When all my world is falling apart, all I need is for you to hold me together.
I have had this plant for about 10 years now. I have no idea what type of plant it is. It has always just grown with the green leaves and grew long like a type of climbing or vine plant. It has never flowered before.
A few days ago one of those little white flowers came out. Today there are three on the same end of the vine.
I have no idea why it flowered, but it gives me hope that anyone can bloom or grow if it is just cared for in the right ways.
Writing has always helped to untangle the web of chaos inside my head. I write and form thoughts on paper when I feel like I am unable to form coherent thoughts inside my head. Somehow as my pen works its way across the paper my writing takes shape and makes much more sense than any of my thoughts ever could.
I have often said or written about how I write faster or type faster than my conscious mind can think, I sometimes re-read things and wonder when I wrote it, or where the thoughts came from.
When I write or read things I can feel the words. I feel the depth of my thoughts after I write them unto paper. Only after I read what I have churned from my mind and written into sentences do I begin to understand my tangled thoughts.
For me writing is my biggest form of self care. It is what I do when I am down in the dumps or soaring in the heights of mania and anywhere in between.
Self care is not just for people with mental health issues but is very important for everyone. Practicing some form of self care can ensure that you are not running on empty and can help your wellbeing and happiness.
There are different types of self care and there are many different things that you can practice in each category. Self care should be geared individually.
For example: If you love to read, reading would be a good form of physical self care, but if you hate to read it would not make sense for you to try to use reading as one of your self care activities.
Almost anything that you find enjoyment in can become something that you do for self care. Just taking a few minutes to read a book, write something, listen to music, exercise or even taking a bubble bath can be forms of self care. Other things can be taking a minute to laugh, share a joke, talk to a friend on the phone, have a cup of coffee or tea.
I asked my readers and fellow bloggers what they did for self care and here are their answers:
Angela says “I light my favorite incense, desert sage, while I journal about things that are weighing heavy on my heart. I journal until those things lose their power over me. Sometimes I watch my favorite movie, Wonder Woman, to remind myself that I am a powerful woman who has taken my power back.”
Robert says “I’m setting good boundaries with other people and getting enough sleep.”
Becky says “I am writing to confront things that used to hurt me. It’s a mixed bag, but in the end it does help.”
Julian says “I’m reaching out to people. I figured it’s been a while since depression has got me in a very lonely lifestyle. But, chances are, I’m not an introvert by nature. I tried finding purposeful things to do by myself, but nothing came to my mind. Maybe it’s not the things, but the people I do those things with. The engagement. Admitting that I’m not a monk, that I need a social life is actually tough. But I guess that’s the way to go. So, I’m reaching out.”
What do you do for self care? Do you find that taking an active part in self care is beneficial to your wellbeing and over all health?
What are you doing to take care of yourself? Comment below, I will be doing a blog post with some self care ideas and I will mention you (and link your blog if you want) if I choose your comment.
Have a great day!!
I let my writing fall to the wayside over the past year. I haven’t written anything seriously in months and have not written anything worthwhile or with substance for this blog in a year or at least pretty close to that.
I feel like I have let myself down, let my blogger friends and readers down and that I really need to start creatively writing again.
I have been told I do my best writing when I just let it flow, when I do not force it to happen and I write from my heart. I write with depth and meaning when I write from somewhere deep within myself. Whether that be depression writing or Mania writing or just something more I am honestly not sure where it comes from. Most times, as I have written in the past my fingers fly over the keyboard or my pen over the paper so freely and so quickly that I just write.
There have been times when I have re-read my writing and not remembered writing it. Times when I have not recognized the thoughts that my mind put together, not recognized the writing on the page.
Right now I am at a place where I want to write. I want to create. I want my ideas and my passions to flow through my writing. I feel the need to write because writing for me is a form of therapy, one of the best that I can receive and one I can give myself.
I had a dream last night. I woke up feeling like I had been in a long standing cycling nightmare.
In reality it was probably all of 5 minutes long.
It was so vivid, in a weird black and white kind of way. If that makes sense.
I dreamed that myself and another woman ended up in a psychiatric hospital.
I have no idea who this woman was, no recollection of who she was suppose to be in my real life. She had curly hair, was taller than me and skinny.
The hospital was, crisp. Black and white with silver tones. Everything was bright. Vivid.
We were both checked in and put in the same room. (odd I know)
The room was oddly shaped. Instead of the standard rectangle one wall was like the short end of a rectangle with a window on it and a bed going down its side just off from the wall.
Then there were two long walls….the sides of a standard rectangle.
But one wall was shorter than the other. The one on the right entering the room was shortest and it sort of made this diagonal corner space.
This was where my bed was.
I remember a nurse talking to me. And then being in shock because my husband arrives. I remember wondering how he knew where I was and then realization setting in that the hospital staff must have called him.
