A Day in My Life with Borderline Personality Disorder
I thought I would offer a snapshot of a day into my life with borderline personality disorder (BPD). This account is of a day when my BPD was neither calm nor at crisis level, but was moderate in strength. There is no such thing as a typical day in my life with borderline personality disorder due to the intense and quickly changing emotions associated with this condition.
My Life with Borderline Personality Disorder
Last night I dreamt that I was in crisis and sobbing at my friend’s birthday party. Bad dreams are really common for me and always have been since I was a child. I grab my phone and see that I have an affectionate message from someone I love which makes me feel upbeat and cheerful. Before I leave for work, I check that I have my dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills book, journal, phone charger and headphones. I listen to my audiobook as I walk to the train station. Without something distracting to focus on, I often start ruminating that my friends don't like me or that I have said something to upset someone I love.
I’m feeling confident at work today and derive a lot of satisfaction from helping the clients in my organization. When I stand up to make coffee, I ask my co-workers if they would like some and when someone doesn’t respond to me, I panic that I’ve annoyed her. I’m flooded with fearful thoughts such as: "Do people like me?", "Am I a good person?" and "Have I offended someone?" When I return to my desk, I focus on my work, but inside I feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. I know these feelings all too well as they occur often in life with borderline personality disorder.
I have permission from my boss to leave work half an hour early one day a week to attend my therapy session. During today’s session, my therapist and I revisit events that happened during my childhood and how they have impacted my thoughts and feelings as an adult. My therapist works with me to imagine going back in time and offering support to the child me. It’s hard work, and although I now have the skills to stop me from getting as distressed as I used to, I’m exhausted by the end of the session.
Luckily, I have a meal already pre-prepared as when I get home from therapy all I want to do is make myself comfortable. After eating, I take a shower which is something I use to soothe myself. My therapist has taught me how to engage fully in the activities I’m doing by noticing smells, colors, sounds and sights. This technique is really helpful because it means that I’m not looking at people around me for potential signs of rejection and minimizes the time I spend ruminating on abandonment. I remind myself that I have been through a lot with my BPD, including self-harm and feeling suicidal, so I try to validate any sadness or anxiety I feel. Thanks to therapy, I no longer go to bed fearing how I will survive the next day.
That's a day in my life with borderline personality disorder. If you live with BPD, what are your days like?
Cappuccino, R. (2019, August 14). A Day in My Life with Borderline Personality Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, February 22 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/borderline/2019/8/a-day-in-my-life-with-borderline-personality-disorder
Author: Rosie Cappuccino
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