Everything became a competition to me. Losing to me felt like the end of the world. Looking back, my all or nothing attitude really pointed to by borderline personality disorder much earlier than I was officially diagnosed.
My emotions were so intense, even from such a young age. I had overtly emotional reactions to events, criticism, winning, losing, and how I fared in competitions, which were not always official competitions, but ones I would create in my head to motivate me to win. Out of my competitiveness came a huge insecurity that became a major theme in my life: inadequacy.
As early as my scholarly competitions with Sonya Watson, I fostered a sense of inadequacy. I felt inadequate academically because she was just slightly smarter than I was all throughout school. It was something that not only I noted personally, but my classmates would point out too. They noticed the two of us trying to beat each other to the homework tray, sprinting to plop our papers down first. Anytime we got an assignment back, we were comparing grades or who got the check ++ (system they used before they began assigning us real letter grades).
Test scores were scrutinized like the papers had the cure for cancer on them. Although I won sometimes, my competitive drive and extreme polarization of the significance between winning and losing, drove me to feeling that not claiming victory every single time meant that I was simply not good enough.
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