I am in complete control. I do well in my area of work. I am productive, charming, a go-getter. I have no control. I am failing in my tasks. I do nothing, snap at people, have no motivation.
I do not eat. I eat everything. I cry and scream, smile and laugh. I hate you but I love you. Leave me alone but please never go.
One or two people in every hundred experience life like me, invisible in plain sight. Yet this disorder is rarely talked about because it is not one of the big three; depression, anxiety or an eating disorder. My illness is non-existent to everyone outside the bubble of psychiatry.
I have Borderline Personality Disorder. All or nothing. Black or white. Good or bad. That is the world I live in. Middle ground is an alien concept that I just do not understand.
People with Borderline Personality Disorder feel everything in extremes. You smiled at me? Oh my goodness, we’re best friends. Forget to text me back? You must hate me, I’m so unloved. There is a background paranoia, inescapable ideas that make so much sense, but make no sense whatsoever. Dissociative episodes when things get too bad, our brain simply shutting off until we are no longer part of ourselves. There’s no emotional regulation, things keep building, building, building until something snaps. Self-harm, starving or binging, compulsive shopping, irresponsible sex, misuse of alcohol and drugs – they are all used to bring down the intensity of the emotion. Extremely self-destructive, but because it is the only way that we have learned to cope, we do it anyway.
I did not eat for 16 days. I binged, binged, and binged some more. I isolated myself from everybody. I spent every day out with friends. I scratched, cut, and poisoned my body. I danced, laughed, and cried happy tears. I was unbalanced. I cycled through the motions of the disorder. I let it ruin my relationships, and I let it ruin myself.
I am finally in the correct treatment programme, made specifically for Borderline Personality Disorder. I am becoming balanced, slowly but surely. I still cycle, but not to the extreme highs and lows that I used to experience. I am eating three meals a day, finally nourishing my body after all its abuse. I take time to myself when needed, but make an effort to see others as well. I do not punish myself for not living up to the perfect standards that I have set. Most importantly, I am healing.
Yes, I have Borderline Personality Disorder, but I am not my disorder, and my disorder is not me.
Photo Credit: Hayley Halpin