anxiety, depression, emotional abuse, emotional trauma, empowerment, gentle kindness coaching, health and wellness, Healthy lifestyle, mental illness

Self Esteem for People with Depression and Anxiety Disorder

anxiety, c-ptsd, depression, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness

Fear of Abandonment

Many people who came from mentally abusive childhoods have a severe fear that people will abandon them. They carry toxic shame from their childhood that they are the cause of the abuse which occurred and deserved what happened to them.

People who experienced years and years of various kinds of emotional abuse and / or trauma  during their childhood often develop C-PTSD. This is complex post traumatic stress disorder. There were so many incidents of stress, feelings of threat and no ability to get any help, that the mental trauma just kept piling on and on.

Children have no way to know that they are being abused. If they are punished for “being bad” then they believe they must have been bad. How can you know any different?

If you were made to feel your parents’ divorce was your fault or that your parent’s drinking was your fault, then there is a feeling of shame that is carried with you into adulthood.

If a parent abandoned you as a child, then you had no way to know that it was not your fault. You were made to feel worthless and unloveable.

All kinds of varieties of childhood stress, trauma and mental abuse piled on top of one another causes the child to feel like they are very different than other people. There is a constant nagging feeling that there is something about them that makes people want to punish them and leave them.

If you are carrying this kind of toxic shame then you will have the feeling that people will eventually realize that you are bad and not want to stay with you. This is fear of abandonment.

In my opinion,  is possible to develop borderline personality disorder from this kind of ongoing abuse. It is possible to develop bipolar disorder if your moods were constantly affected by a mood dis-regulated parent. There are a variety of mental disorders, including depressive disorders and anxiety disorders that can come out of chronic stress and a feeling of of being safe as a child.

If you feel that you have the signs of one or more of these disorders, there is treatment for them. The mental health system is not as good some places as other places though. Hopefully you live somewhere that you can get the help that will work for you. It is good if you realize that some of your anxiety and fears are based on things that happened during your childhood.

If the therapist is trained in dealing with people that have C-PTSD from childhood abuse then they will understand better how to help you. Unfortunately the current manual that therapists use (the DSM) does not recognize C-PTSD as a disorder. Hopefully that will change in the future, but for now it is best to find someone that personally feels that C-PTSD is a legitimate disorder from ongoing childhood emotional and mental trauma.

It is not surprising for someone to have a fear that people will leave them, if their early experiences were that people leave, people fail to take care of you, people do not love you, people show their love by abusing you, and all of the other traumas which may have happened to you.

The severe fear of abandonment can cause many problems in adult relationships.

It is hard to trust people. It is hard to have a good perception about your value and your self worth. It is just hard to feel like a normal person that should be loved.

Some people that develop borderline personality disorder become so afraid that their partner will leave them that they will unconsciously cause damage to the relationship so that it will cause the other person to leave. Then when the other person leaves, this confirms their reality that people are not to be trusted to love them enough to stay or that they are not good enough for people to love them.

The reality that a person is taught is hard to change. The brain sees reality the way is was taught to see it. The process of changing your entire perception of yourself and of reality itself is a huge process that takes time. It cannot be done overnight and usually cannot be done without help.

The reality is that you are worthy of love. You are valuable. You did not deserve to be abused as a child and you were worthy of being loved unconditionally.

The other thing that can occur with people who fear abandonment is that they will develop People Pleaser Syndrome and go overboard about pleasing other people. There is a fear of making people angry, or disagreeing with people because in the reality of the C-PTSD suffered,  the displeased person may punish them or leave them, simply for expressing a difference in opinion.

Reality is a tricky thing. People do not see reality the same way. The reality of life for an abused child is very different from others. The reality of a person that grew up with an alcoholic parent is that there is always a threat looming just around the corner. Things can seem fine but the adult child of an alcoholic feels like it is the silence before the storm and there is an explosion or a catastrophe about to occur.

This constant anxiety causes stress in the body that is unhealthy. It causes the brain to be on alert for danger too often. Clearly this kind of condition makes relationships very stressful for the person with C-PTSD.

