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Happy Monday, everyone!
Last week I introduced my new series, Mental Health Mondays. Each week will feature a different guest blogger who has something to say on the topic of ~you guessed it~ mental health. As you guys might know if you read my About page, Uninspired is all about helping women in their twenties build their futures without sacrificing their sanity. This means we definitely need to make sure we’re talking about mental health. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you guys how stressful this stage of life can be. There’s pressure from all angles to be successful. And if we don’t take care of ourselves properly and more importantly have hope, our stress can manifest as mental illness. You know, things like anxiety, depression, even PTSD or dissociation.
I don’t want any of that stuff to happen to you.
That’s why I started this series. When I first thought it up, I wanted to write it myself. Who better to talk about mental health than a graduate student in counseling, right? Well, not right. I only have one personal experience, and it is faaaaar from all-encompassing. In fact, most of my experience with mental health at this point is textbook-based. If I’m going to try to instill hope in you that you can get through this stressful time, I want to show you real success stories. Stories from people like Camelyn, who will be hosting today. She had an incredibly traumatic experience in her twenties, but bounced the heck back and can show you exactly how to do the same thing. She’s so brave to share what she’s been through for us, and I hope you guys soak up all the tips she has for you!
~ Life with PTSD ~
“On February the 8th 2016, I arrived home in the early morning after dropping off children at school (my morning routine shuttle). Everything seemed normal. The dogs greeted me and escorted me to the front door. I walked in, locked the gate behind me, dumped my purse on the couch, and started my day. The washing was still in the machine and I needed to hang that up first.
I grabbed the keys and strolled over to the back door. I slid the key into the lock and opened the door.
Everything happened so fast.
A thick, glass beer bottle was smashed over the right side of my head. I lost my balance, and they took the opportunity to grab me and shove me back into the house. I was cable tied to my bed while they cut gashes into my flesh and rape me.
Due to this event, I have suffered PTSD, panic attacks, agoraphobia, extreme paranoia, and a very deep depression. Living with PTSD– surviving through all the pain and the rest of the mental problems– has been harder than fighting back and surviving my attack. But it is time for me to speak out about my mental illness and help other people fight back against it like I have.
I know that PTSD is extremely debilitating. It sucks the life out of you and can take away even your will to live. I know that it is so irritating when people tell you to be strong, hold your head up high, that you will get through this. It is hard to see that you will ever get better. Right now, you might not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am here to tell you that what you are feeling…
It’s all okay.
You are normal for feeling this way.
Life with PTSD is not easy. Life with depression is not easy. I want to share with you the things I have learned are most important.
You might not feel like you need it right now, but when you do, reach out. Tell someone about what you are going through. Tell someone you need help dealing with it. Personally, I needed medical help more than psychological help, but there are loads of psychologists who will see you. Some may even see you for free if your financial situation doesn’t seem to allow for one. If you don’t have anyone that you feel comfortable talking to, go onto the internet and find a pen pal, or email pal that you can get to know. Sometimes it is easier to talk to a stranger about it, and make a new friend.
Allow people to care for you.
I know just as well as anyone that all you want is to be alone. You can’t to curl up in a ball in a dark room and hibernate. You can’t do this– you cannot let your illness take over your life. I’m not saying you must go out and take over the world, but let your mom come over for tea. Let your friend bring you pizza. Take it slow, baby steps. But let the people you love, take care of you.
Get out of bed for a half hour today.
Wash your hair. Walk in the garden, or just down the street if you can handle it. Cook something. Bake something. Write something. Draw something. Just half an hour– that’s all it takes for you to start moving your life forward again. If you can’t handle half an hour, take it five minutes at a time. Build up to it.
This is how you get the ball rolling again.”