I Should Have Shown Up On The Psychiatry Ward A Long Time Ago?!?

I was voluntarily admitted to the psychiatry ward for the first time, a little over 2 weeks ago and was discharged 8 days later.

2 psychiatrists and a psychiatric nurse all separately and at different times over a week and a half, pretty much told me the same thing (out of the blue it seemed to me)… None of them could believe that I hadn’t shown up before this…

That meant nothing to me at the time, aside from not understanding what the heck they were talking about. So after my diagnosis, I finally asked what that meant.  And I was told that I should have shown up on the psych ward years ago, maybe a decade ago, maybe longer ago than that…

So that scared me, but still made no sense to me. So I asked later… Why hadn’t I shown up on the psych ward until now, when I’m almost 37 years old?

The answer that was given to me was simply – because I’m so high functioning.

Omg… So what the heck does that mean!?!  I’m very high functioning? Ok… well that’s  good I guess?!! Maybe? lol I’m really getting nowhere fast here because I am completly confused and don’t understand these things at all. And I’ve just finally been correctly diagnosed with BPD.

I still don’t really understand… but from the very little I understand from listening to a clinical social worker introduce a bit of the idea to me is; I have some characteristics about me that are so strong (so high functioning) – my intelligence, sense of humor, level of compassion, level of empathy are 4 examples of mine that she gave me… that I have been able to work so hard as to successfully “cope” in such hard ways with my BPD somehow and essentially “cover it up” enough to come off as normal enough… Or at least that’s the closest way I can describe what I understand from someone else’s explanation of me to me…

I mean, seriously!?! – I need a mental health professional who’s solely treated people with BPD and/or are suicidal, for 20 years, has to tell me who I am and how my life operates!!! Could you image that happening to you? Having to sit beside a stranger you just met, listening and begging them to tell you who you are and how you live your life!… Honestly, before the day I received my diagnosis… I don’t think I could have… So I sort of “cheated” the system and hid so well, under such duress, for so long, completely unbeknownst to me, that I completely fell over the edge so badly, hitting every single rock on the way down so that they could finally figure out my “problem”. I have to laugh about that to keep from crying…

Even more mind-blowing than that to me is that I wasn’t doing that consciously. I had no idea that people didn’t work that hard just to stay alive and live and manage another day. I had no clue. I never once wondered that before either. I just assumed everyone was like that. Interestingly for me to note, is that if I look back at things, things always just “felt” a little disingenuine somehow but I could never put my finger on it.

I somehow managed to get a BSc degree, then an MSc degree, then buy my first house, then start my career as a professional scientist that I kept without any problems or pauses – including multiple years of top performance bonuses and rewards in my career… For over 12 successful years (amongst many other things)… And I did every single one of those things completly on my own, without anyone else’s help…

All of that then culminated in a complete deterioration over the past 6 month period to where my work forcibly put me on a paid work leave while I begged them to let me just keep working, to where I stopped answering my phone anymore because I couldn’t… and then I finally completly stopped speaking at all or feeling anything inside during my full-on breakdown and subsequent voluntary admittance to the psych ward.

I was informed, that the fact that I did all those things so successfully, and on my own, isn’t the norm with BPD… So that’s what they meant…

Even more perplexing to me is that I even identified how bad I was functioning without any understanding of why and couldn’t fix it at all myself. I brought myself to the emergency room, listened to everyone and I agreed to go the psych ward immediately, all by myself and with no one else’s help.

It’s all very foreign and confusing to me still. I’m continuing to work through things and figure things out as I go… But every night I go to sleep now – what those people said to me; “You should have shown up on the psych ward a long time ago”, haunts me. Even tonight…