thinking about self harm without actually self harming

i am full, i feel full
of bitterness and maggot-like creatures
i am rotting from the inside out
my organs are foul with the stench of fear
i wish to shine like gold
i watch myself in a mirror
dull instead of shiny yet in pain

is there anything more ugly than me
is there anything more beautiful
than some perfect tragedy executed excellently
i wish to feel okay
safe and secure in the knowledge that
i will be okay (i might)
but i wait and continue to rot

a mp3 file sings sweet promises
mainlined to my ears
to get to my brain, to my heart
i listen but do i believe?
doubt is a terrible monster
i know with time i will be
rotting but healing too

it doesn’t matter if you lie to me
(except the world depends on it)
(my world) (the one that i live in)
watch me take hurt seriously, watch
as i make my skin bleed
solemn but unwise, my attempts only
make me rot faster. nothing else

my pills can’t stop me from accelerating this time
your words can’t pull things off my skin
like invisible leeches and visible blades
my skin can pull apart and away and
i don’t want you to know how cold
i can be when i am scared
how cold i have been to other people

i am so very, very, very, very
that and afraid
does it matter that i am afraid?
will you be here later to pull off my invisible leeches
to pry them from my skin like
i once watched a man pry a tick
but i never called him or saw him after that day

you, i feel, are different
even if only in the sense that i had a feeling
a hope that you were something i never
hoped for or wished for
it felt too selfish.
i suppose i did it anyway subconsciously
but today i am rotting for you

i want to live and heal and breathe
so marvelously; with such strength!
i want to conquer my fears and become
better faster stronger
more mentally agile and less mentally unstable
but i rot, rot, rot
i might lose what’s left of my mind before you’re here

i am sad and i am angry

The US 2016 presidential election results are in, and I can’t even say the name of the winner because he and his actions disgust me so much. He’s managed to insult and threaten every marginalized group, making many, many people absolutely terrified for their safety today. Today and for the next four years. Among those groups is disabled people, although a group of people being treated terribly should be something you care about even if you are not a part of that group of people. 

So maybe you aren’t even severely mentally ill and poor like me, and you don’t have to worry about your benefits being cut, or your health services, housing, income, etc being taken away as a result. So you aren’t a Muslim woman having to refrain from wearing hijab for safety reasons. You in no way are negatively affected personally, maybe even those you love aren’t. You should still care, you should still feel empathy, because I like to think my readers aren’t, idk, fucking monsters. I don’t know. I’m so scared that so few people seem to feel empathy or care, that so many people are expressing such violent misogyny, and that that person and his running mate could ever possibly be in power, with a republican house and senate to back them up.
For the record, yes, I voted early, for Hillary Clinton.
I would love to direct those of you who will be affected, who are terrified and crying and angry and so many things (so many reactions are valid) to a suicide hotline list in case you need it, but while you should absolutely try if you think you need to, national hotlines have been busy since she lost and he won and we were handed four years of fear on a platter. You should still try but please don’t expect to necessarily get through to anyone right now. I’m so sorry, and I’m going to do my best to list other resources you can draw on after listing these currently unusable helplines:
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
The Trevor Project (LGBT): 1-866-488-7386
Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860
Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741-741
Okay. So maybe you don’t want to call a helpline, or maybe you tried one, or two, or three, and they were all busy. Okay. Deep Breaths. Here is a gif about breathing that might help with that:
source
Maybe you’re angry. I get that too. A personal favorite coping technique of mine when I have feelings of anger (usually directed inward in my case, although not this time for once) is to play a song that helps me get some of my emotion out and maybe even sing along, really loud.
For this presidency, I think that the Dixie Chicks’ Not Ready to Make Nice is pretty appropriate (or find something you like better, if that’s not your jam!)
So what have I got to recommend besides deep breathing, music and hotlines that may or may not work? WELL, ladies and gentlemen and non binary people also wearing formal wear for some reason, here’s a list! I may add to it over time:
  • Got extra money burning a hole in your pocket/sitting around? Help out with the situation we’re in for a tangible feeling of having done something good. Of course, you can do this for free in many ways, by helping others, and volunteering, for example, but what I’m talking about is donating money to a charity that will probably really be needing it soon thanks to our future president – such as Planned Parenthood, NAMI, or Radical Monarchs. There are many more, and I hope to blog with a longer list included soon.
  • Learn how to fold a paper crane.
  • Spend time with your pet if you have one, cuddling or playing with it.
  • Take a bath, keep sharp objects away if that’s an issue, and use some relaxing essential oils or a bath bomb to help de-stress and indulge in some physical and mental self care.
  • Take a hot or cold shower, even if it’s quick.
  • Brew a cup of caffeine-free tea. The caffeine could increase anxiety so I’d recommend avoiding that, but the warm beverage itself can be very soothing.
  • Look into volunteering somewhere local. You’ll be benefiting your community and also have a reason to feel good about something in this world – the hard work you’re putting into making it better!
  • Write. Journal, write poetry, or blog. There are other options too. Express the emotions you’re feeling. They are valid.
  • Coloring books are extremely soothing, even if you haven’t heard of the adult coloring books trend and it sounds silly to you. The simple act requires some concentration but not enough to make it difficult, and you may find it very helpful in coping with negative feelings or anxiety.
  • Put your hands in cold ice, or hold ice tight for a minute. The bearable pain from the cold is especially good if you are struggling with a dissociative disorder or strong sadness.
  • Reach out to those you love. Let them know you care. Send an email with cute animal pictures to your favorite people, or call someone who matters a lot. Talk, make sure they’re okay, make sure you’re okay.
  • Deal with anxiety preemptively if you need birth control but need it covered by insurance to afford it by looking into longer term options, since we may have access to birth control restricted in the next four years. Implants that go in your arm can be effective for up to four years, and IUDs can be effective for up to 12!
  • Paint your nails, do your makeup, or use a face mask, if you enjoy that sort of thing. It may not help much, but you’d be surprised how soothing these acts can be for many people.
  • Look into local community events coming up protesting the election results, and other similar events. I don’t think anything can be done about the situation, but you’ll meet like-minded people who may help you cope with your frustrations and fears.
Okay. That’s all I’ve got for now. Feel free to share suggestions for coping or helping things be better in the comments. I’m emotionally drained and still crying more often than not. 
Stay strong.

