Dear Future Jen
We’re out and about today. Doing one of our favourite things. Meeting a friend for coffee. It takes so much courage to walk out the front door, even when I’m going to see someone I care a lot about. If there is one thing I’m learning it’s that anxiety doesn’t make any sense at all. And I can’t seem to control it. It’s always there, ever persistent, sometimes waiting in the background sometimes front and centre in the spotlight.
I have so many fears. I know logically they don’t make sense, but that doesn’t seem to make any difference. All I can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other. And continue going out and about trying to tackle one day at a time.
Coffee with a friend is a good place to start.
Why is it so hard to reach out and ask for help? Is it something to do with the western culture? Is it supposed to look like we can have a million balls in the air, and that we’re managing them all to perfection oh and if you’re a woman you also have to look beautiful while doing it. I don’t get it. I’m tired of it.
I’m not managing well right now folks. Anxiety is sky high. I keep waiting for it to pass but there it is every morning greeting me as I wake. It’s still 2017 and I still want a revolution but I’ve come to realize I can’t do it by myself. I need some help. I need your help. This is me reaching out.
I need to meet you for coffee or have you come here. I might need you to come to a doctors appt with me. Or drive me on an errand if my pain is too high. I need you to remind me that I am safe even though I don’t feel safe. I need reassurance that I’m making good choices for myself.
I need you to understand if I cancel our plans at the last minute because my anxiety takes over or if I have a sudden doctors appointment which happens on occasion.
I need help remembering that beauty comes from within, and that my ultimate goal for this year is health and wellbeing not weight loss.
I need help remembering that I’m not alone and that I have friends that care about me, maybe even love me. Even if I feel undeserving.
I need reminders every now and then that I’m a good wife and good mother despite my limitations,
I need you to be a pain warrior sidekick. And remind me that I can kick this years ass with amazingness and change for myself now and for future Jen.
I may never be able to return the favours. I may never deserve the kind of friends that I’ve been blessed with. Reaching out feels scary and vulnerable. But this is me reaching out.
Tomorrow is January 25th 2017 and all around Canada people will be participating in different mental health initiatives to raise awareness and end the stigma of mental illness. It’s called Bell Let’s Talk day. So let’s talk…
If you’re new to the blog, you might not know that I suffer from a few mental illnesses. I have depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a dissociative disorder. It doesn’t matter or shouldn’t matter how I got here. Or how I ended up with these diagnosis. What matters is where do I go from here?
What do I do? I feel like I’m doing everything I can. I’m attending weekly therapy sessions, I see my psychiatrist monthly to monitor medications- though at the moment I’m looking for a new psychiatrist. I hope to start attending weekly support groups for depression and anxiety. These sessions are offered free in our community, I just need to find the courage to show up. A lot easier said then done.
Unfortunately, there are no support groups in our community for people who suffer from PTSD, the closest outpatient one is in Mississauga and it’s far from free. I wish there was something closer as I could really use the support, but I think that’s what Bell Let’s Talk Day is also about -raising money to use towards mental health initiatives. For every call and text, for bell customers Bell is donating 5 cents. For every hashtag #BellLetstalk used on social media Bell is also donating 5 cents towards mental health initiatives. So be sure to hashtag and text your heart out.
So, getting back to me. If you want to show your support, you can by just being here for me. You could engage me on Facebook, I use Facebook quite a bit to stay in touch with friends as it feels safe. You could read my blog, my biggest outlet for thoughts and emotions. Leave a comment, ask me questions, show interest. All of these things help me feel less alone and less isolated. Sometimes going out is a challenge for me but having you over for a tea visit (if we’re friends) is also an option. Your prayers and love from afar are also much appreciated. Write me a card or letter, or just send me good thoughts. All of these things are helpful and remind me that I’m important to you.
How will you be supporting Bell Let’s Talk Day?
If you yourself are in distress and are in need of assistance please don’t hesitate to call HERE 24/7. They are an amazing crisis line with access to many services. 1-844-HERE-247 (437-3247)
I’ve never been good at moderation. When I like something I really like it and want it all. I wonder where that comes from? The fear that I’ll never have it again? The fact that it tastes so good I just want more? And it’s just not with food. I love the Funko Pop figures especially the Harry Potter ones. I’m “collecting ” them and there for one or two won’t do… I want them all. I have a ton of different “collections”.
Getting back to food though, this has been an issue all my life. I can’t just have one piece, I need as many as possible and will eat the pie, or cake, or sweet treat until it’s completely gone. I’ll even eat Kevin’s share too…if he’s not looking. This is a major problem especially since my focus is health this year. How do I limit myself. How do I feel satisfied with just one slice.
Well this past weekend I experimented with it. It was my son’s birthday and we got a beautiful ice cream cake from Dairy Queen (yummy). My approach would usually be to have one slice when every one is eating, then sneak back later to have a bigger piece. And then sneak back again and again until it was all gone.
This time, I changed a few things. I had one slice. Then a cup of tea. When I was tempted to go back later I told myself to wait an hour and if I still wanted it then I would have it. After the hour, I had a another cup of tea and again told myself to wait another hour. I don’t know how. But it worked. By postponing the temptation I was able to just have one slice. One frigging slice of cake. Moderation-I did it .
This is a huge win, as I see it. And I just know that future Jen is thanking me. Because of just having this one slice of cake, I don’t have the excess sugar but more importantly I don’t have the guilt and shame that would go along with extra pieces, and I don’t have Kevin asking me where all the cake went. A big win. And I did it.