Borderline Personality Disorder and pressure wouldn’t be my first-choice of cocktails, yet here I am having a big old pitcher of the stuff every day.
I’ve been racking my brain on how to write this piece, what’s the best angle? But the only way I can write it, is to make it about me. Not in a showy off way, I’m not that vain, but I admit parts of it will come across so. It’s not really an inspirational piece either, maybe a little, more advisory, a little cautionary perhaps. A tale of two sides.
A brief history lesson into me, I’m 38, I have 3 kids, at the time of writing they are 7, 2 and 7 days old. I have been with Sarah my partner for 10 years this November and I have BPD. I’ve always known there was something ‘different’ with me but I was only diagnosed 6 months ago, mainly because of the little breakdown I had, but that’s another story.
I have been for the first 37 years of my life what you call ‘high-functioning’, meaning from the outside you wouldn’t have clue if I was depressed, suicidal, manic or somewhere in between. I also haven’t told many people of my diagnosis, only 12 to be precise. None of which I work with. I was the master of bottling things up. On one side you could say it’s served me well in my career, on the other you could say it caused my breakdown. Eventually that pressure has to go somewhere right?
For any of you that work in Recruitment you will know how tough it is, for those that don’t, I don’t have the word count to explain, you’ll have to just trust me. I specifically work in Technology Recruitment; it is very sales and target driven. It is also very cut throat, I have worked in places where if you don’t hit target for 3 months you are fired, no ifs or buts. Fired.
Yet somehow here I am 12 years in the job. I also manage 4 teams, I am a Billing Manager, which means not only do I have to hit my own personal sales target, I have to make my teams do also. Combined I am responsible for a target of just over £1m.
That is a big number with a lot of pressure.
I hate it. I fucking hate it.
But let’s start with the good stuff, the showy off stuff. The money is good, I’m not a millionaire, I’m not rich, but good enough that Sarah doesn’t need to work, the kids don’t go without holidays and any new toys they want. I was also able to buy my house with no outside help. We generally do what we want, within reason.
Yeah, but it has come at a price. And that price is me. My job is the main cause of my depression, there are not many days that go by where I don’t think about jumping in front of that train. I have lost count of the times I have sat crying in the toilet, or holding back tears as I walk home. Every day I want to cry. Every damn day.
The worst part?
It’s all by my own design, I am held hostage by my own circumstances. I am in a position where I don’t know how much longer I can cope with my job mentally, but I also have the responsibilities that come with it, and the mortgage my job has allowed me to have. It’s not like I can just quit and start again.
I didn’t lie, this piece is not an inspirational one, I suppose you could say I have managed to hold down a well-paid and high-pressure job with my BPD which may inspire others to believe they can do the same. But then you have to take the cautionary side into consideration, the pressure and the damage it has done.
There is a third option, the way that I would like this story to be taken if I had my say. You could, use it as a metaphor for not judging a book by its cover. From the outside I have ‘nothing to be depressed about’, you never can tell what someone is coping with, especially if they don’t want you to.
For the gods of mental health, we are a walking buffet, everyone is up for grabs, BPD and other disorders have no prejudice, we shouldn’t either.
Author Bio: I am theboywithbpd. I was only recently diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, I’ve always known there was something, ever since I was a kid, but it took a breakdown to find out. I am 38 years old and have three kids with my partner Sarah. I am now finally trying to do the things I’ve always wanted to, writing being one of them, you can read my blog here https://www.theboywithbpd.com/