anxiety, depression, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness

Mental Illness Bloggers Communicating Humanity and Vulnerability

Blogs about mental illness are some of the most captivating blogs that I love to read. I am interested in the topics they cover but that is not the only reason why they speak to me.

Bloggers that have struggled with mental illness have had to learn to be in touch with their humanity. In order to write your own mental illness, you have to dive deep into the darkest corners of your mind. The descriptions that they write are very vivid and full of human depth. There is a sense of soul searching that draws you into the posts.

I am not just counting the blogs that identify themselves as being “mental illness” blogs.  There are also some bloggers that suffer from OCD, depression, social anxiety and severe mental turmoil that chose not to identify their blog as such. However the content of their posts has very vivid descriptions of the mental and emotional experiences.

The level of depth to the mental illness blogs helps the reader to feel in touch with their own vulnerability and humanity.

There is an ability to identify and describe the human condition.

There is also support between the bloggers to deal with the most painful aspects of being human.

We have had to endure such tremendous trials on a day to day basis that we are keenly in touch with human mental and emotional suffering. The reality of our daily suffering is part of our lives. People with mental illness have to deal with extreme levels of emotion every single day.

People with mental illness experience the extreme levels of depression, severe anxiety, loneliness, fear and trauma on a daily basis.

 We experience the fear of being triggered into any of those severe emotional states. Our brains are a constant threat to our emotional well being and our ability to function.

 The phrase “there is nothing to fear but fear itself”  does not have the same comfort to people with mental illness.  The perspective about fear, sadness, and hopelessness being dangerous is an everyday reality. 

Life is always a risk to us. Every decision we make and everything we attempt to do, has the potential to utterly destroy our mental state and in some cases… our lives.

Many of us are in constant fear of interacting with other people due to stigma about mental illness.  We  also fear our inability to interact with people in a “normal” and acceptable way.

Many social activities that other people take for granite are potentially hazardous to us either in a physical way or in a mental way.

When someone has a mental disorder the brain can be easily triggered in a matter of seconds into a completely different mental state. These triggers are often related to some kind trauma or abuse from the past.

Since we go through the extremes of human emotion so often, we are very in tune with the human condition. We are very aware that we are vulnerable. We are constantly subject to our own mental vulnerability.

All people are vulnerable but they do not realize it in the same way  that   people with mental illness do. The brain is a very fragile thing. It can become traumatized and damaged. Everyone is in danger of having their brain organization becoming disrupted. People take for granite that their brains will always function in the same way they are currently functioning.

The mental illness bloggers talk of fear and anxiety in a very human and real way. We are in touch with the human condition of fear. There is also an ability to write about depression and hopelessness in a way that touches the emotions of the reader.

Sadness is a very human state. The vulnerability to depression, emptiness and loneliness makes us very in touch with our human side. Being in touch with the humanity in ourselves allows us to perceive life and ourselves in a way that is special. 

People with mental illness, who often come from a history of abuse and trauma, have deep levels of mental suffering that is often unpredictable to the person. 

If emotions were a painting, it would have very black blacks and very red reds. The colors would be very dark in places and very bright in others.

The struggle to find the right medications, to self medicate, and reach out to any form of relief that will hold you, is a constant and daily struggle.

We know what is feels like to be constantly reaching out for help, only to find that real help is hard to come by.  Mental illness bloggers are very in tune with their need for other people. They are able to reach out with their writing to others who are suffering.

Although I am sorry for the suffering, I treasure your blogs. I love to read posts and feel the humanity in them. It is truly compelling.

Mental illness bloggers have the unique ability to be in touch with the tormented human brain and to write mental pain, in a way that the reader can feel.

The humanity of the mental illness bloggers staggers the reader’s mind and stimulates the senses. When I read the posts, I feel connected with emotions in myself. I feel validated about my own mental suffering. I feel a kinship with not just people with mental illness, but with the vulnerability of humanity.

