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In the aftermath of one of my mental breakdowns, a wise friend once told me that "sometimes you have to think your way into acting differently, and sometimes you have to act your way into thinking differently." I guarantee he didn't come up with this catchy phrase himself, but I give him full credit for introducing me to the notion that when it comes to changing your feelings, your body is as valuable of a mechanism as your mind. If your mind is already sour, thinking yourself into a more positive experience probably isn't an option. You're better off acting your way into thinking differently—or better: biohacking your way into thinking differently.
This week on "Snap Out of It!", I talk with, well, me. I share my own story of what it’s like to work with a mental illness. I talk about mental illness stigma in the workplace and finally leaving the workplace because of mental illness. I also talk about some basic statistics about why mental illness in the workplace matters, and I answer your questions.
The secret shame of self-harm is a heavy burden—one that, especially when borne alone, can slow us down and hinder the healing process. Self-harm recovery begins with learning to let the shame of self-harm go.
I prefer the version of me without an eating disorder—honestly, I do. Just a few short years ago, I never thought I would be able to utter those words from a sincere, authentic place. But so much about a human can change and transform in recovery. I used to fear that I would not recognize myself in a healed state, that I would lose my sense of personhood in the absence of those compulsions and behaviors I identified with so strongly. This fear still creeps in sometimes, but now I can spot the distortion beneath it. These days, when I look in the mirror, it's deeper than recognition. I see the real me, not the masked, hollow pretense I once believed was me. It feels exposed and vulnerable, but it also feels right.
The ongoing side effects of verbal abuse can be complex and last for years. One exceptionally painful emotion that still resonates with me, even decades after, is guilt. It can be hard to move past it, and it may also invite its close friend, shame, to the party. 
I sleep a lot. I always have. From a certain point of view, I'm lucky that I can sleep, but it's rarely enough. This was worse when I had young children to look after, plus a house, a spouse, and a full-time job that had me up nights resolving issues. Like so many working people worldwide, my remedy to combat sleepiness and fatigue was to guzzle coffee. But I'm retired now, a young retiree at 57. I had hoped to be full of energy without the burden of full-time work. I thought once I retired and got ample regulated sleep, that the feeling of sleepiness would go away. It hasn't.
Internalized stigma caused me to keep my schizophrenia diagnosis a secret for almost 20 years after my first psychotic episode. I didn't tell friends or share the information with my in-laws when I married. Looking back on that time, it was as if I never let anyone besides my husband get close to me. I didn't realize that I created a bubble of authenticity that only my husband and I inhabited. I put on a face and front for everyone else. Sometimes I wanted to tell people and was close to opening up but remained closed-lipped. 
I'm currently changing my routine of constant busyness to a routine that includes more rest and more time in stillness. I'm spending more time alone in silence to practice observing my thoughts. I've only just begun to practice, and I've noticed how often my thoughts tend to revolve around food and eating. It's almost like I can't stop thinking about food. I'm at a stage now where I'm ready to lean further into eating disorder recovery, and I can learn from observing the thoughts I observe that revolve around food.
I'm tired of explaining bipolar disorder to people. I realize this is a terrible sentiment to one who actually does this for a living, but it's one I've found myself thinking about at times. In some respects, explaining bipolar disorder and mental illness in general to people is extremely rewarding; in other ways, though, it's just a slog. Having the same conversation over and over again about mental illness with someone who has no clue is exhausting.
When I reflect on my recovery from mental illness, it comes down to three key factors. This blog will go over these three things. I know how difficult the struggle is with mental illness, so I hope they’re helpful to others.

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B.
This is so validating. Both my brother and I have ADHD, though being a woman I was late diagnosed in my 30s. I'm now in my 40s. We both have a horrid sense of direction to the point where I have been lost and found my way back going against my instincts. I will CONFIDENTLY turn in the wrong direction every time. I have trouble leaving a store in the mall without turning the wrong way once I leave. I have lost my car in the parking lot nearly every time to the point I was convinced someone stole it. My husband thinks it's charming and quirky but I spent half my life lost. Voice and visual GPS has helped immensely but I absolutely hate going somewhere for the first 4-5 times until I am familiar with an area. It's wild to see so many also experience this. Also although my meds have helped a ton it has not helped with this.
Honest
"Charming", "endearing"? When, at what point in the film? This character was neither. She was annoying at best. I had to rewind multiple times before 17 minutes b/c I didn't know what was going on and she was UGH maddening. Egotistical. She was written as stupid, which I do not appreciate in general. Btw, Kristen Wiig TOO OFTEN includes in her performances MOUTHING something. What? What did she say? CC does not pick up mouthing. SHE needs to ALWAYS add into her work on screen or other characters are saying AND for sight challenged people that dialog should be be SPOKEN. Why does she too often do this? I gave up at 25:00 minutes. What is Kristen trying to work out in mer mind playing these types of characters. She certainly is not educating society.
Danni
I can totly relate have been running my own dog grooming business single handled for past 17 years.3 weeks ago a was unwell with a severe flu virus. NOW have extreme anxiety 24/7 have panic attacks at the thought of going back to work ( which I really enjoy). Some days I don't even want to get out of bed,other days I do the bare minimum house hold chores.These last 3 weeks have been awful, can anyone else relate ?
Frank
Hey, I just wanted to reach out and say that many people who are living with Dissociative Identity Disorder can entirely understand and appreciate where you're coming from.

The fact is that there is too much misinformation about fictional introjects online. People will discover the term and find it interesting and exciting. They will disregard the fact that these alters form from severe trauma and will envy the experience of those living with DID because they want to meet their favourite fictional characters, or they want to have a support system that feels like it's magically there for them. It's very common in younger people, especially with the speed at which this kind of misinformation can spread on platforms such as tiktok.

Your scepticism on the existence of introjects is entirely valid. Much of what you described is indeed not reflective of the DID experience and is rather reflective of the internet culture that has fetishised it. Many people with DID, and many fictional introjects elect to not be open about the disorder online because of the very things you mentioned here. These things have also made treatment and mental health support much harder for those with the disorder to access.

I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that the things I've seen online have made me feel deeply ashamed of having DID, and particularly having fictional introjects. I'm truly sorry that you've had to experience situations in which people claiming to be introjects have treated you poorly.

Please be assured that the actions of young, misguided people online is not representative of the DID community as a whole, and it is certainly not representative of living with or as an introject. We're tired of it too.

My biggest recommendation for you is to steer clear of spaces that claim to be geared towards DID, but allow or encourage the above described behaviour. I hope you find yourself in a kinder community soon.

Keep safe - Frank
C
I feel I cannot hold on. For the last few years I have been loosing more and more with no recovery. My breakdowns are costing me my family relationships. They just do know what else to do and they are feeling the pain too. We have no help,hope no one I just kept hoping I do not inhale another breath help