I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder quite late on through my journey.
When I was diagnosed, it seemed to make everything I have ever experienced and felt make sense… Why I made impulsive decisions. Why I struggled socially. Why I felt abandonment and seek reassurance so strongly. Why I felt I never fitted in or knew who I was. Why I struggled with relationships and trusting anyone. Why one minute I feel fine and the next far, far from fine.
My life had felt like an emotional horror movie that you have to constantly battle with emotions flying into your head so fast, and, before you can think about it you have totally catastrophized what ever started the thought in the first place into the hugest, hugest problem.
The most exhausting part of it all, for me, is the questioning of absolutely everything, from the way something is said, to a slight look someone can give me. If someone doesn't reply to a phone call or whastapp message quick enough, when I know they have seen it, in my head it means “they don’t like me” “they don’t care about me”, “they don’t want me”, etc – rationally I know that are busy, but in my head that makes no difference and the anxiety, rage, sadness and loneliness come out and eat at me.
Part of the diagnosis that made the most sense was why in social settings I never felt I fitted in and why I felt (feel) I am always on the outside. The way I felt it did not matter if I was there or not, or, why I felt fear of calling or making contact with someone I had not heard from in a while. Actually the fear inside me that I would be ‘abandoned’ or rejected stops me getting too close with people. This is the hardest part I have to work on, as the key to that is confidence – which particularly now, after everything feels shattered.
The trouble with BPD is it is a tornado of emotions that come on so, so strongly and quickly you cant, yourself even keep up with them. It is going from absolutely fine to self-destruct mode in the matter of a split second. Emotions can last from days to hours (eg feeling happy and confident in the morning to feeling like a pile of crap in the evening and wanting to hurt yourself to feel something).
Most of the time with BPD you feel very lonely and empty, and need constant reassurance you are ok and you have not done anything wrong. This is exhausting for me and others around me as I tend to ruminate things over and over in my head and out aloud.
People are often confused and misdiagnosed with bipolar and Borderline. The key difference between these diagnosis’s is that with bipolar the highs and lows will last from weeks to months. But with BPD you can flip and change constantly throughout a day.
Though with my diagnosis I felt huge relief that I finally knew why things were how they were, the feeling was bittersweet, knowing it will be something I have to watch out for and control most of my life. But slowly and surely I am learning coping and sensory strategies to control things when I feel out of control and knowing what to do to get myself better.
For more information on BPD click here.