Yesterday I went home and napped. It felt better to be asleep. I woke up around 7 for dinner and roam aimlessly because I didn't want to eat. I went to bed again at 8 and promised I'd wake up early - that didn't happen. I snoozed over and over again this morning. I didn't want to wake up. I didn't want to. When I finally did, I said "maybe today will feel better." Well, today is here and it feels empty. What do you do, if anything, when you feel down like this? You know how that word "inner motivation" comes up? I just can't find it ANYWHERE in me. The most motivation I have is to work out and sometimes that feels like an uphill battle. Oh, depression. Y u like this.
I'm not sure where I've been. I've done this thing that I call "leaving my brain" and I interpret it as a coping mechanism. In all reality I'll have to admit that in the last few months my depression took my hand and escorted me down a dark, dark tunnel. I haven't felt this way in a while so it was an unwelcoming feeling. In addition to that I feel as though I have an existential crisis on a daily basis. That's like, not okay, right? I'm constantly questioning my purpose, my meaning, and what the heck I was put on this earth to do. Nonetheless given my state of sadness, questioning my worth and liveliness didn't help make me feel better. I've managed to isolate to the best of my ability. From August-November I hid in my apartment. While I did socialize, I did so on a infrequent basis. Each day felt difficult to get through. I went through a recent phase that I call "zombie-fying" where I would go 1-2 days a week without sleep. My insomnia felt as though it was out of control. Have you ever wanted so badly to sleep, but instead just lay there and stare into the darkness? Hmph, how often I got mad at my brain for not letting me sleep. It was an interesting experience, the insomnia, the depression - the most interesting was the lack of interest I had. I didn't want to do anything. I didn't want to move or breathe. I just wanted to, well how do I say this... I just wanted to die. And if you've felt like that before, you know it's a dreadful, heavy feeling. I've lost about this blog a lot since I've been MIA. I don't know what I want to do it with, though. I'm not sure of content to post or topics to talk about. I was encouraged yesterday just to write. So, alas, here I am. Telling you about my depression. Oftentimes I feel/felt alone. I cried a lot more than usual. While the tear eyed portion of my depression has passed, I still feel as though it lingers. I have gained some interest in usual activities, but there are days where it feels that dark cloud hovers me from sun to dark. Currently I'm dealing with a slump in my life called "I don't know what I'm doing, I don't know how to continue, I don't know how to be happy or what happiness is, and I am confused/scared/ just wanting to enjoy myself but seemingly unable to." Have you felt this way? I'm bored. Unfulfilled. Now, don't ask me what would fulfill me because I do not have the answer to that question. I don't have any productive tales to tell you. I don't have any updates or adventures that I've been on. I suppose the most productive thing I do is wake up, get dressed and try to act like a decent member of society. I am writing to tell you that I am still here and will try my best to make an active attempt to write again. If it makes you happy, do it, right? But writing can be hard sometimes. I don't want to bore you with the details of my life, since there isn't much to tell at the moment, so I'm not sure what to write about. I guess I can end this with some advise about what I do to help myself on the particularly hard days.
- Take a nap or a cry break 1-2 times a day, if at work
- Cry in the car
- Watch a comedy film or tv show
- Cry again
all my love.
Hi and welcome. Happy Thursday/ALMOST Friday! I hope that your week has been manageable and if not, my thoughts are with you for a better tomorrow.
A few prefaces before we begin today: 1) if you clicked on my Twitter link and saw me yelling at a bunch of high schoolers, I am sorry but I cannot apologize for that behavior. I am protective of my sister and will always be. I don't have time for ANYONE who thinks they're able to diagnose ANYTHING. And the only reason I claim to be able to at times is based off breathing psych for the last X amount of years. And at the end of the day, I always remind myself, even therapists have therapists, etc. Then I get mad at the system that sets up these stereotypes. Regardless, sister Jules - I love you. I always will. And you always have a home with me if WHS ever gets loud and annoying <3 (enjoy my twitter feed while it is up there, I'll disable the link shortly).
So - moving on to TODAY'S topic. "Que Me Nutrit Me Destruit" (idk if i spelled that right) but if you're a fan of Angelina's Jolie's perhaps you'll already know she has this tattoo somewhere on her body. If you've scrolled through my Facebook profile pictures, you'll see I have this tattoo on my back. What does it mean to me? I take it literally and let the record show I am not an Angelina Jolie fan (to be honest I've never watched a film, I don't think? Unbroken is still on my (very very very) long to-do list). What nourishes me destroys me = too much of ANYTHING can be harmful. Then, because I am me, I break it down further - what constitutes as "too much"? And, that's a personal question for you to answer. Some people would say having 10 dogs is too much. To me - that's just the start to my dog tribe. (I kid... sort of). So take that saying "what nourishes me destroys me" and apply it to your life, if you want.
