Friday, 3 February 2012

Oh My Passions!

Bonjour mes amis

From the title, I think you know what I'll be talking about today. If you guessed "passions", you're right. That is exactly what I want to share with you all.

When you have a mental illness, all you really want is to be back in control. I know I did, because losing that control drove me crazy. I wanted to stop my brain from going haywire, tell it to get back in line and stop messing around. But I couldn't because, sadly, life doesn't work that way. So I distracted myself with things that I loved. They calmed me down, and most importantly, stopped me from panicking.

My advice to you is to find something that makes you tick. Everybody has something. Mine is writing, more than anything else. A friend of mine who suffers from ADD loves drawing. And another friend of mine writes poems and draws pictures to go with them, when she's feeling depressed or lonely. Getting your feelings down on paper, through drawings, speaking, ranting, dancing, singing, whatever it is you love is the key to killing mental illness. Or, at the very least, trying to get the steering wheel back.

The next time mental illness sneaks up on you, find your thing. Grab your notebook, your sketchpad, your music, whatever. And just do. Focus all your energy on that one thing. Put your heart and soul and feelings into it. Another thing I love about getting this all down on paper is that when I decide to look back on it, I can be so proud of what I accomplished and overcame. It might also help you to realize, if you haven't already, that you need help to get through your mental illness, and you can do it. You just need to release your feelings.

Well, friends, stay strong. Keep on keeping on and do what's best. Always.

Yours in Kicking Mental Disorder's Out the Door,

Self Love and Sharing Yourself

Hello Friends!
I promised you yesterday some wonderful tips on dealing with mental illness, and today, I'm going to be one hundred percent certain to give them to you. This is something I've been wanting to talk about for a while now, and I have the perfect opportunity to share it. I'll let you know more in a little bit. For now, just read on.

That shirt is what I wore today. I call it my butterfly shirt, because it's so big and bright and, when I stick my arms inside, it feels like I could fly from all the extra fabric. That black cuff is my daily "piece de resistence", or the most important thing I wear in the run of a day (forgive me for not including the accent things, I can't figure out how to do that!) As well, though you can't see them, I wear a pair of cowboy boots. I live in a city, so I stand out like a sore thumb.

My point is that I wear what makes me happy. I love my leather cuff, and my boots. My shirt is beautiful to me, and when I wear it, my confidence peaks. When you are comfortable with yourself, you can't help but exude a kind of flare that leaves people begging for your attention. And part of that relaxation comes from admitting who you are to the world.
Your mental illness is who you are. Its part of what makes you, well, YOU. Without that obstacle in your life, you wouldn't have done so many things, or met so many people. But in order to be truly okay with it, you need to talk about, especially if you haven't yet. Sharing your feelings, whether you're male or female, is the most important step in conquering your mental disorder, but it's hard, and I understand that.

If you need some help, start by talking to somebody online, or somebody that you trust a lot. That way, you know that the person wouldn't a) Ever share that information with anybody else because b) They don't have anybody that knows you well enough that their finding out about your mental illness would be detrimental. 

You can always be yourself, and always let your true colors shine. And now, here is the perfect opportunity to take that giant leap forward. A woman by the name of Amy Morby (I've never spoken with her, or seen her before) has started a revolution. This woman is a recovering anorexic, a mental illness that can have horrible results on your life, and is starting something in the month of February called "Self Love Month". You can click on the badge below to go to her website and sign the declaration of self love to commit to what she's doing.

You don't have to be anybody else but you. Embrace yourself and sign the declaration. My own personal challenge to you is to tell somebody about your mental illness. One person. I believe in you.

Your Insanely Sappy, Cheesy, But Well Meaning Friend,

P.S. I have a twitter now! You can follow me HERE!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Look Ma! No Hands!

Its been a while, I know. And from my heart, I send you my deepest condolences. I should tell you, however, that a lot of things have changed since the last time I posted here. 
  1. A while back, I mentioned I volunteered at a senior's home. One of the men there (I think I told you about the man who had cancer), past away around the end of August. I miss him a lot.
  2. I stopped volunteering at the senior's home. Being there, with all the memories of the people that I grew to love was starting to get a little more difficult than I could handle. After two years there, I finished up. As a bonus, they sent me a little gift card to my local movie theater, which was kind of them.
  3. I'm in the process of getting a new volunteering job in my area. People, I've learned, are insanely difficult to work with. Don't give up, though, because you'll find a good enough person sooner or later.
And, probably the biggest change of all...

