Tagged with "I"
Can I really come off meds?
Category: Recovery
Tags: Yes if I have a child
  • The challenge of coming off psych meds, especially when they help you. Do I really want to give up something that calms me down? Kinda. Kinda not. It's a challenge to come off any drug, but one that calms your mind down to where you don't pick up on everything ... like my mind doesn't stop off meds. I'm not sure if I should come off them or stay on them. But if I have a child, I will have to embrace this challenge. 
  • I can't look at family members with rage, even if it is justified. I have to see them as souls, souls who came for the benefit of experiencing negativity. To embrace the positive and to feel love in a harsh environment. So what if my mom stole my dad's business became a millionaire and allows me to deal with poverty. She wanted me to be on disability so bad. And I fought her tooth and nail. Or whatever the saying goes. She wanted me to survive off a thousand dollars a month. And called my paralegal job foolish. I"m now making good money and pretty good at it. I'm so glad I have learned to not listen to her. I love her dearly but she's not as smart as me and no one knows what is best for you besides yourself. My dad, love him too. Haven't reached out to him in a while. I miss talking to him. But he ignores me. He ignores all his kids. He just smokes weed and drinks. And that used to be what I did while I ignored everyone. He and I are very similar. I'm a Capler for sure. My sisters, Jeanette being so competitive. Always, since she was a child. Till brains took over and I started to outsmart her. That's where I excel, brains. 
  • I don't know what warfare against the body means. But I'm sure smoking is a form of it. I try to be like the Native Americans and embrace spirit. But I only really did that on shrooms. I need to eat veggies and plan to start juicing soon. 
  • What if I embraced psychosis with curiosity instead of paranoia? Where would it lead me? I wish I could do this. 
  • Always in fight or flight mode. Usually choose flight. Or fight. Never just growth. I need to think in terms of growth. Spiritually, Physically, Empathically. Become a better person.
  • If only I had choice. Choice to live as I want to live. So many people around me tell me what is good for me and treat me as an invalid. I have a free mind. I'd like to use it.
  • I am not a victim. I am spirit and I chose my circumstances. I might not have chosen all this attention and I don't understand it. I hate it. But perhaps my life is meant to be more. I think this is my last life and why not become what I wanted to be as a child? 
  • You separate the soul from the body when you practice negative behaviors, anger, chasing food, chasing drugs, chasing alcohol. To become one with the soul, you need to meditate. I meditate before bed.
  • My whole mind is censored. I have much to say and little ability to say it. If I followed my own ideas, it would be easier to express myself. Dealing with the peanut gallery is never fun. And they are not as smart at me, in terms of me and what I want for my life.
  • Self care. Will I give up sleep if I go off  meds? Will I be the same person? Can I handle it. Can I quit smoking. Self Care. Leaving behind those who only see me as a cash cow.
Dangerous thinking
Category: Delusions
Tags: Delusions medication

 

 

I have suffered from delusions my whole life up until 2009 when I was hospitalized.  My delusions about the Bible and society affected every aspect o my life. As I got older my delusions became stronger and stranger.  I thought that I was being stalked by the hells Angels and investigated by the police.  I was positive that I was a victim of gang stalking even though I had no affiliation with any gangs nor was I doing anything illegal. In 2009 I was so paranoid that I would never leave my room or home, I isolated myself from everyone of of fear.  I couldn't even watch tv without thinking that the tv could read my mind.  I believed that I had to read the Bible backwards to get to heaven and I thought members of my family were being cloned. I could not distinguish my really family members from the clones and it terrified me.  After a few months of this my father went to the Justice of the Peace and proved I was a danger to my self and community so police came and took me to the hospital. After a month of taking different meds my psycharist found a med which brought me down to earth.  After I came to my senses I began to feel guilty and ashamed for putting my family through that ordeal.  I was put on a community treatment order for one year, if I did not take my meds the police could pick me up from anywhere and take me to the hospital.

I am so grateful that my doctor found a med that worked or I would have been dead, in jail or institutionalize indefinitely.  After my hospitalization I felt like I had to relearn everything I had learned in life.  I feel like I had to go through all the stages of life all over again in order to grow and become whole.  I had to start all over again so I could rebuild.

 

 

 

Diamonds in the Rough
Category: Friends
Tags: Relationships family friends

IP use to be a fairly popular and social guy throughout my life until I shared my diagnosis with my family and friends in 2009.  Having a mental illness in my culture is worse than being sinful it doesn't get much worse. When my family and relatives found out about my illness they abandoned me. My opinions and feeling became invalid because I was sick, possessed or incompetent. If I ever needed help in anyway way they would suggest I use a social service instead of having to deal with the issue with me.  All my friends but 2 disappeared and stopped contacting me, and hanging out with me. The isolation I felt made me very lonely, depressed, broken hearted and even suicidal. Now when I meet people I try not get to emotionally invested because true friendship is very rare.  I'm not sure if I can ever be close to anyone again in anyway. I was raised to believe that friends and family were in your life to support you in your darkness moments but that's wasn't the case for me.  Even now I have learned to keep ppl at a distance because if they knew I was mental ill they would abandon me. It is heartbreaking but the experience has made me independent, stong and more resilient than I ever dreamed.  It taught me that only god can love you unconditionally and perhaps very few other ppl, if you're very luck.

Peer Reviewed - Someone was very creative
Category: Creativity
Tags: Creativity - Spark of Genius

Peer ReviewNot that I am trying to be anti anything.

Or spark a debate. 

I just thought this was funny. And reminded me of how I was first diagnosed and around all these people who were so religious and praised Jesus for everything. Jesus is not God in my opinion. God is God. But again, not trying to start a debate. 

I just want to say, science is science. And science studies things that can be observed. It is observed that meds help people with symptoms like mine. They help to eliminate my symptoms, to resolve them, to make them less noticable. Jesus only furthered my delusions. Peer reviewed was a nice touch. I just thought this was funny and I wanted to put this here for anyone else who might appreciate it. 

 

It's just a joke. God has it's place. Science has it's place. I don't subscribe to any religion and probably nobody should. Because none of the spiritual leaders did. Religion breeds money and money breeds greed. And greed breeds corruption. Just treat everyone how you would like to be treated. That means treating everyone fairly. 

Disability Doctor v Psychiatrist
Category: Seeking Help
Tags: Psychiatry

There was a time when I was on disability and had to see state doctors who accepted Medicaid and Medicare. So I would visit state funded mental health treatment facilities. And I was shuffled in and out. The therapist complemented my ability to dress myself with some taste. As if other "clients" didn't care or if I were dressing up for my appointment. I found it insulting to place so much emphasis on my clothes. And then my mom joined the session and the therapist and my mom talked over me. It was awful and I have not tried therapy since. And I don't recommend a controlling mother go with you.

State doctors.... their paperwork is not accurate. They inflate symptoms. The doctor filled out my disability paperwork without asking me questions, said I was crying when I was annoyed and angry. But crying looks better on paper. They just fill out meds, don't take personal interest in you. You are a number amongst thousands. And they do everything with red tape, have no problem ceasing care if you don't line up with the red tape... you are on your own with state doctors. They don't really care.

I've been with a doctor who has a private practice for a little over a year now. He asks about my home life. Everything is written down, all of his notes, by hand. He's always thinking of ways for me to improve, tells me everyone gets stressed out, advises me to stay away from my mom if her abuse and neglect make me suicidal, encourages me to work, applauds my efforts, and takes care when prescribing meds.

It's night and day difference in care received. I'm not just a number but a client in a private practice. Love my choices. My mom wanted me to stay on disability, refused to help me when I chose to work, and I am happier for it.

How I Learned to Talk About it
Category: Seeking Help
Tags: Opening Up

I have schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. Before I was diagnosed, I was going to school full time and also working part time at a casino. I loved going to school but found it to cause a feeling of pressure. I hated working at the casino and didn't like a lot of the people nor their projected image of me while I worked there. I became ill and quit both school and work abrubptly. I became paranoid and quit trusting everyone and only trusting others for delusional reasons. I was like this for years. Finally, a doctor was able to diagnose me after some of my delusions were vocalized regarding my mother. For years, I was able to hide it. I have since been diagnosed with schizoprhenia, bipolar with psychosis, and the one I agree with: schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. 

I have quit medicine and treatment many times, at least four times. And each time I relapsed into my delusional symptoms, each time worse than the previous time. More violent, more demanding while under psychosis. I have learned from experience that life is just way easier on medicine and in treatment. I have learned that I would rather take medicine daily than lose touch with reality and think the whole world is out to get me. 

There was a time where I kept this all hidden. But I had to talk about it. I at first found Facebook groups. Then I told friends. My family never really accepted it. My mom blames me for things I did under psychosis and our relationship has a terrible rift in it as a result. And I do not trust my mom nor feel comfortable being vulnerable around her. I've lost friends who thought it was better to keep their distance. I do speak my mind and when it's delusional, I am aggressive. They think it's better to stay away. Keeping distance over something I have no voluntary control over. Just to medicate it away and no one wants to take medicine. 

Best we all just stay away from each other. They don't offer real support and that's fine. I'm on my own. I lost my mind and went into my own world. My favorite people were there and they talked to me daily by the second. Music was a great communicator. Tv communicated with me. The radio communciated with me. Books had deeper meaning and it was also a form of communication with God. I would open books at random and think it was God responding to me. I enjoyed these activities. But it was all delusional. These are activities I no longer get to enjoy because of medicine. It's just not the same on medicine because it doesn't feel as real. 

But medicine does allow me to work. And I work well. I'm a good worker. Medicine allows me to think clearly. Medicine has its benefits. I have to see the positive side of medicine. I can avoid abuse on meds. Off meds, people will take advantage of you. And I think others are helping me when I am delusional and these pepole are actually just taking stuff from me or hurting me. Because I am delusional, I interpret the abuse as help. So medicine helps me avoid that altogether. Medicine has a positive side. I will continue to take medicine. 

I will meditate and talk to God still. I just like that talking to God is my only focus off meds. But on meds, I have other interests. So I guess medicine is good for me, maybe good for my soul as I do not attack others. I am not paranoid and delusional on meds. I will of course continue to take medicine. Medicine saved my life. I also have to acknowledge that. I am suicidal off meds, too. Another aspect to consider. Better just stay on them and be grateful to have my mind back and all the delusions gone. Giving thanks to the scientific community for their work and research.

How My Family Responded to Me During My Delusions
Category: Coping
Tags: Delusions

How People Support Someone with a Mental Illness vs. Physical Illness


With mental illness, I was blamed for my behaviors that I did while under a deep state of psychosis. I was told to get over it and quit talking about it once I had healed and I was upset that everyone was fighting with me during psychosis. They fought with me when I was in an altered state of reality. They took me seriously. And I was like, why would you do that ? Or better yet, why would you hold a seance in response? Do you think I am posessed? It's enough to confuse you and make your blood boil. 

I was told that I should not talk about it after I healed. I was told that I would be judged if I talked about it and I should keep quiet about it. But this lessens the experience for me. I want to talk about it. And raising awareness about mental health issues is not attention seeking. It is important and valid. 

I was never told I was weak or lazy but I was called deceitful because of my behaviors during psychosis. Getting judged while you are in altered state is a new form of low. It's like, okay, the person judging you is NOT understanding the situation at all. They are not understanding the loss of judgement that occurs during psychosis. 

I was told that taking medicine was my responsiblity. And when I tried to quit meds, I was told that was my choice and I was offered no help in getting better. I was homeless and had to pull myself up from the ground to get going. No help was offered. 

The way my family responds to my mental health diagnosis is wrong. And guess what, I think I am going to stay away from them for the time being. Take a break from this. Time to build a life I love with the people I love. And just enjoy my life and ignore those who don't even attempt to understand me.

