Moving Out and My Recovery

Our bedroom. (Not finished decorating as of yet)

Our bedroom. (Not finished decorating as of yet)

Moving out of a parents home can be quite the stressful situation. Even doing it the second time, like I did this past week can still become stressful. I have lived in an apartment once before with my boyfriend Michael, sadly due to mental health issues I had to leave early, but this past Wednesday I have moved in again with Michael. I have always loved living on my own, I learned early how to cook and clean so living away from my parents has come easily to myself. I love planning dinner and cooking it with Michael, and I love waking up and having a balcony to sit on while reading in the morning light.  I love being able to have slightly more alone time then I had living at my parents (where counting myself there was five people living in the house) whereas here there is only Michael and I.

Every Tea addict needs a good cupboard to store all her tea, and know I finally have my own!

Every Tea addict needs a good cupboard to store all her tea, and know I finally have my own!

But moving out can be a stressful situation, where me and Michael are currently living the lease will be up in a couple of months so we are already looking for a new apartment to live in, which has become harder since due to my social anxiety I have not learned the basic streets of my city and find it hard figuring out where the apartments I am looking at online are, and what is around them (ie. grocery stores, bus stops). Also moving away from my parents has been hard, I’ve always had a strong connection with my parents, which has grown stronger with my hospital admissions and sharing my mental health story. My parents are both my best friends and my biggest support, not having them there at three in the morning when I’m triggered can be quite hard, but knowing I have Michael, and knowing that I CAN do this alone, and I CAN recover and support myself helps me greatly. Also knowing that they will not be greatly angry at me if I truly need them and call late at night helps also.

Overall I am happy to be moved out. I like knowing that my parents have more personal time know that there are not as many people living at home, due to my father opening his own business at the end of last year they have not been able to have alone time together just to sit and talk and relax together, and I know me moving out has helped in some way to give them more time together alone. I’m also happy because it has given me more independence, which I haven’t fully had in my life, I’ve depended on my parents, on mental health professionals, on nurses to guide me and help me for years, and know I am able to make my own decisions and rely on myself. I am happy because it lets me try new recipes in a kitchen that is my own, and try recipes that some of my family members wouldn’t eat. Moving out has brought me and Michael closer, and has built a stronger bond in our relationship, even if it has only been a couple of days. It has allowed myself to recover, I refuse to let razorblade’s into this apartment, alcohol, or a scale to test my weight, not allowing these things in my apartment has, and will help my recovery. Like I said, overall moving out will help my recovery greatly.

Have you moved out recently? Has it been hard dealing with mental health issues while living alone/with a significant other/friends? Has it been a positive or negative for your recovery?

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6 Months Free From Self Harm!

All the way back in November, in the late night on the fifteenth was the last time I took a razor blade, or anything sharp to my skin. Today I am able to say that I have been free from self harm for six long months! 

I accept my scars!

I accept my scars!

Some people might read this and think that six months is not that long. You must understand the first time I began to harm myself was eight years ago, that’s eight full years of self harm. I have never gone longer then three months without self harm throughout those eight years. Which means that six months free from self harm feels like a miracle. Self harm has been such a big part of my life that I never thought I would leave it in the past, and today I prove to myself that I was wrong.

I did mention before that I was planning on getting a self harm awareness ribbon on my left wrist to commemorate my six months free, but I will be unable to get the tattoo for awhile, and have moved my choice to have this tattoo when I reach one full year free from self harm. I’m unsure what I am going to do to celebrate my six months, because I honestly DO deserve to celebrate these last six months. Anyone that is recovering and has gone awhile with out self harming (or without drinking, purging, restricting, doing drugs ect.) deserves to celebrate there improvement!

After six months of no self harm, I have learned to accept my scars even more. I have so many scars, and not just on my forearms. I’ve had issues accepting my scars as they recover, They have gone through a stage of being bumps on my arm, some have grown to be indents into my skin, and none of them are fully recovered, most are still pink and at times purple. I understand though that these scars are going to be with me the rest of my life, I might not have all the bumps, but I will have the white scars, so why should I not accept them? It will hurt me more if I do not accept them, then if I do.

