Before I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, I went through a lot of emotional instability. The extreme reactions to my emotions I did not understand. As I took a deeper look into BPD and the traits that came with this disorder, I found that being impulsive was one of the main characteristics.
That began to explain what I had such a hard time understanding. It was all there in front of me in black and white. It gave me hope that I could find a way to control this. This was what my journey was about. Seeing what my weaknesses are and turning them into my strengths, accomplishments, and drive to be better.
Having borderline personality disorder is tricky. It is a disorder that really only affects people within relationships. Not just within spouses or partners, but also with parents, siblings, relatives, and close friends.
It’s almost like BPD creates a secondary scared, scarred, insecure child inside who is terrified to be abandoned. You carry that child with you, and it only reveals itself in situations where even the thought of abandonment presents itself. It can trigger an array of emotions and feelings. Whether it be real or imagined.
This triggered me to react so many times without thinking. I impulsively reacted when I was angry or felt like I would be abandoned. In moments of anger, I would become a reckless driver, speeding, and racing. I love racing and have since I was young. My passion became my release recklessly. Thankfully I never hurt anyone.
But in my moments of rage, I would take to the streets. Impulsively. Not thinking about others’ safety. I would be in impulse mode without thinking. I would go out, and binge eat. Out of my frustration and sadness, I ate. I would go out and spend money unnecessarily. Just to find a way to fill a void that would drain and need to be filled again.
It came to a point where this began to consume me. Not being able to premeditate my actions, blinded by my own rage and impulsivity. I knew this would not end well if I didn’t do something different. Things didn’t change for a long time and it ended one night with me lying on a cold thin mat in a dirty corner on a jailhouse floor.
Not where I had ever imagined myself to ever be in life. My anger began to slowly crush me. I could not blame others for my reactions. I hit rock bottom. All because of my impulsivity. It’s a whole new world when you’re on the bottom looking up. Your perspective changes.
That’s where you realize that there is nowhere else to go but up. There, on that cold floor is where I found enlightenment. A paradigm shift. The answer I had been searching for my whole life. It took that moment to determine whether I would allow my impulsivity to control me or do everything in my power to take back control of my life and my mind and use it to boost me to the top. I chose the latter.
Since then, it hasn’t been easy. Every day is a new struggle or challenge I am presented with to overcome. Being aware of my triggers and emotions has made such a massive change in how I deal with my anger and take the time to contemplate my reactions. I have slip-ups now and then, but I can step back and reason within myself and do my best to keep my anger and my impulsivity in check.
I understand and accept that BPD affects us in ways that are difficult to process. I also know that our minds are strong enough to overcome it. Filling yourself with knowledge about BPD will help you better become aware of the symptoms and keep yourself from being triggered by knowing yourself more and seeing the flags before they become full-blown out-of-control emotions.
I remember as a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons. One of my favorite cartoons to watch was GI Joe. I remember the end of the cartoon because they had a saying, “now you know, and knowing is half the battle.” That saying has never been more true. The more I understand BPD, the more I know myself. The more you learn, the more aware it makes you.
I can take more control, be aware of my actions, and hold myself accountable for how I react to different situations. Progress is one step forward. Not in huge strides but small steps. Taking every small step as a win helps propel you to your full potential. It’s done one day at a time.