When help doesn’t help

I’ve been in therapy for years now. I have tried countless meds. I have shared my story and my struggles. I’ve taken all the steps that people say to. I didn’t hide my mental health struggle. I reached out for help. And I’ve worked hard, gosh I’ve worked so hard. I’ve tried my best to work the resources. But all of these things, that are supposed to help, to make things get better, they haven’t. Five years later and I’m still so deep in my own struggles.

For many people getting help doesn’t truly make a difference.  They’re able to find happiness again. And I hope that one day that will happen for me. Sometimes it is just so hard to hold on to that idea, that hope. Especially when you’ve seen so many people flourish after just taking advantage of a fraction of the resources you’ve been using for years.

Self Deprecating

Depression can take a toll on every aspect of your life. For me, when it comes to my self image, it means constantly criticizing myself. It’s pointing out ever possible flaw, making me focus on every little insecurity.

As if that isn’t enough, medications for depression and anxiety can have a significant effect on your body. For me, my weight has fluctuated as much as 14 pounds in 2 weeks. My closet consists of oversized shirts, and jeans in about 5 different sizes. All so that when my weight inevitably fluctuates, I can try my hardest not to focus on it and already have clothes that will somewhat fit.

Todays culture seems to revolve around self deprecating remarks. The majority of my twitter feed is people putting themselves down, but acceptably, with hundreds of retweets. All because it is hidden behind the ideal that it’s funny. I believe that it is important to recognize your flaws, and work to improve them. But constantly focusing on them, and making jokes, putting yourself down? I don’t understand it.

Being stuck in your depression, and such a negative mindset is miserable. But we should all try to take a second before making jokes about our downfalls. Most of the times self deprecating jokes are so crushingly unfunny. Because for whoever made it, they know that it is completely true.

Self Harm… Part II

If you’ve read my previous post, you know that I have been a cutter for a while now. It’s become a negative coping skill that I turn to quite often. It has always been something that even though I do it, I’ve never really understood why.

Of course there is the obvious fact that it is a distraction and something to focus on, it has always perplexed me how I could physically harm myself. But last night as I looked myself in the mirror and took a razor blade to myself, something clicked. I cut because it makes me feel as though my pain is justified.

Every day I feel so hurt. Between depression, anxiety, and just my general disfunction, I always feel upset, feel hurt. But I also feel guilty for feeling this way. Like it isn’t justified. But when I’m cutting, I can see all my scars, I can see blood. In the moment, although I’m in pain it feels justified. It feels like I finally have a right to feel hurt.

Although I hate that I cut, last night it finally made sense to me. It isn’t for a distraction. It is for a moment of relief from the guilt.

Final Exams

If your in college, than this can be a really stressful time. Final exams are quickly approaching, and have even started for many. It’s my first semester in college, so it’s my first time experiencing this. Of course I had finals in high school, but they were never such a big deal. Luckily I only have three exams this semester.

I have to say, I personally am not that stressed. There are a million things in my life that I am constantly stressed about, so it’s weird that this isn’t that big of a deal to me. Of course I’m spending the entire week in the library studying though. It just seems like something that I can prepare for, and that I am in control of the outcome.

One thing that really has bothered me about finals is everyone around me. It’s not that they are stressed or overwhelmed. I completely understand why they feel that way. It’s that they are posting on twitter and instagram that they wish they were dead. Or, they are jokingly saying that they would pay someone to kill them. This is so not ok to me. As someone who constantly struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts, in no way are those jokes funny.

It’s important to remember that many times when people with depression are struggling they do their best to hide it. You never know who will see these joking posts and be offended or hurt.

Throwback

This is a post I wrote around a year ago for my high school blog. I was looking back on it and want to share…

Anxiety. It is one word. One tiny little seven letter word. But somehow, it manages to take complete control over me. Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. For me it is a lot more complicated. It’s also not typically something that is easy for me to open up about, as it has such a large stigma attached to it. Which makes it so much harder to live with.

Anxiety has always been a part of my life. In fact, when I was born I was in the NICU for 16 days. Although the first day it was because of my health, my stay was prolonged because anytime another baby around me had a problem or their alarm went off, I would react. As illogical as it may seem, anxiety can be more than simply a feeling of fear. For many people, they have very real physical reactions. For me my reaction can be just a feeling of sadness or misplacement, but many times it is accompanies by physical reaction. My heartrate spikes, and I sometime have difficulty breathing. In addition to those lovely responses food becomes my enemy. Even the mention of eating and I will turn so pale, you may as well call me Casper.

As a senior in high school, there are so many things that are can be exciting. It is an adventure into your future. For the first time, you have complete control in what you want to do. The decisions you make are all yours. Although many days, these are simply exciting for me, sometimes

along the way my anxiety kicks in.

Being a 17-year-old, crying in class is one of the most embarrassing things. So of course, on Friday, my anxiety decided to strike right as I was about to walk into school. A nervous thought about my family and my future popped into my head, and unlike someone without anxiety, it was hard for me to just redirect my attention.

One of the hardest parts about anxiety for me is that it seems although you have two completely different thought processes. On one hand I can see that it is irrational for me to become so upset and scared that I literally cannot stop crying as I’m sitting in class. But on the other hand, there is some part of me that completely registers this thought as a fear, as something so real that it needs my full focus.

It may seem like I just completely embarrassed myself, crying at school in the first place, and sharing this now. But this is why. Having these thoughts are hard enough, never mind having to simultaneously freak out about what people are thinking about you or what they would say if they found out that you have anxiety and unfortunately this is a pretty common part of your life. The stigma around mental health is so detrimental, and the only way to overcome it is by speaking up. I have an anxiety disorder, but it doesn’t define me. It allows me to see how many people in my life truly care, and support me.

Standing Together

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Today was the “Out of Darkness” community walk in Richmond Virginia. It’s organized by the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. It was an amazing community gathering, that showed how many people truly care and are there to support those struggling with mental illness.

Although I was in the back of the crowd and couldn’t hear a majority of the speeches, what I could hear was powerful. People shared their own stories of struggle and loss, and offered hope to all those around them.

Everyone proudly wore beads that represented their own connection to AFSP, whether they had lost a loved one, friend, or struggled themselves. It was an environment where no one was afraid of judgement and could openly speak to anyone around them for support.

I was inspired by the walk today. Our team, however small we may have been, raised over $2000 for the cause. So many of my own friends in family happily donated.

The AFSP is an amazing organization, that is inspiring change, and a start in conversation to stop the stigma.

Self Harm

I saw this photo on Pinterest today. It made me stop scrolling. It made me freeze.

My stomach is covered in scars. Some from months ago. Some that are fresh, only hours old, that are still red, that would bleed if I touched them.

I’m laying in bed writing this post on my phone and I can feel the pain of these fresh cuts. I can feel where I took a knife and cut myself. But I can also choose to focus on that physical pain rather than the emotional chaos that is going on in my mind.

I don’t cut for attention. Very few people in my day to day life know about it. And the one person that I used to talk openly about it with, went of to college and I don’t talk with her about it anymore.

It makes me so mad when people say that people self harm for attention. Is that why people hide it? Is that why people wear long sleeves year round?

It takes so much for someone to turn to physically harming themselves. It’s not an easy thing to do. Although it may turn into a habit, it is still difficult every time.

Ive been cutting for 6 months now. It’s a habit.

A negative coping skill.

I hate that I’m able to hurt myself. I hate that I turn to self harm when I’m struggling.

This is something that is hard to talk about, and I know this post is kind of a mess. But if you self harm, know that you’re not alone.