Throughout my life, I always thought that there was something wrong with me.
My mom was always very open with me about mental health and made sure I recognized the symptoms in myself as I grew up.
However, there were just some things that everything I knew about anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder still couldn't explain.
I always suffered from severe mood swings. My mood could shift from perfectly happy to uncontrollably angry to unbearably sad in a matter of minutes, or even seconds.
When these mood swings occurred, it wasn't like anything my mom had really seen. They were extreme and uncontrollable.
It was almost like I would lose control of my mind, my mouth, and my actions. I had no idea how to stop or get my emotions under control. No matter how hard I tried, it was like everything in my body was working faster than my rational thoughts.
Another thing I always hated about myself was how my feelings toward a person could shift dramatically at the drop of a hat. One minute, I could absolutely love you and everything about you. I could be loving and caring and want to spend all of my time with you. However, after something small (or even nothing at all), I could switch to feelings of hate or indifference.
I lost a lot of potentially good people in my life due to these feelings and emotions. There were so many times that I KNEW that someone was good to me and good for me, and I just couldn't fight past the image of them created in my mind that made me indifferent towards them.
I really noticed these problems when I was old enough to start dating. I would really like a person and everything would be going great, but in no time, all the feelings I might have had for them would just disappear. I wouldn't want anything to do with them anymore. I saw a pattern of this happening more so with the guys who were overly nice and sweet to me, the ones who treated me like a queen.
Throughout my teenage and into my young adult years, I had a pattern on intense and unstable relationships and I never understood why this kept happening.
I would meet someone, get into something serious and give myself to them, put all of my trust in them, and fall in love almost immediately.
Every emotion in these relationships was so intense for me.
And more than anything else, the total FEAR of losing them.
I needed to hear them tell me each and every day how they wanted to be with me and how much they still loved me.
Whenever they acted even a bit upset or stand-offish, I would panic and have either a fit of anger or depression.
I would get so upset that I would try to leave and end the relationship. I wasn't doing this for attention, but because at that time, I truly would think that I couldn't stand to be with them for one more minute. However, if they didn't try to get me to stay or tried to leave me, those feelings of hate and rage and wishing I wasn't with them would go away. I would just lose myself and start begging for them to stay. I would immediately switch right back into those intense feelings of love.
Ultimately, these raging emotions would be a big part of the quick demise of that relationship.
Don't get me wrong, many of those guys did PLENTY of wrong in those relationships and were a big part of my relationship anxieties today. However, even in good times, I couldn't just enjoy being with them. I couldn't just relax and let myself love and live.
I spent so much time either pushing people away so that they couldn't hurt, or reject, me or clinging to them so tightly for the same reasons that I scared them away.
I wasn't until earlier this year that I first heard of Borderline Personality Disorder and knowing really changed things for me.
In case you don't know exactly what this is, the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder, describes Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as "a serious mental illness that centers on the inability to manage emotions effectively ... occurs in the context of relationship...usually begins during adolescence or early adulthood...people who have BPD suffer from problems regulating their emotions and thoughts, impulsive and sometimes reckless behavior, and unstable relationships."
Not only is BPD one of the most common personality disorders, but it is also one of the most misdiagnosed disorders. It is often misdiagnosed as Bipolar Disorder, depression, or anxiety and this misdiagnosis can delay or prevent treatment and progress in the patient.
I still struggle everyday with my BPD.
I still have severe jealousy issues and tend to jump into things quicker than most.
My life is still impacted by these raging emotions that I feel can be uncontrollable.
The difference is, now I know that I have a disorder.
I know that there are ways to work through this and that I have to put in the effort to get help.
I still tend to find myself hating the "way that I am," but I work every single day to become a better me and to fight my BPD.
Every day, I overcome my disorder just a small bit more.
If you think that you might suffer from BPD, I highly recommend that you read I Hate You, Don't Leave Me.