He walks into the room, he does not hug me, he does not touch me, he does not ask how I am.
He proceeds to take his wedding band off and he holds it out. I put my hand out, palm up and he drops the ring into my hand.
Our eyes lock, and he leaves.
I begin to cry, feeling as if my heart is breaking.
**This is where I wake up**
I felt like I had been dreaming a nightmare of epic proportions.
I have had a yuck day every since. Of course because of the dream I did not sleep well last night. Today I read for a bit and then slept for a bit. I feel more rested now than I did this morning.
Realization for me: I am terribly afraid that my mental illness will eventually push him away. I am afraid of symptoms getting worst, I am afraid of changes in my mood, behavior. I am afraid that eventually it will all be too much for him.
And I am most afraid that at that point he will be….
The past day or so I have found myself exhausted but not tired, not sleepy…..just exhaustion clouding my mind.
At the same time I have found that I do not have much patience. I want to do about 10 things at the same time. Sit. Write. Watch a show. Clean. Do dishes. Read etc. And because of this I have little patience with myself.
And at that very same time I want to do nothing.
And I still feel Flat.
There was a time when I loved the flat feeling because that meant I did not have to feel anything. No hurt, no pain, nothing. I relished it.
In the flat, I just was. I did not have to “be” anything more.
I no longer love the flat. In fact I do not even ‘like’ it anymore.
I hate being here.
I am a survivor. I have thought those words so many times during my life time. I have survived things that many have never had to endure. And I say that knowing that there are people out there who have endured worst than me.
And my heart goes out to anyone who are struggling with any sort of struggle.
I have gotten back up, dusted myself off, screamed inside my head to “shut up and survive”.
I have not always been the kindest person to myself.
That was probably an understatement.
Actually no, that IS an understatement.
I am one of my biggest and harshest critics. For everything.
For my writing. For my coping skills. For everything that is going on inside my “pretty little head”. I criticize everything. Every aspect of my being has been at one point or another picked apart and critiqued by me.
And it has been harsh….to say the least.
Somehow I have not only survived the things that life has thrown at me, but I have had to try to survive the way my mind picked the situation apart, bit by bit, layer by layer.
Surviving my own mind…..How does one even do that?
There have been times in my life when I have felt completely alone while standing in a room full of people. Alone in my thoughts while hundreds of hearts beat all around me. Faces smile at me but I see no one and am unable to return the gesture. Blank eyes trying to focus on unfamiliar faces, deaf ears refusing to hear the words that are spoken, instead hearing a steady hum of misunderstood chatter.
In this setting, although there are people surrounding me, I feel completely alone and completely helpless.
Sometimes the crowded setting brings anxiety. A spin within myself, an urge to get out of the situation and get out now. Anxiety that is an almost deafening, roaring in my ears. Sheer panic building up within me, coming from somewhere deep inside my soul. In this setting I am unable to get out fast enough. But I try very hard, and refuse to let myself break down before I am out of the situation.
And then there are the times when I am in crowds and I feel fine, I feel more then fine. I am having a good time, hanging out with friends, having a few laughs. Giggling. These are cherished moments that I try to hang on to.
Because if I do not hang on to these good moments in crowds I would never let myself be put into a crowded situation ever again.
I try to remind myself that not every time I am in a crowd something bad happens, sometimes it is fun or sometimes I get through it just fine.
Not all crowded situations are good for me, but then, not all are bad either.
Morticia Adams said it right when she said “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly”.
You cannot look at someone and say they do not conform to the normal standard of a mental illness. Because , do you want to know a secret? Normal does not exist, even in mental illness.
No cookie cutter, cutting out perfectly shaped bipolar copies of each other. No mold to shape out perfect play doh depressive shapes that all look the same. No stamp coming down and stamping out borderline personalities for everyone. We are not slowly going by on some conveyor belt, shape after perfect shape like a line of perfectly sculpted copies of each other.
We are all different. Sure I have bipolar disorder, and maybe you do too, but we are different. We are not mirror images of each other, facing each other in some mirrored time warp where we do everything the same, just on opposite sides. When I am depressed you are manic, when I am manic you are depressed. No, this too is an illusion.
We are each a part of a world where normal does not exist. Morticia said it completely right in saying that it is just an illusion. Some made up magical concept in our minds. Nothing is normal. Everything is the way it is meant to be, whether it is perceived as normal or unusual.
We are all different. Each and every person ever diagnosed with a mental illness are different from each other. No two are alike. We have different patterns, different issues we must deal with and different abilities.
We lie somewhere on a spectrum of the illness we have been diagnosed with. Some things the same, some things different. We range in severity, we range in symptoms, we range in color, shape, size, we are all different.
And you want to know another secret? This is okay. It is okay to be different, it is okay if you are not a text book example of the mental illness you have been diagnosed with.
Because normal……It is just an illusion.