I am always anxious around the holidays because of my schizoaffective disorder, but this season I have the added anxiety from arthritis in my knees.
Is it possible to stop self-harming without therapy? As someone who walked the road of self-harm recovery alone for many years, I can tell you it's possible—but that doesn't mean it's your best option.
Symptoms of dissociation can be terrifying. One night, I had horrific acute, prolonged panic symptoms, and in an out-of-body utter state of confusion, I looked at my husband and asked, "Are you going to have me committed?"
I have bipolar disorder, and I never ghost people. "Ghosting" is a slang term for when someone cuts off all communication. Some people may doubt that I don't ghost people based on my bipolar diagnosis; however, believe me, I am not a "ghoster." Moreover, I'm not the only one. Just because a person has bipolar doesn't mean they will ghost you.
Each year, as the calendar flips to November, I'm hit with a reminder of how complex the holiday season feels in eating disorder recovery. Of course, that's not unique to those with a history of eating disorders. This time of year can be overwhelming for anyone. In 2021, three out of five surveyed Americans felt their mental health worsen over the holidays, with 60 percent noticing a rise in anxiety and 52 percent noticing a rise in depression. Now couple all that with eating disorder stressors or behaviors, and this hectic season can become even more fraught. So with the 2022 festivities just around the corner, let's acknowledge it: The holidays are complex in eating disorder recovery—and that is alright.
Everybody can feel overwhelmed from time to time. Whether problems are work- or home-related or of matters entirely unrelated, modern living can tax us physically and emotionally. And, while feelings of overwhelm aren't the sole preserve of people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), emotional dysregulation can act as an antagonist for me--especially when it comes to dealing with modern challenges. In other words, ADHD can add to my feeling overwhelmed.
We are right on the verge of Thanksgiving and the holiday season. It's such a great time to reflect, not only on the year overall but also on how my ability to cope with my anxiety has progressed. A helpful strategy that I've really taken the time to focus on this year has been practicing gratitude and how feeling thankful has helped me manage my anxiety levels.
In August 2021, after watching my performance deteriorate for months, I decided to quit my full-time government job to deal with burnout and take care of my mental health. Living alone in a basement apartment during the pandemic had made my depression and anxiety worse, and I'd been finding my job increasingly stressful. Leaving without another job lined up was risky, but I felt I had no choice. I'd reached my limit.
This isn't one of those stock Thanksgiving blogicles where I waste 500 words tossing around washed-up phrases about how "gratitude is an attitude." It's much worse than that. I'm going to try to challenge your notion of gratitude altogether. I said early on in my HealthyPlace journey that I wasn't going to try to convince anyone of anything, but we all knew I was lying. So let me be explicit about this: I want you to leave this post believing that gratitude isn't just for the things in your life that are working. I want you to walk away feeling grateful for the challenges in your life that aren't.
Getting clean from self-harm isn't easy, and when you're in a dark place, just trying to get better can seem like too much effort for too unlikely a reward. But the work to recover from self-harm is worthwhile—I promise.
Where do we go from here? Most of the family thinks just to let her hit bottom and then if she reaches out to help any we can. Some want to just keep paying her bills and just let her sit in the house with no responsibilities. Never been on medication and impossible to get to her when she refuses to talk to ANYONE.
On the day we agreed to videochat to make things less awkward IRL she woke up with a migraine so we rescheduled to the day after, I made sure to assure her that it was okay and to take her time. Later that day, in the late evening we had a nice chat but suddenly she stopped replying, even though nothing had happened. The day after I texted her good morning and said I hope she was feeling a little better. she wouldn't open my texts.
A couple days after I sent her a longer text saying that even though I had only known her for a short time I care a lot for her and would like to know how she are doing, telling her I'm there for her, assuring her I'm not going anywhere even though things might not be very easy. She wouldn't open it.
A week later I sent a text saying not to feel bad about not answering and that I will be there when she is able to answer again. It's been two weeks since this and she still hasn't opened my texts. She hasn't been active at all.
I don't know what else I can do. I assumed she might have fallen into a depression. I have tried to just not think about it anymore, and I haven't that much but when I do it sort of kills me inside...