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Borderline Personality Disorder Is Evil (Except When It’s Not)

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Borderline Personality Disorder Is Evil (Except When It’s Not)

99% of the time, BPD is a special hell so agonizing I wouldn’t wish it on anyone (including my ex-boyfriend, and that’s saying something). It usually inflicts a very unique flavor of pain from which escape is extremely difficult. It’s like a black hole that swallows a person’s sense of identity, along with their ability to feel happiness or complete simple tasks.

What I’m trying to say, in no uncertain terms, is that BPD is pure evil.

Except very, very occasionally, when it’s not.

There are certain aspects of my personality that I’m very proud to possess, and strange as it may sound, I doubt they would exist if I weren’t borderline. Sure, it’s awful feeling like an emotional third-degree burn victim all the time, but the flip side of that curse is that I also feel good things with extra intensity. When I’m happy – rare as it may be – I experience that happiness with severity, in the best possible sense of the word. When my suffering releases me long enough for joy to make its way in, that joy ferociously consumes me. And while there’s every chance my disease has nothing to do with the all-consuming nature of my occasional cheerfulness, I’m willing to bet it’s at least partially responsible for the extremity with which I feel everything, good or bad – and sometimes I’m actually glad about that.

More than anything, I’m grateful for the way BPD makes me feel love.

If there is one feeling that I have experienced longer, more intensely, and with more obsessive devotion than any other, it’s love. Not depression, though that’s a close second; and not anxiety, which unfortunately comes in third. Love is more powerful in my world than either of those things could ever be.

Love has been a raging motivator for me since before I was old enough to even know how to spell it. Every few years since I was a toddler, I have fallen for a man – cartoon men when I was younger, then eventually human men – and he becomes the center of my Universe.

That’s certainly something I chalk up to BPD. The disorder robs me of my ability to formulate a unique sense of self, which means I tend to throw myself into other people, adopting their personalities in order to feel like I have one of my own. It’s not the healthiest habit, but it’s also not really my choice. My only other option is to go through life feeling like I’m quite literally nobody: no opinions, no passions, no interests. I’d be a walking void.

I’ve tried that option. It’s a waking nightmare.

So instead, I find people who I think are kind, interesting, and generally worth knowing (and attractive doesn’t hurt either), and something in me falls in love with them. Using my borderline tendencies as fuel, that love quickly accelerates into all-consuming, undying devotion.

The most borderline part of this whole process? I still feel just as much love years later.

It’s been just over seven years since the last time my screwed up brain found someone to involve itself with and sent me spiraling into love with him. And yet, as I write this, I still feel just as much of that squishy, wonderful affection for him as I did the very first second my limbic system violently informed me that from here on out, he was going to be a part of my life.  

That’s the one-percent-of-the-time blessing of having BPD: I get to be just as deeply in love now as I was at the age of 15.

While borderline personality disorder exists in a constant state of trying to convince me not to be alive anymore, it also ironically supplies me with the motivation I need to keep breathing. The number of times I have decided not to hurt myself because of the love the borderline itself makes me feel is astounding. My disease has given me the ultimate weapon for fighting that very same disease.

And though I hate BPD with all my heart, I wouldn’t trade that love for anything.

*The next blog post, “Self-Harm Is Not Shameful”, goes up Friday, 11/2, at 11am Eastern.

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