The observant among you may have noticed that I have not been around on WordPress for a while – I have however been on Twitter and IG. I just wanted to update you all on what is going on in my life right now. I’m also hoping that this post will be somewhat cathartic.
As you may or may not know, I live with Borderline Personality Disorder and all the nasty stuff that comes along with it – depression, anxiety, self harm, psychosis, suicidal ideations and other such things. It’s a daily struggle. Sometimes I win, sometimes the BPD wins. Recently, the BPD has been winning.
Compared to other mental illnesses, bi-polar for example, BPD is relatively unknown. Peoples knowledge on the subject usually comes from films. Let me just clear up that if you have watched ‘Girl Interrupted’ or ‘Fatal Attraction’ you are not an expert on this disorder. I live with it and I’m not an expert on this disorder. No one persons experience of BPD will be the same as another’s. Causes are another much-debated subject. The general consensus is that emotional invalidation as a child combined with genetic factors create a ‘Borderline’ individual. It is both nature and nurture. I have my opinions on the cause of my own BPD but that is a subject for another blog post…
It’s hard to explain what it’s like when BPD takes hold. You tune out the world; everything and everyone around you. You are hyper-sensitive emotionally – more so than usual. Marsh M. Linehan described it best when she said “People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement.” And any “movement” can cause an extreme reaction, for we think only in black and white. Hate and love. Suicidal or elated. To borrow a quote from Susanna Kaysen, “made a stupid remark—why not kill myself? Missed the bus—better put an end to it all. Even the good got in there. I liked that movie—maybe I shouldn’t kill myself.”
Yes, it really is that black and white. An argument with a spouse or family member means that they hate you and so you need to kill yourself. Hearing laughter from people when you are outside means they are mocking you so you should just kill yourself. A flippant comment from an ignorant person can send you over the edge. Here’s a personal example. I was reading my old high school yearbook a couple of weeks ago. I broke down in tears because those friends and that time in my life were the last time I can remember truly being happy. Even typing this and thinking about it is making me tear up again. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and children more than I could possibly say and they make me happy, of course they do, but back then I didn’t have the weight of my own mind crushing my soul. (I know that sounds dramatic but that is genuinely what it feels like.) Looking back on my high school days I just wonder if I am ever going to be as happy again as I was with that small group of wonderful people. At my low times, I think I never will be and BPD whispers in my ear that ending it all is the answer. Even back then though, reflecting on it, I can see signs of what was to come. I constantly put on the show of being the clown in my friend-group. I still do. Humor is my shield. My “of course I’m ok. I’m laughing and smiling aren’t I?” facade. I wish I’d spoken to one of my friends though. She confided in me when she had issues, I should have confided in her. Anyway, that went off on a tangent didn’t it? Moving on…
I have 2 journals. One is my ‘Thought A Day’ journal which I use, yes you guessed it, every day. The other is a plain leather bound book that I reserve for my darkest moments. In 2012 I used it frequently. 2013 was also a bad year. After that, I put it away in a drawer. About a week ago, I started writing in it again. I’m treating the book as my therapist. I had the opportunity of therapy last year and just like I always do, I gave up. Maybe the crisis team were right when they so cruelly said that I obviously didn’t want help…..
So please excuse my absence whilst I pick up all my broken pieces and put myself together again. I haven’t enough focus to read right now so I am throwing myself into crafts, mainly crochet. I promise I will be back soon, I just need to focus on healing my mind right now.
Love and light,