In this post, I will talk a little bit about my Triple Threat of Triggers, the TTT, also known as vulnerabilities. These three things have been present throughout my Borderline journey, for better and for worse.
DISCLAIMER: Contains talk of substance abuse, eating disorders, etc.
As many of you may know, BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) often comes with a lack of impulse control and just generally the sort of erratic behavior. This may get directed to many an act, and while it may seem chaotic from the outside, the motivation behind these things, at least in my case, is often pretty straightforward: I want to end the pain, or at least mitigate it.
I will start this off with one of the more obvious routes to take when the need to end the pain appears – substances. I have been blessed enough not to have gone down the route of hardcore drugs to try and alleviate my turmoil, but I do have some pretty reckless behaviors in my past when it comes to things that can alter your state of being.
Alcohol was my worst habit, and one of the two major contributors to my body changing from a semi-well kept being into a baby land-whale. The edge was even sharper for me to navigate, as I believe I have some alcoholism in the bloodline before me that makes me more likely to start having that problem. At one point, I think I was headed straight for it, with my six-packs of cider and bottles of wine and whatever hard liquor happened to be available. I was even spiking my infamous sweet liquids with gin. But hey, people kept encouraging me by telling me I’m more fun when I’m drunk, and like the good borderline I was, I did what I thought was making me be more tolerable. I did not want to get abandoned.
While I can say I wasn’t into stabbing myself with needles, I sure made use of whatever pills I got my hands on. Good thing for me that I was practically playing the ‘’good girl’’ part, and so the only brushes I got to having actual drugs were with weed and some prescription painkillers that were kindly given to me for my migraines. My friends, don’t be giving your problematic acquaintances any of your own stash of medicines, let alone make them drink some questionable homebrew.
When it comes to legal substances such as alcohol, caffeine is another good contender to make you go crazy if you aren’t already. It is, by all means, a drug. It will create an addiction to itself over time, and holy crap did my tolerance of it grow along with other energy spiking things.
At my peak of stimulant usage, I was drinking huge mugs of coffee and energy drinks almost daily. It was madness. I got to the point where I drank so much of that stuff that I was literally shaking from it, not able to grab any thoughts cohesively. I was hooked, and much like a lot of people, could not have started my day without that trusty cup of joe.
The amounts I took in alone are bad for even a normally functioning person, but for someone like me with BPD, it’s a whole other level of strain on the psyche. I already had mood swings on a daily basis, and stimulants… well they stimulate. After I had taken in my dose of coffee, I was hyper and manic for a few hours until I felt the crash coming and needed more. It got pretty intense, I’m still trying to figure out the aftermath of those deeply engraved responses that linger in my brain.
Taste of comfort
You can’t have coffee without that cookie! Or chocolate, like a bar of it. Or donuts, or pastries… You get the picture. I had candy and snacks all around me, together with extremely sweet drinks like cola (more caffeine as well) and iced tea. Where ever I went, I had access to something in case I had the munchies.
I am an emotional eater. Food seemed like one of the only comforts I could have, and I do believe it was the case in my past. And so, I would take my chosen game, or anime, and my drinks, and my snacks, and just gorge the night away. By the end of it, I was drunk, high on sugar, and ready to explode from over-eating. One thing that you will find is that if you engage with this sort of behavior, you will start growing in directions you might not want to grow. And so the cycle of self-loathing and soothing continues.
My graceful brake
Enter my husband. The very much health conscious man that does not like to take part in the “finer things” in life like pills and alcohol. Legit, caffeinated coffee he drinks as little as he can, sugar in the form of one controlled cookie with his morning de-caf. And then there was me. The certified gorger of all things edible.
Being that the man happens to love me and wants me to live a long while, he adopted the role of being my brake. For the first months, I was completely cut off from sugar and coffee, as I couldn’t be trusted near either. And alcohol, well, I was allowed a glass of the bubbly on our big days like engagement and anniversaries. Celebrations of the like.
If you want to get control over your life and let go of some addictions and bad habits such as munching, have someone be there making sure you do it. It is way easier to be angry at your accountability buddy for a moment when they won’t let you get the half kilo bag of candy you wanted for movie night (since that’s what happened in the past) than to be feeling miserable after you’ve been alone with it and gave in to the urge to slowly keep destroying your health with all of the things you can stuff down your gullet.
Gaining control and quality of life
It was not easy, and I’m still not off the hook. Alcohol, caffeine, pills, and sugar are behind my husband, and I rather like it that way. He is like my personal gatekeeper to the stuff that I was so unhealthily attached to for decades. Somedays I still get growly when we pass the sweetie sections in the market, Christmas is a bad time for me to go out there, with all the chocolate and the like.
Other than enjoying my diligent gatekeeper’s services, I’ve got so much of my quality of life back after quitting the gorging. If you can believe it, my sense of taste has got sharper, since I no longer blast it with sugar and salt, and so my tongue had a very needed break from the terror and can now actually appreciate the pure and natural tastes. I had forgotten how sweet an apple can actually be!
I’m also not constantly shivering and having headaches because of the lack of caffeine in my diet, and my insomnia eased out tremendously. Where previously I couldn’t sleep for the life of me and was constantly having nightmares, now I get my sleep most nights and the dreams are way rarer. Praise having proper rest in the midst of a mental disorder!
And lastly, I need not tell you what happens when you fix your diet to be sensible, whatever it may look like to you. I can actually bloody walk now without pain, and my general agility went up by at least 200%. I am now one of them mobile land-whales!
Keep in mind that moderation is key. I’m not about to tell you how to live your life, but please, consider not going down the path of slowly killing yourself because of something that might temporarily help you with the pain. Get help, and try and get that pain sorted out before shit gets too much out of hand.