I’ve been avoiding this one. As you may know, I’ve been making “my personal truth” posts in an effort to bring more balance to my throat chakra. It is a way to externalize and speak honestly. A chance to see what I always try to hide, but in a non-judgmental way.
This will probably be my last one of these, and it is about my Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Before I get into this I do want to encourage you to consider doing this series as well. A chance to speak on a topic that maybe is nagging at your brain. It does not need to be about a disorder, it can be anything. What ever your current truth is. If you do make one (or more!) of these posts, be sure to post a link in the comments so we can all check it out.
I mentioned once before that for me BPD feels like hand sanatizer on a papercut. That really is the best way for me to describe it. Any small thing gives me a very large sensation. I physically feel every emotion to the point that energy is built up wanting to explode. People say I’m “overly emotional” when they see only the tip of the iceberg. If something makes you sad, it would leave me curled up in a ball of despair. If it makes you mad, I would be furious to the point of shaking, crying, and screaming. I live in a world of extremes.
These extremes make me feel the need to release. Again, I physically feel extreme energy build up with strong emotions. This is why I self harm. I want to release the tension. It is not for attention, in fact no one other than my husband and therapist are even aware of it. I can go long periods of time without self harming if I am consistent in my self care. For me, self care looks like taking my meds on time, meditating 3-5 times a week, aromatherapy (peppermint is my current favorite!), yoga when I can get off my lazy ass long enough to do it.
The one thing I can’t seem to control even with self care is my dreams, and that is terrifying to me. I am a control freak and so hate that my brain works without me when I sleep. This gives me a large fear of dreams, which is made more powerful by the fact that I am a very vivid dreamer. My dreams play to my current stresses, fears, and extremes, and they do so in a great deal of realism.
The scariest part of borederline for me is dissociation. I don’t get this to an extreme, but fear that it will be what finally screws me over one day. Since normal things create such a strong reaction for me, a situation that would create those intense reactions in others simply shut me off. I no longer feel, at all. I have tried to cut during these periods only to see that I literally felt nothing. I can lay in bed without moving for hours, sometimes days. It is like a deep depression but without the suicidality that would usually accompany a “normal”deep depression for me. I simply turn off, realize I don’t live in everyone else’s reality, and lie down wondering random things like “are my arms changing sizes?” (my husband informed me they were not, but he wasn’t in the same reality, so it can be hard to tell). My fear is that someday I’ll loose reality for good. What then?
While that is the scariest, it is not the worst. The worst is statements like these, “why are you so crazy? Just shut up already!”, “you’re going to make everyone hate you if you keep doing this”, “you’re poor husband! Having to put up with you and your bullshit”, “why can’t you calm down?”, “you can’t reach your goals, don’t bother trying”, “you’re a terrible mother”, “just give up already”. And you know what? That’s me, I’m saying it, it’s on repeat in my head everyday. I counteract it as much as I can by focusing on the beauty around me, the amazing people I see everyday, the joys that I can find. They are out there and I work hard to focus on them. But sometimes the brain doesn’t shut up. Sometimes it has to try to kill me again.
For anyone who has not lived with mental illness and wants to know what it’s like, record yourself whispering “you’re terrible, you’re wrong, you’ll never amount to anything, you’re ruining everyone else’s lives, they don’t want you around”. Play that on repeat, and listen to your voice telling you these awful things non-stop. Listen all day through everything you do. How does that feel? How does it feel to have your own voice whispering what a waste of a human being you are over and over and over again? Now imaging having that on repeat everyday of your life. That is mental illness. That is my depression, my anxiety, my borderline, my fears, everything. That is what I face. That is why I cry.
I hope you never actually test that, because I don’t wish that on anyone. Instead test something different. Find one thing every day that you love. One thing that makes you smile, that gives you hope. Even on my worst days I try to find that one thing. Even when I’ve hidden in bed for 3 days afraid to face the world, shaking and crying for reasons I don’t know. I can hear my husband playing with the kids in the next room and smile. “I didn’t ruin their lives, and I will get better” I tell myself. My brain likes to lie to me, but when I find that moment of hope, my brain sees the truth. I can cling to that, and it will get me through. Find your daily moment of hope and cling to it.