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!
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. 🙂
It’s 2 and a half months into my eating disorder recovery and I’m doing very well. I’m to the point where I eat when I’m hungry and don’t obsess about whether I should or not. I think one thing that’s helping is that I’m happy in my life. I have hobbies and goals again. There was a long time where I wasn’t motivated or excited about anything like I normally am. Nothing held my interest, I just felt flat emotionally. When I’m doing well, I’m generally a very happy person that enjoys life. That disappeared for awhile, and I was indifferent about everything. Last Christmas was the first time in my life that I didn’t care one way or another about the holidays. Normally I get so excited over the them, like crazy excited! I’m sure the med changes have helped a lot. Now that I’m stable mentally I’m able to fully enjoy my life again.
So back to the recovery part, I still worry about my weight, but I’m not obsessed about it. I’m not doing stupid, dangerous things to be a certain weight anymore. Finding things outside myself has helped immensely. My faith, taking walks/being outside, art, music, and other hobbies, I have actual interests besides what I weigh for once. I was so wrapped up in my ridiculous goal to be the “perfect” weight that the rest of my life was put on the back burner. I may have gained some recently with a medication increase but it’s not the end of the world.
I’m just me and I’m learning to be okay with that. 🙂
The above image is a sketch I did a few months ago. I really enjoy nature! 🙂
I know my posts have been very sporadic and not very interesting. I had some serious struggles with my mental health the past several months and am going through med changes and adjustments. I’m beginning to feel normal and actually happy for the first time in quite awhile. I’m able to sleep too which is always nice!
Right now I’m reading a book called Surviving Schizophrenia by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D. (6th Edition) It’s very interesting and strange at the same time. I’m reading about this stuff and looking back and seeing how things progressed over my teen years to the first major episode when I was 18. I had no clue back then, didn’t recognize any of the signs and symptoms as they slowly crept in. Even years later I had trouble figuring out how it all happened, to me looking back it seemed like all the sudden I lost my mind but that’s definitely not how it actually occurred. There were major signs and problems leading up to the onset. Things I could never explain or even knew there were terms for. Even up till now I’ve always assumed in addition to the schizoaffective I was just a really bizarre person but they were actually signs and symptoms I wasn’t aware of.
I don’t feel disoriented right now, I feel peaceful. I really am hoping this lasts. I’m feeling motivated to get back into my artwork as I’m able to concentrate now. Trying to do things to take care of my mental health. Staying in somewhat of a routine at least with sleeping and eating. Getting some exercise and going out of the house everyday, cleaning, keeping up with personal hygiene, doing things I enjoy. Yes, personal hygiene. That’s embarrassing to say but it’s a struggle with many mental illnesses and tends to really decline when a person isn’t doing well.
So, I hope to start making posts at least somewhat regularly. I hope my readers are doing well!
I also wanted to share two links that I’ve found helpful to refer to when struggling with hearing distressing voices
I was very depressed for a couple months. It started easing up and I actually feel great for the first time in a long time. Even before I was severely depressed (when it was actually seriously impacting my functioning) I had underlying apathy and negative thoughts. For a long time I wasn’t feeling my feelings as intensely as I normally do. And I feel things very intensely, especially happiness. I’ve always felt blessed in that way. I don’t do drugs but I experimented as a teen and I can honestly say my happiness is actually a more intense/euphoric even physical feeling than any times I had gotten high. I’ve finally broken out of that numbness and gotten back to that. I’m very excited about life, I’m not just walking around like a dead person/zombie now as I was for most of 2018 and the beginning of 2019.
The only issue is I’ve been hearing things more. I don’t know what’s more upsetting, hearing things or feeling like a freak for having those experiences. It’s happened on and off for a large majority of my life so I should be used to it by now I guess, but still for some reason I always feel like I’ve “failed” in some way when they’re back.
Anyway, I just wanted to write an update since I haven’t written much recently. Hope my followers are doing well! 🙂
Art: drawing, coloring, arts and crafts can be very relaxing. Many people enjoy adult coloring for stress relief.
Watching a Comedy: there’s nothing better than to laugh when you’re feeling anxious or down. Look up funny videos online or watch your favorite comedy! (I enjoy watching clips from Ellen (DeGeneres) on YouTube, they always make me smile.
Talk to a friend or family member: It’s good to have someone you can talk with who will listen without judging.
Getting Out of The House: This is a big one. The worse you feel the more you isolate and it becomes an endless cycle because you start feeling even more depressed or anxious as a result not getting out. Staying inside all day by yourself feeds into obsessive/repetitive negative thoughts. So get out, go somewhere. Anywhere. Sit outside in the fresh air, take a walk, visit a museum, sit in a park, go to the zoo. All these things can make you feel more connected with the outside world. I know for myself the longer I stay indoors and don’t leave (sometimes it border on agoraphobia) the more distorted my thoughts become.
Play With a Pet: Pets are amazing, they can decrease anxiety and even reduce blood pressure. If you don’t have a pet maybe volunteer at a local shelter and help care for the animals, or play with a friend’s pet. I know the most relaxing thing for me is when my two cats take nap with me or lay on me and purr.
Socialize: Join some sort of group. It doesn’t have to be a long term commitment. There are many free activities at public libraries such as yoga, arts and crafts, book discussions. Or hang out with a good friend. When I hang out with a really good friend of mine it pretty much completely takes my mind off my problems because we have so much fun together.
Exercise: one of the most effective ways to deal with anxiety is to get out all that extra energy. Physical activity can greatly improve sleep quality. It’s good for the body and the mind.
Play a game/do a puzzle: perfect for taking your mind off problems and focusing it on the present moment. It can provide a brief escape.
Read or engage in some other hobby: I have many hobbies and I find that I almost never get bored now. I always have something to keep my mind occupied when I have down time. Learning new languages, music/instruments, find something you enjoy and stick to it!
This is a very basic list of some of the coping skills that have helped me, there are many others you can try. I’ve seen lists with hundreds of coping ideas, so look around, your bound to come across something that may be beneficial to you, good luck! 🙂
(Picture taken by me Summer 2018 at a local rose garden)