FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).
Just got these books today!
The world lost a great man but we will never lose what he stood for.
RIP Nelson Mandela.
My goal for next summer is to wear a bikini.
Michael expressed to me a couple days ago that he’s upset that I feel I have to hide my body and this is the first time I’ve felt impacted by someone say that to me. Being able to feel comfortable in a bikini would be a huge step for me.
That’s my goal. I hope I can do it. I’ll take picture proof!
Back in June 2012 the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) put out ads that made my blood boil. I was invited by CAMH to meet with a member of their staff to discuss my concerns with the ads. The result was a change in the next phase of the ‘Defeat Denial’ campaign. This was great!
So, you can imagine my GREAT disappointment in seeing that CAMH has created yet another campaign, Understanding Campaign, to bring awareness to the “ripple effect of serious mental illness and addiction” (CAMH, 2013), that continues to perpetuate stigma.
The ads are divided into two sections, untreated and treated. Major Depression, for example, reads like this:
I have three main concerns about these ads.
1. The assumption of these events taking place.
There is a disconnect between what the ads say and what the CAMH website says, “The ads illustrate the potential decline for those with mental illness who do not seek help…” (CAMH, 2013). The actual ad does not include this potential but instead says “leads to” or “I can’t stop even if it leads to” (alcoholism). Many of you know that those of us with mental health/addictions issues are painted with a broad brush. We are assumed to all be the same and I feel that is what these ads do. We cannot deny the POTENTIAL of some horrible things happening to us and those we love because of our experience but the lack of direct knowledge of this in the ads would lead one to believe that we will all go down the path of severe destruction.
2. Some of the events are done by others but if we get help then they’ll stop.
Lost friends, no one calling anymore, ashamed relatives, afraid neighbours, public fear, and parents who don’t understand are perfect examples of how other people’s issues become our fault because we have a mental health/addiction issue. We carry the burden for those who hate us and we need to fix ourselves so others will tolerate us and we can fit into society. We should not be the scapegoat for the discrimination and ignorance of others. It is my role to educate and spread awareness but it is not my role to fix myself so you will like me. We all need to develop a mutual understanding, support each other and accept who we are. These ads do not communicate this.
3. That people need to get help or our lives are over.
Finally, the ever so amazing message of recovery. If you get better than everything wrong becomes right, all those people who hated you no longer do and your life is no longer over. I do not like the assumption that a person needs to get help. By this I mean that if a person does not want to get help or does not want to get the help that others think they need then it may continue to lead others to think the person is VERY sick. This leads to involuntary hospital admittance and continues the terrible believe that those of us with mental health/addictions issues are unable to make our own decisions and decide what is best for us. I can give the ad credit that it does not specify the type of treatment that is needed. The openness allows for a number of possibilities to occur to create wellness and recovery.
An annoyance about these ads: The overuse of hashtags!! See Schizophrenia video for details…
Good intentions, of course, but despite Defeat Denial going through the Empowerment Council at CAMH I have been informed that these ads did not. A critical lens is needed when we look at our media and mental health/addictions system. No ad will every be perfect but I believe 100% that CAMH can do better than this.
Want to help make change? Sign the petition!
I reached out to my colleague/former counsellor today about beginning to put a stop to my intrusive and obsessive thought that my partner is trying to control me. We’re really in a losing situation right now because even when he tells me he’s not trying to control and never has or wants to I believe he’s saying that to trick me. I keep in mind that my current beliefs are rooted in the emotional abuse I experienced in my relationship just before I began dating Michael. Still, that is not a reason for me to continue on the way I am.
So, my colleague sent me a thought record template asking the following:
Emotions/Moods (rate 0-100%)
Alternative/Realistic thought, More Balanced Perspective
What I did/What I could do/Defusion techniques /What’s the best response? Re-rate emotion 0-100%
I did a thought record before with her but it had questions that I feel helped my intrusive and obsessive thoughts such as,
“Facts that support the unhelpful though”
I’m being asked to justify my obsessive thought which I am MORE than happy to do! I was then supposed to talk about the evidence that goes against the thought but that’s where I struggle, especially if you just had me explain all my evidence to prove the thought!
Just not helpful.
I’ll give this thought record a chance but I honestly don’t want to think about it. I feel like the record is saying that my thoughts are completely wrong, that I’m making it all up and that means my guard will be down, I’ll be vulnerable and something bad could happen. I don’t want to think about that.
For 5 years I’ve acknowledge that I have a rage issue. I’ve blogged about here on Pride in Madness very openly and it is probably the main characteristic I have used to define myself/my most BPD characteristic. I have always feared the “getting better” would mean that I would lose this rage and in essence lose myself. I still have to take responsibility though and recognize that I cannot keep putting my body and those I love through rages which is why I embarked on the psychiatric drug journey after swearing it off about 7 years ago. Seroquel didn’t work and despite the really rough start Effexor seems to be working.
I have been on Effexor for a little over two weeks which I believe is still to early to tell overall effectiveness but I am feeling better. I am good. I can still get angry and cry but I appear to be able to choose. If I feel the physical sensation inside of my chest that anger is coming that is a sign to myself that what is occurring/has occurred is worth the anger.
BUT! I have yet to decide if the new insight I have gained is good or bad.
A couple of days ago Michael and I were talking about something, or I guess it would be more accurate to say I wanted to talk about something and he didn’t. I spoke calmly, I thought everything through and probably most importantly, I didn’t feel angry. Michael on the other hand did feel angry and was being very clear about that. I have been “trained” though into believing that if my anger stopped then his anger would stop and we could have a conversation. That was not happening.
After a bit I came to realize ( said this to him) that it was maybe never about my anger but about my approach; my push to have to talk about what is upsetting me and if I’m real with myself, my obsessive need to make the negative feelings I have to go away at any cost. It goes deeper though. I thought that by being rid of the anger, having more control, I would be solved of my problems. No. My problems are my thoughts. You can take the anger away but I still have obsessive and intrusive thoughts that Michael is trying to control me and dictate our relationship.
The way to make these thoughts go away (counselling) is not a path I am willing to take at this point in time.
The following is from The 29 Sense of Normal by Dr. Eric Maisel. See the full article here!
Here, in lightning fashion, are 29 ways that the word “normal” is used in discourse about members of our species.
You can perfect your ability to self sabotage by following these 14 habits! (P.S. This is a joke and I’m sure insightful as well)
1. Be afraid, be very afraid, of economic loss.
2. Practice sustained boredom.
3. Give yourself a negative identity.
4. Pick fights.
5. Attribute bad intentions.
6. Whatever you do, do it only for personal gain.
7. Avoid gratitude.
8. Always be alert and in a state of anxiety.
9. Blame your parents.
10. Don’t enjoy life’s pleasures.
12. Glorify or vilify the past.
13. Find a romantic partner to reform.
14. Be critical.
See full article for more details