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Natalie Bowers

I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety. I believe that being open about my mental health problems has helped me to recover from them. I also believe that the more people talk about it, the more society will recognise that anyone can suffer from a mental illness and that there should be no shame in it or stigma attached to it.

That’s why I’m using the AtoZChallenge as a Time to Talk and why I’m taking the Blog For Mental Health 2014 pledge. Over the course of April (and beyond), I will be posting about my experiences with mental illness: the bad times, the good times, the things that help, the things that hinder.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Blog For Mental Health Pledge 2014 | Natalie Bowers.

You Are Not Alone – PTSD : Ongoing and recurring battle with dissociative amnesia

Once I started coloring, it started making more senses to me with clearer images and feelings and helped me realize what it was about. I was even able to name the paining as two selves in one, separated but connected. . .

Having somewhat pretty annoying and cloudy headache on upper forehead and head area. Going to sleep soon tonight. Will try to find time and self-discipline to write tomorrow. I’ve got so much to write and draw, yet have failed to do so. Experienced paralysis with dissociative amnesia several times for the past few weeks, just more than 3 times in the past 7 days. That 6 year-old wounded girl with anger, helplessness, terror, horror, grief, loss and devastation completely took my body and mind over and froze me for hours each time. Just started trying to communicate with her. She hasn’t responded, yet. Will keep trying and figure out how to reach out to her. Since therapy and group therapy with psychologists and hypnosis therapy with a psychiatrist, I’ve become exhausted both physically and mentally fast and easily. This takes a toll on me in the process of healing. Long, yet rewarding journey. Don’t push. Step by step. One step at a time. One day at a time. Baby step.

Read the rest of the story! Visit PTSD : Ongoing and recurring battle with dissociative amnesia | You Are Not Alone.

Somber Scribbler

I have depression. I started treatment in 2006, but it began long before that. I think I was born hating myself. Mental illness runs on both sides of my family. It must be in my genes. I was always a very serious child. People would say I was moody, which I suppose was true, but it was more than that. I had terrible stomach aches and threw up a lot when I was younger. I guess I didn’t understand how I was feeling so it manifested physically. As I got older, the physical symptoms waned, I developed body image issues, anxiety, perfectionist tendencies and the moods got harder for me to handle. Eventually I stopped going out, I stopped sleeping, I stopped functioning and I prayed that I would just disappear. Since it was unlikely that my prayers would be answered, I did the next best thing. I got help.

Currently, I’m functional…most of the time. Some days are easier than others. I’ve come a long way from where I was, but I still have a long way to go. Depression is a battle I will fight for the rest of my life. I am on medication and I have had therapy, but I’m trying something new. I’m sharing. I’m starting by pledging my commitment to Blog for Mental Health 2014.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Blog for Mental Health 2014 Pledge | Somber Scribbler

Toss the Typewriter – Weekly Brief – The Rayon Rainstorm

It started simply, just as any dam breaching starts: with one small drop. I wake up late. There is barely one hour until leaving-time. I must bake my daughter’s cake. I’m uncoffeed; in remote control. Preheat oven 350, mixer, cake mix, eggs. No eggs. Shoot. Give up on the cake and chalk up failure number one.

I’ll install my software. Enter personal information; scrape gray matter off of plastic card, type in code. Code not valid. Check the numbers, try again. Code not valid. Have husband check the numbers. Code still not valid. Add failure number two and move on.

With fifteen minutes left before I have to leave the house, all I want is to take a shower. No bathrooms available. No time for a shower. yet another failure in a morning of failures. Nothing I have tried to do has worked. It’s only 8:45 AM and I’m sitting on the side of my bed, crying.

But like any dam breaching, it isn’t the tiny drips of a broken morning routine that bring on the tears. It is the tumultous waters behind the façade, churning for months on end; and then when most vulnerable, hit by an unexpected emotional rainstorm.

Read the rest of the story! Visit Weekly Brief – The Rayon Rainstorm | Toss the Typewriter.

You Are Not Alone – After silence

I have become used not acknowledging my physical and emotional troubles and needs until my body breaks down. My subconsciousness had developed psychosomatic disorder with a variety of symptoms from headache to stomachache with bloated belly that looked like a 3-4 month-pregnant body which got me worried seriously at some point in my 30ies. I had spent significant amount of money, time and energy on going to large medical centers and seeing specialists with symptoms that doctors were unable to diagnose, yet had refused to go see a psychiatrist because I didn’t want to have myself labeled as a mentally ill patient. Yes, I felt ashamed of seeing a psychiatrist who might diagnose me as a patient with mental sickness. I did not want my worries to become my reality because I was too afraid to deal with the reality. I was really hoping that I would be diagnosed with something that has nothing to do with mental illness so that I would not have to face the past traumatic experiences through counseling and treatments. My consciousness avoided such experiences yet it could not stop them from happening throughout my body which is called psychosomatic disorder to my understanding. I want this to stop and no longer want to suffer from the horror and terror caused by the past events in my life. I choose to be happy and to have power to take care of me both physically and emotionally. I want to find help to relieve unresolved psychological and emotional issues that have made negative impacts on myself and my life so that I can finally truly move forward. . . I have often failed in all areas of my life and have fallen very badly hitting the rock bottom leading to despair and depression. I have re-experienced the horror, helplessness, terror, and isolation over and over and have lived in shock. This has to end. I recently started working with psychologists and a psychiatrist as the first step. It has been difficult going through therapy and treatments as it is often making me feel terrified, however I keep telling myself not to give up. I crave intimacy, yet find it extremely difficult with intimacy when it is about to happen and somehow find a way to remove myself from it by running away. Let’s take the baby step and take one day at a time. As an example, let me go outside and feel the warm of sunshine with gratitude.

Read the rest of the story!  Visit After silence | You Are Not Alone.