If this is you, and you feel fearful of people leaving you, then you are not alone. There may be a disorder which was inflicted upon you during developmental stages of your childhood. When you were supposed to be learning that people will care for you, that is not what you learned. Your brain was taught that it should always be on the look out, in order to protect itself.

Be kind and gentle with yourself.

I like the Ajahn Brahm talks on youtube, when he talks about being gentle with yourself. If you can be gentle and forgiving of others, why not with yourself. The less you judge and punish yourself, the better you will be able to work things out in relationships.

If you feel like there is something wrong with you, then just understand that you were abused and something caused you to feel that way. It is not real. You are not less worthy than other people.

You are ok the way you are, with the exception of needing healing. You have just as much right to love and kindness as anyone else.

anxiety, depression, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental health blog, mental illness, mental illness blog, poem, poetry, ptsd, spoken word

Amazing Spoken Word Poetry by a Young YouTube Poet Allen Minor

I came across an excellent young poet, who has videos on YouTube about feelings and thoughts from the inside of mental illness.  These poems are by Allen Minor. He has a YouTube Channel with his spoken word poetry.

Allen is reaching out to other people through his wonderful poetry. He desires to validate and comfort the ones suffering from depression and anxiety that may be reached by his words.

Young people like teenagers are more easily reached by someone their own age. I think that young creative people that reach out to their peers, are very important and will be helpful to our young people who are suffering depression and other mental disorders.

This one is about social anxiety and anxiety disorder in general. I could totally relate to the feelings in this and his reading of the poetry is great. His words about the poem are “A poem entitled Unreliable about social anxiety and social responsibility”

He talks about the difficulties keeping up with social obligations with friends due to his anxiety disorder. Many of us can relate to words and feelings in this one.

This next poem is from the inside of the mind of depression. It has a story telling style, which is very interesting. Check it out.

Allen’s words about this poem “A more somber poem called Speak Fast about mental health (possible TRIGGER WARNING)”

This one is an anti-bullying poem. The reading and the poetry is excellent. He wrote this one for Pink Shirt day, which was the anti-bullying day.

This next one is about writing and what it feels like to be a writer with mental illness and an past that has caused mental suffering.

This final poem is one of my favorites. It has a beautiful spark of hope. It speaks of the magical perspective of childhood and how we tend to lose that viewpoint as adults, as we et caught up in the worries and stresses of adult life. He lets us know that we can still have magic and wonderment in our lives, even thought we have grown up.

acoa, adult children of alcoholics, avoidant personality disorder, health, life, mental disorders, mental health, mental illness, social anxiety, social anxiety disorder

Avoidant Personality Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder Similarities

Avoidant Personality Disorder

 “afflicting persons when they display a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation”  Wikipedia

This part of avoidant personality is associated with social anxiety disorder. Many people that have APD also have social anxiety disorder. There are feelings of fear of being embarrassed and “not fitting in” due to inability to understand and respond correctly to social cues.

So, some people with APD will avoid social situations in order not to feel the extreme anxiety associated with certain types of social interaction. Different people are different about what kinds of social situations trigger their anxiety. Some people with social anxiety disorder, like myself, are very good at one on one interactions, even if they are with strangers.

Avoidant Personality Disorder causes avoidance of more things than just social interaction. Also some people with APD are not afraid of social situations at all. It is other things that provoke anxiety attacks.

APD will cause people to have anxiety attacks related to things that are threatening to them. Anything that makes them feel powerless, inadequate and unable to handle the task, will be avoided. The problem that occurs is that avoiding things that need to get done will sometimes cause more problems for the APD sufferer.

These are things that end up happening, when someone with APD avoids doing things that are important to get done.

1. Fear of opening envelopes that may contain bills, notifications from insurance, Notifications from authorities, etc.

Bills become delinquent. Fees are added on and make the bills higher. Credit is adversely affected. Accounts are closed. Business relations are injured.

