We all know the saying, “Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today!?” Maybe it was thrown at you by an older relative or family friend, sincerely, as a piece of golden wisdom. But honestly, when you have mental illness, sometimes you have to put things off until tomorrow because you’ve momentarily gone crazy. One night recently I was supposed to be studying but just couldn’t because I started to cry uncontrollably and then had a panic attack. Sometimes we have to give ourselves a minute, because our bodies have chosen to function this way, and we have to learn how to deal with it. In college my advisor said to me once, “Just get it done.” I was struggling with depression and addiction, among other things, and that dismissive sentence hurt me. Sometimes I can’t “just do it,” as Nike so eloquently puts it. But in an effort to better my life through bettering myself, I have been figuring out ways to give me the incentive to take better care of myself through the help of apps, journals, and household items. Fair warning, I will list products that I reviewed as the best option in my opinion. Equivalent products can be found for most of the following suggestions. Ok, now to therappy. Continue reading “Therappy II: Motivation”
Happy Thanksgiving fellow Americans. Happy Thursday to everyone else around the world. This year I find myself most thankful for having had a wonderful relationship with my Grandpa, for being lucky enough to find myself the target of so much love and understanding. Today I am wearing Harvard crimson in his honor.
I thought on a day of giving thanks, I might take a moment and share a list of affirmations that I use when I’m feeling low or hopeless or simply depressed. It’s ok to give thanks for yourself; you are worth it. You are a unique being with flaws and insecurities, but we can combat the negative thoughts with positive self-talk. Here’s a list I encountered on the interwebs of things to say to yourself when you’re uncertain or pessimistic about life.
Continue reading “Thanksgiving Affirmations”
Before I delve into my major topic, I wanted to acknowledge the passing of my Grandfather, who supported me my whole life with effects that he couldn’t have known. He read my blog avidly, as he was a driving force behind me writing anything publicly. He was a sailor, a Harvard man, a lawyer, a problem solver, a caring father, a doting grandfather, a loving husband, an intellectual, a renaissance man. He loved to learn and always had something interesting lined up. Now, as I sit here in my Harvard sweatshirt (an ode to the great man himself), I want to take the time to write something, because I know he would support me in this too. Thank you Grandpa, you will always be a part of me. Continue reading “Therappy: Mental Health and Apps”
I have been nowhere. Sometimes I fall into severe bouts of agoraphobia, and to be honest, it’s fairly sad and gross. I’m not ashamed to talk about it, but just as a warning, it’s not a pretty picture. I have a hard time writing about things when they’re actively happening to me because my brain is scrambled and I don’t like when people worry about me. It makes me uncomfortable. So I wait and then the episode passes and I can talk again. And this time I want to talk about what it’s like to become trapped in your own home. Continue reading “Where have you been”
I feel like I am always nervous about something. Whether it’s “simple” like going outside or complex like getting into nursing school, there’s always something weighing on my mind. Today is a good day because my piece was actually published on Bring Change 2 Mind. I’ve spent the last couple of hours talking to people and tracking it on social media to see how it does. I’m pretty proud of it. But there’s still a nagging feeling that I’m missing something, that this is an illusion, that I shouldn’t actually feel good about it happening. I was so happy I could cry and then I realized I was overwhelmed and actually wanted to cry. I have such mixed feelings when things go well for me (I actually typed when things go badly first, if that says anything). I feel like a fraud, I feel like no one should actually be reading what I write, I mean, who am I to speak out about this stuff? I’m just a bipolar, borderline, depressed agoraphobe sitting at home in her pajamas, too afraid to go outside because I might have a panic attack. Continue reading “Fear of the Month Club”
I wrote a post for Bring Change 2 Mind, Glenn Close’s mental health charity, and it got published! Now you all get to know who I am. I am conflicted about this but I’m proud of this piece so I’ll share it anyway!
I bet sometimes you feel like you just don’t want to leave the house. You’d like to stay in and do nothing or goof off or just chill. Imagine feeling like that all the time, except it’s pathological and the mere thought of leaving the apartment is terrifying. This is what it’s like to live with agoraphobia. I am bipolar, I suffer from bipolar depression more often than mania, and I have panic disorder which has led to me sometimes falling prone to agoraphobic tendencies. It starts slowly, with me falling deeper into a depression and ends with me literally trapped inside the apartment because everything outside is panic-inducing. Trying to explain this to people is difficult, which is why I thought I’d give it a shot here. I read one account, a book called “Agorafabulous” which was an excellent description of what it’s like to live with agoraphobia, and one that I recommend if you’re curious about the subject. But aside from that book there isn’t much writing out there about living with agoraphobia, just “how to bust agoraphobia with this one trick,” etc. Yikes. There is no one trick. I’m sorry. It requires work. Therapy, meds, work. Lots of work. Did I mention work?
Continue reading “Agoraphobia and The Great Indoors”
Have you ever received a compliment and laughed it off? I do this all the time. I have learned how to accept compliments with genuine enthusiasm, but I am instantly dubious of the other person’s intent. I can’t possibly be worthy of a compliment, so what’s your angle? What are you trying to do to me by telling me this false nice thing? I’m a fraud, an imposter. I’m not good at anything. I’m not even good at being alive. I feel very ambivalent about it. Today, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything. I spent hours trying to tell myself that my small goals were good enough, that I showered, went to my therapist, went to my psychiatrist, practiced my Ukulele, etc., which is more than I’ve done in weeks. I try to say well I’m back in school so I’m working on that goal. But it feels too slow and I still feel like I don’t know anything. I feel like I won’t be able to do the work in the fall and I’m just faking my way through these courses. Nevermind my actual grades. They don’t mean anything. I still know nothing. Continue reading “Impostor Syndrome”
Yesterday I had an energetic epiphany and decided to take a shower for the first time in a while. I will refrain from saying how long because it’s sad, and I don’t want to be sad. Suffice it to say this was an accomplishment for me, and I feel better for it. I had my cousin over for hang-out time last night and that was refreshing as well. We goofed around on my Ukulele (which I’ve been spelling wrong forever??). Today I got up and actually went to CVS to pick up my meds. It was the first time I’d left the apartment in over a week. It was nice to be a part of the world again. Sometimes I forget that it’s not the end of the world to leave.
This is a friendly neighborhood reminder that no matter how rough shit is, you just have to keep going. Eventually things will get easier. Continue reading “Energy, Parents, and Charities”
Sometimes I feel as though my mental health issues rule my life. Bipolar can take over whenever it feels like it, sending me into spirals of mania or depression of its own will. I do lots of preventative things, like taking my meds, going to therapy regularly, sleeping appropriately, etc. But that doesn’t always keep the demons at bay. BPD is similar, because the rapid cycling moods and sensitivity can be more than I feel like I can handle. It makes it easy to write a blog about mental health because mine is constantly shifting, but it doesn’t make it easy to live in the world. It’s hard not to get my identity wrapped up in these diagnoses. For one, as someone with BPD I’m prone to an unstable sense of self, so sometimes identifying with a disorder is grounding, but it can become all encompassing. I want to remember that I am ME in all of my flawed glory. I am more than these disorders.
Continue reading “You are More”