After a decade of depression, anxiety, mood swings and suicidal tendencies, I finally received an accurate diagnosis for the symptoms that have been plaguing me since late childhood: borderline personality disorder (BPD).
When I started my first year of The Manchester Film School I thought it was going to be a fresh start to my life. But it wasn’t like that. The problems followed me and continue to overtake and confuse me.
I was still so unhappy even when I thought things were going well I just couldn’t seem to enjoy the moment and soon as I did, it felt like another obstacle soon followed to throw me off the rails.
I decided to seek professional help. But being told you may have a personality disorder was confusing and I felt like my personality was being attacked and I didn’t take it seriously. In hindsight I was too embarrassed to accept this. I was scared of the stigmatism associated with Black men and mental health issues.
I’m a high functioning person so it’s difficult to appreciate I could have a mental health issue if I was able to live out me day-to-day life like normal. Go to work, study, and socialise.
But I wasn’t, I hurt new friends I made along the way at university, as I wasn’t able to control my emotions. I became too dependent and extremely clingy with people. I knew what I was doing was wrong, and every potential new friendship I could have had, my BPD stopped it from developing and pushed them away. I often find it difficult when a situation doesn’t transpire how I anticipated, this can cause my emotions and subsequent mood to be extremely unpredictable, for me and the people around me. I can go from highly excitable and talkative and turn into a total reclusive. It’s hard to go outside when every time you leave regretting what you’ve said or done. I was often confused and scared that if I didn’t understand how I felt, how could anyone else. It led me to depression, hardly leaving my bed, lack of motivation and an excessive amount of crying.
”This was impacting my work, social and family life’‘
I finally realised that I had to do something if I didn’t want to be alone. But I didn’t know what to say, who to see, where to go. I believed I had nowhere to go and no one to turn to……So I used the only support I had in my mentor. She had guided me to CBT and mindfulness. Which was great, when my emotions were stable, when it wasn’t I wasn’t able to think clearly at all.
I was sick, sick and tired of being so emotional about my life. How could a doctor help? No medication was going to repair the damaged relationship with my parents and family, only I could do something about it.
One day I visited my mum it was a surprise, and it was on her birthday. She let me in but I just wasn’t welcome so I left feeling like I didn’t have a place to call home…I don’t remember my journey back…
…I just remember feeling trapped…One second I was fine, the next I’d imploded. I ended up in hospital scared and confused by my actions the doctor explained that my impulsive action was indicative of EUPD.
Since my full diagnosis of emotionally unstable / borderline personality disorder (EUPD/BPD), everything has clicked into place, as if it was the missing piece of the puzzle as to why I acted the way I did with my mental health. I think I’m finally able to understand why I feel the way I do, it doesn’t mean I’m in control or I can change overnight but I feel much more relaxed inside not fearing something I don’t understand. Not knowing what you’re going to say, how you’re going to react, think or feel in any given situation has kept me awake for many nights.
I’ve since been reading blogs and NHS online about personality disorders and people living with them and finally my behaviour and my emotions make sense and it feels like a relief to know that even if I’m on my own, I’m not the only person going through this. A lot of the blogs talk about how they told their friends and family and how their stories work out. However, for me, this is the first step in opening up about my mental health issues.
I have an emotionally unstable borderline personality disorder: Not sure if I should make apologies for the past or future but I’ll certainly try through my actions…
[To Be Continued]