Anonymous said: How do you tell the difference between a delusion and reality? I've had a reoccurring nightmare about sexual abuse for the past year, but how do I know I didn't invent that? It would explain some behaviors, but I'm doubting it because of my disorders

I absolutely can relate to that. After experiencing years of dissociation and psychosis I find it very very hard to trust my mind. I doubt everything that goes through it. Honestly, the only way I figure it out is going into really detailed explanations with my therapist and psychiatrist. I rely on them to help me recognize signs that it isn’t real and signs that it’s something that happened to me

@2 days ago with 15 notes
#memories #self trust 

betterthandarkchocolate said: Intrusive violent thoughts are actually very common. I get them myself. It can be really disconcerting because I, like most who get these thoughts are non-violent people. Getting them doesn't mean you are a bad or violent person. My therapist gave me some really helpful advice on managing these by out letting any aggression or anger when I need to in a healthy way. This can be anything from writing, to listening to music, to exercise to playing video games. I hope this tip helps someone! :)

Thank you :)

Sometimes I also counter the violent thought by doing something kind to remind myself that those thoughts aren’t who I am. 

@3 days ago with 17 notes
#betterthandarkchocolate 

Anonymous said: Hi, I'd like to ask a question. I haven't been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or anything, but for quite awhile I've been obsessing over my heartbeat. I'm worrying about it being irregular, beating to fast, etc. I don't know why, but it just bugs me A LOT and so, Ifrequently check my heart rate. Is this weird? :(

One type of OCD obsession is being overly concerned and obsessed with your health and the idea that something might be wrong. If you’re really hyper aware of your heartbeat it’s probably going to feel weird sometimes just because you’re focusing so intensely on it. it is definitely a thing, though, in various anxiety disorders to have that worry. My sister developed that as part of her panic disorder. It’s not weird, and it is treatable and there are coping skills and ways to manage it

@3 days ago with 2 notes
#ocd #anxiety #health anxiety 

Anonymous said: Hey, are there any songs that make you feel empowered? Music is a big part of my recovery and I was wondering if you could share some of your favorites if you had any :) All genres welcome

I have a page on my other blog devoted to this actually

http://findingmyrecovery.tumblr.com/recoverymusic

I love Switchfoot, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, and Demi Lovato for feel better music

@3 days ago with 10 notes
#recovery #music 

Anonymous said: I'm sorry if I sound really ignorant, but what's a fear food?

It’s totally ok, asking is good, I appreciate when people want to understand more :)

With eating disorders most foods cause some degree of anxiety, but fear foods are the ones the person completely denies themself, considers taboo, and gets much more anxiety around

@3 days ago with 12 notes
#eating disorders #fear foods 

Anonymous said: I feel constantly anxious and down but I'm too scared to go to my parents and ask for help or to see a doctor because whenever I mention it they tell me to stop being so ridiculous and stop being nervous. I'm always really tired and exhausted and constantly anxious about something, sometimes without even knowing what about. I feel really nauseous and can't do anything as well as occasionally throwing up. I'm not sure what to do-please can you offer me some advice?

Your parents need to understand that anxiety isn’t being weak or nervous. There’s a very physical and uncontrollable aspect to it. If they won’t get you help there are coping skills you can use at home. Breathing exercises like square breathing are great. Yoga, progressive muscle relation, meditation (I like transcendental), listening to nature sounds, letting the feelings wash over you and fade away instead of trying to suppress them, validating yourself, self talk- just talking yourself through it like you would a friend, counting backwards from 100 by 3s, etc 

@3 days ago with 8 notes
#anxiety #anxiety disorder #parents #coping skills #relaxation 

Anonymous said: I have several eating disorders and mental illnesses... I'm going into treatment for the very first time here in a couple months and I'm absolutely freaking terrified... I've been in therapy all my life but never residential.. I just followed you and I'm not sure if you went to residential before or not but I was wondering if you had any advice for me I would really appreciate it. I'm 16 btw.. Love your blog :)

Here are some of the most important tips I can give you about adjusting to the change

  1. Everyone else in there is also walking into the unknown and really uncertain. The fears are a good place to start bonding and relating to others in treatment
  2. You don’t have to adjust in one day. Let yourself figure it out step by step and you’ll adjust and get used to the experience
  3. There are going to be a lot of rules and a lot of people feel out of control because of it and can get more urges from that loss of control. Learning to give up some control is one of the hardest parts of treatment
  4. Try to trust your treatment team. It can be hard to believe some of the things they promise, and it can be really hard to trust the meal plan and that it’s really going to work out. They know what to feed you. They know what your body needs
  5. You’re going to learn more about the people in your groups than you know about your friends. And they’ll know things about you that your friends don’t know. It’s a really special bond that forms when you’re with people who are fighting the same things
  6. Talk in group. I always felt guilty about taking up group time or talking when maybe someone else needed to talk more. You deserve to talk too. And you might say something so relatable that it really helps someone else. Let yourself take up group time
  7. Try not to compare. Avoid the “they look sicker than me, they deserve to be here more” or “they went through so much more, they have more of a right/excuse to have a disorder” kind of thinking. Everyone’s experience is valid. You all deserve to be getting help. You don’t have to be the very worst off to deserve help
  8. Be honest. If you’re lost and freaked out say so. If you’re fearing change talk about it. It’s a safe place to talk. You’ll be surrounded by people who understand. Bottling feelings up makes recovery harder
  9. Recovery often makes things feel worse before it feels better. So if things feel super shitty it doesn’t mean it’s not working or that you’re failing or that recovery isn’t for you. It just means feelings are being dug up and brought to the surface. It’s like ripping off a bandage and redressing an old wound. That passes.
  10. What you’re doing is so badass. Go in there knowing that you’re a kick ass warrior and you’re strong enough to deal with this. You’re doing something so difficult, but so worthwhile and you’re going to come out even stronger <3
@3 days ago with 37 notes
#treatment #residential #inpatient #eating disorder #mental illness #advice 

