The Reality of My Unhealthy Relationship | Article F18

NEW Articles THUMB = 11.29.18

I thought maybe I could skirt by the end of the semester without having yet another article written out about my unhealthy relationship to Luna but maybe that was a little too naïve and fruitful thinking on my part. I think decoding this relationship is an appropriate use of my thoughts to model the process I’ve undergone to come to the conclusion that this relationship was and is unhealthy in the hopes that maybe someone else reading this can uncover some of those same tendrils of darkness in their own lives.


An unhealthy relationship can take place in any interpersonal relationship–friends, family, romantic partners, co-workers etc. Understanding the root cause of them and what it is we are anticipating to “get” from one another is a really, really big part of the issue. In particular, for me this isn’t exactly something I mapped out clearly for myself prior to this point in time. Meaning, I had once a few years ago listed out in a journal what I would be looking for in a future romantic partner, but I never really thought about the values I look for in good friends and other encounters with people. This, I believe, is something where hindsight is always 20/20, so although I hadn’t previously listed out what I look for in my relationships now is a good time to start to help me navigate future relationships (because patterns will be patterns and I’m likely to repeat the same behaviors I did yesterday tomorrow).


We probably wouldn’t need to know about interpersonal effectiveness and conflict resolution if everything could be neat, tidy and in between the lines. But, life, as it were is messy and gray and complicated. Life dictates whether a relationship ends with closure or with a gaping hole. I, personally, would like closure in my relationships so that if I were to have to deal with an opened Pandora’s Box I could close it efficiently.


But that’s just not realistic. Because some relationships will end messy and hectic and it’s better for me now to prepare myself for these messy endings than to hide in wait for them to come to me. I guess my point is that it’s important for me to be proactive and skillful in my recovery and my interactions with the world, opting for the healthier choice when tempted with the unhealthy choice.


And it’s tough. It’s really, really hard and there are *so* many emotions that course through me because inherently I do want to engage with and interact with Luna but because of those very same emotions I cannot. At the worst extreme, the reality is that if I interact with Luna I’m going to wind up in a crisis and hospitalized. So far, my active use of DBT skills has culminated into having slowed down time between a near-crisis and an actual crisis. Twice I’ve neared crisis in November but managed with skills to back away before one ever took place. And by crisis I mean where emotions are high and I can’t keep myself safe.


No one and no thing–not even Luna–is worth getting suicidal over.


And it’s difficult because I wish it were different from that. But in reality, it’s just not.


In my session with June it was brought up whether Luna was ever really there for me. And I would say yes but when it really mattered, no, no they weren’t–but I *was* there for me. Besides, things are different now. I’ve changed so much in these last ten months, more than Luna even realizes, because they’re just not in my life anymore and I can’t afford to go backwards.


I’ve done so much work on myself, so much time in recovery and getting better, that to engage with Luna would only be pure self-sabotage and self-induced suffering. While my tolerance for my emotions is higher than before, I know that it still has a threshold (which if I exceed could thrust me into crisis).


…Lastly, if there’s anything I could say to Luna it would be that we had fun; it was pretty great when it was good. I learned a lot from you and learned how to cringe at my past Raquel self for the things that I did while unstable. I’m sorry that you had to see that and I think it’d be wise for you to work on establishing boundaries in the future for not only your sake but everybody’s sake. I’m kind of angry at you for the way things turned out, even if they’re all my emotions, and I know that it’s the process of grieving the loss of our friendship more than anything else. I wish things could have been different and maybe in some alternate reality they are.


But it’s time for me to move on now, and I know you’d understand even if to you it’s a passing moment and to me it’s the world.

Article written: 11.28.2018

Fun fact: I actually was originally including lyrics from Lauren Daigle’s “You Say” at the start of this piece but had too much to say so I took them out.

2/26/2019 A/N:

Hey guys! Welcome back to another super old article upload– I mean, better late than never, right?

Hope you guys enjoy this one! I actually was talking to David about Luna and everything that went down in our relationship this past weekend (I’ve only thought of Luna like twice or three times since this article was written). Accidentally triggered myself a few times talking it all out with David but I was so exhausted afterwards (I got home at like 11:30p) that I fell asleep soon after and spent all of Sunday watching our newly acquired Netflix account with episodes of “The 100”. Ahaha. I’ll try not to be away again for too long. Now that I don’t have articles to write I can spend more time and playing with the sand making castles for my blog posts, really raising the bar and making them more in-depth and hard work than I remember them being for a while there. XD

See you guys later! ❤ ❤ ❤


My Public Thank You to the Counseling Center | Article F18

Articles THUMB

I swear that I’m aware that making such a public statement is bold and possibly not the greatest of outlets, but I think I can cover a good majority of ground with what I want this article to be about and I think it’s a prime example of where I’ve been in my recovery journey to where it’s coming to a close now. If you just so happen to be new: hello, welcome, this is my little corner and I hope you can make yourself at home. The semester is wrapping up, almost to a close now, and with that close a chapter of my story here has come to an end, in one of the best, if not the best, way possible.


