Daily Archives: 2015/03/10

The Cosmic Carousel – 2015

Imagine each morning, you wake up, get out of bed, and begin the routines of your day~ dressing, going to work, running errands,…~ all the while strapped to a boat anchor. You can carry it, you can drag it, you can put it in a wheelbarrow, but you cannot remove it. It is with you ALL the time. You try to get others to help you with it, but they often refuse, saying that it’s YOUR problem, not theirs. They tell you that you should just drop it~ why would you carry that around with you? They frown and say it’s your own fault for tying that thing so tight anyway~ you did it to yourself. They tell you that having a boat anchor tied around your waist is a sign of weakness, and that anyone who has one is just seeking attention or something.

Living with mental illness is like living with an invisible boat anchor tied around your waist. Others don’t see what it takes to cope, to get through a day, to feel good about living with a boat anchor tied around your waist. Sure, there’s tons of research out there. There is help. There are thousands of therapists, counselors, self-help books, groups, and clinics who claim to have treatments. Answers. The Cure. But the fact is that the boat anchor stays firmly in place, and you get to drag it around with you again. And again. And again. . .

Mental Health is the goal. Acknowledging that, for all our twisted, tearful resistance to the boat anchor, we are capable of living fulfilling, satisfying lives. Each day is a new opportunity to plot our course in that direction. . . Mental health matters. While my posts may not directly address mental health topics, this blog is a component in my process. From surviving to thriving. Failures and successes. I’m hopeful that if you wrestle with your own boat anchor, you find something that lightens your burden, shares your grief, makes you laugh. You are not alone and neither am I.

Read more of destrudowoman’s story. Visit What It’s Like… | The Cosmic Carousel.

Breaking the Cycle

. . . I was both the victim and perpetrator of bad treatment. Competition instead of patient self discovery (developing true skills and interests) led to rash choices and disappointment in outcomes that did not boost my worth. Until I became a mother, it was possible to function this way because I could uphold appearance through control.

After the birth of my twins, I was ashamed to admit I had postpartum depression. I believed that the fact that I didn’t bond instantly with my boys or feel overwhelming love towards them meant I was a bad mother. I hid the confusion and ambivalence I felt instead, refusing to accept treatment. . .

I was diagnosed with major depression instead of postpartum depression (it had been more than a year since giving birth.) This diagnosis rankled me. Now I wanted postpartum depression. It would be much more acceptable and understandable than just depression. Depression implied I was unhappy with my life (wife, mother, stay-at-home wife/mom) whereas postpartum depression was a chemical imbalance induced by birth and therefore not my fault. It was all about blame, acceptable explanations, and shame. . .

Read more of cardamone5’s story. Visit Sidelines | Breaking the Cycle.

Around In Circles

Hi all… I’ve been diagnosed bipolar and major depressive since I was around 19 and I’m now 46 and trudging along in life. I hate the stigma mental health has and if I can be a small part of awareness that this is a disease and not something we make up in our mind, all the better. I work full time and go to school part time, am married, and have two fur babies, Moses and Pepper.

Read more of Tammy’s story. Visit Around In Circles: Blog for Mental Health.

Somber Scribbler – 2015

I have had a lot of labels thrown at me. I have Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). More recently, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) have been added to the mix. I’m not a fan of these labels. I don’t feel like I fit these cookie-cutter definitions. This is what makes mental health so complicated. Each case is unique and must be treated as such. . .

Currently, I wear many different hats. I am a Ph.D. candidate, a wife, a lab manager, a wannabe artist, a daughter, a sister, mum to the cutest kitty ever AND I am climbing my way out of the worst depressive episode I’ve ever had. Thanks to my family and closest friends, I am still here. Mental illness, whatever labels they may give me, will be a battle I will fight for the rest of my life. It’s a battle no one should have to fight alone. Blogging has been a great help in coping. I get to sort my thoughts out in words or at least doodles and connect with a whole community of people that understand what I am trying to say. Not only has blogging been a comfort, I have met some wonderful people and learned so much about mental health.

Read more of Somber Scribbler’s story. Visit MDD and BPD and OCPD, OH MY! | Somber Scribbler.

Normal in Training – 2015

When I first started my blog, my goal was to model how to practice self-acceptance, because I need all the practice I can get. I was especially proud of that post because it meant I have finally accepted what it means to be someone who has struggled and will continue to struggle with depression, which is the thing I have been the most ashamed of.

But after I wrote my story, I realized that self-acceptance is not enough. Accepting all of the things that I have to do to prevent a relapse is not the same thing as acknowledging how painful it has been to live with depression. How hard it was to feel like a failure. How isolating it was to hide my depression because I knew that some people would minimize my suffering and make me feel worse about myself.

Until I wrote that post, I had never had compassion for my suffering because I didn’t think I deserved it. So now I’ve upped the ante, so to speak. Now I am modeling how to practice self-compassion. Which is why I’m also participating in 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, in which 1000+ bloggers will publish posts on compassion on February 20.*

I will continue to educate people about mental health and do my part to erase stigma, but ultimately I cannot change what people think about me or anyone else with a mental illness. So I will make sure that I treat myself with the love and kindness that I deserve, and I will encourage other people to do the same.

