Hello!

Hello, my lovely readers! I apologize for the absence. I just happened to be thousands of miles away from home on vacation! It was a sensational experience, with the exception of a few issues, which I will not go in to. 

During the trip, I got to fly. Airplanes, ski lifts, and parasailing–lots of flying. And, as you all could probably guess, flying has always been something dear to my heart. In fact, that’s the very reason I love swings so much. Anyway, being so high up helped me widen my perspective. When I looked down flying over Arizona, I saw deep cracks in the earth. It was as if they’d been gouged out with a giant chisel. Parasailing was literally the closest thing I’ve ever come to truly flying. Even the ski lift made me feel light and feathery. Finally, flying home over a dark earth, I saw lights burning bright beneath me. I was looking down upon a starry sky. Suddenly, I felt like my problems really weren’t all that bad. And I really can’t explain anything beyond that. I guess you just have to know by experience to understand. 

Advertisements

I will never give up on you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfohld6sD_g

Hello, beautiful. I know things are rough right now. I wish I could make it better for you, but I can’t. I’m so sorry I haven’t reacted very well to all of this. But I want you to know that I still love you, and I always, always will. There is nothing you could do that would make me leave you. I will be right here with you as long as we are both alive. I am not going to give up, even if everyone else tells me I should. You are everything to me. I love the way you smile, the way you laugh, how you find humor in every little thing. You are my pride and joy. I have grown up alongside you. I’ve taught you everything I know about life, and then some. I understand what you’re going through, even if it doesn’t seem like I do. All I want for you is to be better again. I would do absolutely anything for you. And I know you may not believe me right now, but you will be that exuberant little girl again. When that day comes, you will realize how far you’ve come. 

Please don’t give up now. Please keep fighting. 

I love you with everything I am.

-Abigail

The Power of Imagination

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsnUZWhld04

You can see the lyrics in the video. Please listen–you won’t regret it. Honestly, the beauty of this song has nearly brought me to tears. 
 
I feel like this song describes me. I find wonder and beauty in simplicity. My imagination lets me fly, everywhere, anywhere, and back again. I may seem a bit shallow or depthless to some–and I understand that. I’m zany, eccentric, maybe a little crazy. Okay, I’m just crazy. (Unless I hate you or I’m scared of you. Then I’m very subdued, polite, and reserved.) But inside, I’m bursting with ideas that delve deep into the gears of what we base our lives upon. I’m a true dreamer at heart. Sometimes the power of my mind surprises me. I can make myself laugh or cry on a whim. I can recall the past; I can paint the future. I’ve never been boring, even if I’ve seemed so before. I remember even back in third grade, I would lay on the couch and stare up at the ceiling for hours and hours. My imagination entertained me. It wasn’t uninteresting in the slightest. 
 
And neither am I. 
 
P.S. I know this sounds super prideful, but I need to practice positive self-talk, because I’m negative so often.

 

 

Information :D

One of my recent password-protected posts has inspired me to go on an informative mission. I would really like for people to understand mental illnesses better. In an ideal world, there would be no stigma, shame, or trivialization. I strongly believe that such a world can exist, but we must work towards it. And you know, this is important. Because 26 percent of American adults has some sort of mental illness (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml). Guys, that’s a little more than one in four. One in four. Don’t act like mental illnesses are reserved for people who “seem” crazy. We are normal people. We are among you. (That sounds like a like from a horror film, sorry.) 

Oh, and before I start, I just want to say that I didn’t come up with the idea to bombard you with a ton of links. I kinda took it from a friend who did this a few months ago…but I get a considerable amount of publicity on this blog, so I thought it would be helpful to put it here. I will also include additional information that I may find helpful. 

Okay, now I can begin. All the information! 