Breaking the Fear of Stigma
Category: Stigma
Tags: Stigma From Everywhere - Don't Be Afraid to Speak Up

Breaking the Fear of Stigma

When I was first diagnosed with schizophrenia, the news was earth-shattering. It rang in my ears like an alarm going off - something is very wrong with me. Of course, it was not until the meds worked and my delusions went away that I truly felt the magnitude of the diagnosis, the gravity of it. And my family felt the gravity of it. They were all stunned and just assumed I was angry. But I was delusional. Delusions went away - and so did my anger. This also stunned them. The change in personality. Me getting diagnosed and the change that meds caused in me had my parents not understanding at all. 
But it made things clear for me. I realized my mind was tricking me. And that alone was scary, to know something like that can happen to a person, especially me. It was just earth-shattering, receiving my diagnosis. Traumatic to say the very least. Life changing. Perspective changing. Personality changing. Humbling. 

After you receive your diagnosis, you have to go around the same people who  honestly have not learned much about mental illness. The world is still very much in the dark about it. And these people can be angry over something you said during psychosis or they might just be abusive by nature. I encountered many "mean" people who were downright cruel after I received my diagnosis. Ugh. I hung out with a religious group, and that was where I encountered the "mean" person. He told me that my mom would protect me because after I was diagnosed, I felt like a child again. And I needed my mom. And this person was mean about it. And I was just processing feelings. I couldn't hide my feelings. And I was hanging out with these people at a religious function. And I was trapped with them. Of course, I have never allowed that situation to happen again and avoid those who are "religious" by nature. Because others at this party gave all the credit toward my healing to "Praise Jesus" rather than admit science saved me. If anything, Jesus was part of my delusions and the meds made that part go away. Jesus was clouding my judgment. I'm not religious but I understand it having been raised that way. Now, I'm a free bird. Anyway, I learned to overcome that kind of stigma, and the fear that you experience when you encounter the stigma, by standing tall around those who practice that kind of stigma. I have learned to use science and facts to support my healing and if people want to think I am evil, I let them with joy and even feed into it. I quit caring so much about people who are insignificant in my life. 

Learning to overcome stigma after returning to work was something else. For the longest time, I had feelings of being inadequate and that I was an invalid. But I like to learn and I work hard. And I have kept being challenged. I used to think that someone with my diagnosis couldn't work. I used to think that working would be too much because my thoughts or emotions or feelings might get in the way. But after working, I have learned that I excel with a challenge. I deliver. I do well. Work is good for me. And I am good at usiing my mind and working. Work feeds my soul. I have learned to avoid those who don't enjoy a hard day's work because it's a joy only those who enoy working understand. And half my family collects disability and then does drugs. They think I am crazy to work. And I think they are crazy to live their life like that. We are not the same. 

Overcoming stigma in relationships is difficult. People who are really untrained in mental health always want to tell you how you behave this way or that and call it mental illness. That is the worst kind of stigma, labeling all behaviors as mental illness. This I have encountered and the only thing to do about that is to cut people off. You don't want to be around someone who is constantly putting you in a box. I have left relationships for this and nothing makes me more proud of myself. I could have stayed and endured further mistreatment. But I left. I moved on. And I didn't look back. This goes for men I've dated as well as family. Learning to walk away from those who don't truly take an interest in my life. It' s their loss. 

You will always find others who want to put you in a box because of your mental health disorder. Or who always want to accuse you of missing your meds. These are the people to avoid. They are negative and no one needs that kind of influence in your life. You can enjoy life with a mental health disorder. Religion never saved anyone, especially not me. You can work and excel at work with a severe mental health disorder. The media needs to portray stories of success more often. Homeland is a story of success for someone with bipolar disorder. You can be in a positive relationship with a mental health disorder. And you can walk away from any relationship that does not feed and nurture your soul. It helps if you work to walk away easier. Never settle. Always work on developing yourself. There is always more to learn. 

Let's end the stigma associated with mental health disorders. Even if that means walking away from people who you think are "primary" to your life. We live multiple lives. There are always primaries in your life. Who cares? Make yourself your primary and look after yourself non-stop. Walk away from those who practice stigma. They will never feed your soul. 

Meds - Not Being Able to Afford Them
Category: Medication
Tags: Meds Costs Can Be Sky High

2018 was a rough year for me. All because Walgreens overcharges people with prescription costs. Walgreens tried to sell me meds for over $300 to fill. I gasped. There was no way I could afford that monthly cost. I assumed that I was ok. And questioned if the meds helped me. Then decided that I would try to live life without meds. And I lost my mind. Again. Same delusions all over again. Right back in the middle of my psychosis. Look, meds are a necessity. People with diabetes also need meds to survive. Life or death. And they are overcharged on the cost of meds. I have no choice but to vote for free healthcare, free education, freedom to peacefully protest. We need to have social workers respond to mental health crisis calls. We don't need the police there, who are threatening by nature when I truly need to simply see a psychiatrist. There are a million reasons why we need to do better. Jails are overcrowded and mostly unnecessary. We can find a better system for that. I believe in change and Yes, we can change for the better.
#mentalhealth

 

EDIT - Use GoodRx App to get a low cost on meds. 

What Mental Illness Looks Like in My Family
Category: Family
Tags: Family

Mental illness runs in my family on my mom's side and my dad's side. On my mom's side, members get diagnosed with psychosis, schizoprhrenia, or schizoaffective disoder, plus addiction; and on my dad's side, members have anxiety, depression (crave chocolate), and also addiction. I have addiciton on both sides. So I don't trust taking xanax or anything addictive because I have chronic mental illness, which means it is not going away. And these symptoms need a long-term solution, not a short quick fix like xanax. I need therapy and probably some psychiatric medication, just not addictive ones. 

My grandma might have had bipolar disorder with psychosis. She once told me that her nurse prescribed antidepressants to her while in the hospital (she went to the hospital after she would purposely hurt herself in order to get pain meds from the doctor). My grandma fought back about the antidepressants, telling the nurse that they upset her thinking and she didn't want them. The nurse did not listen and prescribed antidepressents anyway (perhaps the Dr. prescribed the meds and the Nurse just followed orders). Well, after the nurse gave my grandma antidepressants, my grandma started to experience odd thinking, delusional thinking. 

I will expand. She specifically thought that a black baseball player for the Tigers was our grandpa. And she thought the tv was talking to her. And she had paranoid delusions. All because she was given the wrong medications. And she might never have been properly diagnosed because her mind was always in an altered state or chasing an altered escape. 

Drugs were huge in my family growing up. I just thought it was normal for my grandma to take speed and I thought it was okay for my mom to beat me daily when she was in a rage. It felt normal. And then when I got older, I didn't want to bring children into this world because of my family. That is just the plain truth. I was not sure if I even wanted to have kids, but the idea of my mom and dad and uncle and sisters and cousins all trying to love this kids, when they could not love me, or worse, they will write off my kids. So I never had them. But I might. 

My grandma had severe mental illness and died from a xanax overdose while out in the hallway at a retirement facility where she lived. That was her life. There is so much drama in my family. So many people do not like the others. No one likes me. And you know what, I don't care. I'm still going to say that mental illness is genetic. But it's also environment. And I would be building my child up. My sister will not explain Jesus or God to my neice. So I did. My other sister shares what she knows but she doesn't know much.. And my other sister, she is the youngest and doing well. But she was atheist while living with my mom. 

I have to overcome all this drama and realize that my family does not define me. My soul, my personality, my dreams, my vision, that is what defines me. I was told by a psychic healer to no longer call "my mom" as my mom but to instead say "the mom" because my mom was not  a real mother growing up. She was in two relationships with two men, probably on drugs, up some days and so kind, down other days and would beat the shit out of me. And as an adult, I have a disability. I was homeless a little over a year ago. And my mom allowed that and even praises herself for her actions. 

I just want to hold a mirror up to her and be like, this is you. That is what I am doing with Brite Haven. I'm tearing down their balconies and I am going to be on the same level and I'm going to talk about the neglect, abuse, drug use, mental illlness, addicitons, cheating on people, all of that exists in my family. 

They look at me as a lost cause. I look at them as being born among my enemies. Had I self-medicated my mental illness away, like my entire family does, than maybe I would never have ended up in mental health treatment. Me choosing meds is me staying away from hardcore drugs. I always refused to use hardcore drugs when I was younger and as an adult, it does disgust me. Because I see a spirit. I see a soul. I see someone who is killing the ability to speak to their soul because they are high. This life will be over before I know it. 

I have to stop looking back. I have to wear rose-colored glasses and see spirit all around me.  I have reincarnated several times and I would refer to past life moms as the mom. So I will simply adopt that practice with her. She is the mom. The mom of my life now=====we are not even friends. We love each other. But we come from love and will return to love and we are supposed to be helping others have a happy journy. I need to work on healing. That is the point of writing and returning to my writings. To heal. 

Is It Okay For Your Children to Take Psychiatric Mediications? Some Thoughts on the Topic! Tags: childhood disorders psychiatric medication grey matter brain loss coping mechanisms talk therapy
I am annoyed with people and their response to mental illness. My family, I am annoyed with their response as well. Everyone wants to keep mental health issues as hush-hush and think that talking about it openly produces trauma. The only trauma that truly exists is the inability to express your frustrations with whatever you are struggling with, whether it be mental illness, diabetes, or heart disease. There needs to be a forum for mental health issues to be discussed and that is the point of Brite Haven. You can create a profile using a pseudonym and feel free to express yourself fully. We need a safe place to talk about these issues and we need to bring everything to light. Mental illness exists and I've known way too many people who died from a mental health disorder. I can think of five people who were diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder that have died from suicide. That is just way too many. You get to know someone, you suffer the same things, and then that person just disappears from your life, because of an early death.
 
People die from mental health issues just as they die from heart disease or cancer without treatment. And we need preventative care. We need to address mental health symptoms before they become full-blown episodes. There have been times when I could not afford my medication and I therefore did not take them. I ended up in the hospital and recovery took about 6 months to get back to a place of stability. And my mom wanted to put me in a home. She wanted me on disability. She did not want me out in the public for fear of what I might say about our family.
 
So I created a platform, a place to discuss pain, trauma, mental health diagnoses, support or lack of support, etc. on Brite Haven. This is a safe place to vent, to express yourself. People do not want to hear about mental health issues. Kids are prescribed medications and we do not know the long term effects of these medications. These medications destroy grey matter in your brain. Your brain loses weight from these meds, it shrinks. And I can't imagine how someone would think it's okay to give to kids so readily. Talk therapy should be the first consideration, not meds. These kids have not defined themselves and if they are symptomatic, and severe, I suggest meds. But not as a first response. We should exhaust all other avenues to recovery before we give out antipsychotic or ADD meds to children. We should work with children at their levels. I think we need to homeschool children more too. But with both parents working, that is nearly impossible.
 
We are so quick to medicate. So quick to push the person aside and shove pills down their throats before these children are given a chance to heal. Children are empathic and take on the worries of their parents energetically. Perhaps the parents need counseling and need to learn how to respond to their children without these damaging medications. I started taking these medications at 27 and no one tried to talk sense to me. They simply medicated me to shut me up. But I did not shut up.
 
And I refuse to shut up. For the rest of my life, I will support mental health treatment because it saved my life. But I am against medicating children. I think that is laziness on the parents' part. I'm not saying that at times it is necessary. But from experience, parents get tired of the outbursts from children and look for an easy solution, such as medication without considering the long term effects of these medications. Once you try to quit the meds, you relapse. Your brain is also sicker than it was in the first place because these medications destroy grey matter in the brain. But you know what else causes the loss of grey matter? That would be not treating episodes of mania. If you suffer from mania, and it goes untreated, that can destroy grey matter in your brain. So it's really worth considering if meds are right for you and that answer should be self-directed and self-given by the person who is experiencing stress. If you want to start mental health treatment, know that it helps you to be stable, clears your mind from the clutter of negativity that often accompanies mental distress. Treatment saved my life.
 
