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It's been over a year since I said goodbye to my sweet pup, Cannelle, a cocker spaniel. I adopted her when she was 18 months old and was blessed to have her by my side for 13 years. Throughout that time, Cannelle helped me in ways that she, of course, could not comprehend. My pup helped me through bouts of mental illness, among other things.
July 12, 2022, was when my life changed forever. On this day, I got diagnosed with double depression, and I have been unable to come to terms with it. Even though I suspected it for a while, I don't know how to accept this as my reality. And I know it will be many moons before I do so.
I tell myself that I write about borderline personality disorder (BPD) because I want to help others struggling with BPD and crisis, among other things. But, if I'm truly being honest here, I'm not writing to others — I'm writing to a former me. I'm writing to the me who spent hours Googling my behavior looking for answers. I'm writing to the me desperately seeking relief from my inner torment. I'm writing to a me I assume is long gone. This time, however, I want to write to a different me. This time, I want to write to the me that thinks she made it to the other side. I want to write to the me who pretends to have some kind of authority on getting through BPD. This time I want to write to today's me.
Over the weekend, I had lunch with a friend I had not seen in five years. During part of our conversation, we discussed the importance of friendships. In this post, I will discuss my friendships at different stages of my life and how they have affected my mental health.
I just returned from a two-week trip overseas to England, Scotland, and Ireland. I love to explore the beauty of this earth and immerse myself in all kinds of unique cultures, but if I am not careful, traveling will often coax my eating disorder back to the surface. While I do have quite an adventurous streak, I also tend to feel anxious when I deviate from my normal routine, which can open the door for a certain uninvited guest—otherwise known as my eating disorder—to hitch a ride on the trip. However, since I am not about to stop traveling, here are a few strategies I use in order to ensure this pesky eating disorder will not ruin my vacation. 
Making new friends when you have anxiety is hard, but maintaining those friendships is even harder. As someone with social anxiety disorder, I struggled to maintain friendships. These thoughts would cross my mind: Will I lose my friends if I refuse to hang out with them too many times? Do my friends actually like me, or are they just hanging out with me because they feel bad for me?
The basis of marketing is pretty simple: identify a problem your target customer is facing and offer a solution. In most cases, it’s effective, but, unfortunately, it’s also used in predatory marketing practices that don’t necessarily a sound product or opportunity to offer. It’s important to be able to recognize mental health stigma used in marketing tactics in order to protect yourself from falling prey to them.
Like most people, when I'm having a hard cry—which can be very emotional, sometimes overwhelming—I do a double intake of breath. It's like a hiccup, but not. My therapist told me that this is called the physiological sigh and that it helps reduce stress by balancing oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in our bodies.
If there is one thing I have learned through countless hours of therapy, it is how I need to stop apologizing for everything. Although Canadians are very apologetic, this pattern is prevalent with verbal abuse victims even more so. My underlying desire to make everything better and have everyone be happy with the situation has built an unstable emotional foundation for my life.
This July marks the 14th anniversary of the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Month, also known as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Mental Health Month (BIPOC MHM). In a world that seemingly revolves around race, it's nearly impossible to ignore the stark disparities deeply rooted in minority and historically oppressed communities regarding mental health accessibility and stigma.

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Comments

Natasha Tracy
Hi Bobby,

I'm not sure what you mean by that.

-- Natasha Tracy
Elizabeth Caudy
Dear Shanique, Thank you for your comment. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate. I am so glad you know God loves you and that you get peace from Him, and that you are blessed with loving and supportive family and friends. It sounds like you are very strong. Best, Elizabeth
Katie McMurray
I am a boarder line woman who’s splitting destroyed an innocent person… I know I should feel something but all I have is contempt for this person I used to praise and thank came into my life in every way. I’ve never hurt a person like this before I don’t feel anything god what is wrong with me… I know I have a soul but why can’t I feel emotions like normal people do! Why do I make everyone who loves me into my abusive parents and friends… I don’t want to be an evil person who ruins lives and just takes takes takes and if anyone doesn’t go along with it tries to punish, I want to be a person of substance and value not a leach… the problem is we just don’t feel emotions correctly and confuse things with past triggers because of our trauma. Most of us avoid it all costs, I myself have been in therapy and make mental health problems my whole life and talk about them with strangers to cover how low functioning I am and never have to face my real trauma which was sexual in nature from a close family member, I never face it or let anyone in really we live in fear of little things our friends or people might find out and not like us… it’s a sad way to live I had a severe eating disorder andr stuff led for years before I met my ex, he gave me confidants strength and so many laughs and made me feel safe, I left him with a note and never looked at him again ever after living together through scary times and only having each other for so long… I used his past to say I felt threatened and when he wouldn’t stop whining I threatened him with a restraining order … he never responded but a month later saved pictures to shared album so I got one anyway… just to never have to hear it… we really don’t care how we hurt or use people.. I know I don’t speak to all boarder line people but around half of us are also diagnosed NPD and the majority of us will never be diagnosed or refuse the one we get and just find counsel from people who tell us what we want to hear to feel ok for living a life of lies and emotional abuse… it’s all we know.. like I said it’s not a great way to live so don’t pity us or waste effort hating us, we create our own hell and live it everyday
Shanique
I also have schizoaffective disorder. I am a Christian and pray as well. It helps me alot knowing that God loves me and give me peace. When I am struggling, sometimes it's difficult for me to pray but when I do it reduces my symptoms. I do not attend church often because it triggers the auditory hallucinations, which are Reglious voices, so I choose to worship at home. I also on medications but I do not go to counseling because it not affordable. I work a full-time job and I am a single parent. I have a loving family and supportive friends. I have two friends that has mental illness, one that has schizophrenia.