleep better. When he got home I went to get ready to leave and I felt it start.

The sudden hole that was gaping and demanding to be filled by anything and everything. My mind started racing about all the things we needed from the store: supplies for glitter bottles. Socks. Laundry soap. Chicken. Onesies for the baby. Pants for the older two. Pants for me. Pants for my husband. All. The. Things. The urge to spend the entire check that was just deposited to our account was insurmountable. My husband came to talk to me, and I told him I felt like a firework.

At any moment, my wick can spark and the short and slow burn will send me exploding into the night sky, uncontrollable now. Some onlookers may say, “Wow! You’ve got so much energy to get stuff done! Good for you!” But it’s not sustainable. Not at all. The spectacle lasts for a set amount of time, while I circle the store filling my cart with this and that, whatever catches my eye. My hands reaching out to products like a new spark of the firework, and just as bright as the first.

When I finally see the time and decide it’s time to go home, I get the things that were originally on my list (medicine and a few food items for the next couple days) and the sparks are smaller now, the intensity ever so slightly decreasing. I scan each item as quickly as possible so I can ignore the raising dollar amount, and get home with all my impulse buys before my rationality kicks in. By the time I’m placing all the bagged purchases in my van the firework is just sparking here and there, waiting to be dumped into a bucket of water that isn’t there, so it just smokes into the sky.

Thankfully, I am much more aware of this “firework” feeling than I used to be. I know this is my mania. I know it’s my brain’s way of letting me know I feel unfulfilled in something. Usually, it’s unfulfilled in the social aspect. Because of borderline personality disorder (BPD), I feel these things so intensely that there’s no room for anything else. It’s almost like an autopilot comes on and says, “This is what we’re doing now.” My conscious mind is much more powerful these days, and instead of going with the autopilot I ask, “What is driving this feeling?”

These bursts are short and sweet, for lack of a better term. BPD can twist you through so many states so fast, it’ll make you dizzy. I went from OK, to depressed, to OK, to irritated, to manic, to anxious and back to OK all in one day. It is a wild ride I know many of us are trying to navigate.

Do you struggle with this “firework feeling” too? Let me know in the comments.

Photo by Chansereypich Seng via Unsplash.
Originally published: February 24, 2020
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