Keep Treading the Water

Willows over water

Living in recovery (or at least attempting to) is strange. At times, the current sweeps you under and pins you under the water until you feel your lungs about to burst. Other times, the water seems like a calm pool, perhaps even enjoyably cool and refreshing.

Then there are days, weeks, months, years when you are just treading the water. You aren’t about to drown, but your feet certainly do not touch the ground to stabilize you. Each recovery-based choice takes considerable effort and seems like a waste most of the time. However, making those healthy choices is not impossible.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Running from the Urges

What do you do when you have the urge to use a symptom? When suddenly, you feel like you must cut or you will die? When purging seems like the only option? When isolating for a week sounds like the only thing that will keep you safe?

You have to run. Run to a coping skill. Run to a loved one. Run to your recovery.

Continue reading

Sometimes You Just Need to Voice Your Needs

Be quiet. Do not complain. Remain strong like nothing is wrong.

Those are voices in my head. Sometimes those messages are helpful. Usually, however, these words create more drama and pain in my life. Instead of being honest about difficulties, I try to manage by myself until I end up sobbing, feeling alone and defeated.

Continue reading

Ten Things Not to Say to Someone with OCD

bulletin board

My bulletin board might not look perfect, but that does not mean I am free of OCD.

“Oh, I must set everything up in a certain way. I am so OCD.”

How often do you hear that? People often make comments about OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) that are dismissive and unsympathetic towards those who actually have the disorder. This creates lack of awareness and support surrounding mental illness.

Continue reading

Ten Signs Your Medication Is Not Working

Stone gargoyle at Be Our Guest

You can feel miserable with the wrong medication.

Medication for depression or other mental illness is a tricky thing to manage. Everyone responds differently to it. Some people find that Prozac allows them to think clearly while others have racing thoughts with that medicine. Others love Zoloft despite the fact that others dislike it.

Just like our bodies are made differently, our illnesses have different remedies. Finding that right medication is the key.

Continue reading

Is There One Cure-All for Mental Illness?

Sloth on tree

This sloth is sometimes how I feel when I am down.

Today I started a new one type of therapy. Although I am feeling optimistic, some apprehension has already taken root in me. The therapist stressed the fact that her treatment would help me heal from past trauma. With that vampire bat gone from hanging in the corner of my mind, I would heal from the rest of my mental illness – depression, eating disorder, and anxiety included.

Can that really happen? Does one type of therapy cure mental illness? For that matter, does one medication?

Continue reading

9 Beautiful Semicolon Tattoos Shared to Destigmatize Mental Health Challenges – By Laura Willard

This is so beautiful! A tattoo can be a great sign of recovery, creativity, and hope. It is not for everyone. For example, I doubt that I will ever get one. However, I think it can be a wonderful coping skill.

Kindness Blog

If you’ve been online this week, you’ve probably seen something about the semicolon tattoo.

 But in case you haven’t, here’s the short version: It’s a tattoo that represents mental health struggles and the importance of suicide prevention.

I wrote an article about it earlier this week. When we posted it on Facebook, our readers shared inspiring messages, stories, and words of encouragement for one another, and many also posted pictures of their own semicolon tattoos.

I was blown away by the responses and reached out to several of the people who posted their own photos.

They were happy to share their tattoos and stories. I was touched by what they told me, and I hope you also find encouragement, hope, and inspiration in their words. Here are their stories.

  1. A mom and her daughters, fighting together.

9 Beautiful Semicolon Tattoos Shared to Destigmatize Mental Health Challenges - By Laura WillardDenise and her daughters, Tayler and Olivia, got their semicolon tattoos right before…

View original post 855 more words

Ten Reasons I See Myself As Better and Worse Than Others

Me at Goodwill

We have reasons why we are better/worse humans even if we do not realize them.

At my university’s chapel yesterday, the speaker gave an amazingly candid and thought-provoking exercise for us to do. “List the reasons why you think that you are a better person or Christian than others. Then list the reasons why you are worse.”

Even more shockingly, he went on to list some of his reasons. I similarly made lists in my notebook. Looking back at the items was a strong jolt of reality for me. Pride and superiority is a far bigger issue in my life than I ever realized. In fact, all of us seem to battle this more than we want to admit even if it is hidden in the guise of self-hate.

Continue reading

Letter from a Support Person

My father and my sister Maria years ago

My father and my sister Maria years ago

I recently received a beautiful comment on this blog. An anonymous support person wrote a letter that was much more powerful than anything I could write trying to understand that point of view. Thus, I wanted to share this letter from a family member or friend of a person struggling with mental illness. Hopefully, it will touch you as much as it impacted me.

Plus, if you ever have something that you want to bring to my attention or think that I should share, let me know in a comment. I cannot promise to always blog it. However, know that I am open to hearing your voice and what you would like to see more of on this blog.

Continue reading

Top Ten Signs of Discontent

Me in black and white

Are you struggling with being discontent?

I am discontent with my life. Today, that realization dawned upon me. So many times, my mind turns to what is wrong with myself and the situations that I am in instead of being content with the journey of each day.

Being discontent takes root in many ways and can change with each moment. I am anxious with people but lonely alone, nervous with romantic feelings but unloved single, stressed busy but bored without plans, etc. The list of my fickle discontent goes on much longer than I care to admit.

Continue reading