I’m going to actually graduate. Like, really. As I’ve been ducking my nose into textbooks and writing up final thoughts on paper, I’ve actually made it to the point where my wings unfold and I fly free, very, very soon. And it’s absolutely amazing.


And, it’s very weird. To not be coming back to university at the end of January but having time off from school (almost indefinitely) and having to get a job is equal parts both exhilarating and terrifying.


It’s taken a lot for me to make it all this way here, as you’ve likely read in other issues, and with an ending comes a new beginning and it’s important, I feel, to recognize the supports, the many faces and the many people who’ve aided in my recovery and been like lighthouses in the dark skies I’ve had to overcome.


My therapist at program likened the process to that of grieving, and I have to agree, it feels quite a lot like that. I’m in a new transitionary period where my old safety nets require being swapped out with new ones. And that, naturally, brings me to the subject of this article.


I want to publicly award my deepest and most sincere gratitude’s to the amazing work the Counseling Center on campus has provided me for the better part of four years on and off.


If you didn’t already know, the Counseling Center is a fantastic resource for temporary individual counseling, an after-hours calling service (which I didn’t have for my first few years at this university) and a drop-in for emergency appointments (you have to fill out this questionnaire first and I swear if I can fill it out in full-blown Emotion Mind, anyone can fill it out).


I’ve gone in many a time for emergency crisis appointments, some in better states of mind than others, and I know like any other group of therapists that they’d downplay their efforts in helping me and I’d somewhat agree because it is my responsibility and my gift to myself to help me and do right by me (because who else will?) and I can still say with certainty that the Counseling Center genuinely helped me in more ways than one and was probably one of my biggest, if not my biggest, support in getting through these six years at university. The compassion, the marks of humor where appropriate, the breakthroughs and the guidance was nothing short of miraculous and left enough of an impact on me and my recovery journey that I’m publicly (and privately) thanking them for their services.


Because I really don’t know where I’d be today without them (and without myself for choosing to help me and reach out for their support). I’ve said before how the hardest thing to do is to choose to live and the second hardest is to ask for help. If you’d have to ask for help from anybody without the fear of judgment and what it all means, the Counseling Center is there waiting for you. They are there to help you, and if you let them, they will. It’s a two-way street and an open dialogue.


Most of my emergency appointments landed me in the hospital, I’ll be honest, and none of them were unnecessary. Sometimes our wants aren’t matched up with our needs (think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) and if you ever do require a hospitalization, it doesn’t make you weak in any way. It’s a sign of immense strength to ask for help and to receive it. Because you matter, your life matters, you are important and you can’t ever be replaced.


Reach out, choose to live, ask for help and receive it from some of the most amazing clinicians on our campus.


I will carry these memories between both my ears and when things get tough I’ll cherish them as a time once had while life gradually and naturally brightens up again. I will create new safety nets and stronger support networks.


And I’ll move on, because that’s what we do. But I will never, ever forget.


Stay safe.

This article was written: 11.26.18

PD A/N as of 2/26/19:

Hey guys! So, I’m scheduling this post to be released the day after I typed this up! I also realized while re-reading this article that I have PHOTOS of the personalized thank you cards I did for each therapist who impacted me the most during my recovery journey which I’m going to share below with all of you. ❤

Hope you guys can take something from this article and my cards! I have plenty to talk to you guys about soon. 🙂 See ya later!! ❤ ❤ ❤


This one was for the therapist who I thought was named “Mike”. 🙂 I saw him about 7 times on emergency before.


This was to the therapist who had been there for me since the very start of my diagnosis journey. She was really, really cool. 🙂


This card is for the therapist whom I referenced years ago with the question about whether I truly wanted to recover or not and I answered honestly that part of me did and part of me didn’t. (article circa 2016)

Thank you again for reading. 🙂

PS Yes, the degree to which I was fancying these cards got progressively shorter as I was running out of time. I dropped them off at the front desk so I don’t know personally if they received them individually but I have faith that they did. ❤

Treatment 101: OCD-Institute & ERP | Article F18

NEW Articles THUMB = 11.29.18

In preparing to write this article I had to do the one thing I’ve wanted to do for ages but never tried: reviewing some of my old journals and two red folders from my time three years ago in the OCD-Institute of McLean hospital. McLean offers one of the three major OCD facilities treating the disorder across the United States (and it’s a world-renowned program). The OCD-I is not a locked unit so I could actually leave the campus for dinner at Friendly’s with family but was expected to be back by, I’d guess 10PM, to sleep there overnight. Besides medication the most used tool for treating OCD is called Exposure and Response Prevention or ERP of which the goal is to expose the client to their distress related to OCD and refrain from using compulsions.


