How Borderline Personality Disorder Affects the First 15 Minutes of My Day

by Jody Betty.  Jody is a writer dealing with borderline personality disorder, depression and anxiety. She is a suicide attempt survivor, childhood domestic violence survivor and sexual abuse survivor.

This story appeared in The Mighty, a blog about Mental Health, in 2017.

The moment my eyes open each morning, the same thoughts run through my head.

Here we go again, another day of fighting non-stop battles in my mind; another day in which I begin the day as tired as I end it.

The variations of thoughts that can overwhelm my mind in an instant have started; the first domino pushed down as the rest clatter and fall one by one, each affecting the next, the speed picking up as the pattern continues. The rapid, intense and often uncontrollable mood swings are my borderline personality disorder (BPD)’s worst nemesis.

Well as much as I want to stay in bed all day, I know I won’t sleep and the lying around will lead to even more destructive thoughts. I wonder if she has texted me.

I sit up and as my eyes slowly start to open, I grab my phone, knowing something as small as a text or the lack thereof could set me on a BPD ride for the day. Keep in mind there is nothing wrong with the text — it is usually as simple as a “morning” or an “I hope you slept well,” both perfectly nice messages to wake up to. If for some odd reason I have had a good night’s rest or don’t wake up feeling quite as emotionally drained, it seems so easy to just respond with a “good morning” and continue on with the conversation. However, if I am on the BPD edge, the thought process is quite different.

Oh look, she did text… a morning and that’s it? Omg, maybe she is mad at me or upset with something I said or did. Maybe she doesn’t want to talk to me anymore or know how I am doing, or maybe she doesn’t even love me or want to be with me anymore. I don’t blame her, I am impossible to be in a relationship with and maybe I really am not deserving of love and no one wants me. I hate being like this. I hate feeling out of control over these mood swings and I am never going to get better, no matter what pills or what therapy; I am just too damaged to be fixed.

At this point, the tears start as I have a morning pity party sitting on the edge of my bed. This sadness and tears often go on for hours as my mind continues to emotionally attack itself, but every time, at some point, the sadness turns to anger.

Who cares if she only said morning, I don’t need to wake up to some generalized text anyway. I don’t need to wake up to any texts at all because I don’t need you or anyone. I have gotten this far on my own and I don’t need your help. Besides, it’s obvious you don’t care because if you did you would have said more than just “morning.” You are just like everyone else who loves me on the surface and abandons me, the past repeating itself over and over. Fuck this life and everyone in it anyway. I am alone, a complete failure and a waste of space. I shouldn’t even be alive.

I return the text with a casual “morning.”

Umm it’s been five minutes and still no answer. Here we go again. Should I ask what I did wrong or just leave it alone? Why won’t she just answer, it only takes a few seconds. Maybe she doesn’t have time to talk to me or really doesn’t want to and is ignoring me.

My phone vibrates and I quickly reach for it to read the message — ”how are you?” — and the way I respond may very well set the tone for the day.

Does she really want to know how I am or is she just asking to be polite? Should I keep it simple and just say I am OK, or do I be truthful and tell her I have only been up for ten minutes and my emotions are already bouncing up and down? What if she doesn’t want to hear it for the hundredth time? I am sick of listening to myself so why would she want to know. God, I am so pathetic.

I decide to keep it simple and reply with an “I’m OK,” to which she replies “good.”

Does she seriously think I am OK? Since when am I OK? I am a mess and always will be. Why does she think today would be any different? What is wrong with me that I think like this and why can I not get this BPD under control? She is only asking how I am — a perfectly normal, nice question — and yet my brain takes all these statements and twists them so fast I can hardly keep up. I just want to be “normal,” whatever that may be. Is it going to be another day of this hell? I am so tired already.

All these thoughts and emotions have occurred before I have even stood up from my bed — up and down that many times within 15 minutes.

Welcome to the beginning of my day and thanks for taking the ride with me.

 

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