I received a message this week from a friend from 20 years ago. Facebook has linked us back together, online only, through pics and FB messages. Her recent message reminded me of two things:
1) I don't have to see someone face-to-face in order to establish and maintain a friendship. Phones calls, emails, FB, etc... are ways to stay in touch in the 21st century.
My family and close friends call me quite often. I often ignore the calls because I feel like they are checking up on me... that there is something wrong with me. And I don't want to be checked on- I want them to call because they genuinely care.
In fact, they DO genuinely care.
My recent hospitalization helped reinforce something that I already knew- something that I already wrote about in the previous months: checking on a friend or family member is an act of love. I need to focus on this fact instead of my mind thinking: "I need to be checked on because I am weak, I am ugly, I am not worthwhile, I am weak, I am weak, I am weak." There is strength in realizing and accepting the love that others offer and give freely. It is difficult for those who care for others with a mood disorder. I put myself in their shoes and I find myself back as a little girl at the age of seven, caring for her family like a mother, because her mother is institutionalized for schizophrenia. This seven year old Jeanne wrote her mother letter, weekly. She called as often as she was allowed. She did these things out of love, not obligation.
I called my mother because of true love- the love you can only find between family members and good friends. I never thought my mother was weak. I just MISSED her SO much.
Reminder: I need to accept the love others offer by returning their calls and messages. Why would I want them to worry about me even more? It's okay if I am not in a good mood, because then, it is an opportunity for me to talk about my feelings. And guess what? Talking about feelings is GOOD.
2) My second reminder deals with how I react to others, specifically, men. The message from my friend reminded me of the first time I started cutting and overdosed: I was 19 and reacting to the ups and downs in a relationship with a man I loved. When discussing this with my therapist yesterday, I realized then, that Every. Single. Time., every time I overdosed, was in reaction to a real or otherwise perceived negativity from a man- boyfriends, my father, my FIL, and male employers.
Why do I do this?
My father abused me and that connection between men and abuse is stuck in my brain. The memories of abuse are literally stuck in the neural pathways of my brain. Therefore, when I have a negative experience with a man, I react negatively through self-abuse. Besides my father, there has not been one man in my life who has physically or verbally abused me. So guess what? I take on the role of my father and abuse myself.
What am I going to do about this? Good question!
EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing via WebMd.com
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a fairly new, nontraditional type of psychotherapy. It's growing in popularity, particularly for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD often occurs after experiences such as military combat, physical assault, rape, or car accidents.
Although research continues, EMDR remains controversial among some health care professionals.
At first glance, EMDR appears to approach psychological issues in an unusual way. It does not rely on talk therapy or medications. Instead, EMDR uses a patient's own rapid, rhythmic eye movements. These eye movements dampen the power of emotionally charged memories of past traumatic events.
Go to WebMD.com to read more. EMDR is indeed a fascinating technique that I will try.
So I thank my friend who messaged me. You have inspired me, again, to see the love others have more for me and to work hard on loving myself. Thank you S. :)
Hi all- this is very personal and I am putting myself out there. I suffer from a mood disorder. My docs think it may be a borderline personality disorder or OCD personality disorder. Anyhow... I suffer from suicidal ideation and when something "traumatic" in my mind happens, I overdose on my meds and am found and taken to the hospital's mental health floor. This happens about twice a year since my mother committed suicide when I was 17. Long story short- I am determined more than ever to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Part of this is reducing the stigma of mental issues and the best way to do so is to talk about it. This is me. This is who I am and I need to love myself, even if I am fucked in the head at times. I do have a favor.... I want to return to intense exercise. I like yoga, but for someone like me, the intensity of yoga is not enough. I found a free exercise bike and want to use it everyday, starting today. (I just finished 25 minutes!!!) So the favor is, I need one of those exercise bands that I can synch with my iphone or macbook. (Trust me- my phone and macbook are old. I'm very frugal.) So if anyone is willing to donate one to me since I am on medicaid now and cant work, I would love you forever. Thank you for your time reading this and please pray/send good thoughts/or do what you want to do to send me some good vibes :)
I just got off a plane from Columbus to Chicago. The trip was short and uneventful. But I like to people watch and sometimes, my mouth opens in a gesture of "helpIng" others. An elderly woman was four rows in front of me, struggling to get her luggage from the bin. People behind her were frustrated. She was slow. I was frustrated as well, but not because I was impatient with the woman. I was impatient with all the big, strong men behind her. "You 'men' should help her and not just stand there and watch." (Rude fuckers.) The dudes looked at me in surprise and did nothing.
Reminds me when I was pregnant and traveling. No one ever offered to help- except once. I was traveling from Columbus to Austin and The Crew (soccer team) was behind me. I had several offers for help from the Latin men. I accepted.
Do you think American men don't see ladies in need? Are they jaded by the "women's movement" for equality?
Gentleman offer to help. Ladies accept. It's not rocket science. It's not a sign of weakness- rather than a societal need to be kind, helpful, and well- mannered.
I just ordered dim sum in the international terminal. Like I do... I talked up the server and asked him questions about his job. He said he loves working with the international travelers. Most in this terminal are Asian travelers. But if he has to work in the domestic terminal, he is unhappy about the general rudeness of Americans.
Manners people. This is how we establish and maintain good relationships. Those without manners create conflict and can have a profound effect on the "victims".
This is why I took a break from teaching. I found myself in front of kids who were ill-mannered. Their behaviors had and still do have me questioning the relationship between manners and citizenship. Constant chaos in the schools amped up my anxiety and my OCD personality disorder was out of control. I had to leave teaching for my own mental health.
What are your thoughts on manners and the effect on the mind?
Removing the stigma 1 MB at a time. 12/2014