The scariest thing about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), is how quickly it can change, in days, hours or even minutes. I can and do spot trends. After a build up of extreme highs, comes the lows. Often the higher the high, the lower the low and I’m told regularly that until I receive the tools to change my behaviours in Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), it will continue. They both have their challenges and my most content time is when I’m stable, in the middle, but sadly I have to learn that it’s rare that I’m in that place. I’m up or down, all or nothing and the more I fight to remain stable, the more my head seems to fluctuate.
Just over a week ago I was buzzing, I mean on top of the world. I was out and about, meeting friends, planning events, arranging birthday sleepovers, writing, working, parenting, living, videoing and enjoying being me. I’m now struggling to leave the house and anxious about my every move. I’m paranoid about those around me and terrified that I upset everyone just by doing or not doing the right thing. I’ve lost it, again. And the higher I seem to get, the further it is to fall. I’m in the low and as much as neither extreme is good for me, I so prefer the high, it’s exciting, I feel like I can take on the world and I worry less about what people think of me. I get so much done, I keep all the plates spinning and the majority of people seem happy with me.
The thing with BPD and I quote from Mind, “Everything in the world hurts more than it seems to for everyone else and any ‘thick skin’ [I am] supposed to have just isn’t there”.
Some of the symptoms include:
• You feel very worried about people abandoning you, and would do anything to stop that happening.
• You have very intense emotions that last from a few hours to a few days and can change quickly (for example, from feeling very happy and confident to suddenly feeling low and sad).
• You don’t have a strong sense of who you are, and it can change significantly depending on who you’re with.
• You find it very hard to make and keep stable relationships.
• You feel empty a lot of the time.
• You have very intense feelings of anger, which are really difficult to control.
What’s frustrating is the impulsive behaviour & paranoia I possess which can cause me to end friendships, cancel contracts, quit my job, miss doctors appointments and be too scared to leave the house. It can also cause the opposite impact making me promise things I can’t deliver, sign up to subscriptions I can’t maintain and that all adds to the feeling of failure that surrounds me.
When I crash I instantly know but try to fix it. I want to fix my head and make it better right then in that moment. I’ll often try crazy things to make myself better, spending money, pestering services, late night ideas and emails and convincing myself that I can’t be better without being perfect. The lows hurt. My head becomes so full of disappointment, generally that I think others are feeling about me, that rational goes out of the window and my paranoid inner critic is there is full force singing the credits!
As I lay here in the early hours I feel like I’ve found a calmness, an acceptance and a belief that I’m not such a bad person. I make mistakes, let people down and sometimes I act without rationale. But I have positive intentions, I’m always aiming to do my best and to help others. I will continue to try my best and to seek out methods to improve my behaviours and thinking. I will not give up.
Today I choose to be enough, to be free and to be happy. I’m not taking on the World but there are small changes I can make in the new day tomorrow and I will. Day by day, step by step. I got this!