BPD Monologue (Trigger Warning: Suicide, Drug Use, Mental Health and Self- Harm).
Fauziya Johnson 02/07/2018
Hi. I know usually on ROOT-ed we're both v jokey etc but that’s not the case all of the time, obv. For me, it’s those fleeting moments of happiness and creativity that makes me able to do articles and feel like I'm being funny, so I'm thankful for those moments.
Basically, I have BPD (borderline personality disorder). I'm new to it as only got diagnosed in April 2018, but before that, I was generally only diagnosed w depression, anxiety psychosis etc. It makes a LOT of sense that I have BPD now and I agree with the diagnosis.
If you don’t know what BPD is I'd advise to search it, as you searching it is raising awareness and understanding for this seriously judged and ignored mental health illness. BPD is viewed as really bad most of the time and we get dismissed. The exact same reason why DBT (dialectic behavioural therapy) is soooo underfunded and the waiting list is a year long. It’s bad. But anyway, let me discuss w you why and how it affects me
Ok, so the perfectionism thing. I'm really really sensitive to criticism and beat myself up over the smallest of things (like my Uber rating being 0.01 lower than usual) but then I constantly ask people how I need to improve as I want to be the best, in terms of outcome and grade. It’s served me well academically but mentally its fucked with me since I was 16 and saw I had gotten a couple of C's which devastated me. So yeah since then I've hated getting anything lower than an A grade. This is v unhealthy thinking and I know my perspective is warped but it’s so hard to shake!! I’ve had therapy since I was 14 (21 now) and tried to overcome it in sooo many different ways but it didn’t work.
So, BDP. I get distracted v easily, therefore in conversation somehow my brain makes a mad connection and I jump onto a seemingly unrelated topic and I don’t realise how its disrupted the conversation. This can be embarrassing and seen as rude from other people's perspectives and I hate it lol. I also will forget what I was saying mid-sentence due to intrusive thoughts or forget what you’ve just told me. But equally I'm good at remembering numbers, so I can recall a phone number or statistic from 5 years ago but I can’t recall the task you’ve just asked me to do. I deal with this by writing down a lot of things or scheduling it in my phone diary. And lists. I make probably 3 lists a day as it keeps me going and I won’t forget! I use google keep, but I'm sure most smartphones have a notes section installed already.
Mannerisms. Sometimes I hit myself in the face to make me focus. It doesn’t usually hurt and I don’t really see it as self-harm, but I do it in the same way you hit your tv to make it work again (do people still do that btw?). Also, to alleviate anxiety I often click my neck (which looks odd I know), wrists, ankles, back and fingers to get a reaction to something I am experiencing.
Similarly, to be diagnosed w BPD you usually have to have a long history of self-harm, and a characteristic of the disorder is that you almost always are self-harming in some way or another. I’ve gone through yearly stages of overdoses, mutilation, drug use, starvation, overeating, bruising, etc. It’s not fun but I'm coping better now. Most people wouldn’t know unless they spot something on my arms or legs that looks out of place- this is why mental health is so important to talk about.
Dissociation. Woooooah long word. But this is a big problem for me as I generally don’t know who I am. One day I am an entrepreneur and I can do anything, the next I hate everything I do and want to quit everything. The latter is never true, as I deeply love my work and ROOT-ed, it’s just my 'coping' mechanism of going straight to the worst possible scenario and giving up. I'm constantly battling that. But dissociation can range from me not responding to my name or nicknames as I don’t fully register it till later as I'm zoned out, to me literally looking in the mirror and not recognising who I am. This literally happened today after I cried in the toilet at work over something (yet again) tiny. I did not recognise my skin colour, nose, hair etc. At that moment it wasn't me, I was staring at something alive but really it felt like I was looking at myself from a corner or something in the bathroom. Not the best explanation but that’s how it is. Also, the dissociation makes me very emotionless sometimes. I’ve been told that people have passed away, or that I’ve got good news, or that there’s a disaster on tv and I just don’t react internally or outwardly. I'm literally neutral about it and it shocks people sometimes and confuses other times, and other times I am an emotional wreck which means I will cry with laughter over something that really generally isn’t funny. it's fucked but that’s me and idk what else can I do?
Mood swings. woohoo one min and I want to die the next. I'm not even exaggerating, my moods can change drastically in 5 mins, or an hour, etc. similarly I can be in such a manic state for a week or two, and then the next week is very, very low. so, as everyone knows who knows me, I struggle to be consistent. even this article thing every week, Amber bless her asks me if I have done it, and the answer is usually nope bc I’ve forgotten, or I’ve had a hugely busy week, or that I'm very depressed and cant really move. this is the same for messaging people. I message consistently for a day then you wont hear from me for a month (yay!!) and you’re like wtf this bish? she hasn’t replied? and its shite. sorry guys
facial expressions. this is a big one(!) bc I study everyone’s facial expressions very hard all of the time, constantly looking for something out of place within them bc of something I have potentially done, or w/e is like ingrained into me. it makes me be absolutely sure I am on the same level of social understanding as other people and therefore it does help me not miss the point so much in conversations. but yeah if your face changes slightly (for a reason or w/o) ill probably message you or ask you then if I have done anything to upset you, so just pls bear with me, and anyone else who’s in a similar position.
so anyway if you got this far, hey. hope youre okay. have a really nice day.