When you've been in an abusive relationship/marriage/situation, it is extremely hard to figure out how to rebuild your life back after the heinous circumstances that's been encountered. Abusers thrive off of chaos, which can throw people off completely emotionally, psychologically, mentally, financially, sexually, and spiritually. An abuser's intention is to ultimately exploit, and control you for their own personal gain. Once you have been depleted by this "person," they will move onto another person to repeat the same sick cycle. Meanwhile, you are left to pick up the pieces of your life, and put them back together whether it is: divorce/children/getting a job/going back to school/looking for housing etc. It is a constant uphill battle which is hard, but not impossible! There are people who may have turned their back on you, friends who may have betrayed you, and family members who have disowned you. However, you will see who is in your corner when you are down and out, which may unfortunately, may be just you, or you and your kids. This will show you the true realization of how people can act towards victims when you are crying for help!
Now that we are in the midst of the holidays and all of the sales that come with them, let’s talk about a symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder that is not often addressed but is just as damaging as some of its other impulsive actions: binge shopping. I personally struggle with shopping when my emotions are high (which, let’s be honest, with BPD my emotions are generally high ALL OF THE TIME) and my shopping gets particularly bad when the holidays roll around and sales begin to pop up. My resistance is not very high, and I have gotten into serious trouble with money in the past due to my spending habits. My excessive spending is not a symptom I like to talk about very often due to the stigma that surrounds money and credit card use, but it is something that I think is important to talk about around this time of year as we are struggling with various impulsive behaviors, such as eating, substance abuse, and of course, spending. To help with this, I want to give you three alternatives you can try out if you suffer from a shopping addiction and begin to feel the urge to shop during this time of year. My hopes are that they help you out and make managing this symptom that much easier on your own.
Listening to sounds of the past triggers a wave of regret in me all the time.
People say that when all someone can talk about is the past, they are no longer moving forward. Why? Because all they can think about is the past, their attachment is to the past, and so all they can talk about is the past. That’s the case for my father.
Perhaps like some of you, I find myself seeing, hearing, feeling, knowing, that I am meant to do something, be someone different, some days it feels closer than others.
Mental illness is something no one wants to talk about. Its real. Some people are ashamed of it, do not want to talk about it and get laughed at it. It is no laughing matter. People take their lives in behind humility and shame. Some people suffer in silence. It is sad when people feel like they have no one to talk to but unfortunately, that’s how things are these days. People hide their feelings for fear of being called crazy and sometimes fear of being called stupid or fear of losing friends.
Before I get into my story, here's some things to know. Anxiety can be a mental illness, and in most cases it is. Like depression, it is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Some things that most people don't know is that panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are included in the mental health disorder of anxiety. Some things that can come along with anxiety are constant worry and fear, which if these emotions are bad enough, can affect a person's daily life. So, now that you know a little bit more about anxiety, here's my story.
I realize it's that time again. Even the thought alone exhausts me.
It's time to shower again.
I don't remember the last time I've showered, it's been days. I decide when I wake up that I will shower today. I'm already dreading it.
From a very young age I had problems sleeping, concentrating and keeping calm. I was an anxious child growing up but as an adult, now, my anxiety feels uncontrollable. I had troubles expressing my emotions in a correct manner and I tended to keep everything bottled in until it was too late and I exploded on everyone. I had a range of emotional and mental issues when I was younger. I never fitted in at school and was always trying to be someone who I wasn't just to be "cool". I had unstable relationships with the closest people around me and overall I just doubted and hated myself for a very long time but those feelings I had about myself I never wanted to speak about because I was embarrassed to express myself, I just wanted to be considered as a normal human being, I didn't like the fact I had a mental illness.
I’ve always had so many health issues because of chronic depression. For instance, I have chronic hip pains and also an inability to menstruate. In my teenage years, I menstruated once every three months as my depression wasn’t as “severe” yet. Relative to now, my depression is at the extremes as it has taken away my ability to menstruate for over a year. A more recent health issue is teeth grinding. It started late 2016 when my mother experienced four physical health issues at the same time that exaggerated all of her mental illnesses (at the time, before I knew about her mental illnesses, I thought she was possessed by her sudden religious obsession). She would lurk around my bed at night and effectively bring all of my childhood traumas to life – specifically, I have post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from figures that resemble ghosts and monsters you’d commonly see on TV. There were a few times where I don’t know if I was experiencing sleep paralysis, genuinely saw a ghost, or if it was just my mother standing in the dark just staring at me. But after realizing my mother officially lost control of herself due to her illnesses, I started doing odd things in my sleep to protect myself from this trauma. I slept walk just to turn on the lights, stemming from my extreme fear of the dark. I would open the door in my sleep to feel like I could get help if anything happened in the dark. I would text people in my sleep, saying things I would never say such as “I love you” to my friends. It felt like my last farewell in case I died in the dark in my bedroom. I even applied for jobs in my sleep because I felt the pressure of needing to move away from home ASAP so that I can get out of this dysfunction and chaos. With all of this happening at once, I didn’t know that I was also teeth grinding at night… until I went through dental pains that resulted in more problems for my overwhelmed self.
I made the mistake of taking time off to invest in my mental health, and I have little fruit to show for my effort. Listen to me: don’t take time off.
My mom always told me to splash cold water on my face after I had been crying. I suspect this is because that's what her mother told her. In turn, I have told young people I love this same advice as a helpful tip on how to hide one's shame.
Ever since the moment that we took our first breaths, our lives had been filled with emotions. Emotions that determine the way we eat, dress, and talk, but also the way we study, interact with others. Most importantly, the decisions we make on a daily basis, that shape our identities. It is not easy to admit that sometimes we tend to focus on ourselves too much, to the point that we lose our ability to learn from our mistakes and grow. And once we start to compare ourselves to the people around us, we become unsatisfied with our own achievements. We have focused so much on our physical health this year, and left mental health on the back burners.