Another week, another Working On Us prompt from Ashley at Mental Health @ Home! Check out her original post here.
- Do you own a pet for emotional support and/or service/therapy?
My cats didn’t come into my life for that specific purpose but they definitely help me as emotional support. When I start feeling depressed or anxious I know I can cuddle with my cats. They give me a purpose too. That they would be sad if I wasn’t around anymore.
- Is your pet a certified therapy animal? No.
- What kind of pet do you own? I have 3 cats.
- Do you believe that support animals truly assist those in need? Absolutely.
- Do you believe that any animal can be a therapy/support pet? Yes! Any animal can be supportive.
Describe how your pet is of support to you?
I’ve been pretty depressed lately which makes me lay around in bed a lot. My cats often jump up and lay right next to me, almost as if they’re saying, “I love you and I want to show you that you’re important to me.” They don’t do it at night as often but just having one in my bed makes me feel so much better.
A few months ago I wrote a few posts on here and the Bipolar Writer Blog about someone who was my closest friend in university but had become a negative person in my life for years. She made me feel bad about myself, told me I needed to uproot my life because she knows what is best for me and was incapable of being supportive.
(If you so desire you can read those posts here.)
Lately I have been missing this friend. Her and I could make each other laugh until we fell on the floor in tears. We could talk for hours about everything until the sun came up or I passed out (whichever came first). I loved spending time with her and her family, they are wonderful people who love to have fun.
Nobody has filled that void since I cut ties with her. I have a very tough time making friends as an adult. So there’s been no new friend to take her place as someone I can laugh with, call any time, go shopping with and watch movies with.
I don’t know what I should do. I miss her, I miss the friendship that we had but those amazing days of our friendship were years ago.
Yes I am longing for something that no longer exists, it’s over, but I can’t help but look at my phone and consider sending her a text. I would probably either get no response or just a couple words then silence. I didn’t even send her a text for her birthday last month even though she sent one to me. I meant to but I forgot.
We had gruesome ending to our friendship because I couldn’t fully forgive her for very mean things she said to me last year. That conversation where she brought me to tears I couldn’t shake. It was a cloud over my head, I couldn’t get past it.
I was never able to move on from it.
Any advice here would be great, I love reading your comments!
Ashley from Mental Health @ Home has been doing these weekly prompts and I am finally going to participate! Check her out here.
- Does social media affect your overall mental health? If so, please describe how it does affect you?
It definitely affects my mental health. I have a makeup Instagram account where I see other people’s beautiful artistry and faces and I get a little jealous. I wish that I could be that talented or look that way. Especially if someone is sharing photos in a cute outfit, I am usually comparing myself to them which is never a positive thing.
- How does it make you feel when you see family/friends posting pictures of them living their life happily?
It usually makes me glad especially if it’s about something good happening in their lives. A friend of mine recently had a baby after years of trying to get pregnant. It makes me happy knowing she got to start a family, something she’s always wanted. Sometimes I’m jealous when I see friends traveling cool places because I know that I can’t afford it right now.
- Do the following people make you feel inadequate in any way due to your mental health?
Sometimes yes. It sometimes makes me question if I’ve been living my life correctly. Whatever the hell that even means. I wonder if I made different choices if my life would be more like theirs. Living in cities, traveling and having lots of friends.
- What has been your overall experience with social media? And, what sites do you follow?
I have grown less and less interested in it as I age. I started using social media in middle school when I got my first MySpace page. And if we are talking about sites like Neopets, I was on there in third grade. I share less and less because I don’t want to anymore. If somebody wants to know what’s going on in my life, ask me. I don’t think the world needs to know my life or my opinions on things.
I’m on Facebook, have 2 Instagram accounts and LinkedIn.
I have recently joined two Facebook groups, something I never did before, where people talk about two anime that I watch. I don’t have anyone else to talk about them with so I went to find people I could discuss it with. It’s been a positive thing for me!
- Have you considered not being on social media?
Yes I have. I’ve thought about it but I also like knowing what other people are up to. I want to see what they share and so I can keep up with them. Also one of my friends lives in Greece (we met on Instagram) and that’s the primary way we communicate. I wouldn’t want to ditch Facebook and lose that friendship.
- If you have quit social media sites, has it improved your mental health and stability?
I was previously on Twitter but quit after being dumped in 2016. I couldn’t cope with any social media but for some reason Twitter was a sad place for me.
- Has social media ever triggered you in a negative way? Explain how?
