Tag Archives: Blog For Mental Health 2014

Normal in Training – Sensitivity

On the one hand, I recognize that it is a gift to have such a keen sense of empathy. I know I have helped a lot of people because of it. But I am also easily thrown off balance when the people I care about are in pain–especially since I am also prone to depression and anxiety. I have always assumed this meant that I was weak. Fragile. Too sensitive.

I spent time with my brother this weekend–the only one of the four siblings who does not have a mood disorder. In talking to him, it was clear that he does not experience his feelings as intensely as I do. He does not get his feelings hurt very often. He is better able to maintain distance from family drama, and his advice really is to tell them to suck it up.

I envy him for this, but I cannot be him. I can only be me. I feel things intensely. My feelings get hurt easily. And when someone is in pain, I feel what they feel and try to help them, even if it hurts me.

But rather than berate myself for it, I am learning to accept that this is who I am. We all have different vulnerabilities. Some people may be prone to heart disease. Other people have diabetes. I am a hyperempath with depression and anxiety. Therefore, I have to be sure to take care of myself in certain ways: make alone time a priority, set boundaries, and be more selective about who I spend time with.

Read the rest of the story! Visit Sensitivity | Normal in Training.

Beautiful Contemplations – The Story of An Orchid; The vicious cycle.

I am not particularly proud of the way I have handled myself lately. . . I am never proud of myself, I cannot believe how incredibly sick I have become in the time period that six months that is:

26.7 weeks, 182.5 days, 4380 hours, 262800 minutes and 15768000 seconds.

During the 15768000 seconds, pain has fulled my heart. During the 262800 minutes, I have been holding myself up grasping for air. Those 4380 hours, many of which have equated to sleepless nights, dissociation’s, flashbacks, destabilized routines and distorted rationality. Ah the 182.5 waterfall like days, they have been beautiful but such an vicious cycle from mania to excessive depression. In those 26.7 weeks, I have lost so much, it is so hard to express. I have lost my sense of self and I am fighting incredibly hard to get it back; let’s be honest now:

The reality is that life is incredibly hard at times and I truly am trying to do my best with the circumstances I have been given. But there are times where I question just that. sigh. But I also question if my life will get better, all I ever want to do is write honestly on my blog:

All I want is to be loved, to know that i will be missed. To have someone be kind to my heart. All my life I have felt like an experimentation, like I was on display: my legs and body sliced open for all to see in its raw entirety, robbed of my childhood and aspects- my best friends were nurses, occupational therapists, physios- I felt like I never had a voice, and when I did it was never heard. The truth is I am hurting more than ever and in therapy we have discovered that I am an Orchid.

Real Leaders, describe Orchids as individuals with super sensitive genes, but us Orchids can thrive beautifully and be great successes with ‘the right amount of water, nutrients and heat’ …meaning.. that given the right support we can flourish, that indeed does provide me with hope.

Read the rest of the story! Visit The Story of An Orchid; The vicious cycle. | Beautiful Contemplations.

The Elephant in the Room – My Second Skin

I feel like there are two very different sides to me. There is the me that most people know, “the show” the people who see this side think I’m doing great, they think I’m happy and doing well. But as this blog has displayed that is just a front that I put on so as not to worry people. I spoke before about how I put people’s feelings first, this includes me pretending I’m fine so they don’t worry. But there are a “lucky” few people who have seen the “real me” the me that really isn’t all that happy and hasn’t been for a long time now.

My depression has evolved since its debut in my life, back then it was something that made me want to be alone and listen to sad songs, I didn’t understand what made me want to do this at the time, I thought I just liked sad songs, but I see now that it was at this point I developed my second skin. My depression skin. . .

I’m not sure what, aged about 5 made me listen to a CD of folk music by a band from the 60′s but I did, and I enjoyed it. As the years went on I kept going back to this CD. And there was one song that for some reason really stood out for me and I would listen to it on repeat. And I completely forgot about that song until very recently when I wrote a post called “More Than Glad to be Unhappy” which is a line taken directly from one of the Mamas and the Papas songs. Writing that post got “Glad To Be Unhappy” stuck in my head so I dug out the CD and had a listen. When I heard the song “Look Through My Window” I suddenly had flashbacks to sitting on my bedroom floor listening to the song on repeat. It’s a real typical depression song. You know on TV when you see someone depressed looking through a window whilst it rains? Well, that’s basically the idea of the song. It’s funny how something that seems so insignificant as a child really was the point I started to grow my second skin.