Because this took place three years ago, I can only describe what my experiences were like given my particular circumstance. I was first told about the OCD-I from the Counseling Center on campus as a potential treatment option for myself (at the time experiencing mostly OCD behaviors). Over the spring 2015 semester I transitioned to an OCD specialist therapist whom I saw twice a week for a year. I remember before I landed in my third hospitalization of 2015 I learned that the OCD-I had a three month wait list. The helplessness and hopelessness I felt at that moment was unbearable and led me to accruing more suicidal thoughts that I wanted to act on at the time. However, during my hospitalization I did begin to fill out the application and eventually sent it over to the OCD-I.


In fall 2015, I took a leave of absence from school as I got accepted into the OCD-I around October and stayed there for five weeks. Because it wasn’t a locked unit, we could have laptops and iPods and things to that effect (strings!). People who were dealing with OCD around cleaning or cooking were often the ones serving food and experiencing their ERPs firsthand. We had about four hours of ERPs each day and two hours of them on the weekends. We would often go out on the weekends into the Boston area to practice the skills we were learning at program to apply into the real world. The average stay for an individual was up to three months, but insurance often bottomed out before then. We would follow a set schedule–a goals oriented group in the morning while sitting in a circle, two hours of ERP and track A or track B specific groups, which for me, meant a mindfulness group on some days, intrusive thoughts group, expressive therapy, emotion regulation, and a motivation group.


I find it quite funny that I’ve found some DBT related worksheets from within these red folders that I didn’t realize would play such an important role in my treatment and recovery three years later.


My ERPs had involved exposing myself to methods that I had used in the past to harm myself, saying that I was going to use it to harm myself (which would produce distress) that I then had to shift gears completely from and “live my life. While living my life, I would have to practice mindfulness skills of defusion and practice staying in the moment. Living my life could include just about anything except sleeping and talking about suicide.”


If it sounds slightly warped and unethical, I did have to return the methods after the ERPs were over as they were keeping it behind the nurse’s station.


A few of my notable memories from this time period were some of the friendships that I made and rolling down a big hill out on the campus, “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten and “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes being songs that I danced to, practicing grounding techniques with one of the other clients, a client getting kicked out for stealing and a suicidal crisis that emerged from this consequence, my getting the chance to be my authentic self and make positive messages for the other clients, attending the OCD support group and a few notable lectures.


One of those lectures involved a client focusing on the whiteboard of their values while other clients played their intrusive thoughts. It was a harrowing and emotional experience and even though they cried, they kept their attention forwards and didn’t interact with the ‘thoughts’. Another involved what you would say if you had to give a last speech before you died and another was the memorable speech Alan Rabinowitz gave featured on The Moth titled: “Man and Beast” and the book “The Happiness Trap” which is about ACT.


And finally, there was a set of questions from the OCD-I’s surveys that always stuck with me:


“When I want to feel *more* positive emotions, I change the way I’m thinking” and “when I want to feel *less* negative emotions, I change the way I’m thinking.”


At the time, these two questions were the resounding hum of my treatment after I got released. And from there, well, the rest is history.

This article was written: 11.21.2018


Hey guys! So it’s been a few days since my last post. I’m hoping to update you guys more at length soon! For now, I’m trying to just upload some of my last articles here to my blog and also shove them all onto my deviantART account lol. I have like 7 or so left that I just kept putting off and off to upload but last week marked my final 2 being officially sent in! Hooray! I’ll try to update you guys soon. I think I can finally start writing more of my fanfics this week; I made a bunch of new (7) get well soon cards today and I really, really need to eat dinner ASAP so I’m off to do that!

Thanks for reading!! ❤ ❤ ❤

One Year Hospital Free | & Get Well Soon Card Day #2

happy 1 year hospital free day THUMB - 2.15.19

Trigger Warning: some mentions of suicidality and self-harm

So, two things:

  1. I don’t know what happened with the alignment on this post’s thumb, but it’s not supposed to cut off at the top but for some reason when I download the image it just does that. Weird, for sure.
  2. This post is a day late because I got busy and went out of the house yesterday with my friend David (we went to see “Happy Death Day 2U”–which I plan on sharing as a film review and possibly, maybe seeing again for that review stuff.)