General Information

http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=about_mental_illness
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2008/06/13/10-myths-of-mental-illness/
http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/myths-about-mental-illness/#.U8BASV5H1FI

Depression
I have included a link pertaining to child/adolescent depression because a lot of people pass it off as “oh (s)he is just moody” or some other bullshit. Children and teenagers can be depressed, and parents/caregivers absolutely need to be more aware of stuff like this.

http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=depression
http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_statistics_depression
http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=88551
If anyone tells you depression isn’t real, or if it’s “attention-seeking” or “not a serious problem”, I give you full permission to slap her/him. Just kidding. Slap them metaphorically. With information.

Anxiety (General Anxiety)

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad/index.shtml
http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad
http://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/generalized-anxiety-disorder
Also it might be helpful to know that anxiety and depression have a huge comorbidity (basically occurring together) rate, up to 60 percent. If you want the source for that I can give it to you. I’m just trying to save some time. 

OCD

http://psychcentral.com/disorders/ocd/
http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd
http://www.psychiatry.org/obsessive-compulsive-disorder

Do not, I repeat, do not use OCD as an adjective. Doing so has become so terribly widespread. Adjusting a crooked picture frame does not mean you have OCD. I have loved ones who have it, and it is honestly such a hard thing to live with. 

Panic Disorder 

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/panic-disorder/index.shtml
http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Inform_Yourself/About_Mental_Illness/By_Illness/Panic_Disorder.htm
http://www.psychiatry.org/panic-disorder

Stressing before a test =/= panic attack. ‘Kay? 

PTSD

Trigger warnings for mentions of rape, sexual assault, violence

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/ptsd/
http://www.ptsdalliance.org/about_what.html

Phobias

http://psychology.about.com/od/phobias/f/dis_phobiadef.htm
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/specific-phobia-symptoms/all/1/
Agoraphobia
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/agoraphobia-symptoms/
Social phobia (social anxiety)
http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder

Bipolar Disorder 

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml
http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Mental_Illnesses/Bipolar1/Home_-_What_is_Bipolar_Disorder_.htm
http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_bipolar

Contrary to what a lot of people think, bipolar isn’t feeling happy one second and sad the next. Please do not use bipolar when describing the weather, your temperamental ex, or in any way not pertaining to the actual disorder. 

Schizophrenia

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml
http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=schizophrenia9
http://www.medicinenet.com/schizophrenia/page2.htm

Schizophrenia is not having different personalities. Neither is bipolar.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder)

http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Inform_Yourself/About_Mental_Illness/By_Illness/Dissociative_Identity_Disorder.htm
http://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/dissociative-identity-disorder-multiple-personality-disorder

Eating Disorders

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/general-information
Anorexia
http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/anorexia-nervosa/
http://www.everydayhealth.com/eating-disorders/all-about-anorexia-nervosa.aspx
Bulimia
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/bulimia-nervosa
http://www.nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/Helpline1/Bulimia.htm
Binge Eating Disorder
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/binge-eating-disorder
http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/binge-eating-disorder/

Substance Abuse Disorder

http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders
http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/alcohol-disorders.aspx
http://www.dsm5.org/Documents/Substance%20Use%20Disorder%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf
http://www.mentalhealth.gov/what-to-look-for/substance-abuse/

Others

http://psychcentral.com/disorders/oppositional-defiant-disorder-symptoms/
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/conduct-disorder-symptoms/
http://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/intermittent-explosive-disorder
http://www.patient.co.uk/health/somatisationsomatoform-disorders
http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Inform_Yourself/About_Mental_Illness/By_Illness/Schizoaffective_Disorder.htm

Personality Disorders

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/personality-disorder/pages/definition.aspx
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hide-and-seek/201205/the-10-personality-disorders
P
aranoid Personality Disorder
http://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/paranoid-personality-disorder
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/schizotypal-personality-disorder-symptoms/
Schizoid Personality Disorder
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/schizoid-personality-disorder-symptoms/
Antisocial Personality Disorder
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/antisocial-personality-disorder-symptoms/
Borderline Personality Disorder
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml
Histrionic Personality Disorder
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/histrionic-personality-disorder-symptoms/
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder-symptoms/
Avoidant Personality Disorder
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/avoidant-personality-disorder-symptoms/
Dependent Personality Disorder
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/dependent-personality-disorder-symptoms/
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (not OCD, by the way)
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/obsessive-compulsive-personality-disorder-symptoms/

