Tag: Mental Health

A Friendship Didn’t Work Out

I mentioned earlier that I was worried that my friendship with Kellie wouldn’t last, and I turned out to be right. We’re both going through stressful times in our lives. I became more anxious, and she became inconsistent, cancelling plans at the last minute or even not showing up without telling me she couldn’t make it, which spiked my anxiety even more.

I couldn’t handle it anymore and ended the friendship. I take responsibility for my role in our problems. We were in a cycle of neediness on my part and inconsistency on her part. I could’ve been more understanding. I’m not sure yet if I’ll need to limit myself to being friends with people who are able to be reliable to protect myself from anxiety, or if I’ll get to a point that I can handle my anxiety well enough to be more understanding of people who act like this.

I’m sad about the end of our friendship. I remember when she told me that I have a kind heart and that she looked forward to learning about my and my outlook on life. I felt the same way about her. What she said was a big boost to my self esteem, since people had complained before about how boring I am. I’m self conscious now about if people are having enough fun when we’re hanging out. Now the healing effect has been undone. My anxiety contaminated our friendship, and I find myself wondering if she’s glad that it’s over.

I keep ruminating about how things could’ve gone differently.

I’m trying to keep in mind that I don’t have much social experience. It was only a few months ago that I finally started to understand, thanks the my therapist, how making conversation works. Since I was mostly nonverbal for most of my life, I didn’t have much experience socializing. During what little socializing I did, I mostly just sat quietly with the other person till they got bored and moved on. Due to my lack of experience, I shouldn’t expect myself to be perfectly smooth at relationships right now. With this insight, I’m able to forgive myself for this failure and begin moving on.

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Trying to Turn Around a Bad Day

Content note: self harm

I asked for advice on a forum about how to deal with an abusive living situation and it seemed like the people who responded blamed me for it. It seemed like they were ganging up on me. I got so upset that I stabbed myself. I was even more upset that I stabbed myself cuz it’s a setback in my recovery from mental illness. I then sent several sad, anxious, increasingly paranoid messages to a friend about the whole thing and am worried that she won’t wanna deal with me anymore.

I don’t think that I can deal with going back to that website. I’m disappointed that it didn’t work out, cuz I got some good encouragement from people before today’s incident. I’ll look for other forums to post on. I hope I find at least one that’s a good fit for me. I haven’t had good luck with forums lately, so I’ll talk to my therapist before trying anymore.

I’m trying to get myself back on track. Here are some things that I’ve done or will do:

  • I scheduled an im session with another friend that we’ll have in a couple of days. Even if my friendship with Kellie doesn’t survive, I still have Clare, and can do better with her and friends that I make in the future. The chat session gives me something to look forward to.
  • I sent a final message to Kellie to apologize, say I won’t send more messages unless I hear from her, and promise not to send a bunch of emotional messages all at once again. It’s up to her if she’ll accept that. It’s out of my hands now and all I can do now is distract myself.
  • I’ll take a PRN for anxiety.
  • I’ll work on compiling a list of 100 songs that I like and do some more research about psychology.
  • I’ll limit myself to checking Facebook once a day while I’m waiting for a reply from Kellie to keep myself from getting too obsessive about the situation.

Something My Therapist Said is Weighing on Me

At my last session with my therapist, I mentioned that I had read about personality in the book Psychology for Dummies. She had me take an online personality test to build on that. One thing that my results said was that I’m altruistic. She said, “If things in your life were different, you’d be out there saving the world right now.”

What she said makes me wonder if I’m not doing enough to help others. I thought that blogging was a good way to help others, but maybe it doesn’t have enough of an impact. I’ve wanted to do more even since before she said what she did. Some ideas that I’ve had include joining the care team at my church, doing volunteer work, or running a support group. Also, when I’m ready, I’d like to go back to school to become a therapist.

I talked to my mommy about what my therapist said. My mommy said that there’s no way to know if that’s true. She said that even if my life had gone better, I might still have had to take a break from school/working cuz of a genetic predisposition to mental illness. Her theory makes sense to me.

However, I also think that I might’ve been able to do more by now if things had gone differently, like my therapist said. For example, if my daddy had treated me better, I would’ve had a lot less stress in my life. His constant, heatedly expressed anger was one of the contributing factors that lead to my mental breakdown towards the end of my first attempt at college.

I’m sad for myself and the other people that I would’ve helped by now that I haven’t done more.

One thing that just came to mind, though, is that, bit by bit, I’m laying a foundation for helping others in the future. Even if nobody finds Oasis Charm helpful, this blog has been good for my mental health by giving me a place to process my thoughts, feelings, and the lessons I’ve been learning, which will put me in a better position to help others. I’ve been doing a lot of research about mental health, and psychology in general, which I can apply to my career when I become a therapist. I’m not doing much now, but I think the time will come when there will be more depth to my contributions. A good analogy would me a Pokemon like Bulbasaur doing a Solar Beam attack, first gathering energy from the sun before unleashing a powerful blast. I’ve had major setbacks, such as not being able to start understanding basic social skills till recently (a few years into adulthood), but I’ve decided to have compassion for myself instead of beating myself up about it.