It's a lot to consider. Should children be given medications? So young and they will be stuck on these meds the rest of their lives. These medications can make the brain sicker and this can produce symptoms such as anger, outbursts, delusions, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and homicidal tendencies. That is the side effects of these drugs, once you stop taking them or if you build up a tolerance, these symptoms can appear. And these symptoms are easier for an adult to experience than a child. I think a child should be educated on things and given a voice in treatment. They should know what these meds do, the children, before they suffer long-term consequences. We should be more focused on talk therapy than prescribing medications to children. Teach them coping techniques and educate them.
 
I fully support mental health treatment. But I know the dangers of it too. And I think we need to make people aware of these facts. This way, people can choose with more education and experience and what they really want out of treatment. Children deserve to have a voice, too.
10 Signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & Follow Up Questions Tags: PTSD Questionnaire

10 Signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

A List and Follow Up Questions to See If and How You Relate to Each Symptom:

1.Detachment from Others

One of the first symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder is detachment from others. This can happen for a myriad of complicated reasons. Often, those with PTSD are afraid of how they might behave in front of other people. They worry that they might become angry or react strangely to normal occurrences.

Do you feel alone in this world and like you can relate to no one? If the answer is yes, how can you start to getting back to being in touch with your friends/family who are supportive of you? Can you join groups that interest you? I joined Alcoholics Anonymous and found something that brings me both peace and understanding. Do you think you could find help in a group similar or the same as that?

I have left so many family members behind. Left friends too. I am finding people from online groups that I relate to in the most positive ways. And I joined alcoholics anonymous and it's changing me in the most profound way. It made me think differently about drinking. It's not just fun and games. It can be damaging too. I drink to not feel alone. And it makes me more alone. I find that I need to reach out and I am at times and it's helping. My online friends are everything. We have so much in common. It's amazing that we found each other. THere is hope in online support groups. And in alcoholics anonymous. Sharing is caring. And I find that when I share my feelings, I feel more open to others and when they share, I don't feel so alone in this world. 

 

 

2.Flashbacks

Flashbacks are another symptom of PTSD. The symptom causes a person to relive a traumatic event. The emotional response is different for everyone. However, flashbacks often cause feelings of panic, extreme stress, and physical issues like fainting, heart palpitations, and high blood pressure.

Do you have flashbacks of bad experiences? Do they make you feel small and fearful? Do you relive the trauma? Can you bring yourself back to the present moment and try to remember that that negative moment no longer exists and you are now in the present and there  is peace here? Do you think that is possible for you?

 

I am not sure if I have flashbacks. I have moments where I remember painful memories but my mind is usually in a happy place as I am usually focused on my goals, at work. When at home with nothing to do, I usually feel lost and alone. I need hobbies. When I have roommates, I hope to build hobbies with them. 

 

 

3.Nightmares

Frequent nightmares are a common symptom of PTSD. These nightmares may focus on the event that created the trauma or they may appear unrelated. Nightmares are different from flashbacks in that they occur on a subconscious level during sleep, while flashbacks take place while the mind is alert and awake.

Do you find yourself having nightmares of bad experiences of a fears? Do you have lucid dreaming where you don’t really rest? Are you afraid to ask your doctor for addicting sleeping meds? Can you try guided meditation to help you rest your mind? Do you think there are other coping techniques? What has helped you?

 

I rest but it's not always restful. I have lucid dreaming many times. I think as I sleep. I work out problems and I am awake-sleeping. I am thinking as I dream. I sometimes enjoy it and sometimes need more rest. But I do fall asleep and I do dream almost every night. I wake up with songs and thoughts in my head and am ready to start my day. I wake up on-go.

 

4.Avoiding Reminders

Someone with PTSD may avoid situations that remind them of the events around the trauma. For example, if the traumatic event happened at work, then the person with PTSD may have difficulty returning to their job. Additionally, they may not want to be around family or friends they associate with the traumatic event. This symptom can interfere with one's livelihood and social life.

I do this. I avoid all family events because of how I was treated when at my worst and it’s a painful reminder of when I was much unloved. I don’t know how to overcome this one. Hopefully one day friends will become family or maybe I will make a family of my own. It’s something I am working on. What are you doing to help you with the bad habit of avoiding reminders?

 

 

I avoid family like the plague because they are full of bad reminders for me. Even my niece became a source of major discomfort. My sisters are a source of discomfort as they lack understanding and I only feel judgment from them. So I avoid them. My mom married my dad's brother and the holidays are a reminder of that. So I avoid the holidays where they all celebrate together and I still cant seem to comprehend it. I look forward to spending the holidays with my friend Stacey from now on as she is a souce of love and non judgement. 

 

5.Insomnia

Insomnia, or the inability to sleep, is another symptom of PTSD. There are many reasons this occurs. Some people may find that they keep worrying about the event that caused the trauma, making it difficult to clear their minds and drift off to sleep. The knowledge that nightmares begin after they drift off can also make sleep difficult. Doctors can prescribe medications and holistic methods such as meditation to help reduce instances of this debilitating symptom.

Insomnia is a horrible symptom. And many have it. Nothing worse than missing a good night’s sleep and feeling drained all day. I have had my troubles with insomnia and find that keeping a schedule and taking medicine before bedtime helps. What have you found that helps you fight the battle of insomnia?

If I miss my meds, I can't sleep. If I take my meds too early, I can't sleep. Sleep sometimes does evade me. But if I have a routine, I sleep well. I have to have a routine and I stick with it. People who do not respect my routine cannot be around me. I get irritable and quickly snap at them. 

 

6.Lack of Motivation

Sleeping too much or generally losing interest in day-to-day activities and hobbies about which one used to feel passionate can be an indicator of PTSD or another condition such as depression. If someone experiences this symptom over the long-term, on a regular basis, it may be advisable to seek professional help or advice.

Do you feel unmotivated to go after goals? To do what you want to do in life? Do you have desires to achieve things in life? What are they? Do you remember when you were little? How inspired you were? Can you get back to that inner child frame of mind and remember how life appealed to you as a child? What inner child work are you doing for yourself today?

My mom threatens me with putting me in a home. WHich is enough to keep me motivated for several lifetimes. Suicide is not an option as I often feel I will fail and end up in a home with a permanent disorder. I just stick with the program and don't give in or give up. I fight as much as I can to keep going no matter how much I want to give in or give up. It's not an option. Failure is not an option. One day, it won't be so difficult. One day, I will find a life partner. Right now, it's just me. 

 

7.Anger

An individual with PTSD may exhibit irritability and anger in varying degrees and at sometimes unexpected intervals, often to a greater degree than they once did. This can happen for a variety of reasons and can impact interpersonal relationships and job performance.

Are you angry with the circumstances you have been given in life? Do you feel slighted by others? Do you feel like you have been dealt a bad hand of cards and like life is not in your favor? How can you turn those negatives into positives? There are people walking around without the ability to hear, see, walk, and more. And they find positives. How can you learn to see the positives in your situation?

 

My mom lied to me my entire life and still lies. So she is a source of anger. My sister lies now too. So she is a source of anger. I would not want to be in either shoes so I don't know why they lie. But it must make their lives easier. I tend to tell the truth because I prefer to. I prefer it becauuse its easier and I don't mind dealing with consequences. I'm strong enough to deal with the consequences and my life is not built on a lie. It's built on me. and I have been me since day one. I get angry with my family because I don't feel like they are honest with me or themselves. 

 

 

8.Memory Loss

Memory loss can be associated with PTSD. Often, an individual will mentally block out the traumatic event temporarily or permanently. This presents challenges in the diagnosis, acceptance, and recovery, as many mental health professionals encourage their patients to face and discuss the circumstances that led to the condition. In addition, people with PTSD may have difficulty recalling recent events unrelated to the trauma.

Are you suffering from memory loss? Are there blocks of time you don’t remember? Does this make you feel uneasy? Could you see it as a benefit? Do you realize we are infinite and some things are done for our protection? Can you see this too as a benefit? Can you reframe you thinking into more positive thoughts?

 

Never had a problem with memory loss. I remember most things and most things about most things. I can recall what I was feeling, thinking, and why I thought the way I thought. Even during psychosis, I can recall exactly what I thought and why. It helps me. 

9.Feeling Jumpy

People with PTSD may find that they feel jumpy or are never completely at ease. This often occurs when a traumatic event that caused the condition is particularly frightening and life-endangering. For example, many soldiers who have spent time in active war zones and other dangerous situations may experience PTSD and, as a result, loud noises and stressful situations reminiscent of the trauma can trigger emotional and physical responses.

Do you have triggers? Do things make you jumpy? Do you like a peaceful environment? Do you not like to be around crowds? This one is tough for me. But if you realize that all people are just trying to be happy for the most part, can you see a crowd as a group of people just trying to get by, just like you? And maybe not as people to be afraid of? Can you try to start to think this way?

 

No, not too jumpy. But do prefer music and quiet people. 

10.Turning to Drugs and Alcohol

Sometimes, people with PTSD turn to self-medication in the form of recreational drugs and excessive alcohol consumption. This is another sign that professional medical care is necessary as soon as possible. The excessive use of drugs and alcohol can exacerbate feelings of depression and other dangerous symptoms that can lead to suicide or otherwise put an individual's life in danger.

Have you ever considered not self-medicating? Have you ever considered attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting? Not smoking weed? Not turning to hard drugs? How about attending a Narcotics Anonymous Meeting? Do you know the benefits of these things? They change lives. Even if you are not an addict. You can still benefit by attending these free meetings. Call and attend today. I strongly recommend. Would you go?

Oh, I self-medicate my family pain away. My family is a great source of pain but I am learning that if I want to be in control, self-medicating is not an option. And there is therapy. I go to alcoholics anonymous and hearing others stories makes me want to manage my life in a more positive way. It makes me want to take steps to love myself better, to nurture myself more, to take the right steps and get away from those who are not loving themselves in a way that is healthy. I want to be healthy and have those around me be healthy too. 

Sometimes I relapse in Bad Love
Category: Coping
Tags: abusive codependent relationships

You Were Never Right For Me

We Were Never Meant To Be

And I Know Better than That

It's Just that Sometimes I Relapse

 

When the snow and ice fell to the ground 

And the holidays started to come around

I called you up For another chance at romance

You called me sweet, our lips did meet

It felt like bliss, our first kiss

 

But You Were Never Right For Me

We Were Never Meant To Be

And I Know Better than That

It's Just that Sometimes I Relapse

 

A year later, we're still together

Not by luck, it feels were stuck

we work through each and every obstacle

no matter the fight, we always make it right

I overlook this, you laugh at that

soon we only look at sugar coated moments

 

But You Were Never Right For Me

We Were Never Meant To Be

And I Know Better than That

It's Just that Sometimes I Relapse

 

Do you really know me?

Do I really know you?

Is this the depth we are looking for?

Is this relationship truth?

 

When You Were Never Right For Me

We Were Never Meant To Be

And I Know Better than That

It's Just that Sometimes I Relapse

 

Truly You Were Never Right For Me

We Were Never Meant To Be

And I Know Better than That

It's Just that Sometimes I Relapse

Poetry About Intuition Tags: Your Inner World

Think a little deeper

dig a little more

Your heart is an open vessel 

that wants to be explored 

Get under it

try to understand

everything you're going thru

is part of the master plan

Listen closely

your soul knows the way

Listen to your inner thoughts

and what your soul has to say

Let intuition

be your guiding light

and you'll never be lost

between day and night

Think a little deeper

dig a little more

your heart is an open vessal

that wants to be explored

Never sacrifice your right

to say yes or no

Listen closely

to your divine soul.

Questions Posed to my Now Fiancé
Category: Marriage
Tags: True Love is about Support

What it's like to date someone with schizoaffective disorder?

He takes me as I am!

Below is a list of questions regarding dating someone with mental illness (me and I am diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type). I'm not easy to date and some days are better than others. I have good days and bad. Up and down. Sometimes my head is in the clouds and other times, I'm grounded and centered. Depends on how much I did for the day and I don't really know. Just depends. I've been with my boyfriend over a year and we might get married. I decided to take a moment and ask him questions about my disorder and see how he really feels about me. I was pleased with the answers and I hope you are, too.

