Tag Archives: growing up

Pros and Cons Challenge of Today 8/16/14

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.  I actually almost forgot to do it today until Just Plain Ol’ Vic reminded me by commenting on yesterdays post! –Thanks for the reminder!

Pros –

  • I got a nice sleep thanks to my Ambien.  It was making my nightmares worse, so I quit taking it for a while.  But I wasn’t getting any sleep so I started it again, I’ll definitely take the sleep for now, even with some nightmares.
  • I got a donation to my GoFundMe account to help me pay for my grad school tuition!!! Not a big one, but every little bit counts and I am so grateful for it!
  • Mrs Doubtfire is on TV right now, this very minute as I write this!  It is so funny.  This movie came out when I was about 7 or 8 years old — I always wanted a nanny like him!  I didn’t binge watch and Robin Williams movies this week/end, but this one happened to be playing on the Hallmark Movie Channel, so I thought I would have it on in the background since it is one of my favorites.
  • Figured out an old student loan from undergrad.  Ugh will they ever leave me alone?!?!  At least for a little while longer I suppose.   “Leandro” promised me that it would be taken care of, so I expect not to get another bill from them — again.
  • I took a shower!  This might not seem like an accomplishment, but when I get depressed I can go days without one.  I hadn’t gone days, but I had gone two I think…and it was going to go on.  I stopped it though… I stopped it and jumped in and took one – a nice long hot one.

Cons –

  • I am trying to raise money on GoFundMe, for school but I am not really getting anywhere.  I am a little bit disappointed, but I know everyone is struggling with money.  Still kind of makes me feel bad though.  Keeping a positive attitude that it is all going to work out.
  • My apartment is kind of a mess — well it is always a mess, but I told myself it would get cleaned today and that just didn’t happen.
  • Slept a lot today, just kind of felt like escaping my emotions and didn’t feel like using any of my more active coping skills.
  • I ate too much 😦  Nibbling on food when I was awake — peanuts add up quickly in calories…especially when they are honey roasted peanuts.  I need some cocoa roasted almonds in those 100 calorie packs!

Goal for Tomorrow:

I really hope to be more awake for tomorrow.  I do not want to sleep through the day.  The weather here has been horrible – pouring rain almost all day long, literally, not more than 5-10 minutes of no rain or thunder.  I want to try to get out to a gym and walk or run on a treadmill a bit.  Just to get my anxiety out, get some energy burnt.  I want to perhaps read a bit of some of the text books I have received in regards to my future classes in grad school.  I want to maybe paint a small picture.

Now out of all of that — I just want to do one.  Small steps.  So if I just accomplish one of those, then I will be happy!

 

Advertisements

Not – “Why Did This Happen”, But “What Can I do Now, Where Can I Go From Here?

This blog has been a great release for me.  I have also said I still struggle.  At the moment, that last sentence is something that has been a problem for me.

It is a struggle that I am dealing with in a way I am not very much used to.  In fact, anything that is misspelled or looks weird in this I am sorry.

I have been dealing with trauma therapy.  It has been going well, I have an amazing therapist and am so grateful that I her.  She has stuck by me even when I could be open right away.  It is getting hardest though and I can’t stay present much.  Im awake then Im interacting with someone.  If I sit at home, going off, I dream, I imagine, I cry, its in my face, its happening to me.  Im fighting on the floor.  The thoughts are being yelled in my years

I took ambien cause I just feel myself leaving.  I talked to a friend from  my NAMI group.  I told her that my meds have made me better.  I am not severely depressed like how I was.  I do find joy at times.  I still have this underlying ever day depression though.  I still have this need to die though.  It is this bizarre need, like I have always felt like I wasn’t supposed to be alive.

Is it because of the childhood abuse?  Is it because of my genes?  It is because of both?  Nature, nurture, both?

I am not I will ever know what has cause my brain to hurt the way it hurts or have such hard feelings.

Anyway, I am on ambien and am completely falling asleep.  So as I said there maybe a completely a million mistakes and this may make no sense.  But I felt the need to write this.

Thinking our thoughts is hard.  Ruminating on why things happen can consume our lives.  From here, we really should just be asking, not why? but what now?

Not why did this happen. When did it happen?