More anxiety is created because these things are the very things that the person was afraid of coming true in the first place. They do not want to see money they owe that they cannot afford to pay. They do not want to feel scolded by whatever it says inside the envelope.

2, Avoiding answering and making phone calls.

There can be an extreme phobic fear of making answering the phone. There is a fear of having a panic attack, if you answer the phone. You miss getting certain information that may be about things you need to take care of’

Making phone calls can be impossible. People with social anxiety disorder do not feel that they know how to handle conversations on the phone. Again, different people are different and will avoid different kinds of calls.

Some people become incapacitated to make any phone calls at all. Email can be a good coping skill for this. I often use email and text to interact with family members and certain other people. I am perfectly comfortable talking to my best friend / boyfriend on the phone. I always answer the phone when I see it is him. So for me, it is not a fear of the phone, but a fear of being dominated by people who are aggressive or more assertive than myself.

I wrote a post about being assertive for the kindness blog. I was researching this topic in order to help myself to become better with this. I am currently working on improving assertiveness skills. I have trouble remembering what I want to say and how to say it, once someone become very dominating in the conversation.

I want to get to the point where I can keep my thoughts together in order to stand up for myself. especially if I am being accused of anything, or if the person is doing something that violates my rights. If you are struggling with the same things then this post may be helpful to you.

3. Avoiding dealing with bills and credit companies. Over time the avoidance makes situations worse and the anxiety continues. The longer things go unattended , the longer the anxiety continues and increases. This makes it harder and harder to take any action.

The first thing that happens is that we are alerted to a problem that requires action on our part. The net thing that happens is that our brains go into a mental anxiety loop. Obsessive running thoughts are so severe when we think about taking action, that we become paralyzed to do anything. We put it off, in order to reduce the feeling id anxiety, self criticism. inadequacy, worthlessness and depression.

Anxiety and depression go hand in hand with both Avoidant Personality Disorder and Social Anxiety disorder. We know that other people can do these things much better and easier than we can. We are aware that something is wrong with us, that we cannot take care of ourselves the way other people can take care of themselves

3. Lack of Self Care.

In the end there is a lack of taking care of yourself, when you have these disorders. Other people take care of things that need to be taken care of  They have learned how to “parent themselves” better than we have.

Mostly these kinds of disorders come out of abuse and trauma in our pasts. Most likely our childhood lacked the proper support and guidance to learn how to “parent ourselves” as adults

Somehow we need to learn how to prioritize ourselves and our needs that have to be taken care of. Survivors of abuse can often fall into prioritizing the needs of others to the point of neglecting our own needs.

One of our needs is to learn how to parent ourselves, stand up for ourselves. We need to learn how to feel deserving of things to go in out favor. Being assertive and taking care of things, that invove dealing with other people is a skill. It is a skill we have trouble with but that needs to be tended to.

These mental disorders are associated with real neurological differences between our brains and the brains of other people. These changes occurred over time, from repetitive behaviors. We may have developed behaviors as a child, that were needed to survive.

Once behaviors are repeated over and over, they become wired into our brains, To override the feeling of anxiety at making a phone call, we have to change our behavior slowly over time. Find ways to be able to make that call, even if it means having a friend hold your hand while you make the call yourself.

We can rewire our brains. I am still learning how but I believe it can be done.

But in the mean time, I am writing this, instead of working on the taxes.

Ok. I am getting back to that now


and avoidance of social interaction.[2] Individuals afflicted with the disorder tend to describe themselves as ill at ease, anxious, lonely, and generally feel unwanted and isolated from others.[3]

People with avoidant personality disorder often consider themselves to be socially inept or personally unappealing and avoid social interaction for fear of being ridiculed, humiliated, rejected, or disliked. Avoidant personality disorder is usually first noticed in early adulthood. Childhood emotional neglect and peer group rejection are both associated with an increased risk for the development of AvPD.[4]

anxiety, anxiety attack, bipolar, bipolar disorder, depression, insomnia, life, memory issues, mental health, mental illness

Drive safely, Don’t Fall on the Ice, Unplug the Toaster, Pet Your Animals, Love your Children and Say Good Night to Annie

