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Confession: I don't want to make eating disorder (ED) recovery resolutions this year. In the past, I have dutifully written an exhaustive list of all the milestones I intend to reach in my healing journey, but as 2024 rounds the corner, this ritual suddenly feels more like pressure than motivation. I am a firm believer that recovery is not about ticking off certain boxes or following an arbitrary schedule. I set goals for myself, but I have learned to release expectations as to when I might achieve them. Maybe I'll form a healthier relationship with my own body as soon as tomorrow—or maybe it will take me a lifetime. Either way, I am done trying to force specific outcomes, so I don't want to make ED recovery resolutions this year.
I've found that emotional flashbacks are not as commonly discussed as "regular" flashbacks in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When I was first diagnosed with PTSD, I questioned my diagnosis because I hadn’t been experiencing the common symptom of a “flashback.” Flashbacks are a major part of PTSD, typically occurring in the form of visual memory and negatively stimulating our physical senses. However, I learned that many people — myself included — experience “emotional flashbacks,” or intense feelings of fear, shame, anger, and despair that are associated with a specific trauma.
As uncomfortable as this feels to admit, my version of self-love is conditional. Memes and mantras extolling the virtues of radical self-love are splashed across my Instagram feed, but I can't seem to take in the message. I have no idea how to accept and affirm myself, no matter the circumstances. I measure my value in terms of factors like outward appearance, work achievements, fitness performance, and societal contributions. I know it's not right, but my version of self-love is purely conditional. Maybe I should get to the root of this issue in 2024.
I just tested positive for COVID-19 on top of managing schizoaffective disorder and anxiety, and having just had the second of double knee replacements.
Practicing self-care is not selfish. If you struggle with caring for your needs, you aren't alone. Individuals who are targets of verbal abuse often neglect themselves because they are hypervigilant about their abuser's behaviors. This increased alertness can cause extreme sensitivity to your environment, causing you to overreact in some situations. Living in this continuous state of fear and anxiousness drains you mentally and physically, creating a self-care deficit. It's important to learn that it's not selfish to practice self-care.
I often find that I experience high levels of anxiety during the holidays. This can make it difficult to enjoy the holidays and to experience the season's festivities. It's also difficult to appreciate the holidays with elevated anxiety.
Let's face it: navigating family interactions over the holidays can be stressful when you're queer or transgender. Some of us come from accepting families; some of us do not. Some of us have a mix of experiences with our families and face additional stressors over the holidays. The holidays are stressful for everyone, but they pose special challenges for transgender and queer people this time of year. Today, I'd like to break down some tips for navigating family at this time of year.
I'm proud of the little things. In today's world, we are supposed to accomplish significant life goals one after the other -- and celebrate them publicly. In the process, we often overlook small wins as if they don't matter. However, being proud of the little things makes life easier, more so when you frequently experience anxiety, depression, and stress.
Career development is a priority for me, and while navigating the professional world is tricky enough, throwing in the challenges that come with managing a mental illness with a career makes the situation even more difficult. As someone who struggles with focus and drastically fluctuating energy levels, work can feel impossible, leaving me emotionally and mentally drained. The desire to succeed professionally can be much more difficult when there are extra mental obstacles, but there are ways to make the process easier. Having a mental illness and a career is possible.
Mindful observation can help you in your daily life. I have discovered a profound source of resilience. This is the ability to break free from the cycle of event-reaction. Too often, we find ourselves caught in the web of immediate responses, whether to subjective experiences or external occurrences. What if there was a third option, a path less traveled, that could grant us the power to enhance our self-esteem? For me, that third option is mindful observation. 

