domestic abuse, life, mental health, mental illness, narcissistic abuse, poem, poetry

Black Sun

Dear sun, rise up yellow
You are supposed to
I am told

The sun that
rises up yellow
Sooths and warms
the soul

Sun rises up yellow
when reality seems
safe

Oh Sun, don’t rise up black
Malicious, dark
and threatening

Sun, don’t rise up black
mental confusion
emotional disillusionment

Sun, don’t rise up black
Darkness permeates all
life is untrustworthy

Sun rises black
when there is a
feeling of hopelessness

Sun rises up black
when there is a generalization
of deceit, untruth, malice

Sun sometimes rises green
to tell you it is time
to begin to change your mind

Sun sometimes rises up green
to call to you
time to take a step again

Sun rises green to sing
a lullaby to your
reality of darkness

Black sun reality
is confirmed
by our perception

Black sun reality
is impregnated by
deception

Yellow sun is wise
it shows the color
of caution

Yellow sun is clarity
self confident
explorative, seeking

Yellow sun rises
fortified with knowledge
wisdom from experience

What about the red?

Red sun is an alarm
Warns you to detach a bit
and evaluate

Red sun is the amygdala
fight or flight
Stressor state

Red sun can be headed
in calmness intelligence
and esteem

Red sun can be
reacted to with panic
abhorrence, or denial

Red sun is followed
by another color
Yellow sun or black

Green sun invites you
to try again
to head the red next time

Green sun is when
your brain perceives
it is ok to go

Don’t stay
in the dark reality
the black sun brings

You will miss the warmth
of the yellow sun
and deprive others as well

Each experience teaches
something you need
you didn’t have before

You can stay in your cave
for a little while
but leave the curtains open

The sun might change
Beckon to your soul
to come out and try again

depression, mental health, mental illness, signal boost

Please send Caring Comments to This Woman in Mental Crisis

I was sitting in a waiting room and checking my wordpress reader,. This post  popped up right as I was opening my reader section.

It was the top post and I must have just happened to decide to look at my reader on wordpress, at the very moment she posted this. I was the first person to see it.

Clearly the post sounds like a final suicide note. I really feel that it posted right in front of me for a reason.

humanity connection kindnessimage from kind ness bl og

I do not know this lady, but she matters as much as anyone else and has as much of a right to be in the world as anyone else.

Please send your love to her and your thoughts to her and let her know that she is not alone.

Annie

anxiety, depression, health, health and wellness, life, mental abuse, mental disorders, mental health, mental illness, psychology, suicidal thoughts, suicude

Showing Kindness to Yourself About Your Mental Illness

your heartYour mental illness has caused some level of disorganization in your brain. What the cause of your mental illness is, could be a variety of possibilities, but the feeling of disconnection is there.

Disconnection exists at various levels within our brains and in our lives. It feels like having broken pieces, jagged edged that no longer seem to fit together the way they used to. Bits of pieces are over there…and bits of pieces are over there…

We are not entirely sure if all of the original pieces actually still exist, because we cannot fit enough of them together to check for missing puzzle pieces. Sometimes ot seems like we are being forced by therapists to shove all of the pieces back together again.

The problem is…these are not the original pieces of your brain, in the original form. You cannot just put things back together and miraculously be the same as you were once before.

The mind is like a stream. It is constantly in movement. You cannot step into the same exact  stream twice, because as soon as you life out your foot the water has changed again, before you place your into the water again.

The neurons in our brains are constantly adapting to our behaviors, including our emotional behaviors.  Every new experience creates new neuronal connections. The more times you repeat a behavior, the more solid the connections relating to that behavior become. But they can always be changed.

The original combination of connections from any given point in our past, cannot be recreated by therapy or anything else. The reason for this is that we have had new experiences since then.

We are at the place where we are. The connections that exist right now, in your brain are what you have at this moment. The reasons for the exact combination of connections are many.

The experiences that we have had, up until this very moment are part of our organic brains. They cannot be removed. You cannot suddenly become a person that was never abused, never hospitalized or never had a mental breakdown.

The things that happened are part of your past, and we have to somehow find  way to survive and thrive, in spite of the trauma we have experiences in our lives.

