About 6 months ago I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. According to the psychiatrist I had these tendencies my entire life. Sometimes steady relationships seem nearly impossible. My brain is constantly on overdrive. Stresses are always magnified, getting lost in who I actually am and who my mental illness wants me to be.
My version of logical thinking to everyone else is overthinking. My brain is constantly creating imaginary issues that are so real to me. The sudden mood changes can be crippling; regulating emotions at times seems like a foreign concept. I unintentionally blame others for my mistakes which hurts the people closest to me.
One of the hardest things for me to accept was that there is no easy way out. Medications is only targeted at symptomatic relief. The initial shock of the diagnoses left me feeling like my life had been taken away. This is a life long diagnoses with treatment being a lifelong commitment.
Friendships and relationships were the hardest part of my life to control. I struggled to hold myself accountable for my actions because I am never sure if I’m right or wrong.
Learning to accept I am wrong when I have put up such a fight to be right hurts. I am slowly but surely becoming aware of my patterns, but it hurts knowing it will be a life long cross to carry.
I constantly have this need to spend a lot of time with the people in my life. If I am not spending most of my time with my friends, I immediately have this irrational fear of abandonment. My mind is constantly spinning; beating myself up over the lie that I will be replaced by someone better.
The fear physically hurts me. I get dizzy, my head start to pound, my chest starts to tighten, my heart starts racing, and I feel as if I can barely open my mouth to speak. There have been times that it was so intense I thought I was having a heart attack. This is my battle for the rest of my life.
Another thing that simply breaks my heart is the way I treated other people. I would go from loving people to an intense anger towards them. I would find a reason to believe the other person didn’t care about me because if I distance myself it doesn’t allow the other person to even have the chance to leave me.
The constant question I would ask myself is
“How could anyone love someone who is so messed up.”
I create the exact outcome I am trying to prevent. I push people away and then wonder why they left.
Because I fear abandonment my natural instinct is to trust no one. I struggle to give my trust to anyone, even those closest to me, even though they are more than deserving. I often feel most people do not want to work for my trust when it is close to impossible to gain. So each time when they leave in the end I know its my own fault.
I now know this disorder does not define me, but at times that is difficult to believe. There are times that I feel non-existent. I just sit there and feel nothing even if I am thinking everything.
My mind runs in circles around every option, goal, every value until I am too tired to think anymore. I think about them so much I usually don’t have the energy to do them.
I live in this vicious cycle of self-doubt followed by guilt, which is followed by motivation and more decisions.
In my head I can never be “too perfect”. I always have to be better than everyone else. Because of this unattainable goal to be better than everyone else, my confidence suffers.
There are days when I can’t look in the mirror because I am too disgusted by what I see. Most days I can’t stand to be in my own head.
I am on the slow and stead road to accepting my disorder and to ride this rollercoaster as joyfully as I can. This disorder is not who I am. I am not mean, angry or insecure. At least not be default. I honestly love to make people laugh and I love to help those in need.
There have been times when I thought there was no way out. There have been times when cutting away the feelings helped. Sometimes I isolate myself to the madness, but I know that is not who I am.
I am determined to fight for every second of my life. This road may not be the easiest. There will be days when I make mistakes and hurt people I care about most. But, I will make myself responsible for every mistake, every person I hurt and every word I’ve ever said but never meant.
I will apologize when I am at fault and embrace my flaws. I will wake up in the morning and remind myself of my worth. I will remind myself who I really am. When I am worried I will speak my mind and not my emotions. When I am angry I will speak my fears and not my defenses.
I will give my all to seeking help and understanding from the people in my life who are on the receiving end of my hurtful behavior.Most importantly, I will be patient. I will be receptive to the fact that this is a lifelong battle. I am prepared to fight. I know I will never be fully cured, but this illness doesn’t own me. This is my new normal, my new life, and I know it can and will be beautiful.