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:
Today we’re leaving the campsite but I guess we’re going to hit a few places on the way home. I haven’t responded to comments from the really bad day or from this trip because the reception is spotty.
I’ve had a lot of time to think and surprisingly some of it has been positive. I’ve also found myself fighting back tears as I come to some realizations and reflect on some things. Good tears though, and things I need to realize about myself to improve.
I’m thinking about making this blog public on my personal Facebook page and would love feedback. A few people in real life know about it, but few read it frequently and not sure if that would change. Some of my posts are rather long, sometimes I post multiple times a day, and sometimes the posts are downright depressing or scary. I’m afraid it might sensor my writing a little, but there is always password protecting. I’m kinda tired of being so secretive of such large aspects of my life. I also deleted a bunch of fb people who I don’t see on a regular basis, are friends of friends/family, or just didn’t really interact with so not everyone from hs and other stuff would see my posts. If I knew how to do a poll on my mobile app I’d do it. Maybe when I get home.
Also the poll about suicide notes, all 11 or 12 people who responded said they would read the note immediately. I wish I could show the poll results and I’m working on it. Also, the poll asking what you’d like to see more of I’m working on an infographic. But they take time and as I’ve said repeatedly I’ve been lacking the energy.
Today looks good. Thanks for all my supporters in real life and blogosphere.
So I’m camping And I kind of feel guilty because my depression is pretty bad right now. Mostly I just want to lay in bed and isolate (with the exception of 3 people and/or events). I don’t have a lot of energy and not much is enjoyable.
But I did good today. I did lay in bed a lot of the day. But I talked to high school friend and just having someone to talk to helped. I made breakfast for me and my friends. And we went down on a little hike to the beach. I also went online and reached out to another girl on okcupid. I’ve also been emailing a fellow blogger.
So overall, it’s been a pretty good day.
It seems like everything’s too much. Too exhausting. Too meaningless. Not worth it.
I try to keep going and keep up a “normal” appearing life. But I don’t even really want to anymore.
It’s so tricky explaining what’s going on in my head. Like different people fighting for what they want/need. And it’s all opposite, and it’s all exhausting.
The three people I want to reach out to I’m getting weary about. Each for different reasons. I wish I could just have an honest conversation, but that’s too scary. And what if they don’t want to/can’t help. Then what?
I’ve pasted the peak. Now it’s about what I want to do. I feel like I’ve lim mites my options though by being so distant all day. And sleeping post of it. After a couple posts ago I took some NyQuil and 3 Valium.
Wish I could just say fuck all of this.
And the phone keeps ringing and dinging but not for me. Some inspirational group fbessage, another call from kaiser auto robot. A couple comments from a friend. Maybe the answer is just more Valium, or cutting, or worse. I don’t know anymore, nor do I care.
I just want that one real life person that’ll always be there. That can handle all of this, all of me. It doesn’t exist, accept that.
Laying it all out there
I just got up, it’s 1 pm. When I woke up at 6 am I took a Valium with my normal pills so I could sleep most the day. Dad and lil sis took the camper up on the coast where me and high school friend and some other friends are camping this weekend. I knew it would be just me and mom, and I know how that can go. Also been a little on the higher side lately and I know I need to calm myself down before I get out of control. You know how I am with control. I’ve been saving some $$$ because of wanting to move out or worrying about ties with family being severed and having no financial anything. I counted the money yesterday and was getting all impulsive of what to do with it. A couple nights ago when I couldn’t sleep I was thinking about getting another AA but in LGBT studies at a community college I’ve been going to lately that’s about an hour away from home. Also thinking about disability or Covered California to get off my parent’s health insurance in case things go south with them and in spite they cut me off. Just been thinking a lot. Oddly this thinking and planning hasn’t been really worrisome like most mine is. It’s sort of feeling like maybe things may work for me. I have a couple good friends. I’m trying to get into dating. This school thing would give me a project. The money and insurance thoughts offering more independence. Yet I cry as I write this, because I have a feeling I’m just going to be let down again. When the voices stopped I had all these grand ideas of what life could be and it was extra inconvenient because I was just getting around to that radical acceptance stuff. As other symptoms stopped and “better” wasn’t what I imagined I began feeling worse and have been in a deep depression most of the summer. I’ve managed to keep up friendships because that’s whats so important to me now, but now I’m getting attached and freaking out. People let you down and people leave and people move on, yet I seem to stay in the same place. I don’t know how I’m going to deal with that when it happens so BPD Marci is just like cut the ties now so you won’t get more attached and more hurt. But I’m trying to be healthy and I like having friends and support and stuff to do. I don’t know what to do, I’ve been struggling the last weeks about “quitting everything” actually it’s probably been like a month now, that’s around when it began and a little to do with the hospitalization. If I quit it all no one will miss me, I won’t get hurt, it’ll be my choice. But it’s gone too far and I will hurt just maybe not as much and that’s why I’m still thinking of it now. Normally the quit it doesn’t fully develop into suicidalness just ruining my life, cutting my support system, quitting the meds, stopping school, giving up hope…. and part of me knows that will lead to suicide but it’s not direct kill myself now thoughts though there have been some intense ones of those. Even as I was thinking about talking with my psychiatrist about changing meds I was afraid he might take me off one of my more lethal meds and I was nearly out so I ordered an extra bottle just in case. I’ve thought about giving up on the no cutting, I don’t think anyone truly cares- I mean it’s my body and for the most part the thing that bothers me is what other people think about it. Plus it’s been so easy to feel overwhelmed lately. So I’ve been taking more Valium than I should and spending a lot of time in bed. Disengaging except with a few select people and events and even with some of those my heart wasn’t totally in it. I’ll never truly fit in, i’m too different, messed up and broken. I can fake it sometimes and sometimes even have really happy moments in groups but it always comes back to remind me that this isn’t me. this isn’t normal. people shouldn’t have to put in this much effort for a wishy washy pay off. The online dating is frustrating me… I hate making the effort only to have most conversations turn into a dead end. I’m also looking to get some more sexual experience but I don’t really know what to say or how to do that and it’s another awkward situation. It doesn’t seem fair and I don’t think life is this hard for most people. I was back talking to myself the other day and it felt good, like I didn’t have the worry I have when interacting with other people. Thing is this all is almost always in the back of my mind, I try not to write about it as much and then when I do, I don’t want to harp on it. So people think it goes away, like the typical BPD. But that’s not me. I don’t even know what to do now. I know what I’m suppose to do, do homework for Queer film history class, pack clothes for camping trip this weekend and push all this to the back of my mind and try to have fun this weekend or at least make life bareable but that’s just not going to work right now. I’m going back to bed to cry some more, I’ll figure out real life as they call it when I can.