Blessing to all,


anxiety, depression, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness

Setting Personal Boundaries for Your Mental Health

brainIt’s your mental health and you know yourself best. Even your therapist may sometimes suggest things that are not in the best interest of your brain and it’s health and sanity.

You know what things trigger you and how you feel when you do certain activities. You know how certain people treat you and how you feel when you are around them.

People and situations that lower your self esteem are bad for your mental well being. Situations that trigger severe anxiety are bad for your mental health also. The same goes for things that you know will make you very sad or trigger depression.

We have to be proactive about our mental health and this means knowing ourselves. It means drawing boundaries with ourselves and with other people.

If we know that something is going to give us severe anxiety and we do not have to do it, then that is the time to stand by our no. If people want to argue then let them. We do not have to argue back. We can just tell them that we have made our decision and it is based on what it best for us.

Many people in our lives are more concerned about their own agenda than our mental health. They are not the ones that have to suffer the consequences of a decision that we knew ahead of time that we should have done differently.

Know yourself and protect yourself first. You can care about others and want to help them but you are better for them when your mental health is in good shape. People that care about you will respect what you do and do not want to do.

anxiety, bipolar disorder, chronic pain, depression, suicude

How are You Today ? Blog What you Feel…

As I am sitting here and you are sitting there….wherever you may be….somewhere in the world…It occurs to me that you are in your own mental state and I am in mine.

We are all in various states of mental wellness and various states of highs or lows. Some of you reading this right now are feeling up and relatively confident today. Others of you are feeling fatigued, discouraged and depressed. 

Still others of you have chronic pain which is either tolerable today or raging to the point where you can hardly move.

Some of us are recovering from a break-up, others of us are still in a miserable, possibly dangerous relationship. Some of us are happily married right now and others are wondering if we will ever find love again.

Some of us feel relatively trusting of people at the moment and others of us have been broken and are in a dark reality about humanity. 

We are all human and we are connected through this blogging world. As each person reads this post, they do so from their own perception about reality and their feelings about blogging and the world itself.

Some of us are hopeful about the future and other of the readers here are nearly ready to give up and are considering leaving the struggles of life…as we speak.

It occurs to me that at any given time, there is someone reading my post that has lost all hope and is reaching out to grab a hold of anything that might ground them….for any reason they might be able to find… just to hang on for one more day.

Someone is thinking about self harm and they are blogging to try to get their mind away from wanting to injure themselves.

It occurs to me that there is someone reading this post that had lost a loved one and is trying to live day by day…..trying  to find the meaning in life without their loved one….sometimes it feels hopeless…the pain can be overwhelming.

It occurs to me that someone is reading this post who is about to make a really bad decision because they are not in the mental state to make the important decisions without some feedback. Their perception of reality has been  damaged from abuse or trauma…and they are going to guess about the decision and guess wrong…

It occurs to me that some people reading this post today are going to reach out into the blogosphere and let people know what they are going through. They are going to seek support and they will get it.

It occurs to me that another blogger is not going to blog about what is going on with them today. They are not going to be transparent or honest about what is going on in their brain.

They feel that it is too dark and that the other bloggers would be burdened by it.  They do not feel that they are worth the other bloggers’ time with this problem.  They are going pretend they are okay, even though they know that they aren’t

Some of us will read the same posts as each other, We will support and encourage the very same people and be a village of support.

Some of us will read posts on blogs that no one else here reads and they will be offering support to someone …while none of their usual blogging friends will know about it.

Someone needs help. Someone needs to help someone. Someone needs both.

We are all reading this post from different places in the world and different places in our brains. But we are all connected in some way. 

Blessings to all of you. Please reach out if you need help. There is always someone to talk to on here. The other bloggers have talked about things on here and received support. You deserve the same.

Blog as you feel today. Be yourself. Let yourself FEEL. We cannot keep going through our days and keep shoving all of our feelings down. We have to pretend at work that we are okay.

