She is Chained

We set up walls because we felt unsafe at one point in our lives, and at that time, it protected us. Now those walls are an inconvience. They prevent you from letting people in, from letting them know the real you. We think we’re protecting ourselves, but really we’re hurting ourselves.

* * *

She hides, cowered over in a cage. She drapes her hand over her face to hide from the world. This is all she’s ever known.

When she cries, there is no sound for fear that someone will hear her. When she panics it is silent; contained within her so no one is scared of her. When she breaks, she breaks alone for that’s all she’s ever known.

She’s scared. She’s scared of her past experiences. She’s scared of what could be.

But she still dreams. Dreams of a day where someone breaks down the wall she built around herself. She dreams of the day she walks out of her cage, head held high and proud for she won her battle.

But who breaks down that wall is not someone else, it is her.

She tries, over and over, brick by brick, very slowly to let her guard down. She starts to let people in. She starts to open herself up. She starts to be free. She breaks the shackles she created for herself and she is liberated.

She wins. Though she knows life will never be perfect and people can still hurt her, she learns that it is better to be free than to be chained.

She wins.

In this story, she wins.

Advertisements

You Start Here

Today was my first day practicing replacing negative automatic thoughts. Automatic thoughts are the first thing that pop into your head that are not always accurate or true, they are usually quite distorted. An example would be “I am unlovable” or “I am such a loser”.

Automatic thoughts are often repeated in the mind of someone who is depressed or anxious, this creates a cycle that seems unbreakable. These thoughts are repeated in our minds over and over throughout the day and we start to believe them.

However, there is a way to break that cycle.

Replacement thoughts are meant to help you think more positively about yourself and make automatic thoughts happen less often or make you believe them less. This process takes time and practice, so never expect yourself to be “fixed” right away.

A replacement thought is not meant to be the opposite of the automatic thought, it is meant to be a true statement that is positive and that you will personally believe. Going back to the original example “I am unlovable”, a replacement thought could be “there are many people who love and care about me” or “I am a loser”, the replacement thought could be “I have many strengths I am learning to recognize”.

It’s also important to review what your typical distorted automatic thoughts are. I know its uncomfortable to do that, but it will be helpful to do it when your mind is clear rather than when you’re in the midst of an episode.

Once you do this, coming up with the replacement thoughts for each automatic thought will help you in a time of crisis. That way you are prepared and wont need to think of a replacement thought on the spot.

CBT training takes a long time and though we wish our healing could be instant we need to learn to be patient while we learn. Remember these beliefs have been a part of you for a long time, so debunking them will take some practice. Be patient and kind to yourself as you take the time to learn these techniques.

IOP

I recently began and IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) and I have just completed my first week out of a six to eight week program.

 

In all honesty, I was very scared to start this program for many reasons; the stigma of being part of an outpatient program, the thought of people in my group judging me, the fact I would have to open up to complete strangers.

 

After this first week however, I can say that I absolutely love the program and enjoy going everyday. Its nice to not only work on myself but to hear other people’s stories and be part of their life changing experience.

 

For the first time in my life for a very long time, I’m focusing on myself and only myself. I’m working on getting through my issues and learning how to prevent depression/anxiety in the future.

 

Things I’m currently working on in the program is being assertive, dealing with guilt/shame, anger management, setting boundaries, and learning to replace automatic thoughts with more constructive and factual replacement thoughts.

 

If you have ever experienced an outpatient program of any kind or are interested in joining one please feel free to talk to me about it! I love hearing people’ stories and experiences, especially with one so influencing as outpatient. I recommend it to anyone who is currently struggling in their life and need that extra support from people who truly want to see you grow.

My voice

I’m tired.

I’m tired of the looming feeling of depression weighing over me, no matter how hard I try to change it. I feel out of control in my own body, like I’m in the back seat of my car but someone else took the wheel.

I’m angry.

I’m angry that I feel this way all the time lately. I want it to stop, I want to scream at the top of my lungs to get out the pent up anger brewing inside of me. I’m angry at the fact that this is not who I am, yet its still a part of me.

I’m sad.

