Yesterday I recognized the one thing I really hate about having BPD, or really any mental illness: It destroys my pride. I’m not talking about pride as in vanity – I rather mean something like dignity. With BPD, one of the most vital things is to find a stable self-image and above all, self-esteem. Those things are not strong in people with BPD, if existing at all. I’ll try to illustrate what I mean by “my pride is destroyed” with a few examples:
- When you have a mental illness, it is expected of you that you tell complete strangers (psychiatrists, therapists,…) about traumatizing events that not even you closest friends know about. I’m aware that this is necessary in order to get help but in my country, you even have to free your therapist from their duty to remain silent in order to get your therapy (that is only if you can’t afford to pay it for yourself). Doesn’t feel good.
- I actually got used to having panic attacks in public. But shaking and hyperventilating and crying in front of complete strangers who think you’re having a circulatory collapse is nothing that will ever help my self-esteem…
- Looking for all knives in the flat, putting them into a bag and handing them over in order not to cut should be something I was proud of (I recognized I didn’t have control, got help, blablabla…) but it actually feels pathetic.
- Alternative: Showing the cuts to my partner is always somewhat disgracing.
- Being told to pull myself together by my doctor after trying to work whilst out-of-body for days just because he only regards people with physical problems as ill is not a pleasant experience, especially as seeking help is really hard for me anyway – believe me, I know that my sick leaves were necessary but I’m still ashamed of every single day I stayed at home.
- Nobody takes you seriously when you act like a three-year old child, be it because you’re scared of someone leaving you or because you’re angry and don’t have any way of dealing with it. Being laughed at sucks.
I could go on like that forever but I think you get what I mean. I just don’t feel in control of my behaviour and I don’t act like the 23-year old I am as often as I wish I would. I can laugh about myself, indeed I posess a very black sense of humour. But sometimes I feel I’m just pathetic although I know that I should be proud of what I’ve achieved so far with my abilities. You’ll probably tell me so now – “You’re doing so well, you can feel proud of yourself!”, but honestly: If you’re not able to wipe your own ass, it’s nothing to be ashamed of but it’s still not good for your pride. And I’m not able to wipe my own ass emotionally. And it sucks.