Anxiety cutting is more than skin

I cut my hair a week ago convincing myself it was time for a major cut. My then shoulder-length hair has now become the picture below. Actually, I cut my hair because I had become anxious about my looks.

Anxiety causes you to do things you feel you have complete control over. For instance, today I wanted to cut my hair again. I feel that no one likes this style, so perhaps cut again. Now, we all know this thought has little logic to it or does it? Does it matter what others really think about me or is this one of those reoccurring racing thoughts I need to address?

Yes, it does matter and yes I do need to get to the root of this thought. I’ve never thought about cutting my skin for relief but I have constantly cut and plucked my hair. I have never told my therapist this because I was embarrassed and ashamed.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

Yesterday was a good day for me. I overcame most of the anxiety I had about life, my mother, my children, and myself. To get away from the racing thoughts, I’ve always kept busy. You know, doing things in the home. At some point, it stops working.

I found that journaling my thoughts helps to calm my mind to the point of actually thinking one thought at a time. When I do that, I’m able to process and solve whatever I was anxious about.

Yesterday, I was so focused on the 2 separate mass killings. I wasn’t able to get anything done. So, I turned to what calms me. I like to shop online instead of going into a store. It helps me to deal with the social anxiety I have.

Another soothing things for me is window shopping. I do this online by looking at all the items I want and saving them to my account. When I feel calm, I go back to my thoughts and process them. It’s a great way to bring my emotions down to a level I can function at. It usually takes me about 30 minutes.

Today, right now, I’m just not feeling like doing anything. So instead of getting anxious, I’m going to rest until I feel like getting up. I’m not focusing on tomorrow because it’s too far away. I’ve been told to take PTSD one day at a time because you don’t know what’s going to trigger you. Don’t expect negative things, instead look and produce your own positivity. After all, it’s your life and your journey.

Until next time,

Every day is different. Don’t expect yesterday’s results to work for today’s and today’s to work for tomorrow.

Hidden Opportunities

There have been days when I wanted to give up and just lay down and sleep forever. I’ve been told that sleeping, among other things, is a sign of depression.

I have various mental and written tools I learned in therapy. I know by now, if I don’t use them, I could possibly take steps backwards. That, I don’t want to experience.

In therapy, I was taught to evaluate pain or distractions. Find the source. It will almost always be emotional or subconsciously blocked. I’ve never liked confronting anything or anybody for that matter, but I have to face my fears and address the hidden source of why I was sleeping longer than needed.

In late June, I had been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in both knees, type 2 diabetes and neuropathy. To top that, I have a long-standing case of vertigo for which I have no answer. I knew I hadn’t paid much attention to my health after the event. I just sort of “let myself go”.

Before my 30’s I was very health conscious. I ate healthy, exercised regularly and made sure my children did the same. After the assault and kidnapping, I didn’t want to have contact with the world. I just withdrew into my room. Soon, my body took action against me in my 40’s and up to my present age. I began having trouble with my knees(due to the type of work I performed). I had to stop working and now live with my oldest child.

I began to realize the guilt from not properly caring for myself, was the source of this current bout with depression and anxiety.

I took a hard look at what I had done to cause my body to react this way. I decided to take better care of myself mentally and physically. I took ownership and acknowledged what I have done to myself.

I decided to take 1 day at a time until I can come up with a plan. Until then, I won’t stop the healing process I’ve started.

Until next time,

Never let past actions stop you from your current path of healing.

That was it! That was the source of my current depression.

Gone too Long

I haven’t been active for a month or maybe 2. I don’t know. Nothing bad has happened, I just go through periods of nothing. Nothing to me is blank stages where things that previously made me happy are slowly drifting away. I want to continue with what’s meaningful, but I can’t find the motivation needed to press on.

Last night I decided to finish things I most wanted to do even if I lose interest, I’m going to see whatever it is through. I’m going to continue with this blog, continue telling my story, continue finding ways to decrease anxiety and heal from PTSD.

Patterns of Survival

In my last session, my homework was to write down the emotional stuck points I have and to replace them with more realist ones. You’re kidding me, right? “Ahh, that will be a no, Ms. De’. You can do this. You’ve come so far. Remember, fear is a response to emotional danger.”

That’s what he thinks. I never opened that file. The file of how I feel about myself and what others may have contributed to enhancing those feelings. Doesn’t he know that opening this particular file is like opening Pandora’s box? He must know or he wouldn’t have given me this assignment.

Anxiety sets in. Here come thoughts on top of stuck point thoughts! I can’t handle this, so I crashed and it was hard. I immediately reverted back to my survival instincts. I politely closed the file.

The main reason I closed that file was I never forgave myself for anything I thought may have resulted in my hating myself. No, I don’t want people to pity me, and no I don’t feel sorry for myself. I just grew to dislike myself after being consistently bullied throughout my life. The trauma made it worse.

The wonderful thing about this chapter in my life is the work I’m doing. I’m gaining a better understanding of why people did the things they did to me and why I accepted it. I’m gaining a better appreciation of who I really am and how to present myself to the world.

During the traumatic event, I did what I had to do. I didn’t become someone else, I used a part of myself that would help me survive. Now, I’m on the path of living with others without being in survival mode.

Until next time,

Not only will I survive, but I will grow and thrive.

Ouch! That hurt!

Humans can say hurtful things sometimes. I’m human, I know. I’ve been on the giving side and the receiving side. We all have. Some people, like myself, can say they have received more than given. What they really mean to say is this, “Most of my memories are about hurtful things people have said and done to me for no reason at all!” I can say this also. But it doesn’t make it true. That is basically a perception of what can be recalled.

I happen to love words. On my Pinterest page, I have a section for wonderful words. I readily agree with Dr. Caroline Leaf’s research on how words affect a person brain, causing them to feel physical pain.

I can give you an example. When I was in grade school, I learned how pretty I was not. It was a boy who liked my sister giving me the bad news. He said to me, “If you did have those bucked teeth (the two front ones) you’d be pretty like your sister!” Next thing I knew, everyone was chanting, “Buck teeth, buck teeth!” I didn’t cry in front of them. I didn’t say anything. I walked away. When I got home, I inspected myself in the mirror. To my surprise, my teeth were bucked. I stopped smiling unless it was necessary. You know, for pictures and the sort. This went on for most of my life in one form or the other.

As an adult, I became very self-conscience. Even after I had work done, I still saw myself as some form of ugly. I hate to hear someone talk about another’s appearance in a derogatory manner. It literally makes me sweat and want to hide. I would try to defend the person in so many ways. It was like I was being talked about too!

I know everyone has some words stuck in the back of their minds which bring about unwanted feelings. Maybe you took care of yours a long time ago. Some of didn’t. They continue to live with us cause some degree of pain.

I know most of you heard this idiom: His/her words cut like a knife! Well, now you know. Words build our world and the things in it. Words build our children and who they become tomorrow. Words build our relationships and determine if they will last.

Until next time,

Words will be with us for a lifetime. We must determine with great care and concern how we will use them. Words even linger on about a person after death. So, we must remember to speak carefully, because words can never be taken back.