Most people that have BPD hate themselves and have a wrong image of their own body. Low self-esteem is a problem for many, not just for those with BPD because we often feel like everyone judges and rates us based of our skin color, body weight, achievements, and degrees. However, if you struggle with Borderline personality disorder your self-esteem is most likely to be worse than many people could possibly imagine.
We often feel low because we are not taught how to value and accept ourselves and can't realize what we are actually good at.
We often tend to blame our upbringing for not teaching us to feel comfortable in our skin but as much it might have been their responsibility to teach us it is now on us to choose to heal and grow.
I have endured rejections, negativity, bullying, and low self-esteem but I survived.
Yes, you can grow self-esteem even if you are facing BPD. I am going to pour my thoughts on the issue and hope it will help others to build up their self-esteem - from scratch.
These are simple techniques that I have learned through the course of time-fighting BPD.
Basic coping skills for BPD:
Stop fighting against your emotions:
Being a person suffering from BPD, you might have been spending time fighting your emotions. It is really hard to accept those impulses and calm the emotion stream down. But it does not mean you should give yourself away to the emotions and resign yourself to suffering. All it means is to stop fighting or avoiding those emotions and impulses. And accept those feelings or experience as they are. Giving yourself permission to have those feelings will simply take away a lot of their power. I know..I know it's a lot of feels. And I am not saying act impulsively on those feelings....but feel them. Feel that anger flaming in your chest, feel that pain in your core of your soul that seems like it never gonna end. I know it hurts. It hurts so bad. But suppressing your strong and very much valid emotions will only make them grow.
Be the observer of your emotions:
Observe them coming and let them go away. Imagine that you are only the observer of your thoughts not your thoughts. Accept your emotions, and experience the feelings without judgment.
Engage one of your senses:
Engaging one of your senses or stimulating one of your senses is one of the easiest and most followed methods to divert your attention. You will have to work on different methods and find which methods suit you best. You can experience different strategies for different emotions. Let me pen down what did best for me, maybe you could find something akin to them to self-soothe.
Touch: If you are feeling empty, hold something near. You can grip a furniture object, pour hot or cold water on your hands, a piece of ice, or can cross your fingers. The holding or gripping should be tight enough that your whole attention diverts onto that action. But mind me beautiful soul, don't you dare abusing this coping skill to practice self-harm. - We're not going that way.
If you are feeling numb, try to smell something strong. You can spray your favorite perfume, light a candle, or can smell the flowers. Keep in mind, the smell should be powerful to replace your thoughts with new ones. Prioritise "happy" and "comfy" smells.
Taste: If you are feeling angry, agitated try to suck something strong flavored. You can taste strong mints or candies or you can sip up your favorite flavor coffee or whatever you like.
If your impulses are flooding onto you, try to have a sight of something that captures your attention. If you cannot find anything in your immediate environment, you can find something from your imagination or visualization. Try to stick to that sight for some moments; you may close your eyes to visualize that scenery completely. And again only be the observer, don't judge.
The sound can be of anything; it could be loud music (Irrespective of what you like or not), ringing a buzzer, shouting, or anything that could stimulate your sense. I can highly recommend screaming your car or in a forest people usually can't hear you and you can still let all those emotions out.
Other things to do to build your self-esteem:
Focus on your positive qualities:
We are all born with positive and negative qualities. You need to focus on your positive qualities and write them down. In total, your net worth is positive rather than negative. You can write down every positive quality, and say it out loud or to the reflection in your mirror.
Replace your negative feelings with positive ones:
You cannot eradicate your negative feelings or impulses. For example, if you are about to do a presentation and a voice comes within you that "You are going to mess up this presentation." Do not try to suppress that, rather replace that negative voice with positive ones. Like, you can say "I have really worked hard for that, and I feel confident and prepared." Rationalising a situation like that can help lots....
How you talk to yourself makes a big difference in you.
Do not feel guilty:
The biggest reason why we feel low self-esteemed is that we feel guilty about making our needs known to others. So, from now on, do not try to hide out your necessities. You can ask other members of your family to make dinner or you can call your colleagues to take care of stuff at the office if you are taking holiday, or telling your boss that you need to come into the office at different times to avoid traffic or anything else. Prioritise your own needs and focus on being kind to yourself, especially when guilt starts to come up again.
Keep track of your success:
Every night, pen down one thing you did on that particular day. It is just for you, to make you feel motivated so that your self-esteem could feel more worthy. You can pen down one aspiration you have for the following day.
When it comes to struggling with low self-esteem, it is imperative to learn that you are not alone with this. This is a common issue, and many people around you feel the same.
If you have not already sought out an expert or therapist to treat your Borderline Personality disorder, get one onboard. He/she/they will help you by recommending useful therapies that will help manage your symptoms.
Believe me I know how hard it is, and how annoying it is to read some randoms person's blog. Like what do I think I know about your BPD and your pain? You're right..I don't know anything about you. But I can tell you that I came from a very dark dark place in which I didn't want to fight any little longer, but I did. And it was freaking worth it. I want you to become happier with you and yourself. I wish you my darling friend the best. Bpd recovery is possible.
And even if it sometimes feels like you make 4 steps forward and 6 steps backward, just remember that healing isn't linear and you are already progressing and healing. Every single day.
I love you.
Don't. Give. Up.
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section or slide into my IG DMs if you have any questions.
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