On the plus side, we got to share the most lovely of drinks from Marylou’s which is the s’mores frozen drink; tropical (insert many Oooo’s here) Swedish fish; gummy Starbursts; and brownie flavored Muddy Buddies (I just discovered the peanut butter treats this week at program and fell in love–they’re everything I never knew I needed in my life lol). We also got to hear an interesting romantic song about having a PhD in romance/in the bed, so you know, that’s cool. I don’t know what the actual song is called yet, but maybe I’ll try to search it while I’m procrastinating on this post. Ultimately though, we should probably get back to the previously scheduled program. 🙂

Oh! Actually, the last thing on this tangent that I wanted to mention was that I want to see the remake of Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary” that comes out in April by first, of course as one will do, reading the book (and reviewing it), watching the first movie (and reviewing it), watching the sequel (and reviewing it) and then finally watching the remake this year. Or maybe even later, I don’t know, I’m going to be balls deep in Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame when those come out and I AM considering purchasing DVD copies of Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War as those are two very prized loves that I have for them, as well as reviewing them too. So many choices and so many decisions… But, that’s the end of that tangent!

So, as for the meat of this post I guess I will naturally go where the words take me which I feel is going to be a bit of a life update and shenanigans I’ve been up to this week as well as talking about the direct topic of this post and why it’s being born. 🙂

So, if you’re new, hello, and welcome and you should know right away that yesterday, Valentine’s day, marked my amazing journey of being one year hospital free! Meaning, my last psychiatric hospitalization occurred back one year ago to the day!

You may be wondering: Raquel, how the hell did you achieve that? And I know, it’s a HUGE deal, really. And it’s awesome and amazing. I really turned my life around completely, like a full 360, because my natural state of being was instability and in the last year I’ve transformed it to stability.

A year ago if I spilled my coffee (as is something that happened recently enough in the last month and a half) I would have interpreted that event as yet another reason I should kill myself (as I’m so incompetent with coffee I must only be incompetent at life and adulting by extension).

But now?

Now it’s just some spilled coffee. Yeah, it sucks and it DOES, and it’s also just a blip in the road.

I’m not without bumps, bad days, triggers and the like. I just have a higher pain tolerance now. I’ve been able to reshape my identity, learn how to accrue positive attention from others (largely through artwork, project ideas, hobbies I enjoy, the MCU, being the center of attention at times, sharing myself authentically and true) and change a lot of things in my life.

Yes, my pride does get in the way sometimes when I do struggle, and I will still struggle, yet it’s different at the same time now. What would have been instability for three to four days lasts only 15 minutes now. Yes, my triggers do accumulate–vulnerability factors from two or three days ago add up gradually with other triggers that may result in a delayed reaction i.e harm ideations that I do NOT want to act on and won’t act on and such.

And the intrusive thoughts haven’t even disappeared either. They’re still there and ever so slightly expanding, I just react to them differently now. If I couldn’t change the fact that I get intrusive thoughts, I’ve learned in this last year how to change my relationship that I have with them. I may not be able to control the images I see in my mind’s eye, but I can change the filter between myself and them.

With scratching self-harm and suicidal ideation fading into the background, other symptoms have arisen for me to focus in on instead. Hair pulling or trichotillomania has come up often, lip picking which I file away as an OCD behavior unless I draw blood which I then differentiate as self-harm; scalp picking when I started to pull away from the trich (no pun intended); skin picking like callouses on my fingers.

Another thing that also came up was my unhealthy relationship with Luna whom I had to disconnect from while completing my final semester of uni and my unhealthy relationship with the Internet (more specifically Youtube).

Additionally, there are some people that I try to “check up on” routinely but that may have devolved into addictive behaviors without me realizing it and even borderlines on a bit obsessiveness. Athena is one example, and instead of checking on her multiple times a day, I’ve cut it down in the last week to just once a day. I also am working on the Canva cards for her and am sending them over to her every 3 days, which I’ll probably make a couple more tonight to get ahead and all.

But with Youtube, there’s this thing I call the “Deep Dive” which is when I say to myself “I’ll just watch one video” and four hours go by and I’m left wondering what the hell happened and how I ended up in this rabbit hole! I often feel pretty bad about it too, which doesn’t help.

I may still check too much on Twitter (multiple times a day) but if it is an issue, I’m not willing to accept it yet. For now, it’s largely just Youtube. And any time people suggest I just turn the Wifi off, I literally hiss and can’t imagine life, in ways, without the Internet. If that’s NOT a problem, I don’t know what is!!

However, for now as I am out of work and out of school (my diploma came in the mail this week!!), I do have to prepare myself for when I will get a job and I won’t be able to be that active and involved in the online communities. Baby steps, though.

As of right now, I find that fanfiction time, listening to music, listening to creepypastas while I play Kindle games or reorganize my room, using Twitter, answering messages and emails and blogging are acceptable forms of Internet usage.