We have to pretend in many situations that we okay. But sometimes we are not.

Some of us feel connected to others and some of us feel completely alone…

There is someone reading this post that is feeling encouraged about their life and feels bad writing about it, because other people are suffering. Don’t hold back

It is helpful to us to know that someone dug themselves out of depression or other mental suffering, and is now feeling and doing well. It is good.

There is someone who thinks Annie is a bit crazy for writing this odd post. But as I said…today is a day to blog what you feel and what you are thinking…no matter how off the wall…or outside the box …it  might be..

Peacefulness and Love,


mental health, mental illness, obsessive compulsive disorder, ocd, poetry

OCD Counting Poetry

One time
in a row
putting on
my favorite
and purple

Two times
in a row
changing which foot
the orange sock
is on
and off
and on
and off

Three times
in a row
walking back up
two flights of steps
to my apartment
to check
to check
to check
That the iron was unplugged

Four times
in a row
unzipping my wallet
to see
to see
to see
If my credit card is there

Five times
in a row
checking my purse
The first most critical
The second most critical
The third most critical
Bottle of pills

Five times
in a row
my shift schedule
posted on the wall
at work.

And one
additional time
calling from home
to have someone
at work
read it to me
over the phone

Seven times
in a row
checking my alarm clock
To be sure
To be sure
To be absolutely, positively sure
That I set it
For 11 am and not 11 pm

And so—
Eight anxiety books
Nine blogs
Ten prescriptions
Eleven Youtube videos
Twelve Yoga postures later

I am saying
to all of you
And wishing you a
Peaceful Sleep

anxiety, life, mental health, poetry, religion, spirituality

Sometimes Like the Wind

The rain falls softly at first

It alerts us to nature outside of our window

The rain falls violently

It alerts us to the vulnerability of our humanity

The wind blows smoothly

It reminds us that nature can be strong

The wind turns into a furious rampage

It reminds us of our own emotions and thoughts

Someone calls to us from inside the house…

It enlightens us to the fact that we are conscious

Of both the outer and the inner worlds we live in

We live in both worlds…

the one of our outer environment

and the one of our inner chatter…

…or silence

Sometimes like the wind

Our minds can be still

For a time

Perhaps long enough

to find peace

anxiety, anxiety attack, life, ptsd

Fire Alarms Galore ! My PTSD Cannot Tolerate This…

Okay, it is 8:26 am here and my alarm clock is set for noon. I would not be awake, if it were not for the fire alarm having gone off. The one in this house goes off with an alarm and a recorder female, business like voice saying “FIRE FIRE FIRE….FIRE FIRE FIRE…”

So, even though someone apparently burned popcorn in the microwave, it is still a bit disconcerting. But more so, because of the fact that it is the 3rd time I have heard a fire alarm in the past 2 days.

The day before yesterday, this alarm went off for a similar reason to now. But 2 nights ago, at work at the nursing home, the fire alarm went off for real. The incident extremely frightening, being as I was in the dementia unit on the 2nd floor of a building and there are no ramps to get the residents down!

There is a lot more to the story and I will write it up later on today. I had so much anxiety for the first 24 hours after that, I could not even write about it here, I had been planning to write it out, when I got home from work that night, but the anxiety over the experience was incapacitating to do that.

Anyway, as I was still recovering from actually evacuating residents in a less than safe, less than ideal, situation of real fire, this fire alarm at 8 ish in the morning, was not pleasant to wake up to. Holy crap!

Not only that, I get ptsd symptoms about fire. Other stories from my past …to tell another day…

I felt extremely nauseated when I began writing this post and now it has passed. I actually thought for a minute that I was getting the stomach flu, on top of everything else. But it must have been a PTSD symptom that I have not experienced before.

Fire is a terrible fear for me. Which reminds me of the time that I explained about my fear of fire to my ex, when we were newly dating. We were going to spend the weekend together and we went to check in at a hotel in Manhattan.

