When I was told I had to write a biography for the blog, a cold chill swept over my body. The idea of talking about myself makes me cringe and twists my insides. Like many people—especially those with mental illnesses—it’s difficult for me to talk about who I am since I myself don’t know. For the majority of my life my personality was dictated by my mental illness, especially my eating disorder and borderline personality disorder. My BPD adapted characteristics of other people into my own persona. For example, a friend of mine snorted when she laughed and so for months I snorted when I laughed as well because I wanted to be like her. I thought she was smart, beautiful, and well liked and I desperately wanted to be all of those things. With BPD, my personality is like a chameleon, always changing, always adapting to fit in and stay hidden. I inherited so many different characteristics and personalities of other people I don’t know what my own personality is. To decipher who I am would be to unravel a knotted mess of yarn.
With BPD, I have an identity crisis and a loss of who I was. Unfortunately, my other mental illnesses don’t make the journey to self-discovery easy as well. Since recovery, I learned that many of my likes and dislikes are based around my illnesses. For instance, I lied to myself for years telling myself that I don’t like ice cream or candy when in reality it was my eating disorder that made me terrified of them. It turns out, I’m not a shy person, my anxiety just makes me terrified of people not liking me and paranoid that they are talking or thinking negatively about me; as a result, I tend to just be reclusive and shy away from people. I never had any hobbies prior to recovery because my depression made me unmotivated and exhausted to venture anywhere beyond my bed. Once I started recovering, I found joy again in reading, writing, and music while discovering new loves for painting and cross stitching. And so, while I may not know exactly who I am, I can confidently say that I am trying to figure it out. And for once in my life, I’m okay with that.
If you’re reading this and unsatisfied with the answer, sorry but I will not apologize for my journey to self-discovery. But you are more than welcome to join me.