Self-Injury Information

*Trigger warnings for mentions of different self-harm methods*
Self-injury is not done for attention, and it is generally not a suicidal behavior. It can be extremely addictive, not something you can simply quit on a whim. The path to recovery is long, but worthwhile. 
*Also I want to brag a little about being over four months self-harm free! To anyone going through this, I know you can do it. I believe in you!*

http://www.selfinjury.bctr.cornell.edu/about-self-injury.html
http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Self_Injury_In_Adolescents_73.aspx

Suicide Facts and Statistics

If someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you need to tell somebody, even if they made you swear to keep it secret. It would be better to tell an adult and have your friend be angry at you than to keep quiet and lose a friend forever. 
And if you are having suicidal thoughts, please find professional help! Please! I’m not kidding in the slightest. It’s so important. 

*Trigger warning for mention of suicide methods (in context of statistics)*

http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/facts-about-suicide
http://www.save.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewPage&page_id=705D5DF4-055B-F1EC-3F66462866FCB4E6
https://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/facts-and-figures

Suicide Hotlines by Country

http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html
http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Suicide_hotlines

Personal Stories

I have not read or watched all of these, so there may be some triggering material in here.

http://www.mentalhealth.wa.gov.au/mental_illness_and_health/stories.aspx
http://www.mentalhealth.com/story/p52.html
http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_children_young_people/real_stories

If you would like to hear about my life with bipolar disorder and my recovery from self-injury, I would be happy to discuss it with you. 

Fun Resources

Mostly tumblr accounts made by people with mental illness, for people with mental illness. I have not looked at every meme on all these, but there may be some triggering material.

http://fuckyeahbipolarowl.tumblr.com
http://anxietycat.tumblr.com
http://borderlinescorpion.tumblr.com
http://clinicallydepressedpug.tumblr.com

Famous People with Mental Illnesses

If anyone tells you can’t be successful because of your illness, show them these.

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/03/12/6-famous-people-with-depression-who-inspire-me/
http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-famous-people.shtml
http://www.mental-health-today.com/bp/famous_people.htm
http://schizophrenia.com/famous.htm#

 

If I’ve missed anything, please let me know! I would be glad to find more links. 
Overall, just remember that mental illnesses are real and basically just like physical illnesses. There is nothing to be ashamed of. If you would like to share your story or experiences, I would be happy to listen! Just drop it by in the comment box.

Oh yes–and I would really appreciate if you could share this and get the word out! Everyone could use some more knowledge, including myself.

xx Abigail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 things for my happiness

Prompt: What are 10 things you feel are essential to your happiness, and why?

I can’t put any of these in order, by the way. I just don’t put things in order. At all. Especially not my room.

1. Satisfying relationships. Nothing makes me happier than good friendships. A saying I love says, “If life is a cookie, friends are the chocolate chips.” Except I hate chocolate chips and I always pick them out of my cookies. But I don’t think that’s the point.

2. Spring and summer. Winter and fall are intolerable. 

3. Creative thought. Sometimes I go through periods in life in which my brain shuts down and goes into hibernation. Such times are the worst.

4. A day out. Some people really enjoy having a full day at home to just read and relax, but I’m not like that. I need interaction and stimulation!

5. Pride in myself. I love being proud of myself, whether it’s over a wonderful piece of writing or a witty statement. 

6. Pajamas. I refuse to go to bed in anything but pajamas. I have always been this way. Pajamas are life.

7. Swings. I talk enough about this already. You know, it’s the closest thing I can easily get to flying…

8. Great music. Oh man. This is a biggie.

9. Throwing away old school papers. At the end of every school year, I dispose of all my old assignments. There is nothing more satisfying.