Ten Random Thoughts

1. I am so very tired, I want to stay in bed for a week.

2. I started this list and had no idea what I was going to write.

3. I wish I could work less and spend more time with my kids.

4. I feel sad that my daughter is 18 now. I wish I could go back and have done some things better.

5. Tomorrow I want to let the bunny out to play in my room. I miss him hopping around.

6. I am isolated and alienated by this living situation. I have no friends.

7. My daughter’s new therapist does not care if she retraumatizes me.

8. Retraumatizes comes up in red on my computer. Isn’t is a real word?

9. I learned how to make ❤ on the computer today. This made me happy. Someone on wordpress taught me and they are probably smiling as they read this now and these hearts or for her ❤ ❤ ❤

10. Sadly, that ❤  thing was the only happy thing that happened today

11. This is more than 10 things

12. I am getting more tired

13. My boyfriend has not called and he has always called me every night for 10 months so far. I am used to sleeping with him on the phone

14. I  guess that is why I feel like I have no friends now

15. Maybe he fell asleep and he is still my friend

16. Obsessive thoughts cause severe anxiety

17. More tired now. I was trying to keep going until I could fall asleep

18. I wonder of this top 10 list will make it to 20

19. That’s nineteen

20. I have to take the battery out of my work pager or it will keep making that BEEP noise every 15 minutes all night and drive me  crazy…not that it would be too far to have to drive me

21. My post on the kindness blog did well this week. I think I still have to give you guys the link. One of you found it on your own. Thank you. And now you are smiling because you know who you are 🙂

22. This too shall pass ……..

23. Good Night to all my fellow insomniacs and good morning to whoever wakes up and reads this at 6am, which is going to be an hour after I fall asleep this time

24. We passed 10 and we passed 20

25. Drive safely, don’t fall on the ice, unplug the toaster, pet your animals, love your children and say good night to Annie

26 ❤  🙂  ❤  🙂  ❤

anxiety, anxiety attack, depression, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, panic attack, self-esteem

Anxiety Attacks and the Mental Doors that Open in Our Minds

Why do I get such severe anxiety when I have to be somewhere on time, even if I am not really running late? 

This was a question someone posed to me the other day. The first thing I told them was that I do the same thing. Then I tried to picture what happens to me in the same circumstance.

What happens is that we go through a series of “mental doors.” These are doors that will open to something bad on the other side of them. The doors are in succession; if the first one opens, then it is very likely the next door will open. Once that door opens, the next will open and so on.

In the scenario that plays out in our minds, the worst possible thing will happen behind each and every door, ultimately ending in a catastrophic event.  Each of the events  will cause us severe  mental torment and pain and put us in a situation we have no way to save ourselves from.

We are very sure these things will happen basically in the order we picture them. Sometimes we have a very clear picture of the succession of events in our minds, and other times it is more subconscious. If we stopped to write down what is behind each door, we probably could.

Usually what awaits behind the doors are things we have a general fear of happening. They are things that haunt us and control our behavior. We are so afraid of these things happening, that our lives are ruled by these fears.

What am I really afraid of ?

The fears are different for different people. Personally the things I fear are as follows:

losing my job

the house burning down

having my children taken away from me

fear of abandonment

being homeless

losing my mind

You can make your own list. You may share some with me and you may have many of your own. The fear of losing the job is probably the easiest one to use for an example. This one begins with running late for work and has many other nasty doors after it.

I am running late for work.

I will arrive late and the worst possible  supervisor will be there

I will be scolded and humiliated

The confrontation between the supervisor and myself will be overwhelming

I will not be able to deal with the anxiety of it

I will either quit, be fired…  OR …

be too upset to work and screw something up at work to get myself fired… OR ..

.the result of the confrontation will be an unbearable increase in the anxiety level at work from now on that will make me physically ill, more mentally ill, and will end in my losing lob soon

What is the worst thing that could happen?

