Day 18: BPD Challenge (Opinions of others)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 18: Do you worry what people think of you?

I usually do worry about how others perceive me. Not as much today than I did four years ago but it’s still there. It doesn’t change over night. I worry that if people actually knew about my disorder or how I am deep down, they would judge me or think I am crazy. I do not talk about my website, blog or feelings to people other than my family because I’m not ready yet. I worry what they might think of me.

A friend of mine recently told me, “Your FB is so fancy, you seem so fancy, so classy”. I laughed so hard when he said that, I thought to myself, I am far from fancy and classy. I’m just a typical laid back girl with mild mood swings. But he was right, I scanned through my FB and sure enough, I made everything look fancy; photos, filters, posts. I guess I want others to perceive me as doing well, or sane and normal. Then again, most people do that on social media. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Once we started hanging out, he said. “Wow you are really cool, laid back and not ‘fancy’ like I thought you were. I like this person in front of me.” Ever since then, I try to not care so much of how others think on social media. I am me, and that is okay. It ended up being our thing, our inside joke, if something was “Too fancy” we avoided it and laughed.

Four years ago I was terrified to be alone. I was so scared of what others may think of me that I let it control me. Just yesterday, I was bored and lonely. Didn’t have anyone to hang out with, then realized there was a movie I really wanted to see (This is where I leave you). For a minute I thought, “I wish I had someone to go with.” Then without hesitating, grabbed my purse and went to the movies all by myself. Four years ago I would have never done that, I cared that others might think, “look at that girl all by herself like a loser.” Not today, I just went for it. It was so liberating for me, I didn’t care what ANYONE thought. I went on a date with myself and it felt great. That’s all that matters.

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Day 16: BPD Challenge (Changes)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 16: Does your style (clothing, hair, etc.) change a lot?

My style doesn’t change a lot. I’ve always had the same style hair and clothing. If anything I am scared of making personal changes like that. Probably because I used to care what others think.

 

Day 15: BPD Challenge (Opinions)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 15: Have you ever changed your opinions, depending on the people you are with?

I used to never have a mind of my own, I would change my opinions all the time depending on the people I was around. It would irritate me, I felt that I had no sense of self or any idea what I wanted, or what I thought for myself. I would stick firm to an opinion and then I was easily convinced or persuaded to shift my opinions to those around me. Maybe I was afraid that I wouldn’t be liked if I thought differently? I’ve always been the nerd, the one that got picked on in high school. I always wanted to be like the “Cool Kids”, but was never accepted because of the way I dressed or what I looked like. SO, I started liking and thinking the same as those around me to fit in more. Colored my hair, dressed with more style, and agreed with my friends on everything. I never had a mind of my own. Until I was 25 years old. I think the last two years I have FINALLY started developing into who I am and was always supposed to be. The nerd, the goofball, the natural brunette, the girl with a mind of her own now. I have become more confident in the person that I truly am today, than I ever have been. Who cares about what others think. Stick to your own opinions, don’t let others make you feel that you have to be different to fit in. I always say,”Just be you.”

 

Day 14: BPD Challenge (Obsessive)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 14: Do you ever become obsessive?

Obsession is: Compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety.

I’m going to use an example that my friend and I recently talked about.

8 Years ago I fell head over heels in love with this guy that I worked with; he was funny, witty, charming, sexy, caring and a wonderful father to his son. We had only expressed our “obsessive” feelings for one another and talked for a month. We became so crazy about each other in just a short amount of time. Granted, we had worked together longer but once our feelings were out there, we became obsessed with each other. I had honestly never had such strong feelings for someone in that short amount of time. This guy immediately quit work (without telling me or giving me a heads up) and never spoke a word to me again for 8 years…until two weeks ago. I saw his name pop up on my Pinterest, found him on FB and couldn’t believe it. Apparently we both had been searching for each other on social media for 8 years. We were both in utter shock. I’m glad we found each other and can discuss the past.

One thing he told me upfront was this:

“I was so obsessed with you 8 years ago. I knew you were a good person, you were beautiful, and I wanted to be with you. However, in that month we talked, I hardly knew anything about you as a person. We have addictive and obsessive personalities and tend to act irrationally in relationships.”

He hit it spot on.  I have learned over the years to be more rational and I am learning patience. I thought I’d give this as an example seeing as how fresh it was to me.

Being obsessed isn’t a good thing (my opinion based on personal experience). When I am obsessed with something or someone, I tend to lose sight of who I am as a person. I focus all of my energy into one thing and it isn’t healthy. It’s compulsive, it’s vapidly addicting. I don’t become obsessed with things or people anymore, I am learning to channel my energy evenly amognst everything I care about.

 

Day 11: BPD Challenge (Staying Grounded)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 11: Is there anything you do that helps keep you grounded?

My kids keep me grounded. They are a blessing, without them I would be completely lost and probably making impulsive decisions all the time. They help keep me focused on my priorities. They are a challenge and keep me on my toes, which I love. They are my world. When I don’t have my kids with me, and being alone, I get this over whelming feeling of “I can go do whatever I want right now.” This can hurt me, I can easily spend more money, goof off, not get my chores or homework done because I just want to get out and be free for the night. I have been single for a while now and so when I do not have my kids, I have been pretty good about staying home, saving money, working on my blog, working out, running and doing homework. I notice that at the end of the day, I go to bed feeling happier that I accomplished so many great and healthy things over the course of the day.

