2018 Mental Health Accomplishments

I have come a long way in 2018 in my mental health. Certainly I have my horrible days where I struggle to get out of bed, struggle to focus at work and I use everything in my mental health emergency kit.

*Please don’t take this as some sort of bragging post especially if you have had an extra shit year.*

Thanks to my therapist affirming me, I feel like I can celebrate these moments.

1. Fewer Therapist Sessions — At the beginning of 2018, I saw my therapist once a week. As I continued to feel better, I went down to every other week for a good part of the year. Now I’m seeing her once a month which helps me stay on track and work through whatever is plaguing my mind.

2. Decreased Cutting — It’s been around 300 days since I last cut myself. This is something I have struggled with since 2011. I have done so good, I’m shocked. Sure I have had desires to hurt myself but I haven’t acted on them. It was difficult in the beginning but I hope I can keep this up. I haven’t gone longer than almost a year between cutting myself. Here are some tips about how to curb those urges.

3. Improved Mood — My mood has been pretty consistently good for the past couple months. I’m actually feeling pretty happy! Not every day is perfect, the other morning I struggled to get out of bed and some days anxiety doesn’t lose its grip. Feeling good has helped me realize that it is possible to take a breath above the rough of mental illness.

4. Very Few Anxiety Attacks — I always carry my bottle of Larazapam with me, it’s a medicine that calms me down when I’m having intense anxiety that I can’t shake. This year I think I have only had two anxiety attacks which is pretty good!

5. Decreased Suicidal Thoughts — 2018 is the first year since 2016 that my suicidal thoughts have not completely controlled my mind. I do sometimes have those thoughts but they are few and far between.

I think that’s all that I’ve accomplished. I have started writing this blog which has really helped me out in expressing myself and also relating to others who also have mental health problems.

I hope the last few days of 2018 are halfway decent for you! Stay strong, my readers!!

Tonights Meltdown

I’m having one of those evenings where I can’t stop my anxiety and depression from bullying me into a corner. They shout horrible things at me, the words that come from my own mind are like a punch in the gut.

Tonight my depression is reminding me that all of my mistakes make me a terrible person. That my errors are why people hate me.

Anxiety backs depression up by saying that everyone in my life is packing their bags and distancing themselves from me. That my mistakes and flaws make me unworthy of their presence.

They tell me my boyfriend is going to dump me because I am not enough. That I will never be enough. He wants somebody perfect, somebody who doesn’t fuck up the way I do.

When everything becomes too overwhelming I want to hide. That is my natural instinct, I’ve done it since I was a child. I want to hide from the people I have disappointed so they can’t look at me with eyes filled with pain that I caused.

I hope that if you’re struggling you can make it through. More than likely the sun will rise again in the morning.

My Fears: I’m Not Good Enough

Like my fear that everyone pretends to like me, I’ve had the worry that I’ll never be good enough. I think that is the overarching phrase of my entire existence.

As a child I never thought I was good enough to be a part of anything special or succeed in academics, sports or music.

I remember being in 5th grade, I was selected to be a part of the Four Mile Singers (the school was called Four Mile, hence the name) which was a special singing ensemble for 5th graders.

I went up to my music teacher and told him that I didn’t deserve to be in Four Mile Singers because it was for special people. I told him that I was not special therefore I shouldn’t be in it.

I have blocked that memory out for the most part but every once in a while it creeps back up in my brain. It’s quite painful to think about.

I loved playing the piano but I have never thought I was very good. I took lessons from kindergarten through 12th grade.

I would compare myself to the other students who took lessons from the same teacher. I would hear them play and think, “Wow, I wish I could play like them. They have so much talent!”

By the time I got to high school, I rarely performed in recitals on my own. I would become so incredibly anxious that I would fuck it all up. So my teacher would pair me with other students to do duets, duals and quartets. I loved doing those! I felt confident because I had other people around me to support me.

With friends and boyfriends, I have always thought that they secretly hated me. I’ve always thought that they would leave because I was not enough for them. That I couldn’t provide whatever they were searching for so they would leave to find somebody who could fill that void.

As I am growing up I am feeling this a little less. I am confident in my relationship with my boyfriend, I know that he loves me. I have only a few friends in my actual life (outside from social media and texting). The couple that I have will reach out to chat or even take the lengths to spend time with me.

Every day I have to work towards self-acceptance. I need to accept myself for who I am, not look at what I lack. I do not need to live my life to meet the standards of others. 

May 2019 bring some more self-acceptance! I will be doing a New Years goals list this month. Follow me so you can check it out!

My Fears: Everybody Hates Me

Since I wrote a few days ago about my fear of being fired from my job, I figured I would do a series about my different fears sustained by my anxiety. This one is about my fear that everyone secretly hates me.

I have thought that everyone hates me since I was a child. I don’t know where it originally came from but anxiety always told me that. I often thought my friends were friends with me for pity and not because they wanted to hang out with me.

As my mental illness developed as I grew up, I felt that way more and more.

I mainly have felt this way in romantic relationships. With my first boyfriend at the age of 15, I thought he was dating me for pity. I thought he was so cute, cool and 16 that there was no way he actually wanted to date me.

