You Are Not Alone

If you’re dealing with mental health issues, you are not alone. My entire life, I had to struggle with multiple mental health illness such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, as well as everything that might have left me broken which I have always ignored and pass off as a mere phase of the growing up blues and puberty, which I never even realized or had any idea about or even accepted.

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Keeping my illness and just about everything else to myself – whenever I was confronted with a problem or situation, my only two ways of escape was to either walk away or tell stories, which I was a great storyteller, to cover up all the pain that I felt inside that not even my family, who lived in the same house with me or even my closest friends could figure out that I had a mental illness. As I kept to myself and away from the crowds, as well as by concealing my symptoms and convincing myself that I was okay.

However, overtime, as I entered high school and adulthood, my symptoms escalated and I began to deal with them in unhealthy ways. With every passing day. I felt less and less like my positive happy self and sometimes I would even tell myself that I wouldn’t be able to handle it, but I kept on going.

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My mental health, got to a point where I no longer felt joy, even in doing the things which I once loved, I had grown to sort of hate and found no interest in doing.

I am not posting this to gain sympathy, but to encourage all of you to take care of your mental health. If you or your loved one, or even a friend or co-worker is suffering, there is no shame in seeking help and if you are like me, that would rather go the natural way, it would be great.

If you are struggling and suffering, please remember that you are not alone, that there are others out there, just like you, who are going through the same problems or even more worse than you.

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YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

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How To Tell Someone That You Have a Mental Illness

I have often be asked this question on my other social media networks and Facebook groups, “How does one sit down with members of their family, friends, co-workers, employers and even total strangers and talk about mental illness.”

I wish I had the right answer for you or even an answer to that lingering question, but I don’t. I have not even made my own family aware that I have a mental illness or even my friends, or even those in my community – mainly because I don’t know where to begin or how to tell them.

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Mental illness is still a taboo subject here in my community, country and the wider Caribbean. Many have not yet awaken to the fact and realization that mental illness is real and it is a serious problem. Anyone who has been diagnosed with a mental illness or act as they are a mental case are either institutionalized or made fun of, which the end result most of them have committed suicide or turn to crime, as a way to ease the pain and help pay to buy things to ease the pain. That is one the many reasons why people, who acknowledge that they have a mental problem are afraid to come out, due to fear of been discriminated, victimized, ridicule and mocked, as well as most of these people might be living below the poverty line and are not financial equip to seek treatment, locally, regionally or internationally; plus there are no proper treatment and state-of-the-art mental health facilities available to help all of these in and out patients.

My family, my community and the people in my country, even thou we are the world’s most friendliest people, who always wears a huge smile and would warmly welcome one and all to the island and into their homes, whenever their various communities has a event such as harvest to partake in free food and drinks; but they are as judgmental as hell to their own people. Yes, I am fearful of telling anyone about my condition.

In these situations an circumstances I have very little, if any at all, with advising anyone on how they should tell someone that they love that they have a mental illness, because I have not told my family, as yet. The fear of coming out as mentally ill, is definitely frightening for me. I don’t know how they will react, all sorts of negative things go through my mind.

“Would they laugh at me, hate me for the rest of my life, look down on me or throw toilet paper at me, or have me institutionalized.” There’s so much negative thoughts that overcomes me. Your situation might be much different than mines, so I am going to try.

If you have someone in your family or either one of your closest friends who you trust with your life. Get together for coffee or take a personal day and go somewhere nice and quite or even your home and sit them down and gradually let them. Making them first be comfortable, then letting them know that what you are about to tell them, is very big for both you and them and that you can’t handle it alone and take it from them, but be slow and gentle as possible – don’t let everything out all at once, or they will not understand a single thing which you said to them. If you feel that they will not take it too nice, then have a specialist (therapist/psychologist) sit with you, you can introduce them as a friend, if inviting them to your home, but if taking your family member or friend to this professional office, there’s no need to say that the person is your friend, there profession speaks volumes.

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Wow, this is good advise, maybe I should take my own advise and work on it, then again, no way – the outcome would be disastrous for me.

Why Don’t They Understand My Problem

I know that I shouldn’t be angry, since I can accept one difference, I should be able to accept that not everyone will understand what mental illness is all about and even me. It’s a pain just to be me and live in my shoes – which at times I just want to throw in the towel, but never truly acted upon it, and might never if my phobias, keep getting in the way.

Mental illness has been around since time began, and everyone should be fully aware by now about all the types and forms of mental illnesses and the seriousness of these problems and work towards to improving the lives and healthcare system, in terms of mental health. It is more deadly than Aids and Cancer; and more worse than a crime and feeling a bullet from a gun pierce one’s skin, because it can kill you instantly (suicide) or brain freeze or attack and even a heart attack.

