Category Archives: anxiety

A Light at The End of the Tunnel

Word Press Post A Day – You’ve been given the ability to build a magical tunnel that will quickly and secretly connect your home with the location of your choice — anywhere on Earth. Where’s the other end of your tunnel?

A tunnel? Anywhere on earth my heart desires?

To be honest, I am not sure this tunnel could take me where I want to go.  I could get wherever I want to go on earth on any given day if I really wanted to – by car, plane, boat.  I don’t always have the money — but I could save up for it, borrow it, be a stow-a-way (heck some 60 year old woman has done that 4 times and all she got was a little bit of jail finally, surely I can do that if I wanted!).  Anyway, back to my thoughts — there are a lot of places on earth I want to go to, I love traveling, but I wouldn’t want a tunnel to just take me to them.  That would take away me seeing all the beauty of getting there.

I would want a tunnel for something else.

If I could have a tunnel — I would want that tunnel to take me the I guess you would call it “the light at the end of the tunnel.”  I want to see this place that everyone keeps telling me about.  This place that is supposed to be there despite all my depression, bipolar, PTSD, and borderline personality problems.  Despite all my downs — I am supposed to have this “light at the end of the tunnel.”  Well, if I am finally getting a tunnel — I will definitely let it take me there.  I want to see it.  I want to see this light, I want to see if it really leads me to happiness?  Or contentment? Or as someone told me once – maybe it is just a train coming at me and I should just stop trying to look for that light because it is just as bad as the situation I am in now.  Umm thanks buddy for that encouragement…

There are good days and there are bad days.  There is no quick fix.  Nothing is going to make everything get magically better.  Life may seem miserable every single day.  You never know when you will reach that light at the end of the tunnel though unless you keep living.  It may be today, it may be tomorrow, it may be a year from now, or it may when you are 100 years old.  That tunnel eventually ends though and there is a light.  In fact, it may be broken up and it may stop and start again – there may be hints of light here and there.  It may be discouraging that the light keeps going away.  But it still has to eventually end all together – a tunnel cannot last forever.

You have the power…

You have the power to say,

This is not how my story will end.

No One Should Be Dying From It

So much awareness is brought to mental illness when someone well known dies from it.  When suicide takes a life away – suddenly everyone is aware of what pain it causes – to that person and to those that loved them – and even to those that did not know them personally but were somehow touched by them.

There have been so many articles, news reports, and posts about Robin William’s death.  I did a post myself.  I do not think it is wrong to bring this attention – I think it is great!

My problem with it is — it starts strong — everyone cares about it.  The public published the suicide hotline number on Facebook, they post that they care and are there for anyone who needs to talk.  They talk about how stigma is wrong.  I am not saying that they are lying in any way.  I think they do believe these things.  I think that losing someone that they were genuinely touched by has affected them.  Once that grieving period dies down though, the “sensationalism” of the issue dies down too.

How many celebrities have we lost to suicides and overdoses over the years?  How many times have we had a month or two where mental health was a big issue because of this and everyone seemed to care about it, to support it?  Then suddenly – it all just went away.

Perhaps, this time it will be different.  Maybe this time, the suicide hotline numbers will stay up.  Maybe people really will take the time to listen and be there for others.  Maybe the stigma will die down.

A few celebrities we have lost over the last few years that have brought quite a bit of attention to the news were:

Philip Seymore Hoffman – drug overdose

L’Wren Scott – Hung herself

Lee Thompson Young – shot himself

Whitney Houston – drowned – with cocaine being a factor, but struggled with drugs and this brought up great discussion after her death

Amy Whinehouse – Alcohol Poisoning …. thus joining “Club 27” – a club of popular musicians who died at the age of 27 from suicide/drug overdose and homicides.

Lots of discussion occurred after these deaths … but soon after, it all just died down. These are just a few of the deaths too.  There were a lot more.  A lot more due to drug overdoses, which is a serious mental health issue today.  A lot more suicides over the years as well.   Let’s not let these stories happen and people just forget about them.  Mental illness is not something that should be in the news for a few months and forgotten.  Let’s keep it in the spotlight.  These celebrities should not be dying from it, we should not be dying from it – no one should be dying from it. 

