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It's true that binge eating disorder (BED) has held me back, taken up mental space, and belittled my self-esteem. It's also true that experiencing and recovering from BED has also been a catalyst for my growth. When I feel frustrated with BED recovery and having to think about food more than the average person, I try to remember and be grateful for what this binge eating disorder recovery process has taught me about my values and the bigger picture.
It is natural to look back and reflect on your life and how you spend your time when you lose someone you love to illness or accident. However, I have realized that because of my recovery from verbal abuse, my journey has aided me in seeking out the life I want. This goal includes surrounding myself with supportive and loving people rather than condescending or abusive. My past abuse has changed my perspective.
Misinformation doesn't just trick other people into believing stigmas surrounding self-harm—those of us struggling with it may fall prey to false self-injury beliefs, too.
Of late, life has become pretty humorless. I don't find anything funny; on the contrary, I cringe at jokes that get laughs out of most people. If others' jokes have this effect, it's a given that I cannot see the funny side of things myself. And to think I used to be a mischievous twentysomething. Well, my grim outlook and lack of a sense of humor are more a result of depression than a side effect of growing up.
I find myself asking: What should my response be when a present situation fuels past eating disorder temptations? I need to examine why I flirt with behaviors I know are unhealthy when life tosses me an unforeseen curve ball. Then I can choose a different course of action—one that honors recovery rather than placing it in jeopardy.  
Almost a year ago to the day, I crashed headlong into weeks of crippling panic and anxiety attacks that left me terrified and traumatized. I sought out and found a trauma therapist who could help me get beyond the trauma so I could be myself and get back to living. I'm delighted to say that last week, I reached a significant milestone in my trauma recovery.
There’s so much information online about the negative side effects of living with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and very little about BPD superpowers. Yep, that's right -- if you or someone you know has BPD, they, or you, probably have superpowers. In this article, I get into one aspect I love about my BPD-having self.
Have you heard of worry time? As someone who struggles with anxiety, I have been getting more anxious about the future than ever. This fear and worry seep into everything I do at all times of the day. From waking up to going to work and then back to bed, my mind is constantly filled with anxious thoughts about what the future will look like for me. This interferes with my daily life and makes me feel mentally exhausted. To cope with this, my therapist recently introduced me to a technique that involves allocating a "worry time." This involves me picking out a time during my day that is specifically dedicated to worrying. While this sounds like a strange concept, it has greatly benefitted me.
Energy can be low or nonexistent when you have mental health struggles. For me, I generally have less energy to begin with, and, often, day-to-day activities—even simple interactions or tasks—can drain my battery to red. When my depression and anxiety are running rampant, it can feel like every gauge goes into the negative.
My name is Mel Bender. I’m thrilled to be joining HealthyPlace as an author for the Relationships and Mental Illness blog. I’m a freelance writer, blogger, and artist living in Toronto, Canada.

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Comments

Rebecca Chamaa
I agree the diagnosis of schizophrenia does not define an entire human being. We are more than our diagnosis.
Rebecca Chamaa
I have schizophrenia and don't feel safe with guns around. I understand how some people would feel differently, especially those who hunt.
Natasha Tracy
Hi M,

Thank you for your comment. I'm not aware of these cases. If you could point to a source, that would be great.

Thanks.

-- Natasha Tracy
Mani
I have been cutting for a long time, I've even had stitches and I often throw up on purpose sometimes because I can't taste the food I am eating and sometimes just a habit, recently I can't look at my reflection without feeling nauseous. I know it all points to a bit of depression I guess but I remember and I still do feel like I do because I want attention. It's really sickening, I'll go to great lengths to hide it but I still want people to find out. I wish I could stop wanting the attention. Sorry English is my third language.
Karen
I have been with my husband since 1999. I was 18 and he was 24. I saw the red flags from the beginning but it is my own stupid fault for staying. We now have 2 beautiful boys who are nearly in high school. They are my life. I stay in this toxic relationship for them. I have been dragged through the garden by my hair, had my finger dislocated when he threw an ashtray at me. He has rubbed my face in urine and faeces. I now need a disc replacement in my neck from this person. Till this day, he will not take responsibility or apologize for any of this. Today he swore and demeaned me in front of a tradie to such a point I was going to grab the kids and leave. Every time, everything is my fault and he has only acted in this way because of me. Deep down I k ow that I need to take the kids and leave but for some stupid reason I still love him. This is never in front of the kids and they are never in harms way.