Trigger Warning: some mentions of suicidality and self-harm
So, two things:
- 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.
- 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).
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 [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:
- Book reviews
- Film reviews
- Life updates
- Leftover articles
- Recovery based projects
- Goal for the Days (w/ commentary)
- Old tags / New tags
- Revisiting old topics (A- Z challenge; song a day’s)
- Journaling based entries (like from my own journals into a blog post)
- Art therapy/Teachable moments
- Fanfics/creative writings
And for my Youtube channel:
- Life updates
- Book reviews
- Film reviews
- Support Stands
- Goals for the Day (weekly based)
- Lessons Learned Lectures (L3’s)
- Recovery based projects
- Article read-outs
- 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: