Strength in Oversharing

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I am a master of oversharing. This blog is a testament to that fact. I struggle with finding a balance between the whole truth and appropriate conversation all the time. How much can I share with this person? How soon can I say certain things? What is appropriate at this level of intimacy? Omg, did I really just say that? Crap. Continue reading “Strength in Oversharing”

Fever dreams

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Borderline Personality Disorder comes with a fun list of potential symptoms. One of which is called dissociation.”According to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) ninth criterion for borderline personality disorder is “transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms” (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 654),” Colin Ross in the Journal of Trauma and Dissociation. If you want to read a full Wiki article about it, click here. So what does that all actually mean? Continue reading “Fever dreams”

Getting sick, you assholes

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Part of the problem with coming out of a depression is that I have to go back into the world. There are lots of issues that crop up when this happens, especially since I haven’t been interacting with much of humanity for a while. This is compounded by going to school and being around loads of undergrads all the time. AND it’s the middle of winter. So basically this is the perfect storm and there is no way for me to avoid getting sick. I knew it was going to happen last week when my lecture hall started to fill up with sneezes and coughs, and the girl in front of me spent the entire time blowing her nose and coughing. I was doomed. There was no escape. My immune system is woefully unprepared to fend off incoming viruses because it hasn’t been building up a tolerance.

So here I am, sneezing, tired, with a headache. I knew it. The grand thing about getting sick when you have mental health issues is that, for me at least, it removes a protective layer of sanity. It’s like I become raw, like most people, and my emotions bubble to the surface. I am less mindful, less apt to be able to deal with my feelings in a productive way, and much more likely to give in to negative emotions. The first thing that goes is my willpower. I suddenly don’t want to do anything or see anyone. I just want to curl up in bed and watch nonsense (or TED talks more likely) and snuggle with the dogs. Instead, today I’m required to go to a TWO AND A HALF HOUR session on being smart about sexual safety, because apparently I’m 17 and need to be taught what Columbia thinks are the rules of life. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate the initiative that they are taking to educate young people, but for older, wiser students this is not only redundant it’s sort of infantalizing. And now I want to go even less because I don’t feel well. Time to see if I can get out of it.

Case in point, I just sent a snarky e-mail to my math TA because after our exam he sent out an e-mail that said, “Hey, hope you guys did well on the exam…but if you need more help here are all the resources the school has.” I get it. Find extra help, and sometimes that’s really necessary. But I also think that’s kind of a cop out and pretty insulting. As if to say, “Sorry we can’t teach you what we’re trying to teach you, so go have someone else do it or do it yourselves.” Paying what I am for this course, I kind of expect more effort from the teachers themselves. I realize he was attempting to be helpful in his own way, but he doesn’t come to our class, I’ve never seen him before this week, he doesn’t know any of us, he hasn’t watched our professor teach, he gave us conflicting and flat-out incorrect information, and then he has the audacity to say, “Go teach yourself so you can pass this class.” PSSSSSH. So, because I have no filter right now, I sent him back an e-mail that basically said, “Or the class could be more informative and the homework could be more closely related to the exams.” Snarky, maybe. True, definitely. There is so much that could be improved about this class if they only tried, just a little. But this goes to my point about being raw. I had the thought to send that response the other day, I just didn’t. But now, on poor sleep and a bad cold, I just don’t have the filter.

I feel bad about what I say and do when I have no filter, but it doesn’t happen until later. In the moment I give zero fucks. It doesn’t help that I fell asleep before I could take my meds last night so today is going to be weird. Thanks for the cold, you asshole kids.

