Does Mental Illness = Weakness?

This weekend was very difficult for me. My mental illness had me in its grip tight which kept me in bed for Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and about 75 percent of Sunday.

My boyfriend and I were butting heads which really made me anxious. I was having so many worries because of our argument that it made things worse.

He is a very introverted person so sometimes he needs an entire day to re-energize. He told me that he needed alone time this weekend to recharge and spend time with his friends who he doesn’t see very often. In true Megan fashion, I freaked out.

I plunged into my anxious thoughts so deeply that I thought I might get sick. I worried fervently about whether this was the end of our relationship. Whether he didn’t love me anymore. Whether he wanted to find somebody better than me who could meet every single need of his without fail.

My mental illness often makes me feel weak. That if I didn’t have these nagging thoughts that led me to staying in bed for hours, flipping out over a change of plans and crying a lot.

I feel like I should be stronger.

That I should be able to tackle my mental illness to the ground because I don’t fall for its bullshit anymore. That I should be able to rebound quickly or just stand strong after my intense sensitivity teams up with my anxiety to spiral me down into the arms of depression.

If I was stronger I wouldn’t lose an entire weekend because my feelings are hurt and my anxiety is making it 50 times worse.

But I can’t do those things.

I am too weak to overcome my mental illness.

I always ask for your opinion at the end so please leave me a comment! Does your mental illness make you feel weak too?

Losing Hopes To Despair

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Losing Hopes To Despair: Thus Passes A Lifetime 

by: Francesca Seopa

There’s a battle being fought behind the curtain
An enemy awaits me, on that I’m certain

There are blows being thrown where im out of sight
But my armour awaits the evil that lurks with night

Cuddled in my manner of ancient darkness
Puzzled at the thought of a destructive kindness

It is orion that has lead me here
One that bears the tales of mysteries found at Giza

Vanity it might’ve been
A route embedded in my own imagination is one I could’ve seen

Insanity is what i feel;

A bot of maturity is what you’ll need to heal

It’s the voice;
The voice, the voice that made me believe there lives a choice between the paths of emotion and reason.

Yes indeed it was the voice
That drew my devotion and blinded my senses from the sins of the seasons.

Embraced by the orbits of overtuned obscurities;
Anger,Hate,Regret, Resentment, Anxiety,Betrayal and oh yes Fear

Fear is He who’s battle triumphs I hear the most

There’s a battle being fought behind the curtain

The weapons are drawn
As the horn is blown
The horn is blown
And the weapons are drawn

My courage cuddles in a corner
Questioning why it was summoned

Anger raises a flag of cowardice
Hate awakens social exile
Fear chooses to run that extra mile

Exhausted by distress
What they think I could careless
A river cried full of tears
A youth filtered no sign of peers

An enemy awaits me
Listen-
The horn is blown

With sounds signalling sympathy

A war-cry is heard
Adrenaline is endured
The thunder of drums drilling devotion

I collect the scattered corners and cuts of my uniformly coloured collage of sorrow

As I seek to approach the curtain
Coiled in curiosity
Cautioned by the confusion of what may arise
Visions at a flashing rate

Stop!
I’ve had it with lies let whatever it is be a surprise

Trapped in the muds of truth
Cautiously analyzing the buts of previous burns.

A batlle is fought behind the curtain
An enemy awaits me on that im certain.

Thank you for being with me. I look forward to seeing you here soon. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Love,

Francesca

One Step At A Time

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Sometimes just be. Do not think or worry, do not get angry under stress. Keep patience and see how well things will work out for you. – Sancta Pandey

Some of the content discussed in this blog post or article may be uncomfortable for certain readers and might possibly trigger people living with complex PTSD and PTSD.

When I first got diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Panic Disorder, I was well in my second year of college studying Aeronautical Engineering. Truth be told I wasn’t copying with my studies (I was on the edge of being placed on academic probation).I was extremely overwhelmed and unable to focus. Let alone, I was sexually assaulted that year and failed to report this at the college I was studying at. They later found out when I registered my CPTSD and other disorders at their disability unit (disability services and accommodations at the university). I was later called in and advised to take a leave of absence from my university because i wasn’t doing well as I mentioned.

