Self-Harm by Restricting Food

Self-harm is not limited to cutting, burning, biting, scratching, etc. your skin. In a recent post I saw on The Mighty (a great community for people with mental illness, disabilities and chronic health issues) about how self-harm goes beyond those things.

After reading that (which now I can’t find it anywhere so I can’t even link it for you guys), I realized how many of the things I was doing the author classified as self-harm. Two that I think off the top of my head were restricting food and not acclimating to temperature changes.

Food Restriction

This has been a struggle for me for a few years now. Especially when I’m anxious my stomach gets so tense that I feel like I can’t eat. When I’m like that I can only eat a very small amount of food or I will feel sick.

And even if my anxiety isn’t making my stomach tense but I’m still anxious, sometimes I just don’t want to eat despite my stomach growling. This is happening today. I am feeling anxious and depressed today so I don’t want to have anything to eat. I’m quite hungry but I don’t want to take a single bite.

Am I punishing myself? Sort of.

Is this a healthy thing? Not really.

Being Too Cold

I really didn’t realize that this was a form of self-harm. So what I mean is that if I’m cold, I won’t do anything about it as a sort of punishment to myself. I don’t usually do this as often with being hot because I hate being too hot.

In the winter my office is usually quite cold (the building was built in 1929 what can you do?) and I have a space heater to help but I don’t often use it. Instead I’ll just be cold. I’ll suffer through it just because I can.

This is a strange one to explain because I don’t entirely understand my reasoning for it.

Do you have any trouble with restricting food or letting yourself suffer by being too cold/hot?

I am experiencing PMDD right now which makes me feel every emotion all at the same time. So there’s a lot going on in my head right now so it’s very hard to get through this time of the month. Right now it feels like my swimming upstream in a river of peanut butter.

Soothing My Worries

Lately I have been having a lot of worries. Hahaha I know what a surprise for someone with anxiety! But I have specifically been having financial worries for around a year or so.

Right now they’re moving to the forefront of my mind because my boyfriend and I are looking to move in together in September. He is about to get a very nice raise because he was just promoted he will begin making some great money. I’m so proud of him!

I don’t make all that much, I’ll be honest. I am hoping for a raise this summer but that’s far away from now.

In my mind I thought that if I don’t make enough money I can’t contribute as much as him towards our livelihood. I have been worrying about not being able to pay my fair share of everything. We have always spoken about how we split things evenly but if he’s paying for more then that’s not fair.

It goes against everything in my being to have him carry the financial weight. I also don’t want to feel like a burden on him and that make him not want to live with me. I don’t want him to think I’m some sort of mooch either.

So I did something bold.

I told my boyfriend my worries!

He told me that everything is going to be fine and that he understands that I don’t make the same as he does. He doesn’t expect me to put forth the same amount because it might not be possible for me to do that.

He told me he isn’t worried about it. Him saying that made me feel loved. It made me feel like he really wants to live with me and knows that I will do my best to pay what I can to make our life together possible!

Sometimes voicing your worries can make them go away.

 

 

A Letter to My Struggling Self

I am very inspired by Hunting Happiness who did this post on the Bipolar Writer Blog. She called it “A Letter to Myself on the Days I Feel I’m About to Drown.” I love that title and her idea to write up a letter to encourage herself when she’s struggling with her mental illness.

So I want to do the same! Sometimes the most encouraging person is yourself when you are feeling depressed or anxious.

Dear Megan,

Are you alright? Whatever horrible thoughts you’ve been ruminating on, press pause for a moment to read what I have to tell you.

Remember what your therapist said? Not every thought your brain generates is a fact. Your brain loves to lie and trick you, it loves to kick you when you’re down. It sucks to say but you can’t always believe your mind.

Because I am you, I know the dark thoughts that are buzzing around in your mind. Thoughts you’ve been battling since you were little. Just because you’ve been hearing them forever doesn’t mean that they hold any amount of truth.

Worthless? You’re absolutely worthy of existing. Everybody hates you? Also not true. Think about how much your mom, brother, dad, boyfriend and grandmother care about you. They would be deeply upset if you weren’t here.

Your writing has impacted so many people, even those who you don’t know! You have been able to positively impact other people’s lives with your words. Nobody else could have written those stories like you.

Your experiences matter. Your perspective is needed.

I love you and so do all of the important people in your life!

Love,
Megan

P.S. Pet your cats, watch “My Roommate is a Cat” and stretch.

 

Telling Depression to Piss Off

This morning I was almost out the door for work when I got the empty pain of depression. It sits in my chest making me feel hollow inside.

As I got in my car and began to drive to the office the feeling was still very present. Nothing had happened this morning or last night to make me depressed but sometimes we don’t get to choose when we are depressed. Depression can engulf me anytime it feels like it.

Nagging thoughts kept pushing on my mind about how my boyfriend doesn’t love me and that I’m a worthless human. These thoughts were quiet but I wanted to confront them before they got louder.

I said aloud, “Hey depression, piss off!”

I rarely verbally confront my mental illness like this but I had been feeling good for the past 12 hours and I want to keep it going for longer.

