Sunday, November 1, 2009

Don't Give Up

It probably isn't good for me to write at night. I'm tired; emotionally and physically. So the writing probably tends to be a bit depressive. Actually I've been worrying tonight that my entire blog thus far is quite depressive, and who would want to read it?

But that's part of the point of this blog; to be real, to not force myself to speak from a positive attitude when that attitude just isn't there. Being "out in public" is something I've avoided for oh, about five years now. Actually most of my life... But the public I'm talking of now is putting this blog on the 'net. It's quite scary for me. It pushes my anxiety levels to new heights each time I make a new post, or do anything with the blog. Whatever... that's life for me.

Beth was reading a page describing the symptoms of various mental illnesses the other day on Bring Change 2 Mind. One of the symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is avoiding people, places, experiences that are reminders of the traumatic event that made you ill. I guess I fit the bill on that one, as I rarely leave the house now.

Actually I have ALL the symptoms of PTSD. Probably that's why that was the primary diagnosis that put me on Social Security Disability. ha!

I guess they actually stretched it a little for me... The info on PTSD usually states that it is based on a single event that occurred. For me, it was many. Just life, little crisis after little crisis after little crisis until I crawled into a ball and hid myself away from life.

With PTSD, you become anxious even when there is nothing to fear. Even when you know there is nothing to fear. The hormones or whatever still kick in over nothing. So now that happens with me over things most people take for granted: walking to the mailbox to get the mail, jumping in the car to go upstreet, remembering and finding everything I wanted when I go shopping, choosing between items, meeting people, and oh my God! working things out when you have to cooperate with someone else! They all leave me in a panic. Mostly I have to force myself, cajole myself into doing them. Sometimes I just get tired of forcing myself, and sometimes I know I just can't, so I don't even try.

Anyway, the point here is: that is how it often feels to me when I try to write a new post in this blog. Making decisions, and then being okay with those decisions, is tough.

But, I'm doing it. I'm not giving up, totally, yet. I'm fighting my fear and I'm writing this post and I'm not going to let the worry that no one is reading them, or the worry that someone is reading them, deter me. At least not tonight.

You can find the full list of symptoms for PTSD on the Learn the Facts page of Bring Change 2 Mind. You'll also find info there on Fact vs Fiction of mental illness, as well as the symptoms of Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and Depression.

3 comments:

ACDesign said...

Pam,

Great blog! I found that starting a blog was both therapeutic and a way for me to voice my concerns about stigma. You have no idea how happy I am that my little exhibit made an impact on you and your daughter:) Just curious, but did you see my documentary? or view my exhibit/audio on my website? I am in the process of editing the second version of my documentary. I was so lucky enough to interview 4 individuals who are affected my mental illness in different ways. One young man has schizo-affective disorder. His courage to stand up against stigma and beat this illness is SO inspirational. I can't wait to share these stories with the world. There is so much work to be done if we want to fight stigma. Thank you for joining me in this fight. Our loved ones are the silent heros and it's time their voices are heard! Thanks again.

Miriam said...

Pam,

There is a huge difference between accepting something and resigning to it.

Don't resign.

I've been connected, for a long time, to mental health communities here in Salt Lake City and the rest of Utah; the South Florida area; and nationally and internationally thru ICCD. I am a Faculty member and visit Clubhouses, where ever, at least twice a year. I'm also Chair of the Utah State Democrativ Party Disability Caucus. My husband and I are kind of well-known for our advocacy and education concerning disabilities and especially mental health, to the disabled communities nut also to the public.

I think the first step of recovery is accepting that you have a mental illness, or if you prefer, a psychiatric disorder. Once you've truly accepted it, then you can begin your plan to reach whatever level of recovery you choose. Your choice is what makes it your recovery.

As far as the word, "recovery", I don't use it to mean you will never again have symptoms. I use it more to mean that every day, I do whatever it takes to keep my stability. Some days, I don't need to think about it - it's just there. Other days...I really have to work hard.

I know your in rural New England, but where? What larger cities or towns are you near?

Tell me about you...

Pam said...

Thank you Miriam.
hmmm... I just tried to post "my story" on BringChange2Mind... but it wouldn't let me "register" to log in for some reason...
I'm not really comfortable with posting much personal info on the blog..
Is there some way to contact you otherwise?

Are you on facebook?
Comments do also go to my personal email... if that helps in any way..