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Abusive Realtionships

Choosing Recovery

I have a friend who is the epitome of stability, but twenty-seven years ago she was diagnosed as insane. Before stability, she would flit off to France at a moments notice because she had a craving for duck confit, dash to Pamlona to run with the bulls during the festival of San Fermin because she felt such an overwhelming yearn to taunt something wild. She sailed the Grenadines and married a deckhand she had known for less than a week, divorcing him one month before their son was born. In the throes of psychosis she looked at her son and saw a laughing child covered in blood. The macabre hallucination tormented her, accused her of killing him and urged her to follow. Convinced that she had murdered her own child, she swallowed two vials of medication and attempted to hang herself. Before she could finish tying the knot that would end her life, her ex husband arrived unexpectedly, he had been concerned about her increasingly erratic behaviour and had "a bad feeling" that drove him to check in on her. She was taken away by ambulance and hospitalized under a mental health act, deemed both unfit and insane, until five months later when she was diagnosed as manic depressive, now know as bipolar disorder. Since her initial hospitalization, my friend has been admitted to psychiatric facilities seven times, each time unwillingly and in the depths of psychosis or delusion. Every time she was released from hospital she came out a little bit stronger and more aware of her illness and her triggers. It has been over a decade since she has been admitted to hospital or experienced psychosis of any sort. When I asked her what the golden key was that gave her stability she chuckled and said, "there is no stability without recovery."



Anxiety

Anxiety Doesn’t Care if You’re on Vacation

Yesterday I made it home after spending five amazing days at the lake. For the most part I was unplugged and relaxed; enjoying time with the people I love most in the world. I spent my days floating on the lake and exploring the woods with my children. My nights were spent laughing around the campfire with my sister and her family. It was peaceful and calm, a place where there should be no room for anxiety, but anxiety doesn't care if you're on vacation, anxiety is a jerk that way.



Alternative Therapy

Mood Swings & Mother Nature

Tomorrow the kids and I are headed out to the lake for five fun-filled nights and six lazy summer days. Other than spending time with my siblings and their families, the best part about this particular trip is that where we are headed there is no cell service, no wifi and no way to connect with the world outside of this perfect little haven of peace and paradise. That means that there is no way that negativity can come and burst my pleasant little bubble, unless it wants to get in the car and drive quite a few miles up the mountains and into the woods to find me, I'm completely cool with this. Too much negativity triggers me and if I don't get a handle on that, I start to swing. Right now I'm tired and I've recognized that my tank is running dangerously close to empty and if I don't do something about this I will suffer for it, so I'm taking the proactive approach and inviting some self-care into my life right now. I'm taking some Me Time.

This all sounds great and I'm really excited but there is another factor here that I haven't yet considered, one that has the power to make or break my entire little mini get-a-way, and she's already started to toy with my moods a little, she of course is Mother Nature and she can throw my balance off like no other, and I'm not the only one. It is astounding just how many mood disorders are affected by not only the changes of season but also sometimes just a simple change in the weather.



Abusive Realtionships

Are You Too Emotionally Invested?

I have a confession to make; for the past few months, when I have been able to, after I tucked my family in for the night I have been binge watching the television series Lost on Netflix. I just watched the finale the other night and after crying my way through the final 1 hour and 44 minutes, I closed the lap top I and felt a sense of loss. The first question I asked myself was, "how did people last an entire six years waiting for this to end?" While I mulled that one over and started to grieve the departure of my new friends, the second question started to creep into my head, "why would you allow yourself to get so emotionally invested in a damn TV show?" This struck me as quite odd and got me thinking about all of the things, some worthy and others not so much, that over time I have focused my feelings on, and I had myself a little aha moment. I can look back and see where I have given so much of myself to people who have given nothing in return. This triggers me. Being emotionally invested in someone is wonderful, if there is balance.



Accountabilty

Instant Gratification vs Delayed Gratification


 

Carrie Fisher once said, "Instant gratification takes too long" and you know if anyone understands it's Carrie. I have always been an instant gratification kind of girl, maybe it has a lot to do with bipolar disorder, maybe not, but probably yes. In my most heightened states of mania I would spend obscene amounts of money on frivolous purchases without batting an eye because the high I took away from that was euphoric. When I started to come down and the high dissipated, as it always did, I was left feeling guilty, ashamed and panicked because of the mountain of debt that I was continually heaping onto myself. This guilt coupled with my swift decent into depression from bipolar disorder was so terrifying that my response was to ignore it and go searching for the next quick fix to make me feel better. Rather than addressing my problems and asking for help, I created a whole world of new problems in pursuit of instant gratification.



Abusive Realtionships

Self-Harm: The Myths & the Facts

If you've followed me here on Psych Central, my personal blog or my Facebook page then you know I'm very open about my own trials and triumphs when it comes to living with mental illness. I believe that by sharing my journey with my readers, not only do they know that someone understands, but it also helps me because I know that I'm not alone. Today I'm writing about something that I have personally battled with that many people still don't want to talk about or even acknowledge. Today we're going to address self-harm.


Abusive Realtionships

When a Therapist Breaks Your Trust

A few years ago I was referred to a highly reputable and respected psychologist who, in the midst of writing academic books and journals, also crossed the border on occasion to speak at very prestigious universities. From our first session we got on very well and both acknowledged that our therapist/client relationship would be an effective and suitable one. During our second session he asked me if there was any direction that he shouldn't take our sessions and I touched on one particular area that I was not comfortable talking about at that time.
Over the course of six months things were great and moving along very well, until they weren't anymore. My ethical and competent therapist, this highly regarded professional crossed a boundary in such an improper and alarming way that not only was our client/therapist relationship breached, all trust that I had in him was lost instead replaced by fear and suspicion of ever continuing therapy again.


Abusive Realtionships

Pulling Through Postpartum Depression

Today is a very special day; it's my daughter's seventh birthday. We have a very fun day planned with her favourite dinner topping it all off. As I wander down memory lane I am overcome with such love and gratitude that I can't find the words to express all I am thankful for, because when I feel like the world is closing in and I can't keep my head above water, I look back at what I have accomplished and I know without a doubt that I am going to be okay.



Abusive Realtionships

Words Can Hurt

 
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt Me." is a little ditty that I have not and will not sing or say to my children — not ever. I understand the context of this children's rhyme and the effect that it is supposed to have, throwing it out there is saying that the taunt has no effect and I'm choosing to ignore it and remain calm. While I agree with teaching my children to remain calm in situations where bullying can be present, this rhyme does absolutely nothing for their confidence and self-esteem because in reality it's a lie — words hurt.


Abusive Realtionships

Resolving Conflict The Healthy Way

If you were to ask my family and friends to describe me I think that most of them would have some pretty nice things to say, but a few of them would also tell you about my sassy mouth that I often cram both feet into, my eagerness to offer unsolicited advice — way too often, and the big one, my incessant compulsion to engage in conflicts that arise. We can all live with the first two attributes though I should work on them, but right now all of my energy is focused on the last one. Conflict is heavy and inviting it into my life is so unhealthy.