I got this blog idea after listening to a historical religious talk. It talks about the principle that ‘doubt does not lead to certainty’ and immediately it hit me in terms of my BPD.
In other words if you’re in doubt about something or something is unclear, speculation (no matter how much of it) will not lead you to certainty. BPD thinking involves a lot of doubt. There are 2 main ways that I can identify this. Firstly, you can reverse it, there are sometimes where doubt does exist but in BPD these have become facts that simply cannot be disputed. ‘I feel bad therefore I must be a bad person’. ‘I feel upset, so she did really mean to hurt me.’ Although feelings are not facts, they are turned into a fact, and the following thought process also gets interpreted into a fact leaving very little room for the certain (reality) to enter our minds and help us. This, I believe is part of the reason for the inflexibility, ‘black and white’ thinking and difficulty in interpreting situations correctly. If you are only allowing yourself one possible ‘factual’ (aka not factual) interpretation or set of beliefs, then you leave very little room for manouvering.
The second way I believe this applies is how some people with BPD are suspicious, experience various degrees of paranoia, have doubts about situations/people/feelings/interactions and these are then ruminated on, thought over again and again, distressing us even more and is a desperate attempt to try and find clarity.
This is why this statement hit me: ‘doubt does not lead to certainty’ no matter how much I sit there and ‘suspect’ something, ‘maybe he doesn’t love me because he left earlier than he said he would,’ or he says he loves me less these days – he’s losing interest’ or ‘she didn’t say hello back she could be ignoring me,’ ‘she didn’t text me back quickly maybe she doesn’t really care about me.’
I could ruminate on any of those examples for hours if I wanted to, hell, I could do calculations if I wanted. ‘Yesterday she text me back after 3 hours, today it’s after 6, I said I need her, she ignored it, that shows she doesn’t care!’. Or choose any other example from your life if you have one, the point is, NONE of this helps me to gain any clarity. The rumination for hours, the past/present comparison, the ‘what other people make of the situation’, ‘the scenario playing over and over in your head as you try to figure out what it really meant’. None of it will lead you any further to the truth. I’m glad I came across this principle because it further solidifies to me, how pointless that cycle of thought is. How inflexible and unrealistic it can be, turning doubts into facts, and hiding facts from our awareness because we are actually entertaining doubts. When you come from a place of doubt you will only see untruths.
I need to come from a place of clarity in the first place. One where I await factual evidence, stick only with the facts of the situations and if I need more facts, to ask for them. ‘I felt upset when you said that the other day, what did you really mean by that?’ for example. I am going to try and remember this when my mind starts auto-pilot doubt thinking, since you know, it has never worked.