the month of may is borderline personality disorder awareness month, and as someone who has been diagnosed with it for over a year, i can’t say i’m an expert yet. but i know how i feel, and how often and rapidly it changes throughout a day. when i was diagnosed, and explained the basis of it, a lot of my life seemed to click into a better understanding of myself and my actions. a lot of people i loved and cared about have left me, especially at a young age with the men that came in and out of my life via my mother. a lot of promises were broken, some of which came from the only man i’ve ever called ‘dad.’ that left me with an overwhelming fear of abandonment, alongside extreme trust issues. i was always so afraid to open up to someone again, and let my guard down. i started dating my first boyfriend, and best friend at the time after i turned 18 and it was great, until it wasn’t. shit happened with us, and it got really bad, to preserve myself as best i could i ended things. it got worse after that, for a billion different reasons. i was living alone, isolated from my family. i was working two jobs and i rarely had time to grieve. fall of 2017 i officially broke and ended up in the hospital after a suicide attempt. over the course of a few months i was in and out, struggling to find comfort in myself and the people around me. faking that i was doing better because i hated how hurt my loved ones looked. i self harmed without even comprehending what i was doing. i didn’t feel at all like myself. i completely lost myself. it felt as though there was a whole separate consciousness inside my head that would take over while i sat and watched the terror unfold. it still feels like that most days. sometimes my thoughts get so loud i can’t even hear them precisely. i constantly get fed lies by the voice in my head that sounds like mine, and i don’t always have the hindsight to know it’s not me. even on my good days i have a death wish looming over me.
i’ve been aware of bpd for over a year, and educating myself is the only thing giving me the small sense of control and grasp i have over myself and my actions. i still have my fallbacks. i still struggle to understand what thoughts are mine and which aren’t. but knowing what borderline personality disorder is, and seeing people talk about it helped me to feel less alone through this. it’s hard when people don’t understand what you’re going through, and it’s meant everything to have people who love me, educate themselves to better know me and why i do things sometimes when i’m not fully conscious of it. this illness DOES NOT make a person toxic, and feeding into that culture is what created the stigma around bpd in the first place. if someone you love struggles with bpd, try to educate yourself before you shut them down for the way they express their emotions. it might not make sense to you, but to them that is the truth they’re being fed, whether they’re aware of it in their mind or not. be kind, and know that we’re terrified on the inside, of absolutely everything. our emotions change so quickly and controlling that is near impossible.
i am not my illness, and neither are you.