I live with a mental illness that intensifies every tiny little emotion to bursting point. It sometimes feels like most other people have barriers to stop their emotions from becoming so overwhelming, and because of my disorder, I don’t. I’m permanently vulnerable to becoming suddenly overwhelmed by difficult feelings. It takes every ounce of my energy to maintain control.
In one small way however, I feel like I have a tiny blessing in the midst of a horrible and life-threatening illness. I feel this way because it isn’t just my ‘negative’ emotions that carry with them so much weight. It’s the happy ones too. And whilst BPD means that I feel pain deeply, I can become absorbed in happiness, in gratitude, and in love.
Recently, I’ve been made to feel by someone that I’m too difficult to love because of my mental illness. Constant reminders that I am ‘just paranoid’ or ‘overreacting’ over genuinely hurtful things have driven me to the point where I’ve sank back into depression, convincing myself that they’re right. That I’m not deserving of anyone else’s love. That I add no value to the lives of people around me. That having BPD sentences me to a lonely life. It’s an easy belief system to slip back into.
But I’m at a stage in my life when I’m bigger and better than letting someone make me believe that I’m something that I’m not. I have borderline personality disorder, but I am not, and never will be borderline personality. I have positive and loving relationships with so many beautiful people, and I am so lucky to be able to say that. My illness might make me difficult, but it has not reduced me. I’m still me.
When I love someone, I really love someone. I just want them to be happy. I want them to know that I care and that I’m listening and that they have me. I want to know their story, their hopes, their dreams. I’m that friend who is constantly giving random hugs, who always replies to selfies on Snapchat stories to remind someone that they look so damn beautiful, that constantly tells people that I love them. I am scared of losing people. There is that. Life is fragile and there are people gone now who I wish I had told one last time that I loved them so very, very much. But it’s more of this overwhelming gratitude and love that is the wonderful silver lining of my deadly disease.
My illness can be hard to understand, but I refuse to accept such toxic comments that I am undeserving of that understanding, or of love. I have a lot of pain, but equally I have a lot of love and a lot of love, both of which I want to give back to a world that I am finally beginning to love.