coping methods · mental illness · therapy · hope · substance abuse

Mental Health Awareness Month: Mental Health Related Substance Abuse

Hello Beautiful People!

If you did not know, May is mental health awareness month. In honor of this month I’m going to be posting several blog posts over the next two days about mental illness and mental illness related issues, along with resources that could help someone going through these issues.

                       TODAY’S TOPIC: Mental Illness and Drug Abuse

.    Personally, this is not something that I have an issue with and have never experienced but, I do know people in my personal life who deal with this and maybe one of my readers struggles with this as well. Many people who struggle with mental illness also suffer from a substance abuse disorder, but often never seek treatment for their co-occurring disorder. I know several people personally, who have tried to “self medicate” or “deal with” their mental health related issues by turning to drug or alcohol abuse.This is a very dangerous road that they’re going down and they need help. Most people are embarrassed of getting help and I am here to tell you to never be embarrassed for helping yourself. You are doing something so amazing for yourself and there is no need to be embarrassed. Also a lot of people who do want help, don’t know where to find help or can’t find the correct resources. If you or someone you know is struggling with this issue and would like help I strongly suggest you check out: this awesome website. I spoke to one of the people who run DrugRehab.com and she could not have been more positive and her message was really awesome : “Our website provides individuals with information to help them to overcome their illnesses, put addiction into the past, and to reclaim their lives. ” This site and the people who run it are seriously awesome and if you are someone or knows someone who struggles with substance abuse because of mental illness PLEASE check out this website, it is absolutely worth it and these people are here to help!

Have a lovely day Beautiful People!

anxiety · anxiety disorder · Bad day · coping methods · emotional abuse · Flashbacks · hope · mental illness · physical abuse · PTSD · TRIGGER WARNINGS

Rough Weekend

Hi Beautiful People!

CONTENT WARNING: EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL ABUSE

This weekend was a little hard on me and I really do not know why. I spent most of the weekend feeling very unloved and like I was a burden to everyone I care about. I get these feelings a lot but it was just a lot this weekend. I did spend some time with my boyfriend and our friends but still I kept finding myself feeling as if something was wrong. That I was doing something wrong. In my last relationship I was told that I was worthless, that I was ugly and that I was damaged. I was told that no one would ever love me again and . if someone did decide to love me, they would soon learn not to. These words were constantly being repeated and yelled at me. It became something that I heard so often that I believed it. I still find it very hard to break from believing it. I’m constantly afraid that my boyfriend and even my friends will leave me simply because I’m not good enough. I am worthless. These thoughts become crippling and in turn I accidentally push people away. I get so in my head that I feel like everything I do or say is wrong and then constantly apologize for even the smallest of things, which can really annoy people, but when you’re so used to having to apologize for everything you do it becomes a habit. I lived two years of my life feeling like absolute shit constantly. Feeling worthless and not good enough. Being physically and emotionally abused by an awful person. This person drilled some things into my head that even 2 years later, I have a very hard time getting over. I still think I’m not good enough for anybody. I am constantly worried that my boyfriend will get bored with me or stop loving me. I am always worried that my friends are going to walk away from me because “I’m boring and ugly and don’t deserve anyone else’s affection”. These thoughts still hurt. They still seriously affect me. I can still hear his voice telling me everything that was wrong with me.

My boyfriend, who is very aware of this tried to get me out of my house and had me come over the past two days, it helped a little. I still felt that I wasn’t good enough for him and his friends. I felt that maybe he was getting bored with me when he wasn’t talking to me a lot. There was one point where he jokingly called me annoying because I was playing with his beard and I almost burst into tears. In my mind, I thought that he truly meant it and he would leave. These are the effects of a shitty abusive relationship. It’s a very hard thing to get past and I’m trying. I am in therapy and my boyfriend and family try to help as much as they can. It’s still really hard. It’s a very difficult thing to go through. Sometimes I don’t think I’m ever going to get past this but then someone (usually my boyfriend) will look me in the eye and tell me that I am good enough and I am worth it and that he loves me. That’s all I need. I need reassurance, just for now, that the things my abusive ex boyfriend drilled into my head are not true. Unfortunately this need for reassurance is constant BUT, I know I will get there. I know I will get better. I have a great support system and like I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, my new therapist is awesome. I can do this and if you are going through something similar: you can do this. We can do this together.

anxiety · anxiety disorder · coping methods · mental illness

Feeling Friendly

Hello Beautiful People!

This is going to be a pretty short post but I feel it’s necessary: I got to see two friends today and I’m feeling really good about it. I say my friend Michelle (also my puppy trainer but we’ve been close friends for years) during the day and we did some pup training with Disney! We had a lot of fun and I always love seeing her and hanging out with her. Then after therapy today I got to see my really good friend who I haven’t seen since she went to college. I was so so excited to see her. We had so much fun just talking and catching up and watching youtube videos. I always have so much fun with her and I really missed having her around. I’m so glad to have such nice and awesome people in my life. I’m also really proud of myself for trying to get over my social anxiety and texting my friend to ask her to hangout. I’m usually very afraid of rejection so I don’t reach out to people but I wanted to see her so I reached out to her and it worked out and we’re going to hangout again soon and I’m so happy about that. For the first time in a long time I feel like I have friends and people who really care about me. I’m really happy that I pushed past my anxiety.

chronic illness · coping methods · Service Dog

Service Dog Etiquette-Rant

Okay I’m about to go off a little bit so bear with me…

Something that REALLY makes me angry is when people just don’t know how to act around service dogs. I cannot even tell you the amount of times I have caught people petting my service dog while I wasn’t looking, or making kissy noises at her (those are the WORST by the way) or trying to call her over to them. It drives me NUTS. ALso, you would be surprised at the amount of people who have come up to her and just started to pet her or even PICK HER UP without my permission or even asking for it. This is so extremely frustrating. Yes, she is a puppy and still has quite a lot of training to go through, but she does know her seizure alert command and when I have her out in public SHE IS WORKING. I understand loving dogs and wanting to pet all the dogs that you see because, trust me, I love dogs and I do love to make new doggie friends whenever possible BUT you have to realize that if you see a dog wearing a very clearly marked service dog vest that you should not be distracting that dog or trying to pet it, that dog just cannot be your doggie friend. Also, most of the people will come up to me and  say ” oh it’s a service dog and I can’t pet her” and just stand there awkwardly watching me and Disney until I either break and let them say hello or walk away. I have even had multiple people just pick her up while I’m walking her.

