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With this post, I want to talk about how trying new things has helped boost my self-esteem. There have been many times when I feel like I'm stuck or in a rut, and those times typically lead to questioning my self-worth and doubting what I want to do. Today, I'll share how trying new things -- and even reviving some old ones -- helped boost my self-esteem.
If you often deal with anxiety, sometimes it might seem as though it is difficult to be happy and anxious. While anxiety is not the same as depression, I think that dealing with it can sometimes lead to depression because, when you're anxious, you may find that you experience negative emotions that lead to a general feeling of sadness. You might also find that you focus more on those negative feelings than other ones.
I used to subscribe to the toxic positivity message. I wanted to believe that if I could maintain a persona of relentless confidence, enthusiasm, resilience, and optimism, then I would eventually outdistance the pain of my eating disorder.
When most of your life has been a struggle to perform tasks thanks to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it's hard not to become preoccupied with productivity. So zero percent productivity days can lead to self-criticism.
After I wake up in the morning, one of the first things I see is my reflection in the mirror. Like many people with depression, I don't always like my appearance. Years ago, I obsessed over it to the point that gaining a few pounds was enough for me to isolate myself. In this post, I recall my experiences with image struggles and how I have been learning to overcome them.
I suspect all of us have heard someone say, "No one will love you until you love yourself." It's one of those quaint pieces of advice that people give so often that it shines with the veneer of truth. But I'm here to tell you it isn't true and, in fact, it's cruel to tell people that. I'm aware that people are trying to help, but "no one will ever love you until you love yourself" does just the opposite. 
When we talk about self-harm recovery, we like to think of it in terms of goals and milestones. We like to think of it as something measurable that we can track, a box we can tick off, or a line we can cross. But at what point do you get to claim the title of being self-harm free?
Verbal abuse victims can have a negative inner dialog that will haunt them during abuse and long afterward. These prevalent thoughts are not theirs but come from their abusers and continue to destroy their self-esteem even as adults. My situation is challenging since I can still hear the negative words from my childhood, but they also correlate with verbal abuse from adult relationships. For myself, having similar experiences as a child and an adult reinforced the fact that I am not worthy and cannot make the best decisions or do the right things. 
Numerous studies, articles, and opinionated online users have claimed that the United States overdiagnoses attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), leading to an over-reliance on stimulant  ADHD medications like amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall) and methylphenidate hydrochloride (Ritalin) As someone diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, I often think about how different my work ethic might have been if I'd been diagnosed and prescribed ADHD medication at, say, 15 or even 18 instead of 24. I can say without a doubt that my medications help me stay productive and focused, and I wish I'd had that same capability back when I was a student. 
It’s one of the original facets of mental health stigma: the belief that negative thoughts are a choice. I’d wager nearly everyone has had someone tell them that at one point or another. Mental health stigma can manifest in many complex ways, but that idea is rather straightforward and simple. Despite that, it’s a truly grating form of mental health stigma and one I encountered again last week.

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A very lost boyfriend
Thanks, this article helped putting some things in perspective, but I'm still at a loss. I'm pretty convinced my girlfriend has bipolar, but she's never been diagnosed. A lot of symptoms match, but not all of them.
I'll tell my story, hoping someone will be able to tell me their thoughts or give some advice.

I’m 41. I’ve been with my girlfriend for about a year. It took a while for the relationship to take off, because she’s been through an insane amount of trauma throughout her life, and over the past few years especially: her dad (undiagnosed bipolar) took his life, she got divorced, her highly successful career fell apart, and other heavy stuff.
She rebuilt herself as a highly independent woman, taking care of her two children and a new business she started (which she’s very passionate about but it’s not generating enough income thus far which is super scary), and was really not looking for anything serious. Nevertheless, love found us, and it was so special and right, that my patience paid off. We’ve lived an insane amount of stuff over our time together. We became partners, best friends, I developed an amazing relationship with her kids, and things between us were generally amazing. Except that at times, it would still come up that it wasn’t the life she had planned (she left an unhappy marriage that made her feel trapped, and she wanted to be a solo, independent woman), and every so often she would say that she can’t give me what I want (proper commitment). But things would always get better, and everything just felt right.
She's also often in a dark, sad place and feels desperate with a total lack of motivation or taste for life, but she’s a generally functional person (she has to, for her kids), so she would always manage to stand up again after a really bad day, and be active. So it's never the 'two weeks in bed completely paralyzed' kind of situation that I often read about, which has me wondering.

We had a terrible phase in the spring, she broke up with me, and we were apart for about 6 weeks. She said and did some things that were super hurtful, and I was a complete, utter mess (had to take xanax for the first time in my life).
She was having a huge manic episode, so she was very confident in what she was doing, no second thoughts. Again, she’s never been diagnosed, but so many things made it a textbook case of bipolar mania (poor judgement, hypersexuality, recklessness with her money, heightened productivity, etc.).
Through a series of circumstances, things eventually improved, and we had a perfect few months after that.

The past month however, took a huge toll on us. Some things (outside of our couple) highly triggered her, she felt she had to focus more on the kids and the business, and there was a communication breakdown, while communicating had always been one of our fortes.
Now she dumped me again, saying she can’t give me what I want, can’t be faithful (a desire for promiscuity/an open relationship seems to be a recurring thing during these phases), needs to be alone and focus on herself, the kids and the business, etc. There are other signs of mania (heightened productivity, irritability, raging - even though that never gets insane: she's not a violent person, and we normally have a positive, loving dynamic). It's been a lot of ghosting, with no willingness for dialogue. I feel invisible.

I don’t know how to deal with this. I would accept it and let it go, if what we had (minus these phases) wasn’t so rare and special. Believe me, I’m not delusional, what we have at our core really is all that. I’m hearing all this crap now, whereas only a few weeks back, all I was hearing was, I’m a gift, I’m perfect for her, she’s committed to me, we’re better together, my presence is awesome for the kids, etc.

It seems like she’s punishing herself, and is unable to love herself and to be kind to herself (she told me 'it's way too late for me to be kind to myself). She feels that she can’t give. But that’s completely at odds with how everything looks when things are normal. I’m scared that since this is the second such episode in 4 months, it could be more permanent than the one in the spring. Like, even if she comes out of the mania…she would feel discouraged, or would simply prefer to get over it and move on, convincing herself that she's meant to be alone.
Now she's saying she's good and optimistic, but isn't really reaching out. Other than saying she misses me too, she's saying the space is good for her.

So I'm trying to understand what's going on, and besides some super heavy trauma she's been through and some boundary issues, so many things seem to match with bipolar: phases where she's obsessed with being productive, skewed judgment and paranoia, opinions about us changing radically, symptoms of hypersexiaulity and a strong desire for independence, a sense of feeling great which seems temporary, and irritability. And then, the underlying feeling of sadness and despair, pessimism, and lack of joy or motivation, even though none of that is necessarily obvious on the surface.

Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated!
Cheryl Wozny
Hello, Gillian Bevis-King, I am Cheryl Wozny, author of the Verbal Abuse in Relationships blog. I am sorry that you are dealing with an extremely stressful situation. You are correct that your mental and physical health should always be safe. I encourage you to visit our resources page https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referral-resources for more information about hotlines and agencies that could possibly aid you with your healing and find a resolution. Remember that you are never alone, and there is always someone who you can talk to when you do not feel safe.
Cheryl Wozny
Hello, I am Cheryl Wozny, author of the Verbal Abuse in Relationships blog. I want to thank you for reaching out for help. It takes a lot of courage to do that. I am sorry that you are facing abuse, and I encourage you to try exploring our resources page https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referral-resources for hotlines and agencies that can help you. Although I do not know what area you reside in, this page has resources all over the world. If you need immediate assistance, you can also text the word HOME to 741741 and be in contact with someone who can provide some help. I am glad you are making the decision to find help for yourself, you are never alone in your journey.
Adrienne Lessie
I can attest to having phone anxiety, it makes it impossible for me to do my customer reservice job because I dread talking to someone who may be unpleasant and I get thrown off on how to navigate that negative reaction. Thank you for writing an article like this!
Emma Parten
Hi Eleni, I didn't originally write this blog post, but I'm currently the author of the blog and I want to say I empathize with what you've been through. It's so difficult to tell the truth about eating disorders, so thank you for sharing your personal story. With all you have gone through, it is clear to me how strong you are today.
I don't have any experience with Phentermine, so I cannot advise you on where to go for that. I hope you will continue to read the blog as a reminder to yourself that you are not alone. Everyone's recovery journey is different, but I believe it helps to remind yourself that you are not alone and that you are so much more than your eating habits. Your eating disorder is not who you are, even though it feels that way much of the time.
Take good care and I'd love to hear from you more in the future.