The feeling that things are disorganized and broken into pieces, is a very real feeling. If you have mental illness, or are recovering from mental trauma, you may have trouble connecting the parts of your brain together, needed to function.

The brain is made up of different parts that have different functions. There can be a failure of the parts to work together properly.

The mentally ill brain does not connect the halves of the brain, the frontal cortex , the nervous system and the other functions, in the way that they connect with other people. This is a reason for memory problems, feelings of severe depression when nothing is seemingly wrong, and feelings of a severe threat when no threat is imminent.

In a well oiled machine, the parts all move together as a unit and help each other. They each do their job to the highest level of function and each part is functioning properly.

missing a piece

Trauma can cause damage to certain parts of the brain, They become overloaded and do not know how to protect us from further trauma. In any mental illness, your brain will try to protect you from further mental trauma, in a ditch effort to survive.

When you are in danger of retraumatization, your brain will change the way it connects the parts together and the way the parts function. It is no longer working the way a “normal” brain works, during safe circumstances.

So, your brain is disorganized, and your perceptions can be altered. It is really that you just cannot tolerate any more pain and trauma to your mind. Stigma about mental illness is one of the things that can cause retraumatization. The need to hide the mental suffering from others, is very traumatizing.

We can rewire our brains to become healthier and more functional, over time, with kindness to ourselves. We have to be mindful about our limitations and not judgemental of ourselves.

Understanding that our brains are  really are not currently wired the same way as other people, will take a great amount of guilt, shame and anxiety off of us.

People with mental illness deal with stigma and judgement from others, but we tend to be hardest on ourselves.

 Feelings of shame, inadequacy and guilt actually serve to retraumatize the brain. Having the emotional behavior of self judgement, is something that will prevent healing. There is no positive result from shaming ourselves.

You are who you are today. You are functioning at the level of function that you are able to. You cannot do anything to change the moments that have lead up to this present time.

Forgiveness is something you offer to others. Why not offer forgiveness and tolerance to yourself?

You are no less worthy of patience, kindness and love from yourself, than anyone else. You matter. It is not your fault. Your brain is a little crazy but…..so what.

Often times what makes us crazier than most, also gives us gifts of understanding and empathy, that others do not have. We can keep these gifts and see the value in ourselves for having them.

You can be kind and patient with yourself today, just the same as you would be if you were interacting with a person outside of yourself, that was suffering.

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

Mental Crisis and Suicidal Thoughts

What is mental crisis?

How do you know you are in one?

How can someone else know you are in one?

A mental crisis is when you wonder “am I in a mental crisis?”

You know you are in one because you were googling “mental crisis” or you searched “mental health crisis” until you ended up reading this post

You know you are in a mental crisis when you begin trying to think of reasons to live for

You know you are in a mental crisis when you can no longer do things that you used to do easily, because of your feelings of severe depression

You know you are in a mental crisis when you just sit and cry because the pain is so great

You know you are in a mental crisis when you are struggling to find any light at the end of this darkness

Someone else cannot tell you are in a mental crisis

This is the frightening part

Even when we try to communicate to someone, like our best friend, that we are in a mental crisis, they do not always understand

Why is it hard to communicate the fact that you are in crisis?

1. It is difficult to impossible, to communicate to someone you are in a mental crisis because everyone communicates differently. You really have to just come out and say the words “I am in a mental crisis. I am wondering if I can continue living.”

2. It is not something that you can beat around the bush about, because the longer you try to tell them and they do not understand, the more hopeless you will feel. If you cannot get the message across quickly, then you may lose your energy for telling them, and give up.

3. When you try to communicate a mental crisis to someone by starting with the details, like emotions and thoughts, they will not get it. Even people who have mental illness, who should know the signs, are often too caught up in themselves to really hear you.

4. People are dense. much of the time, and also they do not want to think you are in a mental crisis. They do not want this to be in their reality. When people do not want something in their reality, then they do not perceive signs and symptoms, to come to the conclusion.

5. You have to say “I am in a mental crisis.” Yes I know that I wrote this already, but it is important enough to tell you again.

6. Another reason it is hard to communicate that you are in a mental crisis, and/or suicidal, is that your thoughts can be confused and disorganized. There is so much emotional / mental overload, that the words are difficult to put together. It is hard to know what to say or how to say it.