The people who do this are not children, they are full-grown adults. Yes, I have had a handful of children come up to me and do these things but they really don’t know better and I was fully expecting this upon making the decision to get a service dog. I did NOT expect adults to be completely clueless on how to behave around a service animal. Even with non-working dogs, I was always taught to go up and ask the owner for permission before attempting to pet a strange dog. That just seems like common sense to me. The dog is unfamiliar and could not be friendly, it could be scared of people and not react well or it could be completely friendly but my point is, you never know. Even service dogs who are so well-trained can have off days. It just is so rude not to ask anyway, especially because you distracting my dog could put me in a dangerous situation. If she is too distracted she could miss an alert and I could have a seizure. I do appreciate people who come up and ask me to pet her and I try to allow as many as I can to do so, but sometimes if I am having a bad day or not feeling 100% I will say no, this only for my safety and my health and I don’t think that people understand this because they get so angry when I say no (which is a rare occasion). I really think that people need to be more educated about service animals and service animal etiquette.

This last one is probably the most awkward and just plain out rude thing ever. There have been multiple times when I am walking with my service dog, whether that be in the mall, at a store, or even in front of my own house, that I will get stopped and be called a faker. I have been told on multiple occasions that I do not have a disability and “how dare I have a ‘fake service dog’ (my service puppy is not fake) when there are people who really need one”. This is such an awkward situation for you to put someone in and it is also very hurtful. Every time that this has happened I have found myself having to defend my diseases and my disabilities because people are rude and think that just because I look “healthy” or “normal” that I am. Let me tell you something, I am absolutely not healthy or normal. I don’t function like a typical person. I have seizures, I have vomiting fits, there are days when I cannot move parts of my body and cannot even go to the bathroom on my own. Please think before you speak and realize that invisible illnesses exist and are absolutely illnesses. Never tell a person that they are a horrible person for having a “fake” service dog or even a handicap sticker for their car because you cannot see why they need one. Most of these service dogs that you are calling fake are very much real and are helping people with invisible illnesses like me. Remember: Just because you cannot see someone’s disability does not mean that it isn’t there.

… Okay I’m done with my rant now

chronic illness · coping methods · mental illness · PTSD · therapy · TRIGGER WARNINGS

Things Are Looking Up

TRIGGER WARNING/CONTENT WARNING: PTSD, ABUSE

So I went to my new trauma therapist today (yesterday? it’s 12 PM) and I actually really liked her. She was very young and really nice and something just clicked. The last trauma therapist I had refused to talk about the things that I went through that gave me PTSD. I think she was just uncomfortable with the subject matter. She was a very nice lady, don’t get me wrong, just not the best therapist for me. It is hard enough for me to talk about the things that I went through in my last relationship (all 3 types of abuse I’ll let you figure it out from there) that to have someone who would steer me away from the topics whenever I did feel comfortable just was not the right thing for me. I walked in today to this new lady and she was so welcoming and i just felt so comfortable with her that I immediately opened up about everything I went through and just tried to give her like a quick summary of it and she was really receptive and actually seemed to care a lot about what I went through. Of course today was only the first meeting, but I’m really hopeful. She also knew a lot about PNES and how to treat that which was amazing. Most psychologists and even psychiatrists in my area have never heard of it so it was really refreshing to have someone who knew A LOT about it and has even treated someone with it before. This is all very exciting to me so I apologize if I’m rambling.

The session went really well and because it was the first day it was basically her getting my background and asking me all the questions I’ve been asked a million times before and usually hate answering, but the thing is, I didn’t mind answering them this time. I feel like she actually is trying to help and cares about my well-being and I’ve never felt this secure about a therapist. We also talked about the people who are important to me and what roles they have in my life and she made sure to write down every name so she could make sure she will always be able to follow along with who I am talking about, which I thought was cool of her. At the end of the session I felt relieved, happy and just genuinely happy and excited to start working with her and start getting better. I think she can actually help me and that is the best feeling in the world. Things are finally looking up my beautiful people!

chronic illness · coping methods · Service Dog

Introducing my service puppy

Hello beautiful people!

SO if you’ve read my about page (which I strongly suggest you do) you’ve read about a few of my chronic illnesses but, I haven’t talked about coping with any of them yet. So right now I am going to introduce you to my favorite little furball, Disney. Disney is my service puppy in training. At this time she is only 5.5 months old but she has already helped me in so many ways. She alerts me to when a seizure episode is coming and is learning to retrieve my medications from my bag (pretty cool, right?) . She has basically been acting as a sort of lifeline for me so I can go out in public and not be terrified that I’m going to have a random seizure attack and not know what to do. Because of her I know when they are coming and can get myself to a safe place and do everything I need to do to either prevent the seizure episode OR get to a place where I can safely have a seizure episode. She has been a wonderful addition to my family, and has been absolutely amazing with her training and I don’t know what I would do without her.