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fractalthoughts – On “Nextness”

I can’t quite put my finger on it but I’m deflated by this sudden onset of melancholy. I wouldn’t call it a depression, at least not yet, but I am stubborn and this situation will not get the better of me. Some people hug-it-out but I will write-it-out until I can pinpoint the nextness that I’m searching for.

So here I sit in my yellow chaise lounge (because when you are writing your way through an existential crisis you always need a yellow chaise lounge) and ponder as I type. I think in some ways I do miss actively dating and maybe that lack of human contact could finally be taking its toll.

This is not a singles ad… this is a thought process. How does the single woman sustain herself in a place of balance after a prolonged phase of well, nothingness? I mean, I can take care of myself, I always have. But you can’t independent your way out of a void, can you? Maybe my stubborn independence is what brought me here in the first place. I guess you get back what you put out into the world and what I’ve been putting out there is the fact that I don’t need anyone. So, what if I *want * someone? That’s normal, right? So why do I feel like wanting someone in my life makes me needy?

Also, what’s so terrible about being needy anyway? We are not here to be creatures of isolation, we are meant to interact, to help one another, even to love on occasion. This seems like the normal state of things so why does it scare me? And another thing, referring back to my first paragraph, it might not even be a person that I need. But it is definitely a change. I have no idea what that change might be or when it will happen, but I will embrace the anticipation of it.

Read the rest of the story! Visit On “Nextness” | fractalthoughts.

Normal in Training – Interventions

I’m not good at confronting people. Which is ironic, because one of the things I do in my job is coach students on how to confront their friends about having an eating disorder. And I think I give pretty good advice, too. But I guess I’m not as brave as these students are. . .

I’ve had many clients with eating disorders acknowledge that even though they would have denied having a problem at the time, they still wanted someone to say something about their 30 pound weight loss. And I’ve heard many clients in recovery say that although they were mad at the people who tried to help them at the time, they played an important role in the process of accepting their disorder.

I know all of this, but I’m still afraid to do it. Maybe they’ll be angry and yell at me, and I hate being yelled at. Or maybe something else will happen that will feel terrible, but I can’t put into words what it is that I fear. So I have to think about what day I want to ruin. What day I want to be incapacitated. I haven’t found that day yet. But I need to, because I gave my word that I would say something.

I don’t even have to do it in person, since I live so far away. I just have to make a phone call. And in my defense, I have tried to call a few times, but the whole time I was praying that he wouldn’t answer. Luckily for me, he didn’t. He never answered and never called back, which is unusual. Perhaps he knows why I’m calling, and he doesn’t want to have this conversation, either. Which makes it that much harder to force it to happen.

I ordinarily pride myself on accepting challenges, mental toughness, and doing the right thing. But in this case, nothing has motivated me to move closer to having this conversation. Not prayer, or meditation, or talking my therapist. Not even guilt and shame.

Read the rest of the story! Visit Normal in Training: Interventions.

Toss the Typewriter – Wkly Brief – What is Love?

As I have learned about my loved one’s illness, I have grown kinder and more patient. I am grateful for this relationship in my life that deepens daily and has helped me grow into a better person. Each day together is a blessing; some days are radiant sunshine and hope. Other days? Well yes, there are other days that are harder to take. But even those aren’t too bad, when I am able to apply all I have learned about self-care to my day.

Yet there will always be days when I am weak; when a well-timed barb, spoken many times before and deflected, strikes home. Or worse, ever so much worse: when the darkness of a winter night falls and instead of seeing the crisp stars among winged birch branches, I see the suffering of my loved one, unable to face another day in this beautiful, cruel world.

Today, a difficult day for my loved one, the words of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, helped me remain supportive. These words, often read at weddings, can be applied to many relationships in life. But I find the words especially helpful for the sometimes one-sided relationships with those battling mental illness.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

My loved one carries a heavy burden. Yet my smaller burder is difficult too: I watch as my loved ones struggles with med-cycling; I am the brundt of antagonistic comments alternated with penitent pleas for forgiveness. I see self-loathing as peers achieve goals that were once his own. And just as I sit steeped in his sorrow, he baits me with critiques; I swallow retorts. For me, the meaning of Matthew 18:22′s forgiving “not seven times, but seventy-seven times” changes from the philosophical to an applied science.

Read the rest of the story! Visit Wkly Brief – What is Love? | Toss the Typewriter.

