A Tip for Those Self-Defeating Types

It’s not like we like to feel bad about ourselves, talk bad about ourselves, and mope around all day (or do we?). But I learned not too long ago that unless we make one small change in how we talk about ourselves internally and, more importantly, how we talk about ourselves to our support system, it all falls apart. All of it.

I recently got out of a relationship. Many things factored into that, mostly my self-defeating and destructive other side. Also, I didn’t help myself when my good side was out, and all it took was one helpful tip from one of my best friends to shift that slightly. Oh, don’t think I got the girl back from this tip. It’s not that great of a tip, but still worth your time… I think.

It’s really quite simple. If you’re like me, you corner a friend or a relative that you trust and just GO OFF. It could be mass texts about how terrible you are, how you’ll always be alone, how no one can help you (it’s true, no one can… except yourself – you’ll probably get tired of me saying that). I mean it’s honestly quite amazing the terrible ways I can think to describe myself and how that other side manipulates me when it’s in control. I mean I say some scary fucking shit. It scares me, so I can only imagine what it does to my support system.

But my buddy had an idea. He actually gave me somewhat of an ultimatum, and I’ve thanked him for that. He made me make a decision. And what he asked wasn’t all that hard.

For me to continue to complain to him, bitch about this or that, and moan about how things could be exponentially better if I just had a different fucking mind, he needed me to provide a one positive thing about myself at the very end of my venting. That’s it. Just one.

An example (picture it as a text):
Me: I don’t know what the fuck to do, man, I’m losing a bit of myself every single day
Friend: something along the lines of “tell me more”
Me: I’m just an utter piece of shit. It’s honestly that simple. It sucks to think about, but maybe I’ll be like this forever. And if I’m like this forever, who the hell is gonna wanna stick around me?
Friend: listening
Me: I mean, I just fucking suck. I can’t even get through a single day without one meltdown. I can’t do ANYTHING. It’s like my mind is just fucking with me non-stop. I don’t know how much I can handle anymore.
Friend: OK, now tell me one positive thing about yourself. Just one.

That last line, that prompt to say one positive thing about myself, it sometimes made me laugh. But he told me if I didn’t start to say at least one positive thing about myself, he wasn’t going to be able to help/listen any longer. Man, I’m glad he told me to do that. Initially I wasn’t taking it that seriously and I’d plug in things like “I made a sandwich today” as my positive, but it still meant I was trying – or at least listened to what a valuable person in my life said to me. Sooner than later, I started to include it on a regular basis, and said more empowering things about myself that, in turn, would sometimes bust me out of the other side jail. I still sometimes slip up and forget to say that positive, but the thought always comes through, thanks to practice and a really, really good friend.

Again, I don’t know if this will work for you. I didn’t think it would work for me. But it kinda does. It’s definitely supplemental, along with most everything when it comes to treating/handling mental illness. And if you haven’t tried this already, try it. Even after reading this blog, just say one positive thing about yourself. It’s worth a shot, isn’t it? And wouldn’t it be nice if it just made any type of difference for you at all? I mean, we don’t have much more to lose here.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

The Stigma with Mental Health Meds (don’t let it stop you)

Yesterday I had a wet net on my head. After that, a cotton swab rubbed on the left and right side of the inside of my mouth.

No, I wasn’t taken hostage (that would’ve been a massive plot twist in this blog). I had an EEG (An EEG tracks and records brain wave patterns) and a DNA cotton swab test. Why? Well, supposedly they help dwindle down what a psych thinks is best for you in terms of medication. It’s weird. The EEG was really, really weird. You wait to hear the “target tone” and you click a button once you do, but more often than not, they plug other noises in there – such as farts, burps, and babies crying. It really isn’t pleasant.

As for the cotton swab thing? Eh, no big deal. Neither were that big of a deal. But they are helping me figure out something that is a big deal.

I used to be against meds for a couple reasons:
1) I absolutely hated psychiatrists, they just seem like shitty people most of the time.
2) It never made sense how if my family has a history of pancreatic cancer then I should be prescribed Med A, or if my family didn’t, I should be prescribed Med B – you can explain it all you want to me, include scientific facts if you want, it still doesn’t make sense to me.

Then I happened to fall into a very, very dark place and I had nowhere to turn. I had to do what was right for me, what was right for the people around me, and what’s going to keep me going in the future (in a small way).

Meds aren’t all that bad. Actually, since I started taking my depression medication a couple months back, my sex drive actually kicked up. Also, I don’t really know what the fuck the med does, which I think is a good thing? I don’t feel it hovering over my brain, clouding up my thoughts, you know – all the bad shit people tell you meds do to you. Sometimes they don’t, especially if you find the right ones and you somehow find a good psychiatrist. I only had to go through five to find one decent one…

So what the fuck am I saying in this tangent? I’m saying never rule anything out. Yeah, it sucks to admit that you’re on depression medication, anxiety medication, all that, but it sucks even more to suffer heavily from depression and anxiety, doesn’t it? Fuckin’ suck it up. You aren’t bigger than the next person and neither am I. We all need help – maybe meds aren’t for you, but don’t think for a second that this depression will just go away all by itself. This BPD will just magically poof and leave you for good. That anxiety that makes that heart pump? It’s not going away unless you do something.

