The National Eating Disorders Association runs an annual social media campaign each June called #NEDAPride. I just learned of its existence, but I love it already. As someone who is both queer and in eating disorder recovery, this combination feels so poignant to me.
Until only a few years ago, I had no idea how difficult my life would become once I started sharing my story of being a victim of abuse. Although some people close to me already knew some basic information, I kept most of the details to myself. However, as I began my healing journey, it became more necessary for me to share my abuse story so I could move forward and leave my past behind me.
Not every case of self-injury is obvious. Whether you're talking clinically or colloquially, it can be hard sometimes to clearly define what counts as self-harm and what does not.
"I am innocent of the illness that befell me." "I am strong. I am brave." "I am worthy of self-compassion." These are a few of my positive affirmations, said aloud or in silence, to help (re)train my brain. When I started therapy to treat trauma-induced anxiety and panic, these words were hollow and represented nothing more than wishful thinking. As my treatment progresses, adaptive thoughts, similar to my affirmations, are integrating themselves into what I believe about myself.
Beyond the scope of a checking account, money and I have never been on speaking terms. I suspect attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is making me bad with money. When others speak of investing, 401(k)s, or, frankly, even savings, I feel the desperate desire for a Rosetta Stone to help me translate. I took four years of French in high school, and I can still remember "Le chien est sur la route!" in case there's ever a dog in the road, and I need to alert somebody, but Finance might as well be Ancient Sumerian as far as my comprehension is concerned.
Yesterday, I received a phone call about someone I love who is not well. I took this particular phone call while my dinner plate was in front of me. I pushed around vegetables with my fork, listening and processing the news. After the call, the evening went on. I covered a page in my sketchbook with watercolor stripes. I read Shel Silverstein's poems. I noticed I didn't feel the urge to scour the pantry for food to snack on as I had in the past. Sometimes binge eating disorder (BED) flares amid grief, and sometimes it stays dormant.
If you have bipolar disorder, do you have a broken brain? This depends on a lot of things, such as your definition of "brain" and "broken." I feel that I have a broken brain with bipolar disorder, and, more importantly, I find that perspective very helpful in battling bipolar disorder.
When my phone lights up with a notification from Instagram, I immediately open the app and start scrolling. Scrolling on Instagram is quite addictive, and I cannot seem to stop once I start. This doesn't just waste my time but also has detrimental effects on my mental health. From body image issues to low self-esteem, using Instagram is anxiety-inducing.
Here's the thing: depression is a mood disorder that impacts all areas of one's life. I am not saying this to be dramatic or bleak. All I am doing is stating a fact as a 31-year-old living with depression since the age of 13. Anyway, just as no amount of money can make up for a toxic work environment, no amount of ambition or purpose can make up for the havoc of depression. Therefore, it is crucial for people with it to redefine professional success.
Every time I hear of gun violence in the news, I wonder how soon after the conversations about mental health, and mental illness, in particular, will follow. It’s usually not too long. With the recent stories of gun violence in the news, it’s been no different. People were quick to blame mental health issues for the actions taken by these individuals.