But — What can I do now, from  this point forward, what can I do?Where Can I go From Here

Anyway, I am posted this ahead of time, so it should be posted in a few days, but I am totally tired from the medication now… so if it appears as if I should have been awake when it is up and posted, this is why 🙂  Best wishes everyone ! For some reason this was on my mind and I felt like writing it, perhaps I will re-write it or a follow up later though.

Please add your thoughts as well!

Not Asking for Help – A Mistake I Won’t Make Again

What is a mistake I will never make again?

I won’t ever not ask for help again.  I went for years not asking for help.  Hiding my depression, hiding my pain.  I didn’t want people to think I was weak.  I didn’t want people to not love me or care about me.  I wanted to be strong and competitive in this world.  I wanted to prove I could be somebody.

Depression, Bipolar, BPD, PTSD, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective, OCD, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, Trauma, Sexual Abuse, Child Abuse, Rape – whatever the mental illness  or Trauma/Past is though – it doesn’t mean you are weak.  It took me far to long to figure that out.

All I knew was that this world was about getting ahead.  That is all that was preached to me in school – you have to do this, you have to do that.  Learn this, learn that.  Get into the best school, earn the highest grades.  Take the ACT, the SAT. Apply, apply, apply.  I was miserable, but I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.

On top of that, I really didn’t believe I was going to be alive.  I really thought I was going to be dead, either by a natural death or by suicide.  I didn’t think I was actually going to have to live up to those expectations anyway.  So I never asked for help.

Then there was also the little fact that it was brought to people attention that I needed help, and no one seemed to care – so why would I ask for help when no one wanted to help me in the first place when others told them I needed it?

After being miserable for years though, and then seeing what my life has been like with the right medications and proper therapy — I would give so much to go back and get these things earlier in my life.  What a difference I think it would have made, how much easier my life would have been.

Even though people don’t always listen when we ask for help.  I still will always ask for it.  I still will always plead for it.  I won’t give up.  I will keep asking, I will keep begging, I will keep pleading for the help.  If I need help – I will get it – no matter what.  Because not asking for help, will just lead to my destruction.  I know that now.

Child Abuse – Mental Illness

There are so many different types of child abuse.  No matter what kind, they all hurt the child – they all alter the future for that child in some way.  The outlook that the child has from that point on is changed.  Any event in our lives changes the way we see the world, not just abuse, but abuse changes it in a very different way.

I was affected by various forms of abuse growing up.  The most significant form that has affected me as it was the result of many others was the sexual abuse I was subjected to from a teacher I had in 7th grade.  My whole thought process on things changed from that point forward.  Even today, I have not been able to wrap my mind on certain concepts and beliefs.  I feel like things he told me are still true – despite the fact that logically I know they are not, my mind is still trapped around the idea that they are.

Abuse warps our minds and causes us to put up protective barriers.  We shield ourselves from truths to save ourselves from feeling pain.  I did this.  I dissociated a lot.  I pretended it wasn’t real.  I did this growing up.  I did this with my teacher.  Then, I just decided to believe that what he told me was the truth.  I decided that I believed it, it was true, that if it was true then there would be no pain.  It was a survival method to keep me from suffering the immense pain that I had been suffering.

I don’t have to believe those things anymore though.  I am still learning that.  The abuse has left memories on me and I will never forget it.  I am learning to cope with it all now though.

Abuse can, and many times will, affect a child’s current and future mental health.  Depression is high in children that are experiencing abuse.  PTSD occurs frequently for those that have had some type of abuse.  Additionally, later on in life – the risk of mental illness has been found to be increased for those that have had past experiences with abuse. 

 

As I said, there are multiple types of child abuse –

ChildHelp.org lists different forms such as :

Physical abuse

Any non-accidental injury to a child. This includes hitting, kicking, slapping, shaking, burning, pinching, hair pulling, biting, choking, throwing, shoving, whipping, and paddling.

Sexual abuse

Any sexual act between an adult and child. This includes fondling, penetration, intercourse, exploitation, pornography, exhibitionism, child prostitution, group sex, oral sex, or forced observation of sexual acts.

Neglect

Failure to provide for a child’s physical needs. This includes lack of supervision, inappropriate housing or shelter, inadequate provision of food and water, inappropriate clothing for season or weather, abandonment, denial of medical care and inadequate hygiene.

