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This isn't one of those stock Thanksgiving blogicles where I waste 500 words tossing around washed-up phrases about how "gratitude is an attitude." It's much worse than that. I'm going to try to challenge your notion of gratitude altogether. I said early on in my HealthyPlace journey that I wasn't going to try to convince anyone of anything, but we all knew I was lying. So let me be explicit about this: I want you to leave this post believing that gratitude isn't just for the things in your life that are working. I want you to walk away feeling grateful for the challenges in your life that aren't. 
Getting clean from self-harm isn't easy, and when you're in a dark place, just trying to get better can seem like too much effort for too unlikely a reward. But the work to recover from self-harm is worthwhile—I promise.
Facing verbal abuse can be traumatic for anyone, especially when it continues for years, like in my experience. After existing in a world that includes regular abusive treatment, it can be difficult to see past your own painful situation.
When I was a young woman, before my first psychotic episode, I was incredibly independent. I frequently traveled internationally to Egypt and Brazil to visit my parents, who worked overseas. I also took road trips from Seattle to as far as San Diego by myself. Those days of independence are long gone. As someone with a severe mental illness, I need to connect and rely on people more than I ever imagined, but though I have schizophrenia, I am not a burden.
The combination of confrontation and anxiety is a significant issue for me. We've all had to make that dreaded call to customer service to report an issue. Something has gone wrong, so you're already ticked off, but you do your best to proceed politely. Or, at least, I do. Most times, the issue is resolved quickly and with minimal upset. But then there's that one frustrating experience where nothing goes right, and the resolutions are unacceptable, which triggers so much anxiety that you feel you'll either explode or simply shut down.
Did you know that the most helpful treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD) is age? According to a 16-year-long study, 88 percent of patients no longer met the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" criteria for BPD after eight years, while 99 percent remitted after 16 years. I just turned 30 myself, and my BPD symptoms have greatly improved over the past 12 years. This is my experience with BPD since becoming an adult.
Most of my thoughts and beliefs about recovery focus on what I can integrate into my routine to help me change harmful patterns. I practice observing my patterns, which manifest in many ways. I observe how I react to stress, how I listen and respond to others, and how I think about myself and others. This is a lot to observe and try to change, and lately, I'm narrowing my focus on my ability to show myself compassion in recovery.
With the holiday rush approaching, I sometimes catastrophize everything that can go wrong while working in retail. My anxiety makes it difficult to enjoy life. But last week, taking a much-needed vacation helped me find joy and relaxation. My mother and I took a holiday-themed bus tour to Dollywood. We didn’t have to pack food or book the hotel, as that was done by the tour company. To learn about how the trip helped me find joy, continue reading this post.
When I had nothing but my mental health struggles, I had writing. I had no answers. I had no knowledge of how to fix or stop my pain. I only had emotions simultaneously carving out and bursting from my aching chest, so I tried to put them into words. In doing so, without knowing it, I was writing my way to recovery.
Healthy coping tools like self-harm comfort audio can play a critical role in the process of getting and staying clean from nonsuicidal self-injury.

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Michelle
I'm shocked AND elated to hear of such a service being offered as an Assistant Shopper! .. I'm literally a dizzy & fragmented mess during and after grocery store trips. My head spins with the combination of way too much motion around me, far too many items invading my focus when attempting to locate things on my list. The bright lights, the store music and intercom announcements, trying to learn the deli ordering 'technology' had me standing there in tears one day (when finally some lovely customer very patiently helped me through the process). I have CPTSD and brain injury, significant hearing loss in left ear and my eyes don't work well together. I wear glasses for reading and have to put them on/take them off during the entire shopping experience. The migraines that come on and disorientation that ensues, even on a good day, can shred the week sending me to the ER or straight to bed when I get home. I drive with both hands on the wheel and try to maintain a fixed gaze on the road en-route home but obviously still have unloading and storage of groceries ahead of me. Recently, I asked for help from an employee in locating an item. After we'd spent about 10 minutes looking together I asked another passing employee for her assistance.. She said, "He can help you just as well as I can!" as though I had a personal problem with my first 'helper'. I then had to explain that he couldn't locate it either and that I'm certain the store carries heavy cream. Emotionally, trips to the grocery store can take days to recuperate from. I like my therapist and feel as though the frustrated pitch of my voice in our sessions has calmed over time. Most people aren't skilled in dealing with folks with disabilities nor do they know how to even recognize a struggling individual or want to intrude on the space of another, especially if they appear to Need some space. Overwhelming is a word that only touches on the actual experience of individuals with CPTSD and other disorders. I'm going to check with my regular store today to see if they offer Assistant Shoppers. Thank you, Rob, for speaking of your experience.
Jim H
I'm sure the numbers are higher.I live in upstate N.Y. in one of the cloudiest cities and every year I am affected.This year's weather has been really good so far and I still have it....
Gem
My daughter get allowances, sweets and still steals them. All the positive can be blown with her lies and stealing. We are completely at a loss until she is medicated.
Sara
Well THIS IS MY SON AND ME ALL THE WAY! It is getting to be so bad even at school. He gets to where he will not even follow along in school. It is also becoming a major disrespect thing on our household. I need any and all, advice I can get! Thanks in advance.
Leatha
This was me except I was driving and had to pull over for my husband to drive!