Confessions of a Girl with BPD
I wish that I could say goodbye.
After all, I’ve said it plenty of times.
I said it to plenty of close friends throughout my life.
I said it to my parents without hesitation. I packed up my clothes and basic essentials and walked out of my childhood home without looking back.
I said it to the love of my life.
The one who was staunchly, unwaveringly, and undoubtedly by my side for many years. Six years, in fact. Our relationship was the picturesque and storybook romance that every lonely person dreamed about. We even lived and cooked together. We finished each other’s sentences. We walked to brunches every weekend, hand in hand. My friends told me that we were their end goal.
Well, look where we are now. Yes, I said goodbye to him too. He clung on, patiently, kindly, and lovingly, but I scraped him off myself unceremoniously like the typical and irredeemable monster that I am.
Because he deserves better.
Because I’m terrible.
And you all deserve better.
So why do I find it painfully difficult to say goodbye to you all?
My friends, my mentors, and my community. To me, you are my family, when I couldn’t call my blood relations my family at all.
To be honest, I hit rock bottom. Again. I haven’t felt like this since 2011 and 2012, which were undoubtedly, the worst years of my life. So bad, in fact, that I tried to end it all with a handful of sleeping pills. I survived, fortunately or unfortunately.
Life was steadily improving for me since then and yet in an instant I thoroughly demolished all of it – the foundations, the fancy shingles; everything that I built up and everything that I acquired with sweat, blood, and tears. So many tears. I dismantled and trashed all of it. I pulled apart the bricks with raw, bleeding, and panicking hands and stomped on the debris.
Why did I do this?
Because I have a history of self-destruction.
When I’m not hurting myself physically with alcohol, purging, and other means, I actively destroy my life.
My name is L and I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I have also been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and PTSD. Needless to say, I’m quite a handful.
That’s an understatement. I think that I’m the worst person I know, I think that I shouldn’t even be alive, and I honestly don’t understand why people choose to be around me.
The common symptoms of BPD that I unfortunately have are:
Impulsive and self-destructive behavior
Fear of abandonment
Chronic and extreme mood swings
And of course, the one that makes every day unbearable for me is: splitting.
“Splitting” is a phenomenon specifically observed among people with BPD (especially me) and is basically “black and white thinking”. In other words, my perception of myself, others, and the world exists in a dichotomy of extremes and I cannot cope, or even comprehend, the concept of a person, situation, or a thing, being something that is in the grey area.
Simply put, everything in my life is stratified into “good or bad”, “friend or enemy”, and “love or hate”; often my friendships do not last because a small slip-up from their end can completely flip my perception of them. I get angry, deeply hurt, and scarred by perceived offenses and I blow up on them and get into painful arguments that culminate in burned bridges.
While I pour my heart into my friendships and give everything, I am also quick to burn them.
Each time, I get my heart broken.
But it was all my doing in the first place.
I am debilitatingly insecure and I honestly can’t believe that people actually like me for who I am. I believe that I am an overly affectionate dog that eagerly runs circles around people, fetching things for them, and getting pet by sympathetic folks who pity me. I believe that I’m a burden; that I’m needy, annoying, enervating, and toxic. Why on earth do people stick around me?
So when people give the slightest hint that they don’t like me, or that they don’t appreciate our friendship, I immediately cut them out. Because I don’t want to get hurt.
And yet, a large part of me cherishes these close friendships. The part of me that wants to believe in wholesomeness, kindness, and genuine heart-to-heart connections; the part of me that is untainted by mental illness and trauma. The person that I desperately want to be, but I cannot sustain because this black hole of BPD and depression drains all the positivity and inner strength that I muster each day.
So, in the end, I am consumed by guilt, hurt, and a sense of betrayal. Why don’t you care about me?
(Some part of me knows that you do, but another part of me actively denies it)
I wish I were normal.
By “normal”, I mean not having BPD and the constellation of diagnoses.
I have friends who are “normal” and the stark contrast between their everyday perceptions/reactions and mine are proof that I am in fact, not a “normal” person.
I know this because when we get into uncomfortable fights brought on by my burgeoning symptoms, they are completely baffled as to why I react in certain ways. Yes, only someone afflicted by mental illness will understand my highly erratic and often irrational reasoning.
What do I do? I want to be like them. I try to model their behavior and cognitions everyday. I look up to them immensely. Yet at the same time, I know that I am a toxin and I am not good for them; that I shouldn’t permeate their lives so deeply because I know that they deserve better than someone like me. I also know that their way of living is not easily attainable by someone like me; that I probably need years of heavy medication and therapy to even achieve their basic level of emotional functioning.
After all these years – after all the therapy, hard work, and personal growth, I am still the same insecure, bitter, and distrusting person.
I reached a point where I firmly believe that my life is not worth living.
I reached that point many times throughout my life but I was anchored by hope, by my significant other, and by my loving friends.
But I lost most of that in an instant. And I’m going to say goodbye to my friends as well, because I just won’t get better.
I know, I know. Over time, with experience, self-work, and maturation, I’ll get “better”. But I repeated this cycle too many times and I am just utterly exhausted and defeated.
How many more times must I live this dysfunctional “life cycle” before I become a normal person?
It’s better to just end it all.
I’ve spent too much time researching all the painless ways to die. I know a couple of methods that I can undertake right now. But why, why is it so damn hard to do it? Liberation is only a few minutes away.
Maybe I am afraid of dying because a small and stifled part of me says that there is hope. That there is light on the horizon; that I will get better and will grow from this.
But every time, the cycle repeats.
I am so tired – so damn tired – of this repetitive nightmare: I get better, I get hopeful about becoming a “normal” and healthy person, then I “split”, destroy my relationships, and spiral into debilitating depression.
When I “split”, my combustion of anger unleashes raw violence on the wholesome things around me and all I’m left with is the charred remains of what used to make me happy.
What is happy? Happiness is the state of not wanting. Of not ruminating. Of staying in the present and appreciating everything as they are. Not wanting more.
Key words. Not wanting more.
Oh, but a girl with a constellation of diagnoses from the DSM will always want more.
But what is “more”?
Being unquestionably happy?
Having healthy friendships in which I don’t question the integrity and loyalty of my friends?
Being content with who I am?
Oh, I will always want more.
Hence why I wish I could just say goodbye.
Please, grant me the courage to say goodbye.