Emotional abuse

Any attitude or behavior which interferes with a child’s mental health or social development. This includes yelling, screaming, name-calling, shaming, negative comparisons to others, telling them they are “bad, no good, worthless” or “a mistake.” It also includes the failure to provide the affection and support necessary for the development of a child’s emotional, social, physical and intellectual well-being. This includes ignoring, lack of appropriate physical affection (hugs), not saying “I love you,” withdrawal of attention, lack of praise and lack of positive reinforcement.

 

 

If you know of anyone that is being abuse – reach out for help.  Do not let it continue.  Report it immediately!  You can call the Child Protective Services Line (CPS, DCFS, DFCS – Different names in different states) – just call and report it!  You can remain anonymous, but sometimes it is very helpful to give your name.  Even if you suspect someone is being abuse (with a reasonable suspicion), it is better to report it than possibly ignore it and let something bad happen.

Post A Day – He Followed His Passion

Word Press Post A Day – We often capture strangers in photos we take in public. Open your photo library, and stop at the first picture that features a person you don’t know. Now tell the story of that person.

CIMG2125

He was feeding stay kittens.  There were 5 of them.  We were in an old church in Malaysia.  He drew these amazing pictures, both in pencil and it acrylic paint.  I have never seen any that were so good.  He didn’t even ask for much – only 10 ringgit for the pencil drawings and around 65-75 ringgit for the paintings.  In American money – that is nothing!  (ex. About $3.50 for the pencil drawings).

There were quite a few artists set up at this church, and a lot of them were actually quite good.  He had many people buying from him though.  What set him apart?  He was feeding these poor, helpless, defenseless, little kittens.  According to him – everyday he would bring them food and water.  Not just any cat food, but canned cat food.  The good stuff.  He had food bowls for them, the food, and a bottle full of water to pour for them.  He had named them and knew which was which.  They seemed to really love him too (more than just because he had the food).  They knew him and would play in his backpack, would cuddle with him, and purr around his leg.

He was a native of Malaysia.  He grew up there his whole life.  He hadn’t gone to school over grade school, and didn’t earn much money.  This was his job – drawing.  He knew he was good at it and wanting to make a living off of it.  He didn’t earn much money, probably because he really didn’t charge much money.  Honestly, I bet the tourists would have paid a lot more for his drawings.  He even was giving discounts to those that bought multiple drawings – and people were buying a lot of them, including myself.

On this trip, I met a stranger.  I stranger that showed love and care to those that couldn’t care for themselves.  That isn’t a quality that you really see in today’s world.  Not many people do possess that anymore.  This world is about competiveness – at least in America from what I have experienced. From my earliest days in school it has been about getting the best grades, being the best student, participating in the most activities, being the best in the class, learning the most – all so you can get in the best college/university – which will get you the best job/career.  This will ultimately make you the most money.

But he – he didn’t even care about this.  He did what he was passionate about.  He followed his passion and he took care of these defenseless animals.  He didn’t make the most money.  He was ok with his life.

I know that money does make life easier – it definitely does.  You don’t struggle to pay bills, you can buy food much easier and pay for a house/apartment.  You can pay for your doctors and medication.  It definitely can make life much easier.  But it can also make life a lot more complicated too.  I know you need money to live off of.  That is definitely a fact.

But I do think that our lives would be much better if we weren’t all about the competitiveness that we face today.  When I met this stranger – I learned that.  My mental health is in my genes, it is a chemical imbalance.  But it was also affected by the environmental factors around me.  Things in my life can help it or hurt it.  Growing up in a competitive world where I was expected to be the best, hurt it.  I had to hide that I was hurting because I had to be the best, I couldn’t show weakness.

This stranger showed me otherwise.  You don’t have to be the best.  You can just be yourself.

Daily Prompt – Don’t Judge a Book By it’s Cover

Word Press Post A Day – Bacon and chocolate, caramel and cheddar… Is there an unorthodox food pairing you really enjoy? Share with us the weirdest combo you’re willing to admit that you like — and how you discovered it.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover…..we are told this over and over again growing up.