I must say though these last six months have been eye opening. I mostly used my self harm as a fill in for crying. I never liked crying, I could never cover up my crying, i’m always loud when I cry and when I begin I tend to have panic attacks no matter what I’m crying about. Instead of crying I decided to cut, so with my recovery I had to learn that I had to cry, I couldn’t let my issues out with cutting so I had to get it out in another way, a  healthy way. I’ve never cried this much, and communicated so much before. It’s been hard at times due to me having issues with being able to label why I’m said, I would normally just accept i’m depressed and not wonder why, and then just cut to deal with it…Know I need to sit down, maybe right down some words, or just sit down in silence and wait, search through my mind and figure out the details.

I’m no where close to fully recovered. There are times I wished I could cut, just so I wouldn’t have to deal with all these powerful, negative emotions. Luckily I was able to get away from those thoughts and not let them win. There are times I would get into bed and just start my ritual of getting band-aids and kleenex ready and realize there was no blades, and I was recovering. Because that’s what self injuring was for me, a ritual…just another part of my bedtime routine for eight years know.

I am recovery, six months with no cutting, burning, or picking at my skin. I am more then proud of myself, and I have every right to be!

Have you/ Are you recovering from self harm? Do you hope to start recovery soon? What was the hardships you had to deal with while recovering? And what where the little positives of recovering  (other then the big positive of recovery and leaving behind that negative aspect?) 

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TNT Weekends- Make Your Own Stress Ball

You see them in dollar stores, at the cash registers at some stores. Most people think of a stress ball as something pointless to buy…but what about making your own?

The act of even just making your own stress ball can be a de-stressor. Having set instructions, that are easy to follow, and no way to really vary from them can be a nice change, no need to think of the “best way” to accomplish something, it is already done for you. I know for myself when I am doing something that has a set plan (as an example making a cake which has a set recipe, crocheting a blanket that has a set pattern) let’s me feel like I can have a break from over thinking, and stressing.

So how do you make, and what do you need to make a stress ball?

tumblr_m7fndtQvvr1r7cv7so1_500 (1)Materials:

  • Several balloons  (the type used at parties is just fine)
  • Sand, sesame seeds, flour, rice, or birdseed
  • About a tablespoon of cornstarch
  • A funnel (you can create a funnel by cutting the top off of a soda or water bottle)
  • A Sharpie

Instructions:

  1. Take one balloon and blow it up, then let the air out.  This will stretch the balloon out and make it easier to fill.
  2. Use a funnel to fill it with sand, sesame seeds, flour, rice, or birdseed until it is about the size of a baseball.
  3. Tie a knot to close the balloon once it is full, trying to leave as little of a “tail” as possible.
  4. Dust the surface of this balloon lightly with cornstarch, to make the surface less sticky.
  5. Blow up and deflate a second balloon.
  6. Decorate the second balloon however you’d like.
  7. Cut off the narrow end of the second balloon and stuff the first filled balloon into the second decorated balloon.

Have you ever used a stress ball? has it helped? did you try  to make your own?

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Myth Of Mental Health #1

I’ve been told multiple times by old friends, acquaintances and random people online telling me I have it easy. I’m not in school due to my mental health, and my recovery. One person messaged me this below:

“I mean I’m in college, I have two tests to study for tomorrow, A writ test every week, and two essays due next Monday….I mean your just sitting at home and going a couple times a week to appointments, you have it so easy.”

What this person doesn’t understand is no, it’s not just sitting at home. Yes I wont lie when I am overly depressed I would sit at home, I would hide away. But I’m in recovery know that means forcing myself to get out of the house, going for walks, hanging out with people, with a boyfriend. I’m going to multiple appointments, eating disorder teams, psychiatrists, social worker…on top of that DBT program, which I am given homework, things that make me think of my triggers, make me think of goals of recovery, figuring out emotions and there effects on the body. I have homework to. None of mental health recovery is “easy” far from it.

I have been in post secondary, I know what its like to have multiple tests in one day, I know what it feels like to do essays late at night, I know what it’s like to have tests weekly. I’m not saying it’s not hard. I’m not saying it isn’t stressful or exhausting.

What people have to understand though is that mental health recovery is just as hard…and possibly with even more harmful repercussions. I mean if you fail homework you have the possibility of getting make up homework. Some tests you might get a bad mark on might not even be put onto your final mark (such as how I had weekly tests in my Interpersonal Communications program, but only 7 tests were put into the final mark). Whereas if someone fails recovery, such as self harm recovery they can possibly need stitches, loose to much blood, cut to deep, you get the picture. Risks in failing in recovery are more harmful then risks in everyday schooling.