I’m sad because I’ve felt this way for so long, even though its an off again on again relationship, I wish I could just breakup with it. I’m sad because nothing has worked so far and I just have to endure it each time.

I wish…

I wish that I could control this, and stop it all together. I wish people didn’t look at me in pity or even try to fix my problems. I wish it would stop getting in the way of me living my life.

I want…

I want people to know I’m brave and strong, I’ve dealt with this so many times I almost learned what to do when it happens. I want to love myself in these times of hardship and be more forgiving of myself. I want to open up about it to people when its happening, to explain better what’s going through my mind and that they don’t need to worry.

I know…

I know I’ll be okay. I know I’ll learn how to manage this. I know I can beat this feeling.

***Side Note***

I am starting a new program of intensive CBT training for anxiety and depression that I’m very excited for. I heard that this program is life changing and will give me the tools to better equip myself for moments where I lose control of myself. Though it feels like my life is crashing around me, I know there’s hope to make myself stronger to better deal with it.

A Note To Myself

Darling keep your chin up; the darkness will pass and you will shine again. Your troubles will pass like the rain dries up, leaving great things behind after a storm. Your sun will come back out and life will be restored within you.

Honey you aren’t perfect, and that’s okay. No one expects you to be and if they do then they’re wrong. It’s okay to be broken. It’s okay to be defeated. It’s okay to not be okay. Happiness is a moment not a state of mind.

Baby be forgiving; life will let you down sometimes like a wave of disappointment washes over you. But all bad things come to an end and things will always go back up. Life is a rollercoaster, it goes up and down, you just need to hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

Sweetheart learn to love yourself, for you are the only person in the world who will always take care of you. Surround yourself with positive thoughts, empthay, and the truest form of love. But don’t expect it to happen over night, it is a process you must give yourself time to learn.

You are still learning. You are a process. You are a work of art still being created. There is so much time for you to be everything you want to be and everything you need to be for yourself.

Life Within Itself

The universe is a intricate system that works in mysterious ways. Sometimes, things don’t always work out in our favor and sometimes they do. I strongly believe that everything works out for a reason and in some way, our lives are already planned out for us.

Life works in ways that are too powerful to just be a coincidence.

There are reasons you didn’t get that job you applied for, because you were meant to be doing something else with your time.

There’s a reason that person never called you back, because you wouldn’t meet the person you were meant to be with for another year.

There’s a reason you failed that class, because you needed more time to learn not only the content but to learn about yourself as well.

I truly believe our life is destined to work out in a certain way, almost like someone is watching down on us with a plan for each and every single person. In some way, that is comforting to me. That no matter how bad something gets there is a reason for it and something better will come.

Sometimes, I wonder why I would struggle with things like anxiety, depression, and ADHD. I feel like they hold me back from who I truly am. But, if I didn’t have these disorders I wouldn’t be able to help others like me, to understand that people’s lives are more complex than they seem, and know that I am strong for being who I am despite my challenges.

I feel that we are meant to feel and be who we are for a reason. There is a plan greater than us for life to work out how its supposed to. I don’t know why or how, but I can just feel that there’s no way life is just a coincidence.

She falls

She falls. She falls like the rain from the sky; gently and lightly as she returns to the earth. She breaks into pieces as she lands on the rich soil below as she spreads her self on the forgiving land. She opens up herself to give life back to the world.

She falls. She falls like the sky as it drags down the sun on a watery horizon. She shimmers like gold across a setting sun, painting the world with her colors. She lights up the stage as she returns to the oceans great edge and pours her soul out to be seen.

She falls. She falls like a seed into the dirt; buried by life burdens and struggles. She lays there defeated until she grows and grows. Blooming into a beautiful flower in the midst of summer. Though she’s late, she doesn’t mind for she knows she’s a marvelous wonder of life.

She falls. She falls like the orange leaves from a great big tree. She falls slowly and takes her time as she land first on a grassy field. She dances as she falls down, letting the wind take her where she needs to go. She doesn’t mind being alone, she knows how to fall on her own.

