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Getting older can bring many challenges and heartaches, including the death of family and loved ones. Unfortunately, the last few years of my life have included losing several family members and some great friends. Each time I say goodbye to someone else, my perspective focuses more on my life choices. 
Misinformation doesn't just trick other people into believing stigmas surrounding self-harm—those of us struggling with it may fall prey to false self-injury beliefs, too.
Of late, life has become pretty humorless. I don't find anything funny; on the contrary, I cringe at jokes that get laughs out of most people. If others' jokes have this effect, it's a given that I cannot see the funny side of things myself. And to think I used to be a mischievous twentysomething! Well, my grim outlook is more a result of depression than a side effect of growing up. 
Life is unpredictable. That's a universal fact no one can escape. A day can begin like any other—normal, routine, even mundane—but take an unexpected, alarming turn that shocks the nervous system and unearths dormant anxieties, heartaches, or traumas from the past. In reaction to this event, old patterns or defense mechanisms can start to re-emerge. The compulsion to emotionally detach intensifies, and all of a sudden, it feels so enticing to retreat into the familiar numbness of an eating disorder. I recently had this experience, and now I find myself asking: What should my response be when a present situation fuels past eating disorder temptations?     
Almost a year ago to the day, I crashed headlong into weeks of crippling panic and anxiety attacks that left me terrified and traumatized. I sought out and found a trauma therapist who could help me get beyond the trauma so I could be myself and get back to living. I'm delighted to say that last week, I reached a significant milestone in my trauma recovery.
There’s so much information online about the negative side effects of living with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and very little about BPD superpowers. Yep, that's right -- if you or someone you know has BPD, they, or you, probably have superpowers. In this article, I get into one aspect I love about my BPD-having self.
Have you heard of worry time? As someone who struggles with anxiety, I have been getting more anxious about the future than ever. This fear and worry seep into everything I do at all times of the day. From waking up to going to work and then back to bed, my mind is constantly filled with anxious thoughts about what the future will look like for me. This interferes with my daily life and makes me feel mentally exhausted. To cope with this, my therapist recently introduced me to a technique that involves allocating a "worry time." This involves me picking out a time during my day that is specifically dedicated to worrying. While this sounds like a strange concept, it has greatly benefitted me.
Energy can be low or nonexistent when you have mental health struggles. For me, I generally have less energy to begin with, and, often, day-to-day activities—even simple interactions or tasks—can drain my battery to red. When my depression and anxiety are running rampant, it can feel like every gauge goes into the negative.
My name is Mel Bender. I’m thrilled to be joining HealthyPlace as an author for the Relationships and Mental Illness blog. I’m a freelance writer, blogger, and artist living in Toronto, Canada.
Over the past several months, I've been writing about ways to boost self-esteem at a comfortable pace. I find that working at your own speed and setting achievable goals will help set anyone up for self-esteem success. Today, I'd like to talk about something different I tried recently. I want to talk about how challenging myself affected my self-esteem.

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Liana M. Scott
Hi Amber, thank you for your comment. I'm so sorry to hear you are experiencing these difficulties. That must be very tough to deal with. I would recommend talking about it with an adult you trust as soon as you can. You could also try a school counselor or a helpline. An easy way to get to a helpline is by dialing 988. You can also find a list of helplines and resources here: https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referral-resources
I hope this helps. Please take care.
Liana M. Scott
Kim Berkley
Hi Paula,

I'm sorry to hear you had such difficulty as a child. If the scratching has started up again, you may wish to consider getting professional help this time. You can always call the lifeline (now at 988) and ask for any resources they may have, or check our resources page here:

https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referral-resources

I hope that helps. Take care, and good luck.

Sincerely,
Kim
Kim Berkley
Hi Jessie,

Thank you for your comment. I understand your fears about reaching out, but I'm so glad you decided to anyway. I'm sorry to hear about your recent stress and nightmares, and that your family does not seem to fully understand what you're going through — but it's good that you at least tried to talk with them about it.

I'm not a licensed dream analyst or any kind of mental health professional, so I'm afraid I'm not qualified to give you an official analysis of your dreams. But from what you've said, I would guess that your dreams have a lot to do with that stress you mentioned, and perhaps some thoughts you may be having (conscious or subconscious) around relapsing into self-harm and your eating disorder. The dream in which you die because no one comes in to stop you also sounds like you may be feeling isolated or misunderstood, like you're on your own in this — which makes sense if you feel like your family isn't really getting the message you've been trying to convey.

So I think the most important thing here is to remember that you're NOT alone, even though it's easy to feel that way, especially when you're stressed. Keep reaching out to your family if you can (as long as it's not making things worse for you); you might try explaining in different ways, maybe even sharing some resources to help them understand. I'll link a couple helpful pages below for you:

https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referral-resources
https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/self-injury/self-injury-homepage

There are also other sources of support you can try reaching out to (some of which you can find in that first link), including hotlines, support groups, and of course, professional help. I would strongly suggest trying to get a therapist or counselor in your corner; it sounds like you're dealing with a lot, and someone like that can be a huge help in figuring out what's triggering you and what you can do to feel better. If you're still in school, check if your school has free counseling services. (Some workplaces have this too.) Remember too that you can also get professional help totally online through teledoc services and online therapy services like BetterHelp (which helped me connect with a therapist I really liked) and Talkspace. A therapist can also help you help your family better understand what you're feeling and how they can help you get better.

I hope things get better for you soon. If you have any more questions, comments, etc., feel free to reply here or elsewhere on the blog. I'll be around. :)


Sincerely,
Kim
Janet
Wow. Very insightful. Thinking of you through this process.