I have thought about writing this post since my unofficial diagnosis last year, but I kept feeling like I would get backlash since I don’t technically have it on my “record” so to speak.
Before last year, I always thought I was bipolar. My grandma was diagnosed with being bipolar, so it wasn’t unfamiliar to me. I knew she “developed” it in her adult life (20s or 30s) so it just seemed like that is what was happening with me. But, last year, when I met my psychiatrist she suggested that we keep borderline personality disorder (BPD) in mind. I had heard of BPD before, but sorta brushed it off until she brought it up. Upon my research I found that I meet nearly all of the criteria. It was like a light bulb went off for me, like something finally made sense.
I remember my psychiatrist telling me that first, BPD is “hard to diagnose” and second, she “wouldn’t want me carrying that around if I don’t have to”. I didn’t really understand what that meant, like does having it make me a bad person?
Last month, I met my new primary care doctor. I was telling him my history and when I mentioned my psychiatrist noting BPD he said, “oh wow, I won’t put that down because I don’t want you carrying that around with you”. Okay, so, once again, what does that mean?! I am convinced that I do in fact have Borderline, it shows proof of it every single day. Why is that something they are hesitant on “dealing with”? It’s like, “okay, but we will deal with that later..” Excuse me, but it is affecting me NOW, what is so “wrong” about “carrying it with me” medically, when I already freaking deal with it every single day?
The biggest difference between bipolar and borderline is the the amount of mood swings. Bipolar disorder, the mood swings last days or weeks at a time one way or the other (high or low). Whereas, borderline disorder, there are multiple swings throughout the day, everyday. It is seriously so exhausting. Sometimes it happens because of a trigger, or environmental factor, othertimes there is no seemingly real reason it just happens.
It is especially difficult when you are a parent and a partner. It is difficult to “maintain” friendships. It, at least for me, isn’t something my family seems to really take seriously or care about. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have heard “it is all in your head” or “get a job you will feel better”. People just are choosing not to be involved. While I wish they would choose otherwise, that is also their right to do what they want. It just doesn’t make me feel like I am of value.
Sometimes, it is difficult for me to differentiate between myself and my disorder causing feelings. I am really trying to work on myself to figure not only that aspect out, but also, who the hell am I outside of these obligations as a wife and as a mother? What do I do in a day that brings me happiness?
It’s like, I have all these feelings of wanting to put myself first, but then feeling guilty for even considering it. I definitely don’t have a bad life, but, I don’t know who I am, what I am doing, or where I am going. The suicidal thoughts occur every single day. Though, I am not feeling like I will act on any of them, it’s almost like a fantasy world. I don’t want my life to resonate around my struggles that bring me down. Yet, it does. It is so up and down that I have insomnia problems. I do not get enough sleep. When I do sleep, it doesn’t ever feel like enough. My mind never stops, even in my sleep. I am actually wondering if there is a correlation between BPD and Lucid dreaming and vivid dreams, because I have them literally every time I fall asleep. It doesn’t even matter if its 5 minutes or 5 hours. It is exhausting.
This disorder often makes me feel like I do not deserve my life. I almost always lack any sort of patience. I am unable to let go of the things people have done to me. I have the shortest fuse out of anyone I have ever known, everything can piss me off because my brain will find a way to make something tiny seem so huge. It makes it such a struggle to raise 3 young rowdy children. It makes it difficult to have healthy relationships, especially with my husband. Though he has never ever given up on me, even despite my efforts of nearly giving up on us and myself. My friendships never last long because I always feel like the elephant in the room and wind up backing away from them. The few people that have not left me behind or let me leave them behind, should seriously get an award. I know I am difficult to be friends with sometimes, but they can see through the disorder, and choose to stay.
I guess sometimes I just feel like I dont deserve to be loved because of it. Though I know underneath it all, I have a heart of gold and my intentions are always for the best. It is just so back and forth all of the time. I don’t want to spend whatever days I have to live, struggling with it so much.
There isn’t really a “cure” for BPD, but I have read and been told that DBT group therapy does some serious wonders for it. I did make a call last week to see if there is room available for me to start, but we will see.
I just want others to know they are not alone. They are not their diagnosis, or unofficial diagnosis. We are people underneath it all and sometimes all we need is some extra support in the right direction. We certainly don’t want to be this way, but someway or another, this is how our brains are wired. We are trying to manage the best we know how, with what information we have at any given time. This is the hand we have been dealt. We didn’t ask for it.