Here I am, once again. Eyes puffy, nose running, aching from the inside out. I squeeze myself as tight as I can, but despair washes over me, wave after wave, pulling me like the tide toward an eternal calm.
The irony is: I had a great day today. The weather was nice, and the sunshine carried my work to serene fruition. Traffic was light, so I got home nice and early too! I even walked my dog right away, something I usually procrastinate on for an hour or so. Things were looking up until I sat down. When I did, my mental stability crumbled around me. I was struck, full-force, with the feeling I dread most; loneliness.
This isn’t your average loneliness, however. When you have borderline personality disorder (BPD), you experience loneliness differently. It sticks to your chest like hot tar, searing its way deeper and deeper into your being. The more you ignore it, the deeper it sinks until it wraps itself around your lungs and oozes from your tear ducts. There is no escaping at this point, there are only tears and shallow breaths and racing thoughts about every friend you’ve ever cut off. There’s vague texts to your loved ones, laced with cries for help, as you desperately clutch your confused pet.
There’s moments of calm, though brief, that give us a chance for diversion. The eye of the storm, you could say. But lose grip of that calm, and you’re sucked back into the turmoil and confusion.
My grip has been getting stronger, but often I let the storm take me over and over in one sitting. An emptiness this palpable is hard to ignore, so rather than ignore, I embrace it. I feel the waves wholeheartedly and make sure to find breaths in-between. I empty my tear ducts, sweeping the sadness and frustration away with every wipe of my cheek. I wrap up in a blanket and cuddle my dog, waiting for the calm. And when it comes, I grasp it with both hands and put it to use.
I’m putting it to use right now, as I write this post. Not only does writing calm my emotions down, but it also makes me feel productive — like I’m accomplishing something despite my emotional shortcomings.
If I can’t write, I sing. If I can’t sing, I draw. I make sure there are plenty of paths in view for the times when I feel lost and alone. But no matter how strong I build my defenses, I know nothing can stop the next storm from coming. All I can do is prepare, and savor the drops of sunshine in-between.