In an effort to find the response to those participating in the 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge easier to find, I am posting and updating this page to include the links to each day’s results/round up.
I decided to start this challenge first of all to help my readers learn more things specifically related to my mental illnesses. My fellow bloggers are welcome to participate in any or all of the challenge prompts. I will do a post within about 3 days of the prompt and my response to link to people who participate, please pingback/link to this post or tag 30MIAC. If you chose to do the prompts later, don’t find the challenge till later, or life happens and you don’t get a prompt answered within the 3 days no worries, if you pingback to this post I will add you to the post that has the links to that prompt. I will be starting to post my responses to the prompts in October, I am just posting this now so people can brainstorm and spread the word. You can also start at anytime. I hope this will raise some awareness and give you insight to mental illness. Here is the image to go with the challenge:
Feeling sad, lonely, and apathetic so I thought I’d write a post. So I knew something was wrong when the ex girlfriend didn’t text me back last Monday she is usually pretty good at returning texts and she has her read receipt on her phone so I knew she read the text. Monday night my anxiety was bothering me I was talking to 20 something’s friend and said there was something wrong. The anxiety got so bad with stomach pain that I couldn’t sleep so I took a Valium.
Sure enough the next morning I get the text from her. I respond twice and she never responds. Again I knew she read it because the read receipt was on, so I figure she is just that type of girl. I go onto Facebook and delete her as a friend as well as un-invite her to events I invited her to. I thought it was over and maybe it was the Valium still in my system that helped me handle things so well Tuesday. Wednesday again I handled things pretty well.
Thursday I was wreck and the emotional impact hit me. I’ve said it more than once and I’ll say it again I wasn’t expecting so much of a reaction because I didn’t think I had that deep of feelings for her. I’m coming to find out I had a lot of “firsts” with her so maybe that’s what I’m grieving. I tried to do the DBT Skills but felt no better. Thursday night I hit the peak with suicidal thoughts and self harm urges, I took 3 Valium and hoped the next day would be better.
Because of the ineffectiveness of the skills Thursday, I did jack shit Friday except sleep. Saturday felt a little better. Sunday kind of emotional. And all through out the week really vulnerable and emotionally reactive.
This Wednesday I got the next text which was really childish and bothered be a lot. She was blaming me and it made me angry as well as defensive, I just blocked her and didn’t really look at the message luckily I had an appointment with my case manager that day and it made me feel better. I wrote the blog on the unsent message. I also referred to some stuff earlier in the week Warning Feelings she said I had a lot of strength when it came to boxing up things and pushing them away but little exposure to opening them and sorting them up. Kinda reminded me of a backhanded compliment but I liked the compliment aspect. She didn’t want this break up to turn into another box with no closure that I push away. So I guess I’ll write about it till I feel some closure on my end.
Originally posted on Jude's FtM Journey:
Exciting News – I’m in the process of writing a new book to help guide those who are trying to determine if they’re trans and, if so, what to do from there. It will contain a mix of my personal experiences, research, experiences from others (everything is anonymous), and various resources (as so much of our trans community continues to change so quickly). It will be made available in hard copy and ebook, but there is currently no specific release date available. If I start seeing some love and sharing of this post going around I will post a sample for everyone.
I was really disappointed by the lack of response to my poll on whether people wanted some more info on DBT typed up. I only had two responses, although more than that liked the post. I’m going to type up some information on distress tolerance because I find it so helpful but it is time consuming. If I continue not to get feedback or people aren’t really wanting the information I will stop typing up information unless it’s something I find intriguing or very helpful.
The goal of distress tolerance is to learn to accept, find meaning for, and tolerate pain and distress.
Another goal of learning distress tolerance skills is to replace the maladaptive ways that individuals try to avoid pain (ex: parasuicidal behavior like self harm, substance abuse, binge eating etc.) with skills for effectively accepting and tolerating pain.
Distress Tolerance is accepting things (not necessarily approving of them) as they are in the moment, rather than trying to change, stop or control them.
For a reminder here is a worksheet to help work on Distress Tolerance or Crisis Survival Skills:
The first section is on ACCEPTS which is an accronym to help you remember distraction skills. Distraction skills are best used when there is nothing you can do about the current situation or you are not in a mindset or environment to deal with it effectively.
A is for Activities such as exercise, a favorite hobby, talking with a friend, walking or any other pleasurable activity to keep your mind off what ever is distressing you.
C is for Contributing which is pretty much doing something nice or thoughtful for someone else, which helps change your mindset to a more positive one while keeping you busy.
C the next C is for Comparisons this skill is comparing the current situation to pass situations that you have made it through to remind you of your resilience, ex. I have been through worse before and made it through, I will get through this.
E is for Opposite Emotion, which is when you use an activity to cause an emotional response different to what you are currently feeling. An example of this is to watch a funny movie if feeling sad.