1.) Are you aware of the diagnosis and what does it mean to you?

Yes, I am aware fully. It means that I have to protect you from certain things sometimes, namely yourself, you know? I have to tolerate the you know mood swings and stuff like that. 

2.) How does it affect your life?
Have to pick up meds on occasion, never really sure which version of my girlfriend will show up which means like what she will be today, mean from the other day, or not, it's challenging, very challenging. 
Never date a girl with curly hair, they clog up the drains 

3.) Do you see your girlfriend in your future? 
Yes, I do. She's sweet. Generally has a heart of gold. 

4.) How does the disorder affect your girlfriend?
Um, she hates always having to take meds everyday and wants to be free of the meds. She doesn't like being judged by others about it. She might resent it. Doesn't like being judged. Doesn't like the stigma that comes with mental illness. Hates if you tell her you are going to put her in the hospital. 

5.) What is one good thing about her disorder?
It makes her who she is, right? So if that is the side-effect of a disorder, I guess it's not so bad. 

6.) Do you regret dating her? Would you change it? 
I should have ran the other way, huh? Too late now. No regrets though. I live without regrets. 

7.) Should she stay on meds? 
Yes, because she can't function without them. She will be standing on the corner screaming at Jesus if she doesn't have her meds.

Those were his answers and I guess I should stay on meds. I do yell at Jesus and others off meds and for delusional reasons, that only make sense to me. So, sure I guess I will continue to take meds. I feel better on them, anyway.  

When My My Mom Dropped Me OFF at the Police Station
Category: Abuse
Tags: During a Psychotic Episode

People may not understand my feelings about my family. They have never let me live with them when I was homeless due to episodes of mental health. And it's happened at least 4 times. My mom has a history of locking me up at my cousin's, taking away both my license and vehicle and not allowing me to accept positions in the legal field because they were "too far away." She has yelled and sworn at me in public and I have never done this to her. But I have called her out on social media for being a Trump supporter. And I have called her out for her harsh treatment of me for my mental health issues. And I have called out family for allowing me to be homeless. I have not seen my sisters in over a year and I could have gone over for Christmas but holiday-relationships are overrated especially when you have been left out in the cold. Now that I am doing better, I am treated better by all of them. But when I was at my worst, for a condition that I have no control over and for one that requires education, I was met with both neglect and abuse. Which is why I started my website, to talk about stigma that people endure and to give a place to heal from it. Yes, I love these people. But I was only consistently treated with love and respect, and help from my friend Stacey. You know who you are. She has taken me in every time. And Tammie was there for me. But Stacey let me live with her each time and helped me get back on my feet. I wouldn't be a paralegal today if it weren't for her. My mom had me locked up. But Stacey saved me. She picked me up from the police station that my mom had dropped me off at, thinking that was all I was good for. She had taken my phone, taken my vehicle, and all I had was a bag of clothes, my license and Stacey's number, which I knew by heart. Thank God I knew her number by heart. She saved my life that day. You can all judge me for things you don't understand. My family only looks perfect in pictures. We are by far from perfect.

 

Further Reflections:

 

I decided that I am going to speak out against stigma. My own family treats me with terrible stigma. They treat me terribly. In the past, it was so terrible. I just don't want to be around them when I think of it. Leaving me at a police station. What was her thinking on that, my mom's? I was homeless and that is what she did. And she has plenty of money. She stole my dad's business. So I guess you can say she owns a business. She pretty much destroyed my dad when she married his brother. 

Never was I signed up for therapy. The books that my aunt gave me were ridiculed. And I was told not to read them. So I didn't. But they could have helped. I found self help books in my twenties. 

But to be left at a police station? She took my phone and my car. She left me with no money and a bag of clothes. At a police station.

Did she want me to be arrested? 

And people defend her.

They think she is helpless.

She takes whatever she wants in life.

She just quit wanting me.

I threw her relationship with my uncle in her face. 

My sister/cousin.

The fact that she stole the business that my grandpa left to my dad.

She fought in court for that business and she fought hard.

My dad said she would never have quit fighting.

She fought with me during psychosis. She fought to put me on disabilty and wanted me in a home.

She wanted me locked up.

But I ran away.

I'm going to speak out against this type of abuse.

She gave me an apology last week. She said she "overstepped her boundaries with me."

She never mentioned the police station.

She just mentioned that I am doing well at work.

She knows the police make me paranoid.

But I knew my friend's number by heart.

And I called her and she answered and she lived 45 minutes away, all freeway.

And it took her forever to get there.

But she came.

And she let me stay with her.

I was around love again.

I met my boyfriend at a bar that I was bartending at.

And I admitted all my faults in the first night, trying to scare him off.

It didn't work.

He knew what I was trying to do.

He only saw potential.

And he chased me.

But he also sent my favorite song, Maxwell, "Don't you ever wonder" on our first date in a text to me

And it was a sign

Also, when I gave him my number and looked back at the paper a month later, it was written on an order slip with the numbers 333

which are my numbers

another sign

He's a good guy

He has some bad habits

But he takes good care of me

And he keeps me safe

where my family didn't

where I didn't even keep myself safe

I kept going around people who weren't good for me

because of delusions and habits

because we were family

I am not safe around my mom

Or my dad

I have heard from my dad since last Christmas 2019 and he avoided me for the most part except a hug

The year before I couldn't even be there, it was too much,  too much pain

I went but left within ten minutes

My dad can hang out with my sister but not me

And she is probably not even his

Despite everyone's lies, no one can bring forth easily found proof these days

And I'm sure she is my mom's first boyfriends, who wouldn't marry my mom and my mom and dad had a shotgun marriage and a child in the next 8 months

They only dated a week before the marriage

He was mourning her sister, my aunt who dumped him

She only dated him for his car

And I think my mom saw dollar signs

I think she dropped me off at the police station to have me admitted and to put me in a home because filling out the disabilty paperwork was not working out for her

And that was plan B

Just like when she first got me into the system

She provoked a fight

said horrible things

made me react

and then called the cops on me

and had me admitted

because I was never a harm to myself or others

She made it worse

I am not safe around her

I plan to speak out against stigma. Against forced treatment. Therapy works. But they hand out meds like it's candy. I would love to come off meds. 

But meds are support.

Meds get me through a day.

And I would explain that stigma exists, even in your family and friends. Even in your health providers. 

And you need support. Find out who supports you. If you can't find it in your own circle, then join a group. Online. Find someone. Don't be afraid to speak up. 

And keep chasing your dreams. If you don't know what your passions are, watch movies, listen to music, read books, learn. Find out what inspires your soul.

Work if you want to work. I wish we lived in a world where you could talk about it openly. I am at a place where mostly I do. And yes, people use your weakness against you. People love to do that. I express that I am a little "crazy but in a good way." 

Dreams and Revelations
Category: Dreams
Tags: DREAMS THINKING in DREAMS

I had a dream last night. About the jerk in Cali and a brother of someone in high school, who is ficticious, but symbolic. I was in Cali and homeless and the guy in Cali was in a bar and I was trying to make it there when he was there. So that we could talk. I was doing all the work. And I knew that he loved me and that I loved him. But the only effort he put into this "relationship" was when we were both "present." Probably has something to do with he and I drinking.

And in the meantime, I was homeless and struggling and lost in a huge Hudsons' store with escalators going up and up and up but never down and out of the store. And I met someone. It was M. Spark's brother. And I hung out with him. And he showed me empathy. He showed me love. He showed me true friendship. 

But I still assumed I needed to be faithful to the jerk in Cali. But as I was in this huge store, and M. Spark's brother left to go back home to Michigan, I was so lost, so lost trying to find a way out. And it was near Christmas. And I began seeing all these beautiful items for men. And the only one I wanted to buy a gift for was M. Spark's brother. 

And I realized that I could have all my dreams come true through him. I could have all the love I need, without the abuse and neglect, through him. And I realized that I wanted to spend my life with him. And as I realized this, I was not lost anymore. I quickly knew my way out of the store, quickly found a plane ride home, quickly found him and we spent our holiday together and our lives together. And I knew everything would be perfect. 

The idea that I am obligated to that jerk in Cali is a trap. A mean one at that. I am not obligated to him. I found all the love I need in Jason. I love how he treats me. I hope we spend our lives together and there are no mind games. There are no mind games. I'll say that again, because it deserves repeating. 

There are NO mind games. Just honest love. I'm gonna marry Jason.  And it's better than any love I have ever found. It's honest love. It's real love. It's solid, good, heart-felt love. My soul told me this is the correct path. It confirmed it. 

Have You Heard of "MAD PRIDE!"?
Category: Community News
Tags: Mad Pride - Started in Canada

Mad Pride is a mass movement of the users of mental health services, former users, and the aligned, which advocates that individuals with mental illness should be proud of their 'mad' identity. 


It was formed in 1993 in response to local community prejudices towards people with a psychiatric history living in boarding homes in the Parkdale area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and an event has been held every year since then in the city except for 1996. A similar movement began around the same time in the United Kingdom. By the late 1990s similar events were being organized under the Mad Pride name around the globe, including Australia, Ireland, Portugal, Brazil, Madagascar, South Africa, France, South Korea and the United States.

Events draw thousands of participants, according to MindFreedom International, a United States mental health advocacy organization that promotes and tracks events spawned by the movement.

Mad Pride activists seek to reclaim terms such as "mad", "nutter", and "psycho" from misuse, such as in tabloid newspapers and in order to switch it from a negative view into a positive view.

Through a series of mass media campaigns, Mad Pride activists seek to re-educate the general public on such subjects as the causes of mental disabilities, the experiences of those using the mental health system, and the global suicide pandemic.

One of Mad Pride's founding activists in the UK was Pete Shaughnessy, who later died by suicide. Mark Roberts, Robert Dellar (who died in 2016) and Simon Barnet were among the other founders of the movement.

 

SOURCE:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_Pride

Recovery is Possible
Category: Addiction
Tags: Addiction Recovery Substance Abuse

My father passed away 2012 and I wasn't prepared to deal with grief of lossing someone i was so close to and I was caring for.  Instead of expressing and coping with the loss In a constructive or healthy manner I turned to drugs and alcohol.  Within 6 months after the loss I became highly addicted to a few drugs and alcohol. I thought The substances would help me forget about my father, my mental illness, my depression, my loneliness and my life. To be honest I was hoping that I would overdose and pass without any pain. I went to a few rehab treatment centers but I would always relapse within months of leaving because I always went back to hanging out with my ' friends'. I learned all the  tools I needed to deal with my addictions but i couldn't deal with the feelings depression, sadness and loneliness.  During 2014 I finally spoke up and told my immediate family what was happening.  My mom offered me a room in her home and I accepted but that only lasted a few months and I was still using.  I moved out and had a place in rough part of town, that's all I could afford being on disability. 
One night I hosted a gathering for a few people that had drugs to offer and I ended up overdosing. All I remember is waking up in a hospital with breathing tubes and IV inserted into my arms. My mom was there in a chair sobbing with her hands covering her face an Something happened to me when I saw her ... i did not want be the reason my mom died from a broken heart. They say that people sometimes break addictions when they hit rock bottom and that's exactly what happened to me. My mom, sister and brother were all I had left, something inside me gave me the strength to overcome my drug and alcohol addictions, some people say that I experienced a spiritual awaking.  Ever since that day I've been sober, it's been approximinaly 5 years now. 

Ready for love
Category: Love
Tags: Love dating relationships hope

I recentally joined a dating site for people who suffer from mental illnesses called " No Longer Lonely".  I'm hoping to find someone that understands what it is like living and coping with the challenges of having a mental illness.  Ideally I'd like to find someone who is mature, patient, understanding, loving and kind. I feel like I'm finally ready to settle down and I want to find someone who is looking for the same. I want us to be able to share the rest of my life with someone who knows what it is like living a life with a mental illness.  I'm not interested in having children at this time, I just don't have the income or energy. I live a simple, peaceful and quiet life so hopefully my future partner appreciates that type of lifestyle. I believe that there are people who are lucky enough to find true love, I hope to be one of them. Past  experiences with love have kept me single for years...I guess I needed a lot of time to heal and recover but now I know I'm ready to love again.
 

