Taboo Word 9/9/16
Mental health is getting more attention today, than it has ever gotten before. Why? It affects something like 1 out of 3 Americans today. More and more soldiers are coming back from war, forever damaged due to what they have seen and experienced during their service for their country. It affects children, abused children, and these children, once they have grown are affected as well.
I was one of those children, and I was also in the military, and am now diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, MST or Military Sexual Trauma, anxiety, and depression. Including medication for MS, I take like 22 different medications daily, and have been unable to work for two decades now.
My symptoms, besides those due to the MS, depression and anxiety, include fear of abandonment, intense, unstable emotional responses like anger, anxiety, that are difficult to control, and often inappropriate to the situation, and chronic feelings of emptiness.
I often have anger, anxiety and feelings of emptiness. I went through many self-damaging acts such as unsafe sex, substance abuse, self-injurious behavior which includes self-harm, attempted suicides and even excessive spending. I have caught myself more than once pouring through catalogs or across the Internet, looking for something to buy. I went through an entire catalog yesterday, before I realized what I was doing and threw it away,
The image I look at in the mirror looks back at me with sallow skin and sunken cheeks. Sometimes I go for several days, or even a week or two, eating maybe one or two meals a day, and not eating the foods I need to stay healthy.
After running up several credit cards, hospital bills, and store card bills, I eventually declared bankruptcy in order to survive, financially. Ten years later, and I was signing paperwork, agreeing to the conditions set forth by the debt-management agency that I turned to, cutting off all my cards and agreeing not to apply for any new ones. Mounting vet bills led me to apply for a Care Credit card which is used for vet bills, etc, and even dentistry bills for myself.
Now, several years have passed and I have three, active credit cards, a store card and close to $5000 in debt again. I sacrifice groceries, to pay more than minimum payments for these credit cards, trying to get the balances reduced and eliminate this newly acquired debt.
A service-provider calls in sick, the day of my appointment and I take it personally, which results in chronic fear of abandonment, and inappropriate anger, thinking that the appointment was cancelled because I felt it was because I had an appointment that particular day. This has happened more than once within even just the last six months.
Relationships are something that are also affected, often very unstable and intense. I have been through three such relationships, each lasting only five years, before I do something that ends the relationship. This has happened every time, and I have spent more than 12 years by myself, avoiding another relationship that will inevitably lead to the same, sad end.
Today, we need to look into suspected cases of child abuse, and listen to our friends, partners, spouses and children, listening and looking for signs that all is not right. I have managed to stay sober 17 years, and I quit smoking nearly nine years ago. But that doesn’t mean that I am okay, because I am not okay.
I experience irrational fears, go through sometimes lengthy periods of depression, and live in a constant state of anxiety. I live alone, and can spend days, not leaving my apartment or seeing anyone. No one comes to visit and I do not visit others. I sit here with my laptop for the entire day, then spend all evening listening to the TV, still using the laptop. It’s a wonder that I haven’t burnt the hard-drive, with all the constant use it gets throughout each day.
Noises outside my apartment, I take personally, as though someone is deliberately trying to annoy me, and often do get very annoyed. I get symptoms which suggest my MS is getting worse, that I have forgotten to take a dose of medication, or something has caused my blood pressure to shoot through the roof. This often causes me to lie awake for hours at night, unable to sleep, with my mind racing a mile a minute.
If I had a choice, I would not choose to live this kind of life. But I don’t seem to be able to do anything about it myself, so I suffer in silence, with only the words that come racing from the ends of my fingers and onto the keyboard. This is my main outlet for these feelings I have to excess. My search for others out there, who are living lives like mine, is something that starts my search through my email, looking for the emails about new posts, by those who are like-minded, and we share our experiences and help support each other through the trials we go through every day. Yes, I am one of those who suffer from mental illness, and I no longer want to keep it hidden in the closet, the naked secrets I feel would be exposed if you really knew me.
You wouldn’t like me if you knew about all this stuff, and so I keep it hidden.
You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.
Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge