ADD · adhd · depression · help · mental health · paranoia · self image · stigma · support

Guilt

I never knew how powerful it was. Guilt has kept me in the dark places of my mind for years.
Feeling guilty about everything! Even feeling guilty about being alive!

Guilt was a form of self-punishment, I felt I deserved it when really it was just stealing my chances of getting better and finding happiness.

Definition of guilt: Guilt is a feeling of anxiety or unhappiness that you have done something immoral or wrong, such as causing harm to another person.
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I would feel guilty for being depressed and worrying about how it made others feel, I felt guilty about the fact I struggled to be happy, I felt guilty for crying, guilty for needing time to myself, guilty for being honest about my feelings. Guilty about basically everything.

Guilt would give me anxiety attacks especially if I had hurt someone’s feelings I would feel SO guilty I would harm myself then feel guilty about that, then feel guilty I was making it about me, then guilty that I couldn’t get anything right.
What did normal people do when they felt guilty?

I am writing this because since the discovery that I have ADD things have been really improving, I have moved out and found myself so happy and content. Then one night after a terrible decision of drinking beer through a hangover and then throw in a whirlwind of negative thoughts and my brain was spinning with all these negative memories, thoughts and feelings.
I couldn’t make them stop I remember crying and trying to fall asleep then screaming out loud because they wouldn’t stop and I felt like I was falling back to that dark place I thought I had left behind.

So today? Guilt, served with guilt and a nice side helping of guilt!

Then a thought, what do I feel guilty about?

I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings, I didn’t break anything and I didn’t even hurt myself… so why do I feel so guilty?

I guess I feel guilty that I had felt so good and I knew I was having a scatty brain weekend (well an ADHD mind!) and instead of taking time for myself I didn’t and just distracted myself then when the negative thoughts came pouring in I believed them. This battle I did not win and I felt so defeated and guilty for it.

But I have been telling myself to be kind to myself, to love myself so though it’s hard to do I chose not to feel guilty, correction I feel guilty but I chose to notice that as a feeling and not a fact.
I am a fighter and yes I got knocked down but guilt will keep me down so I will stand back up and apologise to myself as I don’t deserve to be made to feel guilty about what? Being human and having a break down!

I have been through so much and yet here I am! I am doing so so well and not only do I fight these negative thoughts on a daily basis I still manage to help others fight theirs! I mean not blowing my own trumpet or anything but that’s pretty dam good!

So guilt I am done with you! You’re not welcome here as I forgive myself for what I have done to myself and I won’t win every battle, but dam it I will win this fucking war!

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anxiety · bpd · depression · grief · help · mental health · reading · stigma · suicide · support

Be kind to yourself

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The art of learning to be kind to yourself.

I don’t know if this is something too many people can relate to but it’s something through therapy such as CBT and MBT I was encouraged to learn to do. I don’t think I had a positive word to say about myself for so long and the way you view yourself, talk about yourself and maybe mentally talk to yourself really does define you in ways I had never really known.

Looking back is not something I’m fond of as though there has been good times my mind and body like to constantly remind me of the pain, the tragedies and what feels like my constant failings. So when I look back and see this bleak darkness it’s hard to move forward in good hope that things will be different. Here is where I am starting to discover the power of being kind to myself.

You know that feeling where you have promised yourself you are going to lose weight and get that body you have always known you could have but you just have never found the time to do it? So you set yourself a challenge and start doing the exercise, you change the diet and your lifestyle and you start to see the results which is great and this could happen for weeks or months then you relapse you have a week of pizza, booze and cake and in your mind that’s it you’ve ruined it all!
This is how I often feel about myself, this attempt to be perfect as I view myself as something resembling ‘damaged goods’ to redeem myself I must try to be perfect no room for mistakes, which when you have a mental health disorder is to put simply beyond unrealistic. I think that’s why I got so close to the edge I always fell short of my expectations for myself, not good enough, kind enough, intelligent enough, pretty enough, compassionate enough I could go on and I’m sure people can relate to this the guilt you feel when you get things wrong when you step over the boundaries you have put up to maintain that image of your ‘perfect self’. I am learning to be ok with not being perfect, of accepting my flaws and my often immature behaviour or stupid impulsive decisions, but being kind to myself is like re-wiring my whole brain I just haven’t done it in so long it’s alien to me.

A few moments in my guilt ridden mind is hard to explain so to share with you a scenario of a night out drinking where I got far too drunk and had to miss work the next day, at first something resembling a panic attack starts to happen head spins into a blurry mess, palms sweating and heart pounding ‘fight or flight’ is very much at work here. My mind screaming things like ‘you will never get better’, ‘permanently a screw up’, ‘you ruin every good thing you have’, ‘that suicide idea was probably your best decision yet to bad you screwed that up too’, ‘everyone hates you’, ‘this is all you are worth’. A few moments of tackling these thoughts feels like going a few rounds in a boxing ring with Mark Tyson and being beaten to a pulp, leaving me with barely any energy to move let alone attempt to battle each one of these thoughts.

