I looked back and I saw a woman. She was afraid, trapped, suffocating. She had been abused. She had been used. She had been manipulated. Every day she was living at the end of her rope, trying desperately to hold on for dear life.Read More
I cut you from the strongest cloth. I made you sturdy and indestructible, but I couldn’t make you impenetrable.
You walked through this earth and got scratched and torn, but never destroyed.Read More
When you have a mental illness, you see the world a little differently. You’ve walked through the fiery darkness and have come out the other side a little bit singed. There are scars from burns that will always be there. You wish it were different. You wish that you were pure, unscathed, ignorant to the pain you’ve felt before. But, life is different.Read More
Under rugs, swept—are mouths closed, lips shut; filled with secrets that should not be kept. There are floor boards where the rot has crept. Mildew grows where eyes have wept.
Under rugs, swept—is all the shame you've catalogued, locked away, hid; memories of when I was just a kid. I didn't know, but someone did, just exactly what was happening to me.
Under rugs, swept—are goals and dreams and aspirations; failures, trials, and tribulations. All I needed was a little patience, until I could gather my head.
A life under a rug is covered. A life without air, smothered.
A silent life—a life set still—begs for beauty, with all its frills.
But it's just a floor, not a window sill.
Under rugs, swept.Read More
It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about this illness or disease or compulsion or whatever it is. So, I suppose it’s time for an update. If you’re just tuning in, and don’t know what that long T-word is, it means that I often get an overwhelming urge to pull out my hair. When I get that urge, I usually act on it, pulling out hair from my head. I also have the compulsion to pick and scratch at my scalp, targeting (and sometimes causing) any scabs or imperfections I find.Read More
There is still a lot of stigma attached to mental illness and we need to do something about it. Stigma is the reason that I’m here, sharing my story. My story is an invitation. It’s an invitation to let go of some of your preconceived notions about mental illness and here what it’s really like…at least from one person…from me. Because, my hope is, every time we hear real stories about mental illness it chips away at its stigma. It chips away at that relative you have with a mental illness being dismissively called crazy. It chips away at someone who’s experiencing mood swings being flippantly called bipolar. It chips away at the fear, the unknowing, and the lack of understanding.Read More
Living with mental illnesses, I often lose sight of what’s realistic—whether it’s expectations for myself, or for the world around me. I tend to live in a dream world — or, rather, nightmare world — out of touch with reality.Read More
I’ve been sick the past few days and have neglected to keep up with my writing for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. It seemed to work out, though, as these three letters kind of go together: they all express needs that people with mental illness have at some point: the need for deeper conversation; the need for patience; and the need for quiet. So, here are my entries for the past few days.Read More
There’s a very thin line between stability and crumbling back into a depressed and anxious mess that I walk every day. It involves a tremendous amount of energy to stay balanced. Every day I have to choose whether it is worth it to keep going with that stability. Not taking care of myself is always the easier option but, I know what that feels like, and I know I don’t want to feel that way again. I don’t want to vacillate between feeling 1,000 emotions at once and feeling completely numb…it just doesn’t feel good.Read More
It’s time to talk about mental illness. I know, I know…that’s what we’ve been talking about all along, isn’t it? Well, not really. I’ve been doing a lot of talking/writing and you, dear reader, have been doing a lot of reading/listening. And I am extremely grateful for that. We got through the first step together. But, now it’s time to talk about it.Read More
I was having a conversation the other day with a friend of mine that kind of jolted me. She told me she was trying to focus on loving her body. It was so simple a statement that made me realize I’m in the middle of having a hard time loving mine.Read More
Recently, a friend told me something I didn’t know about jellyfish: that certain types of jellyfish are responsible for bringing little bits of nutrients from the depths of the seas all the way up to the surface of the water. They deposit bits of those nutrients as they push their way upward, contributing nibbles for all sorts of creatures in the ecosystem. When I heard this, I immediately thought of how this can be a metaphor for our lives, and dealing with trauma.Read More
As a person with mental illnesses my identity has always been hard to pin down. When I was younger, one of my coping mechanisms was to be a chameleon. I've tried on lots of different "genres": skater girl, Christian ska/punk/rock girl, hardcore girl, sad emo girl...and they've all come with some entertaining fashion statements, for the record. It used to feel better to immerse myself in a genre and let it be an identity for me, so that I didn't really have to take a deep look at who I was. Because, I didn't know who I was. Is a genre my "self"?Read More
"I just want you to be happy." How many times have I heard that said in a well-meaning-yet-stinging way? It stings like rubbing alcohol on the open wound that is my mental illness. Yes, I want to be happy, too, but I don't just want to be happy. I want so much more than to be happy.Read More
I’m interrupting my normal blogging schedule to participate in the “Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for the month of April. While I've missed the official sign-up, I've decided to do it anyway. Each day (except for Sunday) I’ll be posting based on a different letter of the alphabet…starting with A, ending with Z, of course. Each post will continue on the theme of dealing with my own mental illness trials and tribulations, keeping with the theme of this blog. I just found out about this challenge yesterday, so I have some catching up to do. Not sure if this counts under the official “rules”, but here are my entries catching up to today’s current challenge (G). So, here it goes: A to G.Read More
My life is a house. The basics are its foundation. Self-soothing: the windows and doors. And a strong community of people is what makes up the walls and roof of my house. Without that community, I would be exposed to the elements…not able to last very long on my own. But I have people that support me that make my house a home.Read More
Last week, I used the analogy of my life as a house, and talked about ten basics that make up its foundation. If those basics are the foundation, then self-soothing can be seen as the windows and doors to my house. When I’m anxious or afraid, I’m closed off to the world — windows and doors shut. When I’m able to self-soothe, those windows and doors are able to open.Read More