Having been through the depths of despair in my gambling addiction journey, I can confidently say that financial health is one of the most challenging areas to rebuild. The financial instability that gambling throws you into takes a lot of determination and the right strategies to overcome. My experience with debt management and regaining financial stability taught me many valuable lessons that I wish to impart to others like me.
Every few years, I search for movies and books I haven't read or seen that are either created by someone with schizophrenia or have a character who has schizophrenia. I love a good memoir written by someone with schizophrenia because, in most cases, the writer can tell about both good and bad days or hard times and times when things have been much smoother or better. It feels like that is a realistic view of schizophrenia (at least for me), and often, the author gives us some hope. After all, they are in a place with their illness where they can write and publish a book.
Multiple times per year, I have to travel for work. Traveling for work can be exhausting but can be even more complicated when you have bipolar or depression. It is a time-consuming process to get ready for travel when you have one of these mental health conditions. There are so many items that need to be taken into consideration when traveling for work including medications and your sleep schedule.
Pranks and tricks can be fun for some people, but they can be damaging for others. Not everyone will share the same sense of humor, leaving the other person with conflicted feelings. Does this mean they are verbally abusive or cruel? For some, they can be.
I have many rigid beliefs about food. As someone who openly shares the nuances of my battle with anorexia, this is not a shocking confession. In fact, a common symptom of anorexia is associating specific foods with shame, fear, or distress. In spite of all the progress I've made to heal from my eating disorder, this restrictive outlook on food still remains one of the toughest myths to dispel. But with some encouragement from my personal trainer, I have recently started taking certain foods out of the shame category. Here's what I am discovering in the process.
Last week, I had two consecutive days off from work, which does not happen often. Usually, I spend those days oversleeping. But last week, I tried to stay busy with healthy activities. Here are five ways that I benefited from staying active on my days off from work.
Identity policing is when a person tries to tell another person (usually of a marginalized identity) that their identity is invalid or that they can't or don't belong to an identity group that the person is claiming to identify with. I wanted to talk about this after my last post where I talked about what it means to be a lesbian. Unfortunately, even within the queer community, I have had my identity policed on more than one occasion. Identity policing can be extremely hurtful and problematic. Allow me to illustrate with the example that follows from my life.
In the past, my trauma therapist has had to give me a reality check about over-identifying with borderline personality disorder (BPD). To be honest, I needed that wake-up call. Not every unpleasant thought or emotional dip is automatically a BPD symptom. It's made me realize the pitfalls of getting too wrapped up in identifying with my mental health issues.
Foreboding joy is a concept I discovered recently. In her latest book, "Atlas of the Heart," Brene Brown describes 87 emotions that humans experience. While I could recognize and identify times when I felt most of the feelings she listed, foreboding joy was difficult to understand. Why do I run away and catastrophize when things are going well?
When healing from trauma, I have found that having a community is important. Although there are times I feel tempted to isolate myself when I'm struggling with my mental health, I have always felt better after reaching out to loved ones for support. This is especially the case when I seek out people who have been through similar traumas or share similar passions. Finding a community in which I feel welcomed and safe has done wonders for my healing from trauma.