10 Things You Discover About Yourself When You’re Diagnosed With Borderline Personality Disorder

9. Your best friend/partner is one strong motherfucker.

You have both preciously loved and vehemently hated them. You’ve probably accused them of not caring about you and maybe even caused a fight based on your feelings, not fact. One particularly damaging feature of BPD is what’s called “splitting,” which is when you alternate between idealizing and devaluing a person. Way more often than not, you don’t even know you’re doing it and it can occur over anything from a full-on blowout to a perceived slight, regardless of the other person’s true intentions. For me, I tend to experience splitting with the people I care about most and have the greatest fear of losing. The intense Borderline fear of being abandoned by someone you love can drive you to both obsess over their involvement in your life and also push them away in response to perceived or anticipated rejection. My favorite BPD book is appropriately called, “I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me,” and the title, though a little cheesebally, accurately describes how splitting feels. You both love the person for the fuzzy feelings that the close relationship fosters and hate them for the equally unfuzzy and scary feelings that losing that close relationship provokes.

10. You are also one strong motherfucker.

Having BPD pretty much guarantees you a rough time in maintaining healthy, stable relationships, regulating your emotions, reacting to stress, subduing your impulsive whims, and remembering who you are and what you value at all times. It’s a hard disorder to live with. But it gets easier with the more awareness you have about yourself and the more willing you are to act in healthy ways, despite how it goes against everything that comes naturally to you. It gets better, Borderlines! And then it gets worse. But then it gets better again! And so on, until you’ve got a firm grasp on identifying the BPD parts of your personality and knowing how to use what you know to be the best person you can be. Because honestly, that’s how we’re going to successfully love someone healthily and be loved back, to give respect and be respected, to understand and be understood. As a person with Borderline Personality Disorder, I spent most of my life feeling like the weary captain of a damaged ship, trying to stay afloat in a treacherous storm.

I spent years wallowing in despair about my situation instead of working to save myself from myself. If you have BPD, you’ve probably unknowingly spent your life trying to get others to save you, but this simply isn’t possible. Please remember: yes, the storm within you is raging, chaotic, and seemingly endless, but all you must do is hold on and navigate your way out of the storm. A happy, healthy life does exist beyond.