7. There is an unknown factor of what they will do when you tell them. There is a fear that they will not understand, and this can come true. In this case, you can try again or you might have to go on to the next person on your list. Speaking of the list…any of us who are a candidate for a severe mental crisis or suicidal thoughts, should have a “save me” list of people and resources.

8. You may feel so worthless and ashamed at this point that you feel uncomfortable telling someone.There are alternate methods, if the first try fails. If you cannot tell someone in person, then try over the phone.

If you cannot do it over the phone, then try email, texting, blogging, poetry or whatever works, but do something that will get across to someone as fast as possible.

How can people hear you?

This is the most difficult thing for me to understand. If any of you have suggestions about this, please let me know. I have trouble communicating during a mental crisis. It feels like my ability to communicate goes down. The words do not come out of my mouth.

Maybe it is a matter of who you are trying to get help from.

Should be try to communicate with someone who has mental illness or someone who does not?

This is a really good question and the answer is probably that it matters more “who” the person is, rather than whether or not they have been through mental suffering.

In some ways it seems that, a person with mental illness would understand better. If they have been in a mental crisis before, then they should recognize it and also know how frightening it feels. They “should” be sympathetic.

I guess it depends of what mental state they are in at the time. it also depends on their personality. If they are a very caring person, then maybe they will click it in right away that you need help. If they are self absorbed, then they may not understand.

People that do not have mental illness, do not understand what it feels like to be in crisis, or have suicidal thoughts. But that does not mean that they cannot feel sympathy for you, and know how to listen.

Unfortunately, people in general, have lost the art of listening. Many people do not know how to listen, never mind see and identify signs that someone needs urgent help.

You need to have people that will be able to help you, if you do have a crisis. The best time to work on this, is when you are in a relatively normal (for your mental condition) state of mind. When you are able to think more rationally, then it is a better time to organize your “get help” plan.

I have never called the hotlines, but I have heard that people have been able to get some help there, at least enough to reduce the level of suffering, in order to think of the next thing to do. I am not a great fan of the emergency room, but for some people it may be the best thing.

I really think that we should be able to have friends that are there for us. There are so many people in the world that there have to be some people that can be compassionate for you. Sometimes I feel like they are not around me in person.

If there is no one around in person, then there are people on the internet. I have read suicide blog posts and seen how many people came to the person in the comments section and actually made them feel validated. There is nothing wrong with the random acts of kindness from perfect strangers about this. Sometimes a stranger can be more sympathetic to you, than the people around you.

I think the important thing is to recognize when you are having a mental crisis. If you are in severe mental pain, that is more than you can tolerate, then it is a crisis.

I think I have been rambling and I apologize for that.

Much love

Annie

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,

Annie

anxiety, bipolar, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, mental health, mental illness, suicidal thoughts, suicude

Enter My Brain at Your Own Risk…Depression and bad thoughts

riskEnter my brain at your own risk

It’s not for the faint of heart

Thoughts that you should never think

And circuits just coming apart

Enter my world if you dare

No one would fault you for not

The ones who have entered before you

Did not always come back to stop

Sometimes we hesitate to reach out for real help from people because we do not feel that they will be able to handle helping us. If we were to be truly transparent to them, it would be too much of a burden. Especially when we are very depressed and thinking thoughts that are dark and disturbing.

It is true that there are many people in our lives that could not handle entering into the world of our minds, at the times when our thoughts are the darkest. There are also people that would not understand,  because the kinds of thought patterns that can occur during severe depression, can be so unusual and unbelievable,  to people that have never had them.

Thoughts of why we should still be living. Thoughts about the worthlessness of our lives, and the pain that feels too much to continue. There many people who are so uncomfortable with hearing thoughts about life and death, that they would ask us not to speak of such things.

Working in healthcare, I have had patients that were suicidal or at least not wanting to live anymore. When they mentioned anything along those lines, the other workers would say the very things that should not be said to someone who is in that state of mind.

1. You don’t really mean that

2. Don’t talk like that

3. You are just trying to get attention

4. Everyone feels depressed sometimes and we don’t go around saying things like that

5. It can’t be that bad

6. It is not that bad

7. You have a good life

8. You would not really do that

9. Don’t say things you don’t mean

The list goes on, but you get the idea. People are so uncomfortable when people say they do not really want to be here anymore, that they say the very things that will shut them down, or worse.