 

Surviving the Throes of an Unusual yet Extreme Addiction
Category: Addiction
Tags: Social Media Addiction Video Game Addiction

As I've stated before, I'm still working on recovery from an unusual yet extreme addiction to chat sites.  I've gone to physical, emotional, and financial ruin as well as the destruction of friendships, familial and other relationships.  I've passed up and destroyed opportunities because I was sitting at home, hiding in my own apartment away from the world, people, and everything on the other side of my door.  Who knew that something as simple as a chat site addiction could lead to so much destruction, four years later?

This started in July 2016, when a local friend introduced me to a chat site "to have people to talk to."  Already addicted to an actual social media site at the time (Facebook), it didn't occur to me that this was not only going to be easy to become addicted to, but that it would become so much bigger and worse.  In September of the same year, a nasty breakup left me looking for people to express my frustrations to.  Soon, by Halloween I was gradually hooked.  Sitting at the computer in late 2016 led to doctors checking me for blood clots cause my legs had swollen.  That was my Christmas "gift" to myself, I guess, in all sarcasm.  Also, in November and December I spent my rent money on the site.  I actually had to get a payee that following January (2017).  Then I started sneaking and asked my parents for money.  Out of the two accounts I had, my parents probably paid 1,000 per account, per parent.  That was 4,000 dollars in addition to my own money.  They didn't know cause I lied about what I needed it for.  So I came clean about this time last year (2019). Told them both.  They were very upset.

So besides that, I had started missing doctors appointments to remain on the site instead.  Not like it was going anywhere but I would rather escape in that world than be in the real one. Got kicked from several doctors for it.  The depression, ironically, drove me to the chat site harder.  I believe it was 2017 when I got bursitis from my elbow rubbing the chair too much.  At that point and afterwards, I was on almost 24hrs a day.  After a nasty breakup, I started the second account in October 2017 and left the old account deactivated- well, for a while.  My legs continued to swell. I continued to get checked for blood clots.

In 2018, I started spending food money but kept my cat fed. So I was starving, with HUGE legs, for months. Then I quit all accounts on the chat site in August 2018 to pursue college- this helped me get healthier once again. I was doing extremely well in a class with an excellent A+ grade streak until I faced a final real life breakup with someone who I had been hoping would take me back.  I ended up going back to it on November 10th, 2018; as a result, my good grades completely fell.  I ended up with a shoulder condition because I either slept in my chair too much OR slept at the desk too much. The excruciating pain caused me to miss finals.  I had to make up an incomplete in the class because of it.  When I finally got back to school, I was toggling between a full 9 hrs of school Monday through Friday, grocery shopping and other tasks on the weekend, AND the chat site.  I puked my guts out for over two months shortly after, probably due to the stress of doing both.  I ended up withdrawing from college April 5th, 2019.

Back to the site I went.  I noticed I always drove back to it harder than the time before.  So not only was I online for 19hrs and asleep at the desk for 5hrs every day, not only was I asking my parents for money, not only was I starving with my legs growing even larger... Not only did I start missing drs appointments again... But now my feet wouldn't fit into shoes at this time because of how red and swollen they'd get. My body hit starvation mode, so I was gaining weight.  I could walk, but just barely AND with so much pain. I started being asked for money from people, and I would start giving them money...

When I joined the chat site I weighed in at 260lbs, but my body has reacted to and hated all it's been through; I tipped the scales last year at 302.  It was at that point when I stopped caring about what happened to me to the extreme.  It didn’t help that people would ask for money then stop talking to me. My case manager thought I was still “high-functioning” like I was, so she didn't check on me enough to notice sores started to grow/fester. I stopped eating mostly, but the weight on my feet and legs compensated. So no weight loss on the scale- I actually gained a bunch of swollen or water weight.  

When I went in for surgery in October 2019, it could have killed me.  I was too embarrassed to tell them I  had an infection where they were operating.  I also didn't care enough about myself to clean the incision sites like I should have.  I also didn't know what to use, but they didn't tell me properly on the paperwork or explain it correctly... I later found out, but still was a dangerous move on my part.  This year,  all of the personal neglect has produced and maintained the issues.  I ended up with plantar fasciitis, more skin sores, and worse edema from my legs in addition to what I already had going on.

One of the hardest things about this addiction that people don't hear me say is that on top of this, I ALSO had close brushes with ending it all six times in the past year.  I hated the fact that this was my nightmare and that no one could understand.  (Those who did NOT know the full extent were convinced I could just “take a break” as if I wasn’t addicted OR would joke, saying, “ya, I am ‘addicted’ too, I spend ten dollars a month here hahaha.”  Those who DID know the full extent were quick to get out of my life.)  I hated the fact that most of the connections I made on the site soon faded once I left it to save my life.  That anguish is often a trigger I end up going back over.  It felt like the darkness of addiction would drag me kicking, screaming, clawing back to it, and if I wasn’t in the IN crowd, that I’d be alone fighting to face all the tragedies life often throws at me.  I didn’t want to face that truth, so after a three week absence and vow to do better,I rejoined the site on Monday, September 14th of this year.

Being scared of being alone sucks, especially without local people to fall back onto.  COVID-19 impacted not my current situation as much as the possibility of making future friendships, which to me hurt just as much.  However, in those three weeks I learned something.  I deleted it again tonight, September 22nd, as a result of this truth:  I got a taste of living life enough to know I. LOVE. LIVING.  I live to live, I fight to live, I wake to live.  I fight enough to be awake and stay alive, because of my intermittent sleeping disorders.  Why would I completely end that fight for this?  Why would I silence my own face in the best or worst of adversities when I have come so far from where I began?  

I realized I need a whole new level of support to battle this, but in those three weeks I saw hope and possibility.  I saw what it meant to TRULY live.  My leg swelling had gone so far down.  My energy had increased to more than I had possessed in a very long time.  I noticed what affected or tanked my energy or moods and maximized the potential benefits accordingly, avoiding the dangers.  I had just redefined some parts of my eating disorders and my insecurity of not knowing how to cook by simply arranging store-bought salads with other healthy ingredients I added myself.  I had fixed my digestive tract issues.  I even lost five pounds without even focusing on weight at ALL.  

 

Now I am fresh off the site for a few hours this time, bruised but not broken. I deleted and uninstalled the site from my computer back then, so here I am; I’m trying to face myself and face life, too.  Here I am; I’m trying to make a life I will enjoy living.  Here I am, life.  Bring it!

Why were the Pyramiads Built?
Category: Aliens
Tags: ancient egypt intuition spirit stars astronomy

Intuition is what guides us in all aspects of our life. Have you ever felt crippling fear? I have. I have also felt happiness in my soul and been led on a great chase to find what happiness means to me. I try to follow my intuition. I try to sense the way I feel about things.. To understand what my inner language is telling me. I can be fluent in intuition if I try. Many people, especially children, are in tune with their intuition. 

I imagine why the pyramiads were built? They were built in design with the stars above. Planned. Built for spiritual reasons. Or pointing to the planet of the aliens who planted us here long ago? That could be a possiblity. But we won't answer those questions today. And speculation is usually useless. 

I understand that my intuition is guiding me to my path. I wish it were direct communication. But I must appreciate that it's all about feelings. Feelings that come from my higher self communicating with me. And me listening and understanding it is using my intuition. Today I was guided to stay home and work from home. This virus is not slowing down. And if we have the ability to work from home, I think we should. I have plenty to do. And I prefer to go in. But I also need to stay home now. Fine line between what I need to do, what I should do, and what I want to do. Today, for my mentality and for staying positive, I decided to stay home. I need to regroup. Take time for me today. Work is becoming overbearing and I need to reaccess what I am doing. 

Tibetan personality test
Category: Creativity
Tags: Personality test

Goodies TIBETAN PERSONALITY TEST

Take your time with this test and you will be amazed. I did this last year when this came around and a spiritual wish I made did happen - in fact all year long.

Just 4 questions and the answers will surprise you. Be honest and do not cheat by looking up the answers. The mind is like a parachute; it works best when it is opened. This is fun to do, but you have to follow the instructions very closely. Do not cheat.

MAKE A WISH BEFORE BEGINNING THE TEST!

Tibetan Quest A warning! Answer the questions as you go along. There are only 4 questions and if you see them all before finishing, you will not have honest results.

Go down slowly, and complete each exercise as you scroll down. Don't look ahead. Get pencil and paper to write your answers as you go along. You will need it at the end..

This is an honest questionnaire which will tell you a lot about your true self. Give an answer for each item. The first thing that comes to mind is usually your best answer.

Remember - no one sees this but you.

(1) Put the following 5 animals in the order of your preference: Cow, Tiger, Sheep, Horse, Pig (2) Write one word that describes each one of the following: Dog, Cat, Rat, Coffee, Sea. (3)

Think of someone, who also knows you and is important to you, which you can relate them to the following colors. Do not repeat your answer twice. Name just one person for each color: Yellow, Orange, Red, White, Green. (4) Finally, write down your favorite number, and your favorite day of the week. FINISHED? Please be sure that your answers are what you REALLY WANT. --------------------------------------- Look at the interpretations below: But first before continuing, REPEAT your wish. Scroll down to see answers ----------------------------------------

 

 

 

ANSWERS: (1) This will define your priorities in your life. Cow Signifies CAREER Tiger Signifies PRIDE Sheep Signifies LOVE Horse Signifies FAMILY Pig Signifies MONEY ---------------------------------------- (2) Your description of dog implies your own personality. Your description of cat implies the personality of your partner. Your description of rat implies the personality of your enemies. Your description of coffee is how you interpret sex. Your description of the sea implies your own life. --------------------- (3)Yellow: Someone you will never forget Orange: Someone you consider your true friend Red: Someone that you really love White: Your twin soul Green: Someone that you will remember for the rest of your life

Spiritual Growth
Category: Karma
Tags: Growth spiritual love growing evolving becoming renewing everyday

Science Behind Mental Health Disorders
Category: Stigma
Tags: Science bipolar schizophrenia depression
The Science Behind Mental Health Disorders

​The five main regions of the brain are the frontal lobe, the parietal lobe, the temporal lobe, the occipital lobe, and the cerebellum. The frontal lobe is the main connection between the temporal lobe and the parietal lobe. The temporal lobe processes auditory perception. The parietal lobe processes sensory information about the body, visually interprets information in its view, and processes language and mathematics. The parietal lobe is also the area of the brain where concepts and knowledge are stored. 

Unusual activity in the frontal lobe is thought to be responsible for symptoms of mental health disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is also believed to assist our brains in combining information in new and creative ways, explaining the link between mental health disorders and creativity.

An example of unusual frontal lobe brain activity includes those diagnosed with schizophrenia. To see this, doctors examine the brainscans of those diagnosed with schizophrenia. People with this disorder have high levels of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex, which covers the front part of the frontal lobe. The high levels of dopamine lead to symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and disorganized thought. 

Another example of unusual frontal lobe brain activity is in the brains of those diagnosed with bipolar disorder. These brainscans show a constant cycling of norephinephrine in the frontal lobe. High levels of norephinephrine are known to cause symptoms of depression, while low levels create new connections in the brain, causing the ablity to make new thought-associations. Low levels also cause symptoms such as rapid thinking and pressured speech.

 
     
     
 
Mental Health Disorders and the Brain

People often question psychiatrists for their methods of diagnosing mental health disorders based on symptoms alone, with no biological basis (such as a brain scan). Where is the proof that these people who are diagnosed are truly in need of these therapies?

Well, a study from Stanford found an unexpected insight: after analyzing 16,000 whole brain images, researchers found a loss of gray matter in three (3) brain structures, several centimeters apart from one another. The brain structures affected are the left and right anterior insula and the dorsal anterior cingulate.