A lot of students struggle to share how mental health impacts their studies.Lack of concentration is a symptom for so many mental health illnesses and chronic illnesses. Today, I wanted to share my struggles of living with complex PTSD in college. Whenever I studied I could barely read a page and recall all the information I had studied. My short term memory wasn’t capturing new information because of my overwhelmed brain due to my trauma. I couldn’t study in groups and attend lectures because crowds and sounds overwhelmed me.img_0752 I was extremely hypervigilant and hyper-aware of everything in my surroundings, sounds and any movement(s) overwhelmed me. My body was trying to protect me from what had happened of course, because it’s what our brain does if we are in danger.But the problem is our bodies do not know how to get rid of all the chemicals in our bodies after trauma; so we continue to react even when we are in safe zones or in places where we should feel safe. This set my whole academic career on hold for 6 months. I stayed home and tried to get help for my complex PTSD. My voice was gone and I couldn’t communicate in class, do orals or have casual conversation with strangers and friends. Everyone was a danger to me. No one was to be trusted at all, even my family members. I lived in fear of being violated again. The truth is, this stopped me from living and enjoying life, I was surviving everyday. I was constantly crying everyday because I was physically and emotionally in pain.

When I went back to college after 6 months I expected everything to be smooth sailing. But things didn’t go as well as I expected. I went from being a straight A student to being average and that didn’t sit well with me. I was still very paranoid and living in fear of what could happen next. I honestly never attended classes because lectures consisted of chatter and crowds and that would set me on edge – with the possibility of me having a panic attack. Just more reasons for me not to attend. Therapy is not as smooth sailing as everyone ought to think it is. Sometimes it works, other times its takes more time to work and it can be frustrating. jacqueline-day-619822-unsplashI am currently on my way to doing my Master’s degree in Mechano-biology or a Master’s in Artificial Intelligence. All because I chose not to give up. It wasn’t easy, I fought with my psychologist and sometimes with my psychiatrist because I didn’t believe in being medicated. Meds did help me with sleep and with my studies. Having my Professors as my mentors, made the academic pressure more manageable. What made things worse was that I was constantly triggered when I had to take finals, because all my traumas happened before my finals or after my finals. It took me years to speak up. PTSD and CPTSD takes away one’s voice and one’s ability to project or portray their opinions through any medium of expression. That hindered my healing process a whole lot!

I chose not to give up. My marks did eventually improve and I managed not only to finish one associates degree but two. One in mechanical and mechatronics engineering and another in computer science and computer engineering. I was 19 when I got diagnosed. I am only 23 years old. It was a whole lot of work but it was worth is. I never missed my psychiatrist appointments and therapy appointments because I wanted to heal. I took my meds everyday, changed my diet because of bowel issues I ended up having because of CPTSD and I did yoga and meditated often. Be proud of yourself for all the progress you make during your healing journey, you deserve it!

Please learn to say no whenever your intuition tells you to. Learn to trust your own gut, its never wrong. Self care is very important especially when one has a mental health condition or chronic illness. Learn to forgive yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself you’re human at the end of the day.

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You are allowed to cry and to crawl when you can’t run. You are allowed to breakdown. You are allowed to doubt yourself. But you aren’t allowed to give up. – Francesca Seopa

Thank you for being with me. I look forward to seeing you here again. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Love,

Francesca

The Long Road to Betterment

As human beings, regardless of our backgrounds, we’ve become conditioned to evaluate our success in life based on the monetary value of our material possessions. The impact of this trending train of thought has become detrimental to our society, and is especially toxic for those of us who already struggle to find our sense of selves, our true value.

This shift in humanity, in my opinion, grew exponentially with the rise of the technological era. While it’s existed within us for several generations, it’s much more prominent in the last few. And while recently there has been a small faction bringing minimalist living to light, currently more than ever we have become obsessed with the idea of owning the best and newest things.