The loss of my job will be devastating

I will not have enough money to eat or feed my kids, or pay the rent

I will be thrown out of the house by my ex in-laws either with my children or they will keep my children

Any hope for a future will be lost

I will not recover

Where did these fears come from and why do I constantly feel in danger of them?

Most likely these fears have root in our past. There is something about ourselves or things we have experienced that make us believe that these things are chasing us. We are in constant danger of these things happening to us. If we are not careful and always worrying about them, then they will sneak up on us and destroy us.

It could be that some of these fears are due to our present living situation. If we are in a mentally abusive situation, then the fears that other people would consider made up, are actually part of our lives. If we actually have to fear things that other people do not, because of who we are living with, then we are being manipulated by others with fear, which is mental abuse.

Once we think we might be running late for work, our minds go into the mode of opening all of these mental doors. It is not a clear thing in our minds. There are just flashes of thoughts, pictures, scenarios and overwhelming emotion.  We actually experience the feelings of fear , as if these situations were occuring right now.

We suffer the mental torment of the bad experiences we fear, even though they are not actually happening to us at this time. This is part of the anxiety disorder and we cannot just shut it off. The brain goes into this mode on its own.

The obsessive thoughts running through our heads when we are afraid of being late for work, are all about these doors, we fear opening against our will. It is a fear of the future and our mental / emotional inability to handle it. The thing that would help would be strengthening our general mental state. But we are in the lace we are in at this time.



anxiety, anxiety attack, mental health, mental health disorders, mental illness, post traumatic stress disorder, ptsd

Severe Anxiety and PTSD / How it Affects Daily Activities

It is difficult for other people to understand what we go through, when we have severe anxiety or PTSD. It is not something that they can relate to or experience in any way. It is very sad and extremely frustrating that the people in our lives have no idea how truly difficult our day to day lives can be.

Because psychological disorders are invisible to others, they are not as real to them as physical disabilities are. People can understand that someone is in a wheelchair and that they cannot do the same things other people can do. People can understand that a person is blind and that the person has difficulty doing the day to day things that they can easily do.

Even though they can understand that  a person is blind and is disabled to do many things, they still cannot understand what a blind person really goes through. There are also feelings about how others treat them.

There are aspects to social interaction, work interaction and even stigma, that a person with a physical disability experiences. These things are hard for other people to understand.

We can experience what it would be like to not be able to see, by putting on a blindfold and trying to walk around the house. Most likely we would bump into things and find it very difficult to navigate. The faces of our loved ones would disappear, and only be able to be viewed in out memory.

As we walked around with a blindfold on, we could experience what it would be like to not be able to see, but we could not fully experience what it would be like to be blind. If we were to become blind, our entire lifestyle would be changed forever. Our social life and nearly all of our personal interactions would be different.

Driving the car would be impossible, as would reading a book. As we experienced the world without the sense of sight, we would find that it is very different. The independence of driving to the local QuickCheck for coffee with no longer exist. Doing our own laundry would become a much harder task, much less putting the clothes away.

We would not be able to choose clothes to buy from a catalogue or from We would be dependent on others as to how we looked in the clothes we wore. If the beautician did a mediocre job on our haircut, we would have no way to know.

If we were blind, our ability to interact with the world would be completely different than it is now. Our social life would be affected. Our job would have to change. Our independence would be compromised. People would see us differently.

Some people would feel pity for us, while other people would take advantage of us. Our prospects for a romantic relationship would be limited to those people who would be willing to accept a relationship with a blind person.

Parenting would be more of a challenge. Every single thing that we wanted to do in life, would be affected by our blindness.

Living with severe mental illness has something in common with the experience of a person with a physical disability. The daily activities of survival are often  extremely difficult for us. We struggle with the simplest of tasks that other people find easy to do.

There is no way to make other people understand how the mental torment affects nearly every aspect of our day to day lives.. There is no on and off switch to our brain. We are subject to the chemicals and neurological functions in our brains.

We are tormented by an overload of emotion and extreme feelings. We have flashbacks, memories, fears or sadness that interfere with our lives every day.

