Today has been a good day-it's the first day in a while that I have actually felt energized, which is nice! In this post, I am going to skip over the coping skills section, as it is another one that is a bit long-so look for part III soon!
Has been a long, difficult process for me. It took me a long time to accept that I would need to learn how to manage my illnesses and live in recovery for the rest of my life. Medication alone is not going to cure me. Mental illness is a part of me, but it does not define me. I used to really struggle with taking my medication, but I think it was because I had not fully accepted that I needed it. Taking my medication is no longer hard for me, but for a long time, I had to remind myself that I was sick when it was time for my medication, so that I would take it. For a long time, I struggled with feelings of shame, resentment and disbelief, but it helped me when I thought that all of the coping skills that I learned and now use as a result of having mental illness have helped make me a healthier and more positive person than I was before I became sick.
I have been inpatient hospitalized six times, which helped keep me safe, get onto a new medication regime and have taught me how to eat healthily. I have participated in many outpatient programs and those programs allowed me to process my feelings, learn about and practice using coping skills and shown me that I am not alone. I have taken art and music therapy at different times, which I have really enjoyed, because I am a really creative and artistic person AND because sometimes it feels safer exploring feelings in art and song than it does talking about it in a group. I see my therapist once a week, I see a psychiatrist every other month, and I see a nutritionist every few months. What really turned my life around is when I took my therapist’s Dialectical Behavioral Therapy class or DBT and I have now taken it twice. It has changed my life!!! Its motto is that it creates a life worth living and in my case it really has! DBT teaches four key skills: how to have better relationships; how to tolerate distress; how to be mindful or “in the moment,” and how to regulate your emotions, i.e. not have so many mood swings.
Successes, Hopes, and Dreams
Graduated in 2006 with an English degree-It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Proud of my life right now-I am able to use my DBT skills and to rely on my communities and for the most part I am doing better than I ever have before. Because of my hard work, last fall I was able to have my diagnosis of Borderline removed and now I am able to say that I am in recovery from it and the eating disorder. I have moved away from only being comfortable in mental health settings and now am a full participant in the community and am the leader of my own book club and my own Bible study. I have my own recovery blog and hope to one day turn it into a book to show other people that hope is real for a life worth living even if one lives with severe mental illness.
Because conservatives don't value work. They value "having a job"—a thing defined by the most privileged aspects of employment in the US.