Day 10: BPD Challenge (Impulsive Decisions)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 10: What kind of impulsive decisions have you made?

I used to make a lot of impulsive decisions several years ago when I was diagnosed with BPD. I used to cheat and spend money irresponsibly. If I wanted something, I HAD to have it. I had no patience, I was selfish, needy, young and scared. When I came up with an idea, I never took the time to think before acting on it. I would make decisions on the spot. I cheated in my marriage, multiple times, without thinking about the consequences. I did things because they were thrilling and dangerous.

Today, I catch myself wanting to make impulsive decisions. I’m more aware these days. I’m not perfect, sometimes I still buy that dress without thinking and put it on my credit card. However, I do not do this as much as I used to. My problem is, I love spontaneity. I’m a planner by all means, however as a mother of two kids, I find myself wanting to escape and do something fun for myself without planning from time to time. With my history and borderline, this can turn into a major problem for me. I have to be aware and more careful about my decisions or face the brutal consequences.

Do you make impulsive decisions?

Do you tend to think first and act later, or are you prone to impulsive behavior? Or does it depend on the situation? A few questions will give you the answer:

  • Do you plan ahead, or do you make decisions on the spot?
  • Do you feel strong urges to do things that are hard to resist?
  • Do you feel alive only when you are doing something thrilling or dangerous?

Day 9: BPD Challenge (Mood Swings)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 9: Do you get mood swings?

I get mood swings just like any other girl, especially due to PMS. However, sometimes my mood swings can be a lot worst than others especially if I do not stay consistent with my medication. I usually have an awful episode once every couple months and it is always during PMS. During these episodes, I become very irritable, sad, I think everyone is out to get me and talk crap about me. I have this overwhelming fear that everyone hates me. I will cry uncontrollably and push everyone away from me.

My most recent episode was two weeks ago. I couldn’t control my emotions but I did control my actions. I embraced the episode, realized I was very emotional. I took a step back and decided that I was going to cancel all my plans for the weekend (BIG plans that I was so excited about!) and I was going to stay home alone, not have any alcohol (alcohol can be a trigger for me) and do something that makes me happy, and I wasn’t going to text or call ANYONE. I read my book all weekend, blogged, watched my favorite TV show, went for a run. I was still completely emotional and cried through the whole weekend but the most prideful moment of that weekend for me was, I didn’t hurt anyone. I handled the weekend perfectly. I was AWARE and took CONTROL of my actions. I just let my emotions run its course knowing It wouldn’t last more than a couple days and when I was ready to snap out of it, I would. I slept and cried all weekend but that Monday morning, I woke up refreshed and feeling so much better. NOW I know how to handle these situations and will try it again next time. Success!!

Day 4 & 5: BPD Challenge (Suicide)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 4: Have you ever attempted suicide?
  • Day 5: Have you ever written a suicide note?

I remember every detail of when I hit my level of rock bottom. It was 3 years ago, I had just left my husband and was living in my own apartment, I had never been on my own in my entire life. I had no idea how to handle finances, or how to be a single parent to my two kids. My ex-husband had me on a pedestal and took care of everything the 7 years we were together. Most of my family disowned me for a few minutes there for cheating and leaving my husband instead of trying to make the marriage work, but I was in love with someone else and didn’t think the marriage could be repaired at the time. I was selfish, dumb and acted on impulse. This new man that I had fallen so head over heals with was supposedly head over heals for me, but was leading both his ex wife and myself on. I didn’t know who he wanted to be with, and the fact that I had to even question that is pretty pathetic, but like I said, I was dumb. I fell in love with the wrong man, but he was the only man I wanted to spend my life with. After a few long months of him leading us both on, and people whispering in my ear about how dumb I was, I had enough. I couldn’t function anymore, I was losing my fight, my battle to win him over. I was slowly slipping into depression. To top it all off, I racked up my credit cards and was living paycheck to paycheck. Shortly after, received an eviction notice on my front door. I was falling apart. I felt terrified, alone, sad, heart broken. I felt like a horrible mother. I was in the ER with panic attacks, stayed up late at night having trouble breathing.  It was the worst feeling in the world.

It was 11am on a Saturday morning when I was lying on the floor of my apartment shaking, and crying.  I thought to myself, I can’t move. I can’t do this, I want out. I’m done. Then a few minutes of thinking, it hit me. My kids. Oh my God, I don’t want them to struggle, I don’t want them to not have a mother, they were so little. Just thinking about my kids made me instantly sit up and seek some serious help. I don’t think I left my couch all weekend, but that Monday morning I was making an emergency therapy appointment. I needed to talk to someone, anyone. That first session with my therapist, he diagnosed me with Borderline Personality Disorder based on my history and stories and from there, I slowly started picking up the pieces and getting through everything one day at a time.

No, I have never attempted suicide, or written a suicide letter. This was my rock bottom moment, but even at my worst, I couldn’t handle the thought of suicide because of my two beautiful kids. They mean the world to me, they are why I get out of bed every morning.

 If you are having thoughts of suicide, or know someone struggling with suicide, please call 1-800-273- 8255 or visit: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

 

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