I told him that I do not feel safe above the 7th floor of any hotel. I watched a fire documentary once, and it said that firemen do not stay above the 7th floor, when they go to hotels.

The reason for this, is that the ladder on a firetruck is not designed to reach above the 7th floor. They cannot get you out by ladder, if you are above the 7th. The fire chief in the documentary, said that he would never stay that high in a hotel.

When I heard him say that I thought to myself… “If the fire chief isn’t staying above the 7th floor, then neither am I.”  Ever after that, I always have preferred the 1st and 2nd floors of a hotel, and never above the 7th.

Back to the hotel story…I told my ex all of this and that I was afraid of being trapped in a fire. I have had some terrifying past experiences with fire and I feel safer on a floor that the fire chief would deem safer. How can I sleep, if I am worried about this kind of thing?

I was already scared because I had never been to Manhattan, NY before. The city is really big, scary and full of people everywhere. I was having anxiety, just walking through all the people on the sidewalks.

But he was worried about the street noise.

He lived in an apt. that was on the street in NY and he was tired of hearing street noise every night. He wanted the hotel night to be a break from the street noise. The person at the front desk told him that we had to get a room at least 20 floors up, in order to not hear any street noise.

The 20th floor ! I had never (and still have never since then) even been in a building that had 20 floors! I could not even imagine 20 floors. I am afraid of heights that high, in addition to the whole fire thing. Just looking out of a window that high, will give me an anxiety attack.

So, what was the compromise?

He took the 20th floor room. I wonder if I should have considered this a red flag ?

alzheimers disease, anxiety, blogging, funny blog, health, health and wellness, life, mental health, mental illness, parenting, top 10 list, top 10 list funny, top ten list, top ten list funny

Is There Still Magic in Your WorldI


I need magic! I love magical moments and magical ideas. To me life is very boring without some kind of magical sparks here and there to spice it up. Here are some things that I consider magical.

1. Balloons I love balloons! I love the way they float in the air. I love the way they have a mind of their own and they will go whichever direction they feel like going, in spite of where you tell them to go!

I love the way the alzheimer’s patients eyes light up when I get the balloon out. They all smile and have so much fun just playing and batting the balloon back and forth in the air, with me. It is one of my favorite things to do at work.

In fact I am the one that usually stops at CVS pharmacy  to get balloons when we run out. No matter how bad my anxiety may be before I get to work, the magical powers of the balloon can make it better. I can almost feel my blood pressure lowering, from the first time one of the residents smiles and holds out their hands to catch it.

I love the way little children are entranced by the balloon and how it floats and flies in the air. They love the way it feels when they touch it. To really amaze my little niece,  I can rub in against my hair and make it stick to the wall.

2. Creative CollaborationCollaborating on a creative, inspiring project can have a magic all it’s own. I have a very good friend that like to collaborate with me on business projects like redesigning his web site or coming up with new slogans.

The two of us work together in a perfect harmony and once the inspiration begins, we bounce ideas back and forth off of each other. It is .almost like a dance, where one of us takes the lead and then the other one steps together and the two creative minds do things that neither one of us could do alone. That is magical and fun.

3. Random Dancing –  My friend Hanorah, is a very old woman that lives in the assisted living where I work. When she sees me in the hallway, she always puts her hands out and says “Time to Dance!” It does not matter who is around or what part of the building we are in.

Once we even danced in the elevator, on the way up to her floor. She just takes my hands and begins to dance to the music in her head. Then I will sing something for her, like “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue” and she sings along with me. She always loves to see me, because I will dance with her, just because.

4. BunnyMy bunny is magical, as most bunnies are! He hops and plays. He even hops into the air and makes a turn right in the air, to change direction and to be silly. He kisses me on the lips and he dances a special love dance around my feet, which is like a figure eight, going around one foot and then the other.