Read more of Christy’s story. Visit 2015 Blog for Mental Health Project | Normal in Training.

*Note from Ruby: Obviously this date has come and gone, but the posts remain, and I encourage you to check out the project — there is another event planned for 20 March!

Kitt O’Malley – 2015

Last year I took the pledge to blog for mental health, and am now renewing my pledge for 2015. As my tagline states, I live with bipolar disorder and write about it on this blog. I do so not just for myself, but for others. We mental health bloggers support each other and educate the public, while fighting stigma and discrimination against those living with mental illness.

Read more of Kitt’s story. Visit Blog for Mental Health 2015 – Kitt O’Malley.

To Breathe is to Write

Most people who know me, here in the virtual world and in the real world, don’t realize how I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety attacks in my life. Why? Because I don’t talk about it. I put on my happy face or my face that says, “don’t come near me” and go about my life. . .

Now it’s time for me to do the same. If I can help just one person, then I’ve done a good thing. I’ve kept quiet about my issues because that is how I was raised and taught. You have a problem? Don’t tell. You were abused? Don’t tell. You are depressed? Don’t tell. You can’t step a foot out the front door because it terrifies you? Don’t tell. Make up excuses for not leaving the house for days at a time, weeks at a time. Sometimes, months at a time. . .

I managed, by myself to crawl out of that deep dark hole of depression and stay out. It’s a fight, but I do it daily. I managed to walk out my front door and rejoice in the sunlight on my face. I did it without professional help. It’s not something I would recommend. I did it without drugs or therapy, but again, not something I recommend. It’s hard. It’s damn near impossible.

Most days I wonder if I have the strength to keep doing it.

Why did I decide to ‘come out’? It’s time. It’s time to help some others if I can. It’s time to quit being afraid of telling.

Read more of Jackie’s story. Visit Blogging For Mental Health – To Breathe is to Write.

The DailyJunior Blog

Last year The Daily Junior Blog shared stories of the healing nature of the human animal bond on human mental health. We published posts on mental health topics. They were about our journey. They were about all our journeys.

But these few stories are just a start to light the darkness and erase the stigma of mental illness. Let’s talk openly about mental health and healing journeys.

We believe in the power of stories.
We believe in the healing power of narrative and the healing force of the human animal bond.

Today,The Daily Junior Blog takes The Pledge to Blog for Mental Health in 2015. We promise to tell our own story and other stories of the human animal bond and its healing impact on human mental health. We believe animals, and nature in general, can have important mental health benefits.

We commit to sharing our own story of healing with humor and as much clarity as we can. We also will blog about inspiring mental health journeys between animal and human friends that we meet along the way.

Read more of Jill and Junior’s story. Visit We Blog for Mental Health 2015 | The DailyJunior Blog.

Fish Of Gold – 2015

I have a full boat of mental illnesses and they will never go away; they can only be managed. I deal with them through medication, therapy (when I could afford it–I’m hoping to be able to afford it again soon), humor and this blog.

I am not shy about talking about it. I try to erase the stigma as much as possible with words. I try to give some insight to those of you who have no experience with mental illness (bless your little hearts) and kindly explain what you get wrong about it.

As soon as I listed off my peccadilloes above, I’m sure at least some of you made a judgment about me. Without even meaning to, some of you formed an opinion about the type of person I must be to have a past like mine and have the mental illnesses I have. You summarily decided, even subconsciously, that I’m not right in the head, and well, I’m not, but not necessarily in the way you think.

That instant subconscious judgment is what we’re trying to fix with projects like Blog For Mental Health. I want you to keep an open mind, so that you may know what it’s really like. I want you to understand that this is not something we can control. We have no choice in the matter. If we did, I can guarantee you that we’d prefer not to live with any of this.

Read more of goldfish’s story. Visit Blog For Mental Health 2015 | Fish Of Gold.

Mental in the Midwest – 2015

I think by now y’all know that I have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II and Borderline Personality Disorder. Josh, my husband, also has Bipolar Disorder II and Attention Deficit Disorder. I talk about mental health issues around here rather a LOT. It’s a significant part of who we are so there is no way in hell I would ever even think about trying to hide it.

I also don’t sugar coat things. Having a mental health diagnosis can be The Utter Suck sometimes. There are appointments with psychiatrists and therapists to make, go to, and pay for. There are usually medicines to take, and it can take years to find the right ones to control your symptoms. There are the bad days when your symptoms get the best of you and it’s a struggle to just keep breathing. . .

But it’s not always bad and it can get better. That, more than anything else, is what I try to share on this blog. I’ve had some truly terrible times in my life because of my disorders, but I came out the other side stronger. . .

The single most important lesson that I’ve learned through all of this is that it’s not only alright to ask for help, it’s essential. Please don’t try to handle it on your own, it’s so much better having others with you to help shoulder the burdens. We get by with a little help from our friends, just ask Ringo.

Read more of Mental Mama’s story. Visit blog for mental health 2015 | Mental in the Midwest.