Chronic feelings of emptiness
People with BPD often talk about feeling empty, as if there’s a hole or a void inside them. At the extreme, you may feel as if you’re “nothing” or “nobody.” This feeling is uncomfortable, so you may try to fill the hole with things like drugs, food, or sex. But nothing feels truly satisfying.
I’ve always felt empty, like there is something missing. I’m not sure what is missing, I just don’t feel whole. I have never felt right. It feels as though there is a part of my essence, my being, that I have never had access to. If I could access that, then maybe I could understand and figure out who I am and what I want. I don’t really feel happiness or joy, not in the conventional way. I can become over-excited, almost to the point of becoming manic. I don’t really feel sad, again not in the conventional way. I spiral into a deep, dark depression. Also, I can become easily offended and either feel as though I’m the most evil person on Earth or the person who has ‘offended’ me now hates me. I could be called over-dramatic and false, but all my emotions are genuine, I just have ‘weird’ emotions.
But due to not really feeling any joy or happiness, I like to, no, need to do things that get my adrenaline pumping. This can be from getting piercings and tattoos to binge drinking and gambling. I’ve never really used drugs or sex to make myself feel better, but I do comfort eat, or as my partner calls it ‘mindless’ eating. I just shovel in junk food and I don’t really enjoy it, but it somehow makes me feel better. I think it is more the action and routine of eating it that makes me feel better. I have been on a diet for the past couple of months which has helped me understand my relationship with food and how unhealthy it was. I am trying to get better, but once I stop the diet, I’m not sure if I’ll slip back into my old ways. I have also used alcohol to make me feel more alive. A few years ago I spent the summer getting drunk every weekend, which I thought was great but my partner did not. Because when I came home I would vent all my anger and frustrations at her. So I now don’t drink that much as I realised I was a very bad drunk. I used to gamble a lot. I inevitably always ended up losing, as the banker always wins. I still gamble now, but only small amounts. I knew I couldn’t go on gambling the large amounts I was, as we were getting into debt and I couldn’t afford to pay my bills. I now try to do it more for fun but it is when I am losing that I somehow feel my best. When I’m losing my adrenaline starts pumping, I start feeling bad for wasting my money, I need to win to get my money back, then I win my money back and sometimes a bit more. This makes me feel great but then that subsides and I start feeling empty again, so I start putting my money back in and the cycle starts all over again. So maybe I should stop doing it all together, but it is in those few moments when I’m gambling that I actually feel some kind of emotions and I don’t think I’m ready to give that up just yet.
I don’t really do anything now to fill this void within myself, so I spend most my time feeling numb and empty, like a hollow shell. I know I need to find something to help me feel better, but due to copying other people’s interests for most of my life, I don’t really know what I like. I’m trying to figure it out, but I know it will take time.