These brain structures are associated with higher-level executive functions such as concentration, task-switching, planning and decision-making, and inhibition of counterproductive impulses. This loss of gray matter was similar across patients with different psychiatric conditions. This reveals a link between psychiatric disorders and loss of gray matter in the brain and the subsequent symptoms that result.

A Lesson in Self-Care and Self-Love
Category: Self-Discovery
Tags: Quotes strong calm healing journey self-care self-love
“It takes a very strong individual to sit with themselves, calm their storms, and heal all of their issues without trying to bring someone else into that chaos. Your journey into self-love is just that. - and you are doing it.”

Here’s a story:
My son got a cold three weeks ago. His symptoms weren’t that bad. With fluids, meds, and rest he was able to get over it within 3 days by Monday of the next week. Guess who got sick on Tuesday. Yes, it was me. And man did it hit me hard.

First it started off as a slight head cold. I decided it wasn’t severe, and I went to work. Bad idea. By the early afternoon, my stomach started feeling queasy. I decided to work from home the rest of the day. As soon as I got home, I changed into comfy clothes, took meds, and drank tea and fluids. Then I went back to work. Finished out the day and went to bed early.

The next day I woke up and was feeling incrementally worse. Took meds and was able to be able to breathe through my nose. But had shortness of breathe that made it really difficult to function. I still managed to put on my mom hat and bring my kiddos to the doc for an appointment, drove them to school, and back home to start my work day. My first meeting of the day was with my boss and teammate. They immediately recognized I wasn’t feeling well, and they told me to stay home the next day as well. Despite the difficulty in breathing, wheezing, runny nose, nasal and sinus congestion, I managed to continue working while taking meds, fluids, and frequent breaks. I would reach a reasonable stopping point in my work and step away from my desk periodically in order to give my brain a rest, as a lot of my work is analytical. I made sure not to push myself too hard and listened to my body when I needed to pause and take care of my needs, and come back when I felt better.

As my symptoms got even worse the next day (I felt like my lungs were closing in and I had difficulty breathing through my nose, plus now a cough from the post-nasal drip), I decided to have a quick heart to heart with God. Every time I’m sick I always ask God why is he allowing me to feel miserable and what is it I need to focus on right this moment. This time, I didn’t get a clear answer to my question. So I just continued to listen to my body and do everything I can to make myself feel as comfortable possible. Sleep that night was so difficult. I used a diffuser with essential oils, took meds, and prayed for at least a little bit of rest.

Friday I woke up with some relief in my nasal congestion, and felt like it was the first time all week I could breathe without a labored effort. I had hope that the end of this was near! I had another meeting with my boss and she told me to take it easy and rest. But I managed to work a good part of the day and then start my weekend off with a good dinner and rest.

My kiddos went to their dad’s on Saturday, and I had nothing on my agenda but laying in bed, watching tv, and more self-care. I had spent all week identifying when it was time for meds, a pause and a break, or even lying down and meditating.

My goal for the whole week was to remain calm and at peace with myself in everything I do with no expectations other than to listen to my body and take care of myself. And by Sunday evening not only did my symptoms almost completely subside, but I also felt proud of myself for taking care of myself.

I started the next week feeling almost 100% back to normal. I saw my therapist on Monday, she said to me that I’m not “trying” to establish healthy habits, I’m “doing it”. It was the validation I needed to push me out of my crippling depression and gave me hope that I can feel happiness and joy without fear.

Today I feel happy, proud, and confident. I am learning to recognize my strengths and weakness, and continue to listen to my mind and body in order to take care of myself with love. I am realizing my worth again, and I feel that I grow a little more each day. I have renewed hope. I forgot what Hope felt like it had been so long since I felt anything but overwhelming depression and numbness. I feel alive again; funny that it started off with being sick in order to find my balance and status quo. I know there will still be challenges on my journey ahead, but as long as I have peace in my mind and heart I have faith that I will indeed overcome.


I love this Tags: Beautiful
This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. It brought me to my knees with love and respect. ❤️😢🙏🏻

This is Charlie Chaplin at age 26, photographed 100 years ago. Below is a poem he read on his 70th birthday, written by Kim McMillen. (Thanks to Roni Turner and others who corrected my citation via Messenger.)

As I began to love myself
I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living
against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is Authenticity.

As I began to love myself
I understood how much it can offend somebody
if I try to force my desires on this person,
even though I knew the time was not right
and the person was not ready for it,
and even though this person was me.
Today I call this Respect.

As I began to love myself
I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything
that surrounded me
was inviting me to grow.
Today I call this Maturity.

As I began to love myself
I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time,
and everything happens at the exactly right moment.
So I could be calm.
Today I call this Self-Confidence.

As I began to love myself
I quit stealing my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects
for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness,
things I love to do and that make my heart cheer,
and I do them in my own way
and in my own rhythm.
Today I call this Simplicity.

As I began to love myself
I freed myself of anything
that is no good for my health –
food, people, things, situations,
and everything that drew me down
and away from myself.
At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.
Today I know it is Love of Oneself.

As I began to love myself
I quit trying to always be right,
and ever since
I was wrong less of the time.
Today I discovered that is Modesty.

As I began to love myself
I refused to go on living in the past
and worrying about the future.
Now, I only live for the moment,
where everything is happening.
Today I live each day,
day by day,
and I call it Fulfillment.

As I began to love myself
I recognized
that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick.
But as I connected it to my heart,
my mind became a valuable ally.
Today I call this connection Wisdom of the Heart.

We no longer need to fear arguments,
confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others.
Even stars collide,
and out of their crashing, new worlds are born.
Today I know: This is Life!
Feel discouraged Tags: I don’t know what to do
My husband definitely has issues, ones he has never admitted he has needed help for. Some stemming from his history that he refuses to believe he needs to reconcile with and others I suspect possible adhd but anyway he has never grown up in many ways. He has a good heart deep down but the times I get to see that are far and few.... There are things that especially stress him out and paperwork is one. We got a letter 3 months ago stating that it was time for our yearly evaluation to keep our medical insurance benefits and I knew trouble was ahead.I began informing him, gently that it was time and I needed him to do his part but as time started moving along, he would lash out, screaming, saying hurtful things. This is always his response. So I hated him for awhile but of course that didn’t work so tried encoraging etc.... finally after him saying ok ok ok with no results he agreed to do it this weekend. Also, our medical insurance is already lapsed since Aug 1stToday is the day!!!! Yeah right! Now his printer won’t print. He refuses to think about using anyone else’s computer which is totally doable. So he says hurtful things to try to change the subject. He acts like I am trying to hurt him or make him miserable be needing him to do his part in keeping our medical coverage
He doesn’t get help for himself but resents me getting help.
He needs knee surgery, foot surgery, has chronic other problems, smoked like a chimney, coughs all the time and that’s not even touching mental issues
My doctor, over the phone, without insurance, changed my dosage and because I have a reserve of medicine, I am able to accommodate that for now without new prescription but I need to see my doctor
Tonite, 8 hours later, it is still not done
Things I CAN do Tags: I am useful
I am not in control of so many things, situations and behavior of others. Today I am working on my own behavior, things I can do for myself and for others
Mental illness is not made up Tags: I am not the only one
Thinking about my family, my parents, siblings and my children. I love them so much. I am thankful for them all. I do however see signs to different degrees of mental illness( severe anxiety, depression, mood swings, probably bipolar) in some, not all of my family. I was taught and believed that if you had faith, trusted God, tried harder,that you didn’t need medicine. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we don’t need God, I do but if your brain , like mine is sick, you need medication and there have been people, from the beginning or time who had mental illness. They were most likely homeless, addicts of one thing or another, rejected by family, friends and society( asylums)
Ok, today, it’s true, most likely that some, who do not have true mental illness are being medicated or over medicated in today’s society to avoid dealing with pain or difficulties but I am not referring to these.
I am talking about real mental illness. It is real. Unfortunately, it does exist. I wish it didn’t, but it does
Struggling today Tags: Rough day but things will get better
I am feeling very overwhelmed today. I hope you don’t mind since there is no where else I can talk about this
I feel sad and disheartened. I hope you don’t mind since no one else understands.
I have this familiar feeling of wanting to crawl out of my skin or hurt myself but I am not going to. I hope you don’t mind since I cannot mention this in any other place.
I want to scream, cry, expend this horrible energy inside yet I feel paralyzed at this moment. I hope you don’t mind that I think enough of you to trust you with what is inside.
Learning to let go and stop beating myself up Tags: Taking care of myself
Being hard on myself, blaming myself, thinking I am supposed to be different, believing I should be able to fix things, situations, and even people in my life has been my life forever. I have really come a long way in this area, however I do still have those days where I have to remember I can’t change anyone. It’s not my job. I can encourage them, give my opinion, pray for them but cannot fix them. I can however continue to work on myself and deal with the feelings, the hurt, the helplessness that I sometimes feel when I see the ones I love and care about choose to go down a destructive path, refuse to take care of themselves and suffer or cause others to suffer for it.
Making better choices Tags: Medicine
I want to share something that I am not particularly fond of that I did. I went on a 10 day trip in May to Israel. I was worried about taking my medication, being that I need to take it with food and right before I go to bed since it makes me drowsy. I decided that I would not take it during my trip. When I returned, for some dumb reason, I did not begin my medicine(thought) “Maybe I don’t need it after all” Still to this day I do not know why I made this choice especially since I have only been on this medicine for about a year or so and for once in my life, I was somewhat stable, able to be a good friend, able to make plans, able to encourage others and be present. I had never had this before. I have never kept friends. I make a friend, we hang out, I fall off the face of the earth and they have no clue what’s going on because I didn’t even know so when I finally climb out of the pit, things are not the same. Right now I am trying to climb out of this pit. Started taking my meds but lost my insurance. Need to get it back before I run out of medicine.
Good friend Tags: Gratefulness is powerful tool
Many times in my life, I have felt hopeless, in so much pain and there have been moments where I could not see one good thing in my life. I would look at my life and be defeated, no hope.
Someone, a friend said, “ You truly do not see anything good in your life? ! “ “Have you eaten today?” “Yes, I said” he says, “ do your hands work?” I said “yes” he said, “Are your children reasonably healthy? I mean no ones in the hospital right now are they? “No, I said.
This truly helped me. True, I wasn’t to thrilled when he started saying this to me but when I am having a hard day, sometimes I have to really work at being grateful. I am thankful I can use the toilet because you know, some people cannot.
Medicare For Everyone Tags: Healthcare Recovery Depression Medicine

Our healthcare system is broken when a missed $20 payment causes someone to take their life. These medicines are life saving. And having these medications can sometimes make the difference between life and death. I do not think people realize how important it is to have healthcare but mandatory Medicare for everyone would save so many lives. I pray this happens in my lifetime. #mentalhealth #healthcare #medicareOur healthcare system is broken

Mental Health Awareness Is On The Rise
Category: Community News
Tags: Mental health Talk About it Recovery Therapy Support

Mental health awareness is on the rise and the most recent place is Oregon. Specifically, there is a new law that allows Oregon Students to take mental health days. Mental health days will now be marked as excused absensces. And students will not be penalized. The new law allows for up to five days be used for mental health days. 

This is big news and I hope the rest of the country will also follow suit. After this, I think work should also allow it. There are days when we need to nurture or monitor our mental health. And there are days when we need to make our mental health a priority. 

There has been some backlash to the news in Oregon, thinking kids will take advantage. However, I think those who misusue sick days will misuse mental health days. It will be the same people who call in sick. But this will allow for those who need a few days to recover from some mental health symptoms and go back to school feeling better and more prepared. I think this will also allow for everyone to be more aware, to be nicer to each other, and to just help eliminate bullying. 

Talk About Your Mental Health
Category: Stigma
Tags: Mental health Talk About it Recovery Therapy Support

I love sharing mental health stories with others. It's not always easy and sometimes can be emotional to do so. What happens during an episode is traumatic. However, healing does take place and so does moving on. You have to move on.