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It is not something one can compare one thing from the other, even I can’t compare one of my condition from the other, because they all have different names, different symptoms, and makes me feel different. If I was to tell someone that I have mental illness, they would watch me up and down, totally examining me for head to toe (externally) and not internally and say that I must be totally crazy or call me a liar. They would further go on to insult me and call me hurtful names, yet they will not accept or acknowledge that I truly have a problem. When I see people openly coming out on television shows and read in the newspapers and magazines, my heart just goes out them, but there are also the critics – who I just want to grab them by their shirt color or even by their necks and shake them and let them know that having a mental illness is real and if they were in that person shoes right now, they would have never survived.

Even thou, I have come to the realization that not everyone would understand, because they are too blind or are blinded by their own selfishness and ignorant of all that is taking place in and around them and the world today. Some are just not that interested because they figure it does not concern them, so why bother about it, they lose a great deal of what it truly means to struggle in life. I will never stop sharing my story, I will never stop trying to make them understand, to educate them and raising the awareness of mental illness, even if it takes me forever.

I Am Losing My Mind

“Am I losing my mind?” or “Am I hallucinating?” are the biggest questions, which I ask myself. Apart of suffering from lack of sleep which keeps me up at nights – I am also starting to think that strange things are after me, I every ten minutes, go and take a look out my bedroom window in the night to see is any snake or lizard is crawling up on my side of the house, then I check below both beds, I have to single beds in my room, when I see that there’s nothing, I still and fearful and go get the fly spray and salt and spray outside my window and in my bedroom and placed the salt along my window. As well as I constantly hear noises outside my window, other than my dogs or the neighbors.

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I sometimes hear people voices right outside my window, for which I am totally thankful for my headphones, I can put them on and turn the radio on my phone or tablet, where I have my headphone plugged into and thus keep out the noise, but not the anxiety and it is during these times that my creative juices comes out at night and even early in the morning, so I get lots of writing done that way. When my laptop is turned off at nights, I always have my journals and a pen or notebook close by, to write what I am feeling down.

I often at times believe or perceive that my vital organs are rotting in on me and pretty soon they will start to deteriorate and I will just shot down and die. I am not afraid of dying, for we all have to die one day, but I am afraid of losing any part of my vital organs or body parts; or even worse having to go below the needle and undergo surgery of any sort, it just scares the living daylights out of me.

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As posted before, “My Bipolar Phobiatic Lifestyle” which I went into details and gave a list of all my phobias from A – Z, which every time I think that I am making progress, something always shows up to make me doubt myself and get a little bit more scared.

I Am Different And So Too Are My Mental Illness Symptoms

Yes, I am different, so are you. We are all different, yet special, unique, creative and talented in our own way, we are all original version of ourselves, but some might made to believe that we are copies of our parents, a grand-parent or someone gone before – as the old saying implies, one has to die, for someone to be reborn. We are only the same because when we get a cut, we bleed, when we get sick, we have to take our medicine to get and feel better, when we die, we all are buried in a whole dig out for us by the undertakers or cremated, as some may wish to be; but our ambitions, goals and lifestyle is far more different – so too are our mental health issues and conditions, they vary from one person to another.

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My mental health issues, especially my bipolar disorder symptoms would differ from yours, for instances, the medical professional or specialist, psychologist, or whatever she prefers to be called says that I have a mixed episode of both depression and mania – which shocked the hell out of me, that I thought she was completely out of her freaking mind, and maybe she was having a bad day or an out-of-body experience and wanted to take out her frustrations on me. I have never heard of anyone suffering from both symptoms at the same time, you are either mania or depressive.

As soon as I got up to leave, she started explaining herself and what she truly meant to say. I went and sat back down and listened to everything that she had to say; but my mind was still telling me that she was the one who had the problem, not me.

When she got deeper and deeper with her explanation, it hit me that she might be right. When I left her office and came home. I started examining my own self, came to the realization that indeed I do have some of symptoms, which she spoke about and clearly brought to my attention earlier. All I could do now, was wish for it to end, just wish upon a star that I was not bipolar, because this beastly mental illness, I do not want.

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As I sit here and pin this post, others who suffer from the same mental illness which I have and try to picture others going through the same things, yet our symptoms and situations maybe different. I have come to also realized that, even thou our symptoms and circumstances might be opposite from each other. We are all fighting a never-ending battle, I hope one day I will win and it will not destroy me. We are fighting the stigma which surrounds mental illness for those who acknowledges that they have a mental problem act on it in a positive way, by coming forward, sharing their story, in hopes that others would find the strength and courage to do the same, and be a statistic and keep it in, due to fear and the end result, they take their own lives (suicide). For others, not me, since I don’t take any, they are fighting against the medication and side effects, the treatments and healthcare system, which they sat that we have to forever depend on them for surviving our mental illness and even the fight within ourselves – for mental illness is a continuous battle and a war with our brain, mind, body, heart and our very self (physical and mental).