Normal in Training – Anxiety

I have always been an anxious person, but ever since my last depressive episode, my anxiety has gotten worse–especially around sleep. Which is terrible, because I love sleep more than anything. I started having anxiety attacks in the middle of the night. Or when I’m trying to fall asleep. Or when I wake up. Or before, during, and after a nap. In fact, I refer to naps as demon sleep. But I rely on naps to make up for the sleep that I miss out on because of my 1 a.m. bedtime.

I don’t want to call these episodes panic attacks, because that does injustice to people who have full-blown panic attacks. I don’t feel like I’m dying or having a heart attack. I’m not completely debilitated. But it does hurt. It’s like I have a bunch of bees buzzing inside my body. Or I have the psychological equivalent of a high pitched noise in my head that I can’t turn off. Or I feel physically and emotionally paralyzed. Or I feel like someone has punched me in the heart. I think that’s why my chest muscles are so tight–I have to absorb anxiety’s blows to my body.

I’ve written about how obsessive I am and how easily my inner infant gets rattled. Those forms of anxiety are annoying, but I’ve gotten use to them. I’m learning to accept that they are just a part of how my brain works. But when I have an anxiety attack with no apparent trigger, I feel crazy and weak.

It’s funny, because if I’m talking to someone else, I can convince them that they don’t need a reason to be anxious or depressed. That their feelings are valid, even if they don’t make sense. That it doesn’t make them crazy or weak. And they feel better afterwards. But saying these things to myself doesn’t have the same effect.

I guess that’s why it helps to tell someone else. Because without someone else’s reassurance, it’s hard to release the power that your inner demons have over you. When it’s just you and your demons, they convince you that you’re letting yourself off the hook too easily. You’re just lying to yourself. You’re really a bad person.

Read the rest of the story! Visit Normal in Training: Anxiety.

Toss the Typewriter – Wkly Brief – Marginalized Mothers

Note from Ruby: It may be long past Mother’s Day, but a parent doing their best to support a child struggling with mental health or addiction deserves your support any day in the year.

Throughout the world there are lovely women who raised beautiful children, and then something went terribly wrong. Perhaps the child picked up his first beer, or smoked her first joint. Maybe the child struggled with eating too much, or perhaps too little. Maybe the child missed many days of school, never graduated and still never leaves the house. Or maybe the child is no longer living.

You probably know one of these women. She was the one you laughed with at baseball games, and then she stopped coming. She is the mother who no longer calls you; who stays home; who worries. She is the mother who loves her child, but won’t necessarily ever hear her child return the words “I love you.”

Is there a good mother that you know who has lost a child to addiction, mental illness, suicide? Do you have the courage to call and wish her a Happy Mother’s Day? Are you willing to tell her you know she is a loving mother?

Yours might be the only call she gets this year.

Read the rest of the story! Visit Wkly Brief – Marginalized Mothers | Toss the Typewriter.

dontcallmemental

I can still remember the summer when depression waltzed itself into my life and slowly but surely begun taking over every aspect of it; it was the summer of 2010 and after having some repressed memories begin to really surface and my sexuality becoming an issue, depression begun to thrive.

I guess, for me at first, my depression wasn’t something too unbearable, in fact at the time I don’t think I would have ever insinuated that I was depressed; I had changed though, things i once enjoyed no longer interested me, and I’d hit an age where sexuality was coming into question, and i guess realising i was bi-sexual and dealing with memories I had ignored for many years didn’t exactly help the fact i was sad most of the time.

I really cannot pinpoint, though, when I first self harmed. Which is funny, right? They always say you’ll remember the first time you self harmed but I honestly cannot pinpoint the moment I first started, I guess I’m thankful for that though because it means I cant dwell on a set point in time I wish I could change, it is what it is and I must learn to recover from it and move on.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit dontcallmemental – Mental Health Awareness.

Trigger warning: Very vague discussion of self-harm/eating disorder, suicide

Phoenix – The Rebirth of My Life

June 2014, the depression I was diagnosed with at age 13 now is Major Depressive Disorder (formally known as clinical depression). In addition to depression, I have also been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, and a not specified anxiety and bipolar disorder.

After spending a month in a psychiatric hospital, I became one with my mental illness and became very open about my illness. This openness is the reason why I published my blog in June 2014.

My goal is to raise mental illness awareness, stop the stigma, and help save a precious life. My mental health is just as important as my intellectual health, physical heath, spiritual health, and emotional health.

Read the rest of the post in its entirety! Visit Phoenix – The Rebirth of My Life – Blog For Mental Health 2014.

Trigger Warning: Self-harm, suicide

Nonsense & Shenanigans

I started struggling with my mental health when I was 16 years old. I went to see a therapist, who told me I had Borderline Personality Disorder. However, a week or so later I was happy to have a new boyfriend, so she told me I was all better. I stopped seeing her immediately and didn’t seek treatment again until recently.

