Choosing Recovery

Right now, I am fighting within myself. I’m battling the symptoms of my mental health diagnosis. I’m arguing with myself and the voices I hear that nobody else hears. See, one of the diagnosis I have is Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) with psychotic features. That means when my depression act up I hallucinate. Actually, I have what they call auditory hallucinations which means I hear things that nobody else hear and aren’t real.

I’m telling you this as I don’t choose to have a mental health condition/challenge but I do choose to be in recovery. I may not being doing well at the moment however, I am choosing to fight against the urges to self harm and what the voices are telling me to do.

My voices are encouraging me to act on the urges to self harm. I of course am NOT going to act on the urges or what the voices are encouraging me to do. I am choosing to NOT act them because I have the tools (or skills) to help myself. To help myself to NOT self harm by using Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills.

Using the DBT skill I’ve learned over the last fourteen years is what has saved my life. It’s what has helped me start my recovery and remain in recovery despite set backs or “relapses.” I choose get back up and wipe the dust off when I do relapse in self harm behavior.

In fact when I realized that my self harm urges were high and that the voices were encouraging me to act on them, I contacted my treatment team to help me through. The person who helped gave me some encouragement as well as some suggestions they know that helps me. One of those suggestions was (and is) blogging. However, before I chose to take the persons suggestion to blog, I did a couple of other suggestions first so I could blog in a better head space. I first ate something and then I went for a three mile walk. After eating and going for a walk, it put me in a better head space to be able to write this blog post.

In fact blogging is helping me at the moment however, I am going to go do other DBT skills now. So, yes that means I will be ending this blog post. FYI: I AM CURRENTLY NOT DANGER TO MYSELF OR ANYONE ELSE. (In fact I’ve NEVER been a danger to anyone else.) I hope everyone has a good rest of their day. Peace Out, World!!!

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A Major F*ck Up (Contains Graphic Images)

GRAPHIC IMAGES

(IN THIS POST)

It’s two o’clock in the morning on Monday, October 16th of 2017. This particular blog post is not going to be a pretty one. It’s not going to be a pretty one because, I’m not only going to be discussing what happened on Saturday night but showing you images. IMAGES THAT ARE QUITE GRAPHIC!!!

(SIDE NOTE: Before I continue on with this post I want to reassure you that I am NOT suicidal and I DON’T feel like harming myself at the moment. If I were to become suicidal and/or feel like self harming, I will take myself to the hospital like I did Saturday.)

Saturday night was not the most pleasant of days for me. Both my PTSD and Depression symptoms got the better of me. So much so that I ended up cutting myself. I scared myself so much by cutting myself that I called two close friends who took me to the hospital to get evaluated. I would have called Junior however he was working at the moment and didn’t need him to worry as he is a firefighter.

As I was stating my friends took me to the Emergency Room where my wounds got treated and I got evaluated for my state of mind. Everyone was in agreement that I could (and still can) remain safe and was able to return home.

I stayed with my friends till Junior got off work. He picked me up from my friends house. He looked at my wounds and redressed them. We discussed on what I could do the next time things go this bad. Next time I won’t be so hesitant to reach out for support of friends are so fearful of calling 911.

Part of the reason why I ended up cutting on Saturday night was because I was fearful of my symptoms and angry that I was having them. I did end up getting some stitches. You may or may not be able to see the stitches but wanted to fore warn you.

(FYI: I AM NOT CURRENTLY SUICIDAL!!! I CURRENTLY DO NOT FEEL LIKE HARMING MYSELF.)

THE BELOW IMAGES ARE GRAPHIC:

 

I just want to show you the realities of what happens when I am in an extremely bad head space. This is why I am grateful that I have a great support system. I am beyond grateful that I have a loving partner and awesome friends who are in my corner.

Thank you for reading my blog. I truly apologize if I triggered anyone with this particular blog post. Again, I want to reiterate: I AM NOT CURRENTLY SUICIDAL AND I DON’T WANT TO HARM MYSELF IN ANY WAY. I’M NOT A RISK OF HARMING MYSELF OR ANYONE ELSE. Again, I want to thank for reading my blog. I hope I didn’t trigger anyone. If I did, I truly do apologize. I hope everyone has a good Monday. Have a good work week everyone and Peace Out, World!!!

 

 

Self-Injury, Self-harm, Cutting & Other Such Info

I realize it is Saturday and that I forgot to do my Friday Feature on educating you all. I apologize for it being late. I have decided to get the info from Mental Health America at: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/self-injury  I have decided to do cutting and other self harm.

Self-injury

What is it?

