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Black & White: Life with Borderline Personality Disorder
Imagine yourself standing on the border of two opposing colours, the colour on your left
is black, and the colour on your right is white. The black side consists of dark and racing
thoughts, self-destructive behaviours, the idea of suicide, isolation, terribly low self-esteem,
anxiety, and depression. The white side consists of the complete opposite, these are your
moments, days, or weeks of socialization, incredible self-confidence, positive ideas and thoughts,
self-care and help, realizing your self-worth, and generally normal functioning. The tiniest thing
can trigger you back onto either side, whether it be a text message, if someone is taking to long
to reply back, a statement, how someone is walking, how someone is talking, something you saw
on your news feed or on TV or in the street. I could go on with a lengthy list, but you probably
get the general idea. You never know when something is going to trigger you, so in addition to
everything you’re feeling already, whether you’re on the black side or the white side, you live in
constant worry and anxiety. Because of your drastic mood swings, periods of isolation, and low
self-confidence, your entire life has consisted of rocky, unhealthy and unstable relationships.
Nobody knows how to deal with you, not even yourself, so people tend to just give up on you.
This then creates trust and abandonment issues, just something else you can add to the things you
feel 24/7. Being black or white, and never grey, pushes you to feel things deeply, even the
smallest of things. This can sometimes ignite passion and fire inside of you, but more often then
not, feeling these things so deeply causes even more panic and worry. Imagine feeling all of this,
everyday, for your entire life. You don’t know how to stop your thoughts from racing, and your
doctor doesn’t even know what’s wrong with you. This is what it’s like living with borderline
personality disorder (BPD), and it is more common than you may think.
Since birth, I have always exuded symptoms of multiple anxiety disorders. When I was
13, I was finally diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety, and social
phobia disorder. From the ages of 13-22, I lived as this label. I was an anxious person. That’s all
I will ever be known as. When I was 20, I was also diagnosed with major depressive disorder.
Add that to the list of labels I put on myself. I was an anxious, depressed mess, and nothing
seemed to be helping me. I’ve been on 5 different anti-depressants, most of which made my
condition even worse. In the fall of 2016 I ultimately fell into a mental breakdown. These happen
every few years or so, but with each new breakdown they were becoming worse and worse. I
dropped 3 out of my 5 courses and went home for 6 weeks to take care of myself. This is when I
read my first article on borderline personality disorder.
Once I read the first article, something clicked inside me. Everything I was reading fit me
like a glove, and I began to think “maybe this is why nothing has been working for me”. I feel
things so deeply, that it either creates a sense of passion or hate or love. I engage in self-
destructive behaviours such as bing-eating or impulsively spending money (that of which I do
not have). My moods can change at the drop of a hat, almost literally. I have always had low
self-esteem and a poor body image, constantly putting myself down. My mind races. All the
time. It drives me insane, but I don’t know how to stop it. I’ve tried relaxation exercises with my
psychologist, but it just keeps on racing. When is that assignment due? What will I have for
dinner? Maybe I just shouldn’t eat dinner. I want to be skinny. No, that’s not healthy. Eat
something healthy and maybe you’ll be skinny enough for summer. Why hasn’t he responded to
my text? What did I do wrong? Should I have said something else? I’m pretty sure he hates me
anyways. Everybody hates me. But I don’t need them, I’m amazing. I’ll do fine on my own. But
I’m so lonely, I feel so lonely. I’m not amazing, I’m disgusting and I hate myself.
When my psychologist tells me to open my eyes, she asks if I feel anymore relaxed. I lie
and say I do, with my mind still racing. She tells me to try it at home, but I know I won’t because
nothing seems to turn my mind off. People tell me to just relax, and that they will be there for me
when I need them. But I can’t relax. And what if they’re not there when I need them? People
have left me before because they just couldn’t handle me, what’s stopping them from doing the
same? It’s my fault. Everything is my fault. I deserve to be alone. This is when I isolate myself.
Not because others are isolating me, but because I don’t feel worthy enough of love or
friendship. I know I can be a nightmare, and people have told me before that I’m crazy. I don’t
want anyone else to have to deal with it, too. It’s exhausting living with it myself, why would I
want to put anyone else through that when they don’t need to?
BPD isn’t easy to live with. But once I begun educating myself on it, a little part of me
found peace. That part of me no longer races with thoughts like “what is wrong with me?”, “why
do I always feel like this?”, “nobody else feels the smallest of things so deeply”, “why do I get
annoyed or angry so easily?’, “why am I not feeling any better?”. If you have a mental illness, or
believe you have a mental illness, please don’t label yourself, and please don’t believe there is
something wrong with you. One in three people live with a mental illness, so please remember
that you are never alone.

