Unrealistic Expectations

Every time I make progress, I find myself thinking that I may have unlocked the secret code to BPD and that I’m finally done and dusted with it. And then I inevitably mess up; I get emotional and say/do things that I shouldn’t have, and I just get so crushed, like I was playing a game and I just ruined my combo.

What’s worse, though, is that I get frustrated and annoyed by myself. I wind up feeling like a failure because I didn’t miraculously recover from BPD after 3 months of therapy — I know it sounds ridiculous and silly to say it, but part of me genuinely feels like I should.

Of course, ‘should’ is a very big theme with BPD.

The irony about recovery and therapy is that I’ve begun expecting myself to consistently be ‘good’ and to be on my best behavior at all times. And when I fail and slip up, I focus on that one mistake and block out all the progress I’ve made.

2 days ago the Boyfriend went away for an event with his friends. I harbored thoughts of landing myself in the hospital so he would have to skip the event to be with me, but I didn’t. I thought of threatening him with a break-up, but I didn’t. I wanted to get angry and rage and scream, but I didn’t. Instead, I took the initiative to set boundaries for the both of us. I hated having to hang around waiting for him to reply my texts, so I suggested for him to check in on me every half an hour. I went out for dinner with my family. I drank a bottle of cider in my own room instead of getting drunk outside with strangers. I watched Friends and ate chocolate. I sat with my roiling emotions of fear and panic and jealousy instead of trying to get rid of them.

I was doing pretty great, until the event ended. The Boyfriend called me and I ended up crying into the phone asking him why he’d ‘chosen’ his friends over me. I did not raise my voice. I did not scold him or hurl vulgarities. I just cried and wanted to know why he didn’t want me anymore. Finally I guess he got a little annoyed so he said he wasn’t going to bother explaining it to me since I clearly wouldn’t accept it. I did not freak out. I said, “Okay, thank you” (sarcastically) and hung up.

In retrospect, that was pretty commendable! I’d done better than I would have a couple of months ago. But it still wasn’t enough. Instead of focusing on my progress, I started beating myself up for not being 100% perfect. I hated myself for being so needy and selfish and for getting upset with my boyfriend. I berated myself for being the worst person in the world… when I’d clearly done worse things before. Finally it got to the point where I became convinced I was a worthless awful bitch and slapped myself because I ‘deserved’ it.

Yeah, that was a bad night. It’s a tough fight, learning to be compassionate to yourself. I hope I’ll make it there someday.

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6 thoughts on “Unrealistic Expectations

  1. Well done for doing better than before! BPD is a wily fox with a bag of tricks, that when you think you have the hang of it sneaks up on you. Each day is a day for learning. You will be just fine x

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  2. Your first line sums it up for me too. I keep thinking “I’ve conquered BPD” and that I have an understanding that results in me being “cured”. Then I go on a downer, or get an untrue idea in my head and I spoil it for myself and those who try and help.

    New to WordPress so I’m Andy, enjoying your posts.

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  3. First, well done. You have made progress and at least part of you recognises that. Be gentle with yourself.
    I guess it’s a big part of our BPD ‘black & white thinking’ – either we’re a crazy mess, or we’re amazingly cured! Such an unfair expectation to put on ourselves, on top of everything else.

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