I feel like this could be the title of my memoir, and who knows. Maybe one day it will. Either that or “I swear I’m not picking my nose, I’m adjusting my nose ring!” Nose ring problems. Am I right? Anyway, I feel like first blog posts are the worst posts ever to come up with, despite the fact that I’ve had several blogs and therefore several first blog posts. But no matter what, the first post is the worst and most daunting, so let’s just jump into it.
Hello. I’m Melissa and I have BPD. Wait, what’s BPD? Contrary to belief, BPD doesn’t stand for Bi-polar Disorder. It actually stands for Borderline Personality Disorder. Okay cool, but why am I not only explaining this but also leading with this? BPD is a highly stigmatized and misrepresented personality disorder that is actually fairly common. It’s also very commonly misdiagnosed. Another fun fact is that it is not a chemical disorder so while anti-dpressants may be prescribed, they don’t always work because the depression that we feel is a side effect of our disorder. It’s commonly misdiagnosed as bi-polar disorder and while there are certain similarities between the two, BPD is vastly different in both origin and the mood swings associated from it. The reason I am leading with this is because while BPD is treatable, it is something that I will have to work on every day of my life and therefore, BPD does in fact make up who I am which means it will probably appear in my blogs from time to time.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a hilarious show on The CW that I chose not to watch for a long time, because I knew nothing of it and mistakenly thought it was just making fun of women in relationships. The reality is that Rebecca Bunch (who is played the highly talented Rachel Bloom) has BPD (sorry for anyone who hasn’t seen season 3) and while the character is definitely on the extreme end of the spectrum, it’s a very accurate portrayal of what someone with BPD can look like. Of course, not everyone is that extreme. I am not. But emotional instability is there. I ended up watching it out of curiosity and loved it immensely before I even knew that she had the diagnosis. It’s an hour long musical comedy with offbeat characters and lots of witty dialogue. In fact, if you have heard Heavy Boobs before, this is where it comes from. I loved the show so much, I binged the first season in like 2 days. I’ve now caught up with all the episodes (thanks Netflix!) and recommend it to everyone.
So yes, BPD does make up who I am. And it took a long time to get to where I am. I actually diagnosed myself first and hated it when I figured tha’s what I had. I found a psychiatrist (whom I adore) and he agreed with me and we’ve gone from there. While it sounds scary, it really isn’t but it is hard work to deal with your disorder. And it’s taken me over 35 years to realize that not despite of my flaws, but BECAUSE of them, I am who I am. I am perfect? Oh hell no. But… who is? And yeah, my disorder has caused me immense frustration over the years (frustration that I probably could have been spared by a correct diagnosis – but oh well) and probably will continue to do so, no matter how much I teach myself the proper ways to think. But it is who I am.
(Oh, and that photo of me up there? Yeah that was taken on a day when I’d had less than 20 hours of sleep in a week, while battling insomnia on my anti-depressant. Part of the ugly side of mental health struggles.)
Yeah, I have BPD. Which means that I can be irrational at times especially when splitting (seeing only in black and white – everything is only good or bad, etc) and highly emotional at times. I am open about my disorder and the people in my life know that it’s okay to call me out when I go all “BPD-mode” as I call it. But I’m also very loving, usually logical (in fact my psychiatrist has said that I am the most logical person he’s met when it comes to BPD and mental health), fairly geeky and a bit of a charmer (insert fake British Cockney accent here). And I like those things about myself. Hell. It’s taken me 37 years to realize that while I am sarcastic, overweight, moody and can be pessimistic, I actually like myself. And that is something I cannot, and will not, take for granted. Do I love myself, my whole self, inside and out? Not yet. But I’m working on it. I’ve embraced who I am. And that’s one hell of a start.
So. Hi! I’m Melissa. I have BPD and I embrace who I am. Nice to meet you.