I’ll be the first person to admit I’m “nuts” (and I do say that affectionately, which is more than I can say about myself most days).
It’s taken a while for me to be comfortable with my diagnoses. Actually, I use the term “comfortable” loosely. I can talk a real good game — I am a high school English teacher, after all — and sometimes I can fool myself into believing the bullshit I’m spinning.
I think that, perhaps, if I didn’t have borderline personality disorder (BPD), my life would be a bit more manageable, because Lord knows my emotions sure aren’t sometimes. However, it’s the borderline personality disorder keeping me on my toes and making my life interesting.
Having borderline personality disorder leaves one with a lot of questions. For example:
- Why am I so “up in my feelings” when my cat of eight years chooses to snuggle my husband instead of me? She hates me now. Fine, let’s see who cleans up the next barf pile you’ll so nicely leave on the only area rug in the house you fluffy jerk. Excuse me, I’m crying because I just got angry at my cat, in my head.
- Why do I get irrationally angry at my fountain pen? Darn you, Pilot Kakuno for leaving me stranded, unable to exorcise all of my emotional demons! (People with BPD struggle with abandonment and I need to write about myself using a special pen… leave it alone).
- Why do I still feel like a teenager who insists on being bullheaded to wait until my husband exhausted all of his suggestions only to do what he suggested in the first place? It was my own choice, dammit!
- Why are my best intentions the ones I compound to work against my well-being? Yes, I’d love to take on 50 more responsibilities to save the life of every child in my classroom and beyond in order to not actually deal with my issues.
Having borderline personality disorder also results in having a lot of feelings. I have many, many feelings. I cry over the weirdest shit. For example:
- A trampoline blowing down the street in the middle of a bad storm (context: the husband and I were watching a “fail” video).
- My favorite tag-teams breaking up. It was a traumatic week of WWE and I still haven’t forgiven Vince McMahon.
- The teeny dog prancing down the street in its fashionable coat. It’s just so gosh darn cute, OMG! His owner also takes him for a ride in the summer—in a basket on the front of a bicycle.
- Walruses. They are scary, especially when they are making that weird barky sound with their mouths wide open.
- Not finding the right peanuts at the local gas station. I wanted to surprise my husband.
- The end of books. I have been wrecked by countless. Jennifer Niven’s “All the Bright Places,” Mayra Hornbacher’s “Madness: A Bipolar Life,” Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Adam Silvera’s “They Both Die at the End” (people, just add me on Goodreads: WrathofGlasses).
- Machine Gun Kelly’s “Lace Up.” Don’t ask. I don’t even know myself.
So why am I basically throwing all of my idiosyncrasies out there for everyone’s enjoyment and perhaps your vicarious embarrassment?
Well listen, for many of us with mental illness, we are predisposed to focus on our pain, the negative and the subsequent effects of it on everyone else around us. I always have this image of everyone around me getting ripped from their lives and into my big “tornado of suck.”
So let this serve as a reminder that between all of the mental health professionals, medicine, misdirection and misery we feel on the regular, that it’s OK for us to look at the good things in our lives. I’m not saying that being angry at my cat is good (seriously, I’m already having feels about it), but taking inventory of my ridiculousness — for better or worse — reminds me to have a sense of humor and that maybe, things will be OK, eventually, after all.