Probably because I have the Internet and it’s so easy to consume mindless material, I’ve strayed away from reading novels and reviewing them and such. Besides, I got so stuck when it came to reading, either focusing in on coursework or feeling as though I had to perform to this higher expectation that I actually sat in the throes of not being able to read or avoiding it at all costs (books I mean, although it’s expanded somewhat and sometimes to fanfics and such) for many, many months.


At program today, some of us walked to the nearest library and I picked up 2 graphic novels and 2 novels and I plan on doing some lovely amounts of reading this weekend and was even able to START reading one of the graphic novels to get my toes back into the swing of things. I am VERY excited. With a few extra days off and wanting to re-engage in all that I create and review, I could really increase my chances of maybe one day working with sponsorships and shit for my blog and maybe my Youtube channel!

Additionally, I have some older books I have to read and review and return, and PLENTY of newer-ish books I acquired to read and review and the like. Plus, I want to actually output some of the old book reviews and film reviews notes and such for you guys too.

ALSO, I re-purposed my shipping box from Canva into a Goal for the Day Box and have been achieving those little goals each day. So far:

Day 1: Film a video (M) [COMPLETED]

Day 2: Write a new blog post (Tu) [COMPLETED]

Day 3: Create a watercoloring image (W) [COMPLETED]

Day 4: Wash the dishes (Th) MOVED

Day 5: Cook a meal (F) MOVED

For the moved: Th I wasn’t really home much as I was with David for the evening and I went up to this place for a recovery story interview which was suuuper snazzy and fun!! And then today I didn’t cook but I plan to make chocolate chip pancakes tomorrow and continue to do the dishes today and through the weekend.

The Box, I will have to show you guys in an upcoming post.

I believe it was Wed that I also stopped by Target for chocolate chips and Muddy Buddies and incidentally got a few other things too, shhhh, don’t tell!! 😉

But yeah, I’ve been getting closer and closer to reading books again and I’m really hopeful that I can also spend some time writing for fanfics this weekend as well as other blog posts and videos and such.


Welp, I think that’s all from me for now! I really want to get offline soon and start reading more. I’m sure I’ll fall into plenty of other ideas soon too. 🙂

As for the main topic of this post: Stability has been utterly amazing for me and I can say that it definitely gets better. No matter how dysregulated you are with your emotions, you can reach a place of peace and stability, health and happiness. Recovery is possible. You can find a life outside of mental health conditions again. You can make it to a year self-harm free, a year out of the hospital, etc. I know that reshaping my identity has been huge for me (shifting away from being ill and being a suicidal blob having to prove my suicidality, to instead an artist and an advocate) and while I do still have low days, I know that it gets better and that I can survive them to get back to the better days. It’s absolutely awful when they’ve got such a tight grip on you, and I can also say that the lies they tell you are just that: LIES.

Being at a long-term day program has been immeasurably helpful for me. DBT especially has been amazing. I think in part that my time out of the hospital went by almost pretty quickly, and when I started to struggle again I would implement what I would normally be doing in the hospital into my present day out of the hospital regimen–so, coming up with regimens, cutting out unhealthy behaviors like ruminating while listening to music and pacing my room; making no time for the mental health conditions to be “chatting” with me like at a tea party (get that reference? ;)); not purposely re-triggering myself (if I got a nasty comment online I block, mute and delete the email and don’t return to it after); continuing my work with advocacy programs and opportunities; shaping who I am and what I value as separate from my mental health (a good way my family therapist June put this was there are so many people with the diagnoses that I live with, so what makes me different from them? That’s still a starting point to more journaling entries I want to explore in the future! And to eventually share with you all <3); creating art and listening to more new music and everything. Yeah, so much. Just…so much.

Even things like playing video games at night before I fall asleep is great and I guess just using skills every day even if I’m not always skillful (who is??) has been a major change. And journaling my accomplishments each day (mostly) and filling out my diary card, planner, five year journal and trich papers has made so much difference.

But, I’m getting off topic. Before I go, here are some of the ideas I have for my blog:

  1. Book reviews
  2. Film reviews
  3. Life updates
  4. Leftover articles
  5. Recovery based projects
  6. Art
  7. Goal for the Days  (w/ commentary)
  8. Old tags / New tags
  9. Revisiting old topics (A- Z challenge; song a day’s)
  10. Journaling based entries (like from my own journals into a blog post)
  11. Art therapy/Teachable moments
  12. Fanfics/creative writings

And for my Youtube channel:

  1. Life updates
  2. ART
  3. IOS
  4. Book reviews
  5. Film reviews
  6. Support Stands
  7. Vlogs
  8. Collabs
  9. Hauls
  10. Goals for the Day (weekly based)
  11. Lessons Learned Lectures (L3’s)
  12. Recovery based projects
  13. Article read-outs
  14. AND MORE!