P is for Pushing Away which means to leave the situation mentally for ahile and refuse to think about it. This is not the same an avoiding the situation, it is taking a break from ruminating and dwelling or waiting until you are in a better mindset to deal with it.
T is for Other Thoughts, which means to occupy your mind, examples could be counting things, doing word puzzles, reading or reciting sayings or quotes.
S is for using Intense Other Sensations, this is about getting out of your mind and into your body. Some people when in distress will self harm to feel something, this skill is an useful alternative to that. Some examples are holding cold ice in your hands, going for a drive with the window down and feeling the air blow in your face, taking a hot or cold shower.
The next section on the worksheet is pretty self explanatory. It is about self soothing with the five senses. So do something that activates a sense and helps calm you down for example for smell it might be lighting a scented candle, for touch petting a pet, for taste enjoying a favorite dish, they are just some examples.
The second to last section is on Improve the Moment, with the acronym IMPROVE.
I is for Imagery Iwhich is picturing a relaxing scene, imaginging an older version of yourself tho is wiser and them standing next to you helping you. Let your mind go to a safe beautiful place and imagine you are there.
M is for Meaning. Find or create some purpose, meaning or value in the pain. What can you pull from this that can aid you or others, now or later? Focus on whatever positive aspects you can find in a painful situation.
P is for Prayer.
R is for Relaxation which could include deep brething exercises, guided imagery tapes, listening to soothing music. Giving yourself a massage or anything else you find relaxiong.
O is for doing One Thing In The Moment which is just focusing on what you are doing right now.
V is for a Brief Vacation which could include things like talking a nap, taking a blanket to the park and having a picnic, unplugging.
E is for Encouragement which is cheer leading and reassuring yourself.
The last section on pros and cons will lead you through your urges to do a destructive behavior and not participating in it by listing short term and long term pros and cons of each. Also in a little bit of a smaller type below is some questions to answer that will help you realize if it’s worth it and suggest skills to get through it.
I had counseling today. Most of the discussion was about the break up. Also the ex-girlfriend sent me another text this morning. I talked a little about the triggers from Wednesday contributing to me taking the 6 valium and the Nyquil because she was under the impression that just the break up is what destabalized me. Granted the break up had me more vulnerable and emotional but I think I dealt am dealing with it pretty well. I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to say and although I don’t want to send it because it will just prolong the conflict I thought I’d write it here.
You say that it bothers you that I am not certain that you are my girlfriend but I am calling you that. YOU were the first person to use the term girlfriend and since it was my first relationship I just returned the term. I learned today I should have had a conversation about it and how I was not comfortable at this level. I liked you and thought we could be something but it was clear from the beginning that there were communication issues. I tried to be as honest as possible and I feel like you think I was lying to you. I asked you not to read my blog yet you still did, and possibly still are. It’s true I wasn’t in love and confused about our status, but I am like that in many relationships like I texted you. I thought it was really immature for you not to reply to my texts until a week later and then attack me. I will not give you satisfaction by becoming defensive and possibly saying rude things also. I tried to do everything I thought a girlfriend was suppose to do including introducing you to my parents, even though I come to find out you haven’t even told your parents we were dating. And you act like I’m uncertain or ashamed/embarrassed about our relationship though it was clear you wanted to be secretive about it. You attack me by saying ridiculous things like think I’m too good for you when you know I wrote in my blogs about me not being enough for you and not knowing what you see in me. I was very insecure compared to your weight and looks and surprised someone as good looking as you would date me… I don’t know how that translates to you not being good enough for me. You moved to fast and I wouldn’t have been able to keep up so I guess it’s good things ended now. Even though I didn’t feel super attached to you, I miss part of our relationship like having someone to be intimate with and you being the first time I ever slept with a girl and woke up next to. At least I learned from our relationship that I need to be upfront that I’m not the type of person who is going to fall fast and make commitments and have feelings quickly. So I thank you for that.
I’m over this. Need someone to talk to or someone to be with. That won’t happen so Valium it is.
it was sometimes hinted out and sometimes directly stated that people thought I shouldn’t dat. Primarily because of my mental health issues and all that. I decided I’m not going to wait for everything to be perfect in my life to begin dating or relationships. I’ve been a weird mix of emotions since the break up: anger, disappointment, sadness, loneliness, numb or apathetic, relieved, anxious. It’s been a really mixed bag of course with some of the staples of any relationship ending. But I want to prove I can handle the break up in a healthy way. So far I’ve mostly just focused on my behavior and controlling it in regards to what my emotions might be urging me to do. And I’ve been pretty damn successful. I just don’t understand why it hurts so much when I didn’t think I had that deep of feeling for her. And why it’s such a mixed bag and then spilling into my regular life. I almost started crying last night over practically nothing. Maybe I need to cry. Maybe I need to stop wondering about this and focus on something else. I don’t know this is my first remember-able break up. I feel so lost.