Just Jules

@trakehners1
Community Voices
Community Voices

What’s your favorite breed of horse? Is there a particular reason? What discipline do you ride? Feel free to post pics.

Mine is the trakehner. They were almost extinct during ww1. They’re hearty, smart and athletic.

I mostly ride all types of English.

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Community Voices

Today I got fired, exactly 2 weeks after I requested reasonable accommodation for my disability. #MentalHealth #CPTSD #PTSD #Anxiety #ADA

#MentalHealth
I can't prove it. What I do know is this. Right after I filed a request for reasonable accommodation at my work, because I was constantly being bullied and harassed by a co-worker, I started being excluded and treated differently. Today I got fired. They came up with some lame excuse. At the end of the "conversation" the HR person (the same one who I filed for the reasonable accommodation with) said, "now you have time to work on your mental health"!
Those were his words.
At the end of the day, if I file a lawsuit for retaliation he'll deny it. So, I'm screwed either way. This is the world we live in. They make it seem like its ok to have a mental health disability, but at the end of the day, after I advocated for my rights, I got fired.

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Community Voices

A question for those with BPD

Does anyone else have problems with impulsive lying? It's one of my biggest triggers when people lie to me yet I keep just blurting out things that aren't true. I'm having a really hard time stopping it too. Could this be because of my BPD? If so does anyone have any advice? #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder

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Community Voices

Ketamine infusions

What everyone needs to know prior to doing ketamine infusions (in my opinion):

1.) Ketamine is definitely NOT for everyone
2.) Ketamine clinics are often “second jobs” for anesthesiologists to make extra income. This often means that they do not have mental health care workers in the office to help answer questions, etc…
3.) Please ask questions prior to getting them.
4.) Ketamine infusions left me feeling suicidal and worse. I had more anxiety and panic attacks than I’ve ever experienced. I am a Psychotherapist and this had me debilitated for weeks afterwards. #ketamine

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Community Voices

I'm Not OK

Part 1 of 2 I get it. I hear you. I have nothing to complain about. I’m one of the lucky ones. I haven’t lost a close relative to #COVID19 . I have a home. A car. A job. An intact family. I am an upper-middle class, privileged white woman. I shouldn’t complain.

And yet: I am so tired, I can’t concentrate on anything. Some days, I’ll hear a certain word (“symptom,” “disease,” “lockdown,” “surge”—and lately: “invasion,” “NATO,” “nuclear”) and it’ll send me into a tailspin of #Anxiety so intense that I feel like I’m having a heart attack. On those days, I end up spending hours online, desperately searching for some kind of answer that might make me feel better, safer, and certain. I never find the answer, of course. All I find is exhaustion, #Loneliness , and confusion.

My husband loves me, and our marriage is good. My daughter is healthy, and we get along well. I have no right to complain about anything.

And yet: I’m scared. Scared because I don’t know what to look forward to. No. Not even that. I don’t know how to look forward. The future is never, ever certain. I know that, but there used to be a world that made sense to me that I could imagine moving forward with and into. Now? That future is unknowable and unimaginable to me. This used to happen to me only on very rare occasions in the BeforeTimes, but now, it is a near-constant, and it leaves me feeling deeply unsettled and unmoored. Energy levels, levels of hope and optimism are often so drained that I can’t engage in anything new.

I have a lovely home. Good friends. Food in the refrigerator. Get over it, people say! Think positive! How many people have it worse than you?

And yet: it’s hard. I don’t want to be scared all the time. I don’t want to be tired all the time. I want to find joy in my life. And yet, I can’t. The similes I’ve used to try to describe how I feel: like looking through cheesecloth. Like having a burlap sack over me. And my metaphor: I am a weighted blanket, heavy and awkward.

I am a part-time college instructor. Mostly, I love my job, and am lucky to work at a place where I have a tremendous amount of freedom. How many lost their jobs? How many must work two or three jobs just to make ends meet?