I honestly can’t think of anything else other than wanting to share a haul of Target stuff and things and yeah, I’m tired ahaha. This has been a very long post…. I will end it now. 😉

Hope this was interesting and neat and fascinating for you guys!! It was for me and I can’t WAIT to jump back into reading now. 🙂

Have a good one!!!

❤ ❤ ❤

Oh, I forgot, today’s get well soon card for Athena:

GWSC Day 2 - Created 2.12.19

I Googled a picture of her doggo for this one. 🙂

Here’s to the Lives that You’re Gonna Change |SADIJ1 & Get Well Soon Cards

Song a day THUMB

Chosen song:

Have It All by Jason Mraz


Chosen Lyrics:

May you have auspiciousness and causes of success
May you have the confidence to always do your best
May you take no effort in your being generous
Sharing what you can, nothing more nothing less
May you know the meaning of the word happiness
May you always lead from the beating in your chest
May you be treated like an esteemed guest
May you get to rest, may you catch your breath
And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows
And may the road less paved be the road that you follow
Well here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it
Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
You don’t need money, you got a free pass
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all
May you be as fascinating as a slap bracelet
May you keep the chaos and the clutter off your desk
May you have unquestionable health and less stress
Having no possessions though immeasurable wealth
May you get a gold star on your next test
May your educated guesses always be correct
And may you win prizes shining like diamonds
May you really own it each moment to the next
Oh, I want you to have it all
All you can imagine
All, no matter what your path is
If you believe it then anything can happen
Go, go, go raise your glasses
Go, go, go you can have it all
I toast you
My meaning:
I’ve already been listening to this song for over an hour today but I wanted to do something a little different and actually write up a blog post even though my attention span is fraying and fleeting. Regardless, here is a song a day mental health edition as I haven’t done one in a long time!
This song, I came across on the radio maybe spring time 2018. I really fell in love with it and it really imprisons everything about me and my life and my hopes in another person, which is always awesome, so we can continue to spread kindness and compassion everywhere we can!!! ❤
I mentioned this song before to my friend Diary and I feel it’s such a happy, positive, well-lit song that spreads hope and love and kindness in a world that is so often lacking in those qualities.
I hope that it gives you a smile and a feeling of being treasured and warm on the inside out. 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤
Chosen emoticon:
😘😘😘 = kissing face!

Additionally, someone that I follow that I have written about in the past, a few years ago, is beginning, likely, they’re recovery journey from an eating disorder, and with it also happening to be eating disorder awareness week, I want to send them support, compassion and encouragement in this difficult time–in the hopes that they will later see them when they are ready or if they choose to at all return to social media.
So if you have any suggestions on words, phrases, quotes, song lyrics, color choices, patterns, pictures, etc. let me know in the comments down below; in a DM on Twitter (I’m @RecoveryRaquel); or in an email which you can contact me through my contact page here on this blog.
I’m thinking of creating a card for them every 3 days and will directly tweet at them on Twitter and also post here if that would be helpful or interesting for anybody. I’m going to not have their direct name in the image itself so it can be applicable somewhat to other people wandering through recovery.
My intention would be to spread kindness, positivity, hope, light, warmth and more. This person has done a lot for the online communities (maybe not always positive), and although they’ve lost their way a bit, it’s going to get better from here. I have hope and light for them, if even right now they don’t have it for themselves.
So, any ideas would be much appreciated!!
This is kinda like an online form of Recovery Reinforcer. XD
Maybe I will tag it as such later on in these card creations…I’m not sure yet!
Any who, I hope you guys are well!
I will be having a 1 year out of the hospital post on Valentine’s day! And hopefully a few videos up and out this week as well. 🙂
Thank you for reading/listening! ❤ ❤ ❤
Hope You feel better Soon! - Card 1 for Athena - 2.12.19

A Tribute to Passages | One Year

Congrats 1 Yr at Passages - 2.5.19!

On February 5th.2018 I began my time at Passages, a day program offered 25 minutes from my house, in what can only be described as an irrevocably, gradual and utterly amazing change to my life, my identity, my symptoms and my story. In this post, I’d like to give gratitude and thanks for my time there thus far, as well as what changes I’ve strongly implemented into my life; the friends I’ve made there; the new memories I have; as well as a look into a few journal pieces and a send off to my next one year hallmark happening Feb. 14th (a year out of the hospital; my longest duration). With that said, let’s jump in! 

In the year of 2018 I wrote in 4 journals. 3 were completely filled while one was only half filled as I had 2017’s posts within the first half of the journal. Here is a picture of each one below:


From the far left: my silver rainbow journal which went from Jan. 17.2018 every other day to about daily Feb. 5th.2018 to April 14th; I didn’t realize it until this moment but the next one is actually the furry purple one that says “My Journal” in which it goes from April 15th – Aug 13th; my pink rainbow journal that says “Shine Bright” goes from Aug. 14th – Sept. 5th; and the clouds with a forest saying “Leave your fears behind” goes from Sept. 6th – Feb. 4th/5th.2019

During this past year, I’ve gone through two planners as well, as shown below:

Initially, I began to take up journaling again back in January 2018 because I was shoulder deep in Dark Days and was collecting my thoughts and drafts of my suicide notes for friends and family I’d be leaving behind.