While there is a certain amount of sympathy and understanding  given to people with physical disabilities, there is much less given to people with mental dysfunctions. Most people cannot understand that simple things like getting ready for work or shopping for groceries, can be traumatizing for us.

Things that may be extremely difficult or impossible to do for someone with severe anxiety, or PTSD

1. Getting out of bed in the morning

2. Deciding what to wear

3. Getting up the courage to go to work or school

4. Leaving the house

5. Driving the car or dealing with public transportation

6. Going out to lunch

7. Dealing with co-workers

8. Keeping our job

9. Eating in the break room

10. Talking on the phone

11. Going to the post office

12. Opening our mail

13. Going to the grocery store

14. Calling a repair man

15  Answering the door

16. Sitting in the waiting room at the therapist office

17. Cleaning the house

18. Organizing / looking through our personal things

19. Talking to loved ones

20. Talking to strangers

21. Taking the car to be repaired

22. Going to sleep

23. Going out with friends

24. Going on a date

25. Maintaining a relationship with a partner

26. Going to the doctor or the dentist

27. Going to the emergency room

28. Asking the pharmacist about our medication

29. Leaving an abusive partner

30. Drawing proper boundaries in relationships

31. Inviting friends to the house

32. Going to a party or event

25. Getting a better job

26. Moving

27. Getting a better partner

28. Making new friends

29. Moving ahead in life

30. Learning something new

31. Asking for a raise

32. Asking for help

33. Hiring new employees

34. Returning unwanted items to Walmart

35. Remembering things

36. Communicating about our feelings

37. Communicating our thoughts

38. Understanding where our anxiety is coming from

39. Living normal lives

40. Not feeling like a failure

I am bound to have missed many others and maybe you can add something to the list. These are things that people are able to do relatively easily but we often cannot.

The problem becomes two-fold. The first part of the problem is that the tasks themselves are sometimes monumentally difficult. The second part is that other people cannot understand.

Because mental illness is impossible to actually see, there is little sympathy or understanding from those around us. Just because our suffering is not tangible to people does not make it any less real to us. Our ability to perform the simplest of tasks is affected.

There is no blindfold that we can put over people’s  eyes to allow them to experience life in our shoes for an hour, like they can experience loss of vision.  There is no way to describe to them what if feels like to have disabling anxiety. Since there is nothing for them to see or touch, the reality of mental illness is not really perceivable to them.

abnormal psychology, anxiety, depression, health, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, neurology, psychology, social anxiety

Mental Illness caused by Psychological Damage and Abuse

* this post is in honor of Silvergirl who is a wonderful wounded healer and has an excellent blog on wordpress*

People with mental illness often have psychological damage from being subject to “Situations that Must never Be”.  This is my phrase for any situation which is causing log term damage to a person in any physical or mental way.

These situations that must never be, are many and come in many forms. Any situation of mental abuse or physical abuse of a person should not be. The sad fact is that these situations occur every day. People are suffering in relationships like these as we speak. You might be one of them.

You have chosen to click on this post because the title of it struck a nerve with you. Most likely you have been abused in your lifetime. It may have been during your childhood and / or it may have been as an adult. Many people that were abused as children , end up in abusive relationships as adults.

The psychological damage from living in abuse is extensive and can cause depression, severe anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and other mental illnesses. It is also common that people with other mental disorders such as depersonalization disorder, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder , social anxiety and  insomnia have experienced abuse during their lifetimes.

As people with mental illness, we sometimes make choices that are harmful to us that other people would not make. We are so used to things being abnormal and painful that we tend to not notice the red flags of an abusive relationship until it is too late.

The mental illness causes us to end up in codependent , manipulative, abusive relationships. On the flip side, these relationships that cause severe mental suffering break our poor brains and we end up with mental illness that we may not have already had.

Which one comes first? The mental illness, the psychological damage, the abusive relationships? It is hard for us to tell. If you think back through your past , if you can remember, then you will most likely identify abuse against your mental health. 

Situations of trauma cause PTSD. The people who tend to be the most affected are the ones who have had some kind of mental trauma in their past.