when education and health conflict

Okay. I have this overwhelming feeling that I am supposed to write about this, so that’s what I am doing. I’m dropping out. I’m a college drop out.

I’ve been told I shouldn’t say that, that I should emphasize the medical withdrawal aspect of my leaving college so soon after attempting to start it, or that I plan to go back and it’s really just a “hiatus”…but here’s the thing. Not everyone has that luxury. Many really simply do drop out and there is no way to sugarcoat it. So many of them for mental health reasons, and so many of them feeling so alone.

I get to sugarcoat my situation if I want, because I do plan on going back, and I do have medical documentation supporting my need to not be at college right now, but honestly? Why should I. I am technically dropping out, dropping all of my classes. I am dropping out of college; I am a college dropout. Currently, yes, but for the next year at minimum, too. On top of that, when so many feel so alone, why would I phrase it on my blog in any but the most helpful terms to others? Why not let those who couldn’t leave for documented medical reasons relate to my story? Okay, cool. Let’s move on.

The day I got my medical withdrawal form from my college, and went to the bookstore to return my books only to discover that I had just missed them and they were closed, I took a short video. I posted it to (my private personal) instagram and captioned it with something about dropping out or medically withdrawing, allowing it to post to facebook dot com, the site where the people who see what you post already know you.

Here’s a gif made from that video and slowed down:

impressive, i know, except jk, obviously

On that exact facebook post of the instagram video, I got a minimal outpouring (can an outpouring be minimal?) of support. One comment especially stood out to me, because it was from someone I had met at college just recently and only just become friends with. They told me that education is important, but health is more important.

I might write more about my poor current health and why I can’t be in college right now at a later date, but at the moment all I can do is hold on. So you get that sentiment, which isn’t even mine, because it helped my heart be a little closer to at peace with my dropping out (for now). I’m a little more at peace with the fact that I had to sign a piece of paper declaring my dream of graduating from college with a degree given up on, for now and until further notice. I’ve waited 6 years to be ready for higher education, but the truth is, my physical and especially mental health are poor right now. My symptoms are extremely severe. I didn’t think my BPD would get this bad again. It is. Here I am. Not ready for college, and not forcing myself to go, because I need to heal and recover. I need to focus on my health.

