Seeing My Past

Monday was the first time it was warm enough to be wearing shorts this year where I live in America. It is always exciting when it starts to feel like spring especially when it is around my birthday (which is this Saturday)!

I was sitting in my boyfriend’s car while he went to get us pizza for dinner. I looked down at my legs which were covered in scars. Sadly they have not faded like I hoped that they would.

*Before you go any further please check yourself because I’m going to talk about self-harm. If you are not in the place to read something like this please check out a different post of mine! Like this or this.*

They’re scars from 2016 when I was really struggling with self-harm during my episode of severe depression. During that time I didn’t care what my body looked like, I wanted the relief that cutting brought to me at my lowest point.

I don’t regret doing what I did to myself during those horrible months. I regret other times that I have self-harmed but not then.

“But Megan why?” you might ask.

A great question! I was having constant suicidal thoughts, wasn’t eating and wanted all of the pain I was in to end. My mind told me that the only way for me to escape my suicidal thoughts was to end my life.  So instead of doing that, I cut myself.

I had been struggling with self-harm for 5 years at that point so this negative coping skill was one that I was very familiar with.

I’m not encouraging anybody to self-harm as a way to cope with mental illness. But as I reflect back on that time in my life, I give myself a pass. I wasn’t myself, my mind wasn’t functioning properly at all.

Even though I am left with the scars on my body, I forgive myself for it all.

I don’t think forgiveness is spoken about much among people who struggle with self-harm. It really should be though! We have to forgive ourselves for what we did when we weren’t feeling mentally well. We forgive then try to find a different coping skill next time.

I still have scars from when I began cutting at 18 so I know these will not fade for a long time. I have to accept my past, love myself despite my challenges and be confident even though my past pain is carved onto my body.

If you struggle with self-harm, have you forgiven yourself? If not, what’s holding you back? Leave me a comment please!

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.

Perfection

Something I’ve struggled with for a long time is wanting to be perfect.

I think a lot of us think that wanting to be perfect is the same as a perfectionist but it’s not in my case. I’m definitely not a perfectionist in most aspects of my life.

In school I never tried to be the best at everything or even to get straight As. It goes the same for any activity I’ve ever done, like music or sports, I knew being perfect in those areas wasn’t attainable and I was fine with it.

In every day life is where I struggle with the fact that I am not perfect.

When I make a mistake or say the wrong thing, I beat the shit out of myself for it. I ruminate on whatever error I made, replaying it over until it makes me sick. I ask myself why I did whatever I did and why I wasn’t smart/good enough to evade this error in the first place. It makes me ask myself why I was even put on this planet if I’m going to be such a failure.

Today I’m struggling because I’m not perfect. So often I wish that I was so I wouldn’t go through this process of being sad and mad at myself.

Failure makes me want to hide from the world and from myself. Sadly, it’s really hard to escape yourself. I can’t leave my body or my brain!

Do you ever struggle with the fact that nobody is perfect?

I’m Back

Guys, I am terribly sorry that I haven’t been keeping up with my posts! I have been going through a rocky spot in my relationship which affected my mental health. But I think things are going to smooth out so I am starting to feel a lot better.

Whenever there is turmoil in my relationship I take it all very personally and seriously. I am a highly sensitive person so once one thing upsets me, everything that follows makes it all worse.

In this mental state I worry about everything and ruminate on the same thoughts over and over again. It is exhausting. I have been having low quality sleep, little interest in anything and had trouble eating. When I was eating, it was total garbage.

Luckily we saw each other last night, he took me out to dinner which was very nice. Then we relaxed and watched “Drake and Josh” on Hulu.

I brought up our drama as calmly as I could. He apologized for the way he acted! I was freaking shook and knew that he truly meant it.

During this difficult time I found some solace in the music of Queen and watched My Roommate is a Cat (which I love).

I hope things are better in your world! Stay strong, everyone!

Getting Back to “Normal”

My period is over so I’ve, for the most part, returned to my “normal” self. All of my emotions that were at a peak have calmed down.

I met with my therapist this past Thursday and I cried the entire time. It felt so good to have a safe place where I could discuss my fears and cry with somebody who knows me.

Sure I pay her to hear me sob but it is worth every penny.

She helped me to rationalize some of my worries and put everything that had been frantically flying around in my skull into some sort of order.

By the end of our session I felt relieved. I calmed down before I left and set a session earlier than I normally would have if I was doing fine.

Yesterday and today I have been productive enough to make up for last weekend when I couldn’t get out of bed or shower. My mood is up and I’ve been eating vegetables instead of solely carbs, ice cream and chocolate.

It is such a whirlwind to be feeling like I want to end my life in one moment to feeling relatively content the next. There are so many ups and downs that it gives me whiplash sometimes. And I’ve had whiplash and it’s not enjoyable!

I am hoping that I can keep my depression and anxiety in check this week despite work being busy. In my two weeks of hell from my PMDD and period, I have found some new coping mechanisms! I’ll share them with you in case you are looking for some fresh ideas.

  1. Keep Items with a Happy Memory Close — I don’t think I thought about this before but having something that has a positive memory attached to it can lift your spirits. For example I put on a bright blue nail polish that I bought in Florence, Italy when I was on coach tour across Europe. I look at my nails and think of the amazing time that I had which gives me a little boost.
  2. ASMR — When this whole ASMR thing got popular, I thought it was kind of bullshit. But what I found was that I enjoy ones where they are cooking especially if there are crunchy vegetables being chopped up. What I’ve been loving is Peaceful Cuisine, it’s a Japanese guy who makes vegan food. Since I’m learning Japanese, it also helps me to read the ingredients in the language.

I hope that two little tips can help if you’re in a pickle jar right now. I’ll keep you all updated on how I fair this week!

Stay strong, everybody!!

Too Nice for My Own Good

In my previous post I talked about how an ex-friend had reached out to me looking to rekindle our friendship. It really put me into a boiling pot of anxiety because I wasn’t prepared for this and I don’t want to rekindle our friendship.

I hate being mean and knowing that I have hurt somebody’s feelings. I get serious guilt and I always have been that way even if I am standing up for myself. In my mind, being mean is bad and I should always be nice to others.

It gives me anxiety when I know I have to tell somebody no because I don’t want to upset that person. I am a people pleaser at heart, there’s no way to sugar coat it. It is a huge reason why I had put up with this ex-friend’s bullshit for so long.

I was afraid to stand up for myself for years in fear of hurting her feelings. That doesn’t even make sense!

In her and I’s texting conversation, that has taken up most of this week, she does not understand why I can’t move on from the horrible things she said to me. In her mind, it wasn’t a big deal and she “apologized” for it. It was such a fake apology, she said, “I’m sorry but…” which did not respect my feelings.

I finally told her how I have felt that I will never live up to these expectations she has of me. That I cannot live my life to please her because I need to make sure that I am happy first.

She is upset that I didn’t tell her I felt that way until now when I felt that way for so many years. Sure, I could have told her but I was afraid to. That trust kept breaking down and never getting built back up.

When all the trust was gone, for me the friendship was more or less over.

Even though I wrote a whole post about how I wanted to tell her thank you, next, now that the moment has come I feel like I can’t do it. Around her I have no courage, no strength to stand up for myself even when it is in my best interest.

I wish I could crawl under my covers, waiting until all of this crap has blown over. My natural instinct is to hide when things get tough, this situation is no different.