There are cases of severe trauma (like military horrors,)  that can cause PTSD , even of the person had a “normal” past. But a lot of the people who endure ptsd that never seems to go away, had some form of abuse prior to that trauma.

It is sometimes difficult to identify abuse from our past/ For some people it is glaringly obvious and for others it has been blocked out by their own brain. The brain wants to protect itself from further trauma and will black out memories and deny us access to them.

People with psychological damage often have more than 1 or 2 mental disorders. Some of us have so many that we feel kind of stupid “showing off our list” to people.

It feels like it will be disbelieved to write out the list such as…

…OCD, insomnia, depersonalization disorder, PTSD,  generalized anxiety disorder, domestic abuse victim, depression,  ACOA, eating disorder,  codependence,  social anxiety and derealization disorder, and avoidant personality disorder.

 See? …Now I feel weird.  My list  looks crazy to me… Really I look at that list and wonder how the hell I get through the day at all…barely by the skin of my teeth sometimes… that is …when i am able to get out of bed…

You are not alone if your list looks as long as mine does. My mental abuse goes back into childhood and I also had abuse as an adult victim of domestic abuse.  Things that occur in life that other people could “suck it up” about and get through, send me into severe post traumatic stress.

depression, mental health, mental health disorders, mental illness, suicude, wellness

Mental Illness and “Acting ” like we are FINE to the World Outside of our Bed

How many of you find that you are “acting your way” through the day? You know what I mean. You have to mask your mental illness to keep it a secret from others at work and social situations.

You feel depressed and have to go to work. People come by you and say “How are you?”  What do you say? I usually say “well I’m hanging in there” This is my best response even when I do not feel like I am hanging very well. I feel like my fingers are slipping off of whatever I a hanging onto. Someone greased the bar I am hanging onto and I am about to fall off.

But you can’t say that. You have to be FINE. Everyone must be fine to work or they do not trust you and consider you a threat to the status quo.

You act as best as you can that you are fine and try to get away from the conversation as fast as possible. You don’t want to make eye contact with anyone. You don’t want to string too many words together, for fear that you will say something to
“give yourself away.”

Then you get into a triggering situation at work (or in Dunkin Donuts) and you have to still be there. You have to pretend that the thoughts running through your head are not really there.

You try to tell your brain “Be quiet, I am trying to make a living here!” or “Wait until we get outside of the store to the car. I can’t have a mental breakdown right here at the cash register (or in the bank).

I wonder what all this forcing our true feelings down and telling our own brains to “shut up!” is doing to the disorganization of our brains? This must be damaging to the brain. The longer you have to fake things , the more the pressure builds inside. You are hiding like a child who broke a rule.

You feel degraded and invalidated. It is like our body (our mouth and voice) is invalidating our brain. Our minds and bodies are connected.  What happens to the connection when we want to cry but we force ourselves to make a fake laugh at someone’s triggering , stupid joke.

We are around insensitive people who have stigma against mental illness. We can’t let them know. We hide. We hide. We hide.

What is this doing to  further disorganize our brains?

There has to be some relief in between. I would like to hear your ideas about how you find relief from the
“faking it” mode. Pleases post in the comments below.

Mothers that take care of children, like me, also have to fake it. We have to play te role of good mother and have everything under control. I don’t think I do that so well anymore. I am a good mother but I don’t have a great flow mode, like normal brained mothers do.

It is hard to stay organized at work. You forget what someone just told you to do, one minute ago. You forget what needs to be done and sometimes how to do it.

It is  hard to keep track of time. it either feels too short or way way too long. Sometimes the time at work drags and drags and it is almost unbearable because you want to go lie down in your bed.

These things are hard. I go out to my car on my dinner break at work. Even if it is freezing cold outside , i go out and sit in my car. I have to have a break from the acting. I can not sit in the break room and chit chat about dumb stuff with the other girls, like where they bought their new purse.

The break is ok but then you have to go back to acting again. Some days are worse than others.  Are we inflicting our brains with abuse of forcing our emotions down? Just a thought…

How do you all deal with this?