Dealing with the Borderline Dynamics (Part 1)

Sounds strange that there come some times where i crumble under loneliness and other times when everybody seems to be getting with me, and this has been happening ever since i got self aware about my disease, and i started acting upon my four areas of disfunction :

- Emotional
- Cognitive
- Behavioural
- Interpersonal.

1) To cope with Emotional dis-regulation problems i realized that trying to avoid triggers, is utterly useless, since triggers can be anything from a simple environmental change such as weather, a thought or memory or abandonment by a significant other.

Setting up healthy routines, plans and protocols gives a sense of control over one's self. But routine gets boring, therefore it is important to have what i like to call evolutive routines, that is doing the same things but improving how they are done to achieve greater efficiency and to integrate new routines.

2) To cope with my cognitive problems, that is the disorder in thoughts, the best way is to use absolute rational thinking and a scientific methodological approach to belief systems such as not believing anything without physical evidence and reasoned logic.

For example, a borderline in a romantic relationship will often have extreme fear of abandonment and scan their partners for abandonment signs real or not, which can put a lot of stress to the relationship. One missed phone call can often be interpreted as a sign that the other is abandoning the borderline, which in turn will trigger an uncontrolled emotional response that will lead to behavioral problems and ultimately interpersonal ones.

Triger -> Cognitive -> Emotional -> Behavioral -> Interpersonal

 - The triger here is an event : "Missed phone call"

- The cognitive problem : is the thought that a "Missed phone call" means that something wrong is happening or i am being abandoned.

 -  The emotional response is usually  : fear

-  The behavioral problem could be: acting insecure, clinging, pushing away, self harm, drug abuse, sex with strangers, ect.

- The interpersonal problems are usually a result of "Cognitive  Emotional and Behavioral problems. But they only occur if this chain was not channeled appropriately or dealt with at an early stage.

The best way to break this dynamics is at the source of it. The borderline, and in fact any human being have no absolute or very little control over environmental triggers or events, this is just the human condition. So i suggest that the borderline must not consciously try to avoid triggers, because it is impossible anyways. As far as action needs to be undertaken it must start at the cognitive level. this means what to think about a certain trigger or trigger's management.

Getting back at our initial example, what you think about when a significant other fails to answer one of your phone call is very important, you could think :

- Maybe they are not with their phone. (good)
- Maybe they don't want to talk to me (bad)
- Maybe they are seing someone else (bad)

All these maybes, good and bads are inappropriate at this point, it is important not to place any judgment on the trigger unless when presented with physical evidence in which case it is not a judgment but a fact. So a missed phone call is only that, a missed call until new evidence for why there was the missed phone call is presented, don't label and/or judge it, wait for the evidence to come in.  Training ones mind to only hold beliefs for which there is evidence and reasoned logic will reduce your field of thoughts in a way that sets it back under the normal level and improve all the other symptoms as well.

2) Dealing with Behavioral problem is a little bit harder. All along my borderline life i have noticed a set of specific behavioral issues that i thought were normal but now i know they are not certain of them include :

- Walking in circles
- Self talking
- excessive day dreaming (even during the night weird hein?)
- substance abuse (for me internet pornography)
- uncontrolled body language such as extrem shaking trembling and sweating when speaking in front of large groups or to an individual from which i fear rejection.
- Lack of moderation
- ect.

In order to deal with  behavioral symptoms one must first clearly and honestly identify the things they do in very big excess from what would be considered normal.

Once these are identified, not try to cancel them but rather channel them to achieve a productive outcome. For example :

- In order to deal with my need to walk in circles when i feel anxious or when i day dream, I would usually run in circle by doing some jogging. Yeah that is right, i would put on my sporting clothes and run a few miles around  my block, and that is one channeled behavioral symptom that makes me feel good in the long run.

- In order to deal with my self talking that i enjoy very much, I would mumble. and l actually learned to talk to myself without moving my lips.

Listen you really don't have much choice here, it is either you channel it or you inappropriately do it in the wrong place at the wrong time. At a certain point in my life i would actually get noticed by others self talking in public without even knowing i was doing it, which was terrible. And since this is something that i like doing and is pretty harmless to me or others; learning to do it without moving my lips was a giant step.

I also noticed that writing and/or maintaining a journal or blog such as this one was also a form of self talking, anyone reading don't be offended i do this priorly for myself, to channel this sort of duplicated personality that i sometime feel in myself. I swear to god it feels like a real conversation with another person sometimes. Writing down ideas and thoughts and reading yourself back in particular helps you keep all of it in your mind where it belongs and could end up canceling out the need to self talk by confining it in the mind effectively turning the self talking into self thinking, at least that is my hope.

- The excessive day dreaming is a manifestation of cognitive disorder. This consists of creating a fantasy world in one's mind and living in that world as if it was reality (with images, and sounds and all the associated good feelings) And this was getting very addictive. I used to do it since my mid teens years,  i would imagine a world in which i was usually the main character and  sit or walk around for hours dreaming with my eyes right opened, or walking in circles while dreaming.

How to channel productively this particular behavioral disorder is kind of difficult, but since it is cognitive, i actually had to force myself out of it every time it happens, by pushing myself back into reality as hard as i can. It simple the only way not to fall into fantasy is to stay in direct contact with reality. I said to myself since, i can't prevent my mind from racing anyways, let me think about things that are real and create them in the real world. Doing some creative work really changed this bad manifestation of BPD into something wonderful. Keeping busy with some creative work is the key here, and for me that work is Computer programing. Where i can actually create things out of imagination and see them comes to life, it is important not trying to destroy or fight the symptom (which would only make it worse), but i find a way of channeling it into something productive. Keeping busy in my creative work (and making money out of it) really helped me deal with my racing mind and live  a decent life with it.

- Substance Abuse : Truth be told  i am still struggling to fight my porn addiction and i have made real progress in the past 2 years, the only solution when it comes to substance abuse is to reduce it with sheer force of will, and confining the behavioral disorder into the tiniest space and time possible to minimize damage. There is not always a way around every problem for this one it has to be fought directly face to face. I must agree though that calling porn a "Substance" is not the same as a drug or alcohol addict would also call them the same. But if there is anything that i used to "Consume" in excess, it is pornography. This is what works for me :

As for every other symptoms i never start addressing the problem with the assumption that i will eradicate it. I always try to reduce them to normal levels. I started off by making this simple rule, I will only do pornography during the week ends, Saturday and Sunday as much as i can take. But all the days of the week i will keep off it. When i started it was difficult i failed many times, but it got easier with time and now i can spend even 2 weeks without going to a porn site.  One of my latest inventions was inspired to me by the Muslim faith. This is a religion where the member will fast themselves for a month or so, and i decided that i will play along with them, as a simple challenge to self. But instead of depriving myself of food i would deprive myself of pornography, so once per year from April 1st to may 10th i go 40 days without visiting a porn site. Overall the amount of porn i watch nowadays have drastically decrease by more than 98%, i hope you can do the same with any substance you are currently abusing of.

End of Part 1


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