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I am asking and begging each and everyone of us, it’s time to get together to fight this mental illness war together. Let us come together, share our stories, raise the awareness on a grand scale and put an end to the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Having Bipolar Disorder – Creates An Invisible Wall

Many would say that it’s all in my head, that I am the one who is preventing myself from doing just about anything such as pursuing other hobbies, accomplishing my goals and moving ahead with my life than blaming it on my bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.

In a way they might be right, because even before I was diagnosed, I could have easily taken up another hobby, which I have yet ti figure out which other interests besides writing would I enjoy just as much; as far as accomplishing my goals, I would have to say that I lack motivation and endurance, I can very easily start something, then later forget all about it, once I lose interest and the desire to continue.

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Having bipolar disorder and I guess my other type of mental illness does create an invisible wall which prevents me at times from leaving the house, getting up out of bed, cooking, cleaning the house or even going to work, which I had quit, and now work from home, well I believe that I do, work from home, which it prevents me from that too, but putting up a mental block, especially when it comes to my writing, I often suffer from writer’s block.

Persons suffering with bipolar disorder, knows very well that it creates a wall so thick, yet invisible that it feels like our brain is not really there, possibly lost in space, for we don’t feel any motivation or care about anything, which just consumes us and takes hold of our everything. It’s terribly frustrating at times, believe me to know that I want to do something, but there is just this wall between me and my brain, and just about everything else. I literally, not physically beat myself up and even shout at myself and say that I must be the stupidest person in the world, a total failure to myself and others, and why can’t I not be a normal person like other people.

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I struggle each and every day to get out of bed and even when the wall is there, getting up is like a cliffhanger, a constant struggle up a mountain and even off the edge. If I do get up, I try to do whatever I can, because if I don’t, I would have to listen to my mother continuous annoyance, as she starts to act all petrified, saying that she has a big child living in the house and the place still looks like a pig pen – since both my folks (my mother and step-father) are over sixty years old and have retired, they now stay at home, enjoying their retirement and because I am now at home too, I should take on the responsibility of taking charge of the entire household, the cooking (my mother still does the cooking), the cleaning, and whatever little money which I had saved up, should go to them – for they made lots of sacrifices for me and my siblings and that we should be indebted them for life. Sometimes, I want to scream, I know that I should be very grateful, which I am, but because she loves laying all this guilt trip on me, makes me sick at times, especially when I am having more bad days than good days – I just wish I had the energy to throw myself over the tallest cliff on the island and with done with everything.

Like I said, having that invisible wall, can be somewhat frustrating, and it seems like a curse upon my life, paralyzing my brain, but a blessing all at the same time, for my brain do need a little vacation and to be switch off, so that it can reboot and get back on track. I really can’t stand not been able to do anything for a long period of time,

Having bipolar disorder does in a way create or as others would put it, erect an invisible wall/barrier so thick that it prevents one from even performing their daily task and it’s REAL.

Why Is Both Physical And Mental Health Important To Me

Having poor mental health can have a huge negative impact on a person’s outcomes in life, as well as their physical health, and having a serious mental illness can reduce one’s life expectancy by 10 to 20 years, if we don’t take proper care of both our mental and physical health.

Sometimes we all seem to forget that, and even our own-self too in the process, we let go and well in the end we suffer serious and severe consequences because of our laziness and our own tardiness and caused our mental and physical health to deteriorate to the point that there is no way to bring it back and so we just have keep going on and well wish for a miracle.

There are those of us, who despite not taking proper care of ourselves during our bad days of having to struggle with a mental illness, when getting out of bed seems almost impossible, like if someone or something is holding me back, can’t even get up to bathe, brush one’s teeth, or even pull the blinds/curtains to let the light come in. It’s even harder when one is working from home, we can work in our pajamas without even the comforts of our bedroom, and rarely go out, networking for us is behind a screen, and there’s paypal, tele-banking and the internet, so we basically do not have to go the bank either, only to the grocery store to purchase personal and food supplies.

For those not like me, who have kids and a spouse they are left to suffer and bear the burden, when one spouse and parent is too weak to take proper care of themselves, and is suffering from a mental illness. The other spouse, who might not have been trained in this type of situation and instances. Now have the hardest and toughest job there is and that’s to take up the slack; which sometimes it’s more impossible than one would think or imagine; and if they are not equipped enough or learn fast, can result in some problems.

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Looking back on how far I have come due to my mental illness, my state of mind and overall physical health and condition, is all due in parts to my own neglect and allowing myself to be lackadaisical,  which I am now trying to change and lead and live a more healthier lifestyle.

