I have always known my brain worked differently to other peoples. I have always known I had to work that little bit harder. I battle daily with my scattered thoughts. Nine times out of ten, I forget to remove all my clothes before showering (mainly my socks!), I lose track of time and days, I worry about studying for my GCSEs when they were nearly 8 years ago, I put my phone in the fridge for no apparent reason and go out without turning my straighteners off.
The eternal excuses of “I can’t, I’m skint but I will definitely come to the next one” or “I’m stuck babysitting” have kept me safe within the walls I built around myself as I was too embarrassed to just say “I can’t, I’m a bit low at the moment” or able to admit to my friends that I felt as if I had no control over how much I drank or how I behaved.
I didn’t want to go anywhere but was terrified and angry at the thought of my friends ever stopping inviting me to things. The fear of feeling totally alone drove me to do wild things and put myself in dangerous situations, just for attention or recognition. I didn’t speak to anyone about the thoughts racing around my brain 24/7. I didn’t discuss the crippling insecurities. I didn’t stop myself when my body ran on impulse. I didn’t tell people I was thinking about seriously harming myself out of fear of name calling or being misunderstood. Everyone else seemed fine.
I have always been afraid to discuss my experiences for fear of judgement. It has taken me a long time to realise that I am not alone in my fight, thousands of people live with this condition every single day, just the same as me. My struggle inspired me to do better in life and to create a positive, nurturing environment for myself to heal and grow in. My struggle to get answers took nearly ten years and it’s not quite over.
Borderline Personality Disorder sits under the radar of general mental health knowledge and carries a huge stigma, fuelled by the fear of the unknown. All I can say is, educating ourselves about mental health and raising awareness can only be positive and lead to great things. Being mindful of the fact that we never know what’s going on inside someone’s head and that we are all fighting our own battles will help change the negative attitudes towards mental health. It doesn’t even have to be devoting your entire life to science and understanding. Sometimes, it really is as simple as a smile in the street.