Song’s about mental illness

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One of the things that I find really helps me get through the days when I am having a hard time dealing with my mental illnesses is listening to music that I can relate to. I compiled a list of songs that really help me which I keep in my journal so I don’t lose it. However, I just got the idea to share the list with my readers so that perhaps you can find some support in the lyrics. Let me know if there are any other songs that you listen to for support.

1. Dark Side by kelly Clarkson

2. Addicted by kelly Clarkson

3. Ana’s Song by Silverchair

4. Animal I have Become by Three Days Grace

5. Bleed it Out by Linkin Park

6. By Myself by Linkin Park

7. Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

8. Courage by Superchick

9. Easier to Run by Linkin Park

10. Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles

11. Everybody Hurts by REM

12. Fade to Black by Metallica

13. Fix You by Coldplay

14. Perfect by P!nk

15. Given Up by Linkin Park

16. Love the Way you Lie by Eminem

17. Lullabye by Nickelback

18. Maybe by Kelly Clarkson

19. Nothing to Lose by Billy Talent

20. Numb by Linkin Park

21. On my Own by Three Days Grace

22. One Step Closer by Linkin Park

23. Paint it Black by the Rolling Stones

24. Pain by Three Days Grace

25. Part of Me by Linkin Park

26. Rehab by Amy Winehouse

27. Russian Roulette by Rihanna

28. Skin and Bones by Mariana’s Trench

29. Skyscraper by Demi Lovato

30. Slipping Away by Sum 41

31. These Days by Bon Jovi

32. Untitled by Simple Plan

33. Tied Together with a Smile by Taylor Swift

34. Who Knew by P!nk

35. Sober by P!nk

36. I’ll follow you into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie

37. Demons by Imagine Dragons

38. Nothing Left to Say by imagine Dragons

Books for recovery (self-harm and eating disorders)

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Here are some of the books that I’ve read that have the potential to help with your recovery from self-harm and/or eating disorders. Please note that you need to use your judgement to determine whether or not reading about the struggles you are dealing with will be triggering for you. If so, please don’t read these books!

1. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

2. Cut by Patricia McCormick

3. Skinny by Ibi Kaslik

4. Skinny By Donna Cooner

5. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

6. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

7. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

8. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

Moving out, Recovery, and Mental Health

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Hey everyone!

I have some exciting news! I am moving into my very first apartment in just 2 short months! I’m really excited and I’ve been shopping around for some of the essentials that I will need for my first place, but I guess the one thing that I’m most worried about is how this might effect my recovery. The last time I moved out it was for my first year of University and I ended up moving in with my cousin in order to save money because it was much cheaper than paying for residence and she lived about 45 min away from campus via bus. So it’s not like I have no experience of moving out whatsoever; however, this will be the first time where I will be living without any family.

When I told my therapist about this, she was both happy and apprehensive. The positive side of things is that I will be away from all of the family fighting and I will no longer have to live with my abuser, both of which are huge triggers for me. However, the downside is that I have a lot more opportunity for relapse if I am living in a situation in which nobody is supervising me. That said, technically I am not being supervised right now since my family doesn’t actually know about my illnesses, so I am hopeful that I will not necessarily relapse. The only thing that might be a bit of a concern is the fact that my building has a gym which could be problematic. Those of you who have been following me for a while know that my bulimia does not involve vomiting, it involved over-exercise and caloric restriction. Therefore, if I become overwhelmed or stressed, there is a chance that I may be triggered to relapse into my patterns of over-exercising. But I’m hoping that the support that I have found online coupled with my therapy will help to prevent this!

Aside from the mental health concerns, I am really excited to move out! I feel like it is the next step in becoming an independent person. I can be responsible for myself and I don’t have to worry about reporting to anyone. On top of that, I feel as though my parents will respect me more as an adult once I am out on my own, paying my own bills, making my own decisions.

Looking forward to the next chapter of my life!

xo

Ayla

On to the next chapter

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Change is in the air! Yesterday I had my last session with my psychologist and I am now transferring to a new doctor. I’m still a bit sad that she is leaving because I really trusted her and she was really nice, but I can understand that she also has her own life that she needs to live. So it’s time to move on to the next one. I guess it could be a good thing though. I made a lot of progress with my current old psychologist, but maybe I will make even better progress with a different doctor. And if not, I can always switch back to my first doctor when she comes back from maternity leave in a year.

