How Borderline Personality Disorder Affects Me

August 22, 2023 Karen Mae Vister

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) affects me in many ways. If you really know me -- we're talking roommates and family -- you'd catch onto the petulance, those bursts of childlike fury that bubble up out of nowhere. On the outside, borderline personality disorder has me spinning with emotions, intense reactions, and a sprinkle of unpredictability. However, what seems to be a mood affliction is actually a batch of survival tactics that collectively comprise the framework of my personality. Read on to learn how BPD really affects me.

How BPD Affects Me

Interpersonal Challenges with BPD

Growing up, my survival strategies have bloomed into abandonment and connection issues. Rejection and abandonment are the monsters under my bed, the lurking fear that has me walking on eggshells in social situations. Rather than month-long mood swings, one of the ways BPD affects me is that my mood dances to the beat of interpersonal triggers on a daily basis. I've come a long way from where I began, but every morning, I rise, bracing myself for the next trigger, just so I can keep the relationship ripples to a minimum.

Emptiness and Identity Disturbance in BPD

There is a distinction between the narrative self (expressed through language) and the core self (first-person experience). To put it plainly, there's the "me" I talk about in words, the one you hear and see, and then there's the "me" that's deep in the trenches of my first-person experience. One of the ways that BPD affects me is that these two selves don't always align. As a result, there's a void that lives within me where that foundational sense of self should be. In my opinion, this is the worst part about having BPD.1

This is where the chaos of euphoria and impulsivity comes in. It's my wild card move to break free from the void. Impulsivity is a lot of fun when I'm feeling bold and spontaneous, but I also tend to pull some risky stunts. Before treatment, life felt like a never-ending loop of neutralizing the emptiness with daredevilry. It went like this: boredom creeping in, impulsive me, the rush of euphoria, regret hitting hard, then right back into that abyss.

How BPD Affects Me: A Decade into Recovery from BPD

I've got a good look into my psyche, but self-awareness alone isn't going to cut it. Recovery looks like defying BPD logic again and again, even when it means fighting against my most intrinsic knee-jerk reactions. The truth is sometimes I lose that fight, but the road to remission is a non-linear journey carved by each hard-fought triumph, no matter how small the victory.

There are good days when living with BPD feels less like a battlefield and more like an act of nurturing, a chance to cradle that stubborn child within me. After a decade into recovery, I've unearthed that the chaos traces back to this insatiable yearning for love and warmth that I was deprived of during my growing years. The least I can do now is be the one who steps in, offering the connection she has always deserved from the get-go.


  1. Maja Zandersen, Josef Parnas, Identity Disturbance, Feelings of Emptiness, and the Boundaries of the Schizophrenia Spectrum, Schizophrenia Bulletin, Volume 45, Issue 1, January 2019, Pages 106–113,

APA Reference
Mae, K. (2023, August 22). How Borderline Personality Disorder Affects Me, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, August 29 from

Author: Karen Mae Vister

Karen Mae Vister, author of her blog, Over the Borderline, dedicates her work to providing valuable content and support for individuals on the path to recovery from borderline personality disorder. Find Karen Mae on Instagram and her blog.

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