 

Pros and Cons for Today – 8/17/14

This is my challenge to create a “Pros and Cons” list of my day.  “Pros” are the things that I am happy for, grateful for, or things that just made me smile. “Cons” are those things that you just want to forget about because they do nothing to help with your anxiety or mood that day.

First of all – yesterday I had some goals- to read a bit, to perhaps walk a bit, and maybe paint a picture.  I did achieve some of those!  Yea!!

Cons –

  • To be honest, I can’t really think of anything — I guess that’s good right?  Nothing really happened.  I didn’t do anything at all. So nothing bad could really happen.

Pros –

  • I read a book.  It was a young adult book, so nothing hard to read.
  • I went out to a store for about 30 minutes
  • I really wanted to order pizza, but I stopped myself cause I have no money whatsoever — self control!
  • I got to just hang out and watch some Netflix today – that is always fun 🙂

 

So tomorrow – I have my NAMI meeting that I facilitate, so I need to go to that. I also need to make sure that I continue to stay active.  So hopefully I read or get out again tomorrow.  That is my goal – same thing I did today…continue that.

 

Hope you all had a good day!

 

Spike in Crisis Line Phone Calls after Robin Williams Death

Since the death of Robin Williams, there has been a spike in calls to crisis lines around the US and Australia.  I am not sure about other parts of the world, as I simply saw articles pertaining to these two countries, however I am sure they probably went up as well.

Calls, chats, messages, and clicks on their websites to Lifeline in America, Lifeline in Australia, Beyond Blue in Australia,  the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) information line and Facebook page, and local crisis centers all around the US.

Many people were reaching out, seeking help for their depression, suicidal thoughts, and some were simply wondering how people can be depressed – how can someone look happy and yet feel so much pain and kill themselves.  Perhaps with that last question, people will begin to understand depression more and even see or help someone else around them who might present happy but really be very depressed.

While they do not really know how many people were reaching out for help due to their depression and suicidal thoughts prior to Robin Williams death versus those who were affected by his death and began to feel suicidal after in response to his death (example, when you have someone close to you die, you begin to feel like you want to die) — they are glad that more people know about the crisis lines and support systems and are using them.

While I do think Robin Williams death brought a great deal of attention to suicide and mental health, I also think it is going to die down soon as it usually does even though people seem to care very much about it after such a loss.  However, hopefully after all those posts of the suicide hotline numbers – this will not die down and people will remember these resources – and use them – and reach out for help when they need to.

Here are a few articles discussing the increases in spikes in crisis center calls — and there are quite a few more if you search on the internet.

Australian News Article Discussing the increase in spikes in crisis calls

American Aljazeera Article Discussing the increase in spikes in crisis line calls

Houston, TX News Article Discussing local crisis center call increase

Augusta, Maine Article – Discussing local crisis center call increase

Depression Hurts

Depression hurts.  Literally.

Not only does it hurt us emotionally and mentally and where it decides to beat us up in our minds —

—- but physically it takes a toll on us.  Our bodies ache!  Our joints hurt.  Our muscles ache.  We get tired.  It feels like a truck hit us.  A bus ran over us.

I remember going to my doctor a few months ago and complaining that my joints were hurting me — not all of them, but my joints in my fingers and my toes, my ankles and my elbows.  Specifically my fingers though.  At some point her partner had diagnosed me with arthritis and it does run in my family.  She looked surprised and looked through the lab work — she said that the doctor had messed up my lab work, ordered the wrong tests, and diagnosed it off the wrong test.

Now I was confused — why the heck was I hurting so bad!!!  I was going through an awful bout of depression at the time.  She said it might have been the depression, that could definitely cause the pain, but to make sure she would run some labs and get some x-rays.

Off I went for the labs and x-rays.  A few days later – bam! I was fine! Nothing was wrong physically via the tests.

It was the depression.  I was feeling so bad that my body was literally hurting too.  I wasn’t purposefully making myself hurt, but I was feeling so bad emotionally that my body was too.

Depression can come out in so many ways.  Sometimes, people don’t even realize they are depressed immediately.  They know they feel a bit down, but their symptoms mainly appear as the physical aches and pains and fatigue.

