I'm someone who feels like I only deserve a certain amount of happiness. If I received my quota, I shouldn't expect any more happiness for a little while. Of course that sounds ridiculous and not technically true, but my subconscious does truly put a cap on how much happiness I think I'm worthy of. I've had a lot going on recently. Obviously my book launch and signings and I've had a lot of fun events planned with my "bubble" of friends. We celebrated my Nana's life last night with close family since she didn't get a proper funeral last year. During this time I've done a really good job of taking care of my body. Eating right, exercising, splurging on occasion but nothing out of control. It's like when things are good with me, they're really good. I just hate that there's always this inevitable drop.
It makes it hard to enjoy the highs sometimes. I felt it creeping in late last week when I started feeling insecure about a volunteer project, but this morning it really hit me hard. It's so disappointing because while I know it will eventually come, I always hope deep down that maybe I've had my last down time. I mean if I wasn't medicated, this feeling would be amplified by 100, but it's still there and it makes me second guess myself.
My down times make me emotional and sensitive and insecure. I do have tools in my "mental health tool belt" to help me through these times, but it's important to understand that these tools just help me react to these feelings more rationally and logically. It doesn't mean the feelings go away or that they're not still painful. I'm just better at combating illogical thoughts and being productive in spite of these feelings .
Those of us who experience mental illness deal with these feelings all the time while making you laugh or working on an important project or shooting the shit in the elevator or talking about your problems. It's just something I'm used to but try to give myself grace for now. I haven't reached out to my support system about this most recent bout yet. I will. I just want to sit alone with this for a little while. I'll text my mom before I post because I do like to give her a heads up.
That is the first thing I do when I start feeling this way. I reach out to my support system which the speed dial of that system is my mom. If my symptoms were stronger, I'd schedule an emergency appointment with my psychiatrist, but I see her next week and I can handle this level of pain.
The flip side of this is that sometimes I'm sad because of a real life situation but I'm really good at hiding my issues even from myself so it's like deciphering a code. A few months ago, I was really depressed and nothing could snap me out of it. After a lot of self reflection and talking with my therapist, I realized that something had triggered my abandonment issues and my trauma response just shut me down completely. In fact, I have had a couple of things trigger my fear of rejection in the past week so that could also be it. So I play this fun little game called "is it a trauma response or bipolar?" A lot of times I end up figuring it out by doing what I'm doing right now, writing. However, usually I'm writing in a journal, not on a completely public forum. You're welcome, I guess.
Now all that being said, while trauma and illness is not our fault, managing it is our responsibility. Keep in mind though that healthcare, especially mental healthcare is more accessible to some more than others so just take that into consideration before judging anyone. It can be hard to love someone who doesn't do what they can to get psychological help because instead of them having a seizure due to failure to medicate, they manipulate you and/or lash out at you and turn into a complete nightmare due to failure to medicate. So I applaud those of you who have stuck around before their loved one sought help for their mental illness. I know it's not easy.
I know this has been a very chaotic blog post and I appreciate those who have stuck with it to the end. Hopefully I'm helping to educate, validate and normalize. Feel free to reach out to me in the "Get in touch" section of my website or comment here. Also, I'd really appreciate it if you would share this to your social media pages so I can spread awareness with my story. Thanks!
Breaking Code Silence is officially a 501(c)(3) Non profit! I'm so excited for them!
Honestly, if it weren’t for #breakingcodesilence I would have never begun coming to terms with the trauma I had from the program I was sent to as a teenager. In fact, I wouldn’t have even written my book! Thank you to all of the survivors for sharing their stories and encouraging me to do the same. I'm so stoked to start this new chapter of my life.
So I’m not sure if you’ve caught on yet, but I’m on a journey. Three steps forward, two steps back. A journey within yourself is always up and down, but I’m on an upward swing and I’m rolling with it #thankyoubipolar Since my last post about feeling gross in my bigger body, I’ve made it a point to learn to accept myself as I am. I’ve also been working out super hard and eating much healthier with the help of my beautiful friend @mellyblankin but life is too short not to love yourself just as you are while you’re working on who you want to be. I recently got approached by an old coworker of mine @holy_guacamollie to do a photoshoot to promote my book. After the initial hesitation due to my insecurity with my body, I realized what better way to accept myself than to let someone show me who I really am on the outside. And damn it if she didn’t show me how brightly I can shine from the inside out, double chin and all! I am genuinely satisfied with these photos. Will I be this weight forever, nope. But if I was, there’s nothing wrong with it because I’m worthy at any weight. I’m worthy of love, success and happiness. Thank you, sincerely from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU to everyone who has been so supportive on my journey.