xoxoxox
Z

smartphone apps & computer software for coping

Hello!
I know it has been a while since I’ve blogged here, especially regularly – my mental and especially physical health has been pretty terrible for a while, and on top of that I am getting ready to move into a new apartment in mid September. I’ll totally do my best to update you guys on all kinds of things going on in my life in another post soon, but for now, I really want to share some resources with you, specifically some of the apps, and software I have found to be very helpful in coping with my mental illness. Some of these programs and apps have adds, but none of them are extremely intrusive or stressful advertisements in my experience.
Many of these apps and programs are free, and the ones that aren’t are low-cost! I’ve suggested free and low-cost apps/software both because I don’t have the extra money to spend on expensive software and also because a lot of mentally ill people (and people in general!) don’t either. I think that the majority of these could be helpful to neurotypical people as well, especially if they struggle with stress or insomnia, for example. I’m very excited to share these with you since any tools to help someone cope can make a huge difference in their life!
I will note that while some of these may be helpful to mental health professionals, this post is aimed at people who are struggling themselves. I also want to mention that not a single one of these companies/programs/etc has sponsored me, and everything I write here is my own honest opinion. Some of these apps are for iphones only and not on android and so unfortunately won’t be accessible to everyone, even everyone with a smartphone. There are also some browser extensions that are very useful, but since I don’t currently use any of them I don’t want to recommend them here, yet. I will, however, mention that if you have difficulty with viewing gifs or autoplay music/audio while browsing the internet, there are multiple extensions to help with both of those – extensions to not allow any music to autoplay, and extensions to stop gifs from displaying and/or animating.
I’ll start with the software section, because so far I’ve only found one program that is helpful to me, but it is pretty great – so I’ll cover it quickly and move on to the apps and extensions after! This might be kind of a long post in general, since I want to share many things that could be helpful for all kinds of problems neuroatypical people have.
SOFTWARE:
  1. Optimism – this is available as a program for windows and mac, an internet extension, and as an app! You can sync your account between these devices if you use more than one, and it’s also totally free. Wow! I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty exciting. Optimism allows you to track your mood, exercise, and sleep, catch your symptoms worsening early on, and create a “wellness plan” which can remind you what is helpful to you when you are too distressed to think clearly. Here is their website.
APPS:
  1. Mango Health – this is my favorite app for tracking when I’m taking or missing doses of my meds, and for helping to remind me to take my meds. Sure, I have a billion and twelve alarms set on my phone (and other devices!) to ensure I don’t forget doses of my by now multitude of medications, but this app doesn’t just remind you to take your meds. It sends you a second reminder if you don’t let it know that you took them, it allows you to log which meds you are taking (and have taken in the past), it gives helpful tips, and it has a feature to allow you to show your prescriber your history of which med doses you’ve taken and which you’ve missed.  It can also warn you about possible negative interactions between different medications that you’re taking. Honestly, I don’t even use every feature on this app, because there are so many, and yet it’s very easy to use.
  2. Reach Out – this is an app that I installed recently that gives you easy access to a list of helplines and other people you can contact when in crisis. You can add phone numbers for people or organizations you may need to call when in crisis. It also features some short videos that are reassuring.
  3. Colorfy – I use this app to help soothe my anxiety when it isn’t super severe, but I can feel it getting worse and I want to use a discreet coping technique on the go to help calm myself down. It is basically a digital coloring book. There are a lot of different “coloring pages”, divided into categories for you to choose from, and you can color the little spaces in the pictures by clicking on them, and choose colors to fill them in with (there are a lot of color choices, too, and you can purchase more color choices within the app) I find this to be a great and distracting app that doesn’t require a lot of mental energy to utilize.
  4. DeepCalm –  I love apps that make a rain sound, ocean sound, or other soothing sound (sometimes even several at once, depending on the app!) to help me calm down and/or sleep. This app is one of my favorites that falls under that category.
  5. Balanced – this app is great because it reminds you to do five activities of your choosing (or more if you spend $3.99 on upgrading the app to get more) regularly with notifications. I personally have chosen activities that I find therapeutic or helpful for my mental health in order to keep my mindset as positive as possible.
  6. Stop, Breathe & Think – This app is fantastic for anxiety, since it helps you to breathe and especially to meditate. It allows you to select a mood from a fairly extensive list, among other factors such as your physical wellness, and then automatically selects several guided meditations for you to choose from (or to choose to ignore and do something else instead if none of them appeal to you at that time), or you can choose from their entire list of guided meditations to use.
  7. Good Habit Maker –  this app reminds you multiple times per day (you get to choose how many times) of a statement of your choosing. I have mine set to remind me to hydrate and drink a glass of water, but it would also be very useful for other tasks you need reminders for, such as taking meds or stretching.
  8. Infinite Storm – this is another app that I use to make calming sounds that help me relax, de-stress, or get to sleep. You can also play music on your device at the same time as the relaxing sounds, if that helps you.
  9. Pacifica – this is an app that lets you focus on your mood, or your anxiety, and track your health habits and mood. My favorite thing about this app, though, is that you get to choose a daily activity that makes you feel better – such as going outdoors at least once a day, or spending time with a pet or pets. It also includes some unconventional things you can track, such as caffeine, alcohol and cannabis usage.
  10. SleepySounds – another app to create soothing sounds to help you relax (there are many of these apps, including many I don’t even know about!) that also allows you to play your own music on your device. This app is especially helpful for getting to sleep, as suggested by its name.
  11. Grid Diary – this app was recommended to me by my lovely friend Farrah, who also has a blog, and it is currently one of my very favorite apps. It allows you to choose questions, either preset questions or questions that you write yourself, and answer them each day. You can also track your mood from a limited list of mood options, and the weather that day. Then, you get to look back on each day you’ve written in your grid diary for, which I think is so darn neat! I paid $4.99 for extra features within the app such as being able to add pictures to your question answers, although it’s a great app even if you only use the free version.
  12. Bellybio – (EPILEPSY SEIZURE WARNING for the website) this is an app that is great if you have difficulty with deep breathing from your belly but do still find it helpful. In order to utilize it you recline in a chair and place your phone above your pelvis on your lower stomach area. It tracks your breathing physically, while also providing information about your breathing, and can help to guide your deep breathing with colors and sounds, letting you know how you’re doing and when to inhale and exhale.
I also want to mention that if you’re on any medications (psychiatric or otherwise) then your pharmacy likely has an app of its own that you can use to refill prescriptions and check on the refill dates. Since different people use different pharmacies I won’t link to any of them – but search your pharmacy on the app store on your phone (for example “CVS” if you use CVS pharmacy like I do) and it should be easy to find, unless you use a small local pharmacy. I know that this is very helpful for me since going out in public and talking to people is difficult for me with my anxiety, and this reduces how much I have to do that.
That’s all for today – but I’m hoping to update again soon – I love blogging for you guys!
xoxo,
Zelie

