BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER
BPD or Borderline personality disorder is a "mental health disorder that impacts the way you think and feel about yourself and others, causing problems functioning in everyday life". As you can see from this definition from Mayo Clinic, BPD is a disorder that impacts everyday life immensely. Which is why I find it important to share a little bit about my journey with BPD and some of the things I struggle with. On the bottom of the page, you'll also find some resources to learn more about BPD.
For starters, being alone is very difficult for me. I do value my alone time quite a bit actually, but abandonment from people I love is one of my biggest fears, whether it actually happens or I imagine that it has. The fear is incredibly gripping and sometimes debilitating. With it comes very impulsive emotions like incredible panic, rage, etc. Sometimes a friend not picking up a phone call or answering a text may come off as abandonment. Realistically, I know that’s not the case, but it’s hard to separate myself from that panic at that moment.
I tend to idolize the person I am in a relationship with. They become my “favorite person” and I find it really difficult at times to function without them. I'm at a point in my life now where I've battled my codependent tendencies, but it took a lot of time and work.
I seriously have no idea who I am yet…
I have a really hard time answering the question “Who are you” or being able to answer questions about myself because I am completely not aligned with my sense of self and feel so far from my identity. I will usually pick up mannerisms from other people and not even realize it. Everyone does that to an extent of course, but I literally mold myself to the other person. I’ve also changed my course of study multiple times, changed my appearance multiple times, and falsely labeled my identity multiple times. I'm finally at a place where I feel at home with my identity as a non-binary, queer artist and that won't change.
The good ol’ mood swings and dark stuff...
I feel emotions way too intensely. I don’t just get sad or angry. I will have a full-blown panic attack or enter a rage over things that other people may not get so affected by. I also am super sensitive to emotions that are being put out in my environment. One shift in tone or change in body language from someone and I will immediately assume the worst. They’re mad at me, they hate me, I did something wrong, they’re going to leave me. I have struggled with impulsivity and self-harm in the past as well.
A literal out of body experience
What’s interesting and perhaps contradictory to my above statement, is that I also feel really empty almost all the time. I definitely feel things really intensely, but as a person living in this life, I tend to feel absolutely useless, there's this perpetual void I can't fill. So what’s the point, right? At points of very high stress, I dissociate completely. My body and my mind kind of shut down and I literally feel like I am leaving my body and watching my life as a TV show. I don’t realize that I am real, because I just feel like a spectator watching from another angle. For me, it usually lasts a few minutes, sometimes longer.
If you’ve gotten this far, thank you!
I just want to make clear that everyone experiences Borderline Personality Disorder differently and these are just things that I go through. This online gallery documents my own unique journey with BPD, and how it intertwines with other aspects of my life. If you'd like to know more about BPD make sure the check out the resources I've attached below.
Video explaining the 9 traits of BPD ↴