Updated: May 12, 2022
I've written about a lot of things - some about reality, some fiction while some in disguise of fiction because I've never been courageous enough to accept that disorder has become a part of me and I can't just detach myself from it like a plug out of a socket. But now, it's high time that I learn to embrace it because neglecting it is only going to make it worse. I'm seventeen and I've had Borderline personality disorder (BPD) for two years now. But what even is BPD, to start with?
Symptoms I face:
1. Feeling of abandonment and emptiness.
2. Past of unhealthy and tough relationships.
3. Poor/rapid judgement.
4. Self-doubt and recklessness.
5. Self-harm and impulsiveness.
6. Variable mood swings and paranoia over small to nothing serious issues.
In easy words, BPD is a mental illness - just like many others. I've heard that sexuality is a broad spectrum, where every colour is associated with a different sex than others. Well, I think that the same goes with mental illness and instead of a rainbow, it's a series of blurry lines in shades of black and white. But, that was the easy part to explain. If you go online and hunt down the statistics, you'll find that teenagers and adolescents suffer from BPD more than any other age group. Not to mention, women tend to have it more than men.
I've been always told that I'm way too emotional or that I cry very easily and that I should learn to be stronger than that. But, how do I tell them that crying it out is the only thing holding me as one, that tears are my emotional dam? Anyone can have BPD so easily because there's no particular cause like it has to be hereditary or something because honestly speaking, even if my mother has had it, she'd not know or believe since she thinks and I quote, "All in my head." Yes, it's all in my head and my heart too and when it's turned on like a switch, it spreads out to every corner of my body while the heartache keeps on increasing and then I can't do anything else, so, I cry. Crying always helps me - I've even created a whole playlist of all the songs that instigate my tears, I ask people to hurt me so I can cry. Crazy, right? Well, it's a mental illness for a reason, so welcome to reality.
If you know someone who reflects the above mentioned symptoms, in any way, reach out to them. Here's a list of DOs and DON'Ts that you can do for them:
1. Listen to them whenever they talk about something enthusiastically.
2. Listen to them, in general.
3. Be the calm one whenever there's an argument. Be the bigger person.
4. Do small things for them, viz., make playlists, recommend movies and/or books, talk to them about the things they're interested in, etc.
1. Offend them over a topic that's sensitive to them.
2. Revise their old wounds (unhealthy past).
3. Disrespect the topics close to them.
4. Joke and humor about something or someone who means a lot to them, etc.
The worst part about it is that it's not a disease - it's a disorder. Most diseases can be cured but disorders don't just go away by surgeries or by consuming antidepressants for the rest of your life. Therapy is the only option standing - be it by yourself or a professional therapist and I've experienced myself improving in the process, so trust me when I say this: Therapy is the healthiest way you can ask for.
BPD is influenced by one's life experience(s) on relationships, family, self-image and behaviour of all sorts. And jokes on me, because I've had all of these mentioned experiences in negative only. These prolonged patterns of abruption are triggered by conflicts in interactions with people - a department where I've always had a history of failure - resulting in chaotic relationships. Often, people misunderstand BPD as Bipolar Disorder which is just BP. But, to steer away from the fog of confusion, BP is like a more severe stage of BPD where instead of momentary mood swings, lasting from minutes to hours, a bipolar episode can last from days to months. BP is basically an alternative jump from depression or low wave and mania/hypermania or high wave and vice-versa. It doesn't always include others' actions influencing you as a primary cause. BP is mostly an isolated issue while BPD is often influenced by people around you.
There was a time when I had a lot of people in my life that made others so envious of me but it goes without saying that I certainly valued them above their worth and mistook them as someone who they were not or I wouldn't be writing all this. BPD gives the controller of your game-like life to the people who you're attached to and that's what I hate about it the most because I'm forced to be alone most of the time. It hurts when I see the same people who were once, very mine, hanging out with others and that's selfish and I know but nonetheless, I'm also grateful to circle of my friends that understand me more than I need them to and who stick with me through thick and thin, even after I've tried to make them abandon me multiple times, thanks to BPD.
I"ve read somewhere that the only way to get rid of a certain kind of pain is to go through it and that to get over a loss, you have to face a bigger one. And I happen to believe it because since my father's demise, I'm mostly numb to all that happened in the past that initiates my BPD episodes in the first place. Even with his death, my father tried to heal all of my scars while he himself turned into a star.
Things which you can adopt to stay in control during an episode:
1. Consult your therapist.
2. Write about it in a journal, release your thoughts. Try to maintain it.
3. Avoid talking to anyone or talk about light-hearted topics.
4. Watch comedy shows or cartoon shows.
5. Channel your emotions and pour them into your skills.
6. Listen to calm music and/or meditate.
As I said, there's no escape from this. The numbness, the hollowness and the lump within - it all stays intact and permanent. However, there are just some distractions that are temporary and equivalently worth it. Speaking of which, poetry and writing, in general, has always been my leverage, my anchor to stay within a boundary as I pour the confusion on paper through stories with tragic endings. All I treasure are my skills and the people who believe in me whenever I doubt myself. This treasure has a healing power, bigger than any cure. So, this is me, accepting and embracing myself with all the damage, from my ying to my yang as I manage to stay alive in the process.
Written By - Garima Tripathi
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