ChatCat76

@chatcat76
I have always used Mighty a lot. I love the thought-provoking subjects.
Community Voices

What happens when the advocate needs help?

I have been in deep distress over a horrible incident that has made my issues worse. It is an OSHA issue and took the life of my Service Dog. What does one do when you, the one who gets the emails for help - can't help. I can't even walk - the weakness has settled in and the grief of agencies who don't protect the patient is sinking in.

I got an email from an advocate...an older man, who is so sweet. He simply said, "how are you"? I looked at him and broke down. Now, the advocate has an advocate.

Sometimes the doctor needs a doctor. An advocate needs an advocate. Doesn't matter who...we all need someone at times, and the hardest thing for many is to ASK.

I am doing "tapping". It is effective for me, but is keeping me from writing here for now. It is getting the trauma from the nervous system - isn't THAT interesting? Trauma causes depression, etc... But is that something we get help for? No, we usually get a pill for something.

If you are feeling a deep sense of sadness, or other symptoms that you are aware are NOT physical, but mental - Feeling devalued, unloved, not cared for...please get help. I can't believe the lifting of the spirits that is beginning. It won't be easy and it won't be fast. But healing in all areas is what we want most.

Zoom is all I need...and this woman has been my lifesaver in the ocean of life. I'm thankful, but it is my responsibility to listen and get well. She is the vessel!

Life isn't easy for anyone...and it's hard when it's pain/illness 24/7. Accepting I needed help was a good first step... See you soon! I do have videos I may post on occasion for education. Until then...

Cathy

Community Voices
Community Voices

An introduction and a note about DMs

<p>An introduction and a note about DMs</p>
29 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Is The Mighy a dating site?

How many of you have received “chat” requests and you accept, thinking someone wants to talk about MH issues? They start off just saying “hi”, how are you doing today? I ask what brings you to The Mighty? No response! Then, where do you live? Are you married? Children? I love your name?? Want to talk about other issues, etc. I then look at his profile: no posts-hasn’t joined any groups. (Something I should have done in the 1st place)! I blocked immediately! I reported to the Mighty staff and they found out it was the same person. I was told he was banned from the site. Guess what? He’s back! I got a request today. I accepted. He looked familiar. I checked his profile. No posts. No groups. I played along for a while, then I blasted him! I blocked and contacted the staff again. The name he’s using now is George davit. The Mighty is supposed to be a safe platform for us to talk about our deepest issues and to support others. I now feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. Something has to be done. (This is my 1st post, and I’m very upset writing this so please excuse me if I didn’t word it correctly).

131 people are talking about this
Elaine Wiley

Having to Act and Pretend in Life With Invisible, Chronic Illness

Someone recently told me to “write the thing you are most afraid to write.” Well, here it is! I recently wrote about the secret society of chronic illness, but inside the walls of that secret society, there is also a secret world of struggle. For most chronic illness warriors, our illness is invisible, and in the same way our struggle is hidden from plain sight too. The struggle we face daily is both physical and mental. To the healthy world we appear to have it together, but meanwhile we secretly know it is only held together by a Band-Aid (and not a cute character Band-Aid but an ugly, boring one). We wonder – or should I say worry – daily how long we can keep up the façade. The daily invisible struggle is truly exhausting since it is a full-time job – one that a patient can’t escape. Chronic illness is like a toddler: it is unpredictable and you can’t turn your head for a second because it demands being the center of attention. But unlike a parent of a toddler, a chronic illness patient never gets a break from their illness and there is no babysitter for a night off. Oh, how I wish I could drop off my rheumatoid arthritis for a night and enjoy dinner and a movie out while I pay someone else to feed it, bathe it and put it to bed. I would pay top dollar for that if I could. But chronic illness is much more like a conjoined twin, always there with its own opinion. The bags under my eyes as I drag myself to work are not from partying or going to a late night movie. They are warrior wounds. Those bags tell a tale of painsomnia. I spend most nights up in pain, debating whether I should wake my husband or tough it out to see if the pain passes. And, after spending hours debating whether the pain I feel is just “normal pain” or something new, I finally fall asleep. But sleep is only about four to five hours because the alarm clock rudely wakes me up and then I have to paint over my nightly battle wounds to present myself to the healthy world. Most of us patients should win an Oscar for our daily performance. I personally struggle to look like I have my life together. While I put all my effort into my job performance, it seems my housework suffers. And I know I am not alone in this struggle because I know my fellow warriors deal with the same shortcomings. Most of us only have energy for one “extra” thing a week and for most of us that one “extra” thing is usually medically related: an appointment, blood work, a trip to the pharmacy, a procedure or a test. And no one sees our emotional struggle when we have to adjust our schedules to fit our medical life into our so-called real life. My personal struggle has been trying to fit in infusions or injections and planning my medication for the weekends so I can work through the side effects while hiding from the healthy world. But I have found that this life of secret struggle has given me a true support system. There are genuine souls who want a truthful answer when they ask how I am. Those friends are only truly revealed when illness hits. My secret struggle also leads me to be more spontaneous than I was before RA. I am learning to appreciate every hour because life can change from hour to hour. Why wait until a Friday night for a dinner date? If I feel good on a Wednesday night, I will put my lipstick on and plan for an impromptu mid-week date with my husband. But mostly, I have found how truly brave I am. I sometimes wonder how it all hasn’t fallen apart yet, but then I realize it is held together by belief in myself. So to those of you who know this secret life and are familiar with the struggle of being a part of “normal” society (whatever that is), I encourage you to start preparing your Oscar speech now because you each deserve an award for the way you are handling your struggle. And personally, I would like to thank each of you because without you, my secret world would be lonely. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Thinkstock photo via goodynewshoes.