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Elizabeth Caudy
Hi Marsha-- Thank you for your comment. I'm glad this article and the other comments have helped you understand your brother. Best, Elizabeth
anon
hi S! im 20 years old, my dad passed when i was younger so i grew up with just my mom and my brother (who i had to parent) and you are the same age as him which is why i felt inclined to reply. i have been struggling with self harm and other issues since as long as i can remember. i think that unfortunately you, much like me, have some sort of addiction gene that kind of makes this whole thing more intense. truthfully i can only say that this is a very difficult thing to go through and that you are not alone. corny but true! i personally find it easier to interact with people online through like discord servers and such because well its good to have people to talk to! i also think that journaling and writing out how u feel (even if it doesnt make much sense) can also help and if youre worried about someone finding it and using it as blackmail its also (in my opinion) nice to watch the paper burn after writing everything out (SAFELY BURN IT) i dont know who you are but nobody deserves to suffer in silence and i really hope and wish that one day you will feel relief and be clean of any sort of self harming. i send love to you angel !
-n
Janet Cato
I thankful to have found this site as I too have been described as an enabler to my unstable adult child /ren and also tried tough love. It is my eldest son concerning me he still lives with me and I don't mind that but he cannot seem to deal with failure of any kind in life or any normal problem without becoming mental or lately threatening suicide. He is 31 and I find it ridiculous. I tell him if when raising him and his 2 brothers I did the same none of us would be here and how does expect to survive as I know he enjoys life otherwise. Yet he claims he can't do anything. He is handsome and smart and I see no reason for him not t po be successful he just has no self esteem. I just don't understand.
Marsha
This post has encouraged me so much. I am in Australia. I typed in ‘Why don't people with schizophrenia like you to clean their home’ to see if I could get some understanding on where my brother is at. There are so many questions I have. I’ve come from interstate to walk through and support my brother through a difficult season. I know he wants me here to help support him but he doesn’t want me to stay at his home so I try to find friends here that I can stay with. (This is another thing I don’t fully understand)
I had noticed that his home doesn’t look like he’s cleaned for a long time but I think he also gets anxious if I try to clean so I’m trying to understand more as he sometimes finds it hard to communicate what’s happening in his mind.
I try to encourage him to think of one or two things he’s grateful for each day - sometimes it’s the same things. and I too share a couple of things I’m grateful for.
Reading everyone’s thoughts here helps me one step further in understanding as I support him in his journey step by step.
I wish I could get him to come interstate to be with myself or other family members where there would be a lot more support but he really wants to stay in this town.
Thank you Elizabeth for posting and everyone else for your comments.
shay
i really want to die im going to be completely honest, first off ive had tics for 5 years now, and recently i keep getting reported to the police. they came to my house today and i tried to keep myself up while talking to them and i dont worry about situations like this but this one did mess with me, my best friend reported me to my principal, i got reported to the police twice, and i got a warning but next time its a full arrest, no one even listened to me, i told the principal about some people that were racist to me and they didnt do anything but over the most littlest issue ever they got the police on me but not the guy that was making fun of my tics, my religion and shaming me for it. but from two words i said they did so much. i dont think my principal knows about my mental state. soemtimes im gonna shout words and most of the time slurs or the work kill yourself. it may seem funny how im writing about this right now but its the fact i get mad at everyone and shout and hit people, i cant really control what i do and i have no hope for my life at all right now. im afraid that i cant get prescribed medication for tics and i dont want to because it includes weight gain. yes i want rid of my tics but i dont wanna look worse than i am right now. i genuinely cant take this anymore and its too much for me but at the same time i dont want to die. i dont want to feel pain but i dont know how to overdose. i thought i could trust my friend but i cant. in 2019 i wanted to commit suicide but i just couldnt. i did self harm but i was too scared to do more. but if i realise were living on a floating rock and were probably just creatures, then what is the point of living. i dont think anyone would miss me especially not my friends because i can imagine them literally shedding a tear then just going on about with their life, i really cant get over my uncle and my grandmas death, they were my most favourite relatives but theyre dead now and i cant do anything about it. i just dont want to leave anyone behind. i had plans for when i was older to get probably one of my most favourite cars but i had a feeling that day i could never see because who knows, i could literally be dead and probably my online friends would think i quit or im just offline. i dont honestly think anyone would care about my death because im going to be honest, i dont think anyone wants to listen to me just chat on about my health. Ive been getting progressively worse and worse over the years. I feel that people nowadays are just full of themselves.