Sometimes I’m so very happy that I want to give the world everything I have! I become extra generous and give money to the poor even when I cant afford it. When you’re not earning that much and you go about distributing 100 rupee notes to people, it can become a serious problem. Yes, it makes you feel good but it is not realistic and practical behavior. There are times I have shopped for things I didn’t need – expensive things. A handbag here, a pair of shoes there, make up I will probably never use. This kind of impulsive spending makes us feel even more high but can cost us a lot, especially when we don’t hold steady jobs – a problem many borderlines face.
Giving gifts to loved ones, with expectations
When a borderline is happy, it is such a big event that they want to make everyone around them happy too. We may buy expensive gifts for people we like, but this does not come for free. We expect the recipient of the gift to be loyal to us, to love us. When and if they don’t, or they show affection for someone else, it hurts and angers us. We then may even go up to that person and say “I gave you that fancy notebook didn’t I?” And they don’t understand what is going on. We mean to say “Why did you betray me? Why are you spending so much time with her?” This jealousy can eat us up and result in us blowing our fuse and having a full fledged fight with that person, making everyone around wonder what the hell is going on!
Fighting the anger
When we have an explosive anger episode like this, people that the anger is directed towards start to feel angry and unsure as to what is going on. They feel they did nothing wrong and that we are throwing tantrums. While our feelings are very strong and we are hurting very badly inside, we need to be realistic and remember that we are prone to reacting out of proportion. We need to stop and remind ourselves that our emotions are out of whack and we need to control them. This is not easy. However, it can become something we practice and get better at, with time. All it takes is awareness of the symptoms of BPD and an acceptance that we have BPD. The more we fight it, the more pain we ourselves will have in our lives. So, don’t fight it; recognize that it is an episode and try to get a grip over yourself.
Ignoring the pain of others – Blame it on BPD
When we are high, it irritates us to see people that are down. We don’t understand why they are down and want them to snap out of it! Remember, we face this very same behavior and reaction from others when we are down. But when we are high we don’t want others to feel down and can say insensitive things to them. Criticism and harshness can flow both ways; something we need to keep in mind. So, to others it may seem like we are selfish, like we don’t care. Often, they are right and we don’t care because we are feeling so happy after so long and will not allow anything to get in the way! It’s simple – we are borderline but that is no excuse for being childish and selfish. Even non-BPDs sometimes behave childish and selfish, so it’s possible that at times we may blame it on BPD but it actually has nothing to do with it. We must learn to keep our diagnosis aside and show empathy to those who love us. Be aware that you are happy. But also be aware that not everyone else is and we need to understand that.You are not responsible for other people’s happiness but you are responsible for your words and actions.
Do we want to get better?
Or do we want to stay where we are. Of course we want to get better! No one would want to live on a seesaw every damn day of their lives. Can we get better? Yes, we can. Do we want to get better? Most of us do. So how do we get better? Firstly, we need to understand what is wrong. Then we need to accept what is wrong. And finally, we need to gain an understanding of what is wrong. By ‘wrong’ I don’t mean ‘unethical’, I mean ‘not working correctly’. Our minds are not working correctly and we need to find a way to make them work properly. If you are unable to see clearly, you would get spectacles right? Would you allow yourself to go blind? Then imagine how much more important your mind is!
Going back a few sentences we need to gain an understanding of what is wrong. Learn about your disorder and start to recognize your symptoms. This way, when we are about to start going off the track, our awareness will come to the rescue and we can bring ourselves back to neutral. This may sound easier said than done, but we have to start somewhere. Start here!