Jules Bonds

@jules_bonds | contributor
I decided to become a contributor for The Mighty because I was inspired by the stories of others like me. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014 and with depression and anxiety in 2016. I’ve always loved creative writing and find it to be the perfect outlet for my feelings. I’m so pleased to be part of this community and hope to continue sharing my experiences with you. Stay strong!
Community Voices

The Little Demon Called "Depression"

depression is an interesting little demon.  It makes you think you’re in control for a long time.  Then suddenly, you wake up one morning ready to put your fist through a wall for no reason.  The urge to yell at someone is almost overwhelming. Deep in the recesses of your mind, you know you don’t have any reason to feel this way which causes you to feel even angrier at yourself for not being able to control your emotions and then you start to wonder why you even take those stupid pills for your depression when it’s obviously not working today.  You can feel yourself start to spiral down that rabbit hole so you sit on your couch and scroll through Instagram, hoping for a distraction.

You get a text from a friend.  She tells you she missed seeing you today.

“Sorry”, you think.  “My bitch mode was activated this morning and I couldn’t risk people seeing the ‘real me’”, is what you’d love to respond.  But you tell the demon to shut up and simply reply “Thanks. Missed you too”, because she’s just being a loving friend and doesn’t deserve to be bitten by the poisonous venom of your depression rearing its deadly fangs.

depression is different for everyone.  For years, I never realized my anger was a symptom.  I just always assumed my anger came from being Latina, as we tend to be more “hot blooded” than the average person.

Even though I take medication to manage my depression, it still creeps into my life every now and again, reminding me that depression is not something that can be cured like a cold.  It’s a chemical imbalance that requires treatment. Some days, you will win the battle. Other days, the demon will win. But the battle continues. It stops for no man or woman.

As I write these words, I am reminded of the lyrics to a famous song:

It’s a new dawn

It’s a new day

It’s a new life for me

And I’m feeling good

Remember, each new dawn is a new day.  Fight for the right to feel good.

Community Voices

How Journaling Helps My Mental Health

Last night, I read old journal entries from 2012

and realized how much I was dealing with #Depression and #Anxiety before I even

suspected anything.  I frequently blamed

my bad moods on perfectionism.  I was

very much afraid of failure.  And I took

harmless comments extremely personal and felt guilt over things I had zero

control over.  I blamed myself over

things like not being able to find a job, even though I was actively applying

to them and interviewing.  There’s only

so much you can do but I would beat myself up so much.

Another thing I noticed was I stopped

journaling.  Years ago, I found

journaling to be therapeutic.  I still

do.  But when the depression and anxiety

got to be too much, I was internalizing all of my feelings.  I wasn’t writing them out anymore.  It was scary to think I had crawled so deep

into the rabbit hole that nothing was helping.

I’m surprised I didn’t explode from everything I was keeping locked

up.  I went three years without a single

entry and again for one year.

Yesterday, I finally picked up my journal.  I dusted it off, flipped to the next empty

page and let the pen take over.  My hand

hurt after I was done but it felt so good to open up.  I wasn’t hiding anymore.

I’m very grateful for the people in my life who

stuck with me during those dark days.  I’m

also very grateful to myself for finally recognizing my need for help and

getting it.  It’s by no means easy but

absolutely necessary in order to recover.

There is no weakness in asking

for help.  On the contrary, it take

real humility and courage to seek help.

My #MentalHealth goal for the remainder of the

year is to stick with journaling.  It was

such an important part of my life as an adolescent and hopefully, it will regain

importance in my adulthood.

Elaine Rush

Fibromyalgia Isn't All of Who I Am

Those that know me know that I have fibromyalgia. But do they really know what that means? It means that I am in constant and severe pain. I am fatigued all the time, even after sleeping. I am stuck with tons of other horrid symptoms. I am unable to live the life I always thought I would. I am (mostly) OK with that because my life is good despite fibro. Now here are a few things that I’m not: I’m not lazy. I’m not weak. I’m not exaggerating. I’m not here to be judged. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m not being brave – I’m just being. I’m not free of pain just because I’m smiling. I’m not unhappy, despite all of it. Here’s the thing that I hope: I hope that those I care about don’t just think of me as “the one with fibromyalgia.” I’m a wife and a mummy, and that’s much more important. I also like to draw, paint, make jewelry and read tarot/oracle cards – when I’m feeling up to it. So, you see, most of my life may have to revolve around my chronic illness just so that I can function as much as possible, but it does not define who I am as a person. Or as a soul. Fibromyalgia – it’s not all of who I am, but it is a significant and unavoidable part, so I appreciate you for reading this far just to try and understand. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Thinkstock Image By: luna4