At the last week of January, when school began again, my parents held an intervention after having spoken to a suicide prevention hotline the day or so before. They gave me an ultimatum:

I could either go willingly to the hospital or they would call 911, emergency services in the US, and have me forcibly taken.

This was the first time in my entire recovery journey (I was diagnosed with Harm OCD (self focused) in fall 2014, and began recovery in March 2015) that I had not invited a hospitalization into my life myself.

I decided to go willingly to the hospital on the condition that I could shower first and my eleventh hospitalization began soon after.

On February 5th. 2018, after having been released from the hospital, I began the partial program at Passages which ranged from 10a-3p every day for one week:

“[Journaling] is like my only freedom from home–everywhere else is unsafe. I’ve decided my final texts sent to the masses will be “One more light” lyrics–maybe it will evoke concern and panic… I don’t know what’s wrong with me 😦 I’m torn between lies and truths. I think I’ll just admit to a mix of them… I feel like the Maximoff twins when they get in cahoots with Ultron except wavering loyalty to Ulton after they find out his plan is mass extinction…. I’ve entered the first time in my life where I don’t want help. I feel like my hands are tied. I just wish for the end.”

The week after, I began the day program which ranged from 9a-3p MWF. I returned to school to take my one class on the TuTh schedule.

During this time I was still jotting down different art ideas, mostly lyrics based ones. I had also been writing articles (the raw unpublished ones you can still find on my blog) and one of them–“Recovery Raquel is Under Construction” ignited this particular journal entry:

“Sun. Feb. 11.2018: (explicit details of suicide plans) You know, whatever is most convenient. You missed the news–there was a ruckus I caused at school on Friday–most ironically from my article called RRiUC. It had a couple of concerningly questionable paragraphs and people missed the entire upward positive incline so they panicked and Luna got called in and there was a meeting and as Luna so eloquently said: ‘You fucked up real bad.’

So, there’s that. That’s when/why I got scheduled to contacting X this weekend for support. X called me around noon at partial and asked if I was safe and also called home and asked my parents the same thing.

Sigh. It cued a mild crisis and the utmost panic as well as well I don’t know what–oh, flashbacks to my wellness check, yup. I was going to call X yesterday as I was starting to slide into crisis but X wasn’t available. I would have called a hotline but I still don’t trust them since last September.

Now? For that article I am mourning the loss of no longer being able to send out a final cry for help via Linkin Park’s lyrics. I was looking forward to that. Now I really have to just die alone without anyone knowing.


I forgot to mention this before, but I believe back in January 2018 I had also changed my “Recovery Raquel” Twitter name to ‘The End’. I bring this up now because I just found this entry:

“Feb. 13th, 2018: This is the moment I will look back on and wonder what could have been different. I can’t tell the truth anymore. It’s nearly physically impossible. I don’t think I go back into recovery again. I can’t begin to imagine the conversation to getting help.

Maybe it’s not worth it. Maybe I’m not worth it. Maybe things could have been different. I feel more conflicted with the lies. But not enough to tell the truth. I am a burden to those around me. They can’t help me. And neither can I, anymore.

This really, really sucks. I’m in too deep. I’ve learned the behaviors to go against recovery. I am destined to continue following through on them. Nobody can save me. This is it. The End.”

On Feb 14th 2018 I was entirely focused inwards on myself and my plans and my pain that when a therapist at program made an offhand comment accidentally, it really drove me further into myself. Myself and a few others were triggered and we were placed incorrectly into the DBT-Intensive room where more people got upset. I guess, I don’t particularly recall this myself, but my friend Vanessa said that my treatment coordinator had asked if I was safe from where I was sitting in group and I said no, and they were going to talk to me afterwards.

At this point I was considering leaving for the day and walking to the nearest CVS to purchase a newly added edition to my suicide plans. I was also carrying around my method (the first part) with me during this time too.

I spoke at length to my coordinator and it was determined that I needed to be hospitalized. This is the entry I wrote in my journal among other hospital belonging ones:

“Thinking about what my T/C told me about recovery: finding a purpose through your experiences to empower you to live and see beyond the immediate now. I may not know how yet–and what steps can I take today to live a more purposeful life?

Maybe it’s taking it moment by moment. Maybe it’s planning for the future. Maybe it’s working daily on goals. Maybe it’s about freedom and stabilization and going against Ultron and choosing to live.

