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A Child’s Lament

I don’t remember much of my childhood.

The memories I do remember are best kept hidden deep inside.

They swirl around my insides like a whirlpool of dead stars into a black hole.

But my dear reader, I can’t hide them anymore.

It’s all too much.

These dead stars poison my body and soul.

Please take them from me.

Reach into that black hole and hold them for awhile.

And then, please stay awhile.

I cannot be left alone with them, again.

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PTSD Nightmares: The Nightly Battle

Over the last year, after losing my Mom and my two cats all within the year of one another, I have had nightly nightmares that have me re-live the worst times in my life thus far.

My dreams consist of seeing my mom pass away, become sick, or injure herself.

Last night, she choked and had a seizure in front of me.

My dreams consist of nightmare scenarios: being stuck in the ocean, shark attacks, losing friends and loved ones, falling from high altitudes, plane crashes…..

Last night, I fell through the sky, off of a skyscraper, and I felt it. I felt the roller-coaster feeling for a long time.

Will I ever recover? Will these ever go away?

I’m stuck in my trauma, awake and asleep.

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Dear Me At 23

I am sorry you felt the need to binge tv shows nightly and eat fast food to soothe yourself.

You stopped seeing friends except on the weekend when you would get wasted.

I am sorry you slept with numerous men who did not care about you.

(Remember the one who slept with you, took your cigarettes and then left and never talked to you again? Shout out to Kyle from Longmeadow, Mass. You reignited my trauma, yet I feel sorry for you. I saw those sadness in your eyes. I hope you are ok.)

I am sorry you let your mother, who loved you and who you loved very much, to control your emotions like a light switch….so badly that self harm and disordered eating became a part of your life.

I am NOT sorry for these experiences. They taught me lessons.

I am sorry for the hurt they caused my sensitive soul though.

Now, we will heal, but it’s up to me when.

When?

I don’t know.

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My Doctor Failed Me Today

I have been trying to get off of the fake love of my life, cannabis concentrate, for the last few years.

I have worked with substance abuse teams, therapists and group sessions.

I am now in an intensive DBT program at this place I’ve received all of my care. In order to be in the program, it is required you see one out of three of their doctors.

I’ve been seeing Dr. I* for over a year. Overall our relationship was cordial. She has a heavy accent and sometimes I can’t follow along with what she is saying, and I end up letting it brush by because, well, I have social anxiety.

Today, I came into the session planning to inquire why she dropped by antidepressant dose in half overnight, and maybe that is why I am struggling weaning off of 1gram of cannabis concentrate.

My partner was sitting next to me when after I approached the subject and let her know my feelings politely, Dr.I basically said “we have tried everything and at this point we are back at square one.”

Square one? I’ve been busting my ass getting clean. I gave up nicotine and alcohol! Why does she just seem to always tell me, “you just need to stop.”

That doesn’t work. Period.

To Be Continued.

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A Thank You Note


When a mental health professional that you’ve been working with leaves, it can feel devastating.

These people can provide what we never had.

Validation, reassurance, appreciation and love.

When they leave, it can feel like we are no longer validated, reassured, appreciated, or loved.

What we can try to remember is the gifts they have left.

They left us with new skills, new ideas, new outlooks.

They gifted us with a new way to travel on the road called life.

And while we can feel grief, sadness and whatever emotions come up over them leaving, we can carve out some time for gratitude.

For without these professionals, our lives can feel lonely, unreal and incomplete.

So, today, I am sending love and kindness to my particular mental health professional that is leaving in a few weeks.

Thank you.

Thank you for being there while I stopped drinking, and when I grieved for my mother. Thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for always validating me and providing me with comfort and laughs.

Thank you for teaching me about death and dying and your times in hospice. We knew my mom brought us together somehow.


“I appreciate you…especially your heart.” —Anonymous

https://pin.it/3UEFyUw
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Trauma

Unlike other forms of psychological disorders, the core issue in trauma is reality

Bessel A. Van der Kolk, Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society
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Love Endures

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”

Haldir, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings
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I’m Ashamed of My Mental Illness

Sitting here, in my car passenger seat, waiting for my signature espresso drink, I’m full of self-hatred.

I’ve let just about all of Facebook and social media know that I struggle with mental health issues, along with friends, family, etc. Although they know I struggle, I assume they also see me as a functioning adult who inspires others to be more open about their mental health and stability.

Most days, I understand that helping and inspiring others who struggle with what I do is a gift. It’s enlightening to see people blossom!

Today though, I need to be one of those I help. I need assistance; I need someone like me to listen or to take the place of a caregiver I never had and am still grieving over. I need someone to soothe me. (Even though I know only I can do and am responsible for that.)

I’ve had a lot of validation in my short life that confirms I am too much.

Today, it really feels like I am.

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i’ve always been someone who hangs onto perishable people, far past our expiration date.

The little girl that still lives inside of me, who is a part of me, is always in the background of my mind, reminding me that people cannot be trusted, and people will eventually leave.

This little girl is restless and relentless, she paces through my mind, tripping over every legitimate thought that flows on around her.

For years, I have been trying to quiet her through a variety of tactics.

Weed numbs her out the best, while alcohol comes in second.

I have taken away the latter from myself, and this little girl is now sneaking around and peeking around corners.

With the threat of shedding the rest of these tactics, her voice becomes louder.

“Take care of me.”

That’s all this poor little girl wants.

That is all she speaks.

How can I care for this part of me, who attaches herself to everyone I meet?

She consistently plants the seed that I will be neglected and abandoned, again.

This thinking worked for me then, when I was her age.

Now, her thinking is no longer serving me.

She is no longer serving me.

It becomes instantly clear.

We must live together, combine forces and coping skills, share stories and memories, and become friends with one another, in order to survive this life.

Now, the challenge will be fighting my fears, and meeting with that little girl, so eager to speak, so eager to connect.

Wish us luck.

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5 Ways To Cope With Trauma Symptoms

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing has always helped me calm and center myself. When I first started singing lessons in middle school, my music teacher always told me to breathe into the diaphragm, into my belly, and my voice would radiate better. She was right.

Now, I use breathing as a calming tool. I particularly like tactical breathing (4 square breathing)!

Breathing involves your diaphragm, a large muscle in your abdomen. When you breathe in, your belly should expand. When you breathe out, your belly should fall.

Self Soothing

I am consistently self soothing. Whether it’s fidgeting with something, taking a shower, or sipping a hot drink, these activities help ground me into the present moment.

These coping strategies focus on improving your mood and reducing anxiety and are sometimes described as self soothing or self-care coping strategies.

Social Support

As the years go on my social anxiety has gotten worse, especially during Covid! When I do spend time with people who are caring and understanding of my mental health, I feel refreshed and connected! It’s a great feeling.

Research has found that finding support from others can be a major factor in helping people overcome the negative effects of a traumatic event and PTSD.

Mindfulness

Ahhhh mindfulness. The one thing I am terrified of is the one thing that will ultimately help in my healing process! Mindfulness heals.

Mindfulness is about being in touch with and aware of the present moment.

Expressive Writing

Clearly, writing is an expressive tool in my life. Writing emotions down is easier for me than speaking them.

In PTSD in particular, expressive writing has been found to have a number of benefits, including improved coping, post-traumatic growth (the ability to find meaning in and have positive life changes following a traumatic event), and reduced PTSD symptoms, tension, and anger.

Reference

Tull (2020) https://www.verywellmind.com/ways-of-coping-with-anxiety-2797619