I Overcame My Fears!

Guys, I’m back and ready to write about mental health once again! I have a positive story to share today. I overcame my fear of traveling alone (check this post if you don’t know what I’m writing about)!!

Today I got home from my trip to a new city to see my beloved Ariana Grande. As some of you know I named this blog after her song “Be Alright” so seeing her perform was an emotional experience for me. I also plan to get this tattooed on my body at some point soon.

I am about to sound so dumb but I cried multiple times during her show. The first note she belted out my eyes welled up with tears. It was a mix of her amazing voice, disbelief that I was there and how much her music means to me.

When she sang “Be Alright” I was so moved because I really needed to hear those lyrics last night. To translate into regular words, she said, all of these tears will come and go, everything will be alright.

That song has been one I’ve gone back to over and over again when I’m going through a difficult time. “Be Alright” is more than a pop song to me, it is encouragement that things may be hard now but eventually it will be ok. It’s the equivalent of a friend giving me a hug after I’ve spilled my guts to them.

I had tears streaming down my face during her song “Needy”. If you experience anxiety and/or depression, I think there’s a good chance you will also connect deeply with this song. When I first heard it, I cried so of course I cried when she sang it live.

The 2nd verse lyrics are, “Sorry if I’m up and down a lot / Sorry that I think I’m not enough / And sorry if I say sorry way too much.” That sums me up pretty well.

Singing and crying at her show was a wonderful and emotional experience that I am so happy that I had. Overcoming my fears was 100% worth it.

Leave me a comment below of your favorite Ariana song! And even if you don’t enjoy her music still leave me a comment please!

My dad’s favorite is “Bang Bang” which he was disappointed that she didn’t perform, hahaha! My dad is so strange.

Attempting to Be Social

As I’ve written in past posts, like this and this, I’ve spoken about how I’ve really struggled with socializing as an adult.

The older I get the fewer friends I have. It is partly because I have lost touch with friends I rarely see, got rid of toxic people and changed jobs two years ago. Now I would say I have 2 solid friends (maybe).

This morning my gas tank was on empty so naturally I went to fill up at the cheapest gas station. On my way I saw a sign for a cat cafe that will be opening soon! I was overjoyed because I love cats. The closest cat cafe is 30 minutes away so it’s not the most convenient.

I said to myself, “I could volunteer there. I could do that.”

So I emailed the place, submitted a volunteer application and will be attending their training this Saturday.

Working at a non-profit full time, I don’t often volunteer. I work with the volunteers that come to my work but I haven’t volunteered with a charity in a really long time. Going through so many ups and downs in my mental health discouraged me from doing anything outside my realm of comfort.

After working all of that out, I’m slightly anxious. Diverting from my normal routine scares me. It makes me uncomfortable when I have to do something different or when I have to be in a new setting. I’ve always had trouble with change even if it’s something small.

I’m going to give it a shot though. I think it would be good for me to get out of the house and maybe make a new crazy cat lady friend. Even if I don’t make a friend, I love cats so I will always have their company.

Do you have any tricks to help you through the anxiety of change?

Basically Friendless

For ages my therapist has been encouraging me to try to make some friends. She asks me on a semi-regular basis whether I’ve made any new friends or if I’ve hung out with any friends since I’ve seen her last (I have sessions once a month since I’ve been doing well mentally).

Often the answer is no.

Right now I have one good friend that I work with and speak to outside of work. We talk about our personal lives and text/call each other rather regularly. She’s really the only one.

It’s pretty sad when I reflect on the fact that I don’t really have any friends anymore. All of my best friends from high school live in different states, none of my college friends live nearby and former co-worker friends have drifted away.

I feel jealous sometimes because I feel like everybody has friends but me. I wish I had a friend that I could get coffee with or go shopping with.

As an adult I don’t know how you can make friends outside of work and religious gatherings. I don’t believe in any religion, I don’t join clubs, I’m not into the bar/pub scene and when I go to the gym I don’t speak to anybody.

My therapist has made so many suggestions on how to make friends but I shoot them down.

I often spend time with my family or my boyfriend when I’m hanging out with other humans. I visit my grandmother on a regular basis especially since she has been quite ill. I sometimes will take my younger cousin out for lunch or shopping. I spend time with my mom and brother pretty often as well.

Family is important to me but I think that concept only came about because I don’t have friends to occupy my time anymore.

I mainly spend my time alone.

I read books, practice Japanese, read the news, watch YouTube and watch tv shows or movies. I write on here too!

I’m more introverted so I don’t hate spending most of my free time alone. But there are times, like tonight, when I wish that I had a friend to hang out with.

A Burden

I don’t know if I will ever feel like an important person. Not important as in somebody with influence or fame. I mean someone whose purpose is a meaningful one, someone who matters.

I have felt this way for most of my life so it’s ingrained in my mind.

Other people I can see are important. Others do good in the world and make things better whether for people, animals or the environment. I see people make an impact that I don’t think I ever will be able to do.

I bring down the mood. I make those closest to me sad. I only add problems and hurdles into the lives of those around me.

I feel like a prickly sea urchin that nobody wants to touch. That my mental illness makes me undesirable. That it creates more issues than anything else. That it has made me rotten from the inside out.

I am a burden.

I take up space.

I don’t think anybody likes me.

The only person who actually loves me is my mom. Which of course she does, she’s my mom! She has to love me.

I think about myself in all aspects of life and how if I wasn’t there, there would be room for somebody better.

Like at work, if I quit that would make room for somebody with much more talent than me. In my relationship, he could find somebody 100 times better than me in an instant. It wouldn’t take much looking to do either of those tasks.

Same goes for being a daughter, friend and sister too.

I’m not perfect at all but I wish that I was. I wish I could write beautiful words and create stunning graphics at work. I wish I had no issues, triggers or problems to put on the shoulders of my boyfriend and family.

I’m not considering ending my life so don’t worry about that. I have that sorted out for the most part (thank you therapy and medicine!).

Is this a big shit session directed at myself? Absolutely.

Sorry this was so long and incredibly negative. I really needed to get this off my chest. I don’t have therapy until Thursday so I decided to toss my thoughts up on here.

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.