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.

The Holidays

Christmas is quickly approaching. For me, the last two Christmases have been the most bittersweet days.

On one hand I love it. I finally get to have the pure Christmas experience. Waking up on the 25th to a decorated Christmas tree, with family all around me. Spending the day watching movies, playing board games, decorating ginger bread houses that have were made from scratch the day before.

But on the other hand I’m full of heartache. And so conflicted. Do I call the family that I have been so hurt by? Do I let the past go, if only for one day. Do I tell them that I love them, and that I’m sorry that I can’t see them. Do I put my own feelings, my own hurt and anger aside.

I’ve ignored texts for weeks now. “What do you want for Christmas?” “Are you going to come visit when you’re on break?”

I know that I am going to try and have fun. Enjoy the holidays. Friendmas, Christmas, New Years. But how will family fit in? Will my anxiety and depression keep me from truly enjoying myself.

It sucks that I become so anxious about what is the most festive time of the year. But it’s also something that I’ve become so accustomed to.

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.

Disappointment

I’ve known for a while now that living in a dorm wasn’t working for me. Campus life just definitely wasn’t my style.

I’m not one for parties, or even study groups really. I’m more of a lone wolf. I like to study in quiet, and alone time is important to me.

Being in a dorm, there are people around constantly. There is always noise, and you can never get your room dark.

For me personally, I was place in the honors college dorms even though I wasn’t in the honors college. This made me feel like an outcast. Everyone in my dorm had classes together, and had group outings as the honors college group. Then there was me, who had a completely different schedule and very little in common with any of them.

This makes living in the dorms even harder for me. I never felt welcomed. I never had a moment free of anxiety.

So on Monday, I went to the office of student accessibility. I have accommodations through this office, listing my anxiety and depression. They allow me to leave class if I feel panicked and other small adjustments like that. I was told that by going through their office I would have the best chance of getting out of my lease.

Only a day later, I received an email saying my request was denied.

So I feel trapped. I feel disappointed.

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.

Separation

One of the things that I struggle with most is separating my own emotional struggles from my reactions and responses to other people in my life.

My reaction to stressors and my family and surrounding drama completely take over who I am. I become so focused on what is going on in others lives, that my response takes up all of my emotional energy. And in turn, that anxiety, worry and fear take up a majority of my physical energy as well.

It’s easy for someone to say just focus on yourself, or to not worry about things that you can’t change. But in practice that is a lot harder said than done.

For me trying to not worry and focusing on separation can make things worse. It’s like when you try not to think about it, it turns into the only thing you can focus on.

This is something that I’m working on, similar in a way to how mindfulness works. By acknowledging the fact that yes I am worried, or yes I am stressed, but also telling my self that that is ok. By focusing on breathing and acceptance, I am able to refocus on myself, rather than whatever it was that caused the initial panic.

This is a practice, and one that I am far from mastering. But, I’ve reached a critical point where the level of stress is completely taking over my life. So, I’m working hard on being able to focus inward.

Losing Hope

It’s been a few days since I’ve written anything. The truth is I’m not doing so great.

I’m going into my fourth week of college classes, yet I still haven’t found my groove. I still haven’t found a group of friends that I’m 100% comfortable with, and with everything going on in my family I’m still avoiding alcohol like it’s the plague.

I always imagined joining a sorority, and fully experiencing the college life you hear everyone talk about. But between my depression and the affects of being an adult child of an alcoholic, that dream that I always had is such a terrifying prospect.

It’s not just the social aspect of college that’s getting me down. It’s just my overall state of depression and general lack of motivation. I’m currently taking Fetzima, which is around the dozenth medication that I’ve tried. Yet, nothing has worked.

I’m studying psychology, and it doesn’t take an expert to know that this means my depression is treatment resistant. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have options, but typical medications may not help. I could try TMS, but I don’t know anyone who has experienced it and if I remember correctly it’s a commitment of five days a week for six weeks.

As it is now, I have a hard enough time convincing myself to get out of bed and get to class. If it wasn’t for the fact that if I miss more than a certain number of classes than I fail, my attendance would be nonexistent.

Right now there are so many stressors, my depressions sucks, and I feel like there are anxiety triggers everywhere I turn. So right now, I’m feeling rather hopeless.

Socializing?

Socializing is a pretty mandatory aspect of life. You have to do it, it’s what allows you to survive. What gives you the will to keep going.

But sometimes it is the most difficult thing to motivate yourself to do. When my depression starts to get bad, the first thing I want to do is isolate myself. I don’t want to talk to anyone, I don’t want to go anywhere. Sometimes I don’t even have the energy to watch a show, or listen to music.

It sounds so sad, so pathetic. But it’s the truth. Sometimes my energy is so diminished, and my mood is so low. I lay in bed not wanting to move. But you have to socialize, you have to get involved in life in order for anything to change.

Not to say that by socializing you magically feel better and like the world is all rainbows and puppies. Because that could not be further from the truth. When I get the energy to get out of bed, I usually regret it the instant I am with friends.

Their upbeat energy and mood makes me aggravated. Like I’m missing something. Why do I feel so miserable, and they are enjoying life to it’s fullest. But after the initial aggravation, I usually have a moment where I realize that I’m out of bed. Not only am I out of bed, but I’m feeling something other than exhaustion and hopelessness. Even if it is one of those moments of aggravation rather than enjoyment.

I love my friends, and talking to them, spending time with them, it’s what keeps me going. But I think it’s a topic that isn’t discussed enough. Sometimes it’s hard to be social. Sometimes you can’t help but to lay in bed and accept defeat for the day.