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“I Have Borderline Personality Disorder. This is How it Makes Me Feel”

Writing by Andi Reyes // photograph by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona

Sometimes I live my life as if I were watching a movie. I am in my body but often, I feel like a spectator of my own life.

I have borderline personality disorder and this is how it makes me feel.

When I received my diagnosis, I didn’t exactly understand what it meant.

I remember going blank and then trying to connect all the information that my psychiatrist had given me. So what is BPD?

BPD causes difficulty managing emotions, frequent feelings of emptiness and boredom, intense fear of abandonment, and impulsive outbursts.

My psychiatrist explained to me that the basis of my disorder is intense fear of abandonment and little tolerance for frustration, as well as hypersensitivity in my emotions. If something does not go the way I want, I can enter into an anxiety crisis, which can lead me to impulses that can affect my mental health.

Some characteristics about my disorder that I find difficult to deal with are my unstable relationships with men. Before my diagnosis, I didn’t understand why I was so afraid of being abandoned by my partners. I was constantly looking for ways to please the so they would not abandon me even when I was no longer in love with them.

I constantly feel emptiness, like a void that I will never fill. My therapist told me that this feeling of emptiness is very common in people with BPD, but that in reality that emptiness does not exist, it is just a feeling that passes. To me, it’s the sensation I feel is as if someone I love has died and suddenly my whole world is hopeless.

Sometimes the mental pain manifests so much in my body that all I want is to sleep.

I try to force my mind to stay positive which can be so exhausting that in certain moments, I nearly give up.

Imagine you wake up, you have a whole day ahead of you but you find no joy. You’re constantly hearing a voice telling you to go back to bed and that nothing is worth doing. There came a time in my life that I normalised living in sadness.

In April 2023, I had a severe anxiety attack and began to hear a voice in my head which I’ve since realised is my anxiety. I was very scared. I felt anxious when I woke up every morning. That’s when I started going to the psychiatrist. I was able to understand many things about my diagnosis and how it played a part in my life.

I have always been a woman who feels too much, my feelings are disproportionate. Seemingly small events can have a huge effect on me whether depressive or euphoric.

My mind is complex but I have become stronger. I surround myself with people who love me and who take my disorder seriously. I celebrate every day and am proud of myself for continuing to try to be here, in this chaotic and beautiful world.

I celebrate for all the people who are living through a mental disorder because I know what they struggle with everyday. I am still learning about my disorder, I am learning to manage my emotions, I am still in a stage of self-recognition but I am happy to know about my BPD because it means I know that everything my behavior and feelings have a reason. I can’t wait to tell you how I’m evolving!

Andy Reyes

Andy Reyes (she/her) is a Mexican writer, columnist, and poet. She is a feminist – the women she admires the most are her grandmother and mother. She is proudly Mexican and is interested in psychology and journalism – her favorite hobbies are knitting vests, reading, and making pancakes.

Andie started writing when she was seven years old, with the purpose to understand why she suffered from school bullying, she created a narrative about her experiences at school from the perspective of animals, that is where she fell in love with writing.

Andie likes sunsets, cuddling her cat Mushu and her little dog named Coco.

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