Well since I’m energetic and think I’m pretty wise right now (thank you hypomania!) I thought I’d do another post on helping other’s with mental illness. Earlier ones have been geared towards depression and borderline personality disorder… This one will be more generic and at the same time all over the place (just like me right now.) :) And probably repetitive (a bit, if you’ve read/ chose to read the others.)
- Listen- Many people I’ve met don’t feel they have a good support system and one of the most important thing is having someone to listen to you. To listen to you rant, cry, ramble, whatever. Many people with mental illness feel invisible or ignored and more are afraid to speak up because of stigma. You don’t need the right answers, you may not need to say anything at all. Sometimes advice is asked for or if you know the person well you may feel comfortable giving feedback. Sometimes it helps to talk about similar experiences but two big mistakes are trying to “out do/one up” their experiences and the other is to compare apples to elephants. When someone first confides in you that they have a mental illness, I suggest mainly listening and trying to take cues like if they ask for advice, feedback, or if you’ve ever felt the same. “Better to be silent and be thought a fool, then speak and remove all doubt.”
- Be respectful- However it is that you found out about this person’s mental illness it is not your authority to go around talking to other people about it. Some people say they are just trying to get advice but really you shouldn’t talk about someone’s situation unless given permission. Of course the exception is if you think they are a danger to themselves and others. Also just because you know and what you know doesn’t mean everyone is on the same page so when in groups, less is more. Especially groups where a person could be especially vulnerable to stigma/discrimination like work. Also respect some people may not feel comfortable telling you all the levels of their illness and not to be pushy or feel hurt by this, many of us have trust issues and past negative experience when disclosing mental illness.
- Be compassionate- No matter how the person appears on the outside, you never really know what’s going on inside. There is some saying about being nice because you never know the other’s secret struggles that’s a good rule to follow EVERY day. Understand that sometimes people with mental illness act different than the typical person and even the typical them that you are use to. Be forgiving and understanding. Sometimes we withdraw. Sometimes we ramble annoyingly. Sometimes are acting in a way that you might not understand. Some people are comfortable with you asking why others are not, it helps to find out what type your person is. Being compassionate does not mean you need to agree with all their behavior or tolerate abusive or dangerous situations. Sometimes it’s best to say no or you don’t think it’s a good idea and then explain later if you have to. Be a friend, lover, supportive family member or coworker or whatever you are to that person.
- Don’t tell us what to do or how to feel- This is one of the most frustrating things ever and you can probably find a million posts on things not to say to people with depression, or things not to say to people with anxiety or it goes on and on. Don’t ask us if we took our meds, unless we ask you to remind us, most people consider that an insult. Don’t tell us we aren’t trying, just to cheer up, think positive, or many of the other insensitive things people say. Just because we have a mental illness doesn’t mean we aren’t capable of making our own decisions (most times) and having our own feelings. Dismissive things like you’re overreacting, why are you so anxious, it’s only, etc… make us feel broken.
- Understand or try to accept our limitations- This goes to something I already touched on earlier… sometimes we withdraw or get angry over what looks like no apparent reason. Sometimes we can’t work or struggle to get out of bed. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and all that advice doesn’t help. Try to understand and accept that there are going to be times when we aren’t at our best or ideal. We aren’t doing it on purpose and most the times it bothers us just as much as it may potentially bother you, so don’t add to the guilt. There is a bog difference between sympathy/empathy and pity.
- Know when you’ve done all you can- When you care about someone you want to help, (most) us want to help ourselves too. Sometimes there is nothing you can do. It’s out of your hands, you’ve been compassionate and listened and respectful and all the other tricks and supportive things you’ve learned to help this person and it just isn’t working. It’s not your fault… I’m sure you’ve had a bad day no one could pull you out of despite their best efforts imagine the complexities when adding mental illness(es).
- Know we’re doing all we can right now- Now! Well maybe last week we did cope better but something has changed. Agian we did not chose this and we are not doing it on purpose. It may be frustrating as you see someone zig zaging along one step forward two back seven forward another three forward and two back… Be the best support you can be to us, but realize there are others out there too that can be making things better or worse as well, not to mention situations many of which we have little control over.
- Just accept us for us- We are not just our mental illness but that is a part of us.