Borderline Personality Disorder Blog. Bipolar Disorder Blog. BPD. DBT. Cleveland. A Fragment in Orange.
Showing posts with label BPD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BPD. Show all posts


I Hate January

This month marks the fifth anniversary of the very worst day of my life.  Compared to most peoples’ worst day it’s kind of lame.  My house didn’t burn down with my dog inside.  My legs didn’t fall off.  My mom wasn’t abducted by aliens.  For the worst day of my life it could have been a lot worse.

In January, five years ago, my husband announced that he and my very best friend (of twenty years) had secretly fallen in love and were moving across the country two days later to start their new life together.*  Never to be heard from again.

Needless to say it was a shock.  I’m still shocked.  In retrospect it all makes sense.  I still don’t like it, but I get it.  I’ve forgiven.  Forget forgetting though.  And moving on?  It just hasn’t happened yet.  Five years later.  FIVE YEARS. 

The average non-psychiatrically-challenged person would have a hard time getting over something like this.  But for someone with borderline personality disorder it’s damn near impossible.  I already have the abandonment issues, the extreme sensitivity, the tendency to live in the past.    

I’ve done what I can to get over it.  I do what I can.  Hopefully one day I can lay the two of them to rest.  Whoops, that sounds sinister.  What I mean is that hopefully one day I can lay this pain to rest.  And hopefully it won’t take another five years.  Or the rest of my life.

*There’s a lot that I’m not saying here.  There are definitely two sides to this story.   Maybe one day I’ll write about all the fucked up things I did during my marriage.  How it was already over way before he left.  How I didn’t value what we had until it was too late.  How I failed.  But not right now.   


The Effect of Borderline Personality Disorder on My Friendships. Or, How I Spent My Summer Vacation

It’s something I don’t like to talk about because I feel ashamed.  Ashamed that I let friendships die.  That I let friendships die because I’m an asshole.  No judgment, it’s the truth.  When I’m not blaming myself I’m blaming BPD which, in essence, is blaming myself BECAUSE OF BPD.  Geez Louise.  Can ya see the dysfunction there?  So yeah, I am unable to maintain friendships.  I do the typical BPD thing where I meet someone; I become infatuated with them because they’re so cool and life’s so great and let’s skip off holding hands into the sunset.   

And then they do something sucky.  For me, that something becomes a dealbreaker.  For non-BPD people, that something is probably just a minor irritation and certainly not something to end the friendship over.  So there I am, peeved like a cat whose tail you’re pulling, and my friend is cut off.  Unfriended, blocked, deleted from contacts, DEAD TO ME. 

Which is fine and dandy until I realize, far too late, that what they did was really just a minor little thing, and that I’d over-reacted and that I miss them.  Then I scramble to try to get them back into my life but, as you can imagine, they’ll have none of that.  They don’t understand why you flipped out in the first place and they sure as hell aren’t going to let you do it to them again.  So I suffer.  I pine for them.  Mourn their loss.  Kick myself hard in the ass.  Rinse and repeat, because I know that I’ll do it again.  Over and over and over and over.  Until maybe next time.  Ya gotta be optimistic, right?  Grumble grumble.  I only say the “until maybe next time” because I’m pretending that all of the therapy I’ve done has made a world of difference, and that I’m enlightened and upbeat and setting out to change the world.  Truth be told, I’m not sure that DBT did a whole lot for me.  It seemed to make a difference while I was taking the classes, but I’m not sure that the effects are long term.   I gained enough insight through years of therapy that I am fairly well aware of the borderline-y things I’m doing as I’m doing them.  I’m just lacking in the ability to not act in those borderline-y ways.

So the friendship issue is this – I want friends, but I’m scared of friendships because of my history of ruining them.  I’m also daunted by the actual process of making friends.  The whole what’s-your-favorite-color bullshit.  Taking the time to get to know someone only to realize that they’re not the kind of someone you want in your life.  I haven’t had much luck making friends out in the real world.  Work friends aren’t really friends that you hang out with, at least my work friends aren’t.  And I’m not a joiner of groups or clubs.  I’m not a class-taker.  I’m not a hobbyist.  I could join some groups or clubs, or take some classes, or become a hobbyist, but let me be realistic here – no way, I don’t wanna, fuck that shit!  So, those things being out, I have the internet.  Ah yes, the trusty internet.   

This is the day that I open myself back up to friendship.  Wish me luck.


Borderline Personality Disorder

I'm posting the following information on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) for a few different reasons: It is an excellent synopsis of what BPD is. I try to explain BPD to people and am often at a loss for what to say. I tend to forget some of the important things. And that's the second reason I'm posting it: To remind myself of what BPD is really all about.

