Are You BPD or Do You Have BPD?
"Being borderline" becomes a bad habit. Too many people diagnosed with BPD hand over their entire entity to this personality disorder. You can choose to face that you have BPD without having to be borderline. "Being borderline" precludes recovery.
Are you a borderline, or a person with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)? It is far too easy to further become any diagnosis, especially one of BPD. Next thing you know you may well perceive and or experience everything you say and do as being "borderline" or having something to do with the fact that you have this personality disorder. (As may those around you)
The affects of blurring this line can be dangerously- devastating. You can lose yourself even further to BPD if you are not careful. The way out of BPD is to find yourself, get to know yourself and trust yourself. If you live your life as if you "are" the personality disorder, rather than a person with it you will make it tougher for yourself to recover.
So much of being okay with knowing ourselves has to do with believing our own truths. It also has to do with being kind and understanding to ourselves. If you live only by the sword of harsh black and white borderline judgment you may well be making things worse for yourself instead of better.
Changing this involves not only getting to know your real self but also unlearning any and all negative thoughts and behaviour that you may have thought was helpful to you in the past. It means learning how to value yourself and esteem yourself. Having BPD does not make you unworthy of esteem. One of the most devastating aspects of BPD for many borderlines is the tremendous lack of self-esteem that they have. This is a very big part of the pain that many have when they have BPD.
Often borderlines feel or act "fake" in order to protect themselves. They either do not know their real selves or they want to ensure that you never get to know who they really are. So when one begins to try to recover ironically enough much of the change required ends up feeling "fake" When you allow yourself to begin to let go of your maladaptive coping skills and open yourself up (slowly) to the reality of who you really are it will feel so fake at first. I know it did for me. After years of faking my way through most everything in life, or at that is how it felt - in my recovery any new behaviour felt so "fake". It was tough to deal with for some time. Eventually though the changes I made became integrated with the me I had come to know and I no longer feel "fake".
Each one of us will bring our own unique personality to the business of recovering from BPD. And you do have personality that is not "borderline". Believe that. Having BPD is not the sum total of who you are or who you can become. Each one of us can only unravel and unlearn the protective ways of living that we adopted to survive in our own time and our own way. Believe that you are doing the best that you can, even if you in your mind that does not equate with "good enough" for you. Allow yourself time to process, to learn how to grieve, to grieve and to slowly learn how to dismantle your stock-pile of anger.
A main ingredient in recovery involves making the distinction between having Borderline Personality Disorder and being borderline. "Being borderline" becomes a bad habit. A bad habit that is very painful. Try to reframe your thinking. Begin with - I have Borderline Personality Disorder. Not all things that I do, think, say or feel are "borderline". Having Borderline Personality Disorder does not not make me an inferior human or unworthy human being.
You have a choice to make, are you going to be Borderline or are you going to face that fact that you have Borderline Personality Disorder? "Being borderline" doesn't leave much, if any room for change. Having Borderline Personality Disorder opens the doors wide to the reality that you have other aspects and personality traits that are not mired in BPD. Choose to have BPD. You don't have to choose to be BPD.
Recovering from BPD is only as far away from you this moment as you let it be.
So much of the recovery process has to do with building self-esteem once you come to understand that wonderful being that is your true "self". I will be writing more about self-esteem in up-coming articles.
© Ms. A.J. Mahari - March 13, 2001