What Borderline Personality Disorder Is to Me

Louise Maher

One thing I’ve learned over the past few years through my own experiences and listening to those of my friends who struggle with the same personality disorder, is that not one person’s experience imitates another’s, therefore it is unfair to assume that one person struggling with borderline personality disorder (BPD) will experience the exact same symptoms as another.

BPD, to me, is a constant roller-coaster; not one that thrill seekers enjoy at theme parks, but one where I’m traveling high-speed through a dark forest dodging branches, peaking the highest of the highs and then dropping to the lowest of the lows within a matters of minutes, days or weeks; one that I have been frantically trying to get off for years. The highs can be magical; my confidence and productivity soars and I’m capable of achieving anything I want, everything feels good and I can find myself shedding tears of joy at how wonderful things are. But within hours, these tears can turn to disappear; I’ll feel worthless and I’ll reach for an escape through self-harming behaviors.

BPD, to me, is impulsivity; the overwhelming urge to spend all my money when happy, applying for credit and accumulating thousands in debt over just couple of hours or impulsively; swallowing a bottle of pills after a minor argument or event.

BPD, to me, is black and white; there isn’t any grey. Things are either very good or very bad, I either love my life or hate it, there’s no in-between.

BPD, to me, is a volcano that can erupt unpredictably; the stress that consumes me can explode into a rage and I can get so angry that I scare myself as well as people around me, therefore causing unstable relationships with family and friends.

BPD, to me, is struggling to make set plans or decisions; ask me what I want to do in the future in terms of my daily activities or career plans and I’ll tell you one thing, but ask me again in a few hours or days and it will be completely different.

BPD, to me, is a tornado of extremely overwhelming emotions; it’s feeling emotions that other person might not, but on a much stronger scale.

BPD, to me, is intense; and I aim to learn the skills through treatment to help me cope on this roller-coaster.

But having BPD isn’t something I’m ashamed of. It has taught me a lot about myself over the years. BPD, to me, is resilience; the ability to carry on despite the chaos. BPD, to me, is creative; it allows me to express my intense feelings through my work. And most of all BPD, to me, is empathy and understanding for others struggling, a trait that I wouldn’t ever trade, despite my difficulties.

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