– Weight gain, especially the stomach, and rarely high blood pressure, which I have managed to keep to a minimum. My stomach is going to be tough, do anyone know any great drink or syrup, I can take to lose the belly, please no pills.

– Loss of few teeth, which I will have to live with for the rest of my life and that I don’t mind. I will just invest in plates when the time is right, to keep on me, whenever I have any public speaking engagements.

– Not eating properly or on time, as I am more a junk lover and I crave lots of chocolate treats and coca cola. Now I am taking it one step at a time and trying to eat healthy, well balanced diet.

– I have never used or abused drugs, because I hate it and I have seen first hand what it can do to people, and even the misuse of weed too, so I never engaged in its use.

– I have to admit, that I was on the verge of becoming an alcoholic in my early twenties, because whenever I go out with my friends, I must have at least three bottles of beastly cold Smirnoff and even a tequila and pina colada. Now, I rarely drink anymore, because my friends have all got up and either gone abroad or have grown up and started their own lives. I don’t go out.

– My sleep patterns have changed since childhood, I now struggle with sleep insomnia. I trying to get back a handle and get as much sleep as I possibly can, even thou, it may not be the full eight hours.

– Besides writing, I don’t engage in no other hobby, because writing is my life and I can’t see myself good at anything else other than writing. I might given the circumstances, think about about other activities, which I can enjoy, if I only knew what they were.

– I am really a lover of sports and exercise, my physical fitness routine is running or walking up and down my hill really fast.

– I am trying each and every day of my life to pay a more active role and part in the way I feel and what I would need to overcome the bad days, especially when those negative thoughts in my head kicks in and makes me want to doubt everything about myself.

– Set realistic and achievable goals, both short and long term.

– Numerous times I have often beat myself up, thinking that I was the only going through so much pain and hell and even came to the realization, will now the delusional realization that I was the only one living life in hell on earth and everyone else was perfect and it would be greater without me in it. Since taking the ultimate risk and chance and putting myself out there, telling my story, I now realize that I am not alone and I want more than ever to help others like me.

– I don’t take much into consideration about my family history, because as I see it, on both my mother and father side, my family has lost the battle either to cancer or diabetes, even heart attack, so I am destined to die from either one. In the end something has to come to carry us to our final resting place. In a way, I am also fearful of going to see a medical doctor and him/her telling me that I have cancer or diabetes, I already can’t take been mentally ill, but I am surviving.

In conclusion, to it all, I know that I can never separate my physical health from my mental health or wave a magic wand to make my mental illness go away, because that’s impossible to do. I will just keep going, keep surviving and keep on striving and preserving until I meet my overall goal of been physically and mentally healthy.

Thank you.

 

Overcoming My Low Self-Esteem To Better Myself And Helping Others Along The Way

Just like everyone else, I suffered from low self-esteem, but never showed it, because I had a small group of friends, who I could confide in, but never did, because growing up in my community some of the older folks would always instill the old saying in us “That your best friend can become your worst enemy”, because who would know more about you, besides your family, than your best friend. I was more, my own best friend and my own worse enemy at times.

Having low self-esteem, did affect me greatly from childhood into early adulthood, I was an underachiever at school and I failed miserably in my school work and in my exams, which would have helped me, if I was got in my school work and had significant passes, a chance to attend college and go on to the university, to pursue my degree and masters in whatever profession and subject of my chose at that time, which all I can think of is writing and maybe journalism, I failed.

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Parties and fast living, was never my thing either, I would go to my high school queen shows, and my community cultural shows and others in my teenage years, but I was never into it all, I just went because of my friends, who I would say were the best and never in any anyway lead me astray. I never got into any trouble, not even with the law, mainly because most of the guys in my family such as my uncles, cousins were in both the protective and military services, and they always made sure that the young ones know that if they get into trouble, they would throw us all in jail, lock us up and throw away the key and leave us to get lost in the prison. The younger ones, especially always grew up with that fear for the prison and getting into trouble with the law. Whenever someone tried to bully me or start a fight, I would walk away.

If I go out at all, it’s either to the movies, to the beach, the library or as stated my community cultural shows, which I either go by myself or with my friends.
Dating, I never did while in my teenage years, because it never interested me, and guys to me were idiots back then, and I did not wish to be around them; but in my early adulthood, I did date, and most, I would call outings. The end result, it never interested me and I don’t think that it ever will.

Friendships, as stated earlier, I had a small circle of friends, but would talk to everyone especially those in my school and community, because the way I saw it, was I had to talk to them, after all I was going to be spending most of my time and life growing up, been taught and being around them, as I was going to spending pretty much more time at school, than home; concerning those in my community, well they were their for life or until we all grow up and become adults and move away to start our own lives.

