At the moment I realize (once again) how lucky I am because there are so many great people around me. In my first dark time, when I tried to hide all my problems, I was convinced that everyone just loved my facade and that people would leave me if they saw what was behind it. I was even proud of me because I bottled everything up and felt superior to all those who let their problems show. I was always “strong”.
Then there was a good time and I felt confirmed: I had recovered on my own, no one and nothing could harm me, the world belonged to me. And then the second fall. Everything dark again. And I knew I couldn’t do it on my own a second time. It was difficult but manageable to call a psychiatric hotline and get professional help. My pride was destroyed anyway. What was really hard was telling the people I wanted to protect from all that darkness.
I remember trying to tell my partner. My plan was something like “You know how I sometimes panic and that I used to cut as a teenager? As I’m really sensible now, I’ll get help, it’s not a big deal.” What came out when I actually explained it was more along the lines of “There is a hole i can’t fill, a yawning void, an open wound and no matter how much energy I invest, it’s not going away. I don’t want to do this to you. You’re going to leave me anyway.” His reaction was…not much. He said “Okay, but I’m staying.” and took me into his arms. For a very long time I figured that he was hugely underestimating what all this was about. With babysteps I moved forward, telling him about this symptom and then about that one and then about a therapy session. One day a book about BPD vanished from my flat, he just said that he saw so much of me in the introduction that he just kept reading. And then came a day on which I had told him everything I thought was horrible about me. I couldn’t think of anything else to scare him away. He is still with me. He is still taking me into his arms. I still don’t get it but it’s more beautiful than ever before. By the looks of it, I underestimated him – and not he my loose screw.
I was even more of a coward with my mum: I didn’t think she could handle these things. She had had a hard time herself and I had been there for here a lot so I didn’t want to load her with my problems. I mentioned my panic attacks whilst getting out of her car. We talked about BPD on the phone a few days after that. Of course, she wasn’t stupid. She had been aware that “something was wrong” all the time and many things seemed to make sense now. She was and is supporting me more than I could have dreamed and everytime I forget caring for myself, she reminds me with a thousand little colourful things. It’s still a little unfamiliar to tell her when I’m not fine but we’re getting practice. Sometimes I think I should have started being honest much earlier. She definitely deserves it!
And then there are friends who say awesome things like “You have BPD, not your relationship. He’s not going anywhere!” or “Cuddly blanket?” or “You don’t have to call all the time. I’ll be waiting.”
I am so grateful for everything I got since telling others what’s going on inside me. I still think that somebody’s going to shout “April’s fool!” one day, after all it can’t be that easy – that I go and have a good cry on someone’s shoulder, that the person comforts me and that’s that. Like people do. After all, I’m an alien, for me there are different rules…right?
So, a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge thanks to all the wonderful people I mentioned directly or indirectly – you’re making this so much easier!