And so, it’s been 20 years since I was 5 years old. I always thought I got depressed more around the age of maybe 8 or 9, but maybe not. Maybe I have always been depressed. It seems depression has become my friend not my enemy in my journey through life. Its become a bit of an influence, a soul shattering, mind numbing inspiration that has helped me express things in a way I never thought I would be able to.

Read the rest of the story! Visit My Second Skin | The Elephant in the Room.

Beautiful Contemplations – Getting used to new meds; offering a perspective on living with mental illnesses- my message.

Living with a mental illness, is extremely frustrating. Some days, I feel like I am inside another body, as though the body I am in isn’t mine- I find it easy to describe it as though you are looking in on your own life. You get up each morning and take your cocktail of drugs. Scoot around your room, searching for objects that you may injure yourself with, and if you have the strength- throw them out; if you don’t you find yourself at odds with your irrational and rational self. You may cry because you don’t want to inflict pain on yourself, but you also cry because you need to do it to escape pain. . .

If it is a good day, you are able to function; get in all your assessments, shower, eat, brush your hair and teeth. . .

On an average day, you do all of the general hygiene tasks but head back to bed unable to face people. On a bad day, you are fighting to be alive; you sleep all the time, disconnect yourself from the world and lose all sense of yourself. Let me remind you that for me the day may have elements of the latter within it. Welcome to the world of madness- A world that has for the last few years become my reality.

There are few places where I can be honest about my experiences of mental illness, but on my blog through my writing is one of the places where my beautifully raw journey is laid out by me for all to view. Talking about the voices I hear (inner voices, in many circumstances), the dissociations I experience, my instances of self-harm is something that I am not ashamed to speak of. One of the messages that I want to get across to everyone reading my blog is that mental illness is not a condition to be ashamed of, it is after all something that does not discriminate; I am in fact quite a successful young lady yet have ended up with several mental illnesses. It is never your fault, you are beautiful, you are brave, it is okay- you can still lead a productive life despite having a mental illness.

Read the rest of the story! Visit Getting used to new meds; offering a perspective on living with mental illnesses- my message. | Beautiful Contemplations.

Trigger Warning: Self-Harm

cwsopentheeyesofmyheart

My name is Casey Smith & I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma. I hope that others will open their hearts & minds to the suffering of the mentally ill.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Taking the pledge | cwsopentheeyesofmyheart.

Blood and Thunder

It’s taken me a long time to get to the point where I can talk about mental health, especially my own, openly and honestly.

My own struggles with mental illness have lead me where I am today. Shaped every aspect of my life. Helped me grow and learn.

My hope is that talking about my own struggles/triumphs will encourage others to do the same.

At the very least, my hope is it will show others that they are not alone. That there are people out there who know and understand. That it’s going to be okay, even when it doesn’t seem like it will.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit I am taking the Blogging for Mental Health pledge | Blood and Thunder.

Blessed Beyond Measure

I have bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and one psychiatrist had the nerve to tell me that I was narcissistic. Ooh, he ticked me off! Anyway, forget about him – what counts is that I belong in this group 🙂

Anyway, too many people “out there” in the world don’t recognize that mental illnesses are just as real as diabetes or cancer or high blood pressure. It’s not something that we CHOOSE. Heaven knows I didn’t want to grow up and have to take a handful of meds or see a psychiatrist every couple of months!

. . .I’m putting my life and my words out here so that maybe somebody will recognize herself – or himself – and get the help they need.

This is about getting rid of the stigma that we all face, sometimes on a daily basis. If you have depression, bipolar disorder or another mental health issue or two, click on Lulu’s name above and join in. The more voices that speak up, the louder we’ll be, and the more people we can reach!

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Blog for Mental Health | Blessed Beyond Measure.

Finding My Way Back

I have been dedicated to sharing what it is like to live with bipolar and borderline personality disorder. Lately, perhaps because the weather is brighter, and I am able to be outside more, or perhaps it is the ability to garden and grow my own vegetables, I have been feeling for the most part very well.

I do have my days though.

I was diagnosed approximately 3 years ago with bipolar 2, the year before that it was confirmed that I do have Borderline Personality Disorder. I am hopeful that as my demons are addressed, that BPD will no longer be the thorn that it has been. As for my Bipolar 2, I learned of it just before my cousin committed suicide from the same illness 2 years ago. I made a commitment to him and to myself that I would overcome and have a life where I will enjoy my senior years, with as much peace and calm available to me.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Blog For Mental Health 2014 | Finding My Way Back.