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Early adulthood, I kept everyone at arms length, never truly socialized except with my small circle of friends, but in my country, which was small everyone knew everyone, so even thou, you were not close friends with other people, everyone knew your name and who your parents were and where you came from, but not where you was going. My work life was pretty much the same as my school life, a total failure, I failed at relatively everything, which caused me numerous confrontation with my employers and eventually lead to me a mental breakdown, which I never told anyone, but tried my very best to take care of it on my own.

Due to everything, there was severe complications with my mental health, overall health and well-being. I was still skinny and thin, and kept that weight lose until in my mid-thirties, when I started gaining weigh and my stomach started to raise as if I was pregnant and keeping my weigh down to a minimum was getting to be impossible, but I had to do it. I started losing my teeth, getting migraines (some impossible, but I got them under-control). I did not want anyone to know that I was having any health problems, so I kept it to myself and do whatever I had to do on my own to care of myself my way, that was only last year November, when the pressure and pain became more painful and I had to seek out professional help and was diagnosed with bipolar and social anxiety disorder, which I think there might be more mental disorders and even medical ones under the surface.

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Presently, I in some sense of the word, still suffer from low self-esteem, because I spend most of my time keeping to myself. Now, that I am home, unemployed, but trying to make it in this life as a Mental Health & Lifestyle Blogger/Writer, through this blog, by sharing my story with the world, and helping others along the way, with my story and allowing them to share their own stories of struggle and survival with whatever mental disorder, which they were diagnosed with, so that we can raise awareness and put an end the stigma surrounding mental illness for the betterment of all. I am moving forward and each day taking a step to overcoming my low self esteem.

My Narcissist Mother Ruining My Life

I have been asked in an email on more than one occasion a while back, but totally ignored it. Someone asked me, if my mental problems such as schiziod personality and social anxiety disorder is not based on my mother been a narcissistic parent or suffering from the personality disorder unknown to herself and me.

First and foremost, I had no idea, what narcissistic even means, and I have not heard that word before, except might be on television, but never truly played any mind to it, until yesterday, when that same individual emailed me again and attached a brochure on narcissistic parents. It hit me, that maybe she might be unto something.

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What is Narcissistic personality disorder?
Narcissism is a toxic and harmful personality. A narcissist is usually difficult to distinguish because they play their role so well. A person with this disorder tend to have an exaggerated sense of their abilities, intense and unstable emotions, always looking for constant attention and praise, a sense of entitlement and a preoccupation with power and success; while at the same time exploiting others for their own personal gain and fail to recognize the emotions and feelings of others.

Does my mother have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
All my life, I was lead to believe that without my mother, I would be nothing, and live a life of hell, but the truth is, I think living with her I am living in hell, not only because I suffer from a mental illness, but also in a strange and realistic way, I believe that my mother has some narcissistic traits, which has resulted in a few problems.

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What do you do when the narcissist in your life, who is holding you back is your own mother. What do you do to walk away or can one even walk away. Some the many problems I faced are:

– I have difficulty in letting people get close and if they do get close, my friendship and relationship with them, don’t last that long and I give up totally on them, well at least the ones who turn around and stabbed me in the back. I feel that if I get close everyone will stab me in the back, so I keep people at arms length. I am not even close with any member of my family either.

– I have relationship problems and issues, which I always thought was my own fault, as you see I have troubles connecting with people, especially with members of the opposite sex in a long-term relationship, given that I can never fully trust another, or share my uttermost personal feelings, for fear of been ridicule or shame.

– Like most, I too have self-worth issues, I have always been the first one up and ready for school and work, I have never missed a day from school or work, whether rain pours, tropical storm coming, earthquake or whatever. I always made every effort to attend and work like hell, which was I guess the problem. I think, its because my mother was a workaholic.

– I have a lot of unmet goals and aspirations for my life. I have started numerous projects and then stopped, I have launched three other blogs in the past, Just Write Peach (sold), Tea Parties By Avionne (hacked, then when I got it back I deleted it) and Breakfast With Peach (deleted). Due to my childhood dream to become a writer, I embarked on careers as a documentary writer, proposal writer, freelance writer, food writer and gave them all up, because it was not getting me anywhere. The criticism from my mother, that I will never ever make it as a writer was getting to me and becoming like a throne in my side and all the negatives was overshadowing me.

– Because, I am the eldest child, she thinks that even thou my half siblings works too, but we all live in the house and my brother kids comes on weekends, that my money should go towards everything and that I should be the one to be cooking and cleaning the house, while my siblings just laid back and do nothing, which in the end the house goes to my half brother, which is shit, if you ask me. My mother is retired and my step-father is too; but my mother does all the cooking, and I help out now and then, not with the cooking.