This has been a difficult post to write because of my own current struggles on the topic. Where is the line between valuing possessions over what really matters, and yearning for a sense of security you’ve never known? There’s obviously financial security in the way of assets, and then there’s having a stable life. Who’s to say when we’ve taken it too far, and how do we separate the wants from the true needs?

I was raised as a welfare baby, my mom on social security, section 8, food stamps, and I’ve had government provided health insurance for my entire life. My mom still survives on the programs, and now I’m raising my daughter on food stamps and free health care as well. It’s not a choice, because while my husband works, it’s not enough, and I can’t bring in enough money with my disabilities to make the pain they’d cause worth the while.

I’m sure my mother wasn’t proud to need all that assistance to raise me, and I’m certainly not proud either. We recently began trying to apply for home loans, as we’ve both lived under mostly slum lords for our entire lives and we want better for our daughter. Long and painfully disappointing story short, we got denied this week and it broke me.

This switch has gone off inside of me, making me feel guilt, inferiority, and judgment towards myself. I swore I’d never raise my child on welfare, but this was before I knew of my physical restraints. Despite my lack on control in the matter, there’s a certain self resentment that comes with that, a sense of worthlessness. I thought I’d found the perfect home for us, actually allowed myself to get excited for once, and now someone else’s family will fill the home.

It’s been an incredibly trying week, with tensions always escalating and tensions always rising due to our current crappy living situation, and I haven’t felt this defeated in a really long time. Especially for those of us with mental illness, stability is incredibly imperative to our success, and it’s my firm belief that if I can finally achieve stability, maybe I can finally begin my journey to betterment.

What I thought was one step closer turned out to be two steps back, but I must still press on. I have to believe that there’s more left in life for me than just the current chapter, that the book will have at least a relatively halpy ending. Here’s to everyone else who’s had a disappointing week or felt broken by something outside of your control. Life gave us lemons, so I guess we’re making lemonade, no matter how sweet or sour it tastes.

Retrospective

There are times I find that it’s hard for me to accept how things have turned out in life, being 27 and unable to work due to chronic illnesses such as scoliosis and rheumatoid arthritis, to keep it short, has had a huge impact on who I am as a person. This definitely isn’t the life I envisioned for myself, and sometimes, like most, I feel a little sorry for myself. Before my disabilities took hold, before my daughter, my husband and I were in a relatively successful local band, and before becoming a mother, music was the only thing in life that I always knew was meant to be.

Once you’ve been within reach of your dreams and gotten a taste of what that feels like, it’s incredibly difficult when lost. At one point, I actually allowed myself to believe that all my wildest dreams could come true, that I would get every little thing I deserved for putting everything I have into being the best person that I can be. Once those thoughts take hold, everything else goes unnoticed, including the first signs that what you thought was wild success, may in fact turn into a complete and utter failure of a situation.

It took years for me to get the courage to perform on stage as a lead singer, I mean after all, my only experience had been singing in choir, and singing in the car and shower. But once I let myself show the world my talent, I never wanted it to stop – I wanted to show everyone, not just those who doubted me or worked against me, but to show people who struggle to find the self-esteem and strength to follow their dreams that it could be done, by a nobody nonetheless.

While the band has been dead for a few years now, I still haven’t finished grieving, and while I haven’t completely given up on the dream, the more time passes, it becomes increasingly difficult to manifest any sort of true motivation to pursue it anymore. As sad as that is, it’s a product of my ever persistent lack of confidence, despite the fact that I proved to myself that I’m definitely not lacking the talent to make it happen. Instead, I hate my body and pity myself and find it hard to open up about it, but it’s not something that anyone I know can truly understand.

I never knew until recently just how detrimental a role physical pain can play on your mental state, but it has eaten away so much from who I am, who I know I’m meant to be, and everything I wanted to accomplish in my life, that I completely resent myself and feel weakened not only physically, but spiritually as well. To some people, hobbies are silly and insignificant, and while music has always been so much more than that, I’ve got to allow this transition to take place and find some way to feed my creativity without relishing in the fact that I’ll may not ever be able to share it with the world in the way I always dreamed.

I’m not giving up, but it’s time to switch gears.