Anonymous said: You are an amazing human being, sorry if that sounds weird or something but I just think that you're wonderful and you deserve to hear that.

That doesn’t sound weird it all :) It sounds great and lovely to hear

@3 days ago with 9 notes
#Anonymous 

Anonymous said: Wait, it's possible to still be affected by a small misshap (sexHarass) that had happened in childhood? What if that memory had been surpressed until just recently? Sorry if these questions make you uncomfortable, I don't mean to be rude.

Everyone is affected differently by every event. Every reaction is valid. I have spoken many times to doctors about how a trauma affects a person if they don’t have conscious memories of it. There’s a neuropsychologist at my eating disorder clinic who is amazing and drew diagrams and and charts about brain chemistry and memory storage that was way to complex for me to explain again haha. But the basic message was, if it happened then it can affect you. Conscious memory is not the only type of memory. It’s just the one we’re most aware of. Other parts of you can still remember what happened. Before the memory became conscious it still could have affected you. 

When I was sexually abused I was a toddler and I only had it come to the surface through nightmares in the last few years. But now that I know what happened I can identify certain things that were clearly connected to it. How fussy I was as a child, clinging to my mom’s legs and feeling nauseating panic every time she left my sight. Dissociating when doctors touched me during exams. I had no idea why that happened because I had 0 memories of the trauma. And even after learning what happened I brushed it off saying it didn’t matter and wasn’t significant because I didn’t have full conscious memories of it. I’m realizing that’s not entirely what matters. It matters that you’re effected. It matters that it had an impact

@2 days ago with 17 notes
#abuse #sexual abuse #trauma #memories 

Anonymous said: I hope you dont mind me asking, but what do you mean by intrusive violent thoughts? Is it like a sudden wave of *wordmaybetriggeringsowillavoid* a really bad desire/feeling??

TW

For me it’s these sudden flashes of really vivid and disturbing images. Like talking to someone and suddenly having this image of myself stabbing them or them getting hit by a car. It’s always really vicious and gory. It really throws me off and I feel stunned by it every time, even though I’m used to it. It’s just so vivid that it feels like a possibility for a second, even though it would never happen

@3 days ago with 12 notes
#ocd #intrusive thoughts 

Anonymous said: Were you sexually abused?

Briefly, when I was very young. I actually made the decision to report it last year so that the person who did it could be found just to make sure they weren’t still doing it. But no one could find any trace of them :/

@3 days ago with 3 notes
#sexual abuse #abuse 

Anonymous said: Hi, i like your blog. Is it ok to follow even if you dont have an official diagnosis of a mental disorder? Ive been told i have anxiety but thats it, but i feel sympathetic about this so i enjoy following x

Absolutely anyone can follow! If you relate or find it amusing or comforting or anything else, then that’s all that matters :)

@3 days ago with 10 notes
#Anonymous 

What I think I look like during a panic attack vs what I actually look like

@3 days ago with 264 notes
#anxiety #panic attack #anxiety disorder #mental health #mental illness #gifs 

Anonymous said: Hey, I just saw what you said to that other anon and wow thank you for saying that. I have similar problems with ocd and intrusive thoughts and sometimes I feel so wrong and disgusting, it's comforting to know I'm not alone and you're totally right, the stuff mental illnesses make you think don't define you as a person. You're doing amazing work with this blog and people like you are a credit to humanity.

Aw that’s so sweet thank you :)

I never heard anyone talk about that aspect of OCD and so I always assumed it was just me and that I was messed up and sick in some way. Finally hearing someone describe that part of their OCD in group was such a shock. I think it’s one of those mental health things everyone avoids discussing and just keeps to themselves because it does feel wrong and disgusting. It feels like admitting a sin. But hearing someone else describe it and knowing that it’s not YOU, but it’s the illness makes such a difference. There’s no guilt or shame to be had in it. I think part of me will always feel horrified by it, but I’m starting to make peace with it. And honestly, when I stopped blaming myself and calling myself disgusting, they started easing up

@3 days ago with 10 notes
#ocd #intrusive thoughts #mental illness 

Anonymous said: Hi, I recently found your blog and I love how funny and relatable it is! I'm 8 months into recovery from anorexia and for the past few months I've been getting these urges to binge even though I'm weight restored. I've been listening to my hunger signals and responding, but every time I do, I feel so full and bloated and I keep gaining weight. I was wondering if you have experienced this in recovery and if you have any advice? Thanks!

My urges and hunger signals were kind of different because I was recovering from bulimia and everyone’s body is different, but someone on here has probably experienced something like that

@3 days ago with 5 notes
#Anonymous