For as long as I can remember I have had depression and anxiety. When you’re a kid you don’t know what those things are. you just know you’re sad all the time and that you have obnoxious thoughts about people and things in your life and they overwhelm you. This was how I went through life as a kid. One white-knuckled hand holding onto reality and sanity and the other half of me floating around in the gray area of my brain.
I was always a very literal child. Things had to be exactly as they were supposed to be. No changes. And people couldn’t exist outside of the box I had mentally placed them in. These are classic PTSD and OCD reactions.
I would spend days counting steps and tapping my fingers against my legs. When watching movies or TV shows I would bite my nails down to the quick and only stop once I was bleeding. I would repeat words in my head over and over to remember things that people told me. I checked the doors and windows at night because I’d have nightmares and would lie in bed waiting for someone to come into the house and kidnap me. These are all presentations of anxiety and examples of how my OCD compulsions came into play to reduce my anxiety.
It’s not easy living with OCD or Bipolar Disorder or an Eating Disorder or PTSD or BDD or really any mental illness. But I get to do it daily and cope with multiple illnesses at once. I guess you could say I’m kind of a mental health warrior (worrier?). But I’ve learned a lot in my years of therapy, support groups, and time in treatment. I’ve gained a lot of coping skills and a wider point of view. I can now stand back and look at my mental illness for what it is and make a plan for how to tackle it.
So why am I here? Why are you here? I’m here because for the past 2.5 years I have been on a journey to uncover what my mental illness looks like and acts like and to figure out how to take care of myself while living with mental illness. I want to help you too. I want to make life easier to live and to be in a more positive place. I want to make living with mental illness not feel so dark or daunting for someone out there.
In my time during treatment I started an Instagram to promote my blog at the time. On the blog I wrote about a lot of very personal experiences because I wanted to get them out and process them. It was very important and healing for me at the time. Over the months in treatment my Instagram grew and evolved. I was not longer using it to promote my blog but to chronicle my life and my recovery. I took pictures of my meals and snacks for the day and took pictures with friends. It continued to grow. It took on a life of it’s own and it feels like overnight I became a body positive activist and a public ED recovery warrior. People looked up to me and people messaged me for help. I had a responsibility to these people.
Through my Instagram account I learned that I needed to write more about mental health and what the hell it is and how we can do our best to deal with it. That’s how this blog was born. A blog for less personal blog posts but still very much important. A place for people looking for resources could turn to.
So if you came to this page in a place of pain or struggle. If you’re just doing you’re best right now and don’t feel like you have anything else to give, just know that you are not alone and you are not broken. We have all been in that place and some days are right back there. You are not alone.
And if you’re looking for more one-on-one support from me please check out my Patreon page where I offer a closer look at my life and offer chances for you to interact with me.