    4.   I GOT A THERAPIST! (cue cheers)

That's right, friends. I got myself a wonderful therapist who helped me through so many of the terrible thoughts that started coming back to me and it was all amazing and life started looking up again!
Then, IT happened.
One night, I missed an appointment. It was all just one big miscommunication and an accident, totally unintentional. So, she was called. And called. And called. But she never called back, never rescheduled an appointment and I haven't seen her now since October. It kind of stinks that the one woman that was kind of like my life preserver left me to drown. Little did she know, however, that she threw me enough rope to pull myself back to shore. I still have to fall asleep at night with the television on to cope with hard thoughts, but I've learned how to deal with my anxiety during the day. She was also the one that convinced me it was a good idea to leave the senior's home, and I think that was a wise decision.

In this post, I've talked so much about myself, I haven't given you much advice. Here's the thing: Keep on keeping on. I've heard that before, I can't remember where, but it's pretty awesome, isn't it? My therapist left me for a reason, but I had her long enough that I can deal. I can handle myself pretty well on a day to day basis, and some of that is because of her. But the rest is from the strength of myself, my friends and my family. We kept on keeping on, and didn't stop living because of nothing. Life isn't amazing right now, but it is so much better, you wouldn't believe.

I have some awesome tips for tomorrow, so don't you worry your little soul about that. Elizabeth's back, friends!

Kisses and Hugs (I've never liked xoxo),

Friday, 8 July 2011

Friends and Family Price

How's it going, guys? I have a pretty different topic today, something that I want people to know and understand. This post applies to all and every person that knows somebody with anxiety. I know that it might be scary for you to watch your loved ones and dear friends have to struggle with this mental illness, believe me, I know. While my little sister doesn't have anxiety, she's dealing with a plethora of other mental illnesses, and it's tough to watch her in so much pain and not be able to help her. Today, I want people to know the best course of action to take with the people that you know struggling with this specific mental illness.

I was nine when anxiety first began to make itself known to me, and I've fought with it every day since. I didn't know what to do or what was going on with me, I thought I was crazy and I was a little jealous that other kids got a full night sleep while I was awake, panicking because I was sure I'd seen something move in my closet, or because I'd read some chain mail saying I was going to die at midnight (which, by the way, NEVER HAPPENED). There was a lot of confusion, frustration and anger that developed in me and often times, I'd be crying until I fell asleep because of my fears.
I'm not saying my mom didn't help me, either. My mother tried so hard to calm me down, was able to pull herself out of bed at midnight when I ran into her bedroom crying, and held me when things were getting really scary. But it just wasn't enough, and that wasn't her fault. ANXIETY BUSTER NUMBER ONE: Don't ever blame yourself for a loved one's mental illness, or not being able to fix it. It isn't just a boo-boo and takes a doctor to fix. I can't help you to the full extent that you'll need help, but I'm kind of like a band-aid on a wound that needs stitches. I stop everything from coming out for a little bit, and you're like that too, if you do everything right.

As I was saying, it wasn't my mother's fault that she couldn't stop me from freaking out, and it isn't her fault now. Nobody could've controlled me, because I was in a scary, dark place, where everything was out to get me. ANXIETY BUSTER TWO: Chances are, your person with anxiety is in the same type of state when they're panicking, so don't yell or scream at them, that isn't going to help, it'll just make things worse. Hold them, tell them that it'll be alright, talk them down from the dark place they're in until they have more reasonable thoughts, ones that aren't as crazy as they are while you're scared.
The thing I found DIDN'T help me at all was people telling me to "Get over it" or that it was "something everybody dealt with". It made me get angry, because I knew that not everybody stressed, felt sick, cried and threw fits because they'd seen something that scared them. And getting over it? Almost physically impossible when you're crying so hard you could vomit. Which brings me to the final ANXIETY BUSTER THREE: Don't ever talk down to someone that's panicking. Try not to make their fears seem unjustified, even though they are, and just bring them to a reasonable place, where they can talk to you and make sense.
That bring me to the end of my ANXIETY BUSTER'S for friends and family. To recap, don't blame yourself, try and bring them from their scary place and don't talk down to them. Love and showing that you care will ALWAYS help in someway. So if you know somebody with anxiety, use these tips to help them feel better and to help you feel useful, too.

Happy Helping,

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Don't Be Mad...

I'm really sorry to everybody that reads this blog for help with their anxiety. I haven't really gotten around to posting an honest to goodness blog post about anxiety in a little while, so that's why I'm saying SCREW introductions! I'm going to jump right into what I have to say.

Anxiety is a pretty hefty mental illness and from what I can tell, it isn't mentioned as much as other mental illnesses. Only 1 in 10 people suffer from this, which is only 10%, for those of you that don't like Math. So for you newcomers, that's what I'm talking about when I say "What do I do when I wake up in a panic?" (Panic is short form for "panic attack" or "anxiety attack", by the way).

