The hardest part about having a personality disorder isn't the part where you stop feeling. It isn't the part where you make the bad life choices or do the things that make you feel alive. It's not the part when you're having the affairs and spending all your money and dancing and drinking and putting effort into looking and feeling good. It isn't the part where you're pushing people away or picking up superficial friendships.
It's the part where you start feeling again. The part when you wake up and your soul mate isn't next to you. It's the part when you're singing a song in the shower and it's the song that you automatically change the lyrics to because it's the one that you used to sing at your husband (not to, definitely at). It's the tune that you used to hum to your infant son to lull him into a sleep. And you stop singing. And then you never want to sing again.
It's the part where you are suddenly aware of every knife, sharp object and painkilling drug in your house. It's the part where you are mentally balancing every potential route to stop yourself from living. I don't want to cause a car accident because so many other people could be affected - other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, people caught in traffic, ambulance or fire crews. I don't want to drown because I don't think I could hold myself underwater and the burning in my lungs would be unbearable. I think I've always known that my route will be carefully thought out, slow and reasoned. I want a heavy dose of opiates to carry me away from this world and leave behind a sleeping corpse.
And yet when I get to this point, every bridge is one that I could jump off, every river is one I could fall into and be unable to keep myself afloat in my heavy clothes, every knife is one that could cut my throat, every motorway is a small flick of the wrist away from being a high speed wreck. These thoughts come unbidden, like winds from the sea. I'm not scared of these thoughts, I just argue them with logic - none of these are failsafe ways to ensure my death. I need to hold out until I can get the opiates and no other drugs will do.
When I self harm it isn't the wild slashings of my youth. It is not my wrists or my arms where people will see and ask if I need help. It is digging my nails into my own ribs to feel the pain, it is scratching deeply to feel the stinging sensations crawl across my skin, it is pulling out body hair when I am stressed until my partner thinks I have shaved - I'm female so the lack of body hair is attractive rather than remarkable. It is a transfer of emotional pain to physical. It is a focus. I try very much to hide it from people. It is not a cry for help.
I try to keep up my mask of positivity and optimism during the days. I work hard and surpass targets and aim for things that I perceive to be outside of my grasp - outside of my talents or skillset. Maybe to see if I will fail but more likely because it's another focus and I can get through life by jumping from one all encompassing focus to another. I will make a doublet this weekend. It will have interfacing and a fleece lining between the normal lining and the beautiful outer fabric that I don't even know the name of. It will have a collar and peplums that I have never made before. It will have hand-stitched trim with tiny pearls and lace. It will hold my focus for another few weeks. It will be beautiful if I can pull it off how I imagine it to be.