Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD, has quite a heavy stigma, even in health care. I started to notice this almost immediately with brief but distasteful encounters.
I remember seeing a girl in the psych ward throwing a tantrum, lying on the floor, screaming in fury, then seconds later casually smiled and said she was hungry. A friend of mine, also a patient, simply said “Yep, that’s BPD for you.” I was too embarrassed to say I had BPD as well. Especially because I believed I was looking into a mirror of my own future. And the self fulfilling prophecy begins…
Barely a few weeks after treatment, my disorder started to become my main story, and everyone prided themselves on knowing the lines. Thanks to the likes of Suzanna in Girl interrupted and Glen Close in Fatal Attraction. Not even close by the way. Insert annoyed emoticon here.
Imagine hearing the same song everyday, all the time, nonstop, while also being told to #getoverit. Impossible? It Is. I started to give up and just started wearing BPD on my forehead, I even used it in introductions. “Hi, I’m Ani. BPD.”
Till one day I was asked to write and describe myself in class. Instead of jotting down my symptoms, back story and medical history per usual. I decided to write things I actually like or used to like about myself. BPD didn’t come up, but film, writing and singing did. When I decided to use them as my treatment, my recovery leaped miles forward. I started to remember who I was before being the BPD case. I accepted my diagnosis, not as a name tag, but as a tiny piece of what makes me Ani.
I still get treated as a BPD case at times, but now I have no trouble in reminding people. I have a name. I have people who love me. I might have BPD, but I am Ani. First and always… Ani.