When he wants my attention, he will get it. If I am typing on this laptop, for my blog and he feels left out, he will jump right up and land his bunny butt right on this keyboard that I am typing on now. He just sits there, with his fuzzy butt in my face, and won’t move. So funny!

Once he took my cell phone away from me. I was talking on the phone, to my boyfriend and the bunny hopped over, took the cell phone with his teeth, and pulled it right out of my hand. He tossed it on the bed and then hopped away. So funny! Bunny is magical because he can make me smile no matter what my mental state it. He can always get a little smile from me, because he is so animated like a cartoon.

5. Bubbles Bubbles are magnificent as they are blown in the sunlight outside. They float way up in the air and catch all the colors of a rainbow as the sun reflects off of them. Bubble are fun indoors too. I have a bubble necklace (you can get them around valentines day ) that I can wear and when the alzheimer’s residents are least expecting it, I blow some bubbles into the air and they love it !

I also just like sitting outside and blowing the bubbles to see how they float. It is relaxing and magical.

6. Spending the entire day on the phone with a very special friend –  which is what happened today. My best friend, who is usually too busy working to be on the phone with me for more than 30 minutes at time, during the daytime, was off today! He stayed home sick in bed and I am sorry about him being sick. But he has been getting better throughout the day, as we have been on the phone.

He kept me on the phone for company all day, from 11 am this morning and he is still with me, but I hear him sleeping now. It is 10pm. He fell asleep a few times on and off and I just kept doing what I was doing and stayed with him, so that I would be there when he woke up, for comfort.

I went out to the store and back, and did some other errands, but we stayed on the phone together anyway. I just brought him with me. It was nice to be needed for comfort and I loves having the company all day. Too bad he only does that when he is sick. But I am thankful for the wonderful day together.

7. Blogging Blogging is magical in many ways but there is one that is most significant to me. You get to meet and connect with people in a deep and meaningful way. These are people that you would otherwise never have met, because they live so far away from you.

8. The Floating Lanterns in The Picture on the Top of This Post These lantern are beautiful and they look like they should have some magical element to them, to me.

9. The Laughter of Children – The sound of children laughing naturally, because they are children! It is a wonderful sound.

10. Dr. Seuss Dr. Seuss stories and all the creative nonsensical characters are magical. I love their funny hair and the funny creatures. His stories like The Cat in the Hat. Green Eggs and Ham, Horton Hears a Who and The Lorax are very special and I have never gotten to old for them. (but on the other hand…you are taking advice from someone who still plays with balloons and bubbles LOL )

Let’s have some fun, since I feel in a good mood today, because I felt supported all day, by my friend. You all can put the things that are magical to you, in the comments below and that way we can all learn about each other.

I did leave out my favorite magical thing in the world to do…but I was trying to keep this a post G rated!  LOL!

Ok, so what are Your Magical items, Activities, and Magical Moments? You can think back into your past, if you want to. I did that for this post also.



anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, mental health, mental illness, post traumatic stress disorder, ptsd, suicidal thoughts, suicude

Can People Tell if We Are Mentally Suffering?

I was reading another blog this morning written by a young woman with mental illness (depression / eating disorder). She was talking about how people often decide how you are feeling without asking you and judge your mental wellness by your outer appearance. She mentioned that just because she happens to smile in order to fit into a social situation does not mean that she is not depressed.

This is really true. People forget that the level of our struggle with mental illness cannot be seen from the outside. If someone with an eating disorder has gained weight, lost weight, or has put on make up for the first time in a while, it does not necessarily mean they are doing well.

Sometimes people are spiraling into a deep depression and they are forced for some reason to enter into some kind of social situation, In order not to feel weird or to be pointed out, basically as a way of self defense, we may smile and put on the generally accepted social airs in public. Sometimes in order to protect our own brains from further trauma, we have to pretend to be “normal.” This is not a sign that we are doing well.

People should ask rather than assume, or worse yet tell us that they know better than we do, about how much better we are getting. I have experiences this before where someone says how well I look and I tell them something like “I am not sure where you are getting that from.” Then they say .”Oh you just don;t remember how you were a few months ago. You are much better now than you were then.”

