Discussion in 'Health, Fitness and Well Being' started by Patorick, Feb 20, 2017.
10 Things My Friends Need to Know About My BPD
By Katie Clark
I write about Borderline Personality Disorder
August 16, 2017
Everyone has demons. Some lay dormant for years and never truly escape the confines of the human body; others reveal themselves slowly until they have become so powerful, the human body is no longer able to retain them, and they reveal themselves to the outside world with such strength it becomes almost impossible to ignore. My demons do not lay dormant; they are completely exposed to not only the ones I love, but also to those who merely see me walking the streets of my college town. These demons are fueled by my borderline personality disorder (BPD).
I carry them with me wherever I go, unable to release myself from the chains that connect us. I carry them to class, to student org meetings and to parties, unable to escape. Because of this, it is extremely difficult to hide them from the ones I love, and now it has gotten to the point where the veil has been lifted completely and my ability to hide it is no longer an option; my demons are out there for everyone to see. The ones I love and care about experience firsthand the ugly side of my BPD, and as hard as they try, they can never look past the demons associated with my illness. All they see are the symptoms and this ugly and uncontrollable side of me that haunts me each and every day. They no longer see me. It is because of this I felt compelled to write to the ones I love, so they can begin to understand the inner monologue that is my BPD. Here are 10 things my friends need to know about my BPD.
1. I do not mean to be annoying.
2. I never mean to hurt anyone.
Loving someone who lives with BPD can be extremely difficult; those struggling with it know that. I blame myself every day for everything that has happened, and have to constantly live with the fact I’ve hurt the ones I love. I love and care about others so much, and I beat myself up every morning when I think of all the damage I’ve caused and can cause to others. At times I even loathe myself for it. Those who have protected me and care for me are so important in my life, and it breaks my heart knowing I could do anything to break their hearts as well. I never mean for my anger or unstable moods and irrationality to affect anyone. I never mean for my demons to become so powerful I no longer had a choice in the matter, and begin to act in ways that hurts my friends. That is the last thing I want, and if I have hurt anyone because of it, know I’m so sorry if I’ve had a negative impact on your life. All I want to do is make people smile, and to think I’ve done the opposite breaks my heart.
3. I don’t mean to attach myself to others.
This comes from the combined workings of my insecurity and my fear of abandonment. All I want in life is to be independent. I’m ambitious and motivated, but one thing holds me back — my dependency on others. I try my best to control it and prevent it from happening, but I have not yet learned the skills to combat it. I put these individuals on a pedestal, and latch onto them as a way to ensure they never leave my side (whether I want this or not). I spend all of my time with them and begin to think my world would be over without them. This is a thought process I do not like. I do not like feeling as if I need others — in fact, I actually hate it. There have been times when I’ve wanted space, where I’ve wanted to focus on myself instead of spending time with the person I love; but I can’t. It’s as if once again I’m in shackles, unable to detach myself from them for fear that when I do, they will leave. Because of this, I lean on them, never leave their side and constantly need them to ensure our friendship will last forever so I can feel more confident about us. While trying so hard to make them stay, I end up forcing them to leave, and that is the last thing I wish to do. All I want is to be independent in life, and not need others to validate my existence. Trust me, this has been something I have been working on through my treatment, with the help of medication, in the hopes I never lose someone because of this reason ever again.
4. I hate being angry.
5. I know my self-destructive behaviors are unacceptable.
6. Patience and understanding go a long way.
7. I am not my illness.
It’s difficult for those not living with a mental disorder to differentiate between my identity as a human being and my condition. My illness is only one small aspect of my life that at times takes control over me; that is still though not who I am. I am an animal lover, whose favorite move is “Fever Pitch,” and who hates being called her full name. That is who I am. At times, many of the ones I love morph the two together, and begin to believe I am just the girl with borderline personality disorder. I am so much more than that. I need the ones I love to remember why they became friends with me, and why I became such an important part of their lives before they even knew I was living with this disorder. That is the true Katie; that is truly who I am, and yes, recently I seem to have lost her a little bit, but she is still there. Once I’m healthy again, you will be able to see that Katie more than ever before. Just give me a chance to show you I am not my illness; I’m just a human being, and I am Katie. Just wait, and you’ll see; I am not my illness.
8. Please do not ostracize me or give up on me because of my illness.
9. If you have any questions, just ask.
10. Recovery is hard, but it’s a fight worth fighting for.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
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