As I prepare to welcome my baby very soon – in the next few weeks, I have found myself wrestling with my mental health and relationship with myself.
As someone who has a BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) diagnosis, it can be tough balancing life and frustrating not knowing what to expect from yourself. Emotions and feelings are always intense but with the right tools and support, you learn how to manage and balance it – to an extent.
Being pregnant and extremely vulnerable with a history of PPD (Postpartum Depression) as well has made me worry endlessly about how things will pan out this time. I have not been as sick as I was with my first pregnancy – nowhere near as severe as my first. This means I have been able to work and do the things I love, spend time with people that matter to me and enjoy the little things in life.
Lately, I have battled intensely with the fear of abandonment, rejection and punitive schema. I’ve gone from being happy and feeling seen and loved by friends to feeling like a burden, abandoned and unseen. This has led to bitterness, resentment, rage and hurt – possibly also for things that are not as adverse as I have talked myself into believing but hey! That’s BPD for you.
“In my dark moments, I try as much as I can to be kind to myself and while I have not mastered how to manage that especially when my emotions are spinning out of control, I am lucky to have therapy, a husband that I can lean on, a son that adores me, my wonderful siblings and family who have my back and are there for me unequivocally and I count my blessings.”— Sophia (Ufy) Ukor
I’ve gone from being confident and happy that I have tremendously almost overcome BPD to suddenly being in the sunken place again and wondering what the heck is going on.
My therapist always reminds me that I need to be kind to myself because I am also going through a wave of emotions due to pregnancy and there is a possibility that some of my BPD traits will be more heightened. Yet, I try to live my life as normal and refuse to let a diagnosis such as BPD define who I am and what I do – this is also something my therapist and husband have helped me realise and work through.
I wear many hats and have a big heart which means that I don’t do things halfway including when it comes to friendships. When I love and care for a person, I go all out and all in, and I always expect the same which has often led to disappointment and hurt. I used to fantasise about having people that I could say I’d been friends with for decades and always admire people who have that. How did they do that? When I mean friends I don’t mean casual friends, I mean strong connected friendship bonds.
Adult friendships especially budding ones are hard to form and maintain as an adult. It takes a lot of intentionality given how crazy life gets. Female friendships have been said to be too ‘dramatic’ and could be toxic. When I was younger, I wished I was a boy because I felt the friendship dynamic was different. I found with girls, there was always some kind of passive-aggressive, aggressive or just problematic attitudes that were always unnecessary.
I have had really good friends that have become strangers, strangers that have become good friends and then strangers again, strangers that have become friends and friends that have become family.
Anytime a friendship/relationship comes to an unexpected end, I blame myself while trying to figure out if I did something wrong and battle with the rage and resentment I feel towards that person or people and myself.
In my dark moments, I try as much as I can to be kind to myself and while I have not mastered how to manage that especially when my emotions are spinning out of control, I am lucky to have therapy, a husband that I can lean on, a son that adores me, my wonderful siblings and family who have my back and are there for me unequivocally and I count my blessings.
I continue to focus on the joy of welcoming my baby while filled with the dread of my mental health, grieving relationships that may have come to an end perhaps for new ones to blossom again, continue to grow Violet Simon and try to anticipate a brighter tomorrow.
If you or anyone you know is going through a tough time or in need of mental health support, seek a therapist or access some options for support here.