It all starts here and now. And about writing when things are going well. Make: a novel, #RecoveryHome, Recovery Restoration, Recovery Raquel a thing. Because this is RecoverytoWellness and here all survivors radiate badassery.”

Within the new hospital I got sent to for my 12th hospitalization I found a bunch of books (which I later took with me) that revived my explorations of book reviews, content and ideas.

Feb. 16th marks the first day I began to write daily accomplishments. I’ve now been doing this every day for a year.

Around this time I was also recording my SotD of the day, too, another thing I continue to track daily in my journal and planner.

Around early March 2018 I began to see a family therapist, June, with my Mom. I still continue to see June with my Mom even to this day (although now we pay out of pocket). There are notes from all those sessions that I’d love to incorporate into a video one day soon. 🙂

Also around this time I was having issues with Luna and I can see now how the unhealthy attachment/relationship was beginning to sprout and appear.

I’d like to move now towards my general thoughts and things I remember that struck me in particular this past year.

  • I was able to return to writing articles for the rest of the year and just have to finish my final two to be sent out hopefully this week, hopefully.
  • I pulled away from my unhealthy relationship to Luna in fall 2018 so that I made little to absolutely no contact with them personally.
  • I continued to have many different art ideas, drawing and creative writing ones
  • I watched Black Panther with my Mom and witnessed other movies, too (some of which I still want to film review)
  • I added a list I kept for a few months that was called What Could Have Been Better? as a way to structure if I was unhappy about the day’s activities, what would I have liked to do instead or could have done less of
  • In about summer 2018 I began to track my Internet usage for a Weekly Amount of Internet Usage from Mon  – Sun in my planner and by fall 2018 came to accept that I have an Internet addiction, more primarily distinctive to a Youtube addiction (as Twitter, blogging and the like is fine, although partially addictive at times too) I’ve also since defined the Youtube addiction to be inclusive of ‘Deep Dives’ which is when many hours go by when I say I’ll only “watch one video”. Or if I check up on people whom I have concern for but are unhealthy/obsessed with, whoops
  • In May 2018 I transitioned from my weekly appointments with my therapist to the DBT-Intensive program in which I see my T at program there instead (which is why we pay out of pocket for my psychiatrist and my family therapist, June, because the insurance wouldn’t cover either of those (and for Phil, my psychiatrist, unfortunately he doesn’t take my insurance anyhow))
  • On Oct. 11th I purchased my 5 year journal (5YJ) which I began to also fill out daily since
  • I changed journals as needed
  • I’ve used my DBT skills daily for a year
  • I’ve made new friends and pals 🙂
  • I began to fill out trich papers and defined when trich is being utilized based in OCD behaviors or self-harm behaviors.
  • I’ve been very creative in the last year
  • Above all: I’ve been stable.

Being stable has become my newest baseline. I went from times of instability to complete stability. It doesn’t mean I never have bad days, rather that my bad days are more tolerable to me with all the DBT skills I’ve learned and practice every day. I’ve grown a lot in the last year, matured in many ways, and I now reside in a pedestal 20 ft above the ground. Whereas in the past my pedestal was only 2 ft high, now I have much farther to fall, and when I do fall, and I will, I fall only to 10 ft low, so that I can continue to work on myself, improve myself and utilize my skills to pause or slow down the crisis if one even exists to begin with.

My emotional pain tolerance is a lot higher than it’s ever been before. I have Passages to thank for that, as well as myself and the supports I have encircled around that. My self-esteem is great, I still take loads of notes in my journals, I record just about everything and I’m excited for where the road is going to take me. I’ve been able to minimize, not eliminate, but minimize my amounts of self-sabotage and intrusive thoughts. When I get intrusive thoughts now I often just ignore them or briefly acknowledge them before continuing on with my day as per usual.

When I do expand my radius outside of my bedroom, I do get more intrusive thoughts, but that’s likely just a side effect I’ll have to do my best to live with.

I went in Dec 2 weeks free of trich, which was amazing.

Since being involved with DBT-Intensive I’ve had many, many reasons to live and to continue as far as I can go on my stability journey. I can see now how permanent death is and how much I don’t want to yet experience that. I still am enthralled by life and it’s natural endings, but I try not to think too much about it most days. I’ve also managed to eliminate all ruminations from my life.

I could go on and on, but I think that’s enough for this post for now–it’s been a few hours at least.

Overall, I’d just like to thank the Universe for Passages existence and for helping me so much to grow, learn and blossom as much as I have. My identity and my acceptance is an ongoing journey, just the same as my recovery. I’m grateful to have a long-term program available to me and hope that the next year can be just as sparkly, glittery and amazing as this past one has been.

Thank you so much for reading!!

❤ ❤ ❤