Finding Contentment through Mental Recovery

Over the course of the past two weeks, I have made it a goal of mine to specifically focus on my own well-being. As I have expressed thoroughly on this page, the source of most of my anxiety is having constant concerns about my siblings and whether or not they’re okay. To an extent, it is okay to worry about others, but what I failed to realize for a while, was the idea that one must also focus on themselves.

At the beginning of February, I was experiencing a level of anxiety in which I had never experienced before. Each day, I found myself realizing more, and with this, it brought many unpleasant flashbacks and memories. Seeing that I struggle with C-PTSD, these flashbacks caused anxiety attacks and a suffocating feeling of not being able to stop myself from crying. I did not understand why I was experiencing these things so frequently, and did everything to remove them from my thoughts. I had made so many positive changes to my life, including; meditating, eating healthier, therapy, exercising daily, hydrating, yoga, proper sleep schedule, spending time outdoors, and spending time alone. I was at a point, in which, I thought this feeling would simply never end.

During the time in which I was experiencing this level of anxiety, I found it best fit to remove myself from the environment I was in. That environment, being my own home. This was rather confusing for many individuals to understand, considering I had already made many other positive changes in my life, however, it was a necessary change to make. This change in environments, was truly necessary because I obviously did not see the toxic pattern in which I failed to differentiate my own needs, from the needs of others. However, I was able to differentiate the emotions between either. I felt so overwhelmed with the idea of not being able to help all of my siblings, that I forgot to love myself in the way I needed it most.

As I began planning for this change in environments, I considered admitting myself to a mental health facility. This is something that I would never have even considered, until I had reached the point that I did. I felt so at a loss and such a need to be completely alone, that I contemplated isolating myself completely from society. Overall, the idea sounded appealing to me because though I had never experienced being in a mental health facility, I needed more than anything, to be alone. I mentally and physically could not handle the pressure I was experiencing. It was at this point, I decided to confide in one of my closest friends; Cat Zeranski.

I discussed with Cat the point I was at in my life, and the love that both, her and her family showed me, is too great for words. They showed me an endless amount of support and love, as they knew my situation and realized the importance it was for me to get mentally back on track. I truly cannot explain the amount of appreciation I have for this family, because during the time I was there, I learned what it truly meant to take care of myself. Certainly, I was doing many things to physically rejuvenate myself but my mental state was deteriorating every other asset in my life. I returned all of my belongings home yesterday, and though the environment is not as comforting as the one of Cats family, I reached a point in which I have found pure bliss and contentment.

After the week and a half, in which I was away from home, I was able to focus solely on my mental recovery. Though I still have mental obstacles to work through, I am finding more and more each day that I am beyond capable of this. I am truly content & seeing as I am still living at home, this feeling will only grow once I move out of my house. A specific goal I have at the moment, is moving out. As much discouragement that I have gotten, I am so excited & determined. There is a true misunderstanding between my level of capability and the credibility that I receive from family members, teachers, and coworkers. But thats okay, because I am happy and doing well, which is something I have never been able to say, up until this point, completely truthfully.

An Entry for Release

This past week, I have been in Boulder, Colorado experiencing some of the most beautiful exhibits of nature. It’s an almost overwhelming feeling when surrounded by so much natural beauty. Being here, has confirmed my wanting in moving here eventually.

While also experiencing an endless beauty to nature, I have also had a lot of time to simply focus on my innermost thoughts. These have shown to be uncomfortable for the most part but I know it is a part of my healing process and journey towards peace. I have realized more and more in how little I’ve been appreciated by many people, this also including past/current treatment from my parents.

Although, I have always been aware of my introverted state of mind & kept a small circle of friends, I have noticed more in-depth in which the extent of these relationships reach to. I believe many people see me as one to understand, acknowledge, and empathize with them. This assumption is totally accurate, except for the idea that many people take advantage of this & pretend as though I’m oblivious to the already blatantly obvious.

As I have stated in past entries, I am incredibly observant and intuitive. I am fully aware when someone is taking advantage of my character or minimizing my emotions. There have been an array of excuses for those in which I have felt the need to speak up against, simply because I was not being treated the way I deserve and there was a refusal, from the opposing, to acknowledge the way it had affected me. Seeing as I grew up in a manipulative family setting, my emotions were frequently minimized and the realization of this has brought me to the self-awareness in knowing how to detect one whom is trying to taking advantage or undermine my intellect.

I consider myself to be an incredibly compassionate person, however, there is a certain extent in which it is no longer worth my own vulnerability, as it is not reciprocated nor appreciated on a level as it should. I am not hesitant in speaking up for what I believe. I know how I should be treated and unfortunately, there are many who look past this. My self-awareness has given me the confidence to see myself in a new perspective: one that does not settle for less than deserved.

Although, it is unsettling & uncomfortable to realize that many are not willing to reciprocate the amount of love you have for them, ones own being has enough to supply a lifetime of happiness. I am thankful to have gone through uncomfortable & challenging situations, as it is bringing me closer to peace and a totally conscious mindset. I am confident in the things I say and my emotions are not to be minimized. One with respect for themselves, has respect for others.