There is a temptation to look for confirmation from others when in this state, to have them tell you that ‘You’ve done nothing wrong’ or ‘Don’t beat yourself up about it’ a desperate need for comfort as I cannot find any within myself. But recently I’m trying to change that… not many people know a few things about me, one being I am a Christian and my faith is probably well more honestly definitely the only reason I’m still here, but it’s no walk in the park, no comfort at times but it does remind me I cannot be perfect and should not expect myself to be, if you believe in God or not we cannot be all knowing and any attempt or expectation to be means we will always fall short.

It’s ok to make mistakes, it’s human to get things wrong, it’s even human to hurt people if it be intentionally or not, we cannot control others thoughts or feelings anymore than we can attempt to control our own. Often my biggest achievements have occasionally come from selfish intentions, and my biggest mistakes from my greatest intentions. That’s life, that’s normal and that truly is ok. Even writing these words brings some comfort to me, to tell myself ‘it will all be ok’ and not hoping to hear it from others brings a peace, brings space to open up the door to more possibilities where I wont view myself as a good for nothing failure.  

The whole reason I wanted to write this post is vaguely to get it off my chest to declare it to the ‘blogging world’ and make my peace with it, but also as I know there are people out there who must do this too and I’m probably too comfortable with myself being treated like dirt but am far from comfortable with the idea that others do this to themselves. So to be an example I will say a few things to myself I know to be true, but in my heart of hearts I still have a fair way to go before I start believing but that doesn’t mean they are not true, and these are as true for me as they are for you, ‘It’s ok to make mistakes’, ‘I am worthy of love and peoples time’, ‘I am beautiful inside and out’, ‘I am not a bad person’, ‘My life means something and is important’, ‘I am loved’, ‘I deserve peace’. I think that’s all I can about manage for now as even writing them I feel the stir of something uncomfortable within me awkwardly stirring in disbelief as I say them to myself internally, but I must learn and will learn life is no walk in the park and being kind to yourself is so important to get you through all those tough times.

So lets make a decision to choose to think good of ourselves even when it feels like the most impossible thing to do.

depression · mental health

Depression

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Depression is something most likely most of us have felt at some point in time.
It’s described as a low mood that can last a long time, the severity of this low mood can vary but in any form it generally can make day to day life more difficult.

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Severe depression
This is when depression takes over your life, you no longer love the things you used to enjoy, energy levels are low, self value and self esteem can be at an all time low and ultimately life doesn’t seem worth living and you battle suicidal thoughts.

Again I won’t claim to be an expert on depression here so for all the details on depression and the different forms it comes in click here.

Depression has the power to make you feel like the only person in the world feeling this amount of pain without a single scratch on you. In a room surrounded by people you feel as if you’re the only one there, all alone. Despite being loved you feel unlovable…depression has the power to take everything away from you without anyone having noticed a single thing, and all this can happen in a matter of seconds

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My experience

It’s often hard to put your finger on depression as it’s true it can be mild at times, a bad mood can start it or lack of motivation which lasts for a few days then fades. Or something may trigger it from an insult, possibly a break up, or even a bad day at work.

Depression can come and go but for most of my life I rarely remember a moment I didn’t feel this weight of depression holding on to me unable to shake.

For me I can’t quite remember how I got into the cycle of my ‘coping mechanisms’ but one pattern I picked up was people pleasing.
Now at first this doesn’t sound like a bad way of coping but I often lost myself in making others happy, leading me to losing my identity and being formed by others opinions of me. My sense of value was measured by what I could do for others disinterested in the treatment I got in return.
This over the years would build up in a feeling of extreme low self-value and though I wouldn’t show it feeling resentment towards those of whom I aimed to please.
Moving on this did eventually lead to self-harm starting from a young age, the simple thought that this emotional pain could possibly be outweighed by creating physical pain was an experiment I played on myself which I deeply regret as at the time and in the future it did give me a temporary form of release.

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The problem about living with depression is after a while it can comfort you, or you are so blind to it you don’t even start to notice that your actions towards others or yourself are becoming destructive. Being aware of your depression and admitting to it for me was the first step towards getting better, at least knowing it was there meant I was closer to wanting to get better, rather than clutching onto it like a comfort blanket unaware of what ‘getting better’ would feel like.

My story of course goes onto further diagnosis but for the treatment of depression (besides the medication I am on) through things such as CBT I learnt to be kind to myself, to try and work out my thought patterns which caught me in a constant downward spiral no matter how many times it would seem I improved. Also being healthier, taking pride and caring for my body helped as in some ways it can physically change your mood.
Surrounding yourself with friends who truly care and are patient with your recovery, trying to get back into doing the things I loved again and staying away from negative influences on my life.
Another big one was learning to not guilt trip myself so much, which when you are struggling to get better can really set you back. Focus on the end goal and allow yourself to make some mistakes, as it’s not always going to be a smooth ride to recovery, just make sure you’re taking steps forward and slip ups don’t mean that you’re going backwards it just means you are trying and becoming more aware of the negative grasp they have on your life.

Another poem I wrote on my journey…

Walls 

Who put these walls here?
How did I not notice them before?
I’d become comforted within my own restriction, occasionally dreaming of a day when these walls would crumble and I could see clearer again.
To see the world that I was missing out on, and even more so to see the person I’d prevented myself from becoming.
The person who’s existence lies within the shadow of a wall, which has finally started to crumble.

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