She falls. She falls like blue diamonds from the sky. She falls like gold across the sky. She falls like colors to the ground. She falls and falls and falls. She lets it all fall. So what if she falls? She doesn’t mind. For every time she falls she knows something beautiful will come from it.

Love Yourself

In the spirit of finals week, self worth is a big topic that many people tend to forget during times of pressure and stress. Why is it that when we are in the midsit of a preformance that will determine so much (in our minds) in our future that we forget the importance of ourselves.

For me, I let everything determine who I am when really it shouldn’t. I let school determine who I am. I let work determine who I am. I let people determine who I am. But I never let myself determine who I am.

Nothing should ever interfere with your self worth because nothing in life is as important as you are to you. Your grades do not define you, nor does your work preformance, people’s opinions, or anything for that matter. YOU are the most important aspect of your life.

It’s hard to not let life dictate who you are. We’re all guilty of letting things in our lives control us and sometimes we think “if this doesn’t work out I’m worthless” or “if I don’t do well on this I am a failure” when really this is not true.

What matters most in life is your happiness, your love for yourself, caring for yourself, being proud of yourself. Look for your accomplishments rather than your mistakes. Look for the ways you made someone’s day better rather than what someone thinks of you. Focus on how your life is important and valuable without being defined as anything but who you are.

Good Things Come to those Who Wait

Waiting. It’s a learned skill, it’s not something that comes easy to people. It takes time to be a master at waiting, and even then it can be difficult.

Waiting for good things to come feels like you’re stalled with your life. You can’t move forward until the good comes and you certainly don’t want to move back.

Waiting for bad things to pass feels like an etirinity, but they always come to an end. When was the last time you felt something horrible that never ended. Most likely, you haven’t, because bad things will always pass.

Waiting is hard. But you have to always remember waiting is followed with a reward of sorts; whether it be the end of something awful or the start of something wonderful, something good will come.

So I urge you to continue waiting for the good in your life to come, because it will.

Anxiety v. Depression

It gets exhausting to feel so many things at once. Somedays, I feel like I take in too much of the world, and it gets overwhelming. Inside, my stomach turns, my heart races, my body gets hot, I get dizzy. Outside, I seem zoned out and unattentive to what’s happening.

I take medications just to feel normal, but I honestly don’t know what normal is. I constantly feel too much of every emotion that when it’s subsided by medication its almost like I feel empty. I would pick emptiness over chaos anyday though.

Sometimes I just start thinking about the worst case scenario over and over in my head and its on repeat. It gets to the point where my brain is buzzing and I lose control over myself. The anxiety takes over and I’m a nervous wreck.

But, I don’t always feel everything.

Somedays I feel absolutely nothing. Like my emotions are shut off and my brain melts. I dissociate so hard that I forget where I am, what’s happening, and who I am. My body doesn’t feel like it belongs to me, like I’m locked in a cage within my own mind and I’m just stalled.

Going between anxiety and depression is tiring. From feeling too much to feeling nothing at all, its almost like I don’t know which one is the real me. Or maybe, I’ve never met the real me yet.

Losing Control

Being someone who has an anxiety disorder is pretty stressful. There’s panic attacks, sensory overload, and the need to control everything. Sometimes though, life throws you a curve ball, or two, or three; how the hell do you stay calm when everything around you is falling apart??

With panic attacks, I feel like they’ve become my best frenemy. I can always count on them to happen, but I don’t always know when.

For me, my panic attacks consist of a racing heart, rapid breathing, sudden sweating, loss of hearing temporarily, and sometimes crying. In that moment of a panic attack I get so angry and scared, like being on a roller coaster I never wanted to get on.

With sensory overload, its like I can hear all the sounds and see all the colors of the world. Every movement, every breath, everything. My anxiety levels shoot up and I get intensely angry at whatever is causing my mind to go into overdrive.

Usually, its little repetitive sounds, things being repeated, items or people moving to fast (especially towards me), and things spinning or rocking back and forth. I wish I could tell you why, but its simply just anxiety.

Lastly is control. Like, controlling everything. If one thing doesn’t go how I have it planned in my head I will simply lose it.

