61 Things to do Instead of Splitting with Borderline Personality Disorder
Splitting is one of the darkest place a borderline mind can go to. This is where we become completely obsessed over a thought (usually negative) and we cannot separate fact from fantasy.
“Our minds put us in this inescapable prison where we are forced to rewind and rewatch, over and over, the one scenario where they’ve hurt us. If you try to find another tape, it doesn’t work. You are forced to watch and watch and watch this same scene play out until you know in your heart that this person you loved, is everything awful in the world.”
And it hurts.
“The trick to managing BPD and splitting, is to catch it before it can rip your world in two.
To be able to stop yourself and say, “You’re about to split.”
Go to your safe place. Hide in your room where all the sharp and fragile objects are carefully tucked away. Put your cell phone in another room where you don’t have access to do more damage. Ask others to give you some space. Wrap yourself in blankets, close your eyes, and ride it out.
It’s like a sickness that comes over us, temporarily, and we know that it always passes.
And you can either let it pass with minimal damage done or let it pass with a broken heart.
So, you have to be prepared.
What happens right before you start splitting?
For me, I physically feel an intense headache pulsing in my temple. I breathe hard and shallow, as if about to hyperventilate. My brain and my chest is overwhelmed with emotion that is clawing its way out, in the most destructive manner imaginable.
And at this moment, I need to tell myself, “Stop.”
Stop, before the meltdown happens.
Stop… and do one of these things instead:
61 Things to do Besides Splitting
First, remove yourself from whatever the tense situation is. If it’s a text message, e-mail, etc. turn off the device. If it’s from another person in your immediate area, let them know you need a moment and that you’ll come back when you’re calmer. Then-
1. Go for a walk.
2. Eat something that shocks your senses- for example, sour candy or an orange.
4. Drink a glass of water.
5. Take a shower or a bath.
6. Take a nap.
7. Call your therapist.
8. Watch something funny (I recommend one of Netflix’s stand-up specials).
9. Exercise, whether it be running or lifting.
10. Get a marker and doodle on yourself.
12. Have a cup of tea (this says TEA not alcohol!)
13. Wash your face.
15. Cancel a subscription you’re paying for. This surprisingly feels really good.
16. Fold laundry.
17. Load dishes in the dishwasher.
18. Knit. Do something repetitive with your hands.
19. Start a blog… yeah, seriously. How do you think The Fractured Light came to be?
20. Rearrange your bedroom.
22. Prune your Facebook friend’s list.
23. Name three things that you’re grateful for today.
24. Play a video game for roughly an hour.
25. Remind yourself that “this too shall pass.”
26. Put your money somewhere inaccessible.
27. Breathe into areas of your body where you feel pressure.
28. Take your medication, if it’s time.
29. Forgive yourself for how your body is feeling right now. You can’t control the emotions, but you can control how you react to them.
31. Read a book.
32. Listen to a podcast.
34. Make a blanket fort and curl up inside.
35. Put your phone on ‘do not disturb’ and hide it away.
36. Take off any suffocating clothing and wear something more comfortable.
37. Push off any demanding thoughts.
38. Snuggle your pet.
40. Watch some childhood cartoons that you used to love.
41. Clean out your closet.
42. Go on Pinterest and pin things that appeal to you.
44. Write down everything that is on your mind, down on a piece of paper.
45. Pop some bubble wrap.
46. Just yell some random profanities into your pillow.
47. Take selfies with snapchat filters (you don’t have to post them)
48. Do a crossword puzzle
49. Or even sudoku
50. Dump all your clean laundry on the floor and dive into it.
51. Have a bowl of soup.
52. Review your crisis plan.
53. Cry. Don’t underestimate the power of a good cry.
54. Make a playlist and listen to it.
55. Call someone that you trust.
56. Write your grocery list.
57. Say your affirmations.
58. Hold some ice, to shock the senses.
59. Accept that you can’t control the actions and emotions of others.
60. Looks up some jokes to laugh at.
61. Write in your journal.
When is it safe to come out again?
For me, splitting usually happens for only a couple of hours. After those hours are over, I think to myself, “Gee… I got really upset. I’m a bit calmer now.”
Don’t get me wrong, your anger and emotions may be justified, but when living with borderline personality disorder, we often have higher intensities of our emotions, making it okay to be angry, but not okay to be that angry.
You know it’s safe to come back out when you are no longer operating in black and white mentality (all or nothing, everyone or no one). You are able to breathe it out and speak in a calmer manner.
Distracting yourself while you are splitting, is so key. This is a way to make sure that you don’t cause any damage that might be too broken to fix.