Honestly, I can’t say that I really have any weird food combinations.  I like ranch dressing on things – french-fries, to dip my pizza in sometimes.  I like pancake syrup on more than pancakes like I’m ok with it getting on my eggs or bacon.  But I don’t think that’s weird — is it?  I’ve seen others do these things anyway.

But….I had a roommate in college, she had an interesting combination.  Perhaps it isn’t weird to others, but to me, it was a brand new combination!  Caramel dip and French fries!  In the dining court, we had the caramel dip for the apples…and of course French fries — she would put the two together! I was introduced to this concept on my second week of school while eating with her and some other friends.  I tried it once, it was definitely not my cup of tea (I am not sure it was any of my friends either).   It sound similar to milk shakes and French fries I guess, which is much more common and I have tried and is much more enjoyable for me – but it is a completely difference consistency and to me definitely did not taste the same at all.

I’m not really in to trying new things, so I was pretty proud that I even forced myself in to trying this crazy concoction that my roommate had devised.  Although, I wish I would have known that this one odd thing was just a preface to a whole semester of craziness and disagreements— a semester of us not getting along, a semester of arguments – because she wanted to go to bed at 8am but be awake at 3am, she wanted to change her sheets in the middle of the nights for no reason except cleaning seemed to be better at that time, she thought loose cheerios and underwear were appropriately placed on the desk (including mine), and the playstation 2 must be angled at a specific direction with the cords not wrapped around the controllers – a semester of mediations with the RA (luckily my RA was definitely on my side), a semester of mediations with the RLM (he was less biased, blah), and finally — thank goodness! – me getting to move out of that ridiculous situation!

Odd choices don’t always lead to odd people, but sometimes, just sometimes they do!

Why did you leave me?

Why did you leave?  Why did you leave me?  What did I do?

Oftentimes, I feel like I have lost everyone.  It seems like everyone around me is just gone.  My friends, my family, even strangers seem to turn their heads the other direction.

I know this isn’t always true though.  I have had people stick by me.  I have had great friends.  I have found lots of support when I have told my closest friends about having bipolar, PTSD, and borderline personality disorder.

I did lose friends too though.  They would say they supported me.  They understood.  They would be there for me, hang out with me, but they were distant.  Soon enough, they were gone.  I know living with someone with mental illness isn’t easy.  I wasn’t living with these people though.  I know being friends with someone with mental illness isn’t easy either.  The problem was – I was the same person I was before I had told them — nothing had changed about me, my behavior hadn’t drastically changed over night, I didn’t suddenly start calling them all the time to vent about my problems, I simply let them know that I had mental health problems.

I guess I did expect support – but I wasn’t outright asking for it at that point.  I wasn’t calling.  I wasn’t crying to them.  I wasn’t divulging my problems on them.  So why did they leave me?

I will never know for sure why people leave.  Of course, there is the stigma.  There is just the fact that people might feel pressured or be scared.  I don’t carry a grudge against any of them.  I just feel sad.  I feel sad that I lost friendships that I truly enjoyed.  People that I liked to be around, people that I thought I would still be talking to today and in 20 years — we no longer talk.   It sucks.  Plain and simple – it sucks.

It isn’t always easy to be friends with someone who has mental illness, but it is possible.  In fact, we are really good friends, we add a lot to friendships.  We are extremely empathetic because we know what pain is like.  We tend to be good listeners because we know how important it is to be listened to.  For the same reason, we are there for others when they need help, even when we feel like the world is crashing on us because of our own problems.  And yes, I know we can be difficult at times, but there are some things you can do to help us too and there is a tip on there that will make your life easier (hint – boundaries!), which I wrote about here.

There are people that won’t leave though.  There are people that are here for me and will be there for you too.  There are people that care and listen and pay attention.  There are people that I have known since I was 5, that I didn’t talk to thought out high school and much of college – but then we got back in touch – and now, we talk again.  They accept me!  They are ok with me having problems.

Those are the people I want.  I want someone who is ok with me being me.  I want someone who will be there for me.  Someone who will support me.  I understand that perhaps the people who left me felt uncomfortable or pressured or didn’t know what to do or say.  I don’t think it is necessarily excuse – I think talking to me and educating themselves or something would be better, but I understand.  I miss those that left, but I am thankful for those that have stuck with me.