5 Habits I Gave Up to Begin Healing From Borderline Personality Disorder

Plus 5 healthy habits I picked up.

1. I quit looking for attention.

At the heart of BPD is a desire to be loved. It’s terribly all-consuming. I would sometimes talk a bit more loudly than necessary, or draw negative attention to myself, simply because I wanted to know I wasn’t invisible.

2. I stopped chasing men who didn’t really care about me.

Everyone has heard the phrase, “looking for love in all the wrong places.” For many BPD sufferers, that’s a huge problem. I never witnessed healthy romantic relationships as a child. Practically everything I learned about love came from television or movies. It was, of course, all wrong.

3. I went on a selfie hiatus.

I’ve written about the benefits of selfies before, so please hear me out. I don’t mean that selfies are inherently bad. They’re not.

4. I changed my story and quit feeling sorry for myself.

For the longest time, every story I told myself about my life was a sad one. I told myself that I was worthless and ugly.

5. I quit expecting other people to bring meaning into my life.

By far, one of the worst things about BPD is this chromic emptiness. It’s like a permanent storm cloud above your head or some sort of splinter in your soul that wakes you up at the worst possible moments.

1. I began writing about my struggles instead of stewing over them.

For me, writing has been my real “lifeline.” Not my old definitions of love. And I’m not talking about writing in my journal, or crying out “woe is me.”

2. I started looking for silver linings.

Again, writing certainly helps. I’ve developed this habit of looking for the good in the worst scenarios, including many of my fears.

3. I met my own needs.

For much of my life, I had this chip on my shoulder about being on my own. It became ingrained in me when I was 18 and my sister went to prison. Our whole family dynamic changed and I found myself increasingly alone.

4. I stopped reading into every relationship and started to chill out.

There’s this thing that many people do. It’s not just those of us with BPD. People often gravitate to toxic relationships or poison their healthy ones by reading into every little thing.

5. I leaned into my fear of being alone.

If you’ve ever battled obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), you have most likely heard of exposure therapy. I never really set out to use exposure therapy for myself in my treatment for BPD. It was more like a happy accident brought about by my circumstances as a single mom.

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