July 5, 2017

Eli blogs about her experiences with borderline personality disorder and the friends who supported her.

From an early age, I have really struggled with any form of relationships, friends, family and romantically. My friendships never lasted for any length of time – I was too “intense”, “needy” or “emotional”. I still have the same problems. Getting close very quickly, then worrying that they don’t like me. Why haven’t they texted me back? What did I do wrong? Why haven’t they checked how I feel? Why am I always the one to text them? They hate me. This normally ends up with me saying something irrational and causing the friendship to come to an end. Normally in an explosive and upsetting way.

This makes me unsure and untrusting of most people. I have one friend that has stuck by me through all this. She was the only person I felt I could be myself with.

For periods of my life I just feel numb like there’s nothing inside me. Feeling isolated and alone, not even sure whether I exist or not. I go through the motions without any connection to anything or anyone. More friends and relationships ended due to this as well.

But Alice will give me space if I need it but also try to ground me during these phases. It doesn’t always work and she accepts this. I can be my “weird” self with her.

After being admitted into hospital due a series of extremely angry outburst towards myself and my family. I tried to complete suicide. I hated myself and the fact that I couldn’t hold down friendships or jobs. I felt completely broken and with the fear that I would always feel so alone and angry at myself.

My relationships with my family broke down at this stage as I was so angry at everything and this came out with many extreme arguments with my family, I blamed them for my illness and was very paranoid that everyone loved my brother more than me. I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

I was terrified by this diagnosis due to all the stigma and sensitisation of this illness in the media and films. I remember feeling like I wouldn’t be able to do anything with my life anymore and no one would ever want to have anything to do with. Now I am relieved with this diagnosis as it explains a lot of how I feel and makes me not feel broken anymore, that there was a reason for how I feel and that other people also feel similar things to me.

During this period in my life I began seeing someone, he was kind and respectful to me, he didn’t understand anything to do with my BPD at first but he read about it and was very understanding. I still feel nervous that one day he will up and leave as I will be too hard work. But after five years he hasn’t left. Our relationship isn’t easy for me most days as I struggle with my emotions and who I actually am. I feel: worried, anxious, angry or completely in love. They can fluctuate hour to hour at times.

I have had two years’ extensive therapy and my symptoms have lessened, I have managed to use coping mechanisms to regulate how I feel. I still struggle with angry empty feelings and this has caused me to still struggle with self-harm. My relationship with my family and a few friends has improved a lot during my therapy we had a few therapy sessions with my partner and family. These sessions have helped them understand and accept how I feel.

This therapy has helped me a lot. I find day to day living draining and difficult the coping strategies mean that I have to analyse everything and question how I feel internally to see different perspectives. I find big groups of people very difficult, trying to monitor how I feel with each person and react in a “normal” way (I hate that word). I have started small bits of work and volunteering but some days I just can’t face being around people or myself, this causes me to worry about ever getting full time work but I guess it’s all baby steps in the right direction.

Through the last eight years, friends have come and gone but a small few have remained. They have been through everything with me and instead of running, they stopped and listened – they tried to understand and did their very best to support me. I may not have a lot of friends but I couldn’t ask for more than the handful I have. No matter the mood, they take the time to support me and are always in my corner.

Be in your mate's corner: Find out what you should know >

Share your story

Too many people are made to feel ashamed. By sharing your story, you can help spread knowledge and perspective about mental illness that could change the way people think about it.