The day I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, I sat in inpatient care, both of my arms wrapped in layers of white bandages. In that hospital, I turned 13 years old, and was given a controversial Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis.
It’s uncommon for a personality diagnosis to be given under the age of 18, let alone to someone who had barely scratched adolescence. After several tests and a four weeks in the psychiatric clinic, I was deemed Borderline, with a strong case of psychosis.
Another 13 years has passed since that first diagnosis and I’ve decided it’s time to finally accept it.
Borderline Personality Disorder is probably a life sentence for me. And despite all the stigma, mania, and hurt that comes with being Borderline, 13 years has given me a world that few people will ever understand.
I fall in love faster than you can blink. While my friends and family will note one or two memorable loves in their lives, I’ve had the joy of experiencing dark, relentless, and euphoric love, over and over and over. Sure, when it hurts, it chokes the life out of my body, but that’s the price of falling so deeply in love.
College and traditional jobs were failures for me. It’s impossible for me to stay employed, so I became self-employed. I learned how to navigate the internet and became a full-time blogger. Freelancing became my other of income. My job is to do what I love (writing) and get paid for it. It may have taken me several years to get stable, but I kept it up longer than any other job.
People come in and out of my life like a revolving door and I make little effort to keep anyone. The relationships I do have, are real. I have friends, very few friends, who have stayed with me as I screamed through a psychotic meltdown. They’ve heard my panicked threats as I accused every single one of them of trying to hurt me. Still, they didn’t run away. They are truly deserving of any energy I could spare to invest into our friendship. These people, less than I can count on one hand, are the only ones that can weathered my hurricanes.
And no, I’m not okay. I’m barely well, but I am healthy. I still suffer from psychotic episodes and I am also prone to splitting, often. Even with over a decade of seeking therapy, meditating, DBT, journaling, etc. I am struggling to stay alive every single day.
I’ve accepted that I will never live the kind of life that is relatable. I won’t find myself in a self-help book or become some Rocky Balboa story.
For the last 13 years, I tried to fit myself into what society demanded of young, stable women and I attempted to fashion an identity that could be loved… could be normal… could be someone that other people wanted to be around.
As I look in the mirror, it’s hard to pinpoint who I see in the reflection. I could name you my hobbies and interests, but that would change in a few days, as we Borderlines tend to get bored and shift spontaneously.
But I could tell you my story. I could tell you about the boy that once looked at me with pleading eyes as I broke his heart for getting too close to me. I could tell you about the job I once had, clad in leather and corsets, being paid to whip men from Wall Street. Or I could tell you about how a friend once held me for six hours, the night before his Criminal Justice final, as I fell into a psychosis so deep that I thought I was reliving an assault I survived.
My mind is jagged and ripped in the way that it sees myself and the rest of the world. Through the cracks and edges, the light always comes through and lifts me to a state of ecstasy. This is a place where I can taste wonderment and I feel the world the way it must have been intended.
And maybe being Borderline is a life sentence… but if it should hold me as its prisoner, I shall decorate the walls with memories, pieces of hope, and inspiration.