At one point, there was even a Cymbalta commercial focused on “Depression Hurts” — a lot of people made fun of it, you can actually find parodies of it on youtube.  But it really isn’t funny… it is real – depression does hurt.  It hurts more than just mentally, it hurts physically too.

Pros and Cons Challenge of Today 8/15/14

I have been challenged by Izzy to create a “Pros and Cons” list of my dad.  Pros” are the things that I am happy for, grateful for, or things that just made me smile. “Cons” are those things that you just want to forget about because they do nothing to help with your anxiety or mood that day.

Sooo Here we go:

Cons –

  1. Cleaned up my apartment
  2. Student Loan Bills in the mail – which I shouldn’t have
  3. Psychiatrist Bill in the mail – which I shouldn’t have
  4. Kind of just feeling under the weather
  5. Was all alone, no one to talk to today
  6. One panic attack
  7. Trying to figure out how to pay for Grad school…blah!

 

Pros –

  1. Alive – Living another day, but I missed the sunrise — maybe tomorrow?
  2. Woke up early (Thanks to a good sleep with Ambien!)
  3. Had some time to read today
  4. Listened to the rain and thunder, like every other day in Tampa – actually can’t figure out if this is a pro or con, but today it will be a pro
  5. Restricted myself from eating absolutely everything today (no I don’t have an eating disorder, but I can eat emotionally when I get bored or sad or manic or whatever the case may me).
  6. I didn’t go out and spend any money, or even look online on Amazon to spend money – even though they have smile.amazon.com which donates money to my charity (which is actually where I get my cousneling)…. whew.. I spend way too much money on that site with my bipolar.  Money I do not have.  Everyday I beat that is a day to celebrate.
  7. I watched my DVR of the Last Comic Standing season finale – sooo funny!! Made me laugh
  8. Looking forward to starting Grad School in like 2 weeks, but refer to Con number 7.

 

Ok this is definitely hard!  Over time I will get better at.

Anyone else want to take this challenge?

Just take your days, list your pros and cons for the day – that is it!  It helps you see what your day was like, the good and the bad.  Slowly helps you realize that not everything went bad, you do have good things in your life… even simple things.  Izzy has done a better job at conveying that in her blog over the past two days than I did in this though!

 

 

MIA today – but will Catch up tomorrow! — Anyone read Eckhart Tolle?

Hey Everyone!

 

I have had somewhat of a busy day, so I have had much time to look at my posts today to respond to comments 😦

BUT…. I am going to get to them I promise!  I have scanned a few and will most definitely be replying to them!  I haven’t forgotten about you!  I just needed to focus on some of my “homework” (DBT/CBT) for therapy to work through my anxiety, depression, and PTSD  as well as just started to re-read a book that my case manager from 3 years ago bought me for graduation, which I never read as I was so unfocused.  My therapist brought it up, so I thought I would look it up.  It was a book called “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.  Anyone else ever read it???  Would love to hear what you all thing!  Feel free to leave some messages below about it.

It is a pretty good book – talks a lot about mindfulness.  There is quite a bit I don’t agree with, but it does have some decent stuff in there.  She gave it to me in a version on audible, so I have a hard time focusing, but I think I am halfway through.

Anyway,  I write posts ahead of time, so I think I have some coming out tomorrow that you should get to read still.  And I will try to get back to reading through some comments and being more present on here to get back to everyone!

 

Thanks for all the support!!! 🙂

Sam Kirkegaard – Sam Supports Mental Illness

These are some videos by Sam Kirkegaard.  He makes random videos on youtube, but he has a few called Sam Supports Mental Illness.  They are silly little videos that bring awareness to mental illness.  This is Day 5, which talks about 5 myths about mental illness.  I can’t share all the videos on here – so you should go to his youtube channel and check them out! His first one talks about his story though, which is about OCD and his intense anxiety, his 2nd one talks about why he is doing it and that he is raising money for Active Minds.  There are 31 days worth of them.  I haven’t watched them all, but I will check them out and see how they are, I am sure there is some good and interesting stuff on there.