That’s what we all have to learn. It’s not the meds that help us (well, they do, but that’s not what I mean), it’s not the therapy that helps us (again, it does help us), and it’s not the psychiatrist that helps us (meh, I’ll stick to my hatred with psychiatrists, they just drive me nuts). What helps us is us. Not just you, but your collective group, that support system I’ve talked about, even if it’s just your cute lil’ dog.

My support system told me it was OK to be medicated. They assured me that I’m not fucking stupid and I won’t fucking lose myself if I do take meds. And guess what, they were right.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Waking up on the Good Side

We’ve all been here. The joy I have when I wake up not already hating myself is substantial. But here’s the thing: It doesn’t always last. Again, Mr. and Ms. Reader, I would love your feedback here, but I’ll share some things that I make sure I do when the good side is meeting me for coffee in the morning.

First things first, get the fuck out of bed. I make sure to get the hell out of my dark house (bad window placement), too, and get outside. I’m blessed with a beautiful backyard, a garden, a couple of dogs, so outside makes sense for me. For you, that might be different. Maybe a long shower, bath, or simply stretching and breathing is your way to maintain that good side. Whatever works, just make sure you identify it.

Some other things you must do to keep that good side around as long as possible; make sure you stick to your schedule, understand that things may not go the way you think they should that day, and most of all, be aware. Remember that you are the person, the only person, that can keep you on that good side. That’s powerful. You have that power.

Does the good side always stick around? Hell no. I mean, just thinking about writing this blog while in the shower, the other side made sure to let me know that I’d most likely forget what I wanted to write by the time I got to my computer. The motherfucker was kinda right (I think I had more influential shit to say, but honestly can’t remember), but still, I made it out here. I made it to the computer. I’m sharing my experience. So another thing that’s helping me right now? Sharing. Again, might not be for you, but it’s worth a shot.

Another essential for me is making sure I reach out to my friends and loved ones on my good days. It’s always a great reinforcement to see that your humor, your smile, and your wittiness is still with you – and there’s no one better to use that humor on than your friends and loved ones. Don’t let it go to waste. Never let this side of you go to waste. Always build off of it.

Also, don’t think it about it too much. I mean, I might be fucked because I’m writing this blog on it. Five minutes from now I might hate the world, but I really don’t think so. Why? Well, I said before… We have the power, not the other side.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Relationships Don’t Work (if we aren’t aware)

I’ve noticed in my depression, anxiety, the other side, that I am just not very good at relationships.

Don’t get me wrong. I am good… when I’m good. When the other side is in control? Nah, not good. I mean the shit that comes out of my mouth is unreal. I know I cuss a lot on this blog, but you should see that other side in real life. Actually, you shouldn’t.

OK, back to it. Being bad at relationships, right? It has me wondering, and I wouldn’t mind if you pitched in here, Mr. or Ms. Reader, should I involve myself with anyone else in whatever’s left of my life?

It’s a really bleak question to ask yourself when you’re on that other side, but it’s an interesting question when you’re not. You know you can be good, but sometimes you fail. Actually, it’s not just sometimes. It’s a lot of the time. Like waaaaay too much. How many people that you love have you pushed away? Luckily I can still count on one hand, but it’s getting close to that second hand.

So what can people like us do? We can’t deny ourselves the joy that love can bring, that companionship brings, just because of our stupid mental illness. That’s worsening your own self. That’s denying your good side a chance to show up a bit more often.

But is it fair for the other person? This is the one I struggle with. My mind, everything really, tells me no. But there’s this thought in the back of my mind, really deep back there, that says yes, it is fair. Why? Because there’s something called unconditional love, and there will be that person out there for you, that unconditionally loves you and puts up with your other side because they, again, unconditionally love you.

Also, be mindful. Be aware. Understand when you need to step away. Sticking around and trying to battle that other side while you’re with the person you care most about… don’t do that. Separate yourself. At least for me, that’s what’s helped in the past. It just hasn’t been quite enough. Maybe you’re better at talking it out than I am. Do what fits you best.

Another thing to always tell yourself is you will never know when you’ll find love. It’s stupid to think that you being active on a dating app or heading to the bars will bring you love. Nothing brings you love. That shit just shows up, and when it does, remember what I said. Be mindful. Be aware. Step away when needed. And as always, try your best to think of that good side you have.

I’m sure I’ll write more on this subject, but for now, that’s all I got.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.