Today I was reminded about my recovery journey and where I was 3 years ago - Sept 14 2014. See the pictures below (trigger warning if you're currently struggling with an ED):
Honestly, for now, this picture is enough. One day I can go through and make a recovery picture post but the purpose of tonight's snippet is to tell you how amazed I am with my recovery journey. The picture above is what anorexia looked like on me. Now, I never went below 90 lbs and I believe in that picture I'm about 93 ish. The thinner I became, the more I wanted to give up. Each day was an internal battle and honestly, I feel selfish writing about this. I felt selfish at the time struggling with anorexia. I would always say "shit, Isabella, there's CANCER out there, there's UNDIAGNOSABLE illnesses, there's BIRTH DEFECTS, and who you are to cry over the fact that you're scared to gain weight???" And now I know better. To stop THOSE thoughts, even today when I forget how to empathize with others, I stop those THOUGHTS. Our pain looks/feels different. Our struggles are different - but, please remember that anorexia kills. Eating disorders KILL. They are difficult to treat. And you, reading this, if you've EVER struggled with your body image, weight, or perception of yourself, please know that YOU can also change it. You do not have to hate yourself. I can speak for myself when I tell you 6 years of back and fourth with builmia and then anorexia, and eventually ED NOS (not otherwise specified) is worth the battle. It is WORTH IT to go to inpatient/residential/PHP/IOP/EGFOSMGOIGSOIGS anything you can DO to fight the voice in your head TELLING you you're not good enough. Because my God, you are.
Now, if you're on the other side and have no empathy for EDs/etc/whatever, that's cool, too. Do you.
We (live)/lived in a culture telling us how to be/act/dress/behave. Personally I said "fuck you" and started being myself at 21 ish. At 23 I (finally) developed into the woman I knew I was meant to be. Today, I am a savage - meaning, nothing can tear me down. I can freak out/cry/have a tantrum, but the comparison is that I get over them now. And never will I self-detroriate because I do not approve of myself. Today, Sept 14 2017 I could run to the top of the Hollywood Hills with my microphone and scream "I LOVE ISABELLA ARRUDA" (me talking about me, yeah). .....and Zac Efron..... SOOORRRRY let me dream - ok?? <3 haha
I wanted to include a quote here from "The Beauty Myth" by Naomi Wolf, but alas it will take an in-depth explanation to get my point across. Regardless, what I want to you to you reading this, female/male/unicorn/or minion, YOU are beautiful and powerful with your voice and thoughts. Keep being yourself because everyone else is taken. If you fall pressure to media or society, you will always fail. Uniqueness speaks louder than copycats. Creativity will always be an art. Don't make yourself fit in a box, it's not fun staying square - unless, of course, you want to.
We'll continue this at a later time.
all my love,
Learned helplessness vs. learned optimism
Tonight I wanted to briefly explore my favorite topics in psych: mindset. Now, if you ask me, I enjoy a variety of psychotherapy techniques. I took one class my senior year that went into depth of techniques/schooling and at the end of the semester, we were asked to write *a really, really, really* long paper of which we used for a set example given a set case. Yatta yata. I chose humanistic psychology (for simplicity), existential therapy, and mindfulness based cognitive therapy approach.
Now those 3 topics may not mean much to you right not, but follow me on this post. So, when I think of optimism, I like to fit it under all 3 of those "schools". I get that when I cite things, I should actually cite them, but I don't have access to those webpages anymore that have the concrete data - regardless, it's been proven time and time again that your perspective and mindset will change your situation. Of course, this has limitations, and can't work in EVERY situation, but for the bigger picture let's stay generalizing it and apply this to most case scenarios.
Most events or situations that come our way dictate a response, right? Your parents yelled at you so do you obey or yell back? Your tire is flat one morning and you're already late to an appointment, but now with the flat tire you find out it'll take 4 hours to repair and your plans for the day are shot to hell - what now?