Trust me when I say that I've dealt with that on MANY occasions. Mostly it's because I've woken up from a nightmare, or I've woken up and then fallen into a panic when really, all I want is to fall into sleep. I'll always be the first to tell you when something is hard for me, and this topic is VERY difficult for me to do.

When I wake up in a panic, I take what seems to me like a cowardly path. I turn on my television and fall asleep to that, or read a book until my eyes can't stay open anymore. I wish I knew better what would work for me, so I can deal with it on my own, but unfortunately, I can't find anything that works for me, because, if you've never dealt with a panic before, these thoughts are taunting.

Here's what I know you're SUPPOSED to do. I may or may not have mentioned before that, when I was younger, I went to group therapy for support in my journey with anxiety. I kept the workbook for that close and near to me, just in case I needed it. It doesn't exactly work for me very well now, but it could work for you if you need it to.

Chances are, people that don't understand anxiety will tell you that your fears are just that: fears. They might've said you'll get over them, or that you need to take things less seriously. As you and I both know, that's much easier said than done. What I want you to do next time you've started to panic is this. 

  1. Take a deep breath and rate your fear on a scale from 1-10.
  2. Think about your fear and think about the reasons your feeling this way. What happened? What could happen? Why isn't this very likely?
  3. Take all your answers and create a more realistic thought. Focus on that and re-rate your fear on the same 1-10 scale. Has this process brought your fear down?
Practice this, make sure that you write this down somewhere if you think you'll need it. This isn't my process, it actually belongs to the Cool Kids program that I think originated in Europe, because it all sounds very British, but that's not important. What's important is results.

Anxiety is a nasty hobknocker (I'm trying to be British here), but you can defeat it. Believe in yourself, believe in your strengths and have confidence that everything will be fine. As one of my favourite bloggers, Kandee Johnson, says:
"You are more beautiful than you know, more talented than you think, and more loved than you can imagine!"
And though you may not think that has anything to do with this now very cheesy post, it does. Because confidence, love and overall strength is what beats anxiety everyday.

Your Sappy Friend,

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Dealing with Sadness and Depression

How is everybody on this lovely day? Wait, how lovely can a day be when a murderer is let loose? Oh wait, I'm sorry, she's not a murderer. The jury said so. She's just a liar.

Cue my extreme sadness/borderline depression here. Innocent little Caylee Marie Anthony was born five years ago into a family that wouldn't love her and was taken out of this world two years later. There is no other explanation of her death besides her mother's obvious mental insanity, far greater than mine or yours. If you have any reasoning behind her death, I'd honestly like to hear it, because maybe my facts are screwed up. But probably not.

When I first heard that Casey Anthony would actually get to live the rest of her life, unlike her daughter, I felt physically sick, I was that sad. I had to sit down and just think for a little bit. And I came up with this.

Caylee Anthony certainly didn't live a charmed life. It was short, and likely empty of any sort of love whatsoever. She likely died a sad death, sadder than most, and never really got to live. But now, little Caylee Anthony is safe, wherever she may be. She can be a normal little two year old angel and not have to worry about being fed, or bathed, or neglected, if that happened in her home (I'm speculating, just my opinions, not actually based on fact). And while Casey Anthony didn't exactly have justice served to her here, I believe that in the next world or dimension or wherever we go after death, judgement will be served. I've read a lot of people's posts that have the same opinion.

If you're ever having a sad time in your life, try and think of the positive. As impossible as it may seem, there is almost always some hidden somewhere. So take a moment of silence for not only the life that was lost, but the injustice that was served.

With love,

Monday, 4 July 2011

My Poetry (or an attempt, anyway)

So fresh, unbearable
Searing pain in my chest.
It builds and grows to eat me whole.
I don't think I can do this anymore.

My eyes fall shut, my tears drip down,
My senses sharp, my feelings profound.
I lose my grip, my hold on life,
As daytime fades to the dreaded night.

My future flashes before my eyes,
The fear and pain of my demise.
I feel my heart clenching in my chest,
Fears filled with agony at their best.

So that's my attempt at poetry. I know I already posted today, but I felt bad just promoting myself and not actually helping anybody who was reading, so here you go. I wrote this once when I was in the middle of a panic attack and I really just needed to release. I was crying and scared but more than anything, I wanted to remember exactly how I felt and what I did to help myself. 

Now, so I can communicate with you all better, leave me a comment telling me how you deal with your anxiety, maybe leave a little something you might've written and tell me what you think of my poetic release. Just please, try not to be too mean!
Yours in Horrible Poetry,