Writing 4 Mental Health

Mental health and wellness is a universal concern. Visit A Canvas Of The Minds to learn more about this anti-stigma movement.

I encourage you to join this movement. As one with bipolar disorder who has survived suicide attempts, hospitalizations and homelessness. . .

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Writing 4 Mental Health – Taking The Pledge…

Dodging Suicide

Up until that moment (of being dumped by colonoscopy guy) today wasn’t all that bad. I actually got a little painting done on a piece I started two months ago. I wrote out a check and caught up on some school and personal paper work. Then I got the text and, even though I didn’t really like the guy that much, it just hit me kinda hard.

When, on our date, he tried kissing me I know he had to feel my indifference. I didn’t give him anything at all in that kiss. Why would he waste any more time on me?

Why would I waste time on him? Because I’ve always gone with guys I feel sparks with and it always ends badly. So I figured if I gave someone I felt no sparks for but seemed like a really nice guy maybe the end would be different.

But I’m on my couch all alone again with no dates in the near future. This was so much more fun six years ago when I first left my ex husband. Now dating feels more like a chore and I remind myself of the women I felt sorry for back then. The ones that gave up; who told me men our age are just too damaged and it’s so hard to find a good one. I want to be the person I was six years ago. I want to be positive my life is better being alone than feeling alone while married. I want to be the person who believed I wouldn’t be alone for long. I want to have fun doing this again. I want to just have fun.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Dumped by colonoscopy guy | Dodging Suicide.

A Frequent Sadness – But Why Would Anyone Want to be That?

Or at least to make them feel like how I felt I had been treated. So they would lose what I had lost, and see what it felt like to be the weakling. And then maybe they’d stop hurting me. For good. Oh, I ached so badly with wanting to wreck revenge on anyone who even looked like they were going to bully me.

I wanted to be the villain who blended perfectly into the crowd – whom nobody noticed because they were average: lived an average life, had an average house, complete with average spouse, children, dog and car. Heck, sometimes the villain even passed off as a goodie in law enforcement. It wasn’t always so obvious that the villain was someone who had been ugly or stupid or whatever that made them ostracised in the past. And every death, every crime would come out of the blue, and nobody would ever catch them. Ever. . .

I wanted the feeling of triumph through revenge without any consequences. I wanted to be labeled a psychopath. When people were shocked at the revelations of my violent ideas, I was pleased. I wanted to be the villain. But WHY?

Why?

Because of power. I didn’t want to be weak anymore. I didn’t want to go on thinking that I was useless. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was better than they thought I was. Since nobody seemed to think that highly of me anyway, why not go the whole way, but in the way that I preferred?

It’s so easy to blame Tony Stark for Killian’s turn to villainy, or to blame my parents and/or family for my morbid thoughts… thoughts and ideas that I feel still define me in ways today (albeit decreasing, which is good). But. These events are due in part to my feeling that I didn’t have a choice. Whether I was truly trapped by external forces, or trapped by my own thoughts – I felt I had no choice, and no strength or power. And then we use what is within our grasp – what we have learned from others, or what we know might hurt them the most, to try and turn the tables. . .

Read the rest of the story! Visit But Why Would Anyone Want to be That? | A Frequent Sadness.

The Elephant in the Room

I know people mean well, but I have said before that I’m just not good with pity, I just don’t really know how to react to it. But that’s not the sole reason I don’t talk about my depression. One of the biggest things I always worry about is that If I tell someone how I feel they will think I am trying to bring them down, and that is not what I’m trying to do. I realise I’m not the most positive person in the world, I never really have been. But that’s just me. I like to think that I don’t just talk about my depression. I try to make jokes, I try to make everyone else happy. Sometimes I’m so busy making everyone else happy I forget about myself, but that’s another piece for another day. . .

I’m not trying to guilt trip anyone by telling them I’m depressed, and that’s another thing I worry about as I realise that one day I may have to tell my parents about this. Because instead of being sympathetic, they would blame themselves and that is not what I’m trying to make someone do. I know that how I feel is not the fault of anyone in particular, people contribute to my good and bad feelings but overall this is just me. But I’m also not asking to be fixed, personally I don’t think I am fixable. And maybe I don’t want to be “fixed” It’s not that easy to undo 10 years of my brains constant domineering.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Bring You Down | The Elephant in the Room.