Getting Out (of the door)

For a long time, maybe 6 months or longer, I was struggling with getting out of the house.  It was getting really bad, I wouldn’t even step outside to check my mail which is literally right outside my apartment door unless it was night or super early when absolutely no one was around.  Being outside was just so overwhelming.  I have panic disorder so once in awhile I do have agoraphobic tendencies when my anxiety gets out of hand.  For a couple years I was leaving the house no problem then slowly my anxiety and panic attacks were becoming more frequent  and  about half a year ago I started going out less and less and it just progressed.  In the past few weeks it’s been getting much better.  I hung out with a friend.  Went to the dentist (which is a HUGE thing for me, I’ve been avoiding that for a year) and have been going out most days without any feelings of dread.  It’s nice to not be afraid and it’s getting better everyday.  It’s not easy, I still have to push myself to get out the door but it’s definitely progress.

 

Celebrating!

Tomorrow is the day I’ve been working really hard on getting to, it may not seem like much but it’s a huge deal for me.  6 months of recovery from bulimia.  The first day of April this year I ended up going to the hospital due to severe dehydration and an irregular heartbeat and the day after that I started getting serious about my recovery.  It hasn’t been easy, there have been ups and downs but I’ve made it.  Next goal is to make it to a year, and then the rest of my life! 🙂

Yay! 6 Months of Recovery from Bulimia!

I have an appointment at my college Thursday to see about getting back in classes for the spring semester. Nervous but hopeful and excited as well.  All in all things are going very well. I’m stable and happy. I’m doing artwork much more frequently and really able to get lost in it when I do, I struggled with motivation for a long time but all it takes is sitting down with a pencil and starting, that’s the hardest part and the rest follows/flows pretty easily.  I’m able to enjoy it more

Oh yeah, I’m at 6 months of recovery from Bulimia!!  The official day is October 2nd. Very proud of myself. Trying to think of ways to celebrate, any ideas? 🙂

Schizoaffective Art

This is something I’ve been wanting to draw for awhile now.  It’s basically a representation of how schizoaffective disorder feels to me, specifically during and after psychosis.  Complete confusion and chaos, and afterwards it feels like my mind has been ravaged and even simple things are hard to understand.

 

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Happy

Things have been going very well in my world.  My meds were tweaked just a bit more and it’s the perfect balance where I have full stability but also have the energy and motivation I need, and am not completely sedated out of my mind like I was for awhile.

I’m drawing much more frequently.  I’m able to focus, I’ve read a few books already this month.  So all in all I’m happy.  My case manager is signing me up with a vocational rehab program so I can get a part time job, I feel ready for that.  I’m keeping on top of checking for when the apartment I applied to get into is having an opening.  It’s looking like it won’t be till after the 2019 holidays because I don’t think anybody’s gonna be moving during them, which is okay.  It will be a fresh start whenever it does happen.

I’m proud to say that October will mark 6 months of eating disorder recovery.  It’s been a long rocky road but it’s getting much easier over time!

 

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Favorite Mental Health Related Books

I’m not great at reviewing books but I thought I’d at least but together a list of books that I’ve enjoyed and have helped me in with dealing with my mental illness.

These are non fiction, with the exception of one

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Here are some of my favorite mental health related books

Hearing Voices, Living Fully by Claire Bien 

Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life by Melody Moezzi 

Bulimia a Guide to Recovery by Lindsey Hall

The Eating Disorder Sourcebook by Carolyn Costin 

What a Life Can Be: One Therapist’s Take on Schizoaffective Disorder by Carolyn Dobbins, Ph. D

The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang

Surviving Schizophrenia by E. Fuller Torrey 

Maintaining Recovery from Eating Disorders by Naomi Feigenbaum

Coping Skills: Tools and Techniques for Every Stressful Situation by Faith G. Harper 

The Soloist by Steve Lopez

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michaelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney (graphic novel)

The Buddha and the Borderline by Kiera Van Gelder 

also, anything by Geneen Roth relating to eating disorders is good 

 

Here are some workbooks that are very helpful:

The Dialectical Behavior Skills Workbook for Bulimia by Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher and Michael Maslar

The Bipolar Survival Guide by David J. Miklowitz

The Binge Eating and Compulsive Overeating Workbook by Carolyn Coker Ross

Thoughts and Feelings, Fourth Edition: Taking Control of Your Mood and Your Life by Matthew McKay Ph. D, Martha Davis Ph. D and Patrick Fanning 

 

Fiction Mental Health Books:

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dealing with Agitation

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I’ve been having a lot of agitation lately, so I’ve been trying out different things to help with it.

