Someone to Care

I often times find myself uncaring.  I don’t care about anything, but more like I have lost my ability to care. I just want everything to go away. I wish I could care but I can’t find and don’t have the energy to and I can’t find the motivation to care about anything. When you’re at this point, no one understands that you’re just trying to care about yourself, even a little bit and you can’t.

It’s like you go numb and you can’t feel anything. You can’t feel pleasure but you also can’t feel pain. The only thing you can do at this point is exist; you can only survive. You hope for the days when you feel better; when you don’t feel as numb. And you hate the days of continuing numbness because they feel like they will never end.

Sometimes I just need someone to care for me when I can’t. Sometimes I need someone to show my that I am important. I need to be shown that I am loved and cared for. It’s scary when you can’t feel anything; when you can’t even care about yourself. Sometimes I need someone to tell me that I am important and that I have a purpose.

Lately, I’ve been feeling less uncaring. Lately, I have found my passion and my purpose. Right now, I am letting this drive me because I know that if I didn’t, I would end up back in that circle of uncaring. So find your passion and let it drive you. Use it as your strength and know that someone does care for you. I might not know you, but I care for you and I empathize with your journey because it is not an easy one. But you will get through it and you will get better; just stick with it and remember, I care.

The Itty Bitty Shitty Committee

I mentioned learning about The Itty Bitty Shitty Committee or IBSC in my last post. Here is a poem I wrote describing the IBSC.

The Itty Bitty Shitty Committee by Talia Malon

There is a little committee in my mind
Which always, always likes to find
The pieces inside of me to hate
The broken pieces that seem to late
to fix, to mend, they’re broken too soon
these pieces of me will have to do.

This Itty Bitty Shitty Committee
Likes to tell me what to think
It likes to watch me fall and sink
Into the darkness, into the gloom
this committee likes to tell me what to do
It lies and lies and lies again
I can’t ever seem to find the end

The struggle inside of my mind
goes on and on until I cry
I cry for it all to end
I cry because I have no friends
This committee pushes people away
they always go, they never stay

I hate the way I think and feel
This committee, I know is not real
I fight to make it go away
I fight to live another day
I will win this war, or fall instead
I will win this war, it’s all I have

My Life in Outpatient Treatment: Week 1

As I posted here, I was recently admitted into a psychiatric outpatient treatment center for my depression. I kept what could loosely be termed as a diary while in the program and I would like to share with you some of the daily ups and downs that I experienced. What follows are the day to day thoughts of one depressive person while in Intensive Outpatient Therapy.

The first few days were tough.

Week 1, Day 1:
I’m afraid that group therapy isn’t going to help. There’s such a large gap in ages. I’m worried that some of the programs won’t be helpful. I know quite a bit about depression, medication and treatment all ready, so I’m not sure what else there is to learn.
I also learned about Avoidant and Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorders. I have homework from my psychiatrist. I am to research these personality disorders as well as a couple of the medications that he intends to ‘inflict’ on me.

Day 2:
I still feel like I don’t fit in with the group. I can’t relate to what they’re talking about it. My therapist for the day says that I should talk about it in the next group session and that I need to have more awareness. I’m starting a chart to see when I fit in and when I don’t. Maybe keeping track will make me be more aware.
We also talked about change today. I’m not very big on change.

Day 3:
Today we learned a little about self-soothe kits. I’m going to have to make one. I also figured out that I have to take my medication AFTER I eat, unless I want to toss up everything in my stomach again.
My homework for the weekend is to write down examples of avoidant symptoms.

Day 4:
The weekend was not fun. Every time I took my medication, even taking it after I had eaten, I experienced nearly every side effect I could possibly experience. Nausea, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, etc. We decided to switch the medication immediately.
I also learned that ‘what you resist, persists’ and I have to have awareness of my viewpoint. Mindfulness is being in the moment, and that’s something I’m going to need to work on. I’m not so good at it right now.

Day 5:
Today was fun. We had music therapy group. I played Someone Who Cares by Three Days Grace and I learned about a couple of other really good songs as well.
I learned that relationships can’t be 2 almost fully overlapping circles, or one circle inside another. A healthy relationship is like a venn diagram. I’m beginning to wonder about my relationships/friendships. Am I giving too much of myself to others?

Day 6:
I learned about NAMI and Art Therapy classes in the area today.
I also experienced a quick change of mood from happy to depressed about 15 minutes into therapy today. I don’t know what triggered this quick mood change. I feel like I’m withdrawing. I don’t want to be here today. I don’t know why. I just want to cry.

