Symptoms

Before we get to the fun stuff, maybe I should tell you some background about BPD. When I bring it up, it typically gets one of two reactions. The first? The individual knows exactly what I’m talking about and slowly backs away to a safe distance, clutching their overpriced Starbs drink and quivering in their Uggs. The second is my personal favorite, which is a blank stare followed by a meaningless utterance of something along the lines of, “That’s cool.” Is it cool? Is it, you mindless monkey? Read something other than a Cosmo and educate yourself.

To be fair to the mindless monkeys, why would you want to educate yourself on such a dismal topic? Mental illness is confusing, it’s scary, and more often than not the stories do not have happy endings. However, just because something can be unpleasant does not mean that you should avoid it. It’s like going to the dentist. Chances are you hate it, it hurts, but grow up and make that appointment before your teeth fall out.

My dive into self-exploration began at the ripe old age of 10. I was quite the smarty pants, and I knew that something was, for lack of a better term, wrong with me. I had always been different. I didn’t particularly like other kids. I would rather curl up and read books in the library than socialize. Though my mother did force me to make friends, so I had to pretend quite a bit that I actually enjoyed the presence of others. When I would get upset, it was like my world was ending. I couldn’t process slight inconveniences, and it would ruin my whole day. My body would become numb, yet cold. I became heavier, almost like I was planted into the ground. My first thought was to unleash rage that no one could comprehend, let alone stop. Since I knew that was inappropriate, I would hurt myself instead. I would bite my nails, pick my skin, or pull my hair out in clumps. It got so bad I developed a bald spot. That kept me from screaming and hurting others. I craved for others to understand me, but I knew that they never would. Naturally, you keep those feelings to yourself, and slowly self-destruct.

Since I had access to the library and internet as resources, I started to research. I don’t remember how I stumbled across articles, but I am so glad I did. I started seeing words like depression, anxiety, self-harm, and mental illness. Since at the age of 10 I considered myself an expert, I knew that I had some of these things. When I read the symptoms list, or articles from people experiencing these things, it was like reading a diary excerpt that I had written. I had finally found out that I wasn’t the only one that was like this. I had a group of people that I belonged to, and it gave me comfort. That comfort was soon replaced by fear, as the big words started to appear as I further delved into research. Borderline Personality Disorder would soon become the forefront of my life, and I didn’t even know it yet.

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