A break from my inner demons

I’ve had four weeks off both work and school, the last week I spend in Mallorca. And I have to say.. That week made wonders for my mind. I got a break from my anxiety and my inner thoughts. Maybe it was the change of scenery or the fact that I wasn’t alone all the time. It doesn’t matter, all that matters is that I finally got a break from my inner demons, from the past that’s, otherwise, haunting me every waking minute.

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Look at that serenity

I am prepared for the anxiety to return now when I’m back home, but at least I got a glimpse of what could be. I actually can have peace of mind. It gave me a little hope for the future. Which I have not had for the last six months!

On another note: I’ve done some updates in the download department. I added a September layout (a few days late, I know) and also a ”coloring pages-section” where I’m going to upload pages for you guys to download and color in! Occasionally I doodle my brains out and maybe someone would like to color that mess in.

Take care! Untitled_Artwork 17

You break me down

Why do you do this to me? Why do you tell me I am beautiful, kind, a good friend, a role model, a wonderful human being? Only the next minute you turn around and tell me I am worthless, ugly and useless. You tell me that I don’t deserve happiness and I need to be punished. My mind gets fucked up! I don’t know what to believe. You manipulate me in ways I never thought possible.

You’re like a prison guard holding me locked up until I find the courage to do what’s necessary to get out and leave you behind. As for now I’m evidently to weak. You’ve been a part of my life for so long now, I don’t know how to live without you. Some days you’re quite nice to me and let me unwind for a bit. I like those days, they make me think life is pretty good.

Then you get upset over something and take it out on me. Why do you do that? Just when I manage to catch my breath and start to gather all my pieces together you knock me down all over again. And I’m scattered.

You scare me when you act like this. I’m afraid for my own safety, but I guess it’s better you take your frustration out on me than anyone else. It’s like you are feeding on my misery. The more I suffer the more power you get over me. You break me down, taunt me, then you walk away…

… but don’t leave me, you’re all I’ve got!

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Independence makes you feel lonely

My parents raised me to be as independent as possible. They had good intentions with this of course, but somehow I managed to twist this around and felt that I had to do everything alone. Go through life all alone and manage everything by myself. The result is, as expected, that I feel very empty and deserted.

Everyone around me knows that I manage life by myself. I’m this independent, strong girl (woman now, I guess) who never needs a hug, who never needs a sincere “how are you really feeling?”. I joke around with everyone and everything, being sarcastic and saucy.

It’s all fun and games until you get depressed. Of course no one would’ve guessed that I’m breaking on the inside. They can’t read my mind! And as the independent human being I am I don’t tell them how I feel either.

Untitled_Artwork 16In reality I felt like a five year old standing with my teddy bear hanging by my side, crying, hoping someone would notice me. Give me a hug and just take care of me. I can’t
do this by myself self any longer! Somebody has to help me! But nobody noticed… Well maybe they noticed but didn’t act on it. Perhaps they did not want to interfere, I don’t know… I don’t know if things would be any different had I been someone else, I can only speak from my own experience.

Eventually I had two paths to take. End my own life or do one last effort to help myself. So I contacted the local health centre and the rest is kind of history. Now I sort of know what’s “wrong” with me, and I am going to work on my distorted thoughts of independence. I guess I have to come to realise that it’s okay to be dependent on other people and I don’t have to do everything on my own.

As usual I don’t know where I’m going with this other than I wanted to blurt out my thoughts and feelings. Take care everyone.

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What defines an alcoholic?

What is an alcoholic? What criteria is there? I know there is a difference between being alcohol dependent and abusing alcohol. I am not dependent on alcohol but I am (was?) definitely abusing it.

The first time I heard the song Chandelier by Sia I had an aha-moment, I thought that song was written from my life! Then I learned that the song was about alcoholism and I was like ”whaaaat…? But this can’t be me?”.

I always do everything with the “all or nothing” state of mind. Just as my father did. And yes, he was sort of dependent on alcohol. When i drink, I drink to get drunk. That is my goal. To get numb. To get as far away from reality, from my anxiety, my depression. From myself and my thoughts. And of course to drown all my sorrows. Classy… But what else do you do when you are so desperate that all you want to do is disappear but you’re to cowardly to actually take your own life?

