There was a time when I was too comfortable with my BPD traits. As far as I was concerned, the symptoms my doctor said I exhibited just sounded like a description of my personality. I just acknowledged the diagnosis as a label and didn’t think any more of it. After all, it justified my extreme emotions and other characteristics.
But once I was self-aware, I recognised that my emotions and behaviour were unhealthy. I accepted that my out of control characteristics were because of being unable to regulate my emotions. I accepted that BPD is more than an identification of my emotions and behaviour, it is an illness.
Since then, I explored different methods to manage my emotions and have found various techniques that work for me. Now my behaviour is a lot less destructive and impulsive. And my emotions are fairly under control, until someone rubs me the wrong way or when a negative situation arises. As I don’t have my emotions and behaviour under complete control yet, I still work hard on the techniques that work for me to regulate my emotions.
I don’t know what to expect when I finally recover from BPD. But I believe that my positive BPD traits will remain to some extent, as BPD is nothing more than an inability to regulate emotions. From my understanding, my BPD symptoms are just an amplification of my personality. Recovering from BPD won’t change who I am, it won’t change my personality. In my eyes, recovery is when the techniques you use to regulate your emotions in a healthy manner become second nature.
After reaching the level of understanding I now have of BPD, I think it can be separated into 4 stages.
Stage 1 When you’re consumed by BPD:
- You have no control over your emotions and behaviour.
- You’re comfortable with your characteristics.
- You don’t want to change. How you act and the way you feel is all you know.
Stage 2 When you’re self-aware and accept you have a mental illness:
- You realise your emotions and behaviour are unhealthy.
- You’re not comfortable with the negativity of your characteristics.
- You don’t want to act and feel how you do. You want that to change.
Stage 3 When you’re taking the necessary steps to recovery:
- You are learning to control your immediate emotions and behaviour.
- You reject your negative characteristics.
- You’re working on ways to manage your emotions and behaviour.
Stage 4 When you have 100% recovered from BPD:
- You have complete control over your emotions and behaviour.
- You discover your healthy self.
- The characteristics you had while you had BPD are now peaceful and untroubling.
What stage are you at?