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. :)