– I have never travelled outside of Trinidad and Tobago in my entire life, basically, because my mother always made me watch the news and all the news was a whole bunch of negatives and rumors of crime, war and destruction, which scared me and even hearing the amount of young ladies who are trafficked, raped and even killed; that I was scared to even venture even to Trinidad to overnight. I wanted to get out of her grasps and applied for my first passport, but never truly went anywhere and allowed it to expire and now this year, things are different, I am doing it for me.

– Whenever she gets an audience, or a listening ear, she loves to cry me down and tell people all sorts of negativity about me, just to make herself look great or sometimes like the victim and me as the bad girl.

– She goes around telling everyone who she comes into contact with all my personal businesses, and make people talk bad behind my back, when they think that I am not watching, by I hear the whispers and ego in the breeze/wind.

– At one time, she told someone that she wanted me to pay her back for marrying my step-father and having my half-siblings, which got me pissed, to the point, that whatever feeling that I had I lost and everything good about my mother, I disliked. Now, that, I am home not working, it has become clear to me, that’s exactly what she wanted me to do, by giving her money every month-end when I get pay, plus buying toiletries for the house. It has even gotten to the point, where she feels that without her, I will never survive or make it in this life.

At times, I want to believe that she means well, but whenever I think about her crying me with others, how could I feel good about it or about her or ever love her. I can’t even watch her properly in the face, without feeling some form of resentment, but I keep it to myself. That’s basally why I wouldn’t ever let her know that I was diagnosed with any mental illness,because she will make me feel more worse than when I am having a bad day or one of those out-of-body experience.

My mother is not totally to be blamed, and be labelled the narcissist in the family, for my step-father never liked me much or even my half siblings, which go back to an incident that took place at home a long time ago. My step-sister and I had a fight in the our bedroom, when my mother tried to part us to find out, my step sister go to box her and just as my mother went to scold her, her grandmother came in and did not want my mother to hit her. My mother told the grandmother to take her, if she can’t correct her. From that day, her grandmother took her, my step-father disliked me, but never truly showed it and she even had my half siblings brainwashed into hating me. Everyone was for them. I kept to myself.

There’s no one around that I can even trust, because they will all go back to her and either tell her and my stepfather their own version, and make things more worse and then I would truly feel like throwing in the towel and ending it all; so I will continue to suffer in silence, praying and hoping in a grand miracle that she see what a monster she has become and has made me out to be.

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Do you have a narcissist parent and what are you doing to cope with that parent.

Is There A Connection Between Self-harm and Mental Illness

Today, I want to talk about self harm and mental illness, which has been one of my childhood pet peeves, even before I knew that it was self harm, but continued even up to when I was diagnosed with a mental illness.

When I was a child, I would suck my tongue and pull out my hair, which to me felt good, and I didn’t see it as nothing wrong, not even my mother, because back then children did all kinds of things, and the older folks just looked at it as it being “Children will be children.” It was a norm for me to and nothing wrong. As I grew up, I gave up sucking my tongue, but I still would pull out my hair, even when I was depressed or stressed out.

In my teenage years to my early twenties, I still would occasionally pick out my hair, until I got so fed up and it looking uneven that I went to the barber and cut it off, now I go natural with a small afro, that way its safer for me, if and whenever I get the strong urge to pull out my hair, it would not look that bad. I had also often thought about cutting myself, especially when I am feeling mentally drained or depressed, I would look at the razor blade and then at my skin, often times I would also hear those negative voices in my head, beseeching me to go ahead and cut myself, like a band, chanting for me to do it and cheering at the same time; then there would be this other voice so soft, smooth and almost silent, whispering not to do it, they it’s not over for me, I still have a great much things to do with my day and my life. Then, there’s the constant question, “Which keep popping up, what do I do?” I would have to look long and hard and even twice in the mirror to see the same person looking back at me.

Now, that I am in my late thirties, whenever I think about harming myself, the only thing which I still do is pull out my hair, especially when my afro grows, I have more ammo to pull out my hair, but when I cut it down low, I can’t. I even tremble, at any other ways to harm myself, the mere thought of it makes me quench, even looking at a knife, razor blade or scissors to cut or even the thought about burning myself or coming up with other methods and way to harm myself, I can’t do it, even when I feel totally depressed, I can’t get myself to literally harm myself, it’s like those voices have all just gotten quite or disappeared; the only voices in my head are the ones which are telling me to go on, to press forward in life, and so I do. I do believe that I was put here for a purpose, that all my struggles in life are just that, struggles and phases, which one goes through.

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To go further into what self harm is all about and is there a connection between the two: Self Harm and Mental Illness.

Self harm is when someone purposely injures their body by either cutting themselves with a knife, razor blade or scissors; even burning oneself with a hot iron, hot pot or even over a fire; substance abuse; pull out their hair; pick at wounds to prevent healing; and now self embedding sharp objects such as paper clips, staples and glass, which has become a new trend.