A Glimpse Inside My Anxiety

As a child, most of my thoughts consisted of constant worry. Whether it be about what I would wear to school the next day or dwelling on a past conversation that seemingly had no significant meaning, my mind was constantly searching for answers to questions that were never there to begin with.

It is easy to think of anxiety as simply the feeling of being overwhelmed by worry, however, I can say from personal experience that it is much more in-depth. Even from the outside looking in, it was rather obvious how worrisome I became, considering the distressed look on my face. I was often asked if I was okay or if I was sad, simply because I always looked concerned. This observation from an outside perspective, made it blatantly obvious to myself that I was ALWAYS worrying about something. As I became more conscious of it, I realized how observant I was but also dwelled too much into “what if” scenarios.

As I began high school, I noticed a significant raise in my anxiety. Reason being, there was so much emotional pressure on me due to the fact that my feelings were seen as invalid in my own home. I often came to school distressed and thoroughly unmotivated, due to the fact that I did not know how to channel my emotions. My emotions were constantly belittled at home, allowing them to show more clearly in a public area. This did not serve a benefit for myself, other than a self-realization.

I found myself worrying about how people looked at me, what I wore, and even how I talked in class when a teacher called on me. I felt incredibly uncomfortable in the classroom environment, because I was so obviously different than everyone else. My social skills were stunted due to the emotional abuse I continuously received from childhood to my teenage years. I normally kept to myself in class, I wouldn’t speak unless spoken to first. I found myself increasingly discouraged because I didn’t know how to socialize or feel comfortable at school.

At home, I experienced a completely different level of anxiety. Each day was like walking a tightrope; trying to find balance between a healthy lifestyle while living in a chaotic and abusive home. This is near impossible. I cried myself to sleep every night, simply because I thought there was something wrong with me and I just could not understand why. With my mom constantly belittling and blaming me and my siblings with each their own mental struggles, I found myself in a never ending anxiety-fueled spiral. I rarely even had the motivation to spend times with friends because I was utterly consumed in my thoughts.

In case anyone is curious as to what an anxiety/panic attack looks like, I will paint you a mental picture. At least for me, my anxiety attacks consisted of: hyperventilating, shaking, numbing/tingling in my arms, blacking out, and on a few occasions, actually losing complete consciousness. These attacks happened about every other day, if not everyday. They could be triggered by the smallest things because I had so much built up stress that I didn’t know how to cope with, so one small thing could set me off literally like an explosion. My thoughts took me to places I tried so intensely to get rid of. What made matters even worse was the fact that anytime my mom and I had a disagreement (which was often), it would end in her screaming at me and blaming me for whatever the topic of disagreement was. I would repeatedly beg her to give me space, as I am struggling to breath and crying to no extent. She showed no compassion, and emotionally tore my down until she was content enough with the result.

It wasn’t until this past year that I realized the intensity of my anxiety. I was diagnosed with a skin picking disorder. For anybody unfamiliar with this concept, I would basically pick the skin around my fingers until they bled. I still struggle with this and I have to wear bandages around my fingers to buffer myself from picking my skin when I feel so consumed with anxiety. Since my mom moved out, I have also struggled with flashbacks in which I will put myself into an anxiety attack when thought of too much. I am also incredibly sensitive to loud sounds and anything being thrown at me. I flinch incredibly easily, reason being my mother’s violent rages (smashing dishes, smashing pictures, throwing objects, etc). Along with this, I struggle being in public/crowded places and find myself incredibly apprehensive. This phenomenon is known as, complex post traumatic stress disorder.

In this past year, I have incorporated several new aspects into my life in order to find a peaceful mind. These aspects include: meditation, hydration through drinking tea, daily exercising, healthy eating habits, sufficient sleep, yoga, reading, and spending time outdoors. Through these habits, I have noticed incredible positive differences, however, they did not buffer my symptoms completely. My anxiety seems to have a mind of its own, in which it brings recurring, unpleasant thoughts. I began taking medication for this, and after a few months of being on the same antidepressant and being at the highest dosage, I was still struggling.

The thing with CPTSD is that it cannot be easily treated through medication, in fact, it worsens it in some cases. Although I have been seeing a therapist every other week, my physician urged me to schedule these appointments in a weekly pattern. Childhood trauma is not a concept to be taken lightly and needs constant attention. I feel at a loss occasionally, seeing as my anxiety still consumes my mind at times, but I am determined as ever. My anxiety does not define my being and though it is yet a long journey, I am steadfast towards my goal of having a peaceful mind.

For anyone that may be struggling with anxiety/depression or any other mental obstacle, it will become your greatest accomplishment one day. It will never disappear, but it has become a goal of mine to simply see my struggle as a reminder of my self-motivation. It is OKAY to ask for help. Thoughts are utterly consuming, and there is nothing more dreadful than feeling alone. You are not alone. You will be okay.