  • Self-injury, also known as cutting or self-mutilation, occurs when someone intentionally and repeatedly harms herself/himself. The method most often used is cutting but other common behaviors include burning, punching, and drinking something harmful, like bleach or detergent.

Who does it?

  • It’s estimated that about two million people in the U.S. injure themselves in some way.  The majority are teenagers or young adults with young women outnumbering young men. They are of all races and backgrounds.

Why?

  • Often, people say they hurt themselves to express emotional pain or feelings they can’t put into words.
  • It can be a way to have control over your body when you can’t control anything else in your life. A lot of people who cut themselves also have an eating disorder.
  • Although they usually aren’t trying to kill themselves, sometimes they’re unable to control the injury and die accidentally.

How can I help a friend with this?

  • Ask about it. If your friend is hurting herself, she may be glad to have you bring it up so she can talk about it.  If she’s not injuring herself, she’s not going to start just because you said something about it.
  • Offer options but don’t tell him what he has to do or should do.  If he is using self-injury as a way to have some control, it won’t help if you try to take control of the situation.  Helping your friend see ways to get help – like talking to a parent, teacher, school counselor or mental health professional- may be the best thing you can do for him.
  • Seek support.  Knowing a friend is hurting herself this way can be frightening and stressful. Consider telling a teacher or other trusted adult. This person could help your friend get the help she needs. You may feel that you don’t have the right to tell anyone else.  But remember, you can still talk to a mental health professional about how the situation is affecting you, or you can get more information and advice from any number of organizations.
  • Remember you’re not responsible for ending the self-abuse.  You can’t make your friend stop hurting himself or get help from a professional. The only sure thing you can do is keep being a good friend.

How can I help myself?

  • Know that help is available.  Treatment is available for people who injure themselves. To learn about it, try talking to a professional person around you, someone like your school counselor.  If you’re not comfortable with that, think about contacting your local mental health association or checking out the S.A.F.E Alternatives website.
  • Know you are not alone.  Because so many people are self-injurers, it’s likely that there are people around who can understand and can help.
  • Know you can get better.  This is a difficult time in your life.  However, with help, you can get to the point where you don’t hurt yourself anymore.
  • Get help. Now is the best time to get help with this problem. If you wait, the problem will only get bigger and soon everyone will know about it.  But if you find a way to meet it head on today, you’ll be free of it and free to get on with your life. Free! A good way to be.
  • Your school’s counseling center

Warning Signs

Self-Injury is also termed self-mutilation, self-harm or self-abuse. The behavior is defined as the deliberate, repetitive, impulsive, non-lethal harming of one’s self. Self-injury includes: 1) cutting, 2) scratching, 3) picking scabs or interfering with wound healing, 4) burning, 5) punching self or objects, 6) infecting oneself, 7) inserting objects in body openings, 8) bruising or breaking bones, 9) some forms of hair-pulling, as well as other various forms of bodily harm. These behaviors, which pose serious risks, may by symptoms of a mental health problem that can be treated.

  • Warning Signs. Warning signs that someone is injuring themselves include: unexplained frequent injury including cuts and burns, wearing long pants and sleeves in warm weather, low self-esteem, difficulty handling feelings, relationship problems, and poor functioning at work, school or home.
  • Incidence & onset. Experts estimate the incidence of habitual self-injurers is nearly 1% of the population, with a higher proportion of females than males. The typical onset of self-harming acts is at puberty. The behaviors often last 5-10 years but can persist much longer without appropriate treatment.
  • Background of self-injurers. Though not exclusively, the person seeking treatment is usually from a middle to upper class background, of average to high intelligence, and has low self-esteem. Nearly 50% report physical and/or sexual abuse during his or her childhood. Many report (as high as 90%), that they were discouraged from expressing emotions, particularly anger and sadness.
  • Behavior patterns. Many who self-harm use multiple methods. Cutting arms or legs is the most common practice. Self-injurers may attempt to conceal the resultant scarring with clothing, and if discovered, often make excuses as to how an injury happened.
  • Reasons for behaviors. Self-injurers commonly report they feel empty inside, over or under stimulated, unable to express their feelings, lonely, not understood by others and fearful of intimate relationships and adult responsibilities. Self-injury is their way to cope with or relieve painful or hard-to-express feelings, and is generally not a suicide attempt. But relief is temporary, and a self-destructive cycle often develops without proper treatment.
  • Dangers. Self-injurers often become desperate about their lack of self-control and the addictive-like nature of their acts, which may lead them to true suicide attempts. The self-injury behaviors may also cause more harm than intended, which could result in medical complications or death. Eating disorders and alcohol or substance abuse intensify the threats to the individual’s overall health and quality of life.
  • Diagnoses. The diagnosis for someone who self-injures can only be determined by a licensed psychiatric professional. Self-harm behavior can be a symptom of several psychiatric illnesses: personality disorders (esp. borderline personality disorder); bipolar disorder (manic depression); major depression; anxiety disorders (esp. obsessive-compulsive disorder); as well as psychoses such as schizophrenia.
  • Evaluation. If someone displays the signs and symptoms of self-injury, a mental health professional with self-injury expertise should be consulted. An evaluation or assessment is the first step, followed by a recommended course of treatment to prevent the self-destructive cycle from continuing.
  • Treatment. Self-injury treatment options include outpatient therapy, partial (6-12 hours a day) and inpatient hospitalization. When the behaviors interfere with daily living, such as employment and relationships, and are health or life-threatening, a specialized self-injury hospital program with an experienced staff is recommended.