I would say that 9 out of 10 times when I was walking home from a party or the club I broke down in tears even before I got to my front door. I had failed. With everything. I couldn’t hold it in for one more second! I wanted to die, but I didn’t know how! It was probably a FullSizeRender 3matter of time before I did something drastic and desperate like getting in front of a moving car, plunge down the stream we have running through our town or devour all the pills I could find in my apartment. But for some reason, God knows what, I didn’t…

One night about three months ago I had an epiphany and realized I had a weird relationship with alcohol. That night I drank my last glasses of wine and the next day I got rid of all the booze I could find in my apartment. I haven’t had a single drop of alcohol since. Speaking of doing everything all or nothing… But I’m still not sure what I am doing?

I’ve heard that there is such a thing as drinking to celebrate situations. I wonder what that’s like… I’d like to know. Maybe I’ll never find out. Maybe I can never have a glass of wine again?

Do I dare to have another drink again? Will I fall down the well of self-destruction once more? I don’t know… I have so many questions about this it’s not even funny. I could really use some guidance here because I have no clue of how I should be dealing with this!

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How to fight your depression

Getting over a depression is beyond any doubt easier said than done. Sometimes you need to get professional help. But there are some little thing you can do to make it a bit easier for you.

I quite rapidly doodled some of the things that have helped me during my depression. I have more tips than this but I ran out of space! Mayby I’ll do a second one later.

You can download the PDF-file in the Free Downloads section. Mabye you find something that helps you.

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I want to wish all of you a lovely weekend! I’m at work this weekend but when I’m done with Sunday I have 4 weeks vacation! Do you say vacation or holiday? I can never figure out what word to use, but you get my point!

Much love, Anna.

Depression – ain’t it funny

I’ve always been able to make people laugh. I have this kind of sarcastic way of speaking that probably make people not knowing wether I’m joking or not. I wonder if this is some kind of wall I put up so the people around me won’t see how broken I’ve been on the inside? It’s kind of nice to hide behind it. But the downside is that you completely fall apart when no one is watching.

Since I was told by my therapist that i was depressed I kind of have broken down my own wall a bit and shown the people around me that I actually have been feeling unhappy for a long time. A few of them of course already knew, because I’d told them. Some of my co-workers was so surprised by this and said ”you could never tell because you’re so happy when you’re at work with us”. I remember I told a friend at work one day ”I can’t do this anymore, I can’t resist this depression”. I felt so tired of putting up this wall and right then and there I decided that I would be completely honest from now on if anyone asked me how I felt. I felt such a relief when I made that decision.

I definitely feel sort of schizophrenic at times. On one hand I am this super confident girl who, on the outside, has all her shit together. A girl who pushes everybody to believe they can do or become anything they want. That tell people they are worth only the best in life and that they should only do things that make them happy.

But then, when it comes to myself, I kind of don’t care. It is difficult to practice what you preach and it becomes sort of hypocritical. Being kind to yourself is a million times harder than being kind to others. Why am I not as important? Why do I not deserve all things I am telling others they do? I don’t know… I am super sensitive to criticism and I am definitely one of those who if I get 99 praises and one negative comment I’m going to dwell on that negative comment for the rest of my life.

This is something my therapist told me I Untitled_Artwork 11have to work on. Being nice to myself and allowing the little girl inside who is sad to actually be sad. It’s okay to have all these different emotions. Before I have unconsciously smothered the little girl inside me and told her to shape up! Stop being such a wuss! What I should do is take the little girls hand and say ”it’s okay, we’re in this together. We can get through this”.

I find this so very hard to do. I mean the big girl inside me gets it! I understand that it does not make me feel better to put myself down. But it’s difficult… I guess that has something to do with the self destructive mind I have.

To sum this blather up (don’t even know where I’m going with this), you could say I am two personalities in one body. One of them is the little depressed girl that keep feeling like she isn’t worth a goddamn thing. And then there is the big girl who understands exactly what to do. The smart and funny one. I think I need to let her take care of the little one…

As for now they sort of work in opposite directions.

I know what it feels like to want to die

I keep hesitating wether to write this or not. Even now, it takes me like 10 minutes to continue writing. I don’t know what it is that’s stopping me really. I have no problem talking about my mental health (or lack of it at some times), but at the same time I would never want to force it onto anyone! But you know what? You are here now, so I guess you are kind of interested. And if not, then go on surfing the web, I won’t mind!

I come from a small family. Just me, my mom and my dad. Seeing that I didn’t grow up with any siblings I got pretty much whatever I wanted. And by wanted I don’t mean material stuff, more like peace and quiet whenever I wanted. For you that maybe sounds like a dream. But that ”dream life” would come and bite me so hard later in life!

