That is a question I’ve asked myself a billion times. Throughout my life, I feel like I’ve tried different personalities almost, and I was never quite sure which one was actually me.
Previously in my life, I was always the crazy one. I tried my hardest to be the funniest, the loudest, and the wildest. I would be that friend you would call if you wanted to go out, and I would always be down to go. I would go out drinking every Thursday to Sunday, be out until 8 in the morning, and sleep all day the next day. I had created this person who never said no and who was all about being crazy. My friends would always tell me I was wild, and I honestly believed I was.
The problem is, I wasn’t. Every time I said yes to going out, every time I did something crazy or every time I said stupid things to make people laugh, I would hate myself. I would spend so much time thinking “why are you doing this?”. Cause honestly, half of the time I didn’t even want to! I did a lot of things because it was expected of this person I had created, and I felt like I couldn’t let people down. I was also so unbelievably scared of missing out on things, cause if I had to hear about it on Monday instead of being there on Friday, then in my mind I wasn’t that person.
All this changed for me when I did my semester abroad. I started feeling exhausted by trying to keep up this life I didn’t even want to live. Looking back, I think it started changing because I was no longer home in my regular settings. I was only with one person who knew me from back home, my friend Mie, and she was never the friend who would do these crazy things with me. She was more the friend who would make me feel calmer, which is exactly what I needed at that time. Other people around me in the exchange program didn’t know me that well, so that was a way for me to start over. So in a way, I felt like I could slowly let that part of me go.
I started feeling more comfortable saying no, and I wasn’t worrying too much about missing out on things. I was perfectly fine at home, watching a show or making food or something. I didn’t feel the need to be the center of everything, and to be “Crazy Christine” all the time. But when I then got back home, people around me quickly started noticing how I had changed.
I had a lot of support, which I guess kind of surprised me. I remember my roommate back home telling me she knew I was trying to be wild all the time and that she had noticed I would never relax. She even said, “that’s not you”. And I was starting to realize that. She was so happy to see me more calm and peaceful, and I was so happy being able to just say no and do what I wanted to do. I had always had this idea I would disappoint people if I didn’t live up to this person I had created, but my friends and family never seemed disappointed. They seemed genuinely happy that I was calmer.
I think I created this person for a few reasons. The first one is that I thought I would never be alone if I was memorable enough. If I made sure people knew I was funny and wild, they wouldn’t want to leave me – cause I was a blast to be around! Another reason is, if you hide behind something like that, you never have to tell people who you really are. You always just talk about the things you did, like “oh, last Friday was so crazy” or something like that. I could always hide behind this person, which meant I never had to tell anyone how much I was struggling and how I actually didn’t know who I was.
Today, I can still struggle with knowing who I am. So many psychiatrists have told me it’s part of having BPD, but I will never stop trying to understand myself. I’m still funny, I’m still adventurous and I’m still a smiling person. I just now know my boundaries, and more importantly, I respect them. Every day, I learn new things about myself, and from that, I’m now trying to piece together who Christine really is. It’s all part of my path to full recovery, and I’m sure I will get there one day!
Have any of you ever dealt with something like this?
Thank you for reading today’s post, and remember:
You are Non Solum ❤