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absynthepiece6

  • 1. Black & White: Life with Borderline Personality Disorder Imagine yourself standing on the border of two opposing colours, the colour on your left is black, and the colour on your right is white. The black side consists of dark and racing thoughts, self-destructive behaviours, the idea of suicide, isolation, terribly low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. The white side consists of the complete opposite, these are your moments, days, or weeks of socialization, incredible self-confidence, positive ideas and thoughts, self-care and help, realizing your self-worth, and generally normal functioning. The tiniest thing can trigger you back onto either side, whether it be a text message, if someone is taking to long to reply back, a statement, how someone is walking, how someone is talking, something you saw on your news feed or on TV or in the street. I could go on with a lengthy list, but you probably get the general idea. You never know when something is going to trigger you, so in addition to everything you’re feeling already, whether you’re on the black side or the white side, you live in constant worry and anxiety. Because of your drastic mood swings, periods of isolation, and low self-confidence, your entire life has consisted of rocky, unhealthy and unstable relationships. Nobody knows how to deal with you, not even yourself, so people tend to just give up on you. This then creates trust and abandonment issues, just something else you can add to the things you feel 24/7. Being black or white, and never grey, pushes you to feel things deeply, even the smallest of things. This can sometimes ignite passion and fire inside of you, but more often then not, feeling these things so deeply causes even more panic and worry. Imagine feeling all of this, everyday, for your entire life. You don’t know how to stop your thoughts from racing, and your doctor doesn’t even know what’s wrong with you. This is what it’s like living with borderline personality disorder (BPD), and it is more common than you may think. Since birth, I have always exuded symptoms of multiple anxiety disorders. When I was 13, I was finally diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety, and social phobia disorder. From the ages of 13-22, I lived as this label. I was an anxious person. That’s all I will ever be known as. When I was 20, I was also diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Add that to the list of labels I put on myself. I was an anxious, depressed mess, and nothing seemed to be helping me. I’ve been on 5 different anti-depressants, most of which made my condition even worse. In the fall of 2016 I ultimately fell into a mental breakdown. These happen every few years or so, but with each new breakdown they were becoming worse and worse. I dropped 3 out of my 5 courses and went home for 6 weeks to take care of myself. This is when I read my first article on borderline personality disorder. Once I read the first article, something clicked inside me. Everything I was reading fit me like a glove, and I began to think “maybe this is why nothing has been working for me”. I feel things so deeply, that it either creates a sense of passion or hate or love. I engage in self- destructive behaviours such as bing-eating or impulsively spending money (that of which I do not have). My moods can change at the drop of a hat, almost literally. I have always had low self-esteem and a poor body image, constantly putting myself down. My mind races. All the time. It drives me insane, but I don’t know how to stop it. I’ve tried relaxation exercises with my psychologist, but it just keeps on racing. When is that assignment due? What will I have for dinner? Maybe I just shouldn’t eat dinner. I want to be skinny. No, that’s not healthy. Eat something healthy and maybe you’ll be skinny enough for summer. Why hasn’t he responded to my text? What did I do wrong? Should I have said something else? I’m pretty sure he hates me
  • 2. anyways. Everybody hates me. But I don’t need them, I’m amazing. I’ll do fine on my own. But I’m so lonely, I feel so lonely. I’m not amazing, I’m disgusting and I hate myself. When my psychologist tells me to open my eyes, she asks if I feel anymore relaxed. I lie and say I do, with my mind still racing. She tells me to try it at home, but I know I won’t because nothing seems to turn my mind off. People tell me to just relax, and that they will be there for me when I need them. But I can’t relax. And what if they’re not there when I need them? People have left me before because they just couldn’t handle me, what’s stopping them from doing the same? It’s my fault. Everything is my fault. I deserve to be alone. This is when I isolate myself. Not because others are isolating me, but because I don’t feel worthy enough of love or friendship. I know I can be a nightmare, and people have told me before that I’m crazy. I don’t want anyone else to have to deal with it, too. It’s exhausting living with it myself, why would I want to put anyone else through that when they don’t need to? BPD isn’t easy to live with. But once I begun educating myself on it, a little part of me found peace. That part of me no longer races with thoughts like “what is wrong with me?”, “why do I always feel like this?”, “nobody else feels the smallest of things so deeply”, “why do I get annoyed or angry so easily?’, “why am I not feeling any better?”. If you have a mental illness, or believe you have a mental illness, please don’t label yourself, and please don’t believe there is something wrong with you. One in three people live with a mental illness, so please remember that you are never alone.