People have shared some amazing stories with me. Everyone is affected by mental health and everyone has experienced trauma. We can all relate. What we share here is a beautiful thing and it will help end stigma. We all know or are or have someone in our lives who experiences a mental health disorder. It's just far too common. 

And by sharing experiences together, we raise awareness. Raising awareness is key to ending stigma. I look forward to a day where mental illness will be as easily accepted as diabetes. Sometimes lifestyle changes can help. And sometimes medicine is necessary. You really need to think it over what works best for you. Each person has individual preferences and expectations, etc. 

Let's keep the conversation flowing and help end stigma.

A Mother's Concern for Her Son's Mental Health
Category: Parenting
Tags: Depression Anxiety Recovery Support Parenting

I’ve struggled my whole life with some kind of depression and anxiety. I’ve always been able to manage it. I’ve taken medication when it was really out of control, but always seem to come out on top. My 17 year old son has struggled emotionally since he was a small child. He’s so gifted: extremely smart, talented, handsome, and charismatic (when he wants to be 😂). I had him young (19), but made it my mission for him to never feel like that put him at a disadvantage - and dare I say, I think I succeeded on that front. He’s headed to college, talking with coaches about continuing his career in baseball after high school, dating a beautiful girl. From the outside, it all seems pretty perfect.

His father disappeared the first couple years of his life and pops in to celebrate the victories. I married a wonderful man when he was 2 - he took him in as if he was his own and things were good. About 2.5 years ago his biological grandfather in his dads side was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. He was the most consistent connect to his biological father. He showed up to every game and every tournament. He stayed in touch with me almost daily for years when his own son hadn’t talked to me in months. They gave him 6 months to live and 6 weeks after the diagnosis, he passed. My son was completely devastated.

Shortly after that, my marriage fell apart. We ended up in a long divorce (not spiteful, just long). He took the news well. My ex-husband and I vowed to be the picture of the perfect divorced family. And so far, so good. I never stopped to think that he might have been concealing his true feelings. That he was putting on a happy face, to save me from anymore heartache.

Add to this a broken wrist in the summer of 2017 that required surgery (and stopped his season) and a second broken wrist in the summer of 2018 that ended his season early, an extremely demanding high school schedule with 4 AP classes, and a broken heart over his first love....

He was a disaster. Fits of rage, all directed at me. Violent rage that started over the stupidest things like not being able to find a shirt he wanted to wear or dinner not interesting him. We couldn’t even talk anymore. He was hurtful and disrespectful and honestly scared me on multiple occasions. I knew it wasn’t him. His eyes were lifeless. It was like he checked out, and this other horrible person took over. He’d always had issues dealing with emotions, but it seemed like it was escalating daily. He asked for help and I found a counselor that he really liked and could start working with him quickly. She wasn’t able to write him prescriptions, but wanted to see if we could work things out without medication. About halfway through I felt like we needed to explore medication - finding a doctor that specialized in adolescents was a nightmare. Getting an appointment within a reasonable time frame was a nightmare also. My son was in crisis and I didn’t even know how bad it was.

On 1.10.19, he called me on my way to work. He had refused to leave his room for the sixth time in ten days. He was sobbing. He told me he didn’t want to feel this way anymore. That he thought he might be better off dead. That he had spent the night cutting his thighs, and that it wasn’t the first time he’d had those thoughts or done those things. That he just wanted to feel normal again and he knew he could, but he couldn’t even bring himself to get out of bed.

I left work. I took him to children’s hospital and within hours he was in a facility for adolescents. He needed medical treatment. He needed counseling, yes. But he was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and panic disorder caused by anxiety. He needed medication. He needed an intervention. And the lengths I had to go to for someone to take him seriously still astounds me.

There’s so much pressure on us as parents to raise the perfect child. There’s so much pressure on them as young adults to get perfect grades, and go to a big school. There’s so much pressure on teenage boys to become men so fast. Don’t cry and be strong. Don’t show weakness or emotion. It’s not cool to hug your mom, and don’t you dare ask for a kiss. With all of those AP classes, he was averaging 3-4 hours per night of homework and still only getting C’s. Eventually he quit doing the work. I think that when he realized the hole that he had dug himself, he spiraled downhill quickly. The first thing I did was change his schedule. I took him out of those AP classes and put him into a suitable replacement. I stopped caring so much about making him the perfect child and started focusing on making our relationship strong. I started working on opening the lines of communication - even on things I don’t want to hear 😂 I started prioritizing my day differently - carving out alone time for him and I - because even though he acts tough, I realized some of it may have been a really painful way of getting my attention. We try to deal with emotions head on - cry it out, run it out, laugh it out. We try not to bite our toungues if what we have to say is constructive. And we hug - a few times a day sometimes. We say I love you. And sometimes he even sneaks me in a kiss goodnight ❤️

It’s not perfect. I’m not perfect. He’s not perfect. I still struggle. We still have a bad day on occasion. But we know how to recover. We know to address it. I still bite my tounge at times and really dissect my words. I know he is living with a disease at a level that is greater than anything I have experienced and my words, all of the words I speak to him, carry a greater weight than anyone else in his life.

I guess I just wanted to share this somewhere. Maybe it will help someone that is struggling. It’s not something I talk about often with just anyone. But it’s changed me in ways I could never imagine.

From an Anonymous Concerned Mother Who Wants To Help Others

 

$50,000,000,000 in Profits
Category: Community News
Tags: Medicine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pharmaceutical industry made $50,000,000,000 dollars in profit last year. Meanwhile 1 in 5 Americans cannot afford life-saving medicines. How is this fair? Can we not lobby for cheaper medicine? Why is healthcare a profitable industry? Doesn't that go against the concept of "helping" others? Of treating others? How can we live in a society that sees patients as dollar signs and still expect the same treatment when everyone in the USA has different economical standards? What is affordable for one is not affordable for the next. And we call this society fair?It is far from fair and time we made a stand. We need to lobby for our rights, which are being walked on and trampled over.

My own way #2
Category: Personal Blog
Tags: health illness mental health my own way healing

The re-evaluation of my life. A strange feeling. Weird energies flow from the gut to the throat, pouring out like so much vomit. A forced re-evaluation of priorities and values, brought on by illness, stress and madness.

 

Previously, my aim in life was some form of success. From writing, or drawing. Not even success as such. I just wanted to earn a decent living from doing what I love. I`m not good at that much, honestly. I`m good at drawing and writing, fairly well versed in the production of alcoholic beverages and decent enough at gardening. I`m also very good at one other thing. But that`s between me and my wife, you filth. Heh. Weird energies from the gut again.

 

My goal was economic independence, an important goal for me. Seems it`s dead in the dust now, these strange pains and horrid lack of energy engulfing me, wrapping me in a web and rendering me – quite simply – too weak to work as hard as I need to, or want to, in order to achieve financial independence. It sucks. Drawing or writing for 60 minutes straight drains me of energy to such an extent that I struggle with the most basic tasks of life the rest of the day. With this as a baseline, it should go without saying that the amount of work needed to suceed in my previous goal is nigh impossible for me to attain. Not to mention the inevitable stress from success. Can`t cope, won`t cope, shutdown.

 

So what to do? I`ve never wanted to do anything other than what I have always done. Or always wanted to do, for that matter. Seems strange, though. This incredible focus on a career, of sorts. There are more important things in life. For sure. And of course. It still does not detract from the fact that I am stuck with this strange feeling of wasted potential, a life not well spent. And as such, I struggle to feel fulfilled. Sitting around wasting time is not my thing: I used to be fairly busy, active, always doing something. Now there is too much downtime, as I need to relax and come to my senses after doing the most mundane tasks. There is an incredibly ugly depression just hanging around the corner, waiting to pounce on me if I am not careful and keep my wits about me. Always on guard, lest I fall into selfpity, or worse, selfanalysis. I had two years worth of severe introspection. I don`t think I need any more at the moment. It`ll do for a lifetime. The extreme fatigue gets worse with depression, as well as the physical pain.

 

Channeling the energy spent on creating outwards, I found calm and relaxation in my family: wife, two dogs. Domestic bliss for a domesticated primate. Interests and hobbies, passions and fascinations that don`t spend my energy-reserves abound, as long as I manage to see them through the thin, lacy veil of depression. I found a renewed passion for homebrewing and gardening last year, as I struggled to regain some control over my perplexed apathy. Some not-too-heavy physical activites that really brighten my day. I can spend long hours conjuring up a new recipe for some strange and beautiful wine, cider or beer. And then there is the joy of the process, when all the pieces of the recipe is at hand and the hard work begins – all the boiling and mashing and stirring and so-and-such. The wait for it all to mature, and the giddiness from the first tasting – a year or so later. It is a true spectacle, a monument to a patience I thought long gone in 2015, when my concentration-span suffered a harsh detour due to a severely racing mind, madness erupting from the chrysalis.

The same can be said for gardening. The smell of the soil, waiting for the seeds to sprout, and later produce fruit. The fantastic feeling of using my hands – doing something, atleast being selfsufficient in a small way. Now, if only I had more room for the plants. All in due time. With patience and persistence, things will fall into place.

 

All throughout this short life of mine, I have loved music. Not playing it – I won`t subject my wife to that torture. It`s probably cause for divorce, come to think of it! I do love listening to music, though. After my illness, I found that those quiet moments where I am able to listen to a record and not do anything else as long as the record lasts are even more important than previously. Taking time to relax – to absolutely relax – is more important now than ever. And music relaxes me in a way nothing else – with the possible exception of meditation – can do. It is a pure, unfiltered drug pouring in through my ears and filling my veins with brilliantine chill, pure beauty.

 

Success is transient. It comes. It goes. It never lasts. Everything eventually passes. With forced and severely limited energy, priorities do shift, values change, what was important before becomes less important in time. I`ll create as I manage, taking my time. And, as such, spent my time on matters that matter. Potential success can suck it. My gut won`t allow it, my fractured body and psyche rendering it unreachable. What`s left to say?@!$%# it. I`m good.

 

- Kim Solvang Andersen, Sandnes, 2018

 

 

My own way #1 Tags: health illness mental health my own way healing

 


Being in a state of complete physiological and psychological burnout is not easy. The immense fatigue is hard to describe to anyone who has not experienced it. Stemming from a psychological breakdown starting early in 2015, to which I have previously alluded and will elaborate on at some later point, I spent 2016 and 2017 recovering as best I could. The breakdown lasted until sometime in late 2017, when I finally managed to sleep properly again. Up until late 2017, i had been running on empty since early 2015, averaging three hours of resless sleep each night.

   It should go without saying that this took a great toll on mind and body, and as the recovery proved nigh impossible without proper sleep, I turned to seeking help, comfort and understanding. I then turned to despair when I realised that there were no proper help to be had. Neither during my breakdown, nor during my recovery. What I realised trying to get professional help was that there was noone willing to listen properly – I sought action, practical applications to get me through whatever it was that I was going through at the time, either in the midst of my breakdown, or at the beginning stages of my slow recovery. I received medications and a constant stream of "therapeutical" talk which did little to help. The meds made my sleep worse and my behaviour even more erratic than it were, alien even, as I quickly became someone I was not, due to the medications crackling in my brain making me seek constant action of some sort or other. To combat my insomnia, I was put on stimulants with a chemical buildup, I later learned, closely mirroring amphetamines. Not a wise choice, one would say.
   I spent six months tapering off this medicinal treatment. And another six months still suffering withdrawals and sideeffects. The therapeutical talk did little to help as well, every session being nothing but a rundown of the previous session. I know this pattern too well, having been in therapy for seventeen years. One would think that, after seventeen years, some good would have come of it. Rather than gradually being cured from whatever psychological ailments I might suffer, I was medicated into apathy and isolation, misdiagnosed and treated for several ailments which I did not suffer. Treating the symptoms, not the cause. The assumption being that I could not get better. It seems to me, in hindsight, that all these years of therapy have been nothing but a vicious cycle of symptoms – medication for symptoms – more symptoms – more medications. On and on.