And yet: I worry. I don’t want to worry, but what else is there to do? When all I’ve been told for the last two years is to keep a close eye on things, watch for symptoms, stay home, stay away. I already had #Anxiety before the pandemic. Fear and hypervigilance were my go-to states. Keeping track, monitoring, staying on top of things—that was my jam. And so, being told to pay close attention to everything, to fear others was like throwing gasoline on an already raging fire. For two years, I haven’t let my guard down. There is always something to keep a close eye on, to track, to monitor. There are always more websites to peruse and podcasts to listen to, frantically looking for information of some kind that will help me make sense of things, that will help me feel a little less afraid, a little less alone. I haven’t found that website or podcast yet.

I haven’t had #COVID19 . Neither has my husband or daughter. We are vaccinated and boosted. We don’t have underlying health conditions. We are in the minority. We are lucky. I really don’t have anything to complain about.

And yet: my fear spreads, that is my virus. If I’m lucky enough to not get #COVID19 , then what else can I get? And what else can I worry about? And if that cough isn’t #COVID19 , what is it? What about that stomachache? How long until my luck runs out? Stay alert. Pay attention. Keep scanning for symptoms. Stay on top of things. In a worried mind, these are the thoughts. And knowing that I’m lucky and have nothing to complain about makes my worried mind also feel guilty and panicked: “there must be something to worry about, right?”

I exercise somewhat regularly. I eat a pretty good diet. I meditate. I journal. I take ashwagandha. I have had therapy. I’m lucky.

And yet: it doesn’t help. The #Anxiety lingers and festers. A virus. Some days—fewer and fewer lately—I wake up without crippling fear, and it feels like a dream, like a faraway fantasy land, a place I used to inhabit. More days, I wake up, feel the familiar strains of worry and panic, and proceed with my day anyway. I meditate, journal, take my ashwagandha and go out for a walk. I wish and hope that the panic will dissipate. I’

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Community Voices

A question for those with BPD

Does anyone else have problems with impulsive lying? It's one of my biggest triggers when people lie to me yet I keep just blurting out things that aren't true. I'm having a really hard time stopping it too. Could this be because of my BPD? If so does anyone have any advice? #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder

