i’ve been seeing a lot of topics like “how to deal with someone who has bpd” and it always bothers me, because there is basically no topics about how to deal if YOU have bpd. that’s why i’m making this post, in my opinion as someone who has bpd. feel free to leave other tips and comment!
buy a notepad and write about your emotions. in DBT (dialectical behavior therapy), used a lot to help people with BPD, they tend to help others to regulate their emotions, basing on some principles, like:
identify and classify emotions; usually, people with BPD suffered/suffer from emotional abuse and it makes harder for us to have a knowledge about our feelings, since we never had someone to help us in this aspect. if you have hard times dealing with your emotions, you can create a special organization on your notepad, basing on: what just happened that could be a possibly trigger to your feeling? (EVEN IF IT’S SOMETHING MINOR, for example, if your friend replied to you in a different way, if you saw an image that made you feel uncomfortable); what are your physical symptoms about it? (for example, if you feel butterflies in your stomach, you are possibly anxious); what does this feeling make you want to do? (for example, if you feel like you want to hit something, you are possibly experiencing anger). and, also, try to identify your primary and secondary emotions, for example, if a friend forgets about an event that you would go together, first you may feel anger, but this anger can be followed by frustation or sadness (secondary emotions).
how to “change” your emotions; after writing about your emotions and trying to learn about them, you can add a subject in your notepad about “WHAT CAN I DO TO CHANGE THIS FEELING”. your first thoughts may be pessimists, specially because borderlines are VERY impulsives, like “i should probably self-harm” or even “i should probably kill myself”, due to the intensity of bpd emotions, but right now, you have to think with your rationality.for example, if your friend is delaying to reply, you can think about the possibilities that are causing this problem: if they are busy, if they are having a hard time or if they just don’t want to talk right now. after thinking about the situation as a whole, you’ll ask yourself “okay, but what will i do?” and that’s why i think it’s important to create a list about what makes you happy and what distracts you, so everytime you have a hard situation to deal with, you can check on your list. “oh, i’m having x problem, but in my list it says that painting makes me happy, so what about painting something i saw today?”. if you don’t have anything that you like about, there is an app called Calm Harm, that can help you in self-harm situations!
increase and improve positive emotional events; i know that it’s difficult for us to focus on positive moments, but once you are feeling down, please try to write about what happened in your day that was a good thing. and when i say it, i don’t mean a BIG thing, it can be something like seeing a flower in your garden. write about your sensations when your experienced this moment and think about the possibility of living this moment more than once. for example, if i saw a flower and it made me happy, can i try to plant one, so i’ll see it more often?
apply pressure tolerance techniques; by distraction, self-care, improving the moment and considering pros and cons.
SO, in your notepad, have a space to: first, identify and classify your emotions; second, a space to write about how to change your emotions; third, a space to write about positive emotional events and fourth, write about what pressure tolerance techniqures you can apply to your life.
practice saying no and saying what you need to the people around you; sometimes people with BPD tend to think that we are a burden to friends and family, and sometimes it’s not true. due to it, we often don’t tell what we really want. so, if you could, please, practice saying NO and what you REALLY need and want to people around you, even if it’s minor things.for example, if someone asks you to lunch with them, but you can’t/don’t want to, don’t let your abandonment fear decides what it’s the best for you, just say no, but not in the intention to hurt the other person. “i’m sorry, i really like you, but i can’t or don’t want to, since i have to do x thing/feeling x thing, but i really like you!”. when you say no, you can have a better idea about what you like and what you don’t, so you can start to let people know about it.for example, “hey! yesterday i said no when you invited me for lunch, so i realized i don’t really like going to public places, what about having lunch in my house next time?”
practice breathing techniques; intense emotions can lead us to panic situations or really bad physical symptoms. in stressing moments, we hold the air, increasing the level of carbon dioxide in our system, so the organism thinks we need more oxygen and make us breathe faster. the imbalance increases our heart beats, our blood pressure and the release of hormones such as adrenaline. i recommend ASMR videos to relax and you can breathe slowly, imagining a circle opening and closing, like the gif:
the post is getting long, so i’ll finish here! i’ll probably post a part two if you guys like! please leave a comment if it was helpful and i’m sorry if my grammar wasn’t very correct, english is not my native language.
remember that everything here is theoritical and it’s hard to apply these tips in your life, things will not suddenly change. but i believe in you and things take time, so don’t give up on getting better.
Breathe. You’re going to be okay. Breathe and remember that you’ve been in this place before. You’ve been this uncomfortable and anxious and scared, and you’ve survived. Breathe and know that you can survive this too. These feelings can’t break you. They’re painful and debilitating, but you can sit with them and eventually, they will pass. Maybe not immediately, but sometime soon, they are going to fade and when they do, you’ll look back at this moment and laugh for having doubted your resilience. I know it feels unbearable right now, but keep breathing, again and again. This will pass. I promise it will pass.