Having a personality disorder isn’t like a lot of other conditions. It isn’t a visible illness. There is no way to look at someone and see they have struggled with a constant fight inside their own head. Having a mental illness is frustrating and discouraging for the person with the illness, much less the people around them who love them.
There are so many things you cannot see about living with borderline personality disorder. You cannot see the fight that rages internally, the constant search for who I am. The constant fear of being abandoned. The fight against the compulsion to spend recklessly in the highs, the fight to not harm myself in my lows or to numb the pain with drugs or alcohol.
There is a part of me that every time I become attached to someone, I’m wondering when they’re going to get tired of the rages, the breakdowns, the constant overwhelming sorrow. When will they walk away? When will they grow frustrated and give up?
Even with the friendships that have stood the test of time and the fight against myself, I still live in fear I will be too much. That the sheer intensity of how I respond to everything in my life.
Other people cannot see not just the war inside my head, but they also can’t see when I’m happy. When everything feels like it’s perfect. When I love so deeply that person becomes a part of my soul. Not just lovers, but also friends. It’s part of why I cling so desperately to those friends who have stood by me at my worst.
What people cannot see is that for a person with borderline personality disorder, every day is a battlefield in our heads, a war against ourselves, our illness, and living. We fight for every inch we can give ourselves, and it is exhausting.