Numbers 8 and 9 above, are almost challenges, to someone who already feels like they no longer want to live. The speaker is not realizing that the person may already have formulated a plan for suicide. The plan may have been acted out in their minds so many times that it would only take a “challenge” like one of those statements, to shift the person from thinking about suicide into the mode of acting upon the already formulated plan.

Suicide can be done quickly and on an impulse. Or it can be carefully planned. All people with depression are certainly not suicidal, but either way, people do not always know how to respond to dark thoughts of any kind, when they hear them.

Some people may react to your opening up to them, in a way that makes you feel shamed. It is like the thought of being worthless, and having no purpose to be here, is a bad behavior. It is an unwanted, outside the norm, unacceptable behavior. Family members may tell you that your saying things like that embarrasses them and not to ever speak of it again.

The problem is there. Sometimes you need to talk to someone about your depression, and no one wants to listen. People want to walk through life and pretend that bad things do not exist. They also do not understand much else than their own particular world will allow.

Severe depression is something that a person needs to talk about with another human. It needs to be heard and the thoughts need to be outside of the person’s head for once.  The longer the dark thoughts go around and around, the more alone the person feels. The lack of anyone to talk to, only increases the feeling that “I do not belong here in the world”

If you already feel alone and afraid then being rejected by someone about your thoughts, makes you feel more alone and more afraid. This is a very sad and lonely place to be. All alone inside your head, with frightening darkness. This is not the way it should be.

. I think that some people are not going to listen to it, no matter what. But everyone is not the same, and there are some people that can handle listening to someone in a deep depression.

I hope that if you are feeling the darkness of depression, that you can find someone who can handle listening to you, better yet sitting with you and listening in a personal way. When there is no one, then we have to find other ways of reaching out, like on wordpress or other online sources.

Depression can be very dark, and being alone in the darkness is  terrible place to be. My thoughts are with anyone who is feeling very depressed now. I wish for you that you can find a safe space to express the thoughts in your mind.

Blessings

Annie

dark poetry, mental illness, poem, poetry, suicidal ideations, suicidal thoughts, suicude

If You Meet the Devil at the Crossroads

Desperation aching 
 Sinful things calling
Sensual body shaking
Crossroads will be your falling
If you go to the crossroads
the devil will meet you there
Lose your lonesome wandering
the  payment won’t be fair
Make your choice my orphan child
the devil will take your fare
After all what do you have to lose?
All you have is what you wear
If you go to the lonesome crossroads
the devil will make your deal
You will reach your dreams
but nothing is for free 
battered women, bipolar, bipolar disorder, child abuse, domestic abuse, domestic violence, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, poetry, post traumatic stress disorder, ptsd

Safe

Cars make noises

as they drive by outside

I want to be inside

where it is safe

Sirens are loud

and invade my nervous system

I want to be  inside

where it is safe

People passing by the house

making noises

that remind me

I do not want to go out there

I want to be inside

where it is safe

Safe inside the house

I am safe inside the house

But where do I go

if I want to be

Safe Inside My Mind?

addictive personality, anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, battered women, bipolar, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, domestic abuse, domestic violence, mental abuse, mental disorders, mental health, mental illness, self-esteem, suicidal ideations, suicidal thoughts, suicude

Comparing Ourselves to Others…Shame, abuse, mental illness

This was my response to one of the comments I got on a post. I will not say which person commented but they can feel free to comment here if they want to do so. The reason I am posting this, is because I feel that the concern they had was one I have heard many times from people with mental illness, abuse and psychological injury. 

People who have mental pain, have trouble in day to day situations, where other people seem to float right through. Everyone around us seems to have a better handle on just getting through life, than we do. It is so easy to become discouraged by watching other people do things that we either cannot do, or cannot do without mental anguish.

I wanted this reader and all of you, to understand that we are not being fair to ourselves when we compare ourselves to other people. If we are comparing ourselves to someone who has no mental suffering , then how is that comparison fair to us? 

This was my response to a comment that talked about feeling shame, and comparing ourselves to  other people.

