Recently, I posed a challenge to myself to see if I could tolerate one day without a fitness tracker. This experiment should have been simple: Just set the device aside, then continue with all my normal activities for about 12 hours. The key phrase here is "should have been simple." But to be honest, it was so painfully difficult. Here's why I took on this endeavor—plus the humbling lessons I learned from one day without a fitness tracker.
Opening up about borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms can present unique challenges, and disclosing this condition to immigrant Filipino parents adds another layer of complexity. My BPD symptoms include intense mood swings, fear of abandonment, and unstable self-image. Opening up about my borderline personality disorder symptoms with parents who come from a culture and generation that stigmatizes mental health issues is a delicate and, at times, painful process.
Healing from my trauma required me to tell my trauma story — but not to over-identify with it. When I first began my healing journey, I would talk about my trauma to anyone who would listen: new friends, strangers on the Internet, distant family members, etc. In a way, telling my trauma story — and owning what I'd been through and how I got myself through it — empowered me. It gave me a sense of purpose and a feeling of pride; it also gifted me with much-needed validation.
My name is Kris McElroy, and I am the new author of "Dissociative Living." I received a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder (DID) in 2013 when I was 28 years old. Since then, I have been navigating the complexities of living with DID, especially in relation to parenting, coexisting with alters, professional pursuits, and interpersonal relationships. I aspire to foster a shared understanding through the exchange of our experiences as we navigate the journey of dissociative living together.
Verbal abuse can affect many areas of life, including your view of body image and diet. Because this abusive tactic targets your self-esteem, experiencing negative comments about your weight can directly impact how you manage food consumption. In short, verbal abuse can affect your diet choices.
Schizoaffective anxiety and recovering from surgery are a particularly bad combination. Yesterday, I was picking up some packages from the mail room. The mailroom is down a flight of stairs from our apartment. Only one package of four free COVID tests would fit in my tote bag, so I had to carry the other one by hand. I have a system for getting the mail on such occasions since I just had double knee surgery, and it’s hard for me to get up and down stairs. Schizoaffective anxiety in recovery makes it harder because I'm scared.
One of the most significant symptoms of anxiety that I have struggled with has been hypervigilance. Hypervigilance pertains to being on guard and alert for threats in the environment and may result in engaging in behavior with the purpose of preventing danger.1
For the longest time, I felt something was wrong with me for being an introvert. While most kids my age loved noisy parties and socializing, I preferred quiet one-on-one conversations and the company of books. In tenth grade, when an unimaginative bully called me "boring," I took her jibe to heart. It took me a couple of years to realize she was dead wrong. I am not boring; I am an introvert. And there is nothing wrong with being an introvert.
I fell into habit tracking because in a world that is constantly changing, having clearly defined action steps is comforting. I’m able to trick my mind into creating a productive routine that feels more like a game than a chore. Sticking to healthy routines has a tremendously positive impact on my mental health, and it’s never been easier to do because I found a way that I enjoy. (Who doesn’t like the feeling of being able to check off boxes?)
In my life, embracing setbacks has been a recurring theme. Setbacks are the unexpected twists in my mental health journey. Embracing setbacks has been a transformative experience, prompting me to reconsider their nature and my response to them.