If you’ve been around me in any capacity, you’d know that I was diagnosed BPD last year. It sucks. It’s not something I’d wish on anyone, really.
That being said, I don’t want to use it as a crutch. I don’t want to be constantly referencing my diagnosis, my medication, my psychiatrist – you know the drill. I can’t run away from it though, I can’t brush it off as something minor because this disorder affects my life in major ways. Every single one of my interpersonal relationships is impacted by this, and it’s taken a lot of time (and mistakes) to get to a point where I can correct my former behaviour. My coping mechanisms aren’t amazing, but they’re healthier than before.
all my friends (are kind of like me)
You know how they say ‘birds of a feather flock together’? That’s pretty true in my case. I find that I have a pretty high number of friends with mental disorders themselves. It’s not that I avoid non-mental health issue people (I refuse to use the word ‘normal’, for what it’s worth) – but I find that I click better with people who understand.
Why wouldn’t I? These are the people who understand when I tell them that I literally can’t get out of bed. These are the people who take the time to talk me down when I’m in a violent up or downswing. Mania is tiring, and impulsive bad ideas even more so. I’ve had some of these friends for close to 10 years now. I’ve had a lot of people leave, or I’ve left them, or things ended on a sour note – and that might be an understatement.
It’s not that I want to drive people away. It’s not that I want to hide this either – I’ve had former partners who insisted that I should be ashamed of my behaviour, that I should talk less about my mental health because it scared ‘normal people’. At first, yeah. I did feel that shame. I did internalise. I do find myself saying ‘well, who would want to deal with your psycho ass’ but I also recognise that it’s part of the disorder.
are you a wi-fi signal, because I think we have a connection
Connecting is hard. I wouldn’t say I’ve been particularly picky before, but now? Now it’s different. Aside from the mental illness, I’ve also got a child. That adds a whole lot of other factors into choosing a partner.
It’s safe to say I’ve had a lot of phases over the years. My current thing is that I’ve actually put together a user manual of sorts, to help the people who choose to be around me. It’s not that I need to be managed, just that the things I do occasionally make no sense – or confuse the people around me.
I don’t know how to deal with the feelings of emptiness. That’s not something I’ve really managed yet. It’s only now that I’m doing my best to not self-isolate, to not panic and jump to the most extreme conclusions. I’m trying, it never seems like it’s enough. I wish I could be positive about this, but there’s always so much hesitation and anxiety when someone new comes along – and I’m afraid of the idealising-devaluation cycle. I hate that part of the BPD the most.
The BPD rage is also tough to deal with. It’s like people with good skin: when they tell me ‘have you tried washing your face with soap’, I kinda want to punch them in the face. Most of the time, I know it’s coming from a good place but I do get irritated when people tell me to go out and exercise or ‘cheer up’. It doesn’t work that way. The next person to tell me that I ‘need to get off meds’ is also probably going to get smacked. The meds keep me relatively stable, maybe it doesn’t work for everyone – but it works for me.
This whole thing is confusing and messy.