The effective treatment of self-injury is most often a combination of medication, cognitive/behavioral therapy, and interpersonal therapy, supplemented by other treatment services as needed. Medication is often useful in the management of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and the racing thoughts that may accompany self-injury. Cognitive/behavioral therapy helps individuals understand and manage their destructive thoughts and behaviors. Contracts, journals, and behavior logs are useful tools for regaining self-control. Interpersonal therapy assists individuals in gaining insight and skills for the development and maintenance of relationships. Services for eating disorders, alcohol/substance abuse, trauma abuse, and family therapy should be readily available and integrated into treatment, depending on individual needs.

In addition to the above, successful courses of treatment are marked by 1) patients who are actively involved in and committed to their treatment, 2) aftercare plans with support for the patient’s new self-management skills and behaviors, and 3) collaboration with referring and other involved professionals.

I’m sorry for it being so long. Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful weekend and Peace Out!!!

Figuring Out How To Succeed At Blogging

Happy Friday!!!! Apparently, I’m not reaching as many people as I hoped I would be. I only have 15 followers and don’t get many views. I am just getting frustrated with myself because I am not blogging as regularly as I was wanting to as well as not doing much educating when it comes to mental illness. I was hoping that I would educate people on particular mental health diagnoses but it appears that something is getting in my way in doing that. That something is me. I’m the one that is hindering the progression of this blog. On the positive side, I know that through my blog that I am showing others that recovery is possible (or at least I think I am).

My thinking was (and still is) when I started this blog was to show others that recovery is possible and that their is hope. I know that my blog is succeeding to a point when it comes to showing others that recovery is possible but it’s not succeeding in other ways. Its not succeeding in the number of followers or views I have or get and I think the reason being is the reason I stated earlier in this blog and that is the education part of it. I am hoping that once things start settling down with the new job as well as the new volunteer job that I will be able to start the education part of this blog. It is my hope that I will educate on the diagnosis’s that I have as well the ones I no longer meet the criteria for. I then hope to do some education on the diagnoses that family members and close friends struggle with and then go on from there.

Now that you heard enough about how my blog is not succeeding let get on to other subjects. I will start with my boyfriend. When he got off from work this morning I had made him breakfast. I made him pancakes, bacon and scrambled eggs. According to my boyfriend I burned the bacon. He pretty much likes eating bacon raw or at least almost raw. He likes all the fat on it. I do have to say that the fat on the bacon is what makes bacon taste good. After eating breakfast and doing dishes we had some intimate moments. Intimacy is something I personally struggle with because of some severe trauma I experienced as a child and even some trauma I experienced as an adult. With that being said my boyfriend makes me feel safe especially during intimate moments. He is gentle with me and extremely loving.

Speaking of loving, I am loving my new job. Yes, I know a loving partner is completely different than loving your job. I not only love my job, I enjoy it as well. My job gives me great joy even though its not the position I desire. In regards to it not being the position I desire its a foot in the door as well as moving up opportunities.

Since we are on the topic of opportunities, my volunteer job at the Warm Line gives me training opportunities as well as possible career advancement at my current employer and possibly at the Crisis Line where the Warm Line is run out of. Yes, I know what I just said sounds a little selfish but if what I do employment wise as well as volunteering gives me a purpose in life then so be it. I’m improving with being a call taker on the Warm Line and am no longer a deer in head lights. I am finally getting in the grove of things as a call taker.

I so want to share more with you right now but I realize I am hungry and need to figure out what I want to cook for dinner. I’m hoping that my boyfriend will give me some idea’s. Actually, I am hoping that he will do the cooking tonight.  Well, have a good Friday evening everyone. I hope everyone enjoys there weekend and has some fun. Peace out.