It’s been a long process. I’ve been through ups and downs and extremes and stability over the past ten years. It was a struggle, but I was always able to manage somehow (at least I thought I was), so I just figured my case wasn’t particularly bad and went about my life.

Last fall things got really bad. And they’ve been getting progressively worse. All of my relationships are either shaky or over, my passions have dwindled, my grades were affected, I can’t get a job. Most days it’s hard to even get out of bed. . .

I finally made my first appointment to see a therapist in ten years. Actually, I made three separate appointments to see three separate therapists. Which gives me hope.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Nonsense & Shenanigans – Blog for Mental Health 2014.

That’s What Ron Said…

While I wouldn’t wish this illness on anyone, I do like knowing that other people have dealt with the anger, frustration, helplessness, hopelessness and emotional cycles that I go through. I like knowing that there are people out there that I can look up to and be inspired by their struggles and stories and successes.

Mental health is an issue that needs to be taken seriously…whether you have your own issues or not. I know this has never really hit home as much as it has this year. When my BPD reared its ugly head and decided to take over my life four months ago in a very serious and detrimental way with the breakdown to end the farce that was my life up to that point, it really hit me hard that my parents shut me out when I needed them the most. I know they do not understand what is going on, and I know that they don’t really believe that mental disorders are a real, painful, harmful, and intense entity, but it still hurts nonetheless. Being told that I needed to get over it, suck it up, grow up, etc is/was not a pleasant experience for me…and sadly just inflated my abandonment issues to epic proportions. But as much as it hurts for them to leave me to deal with this alone—by not “coddling or encouraging me” as it was so eloquently put—I know I have to put that pain aside to deal with the very real issues that are sitting on my chest just waiting to crush me.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit That’s What Ron Said… – Blogging for Mental Health Pledge-2014.

Hello, My Name is Ketta Jeanette

There really is a fear to getting better. I want so badly to make progress but I don’t want anything to be expected from me because there’s a 65% chance I’ll disappoint you. My health, both physical and mental, are truly handicaps. I’m embarrassed to admit it because I wish I could be stronger, but I’m not. For a really long time it felt like no one believed me either and so it only makes the way I feel even worse. I feel looked down on. As if maybe I was too quick to say that there’s something wrong with me or that I’m just being over the top dramatic. I don’t know what else to say except, my life is dramatic. Let me tell you the story of my life and you’ll think I belong in a Spanish Novela. I only know this because that is exactly the kind of comments I’ve gotten when I tell people about myself, my life, or just what’s going on lately.

That’s not to say that I have a “bad” life – because I don’t. It’s just dramatic and really pulls at my emotions. As would anyone’s life, but the difference is that my coping skills aren’t very good. People think they are. I’ve had one close teacher tell me that I remain positive despite what I go through, while other students complain over trivial things. Maybe it’s because I’ve been sitting in class thinking that my own problems are trivial, everyone has the same battle of the mind as me, and it could be worse for someone else.

Read the rest of the post in its entirety! Visit Hello, My Name is Ketta Jeanette – Emotional Conundrum.

Fibro Country Fairy’s Corner

I was young and dumb and would go off my meds, thinking I was better, I would go off my meds to find myself and the world as I know it crashing down around me. I would go back on the meds and after a while life got a lot easier to deal with. . .

Now that I am in my mid 40’s and lived a life of depression and social anxiety, along with the severe symptoms of my mood swings, I realize I need meds if I am to have any type of control over my emotions at all, I need to stay on them.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Fibro Country Fairy’s Corner – Blogging for mental health.

Phoenix – My Child Abuse Recovery Journal

I’ve been diagnosed with DDNOS (Dissociative Disorder not Otherwise Specified), MMD (Major Depressive Disorder), PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Agoraphobia with Anxiety Disorder. Not only are my disorders an assortment of abbreviations that most people have no idea what they stand for, when you do actually spell it out for them the still have no idea what they are. You don’t know how many times I’ve heard “PTSD is what soldiers get, right? How can you have it? You’ve never been a soldier.” And there is little to no information on DDNOS. My goal with my blog is to change this – to change people’s preconceived ideas and to enlighten them; by doing that I hope to help not only myself but others, because right now without this blog, I feel helpless.

I have spent the last year working on a series of posts called ” The Legacy Of Child Abuse”. So many people don’t realize how much damage child abuse causes.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Phoenix – My Child Abuse Recovery Journal – Blog for Mental Health – 2014.