Upon my initial diagnosis of having borderline personality disorder (BPD), I was overcome with two very conflicting emotions: relief, but also fear.
I was relieved there was finally something that accurately described how I’ve been feeling for so long. This diagnosis meant there was an explanation for my unstable relationships, my rapid cycling of emotions, my overwhelming rage at moments, and the moments when I felt so horrible I just wanted to end it all. All the moments when I would feel 10 different emotions all within the span of an hour, feeling so out of control and detached from reality. When I was so overwhelmed and scared of myself that, eventually, I would reach such a low point my only answer was to harm myself in any way I could think of in hopes of relieving the intense pain I was in.
I was also extremely afraid. Just the term “personality disorder” seemed to confirm my worst fears — that everyone did in fact hate me, and it was my fault because I am a “horrible person.” I began to rerun every single moment in my life I thought was significant and wonder if it was real or not. As if I didn’t already feel like I didn’t know myself at all, I felt my whole life had been a complete lie. What emotions were real and what emotions were just an effect of my BPD? Would I ever be able to have a stable relationship, a true friend? Would I be able to get married or have a family? Would I ever be able to have a stable job and life?
These first few weeks were especially rough dealing with all those fearful thoughts, in combination with all of my medications being altered. I felt like there wasn’t a moment in my life that wasn’t plagued with deep regret for my actions and my reactions to my emotions. I felt like my life was completely out of my control, and there was no possibility of reeling it back in.
"Of all the things I cannot change, I am beginning to realise I don’t have to let my BPD have complete control over me."
I regretted hurting so many people in my life, saying things I didn’t mean, doing things I didn’t want to do just because I was in so much pain. I was ashamed of all the times my fear of abandonment and my inability to trust anyone had affected others. I’m still scared nobody will ever be able to understand me, to sympathise with me, or to realise that sometimes I’m in so much pain I may lash out through unjust means. It doesn’t make it right, but I also think about all the times I wished someone would have helped me instead of just walking away.
Of all the things I cannot change, I am beginning to realise I don’t have to let my BPD have complete control over me. It is never going to be something I can change or something I won’t have, but I can change what I do from here on out. Taking care of myself needs to be my top priority. I need to take ownership of my experience. I realise this may come along with a lot of hurt, but I need to have faith that those who care about me will stick with me through the good and the bad. Saying that as someone with BPD means a lot, as I’ve struggled to feel as though anyone has been there for me. But I guess this is my time to prove myself and my BPD wrong!