Growing up in Long Island, New York I had an amazing childhood. My family was awesome, my parents, brother, cousins, aunts, uncles you name it, they were great. But one of the things that stuck out was the debilitating anxiety that has followed me throughout my life. My mom recalls me as a toddler not wanting to go to school at any cost. And I mean it, apparently I tried to jump out of the window of the car as a kindergartener. The thought of being out without my parents was absolutely terrifying. As I grew older I’d love to tell you it got better, but it really didn’t. I just got better at making it seem like it wasn’t happening.
Through the years I was able to make it through middle school with no depression, but when I turned 15 that is when shit started to hit the fan. This anxiety that I was born with started to trigger me toward having massive depressions, where I would cry in my room and just pray to die. I was in high school regarded as the “funny guy” and I was suicidal at 15 and just wished I could fast forward to death. I quit baseball, which I loved, when I was young because of the anxiety I felt, my avoidance behaviors made me feel like a quitter, and those feelings made me feel worthless.
By the time 18 had come I would joke for some reason that I would die young. It was my little way of giving my friends just a little cry for help. I planned on killing myself within the year. This plan continued for about three years. I believe it is a miracle that I “put off” suicide for two more years. That last sentence is where I found the “not today” slogan very helpful. It literally kept me alive. I still get urges but they are no longer as continuous. I don’t have this whole, “living” thing down but I think at this point in my life that it is worth it. I have seen some pretty great things happen to me over those years. I’m 24 and in a committed relationship (never thought someone would ever love me) and have a ton of support that I didn’t realize was there. Especially after starting this blog and seeing people I haven’t seen in the longest time reach out and show their support.
One of the analogies that I use is that my mind is like walking on a tight rope. Staying on that rope is so hard to do, and with a small breeze I can be tipped off to either side and either be depressed or elated. That in short is the story of my life and one of the main reasons that I was misdiagnosed as Bipolar. From what I understand Bipolar is just like being on that tightrope, however there is no breeze. A chemical in your brain pushes you off the rope. Whereas, with Borderline Personality Disorder, I have that small breeze which in reality could be, what some people would interpret to be, a minor incident that will set me off.
After over 20 medications, 5 hospital visits, and countless nights crying, I am here typing this to show you there is a life worth living and I beg that you join me for the ride.