Yes, it has made me question whether I’m worthy because of how somebody else’s life is being portrayed online.
My anxiety is with me when I go to bed and wake up in the morning. It comes with me in the shower, rides in the front seat with me in my car and hangs out in my office at work.
It’s with me on my commute home and sits next to me while I watch the latest season of “The Flash” on Netflix. Anxiety sits in the baby seat in my cart at the grocery store and is lifting weights by my side at the gym.
I feel that I cannot shake anxiety. It is stuck to me like glue.
I have been using CBD oil to try and combat it but it only helps so much. It doesn’t get rid of the racing thoughts, tightness in my chest (that’s not from asthma) or anything like that. It calms me for a bit but then I’m right back to feeling anxious.
My anxiety isn’t intense but it’s more frequent than it has been in a while. Which I don’t appreciate.
For some reason I’m worried about adopting the right cat at the cat cafe that I volunteer at. I worry that some of them won’t get adopted because they’re older (I don’t think they’re old but some people might), are shy/reserved or they aren’t physically pristine on the outside. One of them stress licks his fur off and another had an eye issue but is healed, his face just looks a little different but he’s cute.
I worry that they’ll get sent back to the SPCA where they’ll be euthanized. I don’t wish that for any cat which is why I don’t support the SPCA as an organization. The cafe cats just happen to come from there.
This isn’t the main reason for my anxiety but it certainly adds to it.
You wouldn’t think that food would be such a complex thing but it really is. It should be simple but it’s far from it.
Today I felt relatively in control. I didn’t have any major binge sessions but I still overate. I need to get my mind out of the habit of eating a lot. Since my emotional/stress eating was going on for weeks, now I’m in this habit to eat like crazy even if I’m doing fine.
I did really well at work listening to my body for most of the day. The afternoon is where I slipped up but it’s ok. It’s better than doing bad all day!
Tomorrow is a new day where I can try to be better at ignoring my desires to eat more than I need.
What triggered my eating today was being bored. I can get so bored at work if I don’t have a pressing deadline or a busy day. Even if I give myself pretend deadlines, they don’t help because I made them up so I can break them and it doesn’t matter. I try to keep my mind busy but it doesn’t always happen.
I’ve been in a fog at work. It feels like my eyes glaze over and I could fall asleep right at my desk. I don’t know if I need motivation or more coffee but something has got to change because I can hardly get through a work day.
How do you all get through a boring day at work?
Since May I have been dealing with lower back pain. At the beginning it was severe and prevented me from functioning normally.
A couple weeks ago I finished up my sessions with my chiropractor (my insurance has run out and I don’t have any more visits left) I was feeling awesome. Literally the next day I was in pain. The pain continues to get worse and it is incredibly frustrating.
I don’t want to go back to the chiropractor, with weekly visits the money really adds up. Sadly it is a luxury to try and receive the medical care that I need.
It makes me so frustrated that I have to live with this chronic pain. I can’t live my life to the fullest because of my back pain. I can’t exercise to the level I desire. Cleaning my bath tub makes the pain so uncomfortable that I end up neglecting it for ages because I don’t want to be in anymore pain. Even going to work and sitting in meetings is painful.
My depression tells me that this pain will be forever. That I will always have to deal with this struggle and not be able to function at full capacity ever again. I won’t ever get to live a pain free life because my body decided to revolt against me.
I’m starting to believe my depression. It’s been months and I have been going up and down with my pain. I want it to stop, I want to move on from this and be happy.
But maybe that’s all just a fantasy.
As I’ve written about in previous posts, I’ve been working through a difficult bout of emotional/stress binge eating.
For the first time in weeks, today I felt in control. It was odd but also great! My mind partially wanted to dive into my bingey habits but I was able to resist them and focus on other tasks at work.
I ate a large soft pretzel as a mid-morning snack which held me over for hours. It seems that if I have something hearty and sustaining the urge to binge isn’t nearly as strong.My body and mind recognize that I’m full and I don’t need anything more.
I feel proud of myself for being in control today! I got a little snackish (a term meaning you want to eat a lot of snacks) once I got home from work. I had some control over myself so I didn’t go crazy.
Keeping up the control is going to be challenging but I hope that I can do it!
Leave me a comment about the best part of your week! I would love to hear how you all are doing 🙂
P.S. — The photo is Animal in “The Muppets Movie” from a few years ago when he’s in anger management and says, “In control.” Here’s a video clip for reference.