Should I?

Should I tell you how I feel.

Do I dare.

Will it frighten your frailty.

Will you turn away in disgust.

You dont understand.

You never will.

Is it my fault?

For not being honest.

For sheltering you.

For leaving myself to rust.

Alone.

I make myslef alone.

I dont want you to feel.

What i feel.

Should i tell you how i feel?

An open letter

You ignorant bitch. You have no compassion. I wish I could make you understand how hurtful it is that you do not care about me enough to educate yourself on mental illness. Instead, you judge me. You believe that I am a master of my thoughts and actions. You believe I have control. You believe that I have a choice. You find me to be pathetic and weak. You believe I make excuses. You believe I am the bitch in our relationship. But who am I to say what you believe? I am projecting my greatest fears onto you. I fear judgement. I fear rejection. And you, my friend, act accordingly. So, you are my greatest enemy. You become everything I hate about myself. You become everything I wish I could be.

Pets and Mental Health

Gary the cat

You’ve heard that people who live with plants live longer. Well, just imagine what having a pet can do for you and your mental health if a little plant can make a big difference.

“An increasing amount of research is pointing to the benefits of pets for people with mental health issues. For instance, a large study interviewed people living with conditions such as depressionschizophreniabipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. The findings revealed that having a pet offers people a deep sense of “ontological security” — that is, the feeling of stability, continuity, and meaning in one’s life” (Medical News Today).

For someone like myself, who goes through long spurts of depression, having a pet is sometimes the only thing that gets me out of bed. I mostly live alone, as my husband works on an oil rig and is gone for weeks at a time. This makes my depressive downswings even more lonely and hard to bear.

I rescued Gary a couple of months before the worst depression I’ve ever felt and I can honestly say I don’t know how I would have gotten through it without him.

When I literally couldn’t complete tasks like washing my own hair, brushing my teeth, or feeding myself something other than candy, I would find comfort in taking care of Gary. I couldn’t take care of myself, but I had a little heart in my hands that I knew couldn’t survive without me. He was the only thing I found purpose in.

For those struggling with mental illness, I highly recommend a cat (best for lazy people due to low maintenance) or a dog. The companionship and sense of worth you find in a pet is irreplaceable. As I am typing this Gary is laying on my legs, constantly keeping me company… always there when I need him most.

Source: Sandoiu, Ana. “It’s Official: Pets Benefit Our Mental Health.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 19 Feb. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320950.php.

Meditation and Mood Tracking

Hey guys! For those of you who audibly UGH at the thought of meditation, I have something to share. I AGREE! Or at least I used to…

The slow, “calm,” breathing… the “in through your nose, out through your mouth,” and all of the talk about connecting your soul with mother earth! I can’t EVEN. Literally. I scoff at the idea of meditation. AND YET, I do it. Let me tell you why.

After starting therapy with a betterhelp.com counselor, I was soon advised to take up meditation. At first, I laughed. But then I had a thought. If literally everyone I know, and their mom, swears by meditation… then maybe JUST MAYBE I should give it a shot.

I started by downloading a few apps, Headspace and Youper being my favorites, and then jumped in with both feet. I began my meditation rituals at night and I must say I saw an immediate difference in my sleep. I would fall asleep WHILE listening to the guided meditations! It was a freaking miracle!

Once I realized this was something I would continue to try, I began messing around in the apps, Youper in particular. This app starts out by testing you for things like anxiety, multiple personality, depression, and so on. Then, they track your moods daily and give you suggested exercises or meditations based on your current mood. Being bipolar, I find it very interesting to see how my moods change, and this app allows you to look at your history. The app also asks you to track the reasons WHY your mood has changed. For me, this was always related to stress because of school or being down with feelings of loneliness. Being aware of these triggers actually started helping me to change my perspectives and therefor my mood.

I did test going a few nights without meditating and quickly noticed the negative impact it had on my sleep and the following day’s mood.

I still laugh at meditation, but now it is because I was so hard headed in not trying it sooner. I’m not going to say I am having soul changing outer body experiences or anything of the sort. But, I AM sleeping better and my moods have been better in the process.