Elaine Wiley

Having to Act and Pretend in Life With Invisible, Chronic Illness

Someone recently told me to “write the thing you are most afraid to write.” Well, here it is! I recently wrote about the secret society of chronic illness, but inside the walls of that secret society, there is also a secret world of struggle. For most chronic illness warriors, our illness is invisible, and in the same way our struggle is hidden from plain sight too. The struggle we face daily is both physical and mental. To the healthy world we appear to have it together, but meanwhile we secretly know it is only held together by a Band-Aid (and not a cute character Band-Aid but an ugly, boring one). We wonder – or should I say worry – daily how long we can keep up the façade. The daily invisible struggle is truly exhausting since it is a full-time job – one that a patient can’t escape. Chronic illness is like a toddler: it is unpredictable and you can’t turn your head for a second because it demands being the center of attention. But unlike a parent of a toddler, a chronic illness patient never gets a break from their illness and there is no babysitter for a night off. Oh, how I wish I could drop off my rheumatoid arthritis for a night and enjoy dinner and a movie out while I pay someone else to feed it, bathe it and put it to bed. I would pay top dollar for that if I could. But chronic illness is much more like a conjoined twin, always there with its own opinion. The bags under my eyes as I drag myself to work are not from partying or going to a late night movie. They are warrior wounds. Those bags tell a tale of painsomnia. I spend most nights up in pain, debating whether I should wake my husband or tough it out to see if the pain passes. And, after spending hours debating whether the pain I feel is just “normal pain” or something new, I finally fall asleep. But sleep is only about four to five hours because the alarm clock rudely wakes me up and then I have to paint over my nightly battle wounds to present myself to the healthy world. Most of us patients should win an Oscar for our daily performance. I personally struggle to look like I have my life together. While I put all my effort into my job performance, it seems my housework suffers. And I know I am not alone in this struggle because I know my fellow warriors deal with the same shortcomings. Most of us only have energy for one “extra” thing a week and for most of us that one “extra” thing is usually medically related: an appointment, blood work, a trip to the pharmacy, a procedure or a test. And no one sees our emotional struggle when we have to adjust our schedules to fit our medical life into our so-called real life. My personal struggle has been trying to fit in infusions or injections and planning my medication for the weekends so I can work through the side effects while hiding from the healthy world. But I have found that this life of secret struggle has given me a true support system. There are genuine souls who want a truthful answer when they ask how I am. Those friends are only truly revealed when illness hits. My secret struggle also leads me to be more spontaneous than I was before RA. I am learning to appreciate every hour because life can change from hour to hour. Why wait until a Friday night for a dinner date? If I feel good on a Wednesday night, I will put my lipstick on and plan for an impromptu mid-week date with my husband. But mostly, I have found how truly brave I am. I sometimes wonder how it all hasn’t fallen apart yet, but then I realize it is held together by belief in myself. So to those of you who know this secret life and are familiar with the struggle of being a part of “normal” society (whatever that is), I encourage you to start preparing your Oscar speech now because you each deserve an award for the way you are handling your struggle. And personally, I would like to thank each of you because without you, my secret world would be lonely. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Thinkstock photo via goodynewshoes.

