It's been several years since the last time I suffered through the holidays with an active eating disorder, but I can still remember just how visceral that sense of overwhelming panic used to feel in this season. Back then, I wasn't intentional about self-care whatsoever, so in years past, I tried to either dissociate from my body to escape all the discomfort within me or punish my body to restrain the fear of being out of control. But now that I am firmly resolute in my commitment to eating disorder recovery, I choose a third option, and it's the choice I will extend to you as well. Please be kind to your body this holiday season.
I am neither a fan nor a hater of Taylor Swift. That said, I find her glorification problematic. What exactly am I talking about? I'm talking about her pandemic productivity, of course.
The holidays are supposed to be full of cheer and celebration. But for so many of us, they are a time of increased stress and anxiety. This can result from a number of things, such as feeling as though there is not enough time, pressure from upcoming family gatherings, gift-giving, holiday travel, and financial worries related to all of the above. We also tend to see quite a bit on social media of what the holidays are supposed to look like, even though we know it is often not an accurate depiction of what the holidays are like for most of us. And now, due to the pandemic, there is the added stress of how these current times impact the holiday season.
Death is hard for many people to understand, and feelings about it can be extremely challenging to put into words. When it comes to death by suicide, the challenge seems to become even greater. Think of all the ways you’ve heard suicide spoken about; unfortunately, a lot of it results in stigma and ignoring pain. (Note: This post contains a content warning.)
Having healthy relationships is vital for individuals of all ages. Although, victims of verbal abuse may have a hard time finding someone to build a proper connection with. I know that because of the verbal abuse that consumed my past, my personal relationships were not always the best. After years of therapy, I believe my low self-esteem and decision-making skills contributed to the terrible relationship choices of who was in my life.
For some people, self-harm recovery begins with a spark—an "aha" moment that completely changes their lives forever. For others, recovery begins gradually, one step at a time. In both cases, adopting the right self-harm reduction strategies can help reduce and prevent instances of self-injury, thereby promoting long-term recovery.
Have you ever wondered if relatability has anything to do with mental health stigma? I haven’t until recently. Now that it’s entered my mind, I can’t help but wonder how much of a role that might play in decreasing stigma and maybe even perpetuating it.
When bipolar symptoms quell, I tend to fear bipolar symptoms coming back. That's right, the absence of bipolar symptoms can actually bring about fear and anxiety. I know that might sound self-defeating, but if you've been on the bipolar rollercoaster for as long as I have, and have seen as much bipolar devastation as I have, you'll understand that fear of bipolar symptoms is actually quite rational. It's a waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop feeling. So if you fear the return of bipolar symptoms, what do you do?
This time of year can be filled with fun times, special memories, and exciting events. It can also be excruciatingly difficult for those going through postpartum depression (PPD). If you're feeling exhausted, a full social calendar is the last thing you need. If you're struggling with feelings of hopelessness, the last thing you want is to be bombarded with photos of others' seemingly perfect lives. If you're feeling guilty about your parenting, seeing parents do all the things with their children isn't helpful for you. In spite of the emotional toll of the season, there are some strategies that helped me deal with postpartum depression in the thick of the holiday season.
When you are trying to heal and recover from an abusive situation, one unfortunate circumstance that can result is survivor burnout. In my experience, it can sneak up without any warning and interfere with every aspect of life.