The third, and most important, reason: Well, I've done a lot of hard work to overcome, or at least better manage, issues associated with BPD. I refuse to believe that this diagnosis is a life sentence. I refuse to believe that a person is destined to exhibit the characteristics of the personality they are born with. There may be certain personality traits that will always be mine -- weaknesses and strengths -- but I'm convinced that weaknesses can be identified, challenged and made, well, less weak. It is an ongoing process of introspection and behavior modification. So this post is to remind myself of the exceptional progress I have made in overcoming many of the obstacles associated with BPD. It is not only a reminder of my success, but a reminder of the work that I have yet to do.

I am not a disorder. I am not automatically destined to travel a narrow path that was decided at birth. The path I take is up to me. I am evolving.

Taken from:

The main feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image and emotions. People with borderline personality disorder are also usually very impulsive.

This disorder occurs in most by early adulthood. The unstable pattern of interacting with others has persisted for years and is usually closely related to the person’s self-image and early social interactions. The pattern is present in a variety of settings (e.g., not just at work or home) and often is accompanied by a similar lability (fluctuating back and forth, sometimes in a quick manner) in a person’s emotions and feelings. Relationships and the person’s emotion may often be characterized as being shallow.

A person with this disorder will also often exhibit impulsive behaviors and have a majority of the following symptoms:

* Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

* A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation

* Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self

* Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)

* Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior

* Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)

* Chronic feelings of emptiness

* Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

* Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

Details about Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms

Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.

The perception of impending separation or rejection, or the loss of external structure, can lead to profound changes in self-image, emotion, thinking and behavior. Someone with borderline personality disorder will be very sensitive to things happening around them in their environment. They experience intense abandonment fears and inappropriate anger, even when faced with a realistic separation or when there are unavoidable changes in plans. For instance, becoming very angry with someone for being a few minutes late or having to cancel a lunch date. People with borderline personality disorder may believe that this abandonment implies that they are “bad.” These abandonment fears are related to an intolerance of being alone and a need to have other people with them. Their frantic efforts to avoid abandonment may include impulsive actions such as self-mutilating or suicidal behaviors.

Unstable and intense relationships.

People with borderline personality disorder may idealize potential caregivers or lovers at the first or second meeting, demand to spend a lot of time together, and share the most intimate details early in a relationship. However, they may switch quickly from idealizing other people to devaluing them, feeling that the other person does not care enough, does not give enough, is not “there” enough. These individuals can empathize with and nurture other people, but only with the expectation that the other person will “be there” in return to meet their own needs on demand. These individuals are prone to sudden and dramatic shifts in their view of others, who may alternately be seen as beneficient supports or as cruelly punitive. Such shifts other reflect disillusionment with a caregiver whose nurturing qualities had been idealized or whose rejection or abandonment is expected.

Identity disturbance.

There are sudden and dramatic shifts in self-image, characterized by shifting goals, values and vocational aspirations. There may be sudden changes in opinions and plans about career, sexual identity, values and types of friends. These individuals may suddenly change from the role of a needy supplicant for help to a righteous avenger of past mistreatment. Although they usually have a self-image that is based on being bad or evil, individuals with borderline personality disorder may at times have feelings that they do not exist at all. Such experiences usually occur in situations in which the individual feels a lack of a meaningful relationship, nurturing and support. These individuals may show worse performance in unstructured work or school situations.

Click here for links to BPD resources



There's no right and no wrong, she said. There's no good and no bad. There are simply choices. Be mindful in making these choices. Consider the long term consequences of each choice you plan to make.

This is an unusual way of thinking. At least for me. But it makes a lot of sense.

Maybe you're resisting growing up, she said. Thinking less of long term consequences and instead going for what provides instant gratification.

She stifles a yawn.

The goal then, is to change behaviors. That perhaps to change behaviors might change thinking and a change in thinking might change behaviors. That's the theory at least. I will throw myself into this. Wholeheartedly. Maybe this time will be different. Maybe this time I will succeed. It's about the effort -- not failure.

There is no right. There is no wrong. There is no good. There is no bad. There are only choices.


Question yourself. Question the emotion. Did you take your meds last night? Did you take your meds the night before last? Do you have PMS? Did you get enough sleep? Too much sleep? Did you have bad dreams? Are you stressed about something coming up? Are you stressed about something you just did? Ask yourself all of these questions and when it is determined that there's seemingly no external cause of the emotion, you have determined that the emotion is valid.

Rather than think and feel and act and react spontaneously, you have to do the checklist first. Question yourself. What is your motivation here? How far are you from baseline? And in what direction?

Rather than think and feel and act and react (just being yourself), there's a wait period. Instead of going into a restaurant and being seated immediately, you have to stand in the corner or in front of the door, people jostling you this way and that. You have to stand there and observe. Reflect. Twiddle your thumbs. Hum. After a long-ish wait you are seated. Never guaranteed the greatest table or the finest food. You never know what you're going to get.


take away the dramatic lows. good. take away the intense highs. not good. so now i must be somewhere between good and not good. to me it just feels like not good. i still don’t understand why radical acceptance is the goal. i’ve never had an eh goal. being naive is definitely underrated.