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.

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!!

Worries Ahead

This is another post about PMDD and periods so if that doesn’t interest you, check out a different post of mine! There are some other good ones 🙂

Today begins the week before my period which can be just as miserable as actually having my period. Last month, I was living a nightmare with how bad my mental health was.

Last month I was constantly on the verge of tears, I couldn’t shower or get out of bed and I honestly felt that I was not worthy to be on this planet. It was such a difficult time that I am afraid of it happening again this week or next week.

Somebody left me a comment last month about how I should prepare for this time of the month. That I should create a plan to catch myself before I fall too deep into my own darkness. And if I collapse and hit the bottom, I can have soft pillows there to cushion my fall.

I’m already a highly sensitive person so I feel that I have to tread even lighter than normal when I’m PMSing or on my period. I’m going to care for myself as if I am a fragile butterfly.

So here’s my plan:

  1. Do not push myself beyond my limits: I have a fine line to walk when it comes to pushing myself beyond my limits. Sometimes I can handle taking on more while other times I crumble inside. My mental wellbeing needs to be a priority so I plan to gauge what I am up to from situation to situation.
  2. Exercise: Sometimes it takes a lot of energy to get me to exercise even though I actually enjoy exercising. I think I categorize it in my mind as a task and not as something fun. I almost always feel better afterwards so it’s worth doing!
  3. Eating actual food: Getting nutrients in my body instead of solely eating garbage is always a good idea.
  4. Take time to find reality: I will go into my head and got lost in there. I totally lose all sense of reality. Using a stress ball, smelling essential oils or taking a moment to breathe can sometimes bring me back to Earth.

Guys, let’s cross our fingers that I can survive this week and next week!

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!!

Coming Up For Air

Holy hell it has been a whirlwind of the past few days! I’m ready for a vacation from my weekend.

*Random side note: I think if I actually saw a whale I would cry. Like seriously, how beautiful is this photo?!?*

If you read this post and this post, you will know that I have really been struggling with my mental health because of PMS. Throughout last week but specifically this past weekend, everything felt like it was falling apart.

This afternoon I finally felt like I could breathe properly. Like I could finally swim up to the top and take a massive gasp of air.

The morning was total shit. When I’m on my period or PMSing, I get angry so easily which was the definition of my morning. I woke up angry, showered in anger, I was angry working at my side gig and finally when I got home, a sigh of relief.

I had lunch with my mom, took a nap and when I woke up, everything seemed better. I felt like the rocky waves were finally calming down.

I’ve been able to get some work done tonight for my side gig which really shows that I am getting back to my semi-normal self.

The mental strain of severe PMS makes everything in life the absolute worst. Since this past week was so bad, I really want to find out what I can do to help with these intense emotions.

When I was sad this weekend, I was sobbing. When I was sleepy, I laid in bed for 5 hours doing nothing. I barely had the energy to watch anything! You know it’s bad when the thought of looking at a screen for multiple minutes sounds exhausting.

I debated dipping into old habits just because I felt like nothing else would make me feel any better.

I even had a freaking panic attack! Somehow I was able to calm myself down very quickly which I am proud of myself for. I am lucky that I almost never get panic attacks so when they happen randomly, it’s confusing for me.

This isn’t normal at all. I should not be feeling such intense mental pain when I’m already taking an antidepressant. It’s not a wimpy one either!

I’m sure I’m not the only person out there really struggling with their mental health when they are PMSing or on their period. I am going to keep you all updated so that maybe somehow somebody reading this doesn’t feel so alone.

I see my therapist in a few days so hopefully she has some answers for me.

Laying In Bed

I think I have come to the conclusion that my PMS is not just regular old PMS. I think that I have PMDD or something because this past week has been absolute hell for me.

I wrote earlier this week about how PMS amplifies my mental illness. This week has been way way way worse than normal. I can’t function at all!

I have been drowning in my depression for days. Today and yesterday I spent almost all day in bed. I haven’t showered since Friday and I have mostly lost my appetite. Today I am not crying every other minute like I was for the last few days so that is one positive thing!

Where I live we had a snow storm (that really wasn’t even that bad, we’ve totally had worse) so it’s been an excuse to stay inside and not do anything.

Today I keep saying, “I’ll get up at noon.” I stay in bed. “I’ll get up at 1.” I’m still in bed. “I’ll get up at 2.” I’m sitting up but I’m still in my bed.

While I’ve been in bed, negative thoughts keep buzzing in my mind. Stuff that I know I shouldn’t be thinking about but they don’t seem to want to leave me.

Thursday I have therapy so I’m going to talk with my therapist about this horrible week I’ve had. I don’t know if she will have any answers with how I can survive my next period but maybe she will have some ideas.

Online when I was looking for what people typically do for PMDD/severe PMS is to put them on birth control (I’m on it) or antidepressants (on that too). So right now I’m feeling that it’s all hopeless. That once a month I’m going to be losing my sanity and damaging my relationships and health.

I am not ok with that at all.

My mental health had been pretty good until Monday. I felt like I was on the top of a hill then pushed down into the fucking ocean to sink to the bottom where I’m wrapped up in seaweed.

Writing this is actually making me feel a little better. I might be able to get out of bed now, I’m not quite sure. I want to take a bubble bath but I can’t seem to find the energy.

Depression really drains me of all my energy. Doing the simplest task, like showering, seems nearly impossible. I hope I can survive this bullshit.