Just because I write a blog that sometimes gives advice to others about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and other mental disorders such as Aspergers, doesn’t mean I don’t still have a long way to go in recovery myself.
Blogging and prayer have helped immensely in raising my self esteem and general outlook on life, but it’s important to stay humble too. I’m not anyone’s “guru” even though I may have good ideas from time to time. So lest anyone think I’m tooting my own horn or purporting to be some kind of expert, here’s a list of my character flaws that sometimes get in the way of recovery.
Aspergers/Avoidant Personality Disorder (AvPD) Flaws:
1. Shyness in social situations that comes off to some as aloofness, coldness or sometimes stupidity (when combined with my Aspie tendency to be “out of it” sometimes).
2. Awkwardness in social situations — doing or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time; occasional social gaffes that make me look obtuse or clueless.
4. Narrow focus on one or two interests at a time. I dislike interruptions from the real world that interrupt my focus and force me to engage with the world.
5. Sometimes instead of not talking at all, I talk too much.
6. I avoid people. I prefer being alone (or with my pets) to being with other people.
7. I am a creature of habit and dislike interruptions from my routines.
8. I don’t like “surprises” or things being sprung on me at the last minute, where I don’t have a chance to prepare for them.
9. I get freaked out and overwhelmed by too much input from the world at one time. I can’t stand chaos, loud people, too much going on at once, or too many people around me outside of formal settings like a classroom or meeting. When I feel like too much is coming at me at once, I shut down and tune out–or get annoyed and angry.
10. Tendency to like to put everything in categories, or as some like to say, in “little boxes.” This leads to a tendency to label people and like labels.
11. General weirdness. This is probably a good thing.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)/ PTSD Flaws:
These have been getting a lot better and I have learned some valuable tools in dealing with the symptoms in myself that have become second nature now, but it’s hard to be cured of this disorder and I still have some Borderline traits:
1. Tendency to either idealize or devalue people.
2. Hypersensitivity to criticism, jokes at my expense, or rejection.
3. Snap judgments about people before I truly get to know them.
4. Black and white thinking. Things and people are either all good or all bad.
5. Insecurity and worry about being liked (even though I avoid people). Try to figure that one out.
6. When angry, I can sometimes get so enraged I lose common sense and just want to do something to even the score without thinking about the consequences. Healthy fearfulness goes out the window and I act out in anger. Fortunately this happens a LOT less often than it used to; actually it’s pretty rare these days.
7. Rapid mood swings. This goes hand in hand with being bipolar too (that’s in remission). This too has been getting a lot better.
8. Paranoia and hypervigilance. I have a hard time trusting anyone.
10. Excessive worry. Someone once told me, it’s useless to worry about things because if the bad thing does happen, then you’ve experienced it twice, and if it doesn’t happen, you’ve wasted energy on worrying. Wise words.
11. Fear of taking risks. This too has been getting a lot better, but in the offline world, I still have a long way to go.
16. Excessive guilt and shame. Easily embarrassed.
1. Smoking. (I’ve cut down to less than a pack a day though)
2. A diet that doesn’t include enough fresh fruits and veggies.
5. Self-sabotage (this has gotten a lot better).
6. Excessive worry about my adult kids. Overprotectiveness.
7. Beating myself up.
8. Beating myself up for having character flaws.
All in all I’m far from perfect, but I think my flaws probably make me more interesting too.