What people need to understand is that just because someone is not in school due to mental health, does not mean they have it easy. They are not in school because they are trying to keep themselves alive. Because they need more help then you can get while you have a school schedule. I can honestly tell you I have worked harder for my recovery then I have ever worked for a high mark in a class or even to get onto honor roll.

So yes maybe I’m not in a lecture hall anymore, I’m not doing weekly tests, I’m not staying up late to finish my homework any longer. But I am working just as hard as all of you. Recovering from a mental illness, especially when it’s multiple mental illnesses like myself it is twenty four seven work.

So please don’t just think that because me, or anyone is not in schooling due to mental health does not at all mean they have it easy?

Have you ever heard you have it easy due to having a mental illness in not in school? What myths have you heard about mental illness you want debunked? 

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Happy Birthday Mother!

Today is my mothers birthday. Even though this is not something I would normally write about, I want to use my blog today to express the love I have for my mother.

My mother and I on my sisters birthday back in 2009.

My mother and I on my sisters birthday back in 2009.

My mother has always been my best friend. I tell my mother everything about my life, every problem, every fear, every negative moment, every positive moment, every moment from my first kiss, to my first boyfriend, to my first promise ring, my first bouquet of flowers from a boy, every moment from my prom (even a critique of the food). Even though some things my mother might not want to hear (who wants to hear that there daughter is old enough to go to prom? to have a serious relationship? to move out?) she listens, she comments, she smiles with me, celebrates with me, and at times attempts to calm me down when I’m overly excited.

I have countless memories of spending the day with my mother, or after school. I remember loving walking by her side while she mowed the lawn, I loved the smell of fresh cut grass and I loved being able to have a specific time that is only mom and Lisa’s time. I was devastated when I was told by my Doctor that I was allergic to fresh cut grass. But I still (in my own way) made sure that mowing the lawn was still a mother daughter time…I would sit on my kitchen counter looking out the window at my mother until she finished the lawn. My fondest memories were cooking with my mother in the kitchen. My mother always let me in the kitchen, of course she wouldn’t let me do anything that would harm me, and when my mother was opening the oven I had to back away, but I remember my mother letting me create my own recipes while she cooked, like I’ve written before my love of cooking started at quite a young age, and the reason is because my mother let me “cook” when I was younger, it was all because of you mother that I have so much confidence in the kitchen, confidence that I don’t think I have in anything else in my life…and I have you to thank for that.

Mother and I a few years ago on the bus ride to Toronto to watch Mamma Mia!

Mother and I a few years ago on the bus ride to Toronto to watch Mamma Mia!

Even though i’m twenty years old, I definitely still need my mother, maybe not the same way I needed my mother when I was younger. I no longer need to ask my mother to help me make my bed, no longer need to ask my mother to pour me milk out of the big milk jug that I wasn’t able to hold up when I was younger, no longer need to ask my mother for help with my homework. But I definitely do need my mother still. I need her help with baking (even though I’m getting better, I still get scared i’m going to burn, I still didn’t know you could substitute shortening with butter.) I still need my mother to help me learn her and my grandmothers recipes. I still need my mother to help me learn to properly crochet. I still need my mother to teach me to sew (yes I need teaching again mother!) I still sometimes need my mother to explain a word from a book to me (honestly I know I don’t know all the meanings of words, and my mother explains the definition perfectly to me.) And I still need my mother to help me problem solve.

So how the heck does a daughter give back and say thank you to a mother that has been her best friend for years, a mother that has guided, helped, consoled, congratulated,and celebrated with me? Well mother how will I? whenever you want a foot rub? I’ll give you one, whenever you want alone time? I will make sure you get it. When you want a romantic night with dad, I will make dinner for you two, and not let my sister in the house, and I will leave so you two may be alone for a nice meal. Whatever you may want mother, just call on me, just like I call on you when I need you, you may call on me.

Mother you have shaped me into the women I am today. I will make you proud everyday in any way I can. I love you mother, for everything you are, and everything you have helped me do, and helped me become.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOTHER!

 

 

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Finding Me My Hobbie

Recently I have noticed that in the past I spent most of my time on the computer, and in front of the television. To be honest I would spend up to six or seven hours online, on Pinterest, Tumblr, and reading other blogs and news, that is why my blogging hasn’t been as frequent, I’m trying to put some space between me and my laptop, and more time into more productive tasks.

Which is when I realized in the past when i’m not in a depressive episode I have been quite a productive lady with my day to day life and hobbies. I’ve started and finished two fiction novels, half way through yet another book and half way through a poetry anthology. I was able to finish crocheting my first blanket, I was able to post almost daily to this blog. In one year I was even able to read up to 89 novels!