I have this obsessive need to have control over everything in my life. Of course, life doesn’t work that way. So when something is out of my control I cry a lot and panic, setting off one of the other two anxiety dilemmas.

I wish I had an answer on how to cope with these issues, but I hope someone finds it soothing that they’re not alone for what they feel.

It’s okay to feel the entirety of an panic attack. It’s okay to need to give your brain a break from sensory stimulation. It’s okay to not be able to control everything. It’s okay to let it all go.

I Promise

I’m tired of hurting you.

 

I’m tired of seeing your washed out face and pain stricken eyes as I pass by the mirror. You have been beaten mercilessly by me. You have bruises on your heart and scars on your shell, from all the times I have tormented you.

 

I’m tired of making you cry, with my harsh and brutal words. I never even consider how you will sob until you finally fall sleep once I’m done with you. When I call you “pathetic” and “worthless” and I know you won’t do anything to retaliate.

 

I’m tired of carrying your aching body, barely holding itself up from all the times I pushed you down. Wasting my own energy on making you feel like nothing that you can’t even get me out of your head.

 

I’m tired of hating you. Of hating how you look, how you talk, how you act.

 

But, I need to learn how to love you, everything about you.

 

Because if I never do, we will never live harmoniously in this body. I need to love all the things I hate about you. It will take some time, but this is my promise to you.

 

I promise you I will love you. I will love us. I will love me.

What Will You Do?

How do you see me…

When I’m sitting in a group and I keep my mouth locked. When I stare off into the distance for fear of being involved in the converstaion. When I fidget with my clothes or my hands aggressively. Tapping my foot like a drum on the ground. Pulling at my hair. Picking at my skin.

What do you think…

When I don’t answer your texts right away. When you ask me to hang out, but I come up with an obvious lie to not go. When you don’t see me for days on end. My hair a matted mess and unclean. My eyes dazed. My energy drained.

Who do you tell…

When I seem hyper and loud, interrupting everyone. When I’m twitchy and can’t sit still. When I ask for constant help with things. Unfocused yet alert. Almost like a broken clock that can’t stop ticking.

When my anxiety and depression and ADHD kick in, what will you do?

Pretty Little Bird

Pretty Little Bird, afraid to fly on her own. To take that first leap from the window ledge. To fly off into the world alone and see what is offered to her.

 

Pretty Little Bird, afraid to sing her song. To be louder than the rest and have her tune be heard. To be herself.

 

Pretty Little Bird, afraid to crash into glass that she stays in her nest all day. Even though she knows she wont, she’s still to scared to try.

 

Pretty Little Bird, wont you know your worth? Wont you try?

 

Your wings are so beautiful, Pretty Little Bird. Your colors are vibrant and look so astonishing when you fly.

 

Your song is so sweet, Pretty Little Bird. You carry the tune of love and kindness whenever you open your little beak.

 

Your heart is so fearless, Pretty Little Bird. You have so much to offer this world, wont you come down from your tree and share your worth.

 

Don’t be scared, Pretty Little Bird. Don’t be scared.

An Epiphany

Today, something different happened to me. I had an epiphany, or rather a revelation of sorts. Let me start from the beginning.

I had been feeling extremely anxious all day. My heart was going 100 miles a minute, I was breaking out into a sweat every chance I got, I overall felt terrible and on the brink of a panic attack. I had tried taking medication to calm down, doing my CBT techniques, breathing exercises but nothing worked. I was stuck.

I decided to download an audiobook called “Dare” by Barry McDonagh and listened to it while I went for a walk in attempt to relax. The book is about overcoming anxiety, and let me tell you it already had an affect on me. As I was walking I could feel my body relax and come down from the rollercoaster of emotions that I was on.

Though I don’t typically discuss religion on here, I have to say I felt that someone up there was looking out for me. I saw signs in my life today telling me I was going to be alright and bounce back from all the anxiety I have had in my life. I felt protected and secure; now I am much calmer and can understand that overcoming anxiety is indeed a process. You’ll fall back some days and feel like a million bucks the next. It takes time. I will be better.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