Day 7:
Today I learned about the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee, or as I’m going to call it from now on, the IBSC (which sounds a lot more official).
My therapist told me I need to focus on me. He told me to ask my best friend what he liked about me, so that I could have “I am” statements to repeat to myself. I’m also supposed to describe my personality and then have a close friend or family member do the same. That could be interesting.
After program today I began to wonder, how are these coping skills that I’m learning, going to help when it’s just me & the IBSC after I discharge from the program?

Day 8:
I feel like crap. I feel worthless, like I’m not worth people’s time and attention. I don’t like myself. I don’t even know how to like myself.
Today’s journaling became it’s own post and can be seen here.

Please stay tuned for parts 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Self-Soothing

One of the biggest coping skills taught in outpatient treatment is self-soothing. Self-soothing falls under DBT or the Dialectical Behavior Therapy. It is used when a person is feeling distressing, and when situations and emotions are overwhelming. Self-soothing is also known as a deterrent to self harm, because instead of doing something to hurt yourself, you’re doing something that gives you comfort and pleasure. These suggestions can help you feel better, calm down, and even feel relaxation or pleasure. Self-soothing most often uses the 5 senses; touch, taste, sight, smell and hearing. Try a variety of these items until you find a combination that works for you.

SIGHT: Be mindful of every sight, but do not linger on any. Allow the sights to calm you.

  • View pictures of family/friends.
  • View pictures of your favorite vacation spot or place you wish to go.
  • Look at art or go to a museum.
  • Go for a nature walk.
  • Walk through a pretty part of town.
  • Buy some flowers for your home.
  • Light a candle and watch the flame.
  • Watch an uplifting movie or video.
  • Be creative.
  • Painting, markers, crayons & a coloring book or sketch pad.
  • Mandalas (Coloring Castle, Free Mandalas, Printable Mandalas).

HEARING: When you are listening, be mindful, letting the sounds come and go. Be mindful of different sounds and let them flow through you.

  • Listen to relaxing music (via youtube, pandora, etc).
  • Listen to sounds of the ocean, forest, rain, or other sounds of nature.
  • Listen to a small animal.
  • Sit by a waterfall.
  • Play a musical instruments if possible.
  • Sing your favorite songs.
  • Do a guided meditation.

SMELL: Notice all the different smells around you and take in all the smells.

  • Smell a meal being cooked either at home or in a restaurant.
  • Walk in a garden or in the woods.
  • Breath the smells of nature.
  • Light a scented candle or incense.
  • Use essential oils.
  • Use hand lotion and/or drawer packets.
  • Use perfume or bath salts (Epsom salts).
  • Bake some bread, cake or cookies.

TASTE: Let the taste run over your tongue and slowly down your throat. Mindfully taste each new thing.

  • Cook a favorite meal.
  • Drink a soothing drink like hot chocolate or tea (especially blends for stress or anxiety).
  • Chew gum.
  • Eat hard candy or chocolate.
  • Go to a potluck and eat a little of each dish.

TOUCH: Take a bubble bath. Pet your dog or cat or cuddle a baby. Put on a silk shirt shirt or blouse, and feel its softness and smoothness. Sink into a really comfortable bed.  Float or swim in a pool, and feel the water caress your body.

  • Play with sand.
  • Use hand lotion.
  • Use a heating pad, back massage pad, or rice pack (hot or cold).
  • Play with modeling clay.
  • Dance.
  • Use a stress ball.
  • Play with silly putty.
  • Pet an animal or cuddle a baby.
  • Take a bubble bath.
  • Float or swim in a pool and feel the water caress your body.
  • Brush your hair.
  • Sink into a really comfortable bed.
  • Nap with a soft and furry blanket.
  • Use a weighted blanket (Bought Blanket; Sew-able Blanket; Tyable BlanketNo-Sew Blanket).

The entire point of self-soothing is to do something that is comforting to you and to continue doing it until you feel better.

DBT Self Help: Self Soothing

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness month. So I am trying my best to make that awareness known. I am excited to be speaking to three church congregations about my journey and how they can help those with mental illness. I’m also extremely nervous to start public speaking but I’m hoping that these first three speeches will lead to bigger and better things. As Lao Tzu once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I guess speaking could be considered a second step, with this blog being the first.

Mental health is a serious matter, whether you suffer from an illness or not. It is always good to care for your mental state and your emotions. Being aware of your feelings and emotions makes you more in tune with yourself.

So in honor of mental health month, I’m going to ask you to wear a green ribbon whether it’s your mental health or in honor of a friend or family member. And when asked about it, explain why you wear that ribbon. There is no shame in mental health. Spread the word!!

May Mental Health Month Slideshow Final_0