Then even if you tell them that they cannot really see what is going on inside of your brain, they insist that they have some magical seeing power that they know better than you do, about how you are doing. This is alienating to the person and makes them feel invisible. The feeling of invisibility is a feeling that I know well.

Especially if someone has an eating disorder and another person is judging their progress about their mental illness, by their current weight, this is a counterproductive and unknowingly cruel thing to do. People with anorexia do not want to hear that they have gained weight and the weight looks good on them. They are always in fear of getting too fat and when someone tells them that they look so different now, it is triggering to them.

There are always runnings thoughts and fears in the mind of someone with anorexia. There is a feeling of not having control of anything. They feel like other people want to control their lives and that they are powerless to do anything. Theis creates a severe depression and fearfulness.

The act of someone deciding and telling you that you are  in fact, “better”,  in spite of the fact that “you do not remember” how bad you were before, can make the person feel very misunderstood and also manipulated and controlled. The feeling of needing to take the control back, in order not to be destroyed, will send them into a worse depression, because they feel like their feelings cannot be communicated to anyone.

It is hard to communicate our feelings about depression to other people. The words to describe our thoughts are hard to say to other people. Most people cannot tolerate or believe that our brains actually do what they do. These thoughts are not acceptable to people’s reality and therefore they are either not heard or processed by the listeners brain or they are not believed.

People tend to think that the thoughts of a person in severe depression are exaggerated. They will tell us that things are not as bad as we think they are and that we are not as sick as we feel. This is why I do not talk about my depression with other people, because when you go through the painful act of spilling your feelings, it is traumatizing to have someone not believe you.

Depression is real and it is not visible on the outside of us. Even when there are “appearance related” signs that we are in depression, most people do not see them. Outer signs of not having been keeping up with personal care, changes in weight, facial expression and low energy, are often invisible to people.

It seems like people will see what they want to see. They want to think we are getting better, so that is what they see. They want to think it is not bad, so that is what they see. They do not want to “deal with” mental illness.

I was listening to Ted Talks the other day and they were talking about the fact that our culture has taught us to not talk about our emotions. We are taught to think that it is inappropriate to have mental issues and we are also conditioned to believe that our feelings will get worse if we get into a conversation about how we feel.

People think that if we open those feelings up, they will get worse and it is better to ignore them and especially not to talk to people about them. The studies on neurology that were mentioned in the Ted Talk, had come to the conclusion that talking about feelings reduced their control and power over us. The feelings are reduced in intensity, when we discuss them. So, the very things that our culture has taught us about dealing with emotions are completely backwards.

If I find the link the that Ted Talk, I will post it for you later. It was an interesting one. I love the Ted Talks. Do you guys listen to them also? Do you have any favorites that you would recommend to the readers? I will make a post one day about my favorite ones and why.

Blessings to all for a good day,


blogging, guest posts

Guest Post I wrote for Confessions of a Depressed College Student

I was asked by the owner of the blog  Confessions of a Depressed College Student  to write something for their blog. They want to feature posts from people about their mental illness and how they feel about it and deal with it. They  said if I could put in anything that would be supportive or encouraging to other people.

I wrote a post for the blog about my PTSD and I think it came out well. There may be things in the post that you do not know about me, that have to do with my domestic abuse.

Feel free to take a look at the post, when you get a chance. You can view the post here.

They had asked me to send the story and I did. I was not sure if they posted it or not . It was a while ago and I had forgotten about it. I came across the original contact from them today and then went to the blog to see if it was there. I was surprised to see that it was there and it was easy to find.

Thank you all for the support you have offered to me over the last few months. I truly appreciate each one of you.

Writing guest posts is fun and a great way to connect with new people. There are many themed blogs that will accept guest posts. If you are interested in being a writer professionally, then guest posting is a good thing for you to do.