I have Borderline Personality Disorder, which is characterized, partially, by mood swings and intense emotions — usually anger, sadness, or anxiety. But I think that more of my emotions are affected by my BPD than just the negative (or destructive) ones. I think that the good ones are affected too.
Because I can get just as overwhelmed by my positive emotions as I can by my negative ones. When I get excited about something, and those who know me can support me on this, I am the most excited person you will ever meet. I jump up and down, I lose the little patience I do have, and my whole worldview starts to revolve around whatever made me so excited.
And, honestly, sometimes it’s kind of nice. Sometimes I feel this pure, overwhelming happiness or excitement, and though these moments are few and far between, I try and lean into them. But they’re not always purely good.
Usually, when I get super excited, life just doesn’t live up to the hype. Maybe my over-excitement has nothing to do with my mental illness(es), maybe it’s just naïveté or too much optimism, either way, it’s not helpful.
It can sometimes take a lot of time and effort for me to do anything intense — nights out, vacations away, special events. So when I get myself psyched up about something, I get really psyched up. On one hand, it gives me a great reason to push past the depression and anxiety blocking my way. On the other, it usually leads to a crash when life just doesn’t live up to my unrealistic expectations.
You might think that I could spot these patterns and work on tempering my expectations so that I don’t crash quite as much, right? Wrong. I still do it. (Often.) I think it’s because those ideas just completely overwhelm my system; they’re all I can focus on — screw the consequences! This time, it will be awesome.
It happens almost every time I have a long-awaited event with friends, it happened this year at Pride, and it happened recently when I met a new romantic prospect.
This month, I met someone new. It was a chance encounter, completely unexpected, and satisfied my every rom-com-filled dream. Everything new I learned about this person made me think that we’d get along fabulously. Political beliefs? Core values? Life experiences? It was all coming up good.
Finally, I had feelings for someone and it sure seemed like they had feelings for me. We flirted for a few days, I asked them on a date, and they even said yes. I was on cloud nine. I knew I was building it up too much at the time, but I couldn’t seem to convince myself to stop. The idea that this would work out was intoxicating and it overtook my mind.
Until they backed out. (For a good, understandable, honest reason.) And I was crushed. I had been in the clouds, but suddenly I fell back to earth. And I felt so dumb.
I feel so dumb.
Like is my default when something goes wrong, I got so mad at myself. How stupid must I be?! How many times do I need to fall to earth before I learn to just not fly all that high? I had even felt and acknowledged that I was getting too excited as it was happening, but I didn’t want to tamper it. It felt so good — like pure happiness. But now that I’ve crashed, it’s just pure, tragic sorrow.
I don’t know what to do anymore; should I doubt every single feeling? How do I temper my excitement well also letting myself feel it? It seems like an impossible riddle. I don’t want this constant roller coaster, but I kind of want to keep the highs. I just don’t know if it’s possible to keep the highs without the lows.
It seems like some sick joke that I have to give up the times that I feel the best, just because I’m built to crash harder if, or when, they fall through. I already doubt every thought I have, but now I have to doubt all my emotions too?