some pictures for you people to look at

I’ve been avoiding posting. How silly is that? I’ve attached anxiety to weird things, and made life worse for myself that way before, but I refuse to let myself develop anxiety around blogging. It has been helpful and an outlet in the past, and I have all too few things like that, so I’m posting. I’m posting because the more I do a thing I get anxious about, the less anxious I tend to get about it over time. It’s painful and sucky, and I hate that life works that way (for me at least), but it totally does. So here I am, blogging.

I have a LOT of photos to share – it’s part of why I’m anxious. It’s kind of overwhelming, and what if my DSL internet (I always joke about how slow it is with my friends) goes down for a bit and uploading all those photos at once fails? I have a ridiculously obvious solution – the fact that it took me this long to seriously consider it probably says something about my reduced brain function due to malnutrition – I’m gonna upload the photos in multiple posts, so I can do them in batches.

I’m gonna post a bunch of the photos here in this post, too! First of all, here is one single photo from October 2011, because I found an old little memory card with a bunch of photos on it. Some of them are dreamy, but I literally have only edited one and really looked at a few of the photos so far, so here’s the one I edited already – maybe I will share more in another post another time.

Yep, I have my fall of 2011 undercut and everything. I also don’t have my early 2012 solar system arm tattoo yet! Exciting things are in picture Zelie’s near future.

I also have a lot of more recent photos to share from much more recently.

Well, there you go! I might’ve captioned some of them another day, but today I think that’s all you get. I’ve napped, like, all day and I’m still tired.

xoxo,
Zelie

P.S.: I am having problems publishing this post and I am not happy about this. I want to go back to drinking too much coffee and worrying about my hair.

P.P.S.: OK, I think I solved the problem. Hopefully this will post now! Ignore my rambling, basically.