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July 30, 2017

Shutting out the Voices: Living with BPD

Carol Pinto

Today is the day that I finally say ENOUGH! Enough of the judgment, enough of the stigma, enough of the prejudices, enough of whatever you say about what you clearly know nothing about!

People like me have had enough of you talking about what’s going on with us like you scholars of the internet, know everything about it. You call us dangerous, irrational, impulsive, and the worst of it all, a word we almost come to believe, HOPELESS! But it's time to see how it's like to walk in our shoes.

To many of you, we may just look like victims of borderline personality disorder just trying to prove something online, but I’m here to tell you what we really are and what it’s really like to be us, in real life. Most of the articles on the internet on borderline personality disorder throw light on all our negative symptoms and characteristics and a whole lot of you out there simply buy it without question, knowledge or experience. Even we did until now, cursed and criticized ourselves for even being that way. All our dark sides were so beautifully written off on the internet that we had started becoming all of it.

The darkest of us, we had ever seen had all started coming to life, just as we had read. And before we knew it, we became our own worst enemy, trying to hurt ourselves on the outside just so that we can kill the ghosts living within. Some of us started cutting open our skin so that the light from the outside could seep through and make the darkness within disappear. We started hating ourselves every second of the day, trying out new ways to get away from ourselves.

Emotionally unstable you said, had you ever questioned why? Some called us crazy, loony, psycho, some even pitied us for being so self destructive, some feared us, some hated us, but all misunderstood us. Being around us is like being around a ticking bomb, unaware when it would explode. Fearful. But do you even know what it feels to be us? Have you ever held a gun down your throat but then put it back in the drawer? Or popped pills and then walked to a crowded hallway to finally lose consciousness? Or have you ever cut your skin but hoped for the courage to cut deeper? That is exactly what it’s like to be us. We are constantly debating life and death, only hoping that we either had the strength to face life or the courage to just end it all at once.

Have you ever wanted to kill yourself because you couldn't complete a task at school or because you got into a fight with a sibling? That's the intensity of how we do things. We look at everything with extremities. Everything is either black or white, but that's just how we perceive things, not who we are. We are filled with thoughts and ideas as colourful as it can get. But when the bad days kick in, and the ghosts start to haul, how does one knock down an enemy when it is nothing but the face in front of the mirror? This is where our struggle lies. This is what makes us fight, for our own life, against our own self.

It is like rope walking over hell. If you don't push yourself to complete the walk, you’re bound to burn. This is how we live every single day. But even with all its miseries, there are still days like these when some of us decide to write stuff like this, wanting to show the world what we really are, something that they don't tell you in those textbooks or on those online pages, things that can never be explained unless experienced, first hand.

Having to survive BPD every single day, what we come to learn is that we are the most resilient people, batting temptations to resort to most likely addictions like drugs and alcohol, suicidal thoughts, self harm and eating disorders. We have the ability to resist our impulses, which is why we are still fighting.
 
Our levels of empathy drive us to being kind and sensitive, and make us understand everybody's issues without judgement, irrespective of their struggles. We are the kind that wants to uplift every person who comes to us for help. We always provide a helping hand or a listening ear to those who turn to us, which often makes us attached to many people around us.

Our creativity is directly proportional to our emotional intensity. Our constant over thinking and emotional vulnerability always gets the best of our artistic side. When we create, we are not only creating a piece but we create a part of ourselves, using the platform as a reflection of how we see the world. This is also why most of us stop the use of medications we are prescribed as we always complain about how they don't let us feel so deeply anymore. Passion is another driving force behind our survival. We are so passionate about something that interests us, that we usually find our solace in things that interest us. We find ourselves losing sleep at night or waking up early to do tasks we love to do.

Our passion is the only thing that motivates us to get out of bed every single day, even on the lowest of days and the only thing that keeps our mind out of things that bother us. It's the most important driving force and energy behind our survival. We are extremely passionate about what we love. Although our hate is often feared and understated, including our fears of abandonment and attachment which are just manifestations of our unskilled way of dealing with love, we still are very loyal, trustworthy and compassionate. On our good days we could be the best of companions, most loyal friends and life of the party, full of fun, happiness, intelligence, enthusiasm and wit. But sadly we are most often just looked upon as the textbook definitions of a disorder. Our superpowers, failed to be noticed.

We are warriors, fighting each day, and with every war won, we become survivors, and our biggest victory is finding the will to live.

I write this today, to remind you that we are lovers, we are healers, we are thinkers, we are learners, we are art brought to life, we are creators, and we are everything that they forget to scribble on our diagnosis.

Shutting out the Voices: Living with BPD

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