Relating To Others

I feel as though I live in my own reality. I uniquely experience the world, and at times, it separates me from others.

My emotions are very intense, and I struggle with both experiencing and controlling them. Other than experiencing these emotions, my relationships are most affected by BPD and my feelings.

At times, my emotions build-up, and I’m unable to keep them inside. I become erratic and unstable. Most of the time, I can keep my feelings inside. However, it is not that I am burying these feelings; my emotions change moment to moment. The difference is every one of my feelings is extreme and will often be viewed as an overreaction. I cannot burst, break down, or express these unpredictable and sometimes irrational emotions.

When I am with others, I may not say much or always seem ‘there’ because my mental reality is going a mile a minute. I am processing what the other person says, I interpret and internally react; I manage my emotions.

Often I struggle to relate. The issues I deal with daily are not the best conversation starters, and most people in my life cannot connect to what I go through. I find myself jealous of their goals and abilities. I am so proud of those I love, but it reminds me of what I cannot do and how easily it comes for them.

Being around others drains me. While I enjoy being around those I love, I need a lot of alone time. I can spend more time with those I am closest to. They understand me better than most, so they are more comfortable for me to be around. Although they may not understand my life, they support me and love me for who I am. Even so, I keep myself at a distance, protecting my mental state.

There are vital signs for when I have been around others too much or need time alone. I become irritable; I emotionally react to others and am often controlled by these emotions. I attach to those I’m around. I usually expect too much of people but am unable to communicate my needs. I will take others’ actions personally, so it affects me when I am pulling people too close.

Relationships are essential for a happy and healthy life, but it is also necessary to have healthy boundaries and understand one’s needs. I need people in my life to connect, feel loved and supported, grow within relationships, and share experiences. Relationships are complicated for me, but they also make life worth it.

Having People That Reach Out

I struggle to reach out to friends. My mind tells me they are too busy and don’t want to hear from me. I fear they will be annoyed and will reject me. I feel needy and unwanted.

When fighting a mental illness, having people that reach out is crucial. Not just when they need something or when it is convenient for them, but when they haven’t heard from you in a while.

I appreciate those who check-in when you’ve been distant. Those who set up a day of the week to do something relaxing. Those who want to talk about their life AND yours. Those are the friends I not only want but require, and I’m grateful to have some wonderful ones in my life.

For a very long time, I was this friend. I always reached out, tried to set up plans, and sorted through my friend’s emotions. Unfortunately, this left me feeling burned. I no longer have the energy to be that friend because I need that friend.

This is not to say I never reach out or support my friends, I do. I am still the therapist in their eyes, always there to listen and help. However, I have begun to put up boundaries.

I am no longer the friend who always reaches out, but I am the friend that is still up to doing something. I may not be the one always making plans, but I follow through with the best I can

I am taking steps, small steps. Pushing past negative thoughts and doing my best to both reach out and put up boundaries. Acknowledging what I need is the first step.

I do what I can, but I need people that reach out.

The Deepest Love

You know me like no one else. You can read me, decipher me, understand me. Maybe it’s time which led us to this point, although it’s so much more than that.

I spent some of my darkest days with you. Since then, it hasn’t been time that brought us closer, but hardship. We can make it through because we have each other. We are always leaning on another, still picking the other up after a hard day.

Mental illness forced us to get comfortable. It brought out our flaws, the ones we would have usually tried to hide. We are tested, again and again, but we never run; we lean.

Now we are referred to as an old married couple, but we are neither old nor married. It is the comfort that you see — the understanding and acceptance of one another.

The deepest love.

Loving You

After only six months of dating, my mental health went downhill. We were unable to grow and blossom due to my mental illness, and every day chipped away at us both.

After my borderline diagnosis, I began to recognize the ways my mental illness affects our relationship.

I often overreact. Clothing left on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink. The little things can send me in a fury. Hunger or lack of sleep makes me cranky and bitter. I lash out and often take it out on you.

I call the shots: how we spend our free time, who we see, and what we do. Sure we compromise and talk, but due to my mental illness, what we do matters. I know we are less spontaneous and spend more time at home because of it.

My bad days can become your bad days. I wish it were different, but my hard days often take over, which leaves no room for peace and positivity.

I recognize the toll it takes on you. Your hair is thinner than when we first met. Your eyes tell a darker story than the carefree one they used to tell. You’ve matured and slowed down because you’ve been to hell and back with me.

Loving you is not always easy. Sometimes I want to be alone because I fear hurting you beyond repair. These aren’t my thoughts; my mental illness tells me this. It wants me to feel unworthy and unlovable, but you show me otherwise.

No matter what my illness tells me, I know that loving you is worth it. Always is and always will be, worth it.

Relationships Confuse Me

I want people close, then push them away. I feel lonely, yet search for opportunities to be alone. I get mad at others for not reaching out, so I don’t reach out to them. I’m clingy, but I often cancel plans.

How I act in relationships seems childish, and I should probably just stop acting this way, right? But I can’t stop how I feel inside. It’s a disorder, not a decision.

For most of my life, I felt powerless. I didn’t believe I could help myself. I looked for others to fix me.

I once perceived my self-worth by how others treated me. Over time this developed into a core belief: I was lesser than others. That is not true.

I likely don’t look crazy, unhealthy, or unstable. My relationships may look solid, but the thoughts and emotions they trigger are incredibly challenging to manage.

Relationships are a significant factor of Borderline Personality Disorder. For me, it isn’t the pattern of unstable relationships; it’s the emotions associated with them.

There is a stigma attached to BPD. We are manipulative, controlling, and crazy. While I am not those things, my disorder can bring out those behaviors. I can present as controlling, but that doesn’t make me controlling. That is part of my disorder, not my self-worth.

I’m confusing in relationships, but that’s only because of how difficult they are for me to manage. I am often just as confused as you are.

Part of me wants to isolate, push everyone out of my life, and leave myself with what I think I deserve, nothing. That is what my disorder wants. There is another part of me, sometimes it’s a tiny part, but this healthy aspect of me knows the importance of relationships. It knows that I thrive because of my support.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my relationships. I am so grateful for the continued support.

I guess all I’ve learned is that having people in your life, no matter how hard, is worth it. You’re worth the love and effort. You are.