I am the Queen of Excuses. Better yet, the Goddess. I can convince most people that any of my shortcomings are the fault of someone else, often without actually coming across as pointing fingers or shifting the blame. With my well-meaning and level-headed appearance, it takes a special type of person not to fall for my manipulations. Once upon a time.
It seems a gift, and most with a BPD diagnosis treat it as such. In fact, by hiding zero-accountability behind an illusion of responsibility, all this so-called ‘gift’ does is create drama and hardship for anyone kindhearted enough to be taken in by it. I guess it’s lucky I value honesty above all other virtues, and constantly saddling loved ones with my crap doesn’t work for me. I know it’s my crap. Throwing it on someone else is cruelly deceitful in my book.
Yet, it’s how my mind works. A psychiatric nurse once told my mother not to think of how to facilitate my recovery, but to learn how I perceive and process the world. In other words, there was no ‘fixing’ me so better learn to live with it.
More about the interlude between chaos and stability coming soon.
Eventually I arrived at My Solution: embrace those people who won’t play into my games as my closest confidants, cast out any enablers, and take steps to prohibit myself from using ‘mental illness’ as an excuse for shoddy performance or a piss-poor attitude. The results?
- Relative stability without medication or regular counseling.
- Very few close relationships, but those few are incredibly deep and meaningful.
- Lots of hurt feelings from those who used to be close, and no longer are.
- Getting treated like a normal person by not making a point of my diagnosis.
Your response to this last point may be, What?! Then why this blog?
In the world we live in today, it seems like every little special interest group out there is pushing for extra privileges under the guise of ‘equality.’ By NOT telling my boss, or my school, or the delivery guy about my so-called disorder, I get treated equally, the same as any other employee/student/customer. No special accommodations or supports. No random strangers feeding my pity-party with their hollow murmurs of sympathy. By generally keeping my diagnosis to myself, I remove my ability to use it as an excuse when I slack off. It’s effective. It’s good for me, and like most things that are good for you, it SUCKS.
It takes a constant effort to ignore all the special attention and hand-outs available (because I have the right sob story and a formal diagnosis), but the payout is worth it: greater personal stability, less drama for everyone around me, and a strengthening of self-respect. It’s a hard path to choose, harder to stay on, and given the low percentage of BPD diagnosees that even admit they have issues, it’s not one many will choose to travel. It has created some sense of order in my life, and I feel a responsibility to share my insights and journey just in case it might help someone else.
To be stable and independent, I have had to renounce my ‘titles’ and actively reject the constant stream of excuses I create. Don’t expect I’ll have much patience for yours.
Original composition circa 2018