During my breakdown of 2015, there was no help to be gained. My psychiatrist had gone on vacation without informing me. Desperate calls from both my wife and myself to health services rendered nothing. What I needed was instantaneous help. Help in crisis, pure and simple. Nothing was done, nor could anything be done, I learned.
   Hindsight being 20/20, we should have pushed and pushed until they had to render help. But the lackluster response were of a sort so unsympathetic and callous, so cold and clinical and bureaucratic that hope was lost and the willingness to proceed on my part gone the way of my sleep and my relaxation: blasted into dismal and confused oblivion.

   Seeking help from the personal sphere proved difficult as well, as the responses I got were to suck it up, followed by questions about how my wife were doing through all this. The message I received being that the wellbeing of my wife mattered more than my own wellbeing, despite me being in the midst of a complete breakdown where nothing seemed familiar to me. Of course, this did nothing but add a layer of bad conscience to my fractured and fragmenting psyche. Which brought me to a point of absolute despair, come mid-2016, where I wrote something like "No matter what I do, it all turns to shit. I give up." on my Facebook wall. Obviously, I am paraphrasing, as I can`t remember my exact wording. That matters little, though. I got one response, being told to "Not make myself so pitiful". As if this would alleviate my very obvious breakdown. I replied with anger. To which I only received the answer of "I have said what I wanted to say". Not much empathy nor understanding to be found.
   Now, to be clear, I do not consider Facebook a place to seek comfort, understanding or reason, facebook of course being the land of unreason and kneejerk reactions. But at that point in time, I was not thinking clearly. What was clear to me then, however, and still is, is this: my suffering did not matter in the least. The reason for this response was that the "culprit" found what I said uncomfortable, not that I should not make myself "pitiful", but that I should not make this person feel uncomfortable. It was not born out of compassion for me. Better that I suffer in silence, than let this person feel uncomfortable about my state of mind. Or my non-state of mind. Nevermind the fact that my original post was born from despair out of not receiving any support at all; a last and desperate cry for help. This reply proved to me, without a smudge of doubt, that I would receive no understanding, nor support from anywhere. A cynical outlook, for sure, but born from experience and carried ever forward as the weeks and months and years of unrest and lack of sleep carried on, me still being expected to drop everything in my life to rush to the aid of others instead of receiving aid myself.

Fast-forward now, to december 22, 2017. Mind getting calmer, sleep getting better through meditation and the application of antypsychotics, calming my mind a bit. The only medication, I migt add, that has ever worked properly for me. At this point in time, I have been receiving proper professional treatment for some time, after slamming my head into the wall. Had I received immediate treatment during my breakdown, I would have fared way better. Anyhow, I am sitting in the doctors office, completely exhausted, with every part of my body aching, my mind feeling foggy, sluggish, uncomprehending. And I am told that I now suffer a condition of chronic pain and fatigue: Fibromyalgia, which seems to me to be another modern ailment, brought on by stress and societal madness. A catch-all diagnosis for a variety of aches and ills, all different, yet close enough to be caught under an umbrella-term, bunched together and given a name. A name, but no cure. I am aware of the reasons for my current predicament. It is easy to say that this is brought on by my breakdown in 2015, but the truth is that 2015 was the catalyst. It has been building for untold years, repressed anger and fear and confusion brought on by unacknowledged and untreated/poorly treated trauma. My chaos of 2015 brought it all out into the light, and showed me myself to myself, my history and the core of my madness.

Now, this diagnosis brings with it the necessity of re-evaluating ones life. There are no two ways about it: things must change, in order for the mind and body to function properly together. When one wanes, the other follows. Psychological stress brings forth physiological pain, and vice versa – yet another vicious cycle handed me by my psyche. Everything I previously had sought and worked towards had to change. My planned career of art and writing tossed out the window in a catastrophic collapse of my body and mind. I have become unable to work as hard as I want to work on my art and my writings in order to achieve whatever success I might have achieved had I not "squandered" it all by getting ill. Through becoming ill, I have had to take a objective look at my life, my hopes and my dreams, my values and my passions. I have been forced to sort myself and my life out. In many ways, it is a blessing in disguise. This fucking ailment has made me truly seek my own way, to carve my own path through life based on my own values and desires, my own loves and passions, my own interests and hobbies, as well as my own strenghts and weaknesses.

This ramble serves as a short introduction to a series I have entitled "my own way", in which I will ponder my values and wax philosophically on the meaning and eventual goal of my life. Make no mistake: this is written mainly for my own development and healing. I am, however, hopeful that some of what I write might be applicable to the life of others, that someone will find some advice, perhaps even words of wisdom, in my ongoing ramble.

 - Kim Solvang Andersen, Sandnes, 2018

 

 

Night Terrors Tags: night terrors terrors night anxiety fear dread insomnia overcoming

For about a year and a half, I suffered severe night-terrors. I should say a year and a half in my adult life, as I had previous experiences with the beast during my childhood and early adolescence as well, a fact I had almost forgotten about until I once again felt that clammy hand on my throat during adulthood.

I would wake every night in a state of absolute panic and confusion for those eighteen-or-so months. More often than not less than an hour after falling asleep. Confusion and panic would tear through me as I sat at the edge of my bed gasping for breath, covered in sweat, cold and clammy even in the midst of summer.

After some time of this, I developed an intense fear of sleep, postponing going to bed as long as I could, knowing that the grip of absolute terror would choke me once more the moment I fell asleep. The sanctuary of sleep was broken, beat down by an inner anxiety, ripped apart by a beast whom I could neither name nor subdue at the time. It goes without saying that this state of affairs contributed to three years I have dubbed «my insomniac adventures».

Insomnia is a fell beast which I have battled since my early teens. I was then, and am still, no stranger to tossing-and-turning. However, I usually managed to fall asleep at long last, and thus get some rest between the battles. The exception being, of course, previous aforementioned battles with night-terrors, so far removed from me at that point that I can`t remember when it happened. I can only assume that it has followed me at semi-regular intervals through my childhood. This time I found no rest between battles. It jolted me bolt upright and wide awake every night, rendering my ability to relax in bed impossible, rendering my bedroom a domain of terror, making sleep unavailable, resulting in countless hours awake in front of the computer, counting the dull hours until morning finally came and my wife got up so I could see some semblance of a day beginning.

I remember these slow hours ticking away with fear and trepidation. That horrible tea-time-of-the-soul every night, breaking me down, leaving me too much room to think, and to suffer the crushing loneliness of panic and dread, slowly wasting away into nothing but a trembling ball of flesh and bone, so exhausted by panic and lack of sleep that life became not life, but mere existence, a grey and dull haze through which I could barely see, let alone function.

There was so much time spent in this state of exhaustion and permanent panic that I still feel the effects and consequences, now settled in my bones, tendons and muscles. My body is reduced to an aching lump of clay, a veteran returning from war to find his home devastated by the very forces he fought, despite me having seven hours of sleep every night for about seven months now.

Of course, this state of affairs is brought on by more than just the night-terrors. Night-terror played it`s part, that`s for damn sure. But other factors contributed, which will be examined at some later time.

Healing from this terror came slowly. Gradually. I had to teach myself how to sleep again. How to not fear sleep in order to sleep. The anxiety I felt prior to falling asleep had to be quelled gradually, through the passing of time and me sorting through a fair few issues I had let fall deep beneath the waves of my subconscious, grinding and grinding on these issues as they ground on me, until both the issues and myself were ground down to mere pebbles, with the end result of me being but a shadow of the man I was. Then the slow upwards climb began, gradually rebuilding myself, pebble by pebble, through the tiny area of calm I discovered within myself during this process, until I saw something resembling the man I once was, now refined, better, stronger even than I was before, due to facing the fell beast and emerging victorious, despite it all.

 

  • Kim Solvang Andersen, Sandnes, 2018
The virtue of alcohol (short musings and various thoughts)
Category: Alcoholism
Tags: alcohol virtue pain chronic relaxation fatigue stress psychology medication

 


In a corner of my livingroom, mixed in with my records and stereo-equipment, I have a small, rugged and steadily growing collection of various whiskeys. Straight across from this eclectic collection of ambrosia, there is a small bar containing wine and various spirits, mainly strange german herbal concoctions, meant to aid in digestion and in general provide good health and longevity. I don`t know. I just love the taste of it. Go down four flights of stairs from our apartment, and you will encounter the "winecellar" – a small rectangular room containing my homebrewed beers and wines, as well as a more serious collection of storebought wine, each bottle saved for a special occassion. Of course, as always is the case with special occassions, the special occassion is whenever I damn well please.

These collections of heavenly nectar are growing at a fairly steady pace, ever since I traded partying for relaxation and quantity for quality.

Suffering severe pain and fatigue for about eighteen months left me in a bit of a odd state of mind. Being diagnosed with a severe chronic pain/chronic fatigue disorder, after a lengthy run to-and-from between doctors and psychologists, experts of medication and specialists in psychotherapy, psychobabble and strange, ethereal diagnosis that meant little and helped me less, (especially considering the farcical nature of my various psychiatric diagnosis – all proven to be wrong, then replaced by another, yet another, yet another)  left me in an even stranger state of mind. Of course, my partying days were over. Granted – the partying had been declining rapidly over several years anyways, and given my age I was already dangling from the precipice of this shit ain`t worth the hassle anymore. There are limits, of course, to the amount of abuse a body can withstand. Getting drunk once a week is not exactly abuse, as such, but add the chronic pain and fatigue to the steady decline of my body due to age, and it should become clearer than adamantium-armour that the hangovers would just be getting worse and worse. The morning after, previously treated as a lazy-day, became unbearably painful and clearly the shit really weren`t worth the hassle.

I do love alcohol still, however. The difference now, as opposed to the years of hearty, hardy partying lies in the amount consumed, as well as the reasons for consumption. Where before the desire for intoxication shone, shines now the desire for relaxation and reward.
   Of course, it sounds ridiculously selfcongratulatory to reward oneself at the end of the day for doing nothing but accomplishing simple tasks that everyone does everyday without even thinking twice about it. And that is quite simply because it is incredibly selfcongratulatory.

With my levels of pain and fatigue – and it is incredibly severe – comes the inevitable result: ordinary tasks, however mundane, drains me of energy. With the lack of energy comes the pain, and vice versa. A vicious circle, difficult to break, brought on by years upon years of a personal lack of ability to cope with stress. Piling up tasks, piling up to much of everything and everyone and leaving precious little time for myself to find that center of calm that I desperately needed. The end result of living like this, hiding it as well as I could for reasons unclear to me, for several years were two years where I averaged three hours of sleep a night, and spending my waking hours in a state of near-constant panic. Of course, this could only lead to the inevitable collapse of my body – both my mind and my body turning against me in a great wave, crushing me to the floor of the ocean and squeezing all the air and all the life out of my body.
   These two years marked the end of atleast fifteen years struggling with severe psychological distress, for which I received precious little help and support – instead being severely medicated and left in a odd pseudo-comatose state for several years. That`s healthcare for you. Don`t go to the root of the problem. Don`t heal. Subdue. Bury it under mountains of drugs. Drown the sorrows in pharmaceutical rain. If you can`t see the issue, it ain`t there.

This leaves me in the state I am in, a point in my life where I find it necessary – and of course helpful – to celebrate myself for achieving mundane tasks: cleaning, laundry, caring for my dogs, and so-and-such.
   One single drink, or a bottle of wine shared with my darling wife at the end of the day. Of course, it`s not just the alcohol that causes the relaxation. The alcohol is just another factor in sometghin that is almost ritual in nature: the sound of the cork opening, the pouring of drink into the glass, sitting down and feeling some semblance of calm washing over me and then having a sip and realizing that, even through the layers of fatigue and pain, through the anguish and the torture of my aching joints and muscles, I made it through another day, I did it, and life is, for what it is and despite it all, still pretty damned good.


- Kim Solvang Andersen, Sandnes, 2018

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