How I Feel About A Diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder – The Global Tofay

How I Feel About A Diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder - The Global Tofay Global Today

 

As you might be aware, May is always the official borderline personality disorder awareness month, which means I do try and make an extra effort to post more to my blog and do my part in raising awareness, and I will continue to do so, but bare with me if I’m not as on it as I might be! But I’m kicking it off today with a bit of a late night ramble from a night where I wasn’t feeling my best and needed to let off some steam and give you guys some truths about living with bpd. 

If you’ve just been diagnosed with bpd, or you have bpd and you’re wanting reassurance, this post might not be for you. If you have similar feelings with your bpd then maybe it is, to know someone else is just as frustrated, angry and fed up with it as you are, but if you’re not in that mindset, maybe skip this post. I try my best to be positive here on my blog, but I swore to be honest, I swore to be open and show the reality of a life with mental health issues and a life with bpd tagged to you, and this is the reality of it I’m afraid.

Sometimes, I can be rational, and stable, and see the good in life, and be happy, and other times, for what feels like majority of the time, I’m irrational, And I’m unstable, and I don’t see the good in life. It’s easy to say “well you take the rough with the smooth in life” when you haven’t got a disorder like this, because yes life naturally does have its ups and downs, but when those ups and downs are magnified by a thousand, and the ups feel like the best you’ll ever feel and the lows feel like earth shattering anguish, it’s not so easy to accept. Because the thing is, being bpd doesn’t mean I don’t live the same life as everyone else with good days and bad days, good news and bad news, it means I live that life AS WELL as the ups and downs of the disorder itself. I can have good days, where things go right in the world, I’m on time for work, the suns out, it’s my favourite song on the radio, and yet my brain is feeling the opposite. My brain is not having a good day, my brain doesn’t see the sun shining, or hear my favourite song, my brain sees that I’m alive and feeling the same bad feelings it did before. And then a few minutes or a few hours later, it’s good in my brain again, I recognise the sun on my skin and smile and I go about my day, and try and forget that in a few more hours this can all end and the cycle continues, day in, day out. 

I cannot simply just “be positive” or “embrace bad days” because my negatives and my bad days are not just things I can shrug off, they are things that happen and instantly the person in my head says “well, should probably just kill our selves really shouldn’t we”. Over anything, I can have a bad day at work and have this thought of “god I have to work for another 50 years this sucks” and instead of being like well I could change jobs, I could have done this differently at work, tomorrow could be different, my brain says death is an easier way out. And if you’re thinking ‘well that’s ridiculous to think that’ you’re right! And that’s how it infuriating it is to live with it too – because I know there are things I can change in my life, things I can do to improve my mood and my overall well-being, but do you think the person in my brain cares about ANY of that? The person in my brain wants immediate change and an immediate fix, and to them, that’s suicide. Every time, without fail. Which if you didn’t realise, is fucking exhausting. 

Sometimes I do feel cheated. I feel like I got the shit stick, the short straw, the joker card. And it’s hard not to when I start to ruminate about life and how’s it’s been in the past, the struggles I’ve had, the relationships I’ve lost, the breakdowns I’ve ensued, the pain I’ve caused my loved ones, and how none of that would have happened without my bpd, and how this will likely continue for a while. But then when I have these thoughts, I’m also consumed with guilt, for those that are wishing to have any life at all, for those with limited time on this earth, for those less fortunate, those who’d swap lives in a heartbeat and would likely think me ungrateful, and rightly so.  But when I make an attempt on my life, I wish people would know I’m not trying to throw away a life I’ve been given, to throw away everything I’ve done and everything those around me have done for me, I’m simply trying to end the pain that being alive is causing me every single day. 

I understand that’s a hard concept to grasp unless you’ve felt it. Many people also don’t understand euthanasia, and feel it’s wrong for us to ‘play god’ and decide what lives get to end and what is “too much to deal with” and what isn’t. But these people have likely never felt the pain that we feel daily, whether that’s physical pain from a visible illness, or the invisible mental torture those with ill mental health feel. In general people do tend to understand pain and suffering more in a physical aspect than they do mental, and it applies to everything from life to death and everything in between. But the same way those who want to be in charge of their own death and suffering because of a physical illness want to be able to do so, those of us suffering with our minds also want to do what we want to stop it too. It’s very hard to compare situations, but on a general basis this is how I like to think about it anyway. 

When I was first diagnosed with bpd, I was relieved, I’d be wanting this official diagnosis for around 3/4 years, and waited for it to finally be given to me, to validate every feeling I’d had for a long time about my mental health. I felt as though I could finally step into my bpd shoes and start getting better and dealing with it, and if anything, my health was a million miles away from where it is now, at 23. It’s been five years since I’ve been diagnosed, and I’ve gone from bad to good to worse to alright to terrible and everything in between in that time. It’s been exhausting. I’ve lost friendships, I’ve lost relationships, I’ve learned a million and one things about myself, good and bad, I’ve hurt people, and I’ve been hurt. And if anything at the five year mark, I still feel sadness and anguish that I’m one of the million others branded with this disorder. It’s hard not to when you try and look up any sort of research of information about bpd, you’re met with articles on the negatives of bpd, with google question drop downs about “can people with bpd feel love” and “are people with bpd manipulative” if you don’t believe me, go search for it. Over the years the negatives have filtered out and the actual scientific research pages have started appearing at the top more, but the frequently searched for questions about what we are like as people stays the same. And it breaks my heart every single time. 