That feeling was solidified after I found out he was cheating on me with another girl. It told me that I am not enough.

Fast forward to 22 and I felt that way again with my ex and now at 25 I still have those feelings about my current boyfriend.

I worry that deep down he hates me. I worry that he is with me because he feels sad for me. I worry that he is always on the verge of breaking up with me especially if there’s an argument.

Whenever there’s a rough patch I think, “Omg, this is the end. He’s going to break up with me.” So far that hasn’t happened, we have been together for 2 years.

It’s this deep insecurity that I have always had inside me. That I am not good enough and not worthy of love. That my mental illness and other weird quirks are a turn off, making people run away from me as quickly as possible.

Anxiety screams so loudly in my mind that it is often difficult to tune out. On repeat it tells me that everybody hates me and is planning to leave me.

My therapist has worked hard to try and tell me that my anxiety is wrong. That there are many people who care about me, she even had me create a list once! She asked me to really think, without anxiety’s influence, about who I know does not hate me.

Maybe I should do that again but I’m not sure if it will curb these thoughts.

Hope you guys are all doing well!

— Megan

 

Thank U, Next Mentality

I was writing for another mental health blog and it somehow turned my thoughts around on a situation I’ve been experiencing.

Someone who was my best friend and I are no longer speaking, we are done. After two years of drama, we have unofficially ended things.

She was someone who did not respect my choices, did not support me when my mental health was at an all time low and tried to control me.

She told me that I needed to drop everything to follow a regiment that she created to “get my life and career on track.” This would have required me dumping my boyfriend, quitting my job and moving to a new city. By the end of it, she more or less said that I was a failure compared to our other mutual friends because of my life choices.

Since that conversation and her refusing to apologize for her actions, we have become more and more distant.

In the last few months, talking to her gave me serious anxiety. I was worried that she was going to call me a failure and that I need to change my life again. I hated talking to her because of that fear.

Then Ariana Grande dropped her single “Thank U, Next” and it empowered me.

As I’m reflecting on my ex-friend and I’s former friendship, I was sad and disappointed things didn’t work out. Now I’m saying, “thank u, next!”

This woman brought so much negativity into my life that I am happy to be saying thank you, next. The anxiety that she made me feel was not worth the broken pieces of the friendship that we once had and were trying to put back together.

Shit didn’t work out and now I am ready to move forward and beyond that failed friendship.

Thank u, next!

Waking Up Empty

If you’ve ever experienced depression or anxiety, you have probably experienced the emptiness that resounds in your chest the moment you wake up. I felt that this morning for the first time in a while.

I forgot how horrible it feels to be hollow once more. For many weeks I only woke up feeling sleepy, ready to go back to sleep instead of getting up at 5:30 or 6 in the morning. This morning I rose, began to stretch then the empty feeling began to settle into my chest.

I have today off so I should be looking forward to everything I get to do (and don’t have to do) today. I have some work for my side gig to do, I’m going shopping, hopefully going to the gym and best of all, I am getting a sauna and massage. My emptiness calls me to forget those positive activities, instead to focus on how depressed I feel.

This is a feeling I hoped wouldn’t touch me until the new year. I deeply hoped that the light inside me could continue to shine brightly. To light me up like a jack-o-lantern, but it seems that my candle was blown out.

I don’t want my depression to ruin the holidays for me. Not this year!

On Christmas 2016 I was remembering that I had been suicidal for 3 months instead of celebrating with my family. The desire to die was so strong even on my favorite holiday. This year, I don’t want that to be the case! I want to be happy spending time with my family, my boyfriend and his family.

This empty feeling may not go away for a while, that’s reality. I know myself and have learned so much through my long journey with mental illness. In time I will be better. In time I will have my energy back and be able to feel good again.

It’s all in time.

Sinking down

I had been free from the grips of depression for over a month. It was beautiful! I felt truly happy with my life and where I am at.

Until today.

I feel like I have fallen down the stairs, that I was at the top, slipped and have begun to topple down step after step. I was perfectly content at the top until my footing got shaky yesterday.

I was at my boyfriend’s house where I began to overreact about something I said to him. I got very upset with myself  so I started to cry. I told him I didn’t know why I was crying, just that I felt bad for being nasty to him when I shouldn’t have been.

This morning (and basically all day) he has been off, I noticed immediately. My brain shut down and I lost it. I began sobbing and saying to myself over and over, “It’s all my fault.” I always blame myself for anything that goes wrong. All morning I could not stop crying, my mind felt unbalanced. That something had snapped or a switch was turned off that allowed me to function properly.

All day my brain has been telling me that my boyfriend doesn’t love me anymore, that he hates me, that he doesn’t want to see me anymore after nearly 2 years together. It makes me stomach hurt as those thoughts claw on the inside of my skull.

Depression has returned. I feel it in the core of my being. It’s such a familiar feeling to have my energy zapped and feel like I’m a hollow vessel.

This time around I don’t find any comfort in my depression. I feel like I’m tied up with extra-strength chewing gum trying to break free from it’s grasp. I feel uncomfortable and I want my mind to go back to the way it was.

I don’t know if I can get back to where I was mentally any time soon. I don’t know how long this depressive episode will last me.

All I can do is be strong and try my best to make it through.