Self harm also causes a feeling of shame at times, for which the scars caused by frequent cutting and burning can be permanent. I had one friend in high school, who did that, often wore long sleeve shirt and when their a school outing, she’s always absent. She did get help, but life was never a fair game for her. In the end her scars and wounds never did heal, she was one of my dearest friends, who lost the battle to cancer in her adulthood.

The constant misuse and abuse of alcohol and doing drugs while hurting oneself increases the risk of a more severe injury than intended; and it even takes away time and energy from other valuable things a person might want to be doing, because one might have to skip classes to change a bandage, or avoiding social gatherings and events all together for fear of people seeing their scars and this can also have a negative effect on one’s school life, work and relationship.

Self harm is not a mental illness most would say, but more a behaviour from lack of coping skills, especially when dealing and coping with one’s parent divorce, relationship issues, work crisis and with challenges of life in general. There are indeed several mental illnesses that is associated with self harm, such as borderline personally disorder, depression, eating disorder, anxiety or posttramatic distress disorder; for which most of us suffer greatly from, like me.

Is there is a cure or treatment for person who inflect harm on themselves, the answer is YES. There are very effective treatment for self-harm which allows one to take back control of themselves, such as psychotherapy, psychiatric hospitalization or lifestyle and home remedies.

Psychotherapy
Known as talk therapy or psychological counseling, psychotherapy can help you:
– Identify and manage underlying issues that trigger self-injuring behavior
– Learn skills to better manage distress
– Learn how to regulate your emotions
– Learn how to boost your self-image
– Develop skills to improve your relationships and social skills
– Develop healthy problem-solving skills

There are also several types of individual psychotherapy may be helpful, such as:
– Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – Which helps you identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones

– Dialectical behavior therapy – A type of CBT that teaches behavioral skills to help you tolerate distress, manage or regulate your emotions, and improve your relationships with others

– Psychodynamic psychotherapy – Which focuses on identifying past experiences, hidden memories or interpersonal issues at the root of your emotional difficulties through self-examination, guided by a therapist

– Mindfulness-based therapies – Which help you live in the present, appropriately perceive the thoughts and actions of those around you to reduce your anxiety and depression, and improve your general well-being

In addition to individual therapy sessions, there’s also family therapy or group therapy which comes highly recommended.

Psychiatric hospitalization
If you injure yourself severely or repeatedly, your doctor may recommend that you be admitted to a hospital for psychiatric care. Hospitalization, often short term, can provide a safe environment and more intensive treatment until you get through a crisis. Day treatment programs also may be an option. Please don’t ever find yourself, reaching this point.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies
I have found myself a winning way besides seeking professional treatment, which works best for me, but might not for you, but you can still try at your own risk and benefit.

Here are some important self-care tips:

– Stick to your treatment plan and keep therapy appointments. I am guilty of not sticking too, or pursuing, but it is great.

– Recognizing the situations or feelings that might trigger your desire to self-injure. Make a plan for other ways to soothe or distract yourself or to get support, so you’re ready the next time you feel the urge to self-injure. Mines are writing, blogging, watching hallmark movies and going to the beach.

– Ask for help. Keep your doctor or mental health care provider’s phone number handy, and tell him or her about all incidents related to self-injury. You can even appoint a trusted family member or friend as the person you’ll immediately contact if you have an urge to self-injure or if self-injuring behavior recurs. I am guilty of not asking for any help whatsoever and doing my own thing.

– Take care of yourself. Learn how to include physical activity and relaxation exercises into your daily routine, on a regular bases. I have attempted to do.

– Eat healthy. Ask your doctor for advice if you have sleep problems, which can significantly affect your behavior.

– Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. They affect your ability to make good decisions and can put you at risk of self-injury.

– Take appropriate care of your wounds if you injure yourself or seek medical treatment if needed. Call a relative or friend for help and support. Don’t share instruments used for self-injury — that raises the risk of infectious disease.

Medication
No, there is no medication to treat self harm/self-injuring behavior, except if one is diagnosed with depression or an anxiety disorder, the medical doctor can recommend antidepressants or other medication to treat the disorder, and may help a little to compel the person to stop harm themselves, but it’s all up to the individual.

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Look out for more information on self harm or even the new self-embedding craze at later dates. 

 

The Versatile Blogger Award

Thanks to Missing In Sight (www.missinginsight.com) for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award. Missing In Sight is a mental health blogger who shares stories and hope, especially for those suffering from dissociate identity disorder a.k.a multiple personality disorder, as well as motivational quotes. It was a great surprise and I want to thank her.