Love and light to you all
Oh and Banjo obviously had to shine as well #seniordoglove
This 👏🏻 This 👏🏻 This 👏🏻
It may seem like common sense when it’s so blatantly in your face like this, but all the flags are hidden within the toxic manipulation they feed to parents to get them to send their kids to these places. Should parents take responsibility for sending their kids to these places that traumatized them? Absolutely. However we do want to acknowledge the deception that goes into promoting these programs. If the program includes any of the flags in this photo, run!
Learn more about Haywood’s experience in the troubled teen program she was sent to by picking up her book 👉🏻GT tps://tinyurl.com/n2t46k39
On Easter Day, two years ago, I had a lovely day with my brother and his family and my dad and stepmom at my dad’s house. I went home that evening and chased down 20+ Ativan pills with a bottle of champagne and went to sleep with no intention of waking up. I tell a detailed account of this event in my book, but I wanted to share a little about what this means to me now. Every year since then, when I hear the word Easter, I get a pit in my stomach. It started this year in mid-March. My whole mood changes and I find very little interesting or pleasurable. I get depressed and begin dreading the inevitable, Easter. My mom knows this. So this year she proposed driving to the mountains for Easter weekend and leaving all semblance of a traditional Easter in Charleston. I could not be more grateful to her for this weekend. Then while at lunch yesterday, the server brings us a bottle of Prosecco and said this is from “the girls” I broke down. So many emotions but that was just the tipping point. Thankfully these were feelings of gratitude. I’m so incredibly lucky to have such wonderful, caring people in my life. What could’ve been a dreadful, sad weekend has become a reminder of how truly blessed I am. I’m so thankful to be alive today. Happy Easter everyone! #normalizementalhealth #suicideawarness
I had been making my rounds today to local bookstores and was feeling kind of deflated by the responses. Then at my last Hail Mary stop at the Barnes & Noble West Ashley, I got another generic response from the customer service person and she wouldn’t even take a FREE copy of my book. So I turned around and started heading out of the store. Thank goodness for masks because I definitely had a “I’m 100% about to breakdown in tears” face going on. Then I see a man standing with a woman and he says “excuse me, Miss” Great. This guy thinks I work here. As if my day couldn’t get any worse (not because that’s not a great place to work. I was just done). He said “I couldn’t help but overhear that you’re a local author and we love to support local. How can we find your book?” I couldn’t have given him the book that the B&N rep refused, any quicker. I told him to please take it then told him a little bit of what it was about. He asked me if he could give me anything and I said to just spread the word if he liked it. He said he would and he seemed so genuine, it was refreshing. So wherever you are, nice guy from B&N West Ashley, you have no idea how much you helped this local author turn her entire fucking day around. Keep being like that, man. It makes a difference.
Ok so here’s another one of those posts where I’m kind of embarrassed but then I remember that when I decided to make my journey public, I committed to the good the bad and the ugly. Well in this case, fat. So I just had channel 4 feature my story about writing my book and my battle with mental illness (screen shot from video pictured above). Proud moment. And it certainly is. I’m very proud of myself. However, it’s slightly shrouded in my shame of the weight I gained over the pandemic (30 lbs). I’ve struggled with my weight and eating disorders my whole life and it’s just something I have yet to get control of. My problem now is trying to love myself for who I am and what I look like now while trying to lose the weight. Ever since watching the news feature I’ve felt kind of gross in my own skin. I got off all my dating sites and told myself I wouldn’t get back on until I lost the weight. For my own health, I need to lose weight. I know that. But how do you fully love yourself when you’re so consumed by what you look like on the outside? I know I’m kind of rambling but I know I’m not the only one with body image issues and that’s why I’m throwing this out there. Once again talking about something no one wants to or is too ashamed to talk about. I guess you can call me your emotional martyr lol Maybe you have some advice or encouraging words for me. Maybe I helped to validate those of you who experience the same feelings. We’re not alone. There’s more to us than our bodies. And I will work on loving myself at any weight. Have a good night, everyone