My emotional spectrum

I don’t experience emotion the way most people do.

As someone who lives with Borderline Personality Disorder, a serious and often very stigmatized illness, my emotional thermostat is permanently unsettled, and the range of emotions I feel is a lot broader than most.

I feel highs and lows at the extremes, without much middle ground. That said, it’s taken me years to figure out, but slowly and surely I am narrowing the window with which I react to my emotions.

It doesn’t mean that I feel the emotions any less intensely, it just means that I’m learning some control. I’m managing to cover the raw nerve that is my emotions, and temper reactions.

My emotions have always caused me problems. Because of the swing of my emotions I had a hard time connecting with people, and a big part of the reason for the bullying I suffered was because of my over the top reactions.

I remember when I was in boarding school, I was getting picked on by my room-mates. I was so upset I was crying. Then one of them did something stupid, and I went from balling my eyes out to laughing my ass off. It happened so quickly it was like a switch got flipped. Then they started bullying me again and the switch got flipped back.

I remember one room-mate saying that my reactions were like that of a little kid, crying one minute, and running around happily the next.

I have learned a lot since then. My reactions are not quite so over the top, nor are they as reactive. In short, my life is a lot more tempered than it once was. Today, I can actually look at my future with hope, not trepidation.

I still have my challenges. My mind plays tricks on me, causing my reactions to go over the top, but even those are a lot less frequent. I’m learning my body, learning my signs and symptoms. I’m learning what I can fight through and when things are pushing the envelope to the point that I need to get into the doctor.

As far as my mental illness goes, I am definitely high functioning. That doesn’t mean it’s not an issue, it just means that I’m learning g to work around the issue. I just wish it hadn’t taken me 40 years to get to this point. That said, at 40 I still have plenty of life before me, and I wonder, if this is how far I’ve come in my first 40 years, how far will I go in the next?

As always, thanks for joining me on this journey,

Kevin

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