I celebrate life's journey -- some days more than others.
When faced with a difficult situation, it can be overwhelming and sometimes lead to low self-esteem and self-doubt. This makes it hard to stay motivated and confident. In my experience, it is important to develop coping mechanisms that help you over the long term because everyone experiences difficult times in their lives.
I'm demisexual—I'll explain what that is. The first sign that I was on the asexual spectrum was back when I was in middle school. I remember driving in the car with my mom getting annoyed as I listened to the radio. Every song was about sex, love, or drugs. I didn't understand why the themes for music were so narrow. People could sing about anything, yet they would always sing about the same old things. I off-handedly said, "Why is every song about sex? Can't they sing about something else?"
People often hide their depression well. We don’t want to worry our loved ones. We fear being judged and stigmatized—even now when mental illness is much better understood and accepted than in decades past. We may see our disease as a weakness, something that we need to tackle alone. Maybe we’re in denial, hiding our depression not only from others but from ourselves.
Leaving verbal abuse behind is hard. Verbal abuse can be traumatic for individuals of any age, regardless of how much exposure there is to this harmful behavior. Of course, each person is unique and will react in different ways when facing verbal abuse. These responses can determine how effective it is to leave verbal abuse behind and move toward a healthy and happy life.
It's common knowledge that too much stress is bad for our health, but those of us with a mental health diagnosis can face another risk from stress, which is increased symptoms. As part of my self-care or lifestyle monitoring, I try to reduce how much stress I experience daily to manage anxiety and schizophrenia symptoms.
This year, I started training for a particularly ambitious fitness goal: a 10-day trek in the Himalayan Mountains. In October 2023, I will travel to Nepal and embark on the adventure of a lifetime, but first, I need to acclimate to hiking in extreme weather conditions at the highest altitude on earth. That's no small feat for someone who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, a desert with minimal elevation.
You may remember me as the blogger who wrote for "Work and Bipolar or Depression" or "Coping with Depression" here at HealthyPlace. While blogging on this platform has been a career highlight, I took time off from writing about depression for my mental health. Now that I am better, I feel grateful for the opportunity to write for "Mental Health for The Digital Generation." Although I wish I had never left, I know why I needed to do so: we live in a chaotic world where regular mental health breaks are essential.
In 1999, when I was in fifth grade, a police officer came to our school dressed in a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) t-shirt. He was carrying a gun and wearing a stern face. Without any words, he communicated that using drugs led to extreme consequences. His lecture taught us that drug addicts deserve to be locked up. But criminalizing addiction turned out to be more hurtful than helpful.
Have you ever had a moment that makes you question every bit of recovery you’ve achieved to that point? I have—recently, I questioned my skin picking recovery.
Thank you so much for reaching out to share your experience. As the blogger here at "Surviving ED," as well as someone who has dealt with anorexia for almost 20 years (the last five of those years spent in eating disorder recovery), I can empathize how you feel. I know how much courage and vulnerability is takes to be honest about where you are currently at in the healing process. I also know how uncomfortable it can be to submit to the advice of a therapist or nutritionist when you have been living with the mindset and behaviors of an eating disorder for so long. The ultimate decision to heal is yours, but I would encourage you to continue seeking out the help of trained clinicians and listening to their expertise. I understand this is hard, but I want to commend you for making an effort. If you would like more information or resources, please check out the HealthyPlace Eating Disorders Community page (https://www.healthyplace.com/eating-disorders) or our list of confidential hotline and referral numbers (https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-refer…). Once again, thank you for sharing.
"Surviving ED" Blogger