Discovering the Real YOU When You Have Borderline Personality Disorder

One of the symptoms that was so strong for me and that led to my diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder was extreme distress over not knowing who I am. I described myself as a chameleon to my psychiatrist and to the doctors in the hospital program.  I was becoming both aware and tired of how I would change my personality, interests, even my values, depending on who's company I was in.  I wanted to be loved, accepted, to belong.  I had no idea who I was...what I stood for...what my interests and desires were apart from anyone else.  I just wanted to please whoever I was around.

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Discovering who you are when you have Borderline Personality Disorder is definitely a journey.  You become so used to molding and conforming yourself to fit your surroundings that it's difficult at first to determine which, if any, of the activities, interests, and preferences you have that you have been pursuing are really, indeed, your own.

I have decided to make mental notes of moments that I catch glimpses of who I really am, and you may find it interesting to do the same. As an extension of the mental notes, tonight I am going to document 2 things that I believe are the "real me."  These are things that seem to stay constant regardless of who's company I am in or whether I am in crisis or not.  I hope that you may relate in some way.

Here we go:

1.) I don't like to eat meat. I am a vegetarian.
For years I have tried to make myself eat meat because it is convenient for others and most other people eat it. But, hands down, this is true for me: I prefer not to eat meat and have changed my diet so that I do not have to.

2.) Writing is my passion, and it's what I am good at.
For years I would look at successful people and want to be like them.  I would think that the passion they pursued must be the answer, and if I followed it too, I would be successful and happy. Years ago, I began following a makeup artist on YouTube. I loved her vivacious, upbeat personality and thought it was so awesome that she was doing what she loved and had so much passion. I spent hundreds of dollars traveling to Los Angeles to take her classes, spent hours watching "how-to" videos, and practiced on friends and family.  I sucked.  I didn't get that it wasn't makeup artistry that was my answer...or massage therapy...or real estate...or any of the myriad of other things I tried while emulating others...I needed to find what MY passion and talent really was.  I have found that, for me, writing comes naturally. It is a means of expression and my own personal therapy.  It is what I love to do. It is my passion.

I wanted to go beyond 2 items and realized that I have a lot more searching to do.

What about you? What is ONE thing (or more, if you can think of them!) that you know is the REAL you? These are things about you that stay static and pretty much constant regardless of who you are with.

I look forward to your sharing.

Thanks for reading.
More soon.


  1. The one thing that stays static and right now the only thing I know to be part of the real me is that I love dogs.

  2. I am so thankful for everything you have written and shared about identity issues. I was wondering if you could suggest a guide book on discovering your identity. I am 37 and am going through that "I finally figured out and have a genuine understanding of when, what, where, etc went wrong." That alone is like a weight was lifted off my chest and I can breath better . Last night I read what you shared about adapting your personality around your father when you were a child and then around friends etc. I lived in denial for all these years thinking that I coud'nt have anything wrong with me cause my dad was a Col in the army and my mom stayed home with us. But like you, I would become someone else as soon as I could get out of our house. Thanks again !

    1. Hello MRD. Thanks for reaching out. Please check out the books on the resources page of this site. I loved Kiera Van Gelder's self-discovery in "The Buddha and the Borderline."



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