“Hello, I am Jessica, and I have and am living with Borderline Personality Disorder.” This is what people think they want to hear. But Im just me. Just another person trying to navigate through the craziness of everyday life. My disorder is not something to be ashamed of. It makes me me.
Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD is a disoder that causes my emotional baseline (when you are calm) to be higher than the average person, and it takes longer to get down to that baseline after hitting an emotional highpoint. Sometimes I have intense mood swings. I was impulsive as a young adult and have always had problems in my everyday relationships. My disorder affects 2 out of every 100 people and is so complex that it affects each person differently. Its causes are hard to place but it has been linked to chemical imbalances, trauma in early life, brain abnormalities, or even growing up in an invalidating environment. It could even be a mixture of all these things. I treat my BPD with Delectical Behavioral Therapy or DBT, One on One Therapy, and medication. Every piece of my treatment is vital to my success at leading a “normal” life. I use the term “normal” loosely because everyone’s normal is different.
In my weekly DBT group sessions, I am learning to handle everyday social situations effectivly and with grace. I learn how to manage the intense emotions and mood swings associated with BPD as well as how to reach wise mind (an all knowing state of mind) when at a heightened emotional level. Here are some of my favorite quotes that I think represent DBT well.
1. “Our greatest battles are that within our own minds.” Jameson Frank.
– No one judges us as harshly as we judge ourselves. We should try to give ourselves a break when deserved or needed but be aware to not go to one extreme of always giving ourselves a “pass” or the other, working so hard we burn ourselves out.
2. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget the way you made them feel.” Poet Maya Angelou
– Emotional high points are hard to forget. Think about it… some smells make you feel a certain way, maybe a song, or a place. they bring you back to that time. You remember how you felt in that moment.
3. “Life is what happens while you’re busy making plans.” John Lennon
– The best things happen unplanned. If you spend too much time planning for the future (or remembering the past), you miss what is happening now.
These quotes each represent important lessons I have learned through DBT. I use these and other sayings every day to remind me of the skills I need to practice. Living with BPD just means I need to learn to channel my emotions and use them as tools in my every day life. I’m still me, just a better me when I follow my treatment plan!