Experiencing Burnout When You Live With Chronic Illness

I could not keep going like I was going. Exhaustion. Daily Pain. Stiffness. Apathy. Depression. Mental fatigue. Trouble concentrating. Uneasy and upset stomach. Frustration. Stress. Sleeplessness. Tired of the struggle. Some days ready to quit and give up. Was all this from my arthritis or from burnout at my job? Some of these phrases could describe both. Did one lead to another? Did both contribute to the place I am in? Am I burnt out, just in pain from chronic illness, or both? All I know is that I could not keep going like I was going. It has taken me over a year to admit this, and sometimes it is even harder to say. I loved my job – it was what I had always wanted to do. I was the elementary principal at the school where I grew up. I never had a boring day (if you have ever been around elementary children, you know exactly why). I worked with great people (for the most part), and it fulfilled me, especially when I was able to help a child or family on the path of education. But like with any job, there were stresses – stressful situations, stressful people, stressful times (especially with COVID). On top of that, there were long hours, problems popped up like a whack-a-mole game, and I had more tasks and responsibilities than any one person could possibly handle. As more and more got piled on me and I struggled to keep up with the workload my boss put on me, I could feel it. It was starting to happen. Little by little, I was getting burned out. At the same time, because of my arthritis, every day was a struggle. I was in pain from the moment I woke up until after I fell asleep. Everything took extra strength, energy and effort, and many days I was exhausted before I even left the house. Pushing and pulling myself through each day, I would come home and collapse – so tired of fighting my body. I could feel myself getting burned out in my fight with my body and arthritis – I was burnt out of having a chronic illness. I could feel myself losing motivation. Sometimes the mountain of tasks seemed overwhelming. I often felt defeated, alone, and could feel my cynical and sarcastic side rearing its head. Some days I would literally drag myself out of bed because it was becoming hard to face another day. My family, especially, saw me become more irritable and frustrated, something my daughter commented on a few months after I had made a change (“Dad, I don’t think I have ever seen you so relaxed and happy.”) I rarely slept, a symptom of both my rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and an overloaded, stressful work environment. Consistently performing, concentrating on tasks, and simply just finding the energy some days to just get it done were all things I was experiencing – and sleeplessness was not helping that. All of this added up to something I was not ready to admit. I was burnt out. Because I loved what I did, that was a hard one to admit, but what were the real reasons I felt burnt out. Was it my health? Was it job stress? Were they feeding off of each other, making the other worse? Would I feel this way if I had a less stressful job or was in a healthier body? This was my struggle, and until I stepped away from that job, I did not realize how much both of these things influenced the other. Stress and lack of rest are two of the biggest contributors to pain. Pain is exhausting and zaps your energy making getting things done even more challenging. This in turn leads to more stress and longer hours with little rest while you simply try to keep up, to say nothing of getting ahead. As you walk this vicious cycle, you get more exhausted, get further behind, become stressed out, as pain fills your body, you throw your hands up wondering if this “Hamster wheel” you are on will ever stop. The connection between RA and burnout is real, and while I am not sure if one causes the other, they certainly both energize and feed off each other. When you have a chronic illness, sometimes it is hard to see if the burnout is what you are doing, or if the burnout is because of the body you must do it with. It feels like you are always fighting on two fronts, and your body does not always cooperate and often makes things more challenging. It is at those times more than ever, when you need to take a step back, rest and give yourself a break. Give yourself a break from your expectations. Give yourself a break from others’ expectations. Give yourself a break from the work and stress, and take time to figure out where the burnout is coming from – for when you do that, you can finally start to not only deal with these feelings but hopefully once again find joy for the journey you are on.

Community Voices

I happen to be a filmmaker

<p>I happen to be a filmmaker</p>
8 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Localized therapist directory for Asians

Didn't know this existed! asiansformentalhealth.com

The founder just came out with a book on mental health stigmas in Asian culture, which I'm debating reading...

1 person is talking about this
Community Voices

Write an encouraging message to your younger self 💌.

<p>Write an encouraging message to your younger self 💌.</p>
26 people are talking about this