Helplessness is taught, actually, it's a behavior/mindset that someone forced on you OR you learned it - all human behavior is like this. We act in a certain way because once upon a time, someone said it was ok. The same is true with optimism, but not really... now listen... optimism, in my opinion, is like taking that leap of faith - maybe the situation will work itself out, maybe it won't. I don't know, and YOU don't know either. But, compare it to helplessness, feeling hopeless, powerless, etc. Which would you choose? Honestly, some people want to be on the helpless side. That's fine! Do you, do your thing!
I challenge you to be optimistic about that one thing you want to be pessimistic about - what is it? I'll start - sometimes (recently) I want to complain about being on my own (or brag about it - idk I'm indifferent, anyways) in reality, this is something to be optimistic about. "I am on my own because I choose to be, but I have amazing/wonderful resources/friends nearby (seriously, all I have to do is send a text!) who would come help me whenever I needed or asked. OR, a relevant one, "world issues/climate/the current state of the world we live in upsets me, but I know that with love and kindness, we will be ok (also the world always spins and each day is a new day and a start to a better day, so long as you choose to think about it that way).
We all have stressors. That's a fact and it's expected. Our stressors look different. We don't have to compare our stressors, but we should acknowledge the differences. How we react to stress (with optimism or helplessness) determines what happens next.
What are 3 things you're grateful for? Mine: my family, my health, and my optimistic brain.
Every time I start to write, I stop. Every time I do write I do sit down to write, I am reminded of how it become my first love. Writing was always my thing.I used to be able to fall deep into books as well. My imagination was strong. I used to write daily. I used to research, explore, and analyze. But I don't anymore. And that bothers me.
Naturally, as a Pisces I am supposed to be creative, deep, analytical, emotional. It pains me to see how much I have digressed and disconnected from my soul. (I semi-joke about the zodiac sign part). I started this, what I am going to call, diary as a way to write without my hand hurting. Eventually as I aged my OCD worsened in regards to my handwriting. Handwriting always had to be perfect. So I stumbled on the internet. And then a couple months back, November or December I think, I said to myself "write again, please, especially as your move date to California came closer each day". But... I didn't. Why didn't I.
Now I am writing this for me, not for you, bare that in mind. I feel as though, and rightly so, much of what is posted on the web is criticized, devalued, and misunderstood. Writing is an art. An art that looks different when compared. It's so unique that how can we compare?
Anyways. I don't think I even believe how difficult the last few months were. One aspect of mental illness that I am now lacking is empathy. Since recovery, two years ago, I have had a disconnected point of view. I'm not really sure when I became desensitize to it. Eventually my body forgot how to feel those things. Those emotions were closed. The emotions about wanting to die, feeling pathetic, hopeless and so, so dearly confused. I think today that if you just "believe you can" you will. And yes, that is true, but only partially.
I remember just wanting to change. I needed to help myself because after six years, I was proven to again and again that I am the only one who can bring myself out. I remembered my goal, move to California; live in LA. So I did it. I cried often during the transition period. In 2014 (oh my gosh, it has been three years...) I committed to recovery. Eventually 2 steps in became 10 steps, and then before my eyes I already took 100 steps. It came to a point where so many steps forward became "I can't undo this hard work". But, fuck, did I want to. When the jeans got tighter, when the butt became bigger, when the thighs expanded every single time I sat down, my gosh did I want to STOP and RUN back to the disorder (aka Abby).
I literally mean it when I tell you I put myself into God's hands. Now, sorry but not sorry for bringing religion into this. I respect your opinion about religion and your faith. I just want to express how I did not have an ounce of strength left in me to fight the demon in my head. I apply this not just to the eating disorder, but to the depression, anxiety and OCD voices. All of it became so tiring.
So here I am today. June 12 2017. Hot damn if you asked me back in January what I expected life to look like in June, I could not tell you. I had NO idea. Was I going to find a job? Was I going to move across country without having a mental breakdown? Was it going to be hard and I'd go crying back to my parents? I had no clue of what June would look like. But, not it's June. And I'm here. And I'm okay. Each day I become a bit more of an adult and it is fascinating of how this transition just happens.
I wished I had wrote it all down. What each day felt like. How in the beginning, me, Isabella with severe OCD, had gone routine-less for about 4 weeks. I lived in a hotel. then a sublet, then all of the sudden my first apartment. On my own. Completely on my own. In the second biggest city in America. Freshly recovered. Potentially trigger-able.
I did it. And while each day I am a bit upset I didn't capture the moments as they happened, I tell myself it is okay. It is better to write when I am able to. Write what I can. Just because I don't remember second by second doesn't mean I can't remember any of it.