Because I am not my disorder, but there are parts of me that stem from that disorder. I am still human, I can still be good and bad and make choices and do the right or wrong thing like anyone else. Except that when I do good or bad things, it’s usually rationalised with “because of bpd”. If I cause an argument or I say something mean, it’s “part of my bpd to be angry and lash out”, if I am bad to someone or manipulative it’s “bpd manipulation techniques” or if I’m kind and caring it’s “my bpd that gives me empathy” or if I show an interest in art or animals it’s “bpd interests in creativity and good with animals”. And yet I am still told “you’re not your diagnosis”, if I’m not, then why is everything I do always related to my diagnosis? Why can’t I say something mean simply because I’m being a dickhead? Or be good at art because I am a creative person? Even in friendships and relationships, if I cause an argument and refuse to listen it can be met with “you do this all the time” and told it’s something I should get therapy for for my bpd, rather than something I can work on myself and as a couple. It can be easy to feel like a scape goat for relationships breaking down or problems, because I have a disorder infamous for causing issues in relationships and how I communicate and relate with others. 

Which in itself is hard to swallow. You’re often told by professionals how your diagnosis doesn’t change who you are, it doesn’t change you as a person, it doesn’t mean you can’t have relationships and feel love, and it doesn’t mean you can’t thrive and live a happy life. Yet why is everything I’ve experienced, the very opposite? Every relationship I’ve had has broken down because of some aspect of my bpd. Whether it’s that I’m too much to cope with, or my wildly unpredictable stability levels, or that I don’t communicate well, or that someone simply doesn’t want to educate themselves on bpd and how they can help me. And I don’t need help or to rely on a loved one, but in a relationship especially one where you are living together or spending a lot of time together, I am going to need support, and I am going to need extra adjustments, just like someone with a physical impairment would do. You wouldn’t turn to someone in a wheelchair and say “sorry I’m not going to push you around in your chair because you should be independent and you shouldn’t rely on me because you have an illness”, so why is it acceptable to say to those with a mental illness? And this isn’t just a relationship issue, but something I find issues with in every aspect of my life. I struggle with work and my jobs, because I disclose my disorder and what it means and what that might affect for work, I am often treated differently. Not always in a bad way sure, and sometimes these measures are meant to be supportive ones and just assessing the risks, but it can feel like you’re being watched and observed for it. If I get upset at work I’m asked “have I taken my meds” or “is this the start of an episode” rather than me just having a cry at work like everyone else does. 

All this when you sit and think about it late at night does take its toll. I do feel sad about the life I would have liked to have had, or the life I think I’d have had if I didn’t have bpd and it didn’t affect me in my relationships and work etc. I think about how I do struggle to find work that’s accommodating to someone who needs extra support and a bit of lenience in terms of sick days, and something that fits around my irregular stability patterns and episodes of instability, and I do think about how my relationships are affected by my bpd, not just in terms of how I react to situations or how I feel about certain situations but just in general sometimes, like the fact that some people are ignorant to mental illness and don’t want to date someone with a long term, irregular and erratic illness that means they can lash out, or have days where they don’t get out of bed, or don’t speak, or don’t understand simple things or take things to extremes and feel abandoned or unloved by simple, harmless actions by them. Because if I think about it, would I want that? Would I want to date someone who would need my support and extra reassurance and love? I don’t know. 

This isn’t always romantic relationships either, in friendships I can feel like such a burden. And find myself distancing myself from people, and isolating myself to avoid being abandoned or being hurt. Having bpd means that the slightest things said or done can make me feel abandoned, unloved, and send me spiralling into a deep depression and a very dark place. I’ve attempted suicide after a small argument with people many a time, because I can’t see a way out of feeling this way. Which sometimes is the core of the problem, it’s not that it’s happened, it’s that something small has made me feel so insecure and so much in despair that I think how ridiculous the illness is and simply feel like I can’t do it anymore. I can’t wake up and be sent spiralling by something so ridiculous anymore, it’s exhausting. 

I know a lot of people say they wouldn’t change themselves and wouldn’t get rid of their illness if they could, and I have times when my diagnosis was questioned and I have felt upset and like my identity was being questioned, but honestly? I would get rid of bpd in a heartbeat if I could. For everyone. It’s hard, it’s annoying and it’s fucking tiring. And if you also have bpd and got this far through my hissy fit – you are so fucking strong and amazing for dealing with this shit every day. 

I promise tomorrow I will try and see the sun shining and see the good in the life I’ve been given. But right now I’m tired, my face is tear stained and all I’ve have the energy left for is to sleep it off.

Meg x

#Feel #Diagnosis #Borderline #Personality #Disorder

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