Today marks the 2nd week that I have been blogging. People in my life are commenting that it seems to be having a positive impact. I have surprised myself in how open I have been able to be about things I would never talk about with most people in real life… like my eating disorder, my PTSD issues, and some my issues related my mood disorder.
I have, also, shared more of my faith on here than I usually share with others. I have been wounded pretty badly by the religious community and am just starting to allow some of those wounds to heal. Every times I share something to do with faith though it is a stretch for me in vulnerability. It allows people into another part of me that’s been pretty closed off to most others for the last 14 to 15 years.
Thank you for being part of my journey as I start to blog and experiment with finding my voice along my path to recovery.
It’s been a little over a week now since I started my blog. I have talked about my blog with others in personal life that I trust but have given the name and web domain or showed it to one friend, my dietician, and my therapist.
I chose the above picture for this post because I believe that my life has the potential to best be described as stained glass…I am not a Tiffany’s lamp kind of stained glass or a masterpiece in some Cathedral. The remains of my life at times have been broken bits of glass that that have potential but are a current work in progress and will be made of lots of broken pieces…neglect, sexual abuse, mental illness, physical health issues, sexual assault and PTSD as well as suffering from stigma on many levels. I like the above photo because the artist took the time to interweave so many broken pieces into a beautiful piece of art for the light to shine through.
If asked nine days ago if I would be this open on my blog about my life I would have never said yes. I have high walls with people about what I am usually feeling and I shy away from sharing with others based on a feeling that according to CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and their list of thought distortions) would most likely be labeled as magical thinking- I worry that if I share my true feelings with others that I will somehow be poisonous to them. My hope was in starting my blog that if I could make an impact in one life to keep them from suicide I would have made a difference. I did not expect the blog to impact my life so profoundly in such a short amount of time.
I was always a journaler. I kept journals filled with artwork, poetry and entries dating back to high school, but really taking off when I entered therapy for the first time when I was in my senior year of college. Approximately 5 years ago, while on a suicidal mission, I left all of my journals in a safe place and have not gone back to retrieve them yet. I expect to in the next few weeks. They detail my journal through my suicide attempt, my struggles with coming to terms with being diagnosed with Bipolar Diroder and subsequent admissions to the hospital over the next several years until I was sexually assaulted during a manic episode and drinking for which I blamed myself until last Spring. I am hoping by returning my journals to my possession that I can make some sense of my prior eating disorder patterns and habits as well. Besides there are poems there were published in some of the journals in which I no longer have access to after my house fire in 2003 any other way. One journal also graphically illustrates my sexual abuse (drawings by me) when I was too afraid to verbalize it for fear of my safety. Keeping the journals in a safe place though after I review them is a necessary concern.
I wasn’t sure about sharing on a couple of posts but have tried to be as honest about who I am as a person as I can be within the parameters of my job. My life has been currently messy since I started working with my new therapist and talking about my trauma history and then about three weeks into our sessions I got significantly ill physically and had to deal with that. It became even messier when my friend committed suicide over Memorial Day weekend and contagion hit along with regrets and guilt. I shared with a friend that I was feeling suicidal and all hell broke loose for a few weeks. I felt like I could not talk to anyone abut those suicidal feelings again with anyone. After talking with another social worker who was struggling with suicidal ideation this past week, I think it is something very unique to our profession. We cannot access the local E.R.’s due to being known there nor the local psychiatric units nor any hospitals that our community mental health board contracts with due to clients knowing us there. We know so many therapists in the community professionally that our options are limited and we need a seasoned veteran in the field due to needing someone who won’t talk shop with us or let us run circles around them or freak out when we talk about suicidal ideation. It is hard because the nearest hospital that doesn’t contract with our local CMH board is over 80 miles away and neither my fellow social worker or I feel that the hospital is very productive for either of us at this point anymore.
Being vulnerable about my eating disorder hx and current status has been terrifying. I have just started sharing it with my treatment team and you all probably know more than most of them do at this point. I spent years keeping it a secret and then was able to maintain a fairly stable body weight for several years until returning to therapy after my sexual assault in 2012 when my perpetrator’s cousin was put on my case load to provide services to. Between that and health problems occurring at that time, I began to disappear. Every time I have attempted to enter therapy to begin to work on trauma issues I begin to struggle with food issues and increasingly so over the past 5 years. Last year was the most extreme year of weight loss though and this year is following suit with older and more ingrained behaviors coming to light due to the difficult information I shared with my therapist. (I wrote out my entire trauma hx while hospitalized last year and handed her a copy of it my second session.) The eating disorder is probably the toughest topic for me to share on and I force myself to do it because it is such a dangerously thin line with having electrolytes low and out of balance this past week. I am more than well aware that I could go into cardiac arrest if it goes to low and that scared me.
This past week held so many triggers…trauma, suicidal friends x4, seeing my Dad, feeling angry and having no where to go with it, dealing with my own health issues, dealing with CPS regarding my neighbor and the mistreatment of his kids, etc. I poured out my heart to you readers to download my overwhelming emotions.
I took some risks as well in letting you into my physical health issues as well as my struggles with faith. I debated long and hard about how readers would respond to my posting about about spirituality/faith on a mental health board. It may not have seemed like a drop in the bucket but it was where my head and heart where lead tonight.
I am asking for your feedback on my blog….
- What do you like?
- What do you dislike?
- What were some of your favorite posts this past week?
- What is one thing you want to know about me and I will include in my blog