Our last session together wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I guess the fact that she is leaving for a legitimate reason kind of helps me to feel like she isn’t abandoning me. I understand the importance of her leave of absence and I am happy for her even though I will probably miss having her as my therapist.

Part of me wants to try even harder to recover now because I want to make her proud. It’s sort of weird because she doesn’t really know me outside of the therapy setting, but I really want her to know that the work that we did together wasn’t a waste. She really changed my life for the better and I will always be so thankful for all of the help that she provided to me and the best way that I can show her that is by getting better. I don’t know if I will ever see her again or if she will see my file when she comes back or if she will even wonder about me and how I am doing, but I feel like I owe it to her to try and get better.

Here’s to the long road ahead.

Xo

Ayla

Teen Mom 2 cast members stigmatize mental illness

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I’ve never been one to closely watch the relaity TV show, Teen Mom 2, but the season finale part 1 was on yesterday and I had nothing better to do so I decided to tune in. Big mistake. It really set me off because on two separate occasions on the show mental illness was stigmatized.

First, one of the fathers on the show by the name of Corey insinuated that Leah (his ex-wife and mother of their twin girls) was an unfit mother because of the medication she was on. He claimed that he did not want her looking after his girls while she was on the medication for anxiety because of how it might effect her.

What. The. Hell.

This is pure stigmatization! Not only is Corey insinuating that Leah’s mental illness is making her an unfit mother, but he is also implying that she is somehow even less of a parent for reaching out and getting the help that she needs.

As a mental health advocate and someone who has experience with anti-anxiety medication, I am absolutely appalled. There is NOTHING wrong with someone taking medication for their anxiety. Furthermore, the fact that Leah reached out for help should be a testament to how good a mother she is. Only the strongest of people know when they need to ask for help. How can we expect someone to be the best parent that they can be if they are experiencing mental illness? I for one find Corey’s insinuation disturbing.

But Corey wasn’t the only one who drew my attention. Leah also caught my attention with her statement “I start feeling like a damn druggy” in reference to the medication that she was on. From my perspective, Leah indirectly stigmatized the use of pharmaceuticals for the treatment of mental illness by making the comparison between the use of such medication and the use of street drugs.

Even if Leah did not intend to offend anyone with this statement, I still think that this is a form of oppression and stigmatization. What she fails to mention is that the drowsiness and other symptoms that she is experiencing are totally normal when someone begins taking medication for anxiety. It takes 3-4 weeks for the medication to become normalized in your system and for the medication to actually start making a difference in terms of regulating anxiety and/or other symptoms.

The fact that Leah was only on the medication for a week (as she claims on the show) is proof that she did not give the medication enough time to actually start working, nor did her body have enough time to adjust to the change. As a result, I believe that Leah Messer’s portrayal of anti-anxiety medication is unfair and (perhaps unintentionally) stigmatizing individuals who use the medication themselves.

Even lighthearted comments like this make a world of difference when it comes to ending the stigma surrounding mental illness, especially when the comments come from a public figure such as Corey Simms or Leah Messer. These types of comments can have a detrimental impact on the public perception of mental illness and the medication that is associated with it.

I for one and disappointed in all of the aforementioned parties.

Ayla

Some promises shouldn’t be made

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There is one promise that has been made to me by family and friends time and time again: “I will always be there for you”. I myself am guilty of making this promise, however, I have come to realize that it is an empty promise. There is no way that anyone can guarantee that they will always be there 100% of the time when I need them.

For example, the other day I was really upset because I lost someone who was close to me. I called all of my closest friends, my parents, my aunts, and not one of them picked up their phone. The one person who did pick up was someone that I got to know over the summer at work. My co-worker was more “there for me” than even my parents or my best friends. However, I can’t really blame them for this. People have other commitments whether it is work, family, school, vacation, etc. There is no way that someone can guarantee that they will be there for me.

I see this happening again right now. I need someone in this moment because I’ve had a really rough day and I just really need someone to talk to. Again nobody is answering their phone. Again, I cannot blame them. They have lives just as I have a life. Nobody can be there 100% of the time. So why make the promise to ALWAYS be there for someone if you can’t be? It doesn’t make sense to me. Empty promises will destroy relationships in an instant. And if that’s not enough, it really sucks to know that the people who you thought would be there no matter what can’t be there for you for three days straight. Its a horrible feeling.