What I Want to Tell My Friends About My Recent Social Isolation

July 7, 2017: This post has been featured on The Mighty as “To the Friends I’ve Pushed Away While Working Through My Mental Illness.”

Lately, I’ve been feeling very guilty. I wish I didn’t feel that way. I wish I could easily tell myself that I’m taking care of me, and that I’m not responsible for how other people feel, or what other people are doing, or how other people react to me. But I can’t. Not yet, anyway. I’m working on my ability to separate my own feelings from others’, and as someone who has internalized others’ feelings my entire life, it isn’t an easy process. Continue reading “What I Want to Tell My Friends About My Recent Social Isolation”

Perfectionists: Birds of a Feather

bowerbirdThe bowerbird, found in New Guinea and Australia, builds elaborate, brightly decorated nests to attract a mate. The male bird does not rely on plumage, but goes the extra mile, collecting trash, shells, rocks, and berries, selecting and displaying spectacular color palates in the hopes that a female bird will look their way. Finicky, particular, and diligent, these birds continue working, even despite the presence of danger in their terrain. In short, bowerbirds are nature’s perfectionists. Continue reading “Perfectionists: Birds of a Feather”

Automatic Thoughts and the Song Stuck in Your Head

May 16, 2017: This post has been featured on The Mighty as “When ‘I Want to Die’ Replays Like a Song Stuck in My Head”

Note: This post discusses suicide ideation and may be triggering. If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

I want to die.

This is a thought that plays over and over in my head, endlessly, without prompting or any feasible substance behind it. I want to die. I want to die. To die. Die. And I have no real reason for this. I have no evidence as to why I should die, or any idea of why this desire is so strong. I can’t say, “I want to die because…[fill in the blank].” There is no blank. There is nothing. But it’s there, all the same. The words, like a tape on loop, playing until I can’t stand to hear them anymore. I want to die. I want to die. I want to die. Continue reading “Automatic Thoughts and the Song Stuck in Your Head”

My Mental Health Begninning

by-nicole-helbigI’ve decided that before writing about mental health, I want to be open and honest about my own mental health narrative. I often feel that I am open and transparent about my mental state, but upon talking to some people—people close to me, they are very surprised by my situation. I guess I’m not as open as I thought I was, or I just don’t think about how startling it might be to hear that I, a fairly well-functioning person, have struggled, and do struggle a lot with mental wellness. So, I’ve decided to write my story, and to articulate in the best way that I can the things that I deal with on a day-to-day basis. I know that it helps me a lot to learn how other people manage their stresses. Knowing that other people in the world deal with issues similar to my own has been very liberating, and I hope to pass that feeling onto someone else. Continue reading “My Mental Health Begninning”