Rubenesque

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I have become Rubenesque. That is to say, I have gained a lot of weight in the last few years. It wasn’t intentional, as it rarely is. It was a side effect of trying a lot of different medications, being inactive, and then being physically unable to be active for a long time. Now, a lot of the meds I’m on have the potential for weight gain and I haven’t been inspired to work out since the summer, kicked in the butt by depression and agoraphobia until recently, so I’m kind of stuck. Changing my diet and exercise regimen will make a difference but there’s the leftover effects of the meds. Brings new meaning to “fat and happy.” Continue reading “Rubenesque”

Self-Esteem

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I am full of doubts and debates. My mind vacillates between confidence and extreme insecurity. Sometimes, mostly when I’m hypomanic, I am REALLY confident. And I mean, through the roof I can accomplish anything, let me buy all the materials to build this monstrous project, let me sign up for a million things that I can be an active part of, I am the most awesome person and I know best, kind of confident. Continue reading “Self-Esteem”

Surviving as a Student with MI

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School has always stressed me out. I love it, I’m really good at it, but my mental health often gets in the way. I have a BA in English and History and I almost completed a Master’s in Medieval Studies, but I got so depressed that I couldn’t write my final thesis and so I withdrew from the program. In college I withdrew twice, once in my sophomore year and once in my senior year. In both instances I was so depressed and dysfunctional that I couldn’t get my work done. Continue reading “Surviving as a Student with MI”

Dear Universe

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Hello Friends, Family,

I live with mental health issues. I have a personality disorder, I’m Bipolar 2, I have recovered from addiction, and I have tremendous anxiety. I’ve also dealt with loss via two miscarriages in the last few years that really took a toll on my sanity. Following each loss, I was thrown into deep depressions that ended with hospitalizations. I was suicidal and the depression was unwavering. I underwent ECT. (Yes, they still do that.) Then, when things were darkest, I lost my mind and tried to kill myself by breaking my neck. I succeeded in breaking my neck and back, but I survived. This past year I have been recovering and trying to find my path. I am in a great state of mind, I am back at Columbia studying premed so I can go to nursing school, and I’m writing a blog about all of my experiences. The blog is raw, it is dark, and it is intense at times. But I’d like to share it with you all because I believe that mental health is something we should discuss, and if people like me cannot use our voices, then no one will. I am nervous about sharing this because the stigma against mental health in our society is so great. But I also have faith in all of you. You don’t have to read my blog, but if you spend one moment understanding what mental health is and can do to people, that those who suffer are your friends and family, that there is no shame in suffering from a mental disorder, then I’ve done what I wanted to do. Thank you in advance for being the kind, intelligent, understanding people that you are. Don’t be afraid to share your story.

Excessively, Me

“You JUST got out of a mental hospital!”

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I have met more understanding people in my life than I ever expected. I was just talking to another writer the other day about how incredible it is to connect with others. So often when I share the stories of my issues and mental health troubles people respond with their own, “Omg I know! I totally get it! I went through such and such” or “My sibling went through” or “My wife/husband deals with…” and it is like an invisible connection lights up, a webbing we never knew was there. Almost everyone can relate somehow. Continue reading ““You JUST got out of a mental hospital!””

Scars and Tattoos

This post is going to be triggering for some people and will contain very graphic descriptions of self-harm. If this is an issue for you, I recommend caution.

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One of the symptoms most indicative of Borderline Personality Disorder (or Emotion Dysregulation Disorder) is self-harm. It comes in many forms ranging from superficial to injuries requiring medical attention. Self harm isn’t a suicide attempt. It can be hard to understand the difference at first, but let me try to explain. Continue reading “Scars and Tattoos”

Snow Day & Meds

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Today the world is shutting down around me because of the massive snowstorm hitting the East Coast. It means I have the day at home to do whatever I need to do, and I find myself not knowing what that is. I have two midterms next week that I need to be preparing for, so I can try and figure that out for a while. I am tired though. I was exhausted all day yesterday, even through the Adderall. Everyone on campus seems to be sick, so maybe I’m catching something. Or maybe it’s just another dip. I did find myself thinking very dark thoughts yesterday, in flashes that left as fast as they appeared. They’re nothing that I would act on, just thoughts, but disturbing nonetheless. It’s hard to be sitting in math class, trying to follow along, when you can barely keep your eyes open and your brain feels like it’s on a spin cycle. I feel emotionally dizzy: not quite balanced, not quite off balance. Continue reading “Snow Day & Meds”