Surviving 101 aka Something’s gotta give

Hey guys,

Well I probably shouldn’t be blogging right now, but I guess I’m feeling somewhat inspired and in desperate need of a distraction. Well I’m in day 2 of a downward patch. And I figured I’d channel some of this into something positive.

So here goes nothing.

Well the first and most important thing to remember is DO NOT BOTTLE IT UP! I’m not saying blast people or do anything you’ll regret later, but if you feel it coming, and most of us do, get yourself to somewhere safe and let it out. Don’t be hard on yourself because you are how you are. This is who you are and no amount do denial will change that.For me, my safe place is in my room, on my own. Sometimes it means I don’t go to school, sometimes it means I don’t get to see my friends. I’ve missed dates, social gatherings, exams, doctors appointments, all sorts of things to try and keep my urges under wraps. The thing is that different people often have different types of symptoms. My symptoms are usually agressively uncontrollable emotions or sometimes a bit of self loathing. Sometimes it’s even rampant sexual desire.

The point is that is you need to find something to help keep those feelings under your control, so the feelings are not controlling you. Take things one day at a time.

When I was younger the first method I discovered was to cut myself. And then I had to deal with the shame that came along with it. The hardest thing to explain when people discover I used to cut myself is the sense of relief it gave me. It was about the ritual, and it was a form of pain that I could control, and for a long time it worked. I can proudly say I haven’t done it in a long time, over a year now, but I don’t dare promise anyone it won’t happen again. I just can’t say it for sure… I’m not condoning it either, but for a while it was something that worked for me.

As I grew and learned more about the nature of mental illnesses, I started to research and try different things. I would place ice cubes in my bare hands and squeeze them tight and after a few seconds it would hurt, nothing like the cutting did, but it helped keep the urges to cut under control. Think of it as substituting candy for cigarettes. Sometimes I’d wrap rubber bands around my wrists until I went numb. Now days when I’m especially anxious, I punch myself in the leg over and over. Sure it bruises but it’s a much healthier form of release than cutting.

I’m not ashamed to say that. But the greatest thing I’ve ever found to keep my symptoms under my control is to talk about it openly. The thing about the silent shame of mental illness is the judgement we all feel, even if it’s not actually there. Being constantly aware of ourselves and the separation we feel from so-called “normal” people. Self awareness has its perks and curses. But by talking about it, I’m killing two birds with one stone. I’m allowing other people into my life and letting them get to know who I really am, as well as educating others. In my own way I like to think I’m fighting ignorance. And if it works, and nobody is getting hurt, what’s the harm in that?

Don’t be afraid to let people in. Don’t be ashamed of how you feel. There are people in the world who know exactly how you feel. There are even those who are compassionate and kind. You’ll always feel like an outsider if that’s all you see yourself as. You are awesome and you are special. You have amazing qualities and you deserved to be loved and respected. Don’t let anyone drag you down, more often than not, it comes naturally enough as it is.

Just take things one day at a time, and never forget that you’re never alone.

I love you all. Until next time.

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