10 Ways to ‘Reach Out’ When You’re Struggling With Your Mental Health

So important! I needed this today.

Let's Queer Things Up!

I’m a mental health writer and advocate, and a suicide attempt survivor. I’ve told people on this blog many times, “Keep reaching out.” I’ve written multiple articles preaching the importance of vulnerability, defying stigma, and owning your struggles.

This is my whole thing, okay? This is what I do.

So when one of my closest friends died by suicide a few weeks ago, I wasn’t just shocked — I was completely gutted.

I thought there was never a question of whether or not my loved ones could reach out to me. But the very person who I’d talked to so often about mental health… didn’t call me.

Not even to say goodbye.

Screenshot 2018-03-03 at 10.30.59 AMThe last night I spent with them.

In the weeks following their suicide, my grief took me to dark places. I soon began having my own suicidal thoughts. And even then, when it was my turn to…

View original post 2,372 more words

Facing Challenges

So I’ve been trying to figure out how to write about my current load of issues.  So much has happened since I last posted anything.  I did find a therapist who is wonderful.   I am very optimistic that she’ll be a big help in my journey to better mental health.

I’ll need it because my physical health is…well, not so great.  My follow-up with the nephrologist was rescheduled by that office until next month.  My labs show a slight decrease in kidney function so I really need to consult with him.  My primary care doc continues to be my champion.  One of my labs is elevated which indicates either liver impairment or something else.  I had follow-up labs this week and it’s not my liver.   I will be seeing a hematologist next week to try to figure out what the heck is going on.  Unfortunately, I spent time consulting with Dr. Google and now I’m all freaked out.   There is a chance of bone disease of some type including perhaps, cancer.  So there’s that.

Speaking of bones, I now know why my back hurts all the time.  I have a bulging disc and degenerative disc disease.  Yay me.  I’m waiting to hear back from the neurosurgeon’s office about an appointment. disc29120100_M_0.jpg

How am I coping?   ~sigh~  Well, music therapy helps some.  Today I’ve been rearranging the house which has also helped.  I’ve asked for support from friends (go me!  actually asking) and they’ve been wonderful.   I am reminding myself to take things one step at a time.  Cope with the bits that I am able and don’t sweat the what-ifs.  I’ll have more information soon enough and can then decide how to handle things.

tumblr_o6z8l79cvy1vow9fgo1_400

Bleh

Been spiralling down and only really noticed today when I said to myself “I want to die”. My usual quiet voice just wants to no longer exist.  This is different.  I’m feeling really hopeless.  I had issues getting my meds due to my change of insurance and a mix-up because of the change.  Plus, a charge dinged my bank account that made me overdrawn by over $100.  I did get the charge reversed though.  And I did get my meds finally after dancing through the automated system at the insurance company and then put on hold until a real person finally spoke with me.   I’m still undecided about the disability thing.  It’s more than I can cope with.  I did finally get a positive-ish response from a therapist but that’s another phone call.  Can’t handle this.

I need to go see the dentist.  And I need new glasses (had my eyes checked and my eyes continue to age which means a new, stronger prescription).

I can’t get to sleep at night.  And then I wake up feeling groggy and tired.  Getting out of bed is a chore.  But my furry babies need food and my bladder still works.  My  back pain has gotten worse and that makes sleeping or sitting difficult.

I can’t stop that negative tape except briefly when listening to music or making stuff.  But sitting long enough to make means back and leg pain (different chairs, cushions haven’t helped).

Bleh.  Just bleh.

My Etsy Shop

My Paypal

YouCaring campaign

 

Needful things

Sorry all.  I just had my yearly eye exam.  New script!  So my lenses will be around $55 and I found cheap frames for a total of $89.  Plus I really need to get my Pete to the vet for booster shots and annual exam.  Should be around $250 or maybe less if I talk nice to the vet.    If you wish to help me out, you can Paypal Me (noting glasses fund or pet care fund on the note) or to my general help fund at YouCaring Helping Hand

Thanks!  In other news, I’m waiting to hear back about an appointment with a therapist who sounds perfect for me.  Good wishes are very welcome!

 

 

2018, So far

It’s a new year!  ~confetti~

After a long cold and stressful trip to KC to visit my partner’s family, I return and promptly came down with a bad cold or maybe the flu that’s running rampant.  I’m still recovering.   Then early yesterday, my uterus betrayed me.  I woke up at O dark thirty with a red tide.   ~sigh~  Then today…not a damn thing.  Though I did go out and re-stocked up on menstrual stuff.  It had been over 100 days since I had a period.  So reset and hope for 365 days so I can officially be in menopause and hopefully, one day, be post-menopausal.

Haven’t made a decision on exactly what to do about my disability denial yet.  Being feverish was not helping with my decision making skills.  Need to gear up and produce many pretty beaded things for my Etsy store though.  Hoping folks will want to start shopping soon for Valentine’s Day.

I’ve made some decisions about where I want to be by the end of this year and how to get there but I’m not ready to really talk about it publicly.

I need to get my kittens to the vet for checkups.  So anything you can toss my way would be awesome.  Also, I have follow-ups myself with the nephrologist and my primary care doc and the dentist.  But I have new insurance so I may not have copays and my meds should be a little less expensive.  I think.  I hope so.  Or I could be screwed and not able to see my specialists.  Guess I’ll find out!  Yay.

Guess my mental health hasn’t improved much since I can only focus on the worst scenarios.  Except I can go hunting for a therapist with my new insurance and hopefully get that stuff under better control.  Yay.

Here’s the linkage for today:

My Etsy Shop

YouCaring Donation site

4759535970_3467f04902_o1-1024x690

 

 

Reclaiming My Childhood

For a long time, my memories of my childhood were vague and felt very, very distant.  In part because I actively shied away from fully remembering.  I’ve spoken of  being raped when I was nine years old.  However, as I approach 50, I find myself remembering happy times and a loving family.  Memories of great adventures with cousins, large family gatherings and celebrations, church family, friends at school and in the neighborhood; all crowding forth in my mind lie whispers.  It has moved me to look at the one family photo album that I managed to salvage after my mom’s death.  So many great snapshots that made me smile and laugh.    I want it back.  I want it all back: the fun, the struggle, the pain, the love.  All of it shaped who I am today.

childhood

I have reached out and reconnected with some family and friends on social media and will continue in my efforts.  I’m enjoying seeing these amazing people and learning about who they are now.  I really hope to return to NC sometime in 2018 to see them in person.

I feel like I was missing a part of me and now I am working to reclaim it. To make myself whole.   Yes, it includes some really painful and sad parts but it also includes some really amazing, happy and loving parts as well.

To my friends and family, please share stories with me.  I may not remember them all clearly but the more I hear, the more I remember and the more I feel myself.