10. Confidence. It’s important. 

Best of my life

Prompt: “Describe the best time in your life.”

I don’t even have to think for a minute about this question. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the best period of my life included the months of April, May, and June of 2013. Let me tell you the story. 

It was March of my eighth grade year. I was depressed. I was miserable. And then I wasn’t, just like that. It was quite abrupt. I had about a week of you know, just average Abigail. And then something happened that I will never fully understand…

Sometime in early April, emotions and a zest for life washed over me and swept me away. After having a period of having relatively no emotions, it was surprising to feel everything so deeply and so suddenly. Inspiration and poetry poured out of me freely. I walked the hallways of the school with total confidence (bordering on arrogance, as I reflect on it). At home, I wrote. I wrote into the early morning, went to bed for a bit, and woke up in the morning bright and eager to do it all over again. It was during this time that I actually finished something I wrote. I felt like a genius–and I arguably was. Every feeling that could possibly be felt, I felt it, and ten times more deeply than I ever had. I remember having outbursts of rage and tears directed at the “stupidity of my generation.” But this also meant that my happiness was intensified, and it certainly was. Everything seemed pleasing. I fell in love with nature and with myself. One day, I broke down into tears of happiness because I just “felt the beauty of leaves.” Metaphors came to me incredibly quickly–I could’ve found meaning in a piece of dog shit on hot pavement. Conversation was easy and effortless. At school, I meandered into bathrooms and began speaking to girls in front of the mirror. “You’re beautiful, don’t worry about it!” I’d say cheerfully. My attitude towards authority was flippant; I thought I was just too good and wonderful to adhere to rules. I recall sassing the principal and laughing about it. All my journals overflowed. overflowed. Yet I was in control of myself. That’s why spring of 2013 was better than spring of 2014. There was no running into traffic or trying to smoke parsley and nutmeg out of a piece of toilet paper. There wasn’t any talk like “I hAvE pOWERS!!!!” I had all the happiness without the loss of control. It was mother-trucking awesome. 

Admittedly, it probably wasn’t the best time for anyone else in my life, specifically any school administrators or authority figures! But if you’re strictly talking about me, I was having the time of my life. 

How did it end?

I still don’t know. Eventually, I sort of became normal again. Sure, still creative, but not to the same extent. I regained my natural respect for other people. I felt confident some days, insecure others. I was simply Abigail again. 

 

 

 

 

Positive self-talk!

The words you speak over yourself are quite powerful. My most recent depressive episode late last year was not only triggered by winter time (seasonal cyclers, anyone?), but by heaps of horribly cruel and abusive thoughts aimed toward myself. I’ve learned–and am still working on–how to keep negative thoughts from circling around in my head. Here’s what I’ve found helps the most:

1.Talk directly to the thought. If your thought is telling you that you look like trash, tell it to stop. “That is a lie, and you will leave my mind.” Command it. Don’t ask it to stop. Order it to stop.

2.Imagine the mean thought as a physical item (an undesirable one), and destroy it in any way you like. Maybe you like to visualize a greasy cup being smashed. Or you prefer a piece of paper being shredded. Hell, you might even like to think of a moldy piece of banana bread being taken out with the trash. Whatever floats your boat. (My personal favorite is a box being thrown in a lake of fire.)

3. Now, tell yourself the truth–the opposite of whatever your thought was. If your thought was “I’m a piece of shit”, try thinking something like “I’m a beautiful gem” or “I’m a delectable slice of pizza fresh out of the oven.” Again, whatever speaks to you.

It’s important that if you feel like harming yourself, tell somebody about your urges. Also,stay the fuck away from privacy if possible.Go somewhere where you can be seen. If you’re home alone, call somebody and stay on the phone until you’re not alone anymore, or your urges go away. This is literally the most important thing.

But yeah. Don’t be mean to yourself. Treat yourself how you’d treat your dearest loved one.