Good afternoon, Dear Readers! I hope this post finds you well.
The last few days I’ve been asked repeatedly if I am doing alright, or if something is wrong. Being a very private person by nature, I don’t like to discuss personal things with many people. However, I believe God wants me to be more open about some things, so I am going to be here.
Most of you who read my blog or know me in real life know I have mental health issues. Ever since I can remember, I’ve dealt with depression to the point of being suicidal (until my mid 20’s) & anxiety, even eating disorders. In 1990, I had my first nervous breakdown, & have had 4 more since. 3 of the total of 5 breakdowns I’ve had have been quite serious. In 1996, I started with agoraphobia right after my Grandmom died. It can been debilitating at times, leaving me unable to leave my house. Last year, I suddenly developed the symptoms of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD). I started to have flashbacks, more nightmares than usual, bad short term memory problems, worse anxiety than ever & more difficulty regulating my moods than ever. I’ve always been able to refrain from showing my swinging moods until last year. Now? If I feel a mood swing happening, it’s most likely going to show. It’s frustrating!
So, I am dealing with these nasty things in addition to some other more private stressful situations. That is why I’m not myself lately, I’ve been keeping to myself so much, not writing much either in this blog or in the book I’ve been working on. It’s hard to be with other people or write when having a bad C-PTSD day. When the mood swings, anxiety & dissociation kick in, it requires all of my focus.
Also, these bad C-PTSD days don’t mean I’m wallowing in being abused. In fact, most of those days, abusive events don’t even cross my mind. I am NOT spending my time, living in the past, plotting revenge on my abusers, or devoting it to feeling sorry for myself for being abused. Sometimes, I remember painful events I’d forgotten about (repressed memories), or have a flashback or nightmare, but when those happen, I deal with them through prayer &/or talking things out, then move on.
I figured I’d put this out there not only to answer questions, but to try to get myself more accustomed to being open about my mental health, which I believe is something God wants me to do. There is such a stigma attached to mental illness, & frankly, it really makes me mad. I hope I can help even just a few people change their views! Yes, I have mental health problems, but it doesn’t mean I’m stupid or weak. I have a high IQ, & I always have been a strong person. I think I reached the point where I have tried to be too strong for too long, which is why the C-PTSD kicked in.
As for what is at the root of my problems, being abused, I don’t understand why it caused me the amount of problems I have. Many people have experienced more trauma than me, yet don’t have C-PTSD. Yet, I refuse to judge myself for it any longer. I have beat myself up for being “weak” for too long. It’s not going to happen anymore. I have been through a lot, & have been damaged as a result. I’ve had absolutely normal reactions to very abnormal situations. I figure it this way- God has a plan. While He didn’t want me to be abused, He is definitely using my problems & pain to reach out & help others. That makes it worth the suffering. Every time I get an email, message here or someone saying that something I have said has helped them in some way, it’s the best feeling I could ask for. 🙂 That is what makes everything worth while, helping other people.
Lastly, if you know someone who is suffering with a mental illness, please use compassion & wisdom in your words with that person. Phrases like, “Get over it,” “You’re still upset about that?” “Think happy thoughts” “Maybe you need to.. *fill in the blank with unasked for advice*” really do NOT help! Listening without judgement, offering a hug, or even offering a change of scenery (taking your friend to lunch for example) help the most.
Have a great day, everyone, & thank you for your concern. If you have any questions, feel free to ask away.. either reply to this post, or email me privately at: CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com. God bless you!