Chelle Iredale

Tips for Staying Cool During the Summer With Fibromyalgia

Do you have problems regulating heat? Are you sensitive to weather changes? Does the heat make you sick? Many people with fibromyalgia find the better weather usually means less pain, but they find themselves with a new problem: the heat makes them very, very sick! Unfortunately, that seems to be a common problem. Fortunately, we can do things to keep ourselves cooler, starting with our homes. If you don’t have central air conditioning, it is probably worth the small investment for a window or portable unit. Keep your bedroom cool, even if just using fans. Having somewhere you can sleep is one of the most important things you can do. Getting a restful night’s sleep is challenging enough. Trying to do it when you are hot is miserable! You can find other tips for cooling your home here. Once our house is cooler, we are halfway there!   Take special care to use sunscreen. Some medications might make your skin more sensitive to the sun. But we can’t stay in our cool and hopefully air-conditioned houses all summer…not if we want to enjoy it, even a little bit! So, what can you do to help keep cool this summer? – Be picky about the time of day. Avoid being outside during the “hottest” parts of the day, usually between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. If you have a choice, spend these hours indoors! – Choose your clothing wisely; light-colored, loose and breathable clothing will be cooler. Wearing a hat, especially one with a wide brim. This will protect your face from the sun. Sunglasses (polarized) will help to protect your eyes – a necessity if you get migraines. – Stay hydrated. If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated – or that’s what I have been told all my life. The minimum you need is eight glasses a day, more if the temperature is higher and you’re sweaty! One of my personal favorites is ice water with lemon, but you can infuse water with all kinds of fruits! Make it a habit to have a reusable water bottle with you whenever you go out. Something I learned from one of the many times I have had heat exhaustion, is to make sure to include something with salt to help balance electrolytes. – Make sure to eat something! Save the heavier meals for cooler days, and stick to light and refreshing choices. These are the perfect days for sandwiches, salads and fresh fruit. Outdoor BBQ-ing is another great option! Or just order in. Some Great Tips… I recently asked my family, friends and a Facebook group I love what tips they had to “beat the heat” this summer and they had some great ideas! Plenty of people choose to stay indoors; a general agreement was the need for A/C. And a whole lot of people said they spend the time in water…either a local pool, the beach or a lake. The cool water is definitely a favorite! Some other ideas included… “Use a spray bottle filled with water and a few peppermint essential oil drops, spray on skin and it will cool you down.” One I didn’t know, and am looking forward to trying (I mixed in five drops to about three ounces of water, but it’s raining today.) “I take showers to cool off – really helps before bedtime,” “running water over my wrists and feet” and “going to bed with damp hair” were a couple other great ideas! “Cold compresses” was another, either using a regular damp facecloth or towel (put the facecloth in a Ziploc in the freezer for drip-proof version). “Cooling cloths” from a store (I found some at my local Winners store and Amazon online). You wet it, wring it out and it stays cold for hours and doesn’t drip and get you all wet. Perfect to take anywhere, even to bed! Using one on the back of your neck can help cool you down. And if you have a family, spend a day at the water or spray park. Jump in when you’re hot, sit in the shade when you’re not…and spend some quality time with the “little ones.” Take a picnic. And a Couple of Fails… I have heard of people putting sheets and pillows in freezers before bed for a more comfortable sleep… I can see the pillow, but by the time I remake the bed with the sheets from the freezer, those sheets wouldn’t be cold anymore! A friend suggested eating spicy food, as it apparently drops your body temperature and makes you sweat. Personally, I don’t need any help sweating, and spicy food doesn’t agree with my tummy, so nope, not for me! Do you have any tips or tricks to beat the summer heat? Cheers, Chelle We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Thinkstock photo via Chitra Tatachar.

Community Voices
Community Voices

Household Chores

What are some household chores you find most difficult to tackle without help?

Community Voices

Self Doubt?

After all these years, I still doubt whether I really have fibromyalgia. Anyone else experience this? #fibrodoubt

4 people are talking about this
Community Voices

My Little Comforts

The warm, creamy, chocolaty goodness

Of my comfort drink

I can smell the cocoa, the vanilla, the cream

As I lift the mug up to my mouth

Mmm

The tub fills with hot water

As I slowly add the Epsom salt bubble bath

The room fills with the scent of lavender

I inhale and feel my stress go down a notch

Mmm

I lay my head on the pillows

I reach for the blanket

And pull it up to my chin

Time for a trip to dream-land

Mmm

These are the little things

That get me through my day


#TheLittleThings

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Community Voices

How much do you tell your employer?

I would prefer to be very transparent, but comments such as, "you're so 'lucky' you get to work at home" or when I have completed something well ahead of deadline it's attributed to "because you get to work at home" and not my skills have created a chilling affect to my sharing. I did eventually say something about the second comment, which helped the situation (perhaps it was an unconscious stream of thought?).

How do you all handle your health issues when it come to work? Openly share? Share only when necessary? #ChronicPain #Work #MECFS

90 people are talking about this
Community Voices

How do you stop Emotionally eating?!
#Depression #anxiety#ADHD

I. Can’t. Stop. Eating......when i’m tired I eat, when i’m angry i eat, when i’m sad i eat, when i’m anxious i eat. I know i shouldn’t be, and i keep telling myself you need to stop look at what its doing to you!! It’s junk food, almost always something sweet. I feel like eating is distracting me and even if i’m not hungry i still eat!

5 people are talking about this