I continued to tell my depression that what it was telling me isn’t true. I know that my boyfriend loves me even when my brain tells me it’s not true. I see his actions and I hear his words that contradict my depression and anxiety.

Instead of letting my depression kick me down to the ground, I am fighting back today.

So to help me keep fighting today, I’m going to do a little list of things that are going well and what I’m looking forward to.

Things going well:

1. My boyfriend and I are doing very well
2. I’ve been keeping up with doing my nails (having my nails painted makes me feel better about myself)
3. I’ve been feeling close with my mom lately

Looking forward to:

1. Therapy on Thursday
2. Getting my windshield replaced today (it has like a foot long crack in it for some reason)
3. Doing yoga after work

I hope that this inspired somebody on this Earth to stand up to their mental illness!

All My Molehills Are Mountains

There is some saying somewhere about not making mountains out of molehills. I think that’s supposed to mean that we shouldn’t turn small things into big ones.

It’s this desire to be perfect that makes me so hard on myself about every little thing that I do. In my previous post about perfectionism I talk about how I want to be perfect in my character and the general things that I do each day. I don’t want to misspeak, make errors or make somebody upset with me.

The main goal is to never disappoint or upset anybody. Especially the people I care about the most, my family, boyfriend and friends.

Early this morning I heard my cat get sick (yuck) but I really didn’t want to get up to clean it. My mom ended up being the one to clean it since she’s the first up most mornings. I felt so guilty all morning that I didn’t just get up to clean it so she didn’t have one more thing on her plate today.

As a good person I should have got up! I should have been a compassionate daughter who got up to clean the throw up so she didn’t have to. It was totally selfish of me.

I was raised in the Christian faith where I had it drilled into my head that everyone else was more important than me. That doing selfish things wasn’t what Jesus would have done. That Jesus would have cleaned up the puke for Mary instead of going back to sleep.

I was taught to always be nice to people, to make others happy even if you’re not. That helping others made God happy which is what my life was supposed to revolve around.

I lost my faith in late 2012 and tried for many years to believe in Christianity again. I couldn’t do it. Now I identify as a skeptic. I’m open to the possibility that there is a greater being making the world work but I’m also open to there not being anybody out there at all.

This post is giving me a lot of insight into my own psyche. I think the perfection comes from the unattainable standards that Christianity set for me. Even in church and college (I went to a Christian university), people told me that we would never measure up to those standards but that we should try to anyway.

I think my anxiety clings on to the idea that I should serve myself last so that I can put God and others before me.  My anxiety says that any time I upset someone or act selfishly that I am a failure because it goes against how I was trained to think.

If there’s any other formerly religious people (of any religion, there’s a lot of similar teachings in a lot of them) reading this, what are your thoughts? What was your experiencing as you had to rewire your thought process after dismissing religion?

I plan to make a separate blog post detailing about losing my faith and the journey that I went through to try and find it again.

Anxiety Levels on High

Overthinking every little thing is one of the things my brain does best. The best thing my brain does is make sure that my body is functioning properly. For that I thank my brain!

Lately I have been over analyzing a lot. I’ll be sitting in my office at work then read into every little pause and word in a conversation I’m having with somebody.

My mind immediately goes to, “They’re not texting me back because they’re sick of me” or “They don’t want to talk to me because they think I’m annoying and stupid.” Those thoughts have been spinning so fast that my stomach hurts.

These thoughts have been constant. I keep thinking that I’m not good enough which is why nobody actually loves me. It’s all pretend because people feel bad for me.

I’m at the point where I want to curl up in my bed and sleep for the rest of the day.

When I’m super anxious or in a deep depressive episode my automatic reaction is to hide. My fight or flight response is saying to flee this anxiety by hiding.

In these moments I forget all of my coping mechanisms. Do you ever have that experience? I’ve learnt all of these ways to help but then I get into the thick of it and my anxiety coping skills are gone.

I hope that you’re getting through an anxious moments that you’re having with finesse.

A Lull of Positivity

As I’ve written about in my last post, I have been nervous about falling into a deep depression because of severe PMS.

So far I’m doing really well! I have been really careful will myself, like I’m cradling a porcelain doll. I am having a 3-day work week because I took off Friday and yesterday it was snowing and freezing rain all day.

Having a day off yesterday seriously reset me. I had a great balance of self care and getting shit done that I had been putting off for ages. I cleaned out my clothing, cleaned my shower and cleaned up under my bed which I hadn’t done in a very long time.

I am feeling like myself unlike how I was around this time last month. I’m really going to keep trying to enjoy this lull of positivity. To soak up as much of it as I can!

I wanted to give you guys an update in case you are struggling yourself right now.

Sometimes are worries never come to fruition, sometimes they never materialize into reality. Not every thought we have is true, they are not all accurate predictions because we with anxiety are clairvoyant.  I would say a good bit of us are not psychic even though we think we are.

If you’re having a difficult time, I really hope that this passes for you soon. You are strong, you are worthy, you are valued and you matter. You are alive for a reason, we are all glad that you exist.

Stay strong everyone!!