People are good at things that they have had the background, the support, and the early wiring to be good at. Even the things we learn when we are older, are easier to learn if we were wired properly when we were growing up.

A lot of the people you are comparing yourself to had parents that helped them to follow the normal development stages and they also had the mental stability to process all of the stages properly, in order for the neurons in their brains to be set up to do these things.

There are chemicals involved in every process we do. The chemicals in our brains are dominating our feelings and our feelings affect how well we can do things. We have behavioral patterns and they are also linked to the organic connections (neurons and chemicals) in our brains.

If there is any trauma, abuse, neglect during childhood / teenage hood, we can end up with things that are not wired properly. We also end up with the chemicals sending the wrong signals and we feel depression, anxiety and worthlessness about ourselves.

Your feelings of not being as good as other people are conditioned behavioral patterns of your brain. Past trauma, abuse or neglect may have caused these patterns. Your inability to things that other people do, may be related to feeling inadequate to do them, feeling depressed, anxiety etc. This is not your fault that you have these chemical, neurological responses to doing things.

If you feel anxiety about something and someone else does not feel that, then of course they will be able to do that thing, better and more easily than you can. It is not fair to yourself to compare your brain on depression or anxiety with their brain that is functioning perfectly well. It does not mean that you can never learn to do it, but it means that it is much harder for you to do things, than it is for them.

When we have mental illness issues, it is more fair to us, if we so not compare ourselves directly with people who do not have any mental illness or trauma in their background. I have recently come to believe this is true

I spent many years wondering why I felt so inadequate to everyone and why I felt so out of place. I had so much trauma in my back ground that I could not keep up with the people that had brains that functioned normally. It was not that I was not as smart, but it was because my brain was and is so traumatized.

I am learning that we have to be kind to ourselves. In order to be kind to ourselves, we have to understand and feel compassion for the fact that trauma, abuse, neglect, depression, anxiety and any other mental issues, does cause us some disability. We cannot always compete with the other people.

We can learn to heal and to slowly rewire our brains. But mostly we have to talk to ourselves like we would talk to someone else that we knew was having trouble feeling as good as everyone else. You are as good as everyone else, whether you can do everything they can do or not.

We all have gifts and are good at things. You might be good at something that those other people suck at. I bet you are better are being compassionate for another human that feels depressed and worthless. The ability to be compassionate is not a gift that a lot of people have. Compassion is a lost art these days. People who have mental suffering can often also be compassionate to others who have depression and anxiety. That makes you better than them at something.

You are also probably better are being introspective and analyzing things.  Many people  just go with the flow of what everyone else is doing and they do not think for themselves. If you can think for yourself then you are better at that too.

I think that we are just better at different things than most people are. There is room for us in the world too. The world cannot be ok, of all of the people just follow the crowd and are all good at the same things.

I hope this helps a little. You are a unique, independent person that can think, care and love. That makes you special and no one is better than you.
Blessings,
Annie

Once we begin to forgive ourselves for how we are, then it gets easier to live with ourselves. People with psychological trauma usually end up with some kind of post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, OCD or other mental disorder. These disorders can be permanent , because the trauma never goes away. But we can learn to shoq kindness to ourselves.

We can learn to be functional, compassionate people. There are plenty of things we can be good at. If we cannot answer the phones for a job, because we have social anxiety then so be it.  If we cannot work at certain types of jobs because we are constantly triggered onto post traumatic stress there, then so be it.

A person with an eating disorder may not be able to work in a bakery. Well if they cannot do that, it does not make them less than anyone else. It just means that they cannot do that activity safely  because of their disorder. Someone who has a phobia of open spaces cannot work in the mall. So, what of it?

We are ok the way we are. We are trying to heal. We are trying to connect with others. If there are things we cannot do, then so be it. It is not because we are less than anyone else. They did not grow up, or have the adult past that we have had. Someone else may not have survived your situations as well as you did. How do they know what it is like in your world?

We all need a break from feeling shame, inadequacy, and worthlessness. We need to show ourselves some kindness and compassion in our thoughts about ourselves. We are doing the best we can with what we have to work with. We have to work with our brains being the way they are, right at this very minute.

Blessings to all,

Annie