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In our society, people are shamed for not having a positive outlook. In fact, I just read a comment on LinkedIn that said, "Maintaining a positive outlook, ALWAYS, is so very important. Always look for that silver lining. Trust me, in the end, everything is exactly where it should be." And that sums up how many people feel about a positive outlook: it's critical, and something's wrong with you and your line of thinking if you don't have a positive outlook.
No matter how much someone covets mental illness recovery, some part of it feels scary. My struggles with mental health started when I was very young, and there were years and years where I was desperate for recovery—but I was also terrified of it. From what I’ve seen, my experience and feelings are not uncommon, so I wanted to take a closer look at that.
"Snap Out of It!" is honored to have spoken with Saskia Lightburn-Ritchie, the Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of My Cheshire Without Abuse (My CWA). Saskia lives with bipolar disorder, and she is proving every day that it's possible to be successful even with a serious mental illness.
Recently, a report by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that every adult under 65 be screened for anxiety by their primary care doctors (family doctors). When I first saw the headline, my initial response was, "Well, that's stupid. You go to the doctor when you're sick, and people know when they're sick." But, upon second thought, I realized this was wrong. Screening for anxiety in general doctor's appointments does make sense.
Self-harm is not avant-garde. Depression is not mysterious. I know these two statements to be facts, so why do some forms of media want us to believe otherwise? On the one hand, maybe I should be grateful. Grateful that topics such as suicide are even portrayed on television or in movies. Why, then, is the predominant emotion, not gratitude but sheer anger? (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
As a victim of verbal abuse for many years, I am no stranger to feeling like running away. This stress response will typically appear after I've hit the point of burnout and feeling that the only way to escape unfavorable circumstances is to leave physically. As a teenager, multiple times, I left my home and sought refuge with a friend, only to return again and face the consequences of my actions. Unfortunately, this pattern followed me into my adult life. 
“You are not alone” is a common phrase within the mental health community. I suspect it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but here’s what it means to me and my schizoaffective disorder.
Many of us dream of the day we are completely self-harm free. But does such a thing as a self-harm cure exist?
I’ve heard a lot about self-sabotaging or being self-destructive when it comes to anxiety, but somewhere along the way, I’ve convinced myself that I don’t do that. I’ve convinced myself that I don’t do things that prevent me from taking advantage of an opportunity or being in line with my goals. Has this been a form of self-sabotage in and of itself? I honestly believe so. Because when I take the time to think about it, I can think of many times in my life where I’ve purposely taken actions – or not taken actions – that weren’t consistent with things I have wanted for myself.
As someone who started flirting with anorexic behaviors in early adolescence, I have cycled both in and out of many toxic, compulsive traits over the years. But although I consider myself to be in a stable, consistent recovery mindset now, the competitive nature of my eating disorder still pulls me back into its orbit sometimes. In fact, I noticed this competitive streak reassert itself as recently as last night. The normally sweltering temperatures in metro-Phoenix have begun to cool down, so I went for a run with my husband to soak in the evening breeze. However, I was not hydrated enough to maintain our pace, and he easily outran me. Knowing my husband, this was not a race to him—it was a chance to spend quality time together—but as soon as he passed me, the competitive nature of my eating disorder took control. 

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Comments

Elizabeth Caudy
Dear Vive, thank you for your comment. Have you considered taking her to a support group where she could talk to other people with schizoaffective disorder? Best, Elizabeth
Jessica
I am so sorry.

I wish I had something helpful to say, but my husband (who has DID) believes he is bi.

He's attracted to men and has acted on his impulses, "to scratch the itch."

Sometimes I am enough, but sometimes I'm not.

It's so hard not to feel inadequate.
A Moss
My frank advice: end it. It will go on forever and ever. One day you'll turn round and realise you spent years or decades consumed by this person, and did not achieve anything else in life. It becomes like a drug, if you let it. Healthy love should not feel that difficult That's my experience with a very similar type of situation
Carla
ADHD is a spectrum, experienced differently by different individuals, so screw you.
As an ADHD gremlin myself, I stole from an early age and thoroughly hated myself for it, but it literally hurt me to fight against the urge. My parents thought me utterly disgusting, until they got my diagnosis and finally said a meaningful sorry, for the first time in my memory.

Your experience is not everybody. Don't be a git, please, I'm sick of self-righteous people ruining my mood. You're not the embodiment of ADHD just because you have it.
Anonymous
Hi! I came to this article after seeing a video on the topic, and became interested because I have struggled with skin-picking as long as I can remember, and more recently had issues with SH. I think that it really depends on the case. For example, I pick my skin, and make myself bleed all the time, but it’s truly not a conscious decision that I make. I just look down at my hands and realize I must have picked too hard, and I’m bleeding. On the other hand, sometimes if I get a question wrong in class and am berating myself, I often dig my nails into my skin, and pick viciously at my cuticles. This is different for me, because I know exactly what I am doing, and do it as a form of self punishment rather than it just being habit. I honestly think it depends on the situation which category skin picking fits into. Anyway, just wanted to input my opinion on this. Have a nice day!