I want to talk about it. Let’s talk about it. Why aren’t we talking about it? My hands shake, my chest hurts, and my tear ducts are always armed. Why can’t I tell you that? Why do I feel ashamed of this? Why aren’t my feelings accepted?

I was an anxious kid, and looking back, I had symptoms of anxiety from as early as I can remember. I’m talking five years old, first grade, having ‘does not contribute in class’ written on my report card. I had all these things going on around me that I did not understand but felt the affects of anyway.

Fast forward to high school, grade ten was when it got bad. I was depressed and suffered from anxiety (although I did not call it that at the time). I was not dealing with anything. I did not know that any of these things were something I could talk to anyone about. School wasn’t hard for just one reason, but not wanting to get out of bed was definitely one of them.

Fast forward a few years and a few tragedies: panic attacks, overwhelming fear, even more not-wanting-to-leave-my-bed. I was struggling. I have been different levels of struggling for a long time.

When I was nineteen years old, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. What? I had no idea what that meant. A personality disorder? You’re telling me something is wrong with my personality? You know, the very thing that makes me who I am? You’re telling me I’m flawed?

I remember feeling both relieved that something I had felt for such a long time had a name, and frustrated at being slapped with a label that felt like I was the opposite of 'normal'. (What is normal, anyway?)

There are many symptoms of BPD but the ones I identify with are: deep feelings of insecurity, intense emotions and mood swings (anxiety, sadness), fear of abandonment/being alone, unstable and distorted sense of self self, ‘black and white’ thinking, and dissociation.

Exhausting enough? When that’s added to panic attacks, and periods of crippling depression, it’s hard not to feel like I’m under a big weight. I can not lift it alone.

I spent a long time not wanting to talk about it, or not knowing how to talk about it. But I can’t live like that. The millions upon millions of people suffering like I am can not live like that. We need to talk. Now.

Published by Kahlia Tipping