The problem with agitation is the last thing you want to do is sit still and focus on something, you want to keep pacing or doing something negative to relieve it.  I can’t do that though, as much as I’ve wanted to lately.  I force myself to sit still, breath, and do something non destructive.  It’s very uncomfortable in the beginning, going against how you’re feeling but it gets better after awhile.

Walking

  And really any exercise that gets energy out is helpful.  It gives me an outlet for the negative energy.  I’ve been taking lots of long walks, doing sit ups, and reps with weights. I generally use this method when I feel like the agitation is too much and I might do something negative if the energy isn’t released.  Running would probably be helpful too but I’m not really in good shape so that’s not something I’ve been doing right now.  Eventually I likely will though.  

Reading

This is kind of tricky because sometimes when starting to read and being agitated I get pissed off and have a hard time sitting still and just want to throw the book down.  As silly as it seems, taking deep breaths really helps.  I try to just let the anxiety out and focus on what I’m reading.  It generally takes about 10 solid minutes of reading but once I hit that mark I really get into it and can keep going.  So it may start out as something that seems to make things worse but in the end it’s worth sticking it out if possible.  That is, if you actually enjoy reading.  Forcing yourself to read when you’re not into it to begin with probably wouldn’t just be extremely aggravating.

Gaming

I can always count on Animal Crossing: New Leaf to help me relax.  No matter what’s going on, it helps me chill.  It’s such a laid back game but it’s very task oriented which is good to take my mind off things and I find getting things “accomplished” in the game helpful for my anxiety.

Cleaning

Putting on music and cleaning and organizing is great for when I’m feeling agitated because it’s both physical and task oriented.  So I don’t have to sit still, I can move around as much as I want but it’s not that aimless pacing which generally just works me up even more. Plus, it always feels great when your place is nice and tidy.  Having a messy house/apartment really messes with you subconsciously.  It may not seem like a big deal but having a clean place creates peace of mind.

 

This was somewhat of a rambling and non planned post, actually, writing this is something I decided to do to help relieve some of the agitation I was feeling tonight.  So, if anyone has any ideas feel free to add in the comments!  I love learning different ways to cope, there are tons, this barely scratches the surface.

3 Months!

This coming Tuesday, July 2nd 2019 marks 3 months of recovery from my eating disorder.  I know it’s not much but it’s definitely a great start! I feel motivated to continue and am finding that there is more to life than being a certain weight.  I’ve been challenging my thoughts whenever I have negative ones that make me want to obsessively exercise or restrict and whatnot.  So I’m fighting back, and I’ve put my scale away in my closet.  I used to weigh myself multiple times a day, every day almost obsessively but it’s staying there for now and I will use it in a normal manner, as in maybe once a month.  I actually had it sitting in my kitchen which is really messed up, but anyway it’s put away now.  I’m feeling very thankful to have made this progress and am hopeful that it continues, and that anyone else who’s struggling to recover can find peace as well.

Thanks for reading! 😀

Low

I seem to have spiraled into somewhat of a depression in the past several days after getting to my ultimate high and feeling amazing for once. I slept for most of 48 hours /Friday through Sunday.  Got up a few times briefly but went right back to bed.  I’m doing what I can to manage it though.  I have a lot of agitation and anxiety as well.  Not sure where this is all coming from.  Today was better in many ways though, I got out of the house at least and I didn’t sleep the whole day.  Slept a lot, but not as much as before so that’s an improvement. I’m doing everything I can to distract myself and stay calm despite the underlying restlessness and depression.  I’m hoping to pull myself out of this.

That Spark

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That spark I was missing for so long is finally back.  I used to find inspiration everywhere, constantly getting ideas and wanting to learn more.  For a long time, probably the better part of the past year I wasn’t feeling any excitement or happiness.  I had tried to get it back for so long, but nothing did it.  It’s not something that can be forced, it’s not just a state of mind, it’s a physical feeling as well.  I wasn’t necessarily unhappy or depressed but I didn’t feel good emotions intensely anymore. Maybe it’s my recent medication changes/adjustment, all I know is I feel like myself again.  I have always been a really upbeat optimistic person, and I feel happiness on such a deep level.  After about 3 months of not hanging out with friends and isolating myself making up excuses, cancelling plans all the time due to anxiety, I started being social again.  Earlier this week I spent the whole day with a good friend of mine and had a lot of fun.  Today I went out to lunch.  I’ve been drawing and writing much more frequently, exercising, staying on top of cleaning my place. Things excite me again, I have goals and ambitions.  I’m hoping very much that this continues, and am definitely taking advantage of it.  🙂