Now I’m trying to use my empathy skill. I have a long history with my therapist of her supporting me. I don’t think that intended for me to feel bad about myself when she made that comment. She may actually have been trying to reassure me that it’s not my fault that I haven’t done more to help others. Yes, I prefer the positive interpretation. It’s kinder both to her and to myself.

Writing this article has helped me process how I feel about her comment and how I’ll incorporate into how I see myself. I feel better now.

 

Family Problems are Affecting My Mental Health

Content note: mention of suicidal thoughts

After my daddy and I finished putting away groceries tonight, he got angry at me for eating. He wants me to always wait for fifteen minutes after getting home to eat, which I find too controlling. He also said,”Next time we go shopping, stay the fuck out of my way!” which triggered me badly enough to make me cry.

There are other issues. For example, he’ll get angry if I buy frozen fries cuz he thinks that they’re too unhealthy. He doesn’t want me to have anyone over, ever.

I’ve been trying to improve my mental health and overall happiness. My daddy’s behavior is making it more difficult.

My therapist sympathizes with me and referred me to a temporary apartment for people living with mental illness. Someone from the Supportive Living Program is helping me find a long term home, which will probably take longer than getting into the temporary one. I can stay at the short term one for up to six months. The wait is agonizing. I want my own place so badly so that I can finally live in peace.

I get to spend a big chunk of every weekend with my mommy, which helps provide some relief. Aside from when I’m staying with her, we talk for an hour every night online. Her support helps me keep from completely falling apart.

Thinking about enduring more time at my daddy’s place sometimes makes me think about suicide. I’m dealing with it by reminding myself of my big picture goals: things like Oasis Charm, getting a kitty, starting some clubs, and becoming a therapist. If I die now, I won’t get to do those things. I don’t want my daddy to have the power to stop me from living my life. I’m trying to hold onto my power.

 

Keeping a Sense of Perspective

Depression can make us very focused on our problems and negative feelings. The problem that has been plaguing me the most lately is that I don’t like where I currently live. After the assisted living facility I was at announced that they’re closing, I moved in with my daddy. His place came with things like grime and both live and dead bugs. I kept thinking about how much I hate the filth and the bugs and dealing with my difficult daddy.

When my thoughts were all about those things, my depression got so severe that I stayed in bed for most of the day. I became more functional by broadening my perspective. I still acknowledge that my living conditions are bad. I still have negative feelings about it, and acknowledge those feelings. However, I’ve been reminding myself that this isn’t gonna be forever. Eventually, I’ll get an apartment through the Supportive Living Program, and my difficult stay with my daddy will be far enough in the past that I’ll barely even think about it anymore. I’ve also been reminding myself that I do have some good things going on in my life, such as getting to stay at my mommy’s place for part of every weekend, and the free online psychology class that I’m taking on coursera.org.

If a specific situation is triggering your depression, think about how it will fit in the big picture of your life. Some situations may seem just as horrible even if you think about it in the big picture, but some will seem at least a little less severe. If you get stuck in a negative rut, remind yourself of the good things in your life and what they add to it. For example, I’m glad that the class I’m taking is adding to my knowledge of psychology. Try to cultivate a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the good things in your life. If you can’t cultivate those feelings, you may need help addressing your issues before you can get into that mindset, and that’s okay. Be gentle with yourself.

Why I Won’t Pace in Public Anymore When I’m Upset

I had a horrible day today. When I was at the bus plaza, I was so upset that I started pacing inside. My emotions were running so wild that I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going. I accidentally walked really close to a mother with her two small children. We did an awkward dance around each other and the mother said, “Fuck, lady.” Although I’ve talked about learning conflict resolution skills, I admit I faltered and didn’t react well. She followed me across the street to keep yelling at me. Security guards at the plaza tried to placate her while I made an escape.

I’ve been thinking more about that encounter. I thought at first that she was just a giant asshole, but I see now that I did, although unintentionally, invade her and her children’s personal space. She didn’t know what was going on in my mind, so she may have thought I did it on purpose to antagonize them.

This incident reminds me of another time I paced while upset in (sort of) public. I was in an assisted living facility at the time, and I was pacing up and down the hallway. Someone thought I was on my way to his room and yelled at me, accusing me of trying to break in. I thought at first he was just a giant asshole, too, but looking back, maybe I didn’t realize how close to his room I had gotten, and it really did make it look like I was trying to break in.

I wish that people wouldn’t keep making negative assumptions about my intentions. It’s really hurtful. However, at least in part, I can kinda see how these two people might’ve taken me as a threat due to my lack of attention during emotionally charged pacing.

I think that two incidents is the beginning of a pattern. Pacing while upset in public seems to cause trouble for me. I wanna break this pattern. From now on, if I get upset while I’m around other people, I’ll sit or stay in one place until I can calm myself down. I’m not sure yet how to get myself to calm down. I’ll talk to my therapist about that tomorrow and share what I’ve learned here later.

Edited on 8/15/17 to add: my mommy just suggested, “Maybe you could pace somewhere people would expect it, like at a park.” I’m willing to try it, but I’ll still be careful to do things like look ahead instead of at the ground so that I don’t disturb anyone. There’s a beautiful park downtown with lots of birdies that I like. If I feel the need to pace when I’m upset again, I’ll go there to walk my feelings off.