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Relationships with BPD - Part 1
Posted by bran
25th Aug 2017

Relationships. They’re all seen as some of the most important parts of our lives, but what happens when you have even a minor episode and the people closest to you witness the devastation you leave in your wake when mental health hits the hardest? In this blog I’ll briefly outline my opinions, but share a story with you to put you in my shoes if you don’t have any known mental health, to help you get an idea of how BPD, depression, and anxiety, all form an explosive and potentially fatal recipe when they collide.

To start with, I’ll introduce myself. I’m a 20 year old male from the West Midlands who has suffered with mental health for as long as I can remember. I’ve always known something was wrong with me in some way or another, it seemed harder for me than most people to ever begin a conversation or get close to anyone for long enough that I could call them a friend. The biggest question I’ve always asked myself is ‘Do I suffer from mental health because of my school life and how hard it was growing up and the surrounding factors, or was I born with mental health which caused growing up to be such a struggle?’ I’ll be going into detail about growing up and my school life in my next blog, but for now, let’s stick to relationships.

When I was 13 I created a Facebook account, I remember my parents flipping out at me because of it, all they’d heard about social media was the horror stories of people being abducted or abused, but they’d never heard the up sides to it and how it has both positive and negative effects on life. In a way, this sort of relates to mental health; as in, when Facebook started to gain traction, everyone thought it was a bad idea and dangerous, yet not many people were aware of what it’s actually about – the only thing on the news were the negative stories. Similarly, when have you ever seen a positive story or news flash about mental health? I can’t remember seeing one. All you ever see are stories where someone’s committed suicide or an atrocity because they suffer from mental health and it was too much for them to control, but where are the ones where someone that suffers has helped charities, saved lives, grown to become an idol? Is it this that’s causing society to look down on everyone who has mental health issues and tar all patients with the same brush?

Anyway, back to my story.

When I was just starting to use facebook I was adding random people who I thought were attractive and started saying ‘Hi’ to them on chat. Nothing else, I didn’t know how to start a conversation, just ‘Hi’. Very rarely would I get a response, but finally luck hit me and someone actually replied! My heart raced, and I felt over the moon, are things starting to look up for me?

After a few weeks of chatting I took the biggest risk of my life without a second thought. I got my parents to drop me off at the local bus station by using the excuse that I was meeting people from Air Cadets (which I was a member of for the best part of 3 days) – this, in hindsight, is already beginning to show signs of an underlying issue and signs of things to come – being able to manipulate people and taking risks without thinking twice. Anyway, when I arrived in Kidderminster after what I can only describe as the longest bus ride of my life (Halesowen to Kidderminster, with my heart racing and an adrenaline rush all the way), I walked down to the canal side to meet her. I didn’t know what to say when I saw her, but she came with a few of her friends presumably to check I wasn’t someone else, the first thing that came out of my mouth was ‘Your mate looks like a dick’. From the lack of relationships when growing up, ‘How are you’ didn’t cross my mind, neither did anything positive, the more I blog the more you’ll begin to realise that whether intentionally or not, my first thought when seeing someone is that of hate, as I’ve grown up I’ve managed to override this thought process, but again, that’s a story for another time. After a few weeks of seeing each other, and keeping the secret from my parents, I remember sitting on the bus back and receiving a text from her ‘Joe asked me out and I said yes, I don’t want to see you anymore’, bare in mind that not 20 minutes ago we’d kissed and (foolishly) said we loved each other. I was devastated, this feeling came over me like something I’ve never felt before, almost as if my whole face went red hot and swollen. I got off the bus even though I didn’t know where I was, and I cried. In public. On a weekend. Just after lunch time. Everyone saw me, and not one single person had the decency to ask a 13 year old, crying on the streets, whether they could help in any way. I think that subconsciously, something happened that day that caused me to lose all faith and trust in people, and this is one of the major factors causing the social issues explained in my later stories.

After meeting endless girls, and ending up arguing with them for no apparent reason for the next few months, I began to feel this indescribable ache in my head start to come over me. It was like my brain was tensing up, and this is where the drink started. I was 14 at the time, and my parents had gone for a meal with my family (I never go to meals as I don’t see the point). I went downstairs to make a cup of tea and there was a bottle of wine in the fridge, I decided to try a bit. The feeling was incredible, the way that all of a sudden the rushing thoughts in my head slowed down, the first time since I can remember that everything just went quiet and seemed so relaxing it was unreal. This is where the alcohol abuse started...

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