I talk honestly and openly about my experiences with mental illness, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome through the lens of feminism, fat acceptance and process theology. I also do recipe and book reviews. My mission is to spread the message that hope is always real for a better life, despite living in a world that is often very harsh.
Tomorrow morning I am leaving for Washington state to see my brother and his girlfriend for Christmas and I am excited! Fortunately, my doctor upped my new medication and I am definitely feeling much better than I was even four days ago, which is a relief.
Here are some pictures from the last time I visited:
While I was packing today, I made sure to pack my "self-soothing kit"-a coping skill I started practicing last year. The kit is just a bag of small things that usually help me feel better and calm down when feeling stressed out that I have stored in a bag, so I can just pop it into my suitcase when I'm traveling somewhere.
Mine Currently Holds:
-a small bottle of scented lotion -bath salts -packets of tea -lavender scented eye pillow -eye mask that you can freeze (good for headaches and panic attacks) -an easy to read, fun book
Other Ideas: -markers and coloring book -a journal -a small stuffed animal -a small blanket -a worry stone or other trinket that feels good to touch -hard candies or chocolates
I really do not think that I will need it and I usually don't, but it does make me feel better knowing that I have calming things with me. I also have my journal, camera, a coloring book and markers, my quote book and even my DBT book, so I am definitely prepared.
I want my Christmas to be a fun time full of love, instead of worry, so it is important that I do everything I can to help make it that way. Of course, not every situation is under my control, but I have become like a boy scout-always prepared to soothe myself in a possible emotional crisis. It's amazing how just the fact of being prepared helps me feel better about myself.
What items would you put in your kit? Do you have other distress tolerance skills that you tend to use when away from home?
Finding your strength
and practising keeping your heart open is a spiritual practice. Feminists have
enough on their plates, which leaves little time for spiritual practice.
However, taking on at least a few aspects of the idea of soft heart would not
hurt feminist cause.
I'm a fierce smashing-the-patriarchy Christian feminist spreading the word that hope is real for people with mental health and chronic pain challenges. I do NAMI In Our Own Voice presentations, endorse Dialectical Behavioral Therapy(DBT) and baking cupcakes. I am in recovery from borderline personality disorder, an eating disorder and bipolar II. I work on managing my anxiety. I consider myself living in recovery, because mental illness and chronic pain no longer control my life.
If you would like me to speak to your organization about living in recovery from mental illness, please email me.