4 people are talking about this
Community Voices
Heather Cook

Therapist Changes View of Mental Health by Asking One Question

I lived on autopilot for many years while silently grappling with anxiety and depression. I was living a life of negativity and self-doubt because it was all I really knew. I believed that everyone felt worthless and unlovable with the assumption that I just couldn’t cope because I was weak. Instead of taking action, I convinced myself I was permanently broken and helpless. In those distorted moments, here are the types of thoughts I had daily: “I’m not smart enough; I will never be smart enough.”“I’m not trying hard enough.”“I am a burden to people.”“I am an imposter.”“I do not deserve success; even if I become successful, I will fail.”“I am not sick enough to ask for help.”“I am a failure.”“Why can’t I just get over my anxiety like everyone else in the world?”“I am not good enough; I will never be good enough.” The inner-critic got so loud and repetitive, I couldn’t sleep for nine days. On day 10 of the breakdown, my family didn’t know if I was “going insane” or if I was simply sleep deprived, so they took me to a local hospital’s psych ward. After three days of observation and treatment and therapy and social work meetings and care coordination and whatever else I’ve left out, I began to resemble a somewhat functioning adult again. From the doctor came a referral to the partial hospitalization program (PHP); from PHP came a therapist I vibed with; from the therapist came life-changing insight. The first few therapy sessions consisted of me complaining about my anxiety, highly sensitive traits and negative self-talk. My therapist patiently listened as I went on and on with examples of how life would be better if I didn’t experience these things, if I could just turn off my brain and emotions when I needed to. From a pocket-sized marble notebook (the one my therapist always laughs at), I had read off a very specific list of all the ways in which my conditions have and/or will hinder my life. Once I was done reading, my therapist posed the following question: “Heather, what if nothing is wrong with you?” “Then I wouldn’t be sitting here in this chair,” I said. Duh — what a joke, I thought. My therapist kindly posed the question again and added, “What if you look at feeling deeply as a positive trait? What if feeling anxious is ‘normal’ and brings some good to your life? Not many people in this world can say that they care and feel deeply enough to feel anxious. And if you look at the statistics, most highly creative people live in similar ways. Are you sure you would give this part of yourself away if given the opportunity? I mean, if you broke your wrist, would you cut off your entire arm because physical therapy was difficult?” This wisdom sunk into me like water into a sponge. So much so I felt as though I was plummeting into my chair. Was she right? Why would I want to give such a vast part of myself away? Probably because I was told I was too shy, too sensitive, too anxious my entire life. I could continue to tell myself I’m broken, but why? In doing that, I would be depriving myself and the world of sensitivity. Moving forward I had two choices: continue to believe feeling is a bad thing or focus on the fact that I am brave and have made it this far with what I was given. Sure, anxiety can make your hands tremble and leave you bed-ridden on bad days. But anxiety can also motivate you to be courageous, take risks, empathize with others and so much more. In a way, it has gotten you exactly where you are today. Believing you are broken is a vicious cycle. Fighting your thoughts, pushing them away, instead of accepting them for what they are, just thoughts, makes them occur more often. Eventually willfulness becomes a comfortable place. Like a warm bed on a winter day, it’s hard to crawl out of. In believing mental illness makes us less-than, we are defining ourselves by the passing conditions we experience. If we define ourselves in this way, why wouldn’t the rest of society? I am not anxious. I have anxiety. This too shall pass. Why do we all encounter such negative bias and how do we overcome it? Whether it’s primitive or inherited or due to conditioning, my therapist’s suggestion was to objectively notice the feelings — positive or negative — that come, without judgement, and let them go. But how? Here’s what has been working for me: 1. Meditation This daily practice has helped me hone the skill of redirecting my thoughts. While focusing on my breathing, a thought will arise and then another and another, but I’ve learned to redirect my thoughts back to my breathing. Some days I need to do this a thousand times in a matter of five minutes, but I have the power to do it. This power has carried into my everyday life. 2. Scheduled “worry time” This is my favorite technique. During the day, when negative thoughts and fears pop into my head, my body often reacts with sweaty palms and a racing heart — fight or flight, if you will. However, each morning I allow myself four minutes to worry. In those minutes, I analyze all my fears and each possible worst outcome. I don’t find a silver lining. I do not argue with myself. I let the negativity flow through me. This has helped my body develop a resistance to these thoughts, which in turn has minimized the bodily responses. 3. Researching Becoming aware of exactly what I’m feeling and experiencing and the highly researched term for such has brought me much relief. For example, when I am sitting in a meeting panicking that I think I’ll have a seizure and wake up to a crowd of co-workers standing over me, I can stop to think: “Sure, this could happen, but what is the probability?” to fight the cognitive distortion instead of having a panic attack. Knowledge is power. 4. Mindfulness Living in the moment is the most magical thing. After all, the now is the only time we have here on this earth, right? We can’t change the past and we aren’t guaranteed the future, so stop and stare at your favorite building for no other reason than it brings you joy. Now don’t get me wrong, my inner-critic still has a lot of terrible things to say, but I have managed to change the relationship I have with it and this has made all the difference in the world. We are not our thoughts. We have these thoughts, but it doesn’t mean they’re true and they too shall pass. I wrote that question, “What if nothing is wrong with you?” in my tiny notebook and so many months later I still carry it in my back pocket like some people carry their credit cards: in case of an emergency. I suggest you consider doing the same.

Community Voices

Trying to fix my relationship with my mom

Since it’s Mother’s Day, I figured I’d talk a bit about having a narcissist/borderline mother and how foal rejection in mares, and most animals, is much more common in humans. Any thoughts? #ReactiveAttachmentDisorder