I've recently, painfully, discovered that stress increases anxiety to interminable levels. Stress, of course, worsens one's mental health in many ways, but the way that I'm primarily feeling it is through anxiety (and probably depression; anxiety and depression being knitted together as they are). Previously, I didn't have the anxiety problems I do today, and I didn't realize just how bad anxiety could feel until this latest bought of stress increasing my anxiety.
A couple of weeks ago I volunteered to distribute sanitary products and a hot meal to the unhoused community of Washington D.C. through the impactful and committed organization, The Distant Relatives Project. The experience produced a mix of emotions. I felt heartbroken to see so many individuals in need, the worst of it was learning that a large number of unhoused individuals who struggle with mental health issues do not have access to professional help. It is a crisis.
For many verbal abuse victims, like myself, one of the most challenging aspects of moving forward is accepting the reality of the situation. I had an extremely difficult time in my healing journey until I realized that I would never have the relationship with my abuser that I wanted.
It's not uncommon for those who self-injure to use self-harm to regulate emotions that may be overwhelming or difficult to cope with. But it's a temporary solution, one that does more harm than good—there are better ways to process and manage your feelings.
Over the years, I have learned so much about my anxiety, not only through formal education, but also simply through taking the time to analyze what I am going through. Some might say that that is just a part of dealing with anxiety – the overthinking, the constant overanalyzing of what you feel, think, and do. But I think it has also been helpful because it has helped me recognize my triggers and symptoms. It has also helped me figure out things I can do that are helpful for me. One of those things is leaning into my anxiety instead of running away from it.
As I’ve discussed in previous posts, a little over two years ago, I survived a catastrophic apartment fire. Among other things, the experience left me with the fear that something bad will happen to me in the future. I have not been able to shake that feeling. In this post, I want to briefly discuss that.
I recently had a reader reach out to me asking what steps I've taken to stop putting so much pressure on myself. I've been reflecting on that question for a couple of days now and would like to expand on it in today's post.
Staying consistent can be a challenge for anyone. However, staying consistent can be especially difficult for those affected by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Learning to validate yourself is a powerful tool, especially for those of us with the ever-intense borderline personality disorder (BPD) emotions. I knew that the temptation to engage in maladaptive behaviors would still exist on my road to recovery. I did not, however, expect the extent to which I would learn to invalidate and essentially gaslight myself.
A little while ago I wrote about my experience with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. I had never heard of EMDR until my therapist, who specializes in trauma therapy, introduced it to me as a way to treat the panic and anxiety I experience associated with a trauma I recently suffered. Now, I'd like to share how I feel immediately following an EMDR session.