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The Versatile Blogger Award is:
Blogger awards are a fun way for bloggers to show appreciation for other bloggers and their content. Blogging is harder work than it may look like from the outside, so it means the world when we are shown in any way that we are appreciated! The Versatile Blogger Award celebrates high quality, unique, and loving content. When nominated, the blogger can choose to accept the nomination and pass it on to 15 bloggers that they believe deserve a nomination as well.

The rules to accept this award are simple:
– Thank the person who nominated you, and link their blog.
– Nominate 15 bloggers to keep spreading the appreciation.
– Share 7 facts about yourself.

Seven (7) Facts About Avionne’s Legacy:
– Writing is my life – Since I can remember, I have always wanted to become a writer, and a multi-skilled writer, I wanted to writing plays, scripts, proposals for television, video and photography projects, even a novel; become a photojournalist, or a documentary writer, food writer, freelance writer; you name it, I wanted to become a writer in that niche, so when introduce to blogging, I was sold on the idea. I cannot see myself doing anything else, besides writing and of course blogging, for I live for it.

– I am a sucker for Romance Movies (Hallmark) is my personal favourite – I watch other romance movies; I also love comedy, drama and family movies. In my younger days, I was a television addict, I would watch television from it sign on until it sign off, now their is cable, and the internet and YouTube. How I love technology. There are about four television in my house, which I share with my folks and siblings, but I would always prefer to watch all the hallmark movies on my laptop. I do go to the movies once in a while.

– My favourite song of all times is “Wind Beneath My Wings” By Bette Midler – I love that song, it always brings back the memories of long ago, and of those that have gone before, that were the heroes, but never got the recognition which they deserve. I love gospel, R&B, soca, calpyso, reggae and slows.

– I am a serious chocoholic and Coca Cola lover – I have loved chocolate since childhood, and chocolate biscuits, chocolate cake, chocolate tea, cupcakes, chocolate bars and anything chocolate, but if I had to chocolate the type of chocolate, I would have to say milk chocolate are my world; and everyday I must have a bottle of coca cola. Apart from chocolate, I do love tea, orange peel tea, ginger tea of all types, coffee and more tea.

– I love the beach – I am not a great swimmer, I am more a novice, but I just love to go to the beach and listen to the waves, take in some of that sea breeze and even watch the sea birds. My father’s family lives next to the beach and their is a beach in my community, totally open to the public. I have kite surf and ride on a jet ski in my twenties, but is now afraid to do either one in my thirties. I have other interest, which I will say at another time.

– My family – My mother has been happily married to stepfather for over thirty-two (32) years and they have two kids together, brother and sister, and my step-father has a daughter from a previous relationship. My birth father, is divorced from step-mother, since 1990, but they had two boys, my two brothers; my step-mother had a daughter from a previous relationship, before she met my father and she had a son long after she and my father divorced, my father never remarried. I have two step-sisters, who are older than me, one has a daughter, my niece. I have three brothers, all younger than me, but taller than me, and all three of them have kids – four nephews and two nieces. One has two boys, and the other two brothers have a boy and girl respectively. My sister and myself, do not have no kids. I currently reside, with my mom, step-father and half-sibling brother and sister, and our three dogs.

– I have never travelled outside of Trinidad and Tobago – My bucket list of places to travel before I die is very long, but first, I have to find the time to renew my passport. I would love to travel across the Caribbean, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Dubai and I guess anywhere where Avionne’s Legacy and my writing would take me, maybe next. As I have to renew my passport, which expired since 2011.

The nominees are: There are numerous bloggers and each and everyone of them are great in their own unique and special way, which brings on the best in the blogger and creates a style and gives them their own voice, which I wanted to list each and everyone of them. I had to chose from the lot, and here’s my chosen nominees:
Mentally Not Reyt – http://www.mentallynotreyt.wordpress.com

Write Brain Widow – http://writebrainwidow.blog

A Couple Of Idiots Abroad – http://www.facebook.com/acoupleofidiotsabroad

Female Travel Collective – http://www.femaletravelcollective

Joan Cajic – http://www.jocajic.com

Kiana La Shae – http//www.kianalashaebiz.wixsite.com

Tajh Danielle Sutton – http://tajhproofs.wordpress.com

Larissa – http://wwww.lifeoflarissa.com

Charlotte Underwood – http://charlotteunderwoodauthor.wordpress.com

Jhunelle Jureiclini – http://www.simplylocal.life.com

A Lifestyle Blog – http://www.alifestyleblog.co.uk

It’s A Lifestyle Really – http://www.itsalifestylereally.com

Again, I wish to thank Becca of Missing In Sight for nominating me.

Thank you also to the nominees for participating. I’m looking forward to reading all the facts about you! Drop your link in the comments below so I can read your posts.

Have a blessed weekend.

 

Love,

Avionne’s Legacy