The Mixing's For My Thanksgiving Pot Pie!

The Mixing’s For My Thanksgiving Pot Pie!

With reducing my time on the computer, and the time I spend in front of the T.V. I have had to find new and find again the pleasure I had in old hobbies for myself. One of my biggest hobbies I have had over the years, since I was a young child was cooking. I have written about baking not being one of my normal hobbies, but cooking? I do it daily, spend my days looking for new recipes in magazines, new cookbooks,and old cookbooks. I adore using the stove top, and my indoor grill. One of the recent things I loved was being vegetarian, I was able to try completely new recipes, trying new foods, and even making my own vegan thanksgiving dinner.

Algonquin Park

Algonquin Park

Another one of my hobbies that I am trying to start up again is taking photographs. My father has always taken nature photographs throughout my childhood, and he is amazing at photography, and I am said to have gotten this gene from him. I do love taking photos, my two favorite things to photograph is nature (just like my father) and tea, I am obsessed with tea, and it’s calming abilities so taking photographs of tea and tea in teacups is a pleasure. And last but not least, taking photographs of my homemade food. I must say though, I do need a more professional camera to keep up with all the photograph ideas I have.

My painting of the sign language "I love you"

My painting of the sign language “I love you”

I began painting on canvas just over a year ago, and I loved it! I have gotten better, and even though for a few months I have been unable to paint either because there was no place for me to paint, or I was not inspired, with all this new time on my hands I do seem to have the want to pick up my paintbrush yet again. I can not wait to sit down and finally finish the second piece of a two painting piece I have began already.

Writing Away!

Writing Away!

 

But what is my main passion? What is that one hobbie I have done for years, the one that has helped me through my depressive moments, the one that has given me the most pride?….My writing. I have told stories since before I could even write, and when I began to write at a young age I was writing everything from stories about kick butt princesses to ghost stories which grew to stories that would remind you of CSI, and they then grew into writing poetry to let out my anxiety and depressing thoughts, after years of poetry in the past two years I have moved to writing novels, which I have always wanted to publish a novel since I began to write as a child.

So maybe I do have many hobbies, and I will return to doing these hobbies. This post has helped me get down to the roots of my hobbies and why I had begun these certain hobbies.

What is your favorite hobbies? Is there any hobbies that have helped you through depressive moments? Anything you have given up do to your mental health? 

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Throwing Out The ED Clothes

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks trying to clean out my room of all the possible triggering things. Things such as negative paintings and sketches, empty bottles that have been hiding under my bed, and all the possible self injurious instruments. But the hardest thing to get rid of was the clothes I still have from when I was largely plagued by my anorexia symptoms.

Everything from size 1, to size 3, and extra small bikini top.

Everything from size 1, to size 3, and extra small bikini top. 

My parents were very positive, and supporting through everything, but some people just didn’t understand why it was a big deal…”I mean it’s just clothes right? why does it have any significance?” What people don’t understand when they don’t have an eating disorder, is that some things, getting rid of some things solidifies that you won’t be going back to that size, solidifies that you ARE in recovery. Were one can go to groups, eat right, not over exercise and not count calories, there is still the possibility of going back to the way you were before, where I refuse to go back to were I was at size 1 and wearing extra small clothes and them still being big on me, were I do not want to go back to that, ever since I was in the hospital and finally given the diagnosis of an eating disorder, I have refused to go back to my eating disorder ways….even through all of that, I still refused to throw out the clothes. What if I did end up back at that size? I would have to spend money yet again on clothes to fit in, I wouldn’t have the clothes I already knew I liked.

In the end I realized, the only reason I was keeping these clothes was because my eating disorder wanted me to, because it proved to me that I was in recovery. But finally in the end, I understood, after YEARS being brought down by an eating disorder I finally needed to solidify my recovery in my everyday life, not having to move my size 1 pants out of the way when I was getting my current sized jeans, not having to push away my extra small bathing suit to get to my socks would finally take a part of my eating disorder out of my everyday life, and best yet, my morning routine.

After putting my eating disorder clothes in a bag to be donated I felt relief, I felt less risky of go back to my old ways, I felt safer from myself, and I finally felt secure in my recovery.

Have you dealt with your eating disorder clothes? Whats something in your life that proves to you that your fully in recovery (for an eating disorder, self harm, or any other addiction)? 

 

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