Treat your mind from time to time

Tired? Sad? Mind Racing? Anxious? These uncomfortable feelings can make daily tasks feel harder, or even next to impossible. But I want you to know that you’re not alone. More than one in four Americans deal with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other mental conditions. A mental illness is a real medical issue. And the good news is that most of these conditions can be treated as long as you’re willing to put in the effort.

A healthy mind and positive outlook often goes hand in hand with a healthy body. While only a mental health professional can help you deal with the serious symptoms and causes of mental illness following these tips may help you feel better. Remember that most things do not happen over night, it takes work and patience to heal. You may have hear the phrase “Trust the process.”

  • Positivity is infectious, connect with others. Surround yourself with positive, caring people, and spend a lot of time with them. Remember, most times you’re a product of the company you keep. If you don’t have supportive people in your life, seek them out by joining a support group.
  • Treat yourself, save time for yourself. Make time each week to do something you enjoy; this can give life more meaning and purpose.
  • Change your perception. Train your brain. Stressful events are bound to happen in life and while you may not be able to change them, you can change how you react. Try keeping a better future in mind when dealing with a difficult moment.
  • Embrace change. Sometimes life throws changeups, curveballs, screwballs, etc… your way and what you had in mind may not be within reach anymore. Accepting when things can’t be changed can help you focus on those you may be able to control, like your attitude or your approach to dealing with them.
  • Speak to a friend or a Doctor. If you’re not feeling well, don’t assume that it’s no big deal or it’ll pass. Talk it out with someone you trust. Sometimes simply venting and expressing how you feel can alleviate some nerves. Your doctor can help you decide if your symptoms are due to a physical or mental health problem and help you develop a plan to feel better.
  • Pay attention to what you eat. A healthy, balanced diet fuels your body and keeps your blood sugar steady. This helps prevents mental highs and lows that can make depression and anxiety seem worse.
  • Manage your stress. Pay attention to how you’re feeling and don’t take on too much. It’s OK to say “No” to people or projects that place too many demands on you. Know your limits and only take on what you can handle.

Remember, you’re far from alone. As impossible as it may sound in whichever situation you find yourself in, call a friend, speak to family, a loved one, or talk to your doctor if you haven’t been feeling like yourself lately. Patience is key, trust the process.

A Fallacy of Peace

WARNING:

 This journal entry contains sensitive reading material that may not be suitable to all readers.  Topics include Drug use, Self-Harm, Suicide, and some foul language. This entry will be broken into three parts, as this is not the easiest for me to let out in the open.  

– Part 1 of 3

On January 7th of this year (2022), I attempted to end my life. Fortunately for me and my family, I was unsuccessful. The series of events that resulted in me making an attempt on my life is rather complicated and fuzzy. Yet, I’ll try my best to be as open and candid as possible. I also want to state that this was my OWN experience, and in no way shape or form am I an expert regarding mental health. I’m a firm believer that simply talking about mental health will help those suffering in silence speak out and realize that you are NOT alone. I truly believe this all started with a little prescription pill named Adderall.

(Quick personal summary with ADD)

I was diagnosed with Inattentive Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) when I was 18 years old, and began taking medication at 19. ADD is defined as an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. Adderall is one of the few medications available for those who are living with ADD. 

When I began taking Adderall as prescribed, for the first time in my life I felt as if I had finally gained control of my mind.  I was able to focus on one thought at a time without being easily distracted.  A metaphor I often used when describing my thought process off of adderall was “Imagine being in a dark room with 50 television screens on a wall.  Each screen is displaying a different story and the volume is maxed out on each one.  Now you’re tasked with paying attention to all the screens, while trying to process your own thoughts at the same time”. I finally had a sense of what a “Normal” thought process felt like. 

January 7th, 2022:

(11 years on Adderall)

The first time I made an actual attempt on my life began on the night prior to the 7th on January 6th, 2022.  My work was extremely stressful in a profession not popular with most of society, My health was rebounding after bouts with chemotherapy and radiation yet, was drowning in medical bills.  I had completely isolated myself from friends and family and was completely alone due to my stubbornness. I found a sense of comfort living and being completely alone. I put one a fake face and persona for others to prevent questions being asked.  When I was asked how I was doing, I simply responded with “I’m doing fine”.  I would occasionally find the courage to ask for help, but would at times stop myself for the fear of being stigmatized as weak or judged. The biggest scare for me was asking for help, and being ostracized.  I drove myself crazy going back and forth on what others would think.  I had friends, but I had lost all my close friends.  Years of suffering and my own thoughts seperated a decade of friendships.  I pushed out my family by keeping my life private, thinking I was doing them a service by not allowing them to suffer with me.  I had always taken pride in thinking I was in control, but I wasn’t. I was prescribed the highest dose: 30mg tablets twice daily for nearly 8 years at this point. I had terrible tremors, I had developed a severe compulsion of picking my thumbnails down to the cuticle on both thumbs.  My confidence was non-existent, and I went out of my way to avoid anyone and everyone when I wasn’t working. The odd thing about all this was I was not aware of these changes (as hard as it seems).  

Okay, back to the 6th of January… I was living in Downtown Tucson, hoping it would force me to be social and perhaps go out more.  A friend from high school had invited me to a dinner just down the street, so I accepted.  The night went great, and as much as I can remember I had a fun time.  

I woke up at approximately 8:00 PM on January 7th on the floor of my kitchen surrounded by half empty prescription bottles, pills on the floor, vomit, holes in the walls, doors ripped from the hinges, a bruised and bloody hand, and a nearly shattered phone.  Completely disoriented, I gathered myself and attempted to gain a sense of what had happened.  I plugged my phone in to charge and was sickened to realize I had called, text, and left angry voicemails to a majority of my contacts. I don’t know what I had said, who I spoke to. I had zero recollection and was full of shame.  I had multiple missed calls and text asking if I was okay, some threatening to call for a wellness check.  Embarrassed and still extremely foggy, I made the mistake of deleting every message and incoming/outgoing call thinking it would go away if I ignored it, and pretended it didn’t happen. I had taken a handful of sleeping pills, and other medicines according to a suicide note I found sticking to my fridge door…Part 2 is available now below.

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