Up to the age of 24 I had lived my life pretty much in my own protected world, thinking that I had the perfect life and all my shit together. Except for one short relationship that fucked me up a bit.

Then life hit me. It hit me like a god damn wrecking ball right through the heart. First of all my dad, who I really hadn’t have the best relationship with stopped drinking and we started to rebuild our relationship. Just as we got on good terms with each other he got diagnosed with cancer.Untitled_Artwork-4

And let me tell you my dad was no pansy. He was a police officer in good physical condition. He told me that everything was going to be fine and he would get thorough this. Well, he didn’t! I had to see my strong father fade away and die and there was nothing I could do! He had fought so hard to get sober and we had just got our relationship back on track. And then he dies?! Our trio has turned into a duo. My mom got really week and I had to kind of take the role as the parent. We somehow got through it and kept living our lives, though it would never be the same again.

Untitled_Artwork-7 kopia.jpgDays turned into weeks that turned into months. I started to get really bad anxiety at this moment and used alcohol to numb it. I drank to escape my life. I drank to get some relief from the anxiety and all the sadness I felt. I drank myself into humiliation. I drank myself into accidents. I drank myself into total blackouts. But somehow I had to wake up to the same shitty life. A family that had fallen appart and got replaced with anxiety. And hangovers from hell.Untitled_Artwork-5

Two years after my father died my grandmother, who I was very close to, died as well. This did not help with my depression and anxiety. No surprise it got worse and my first thought of wanting to die appeared. Since I am raised to be very independent I thought that I should manage this on my own, but eventually I came to the conclusion that I had to get professional help. Since I had (and still have) a strong sense of self preservation I ensured myself that I got to the doctor and got help.

Long story short here. I got medication that made me want to kill myself even more. I still drank like an alcoholic. Mixing medication, alcohol and a bicycle one night turned me into a maniac and I drove right into a concrete wall, cracked my forehead (not the skull, thank God), and hurt pretty much every part of my body and destroyed the bike. You would think this would make me stop drinking but it didn’t.

Untitled_Artwork-1Again days turned to weeks that turned into month. Life went on. Partying the anxiety away.

I stopped taking the antidepressant after a few months. I kept on with my anxiety pills though. Mixing them with alcohol when I got really desperate.

Another year and a half went by after my grandmother died and then my uncle died. My already very small family had basically disappeared within just a few years and I had no idea what was happening. I got numb and kind of shrug my shoulders and thought ”Okay, who’s next? Why don’t you take them all at once and make the pain short!?” I should mention that I do not have a family of my own, so I’m pretty much alone in this.

As I said I got pretty numb after this. Didn’t care much. Especially not about myself. I couldn’t care less. I was kind of hoping something bad would happen to me so I didn’t have to do it myself. That’s probably why I drank myself helplessly drunk most of the times. That was my get away. Of course I had to wake up to even more anxiety than the night before. It was a very self destructive behaviour. All I wanted was someone to notice me screaming for help.

This takes us to this year. The year that I got enough. My thoughts of wanting to die got stronger than ever and I got more and more desperate. These feelings couldn’t be cured over a cup of coffee with friends. So I gave it one last try and contacted my local help center one more time. This time I was honest about my suicidal thoughts and I got transferred to a CBT-therapist. I had to take several tests and I was diagnosed with depression, and also anxiety that kind of goes hand in hand with depression.

I also acknowledged to myself that I had sort of a drinking problem and stopped cold turkey. I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in three months as I’m writing this. If it is for the rest of my life or not, I don’t know… We’ll see.Untitled_Artwork-3

Anyway, I got a new medication. I was terrified to start taking it considering the side effects of the last medication. However, I braced myself, took my first pill, lay on the sofa and expected the worse.

But the ”worse” never came. You know, it’s like you are closing your eyes preparing for someone to hit you but the fist that is going to punch you never comes, and you slowly start to open one eye, hoping nothing is going to happen. Thats what it felt like. As I’m currently writing this I have just open both my eyes and I grant myself permission to feel at ease. Maybe there is hope this time?

Considering my therapy, I can’t go into all the details because you’d get bored out of your mind. And if you have been reading this far my guess is that you are pretty exhausted by now. But I can tell you that I have a lot to work on and I’m getting help by CBT – cognitive behavioral therapy, alongside my antidepressant.

To get back to my so called dream childhood. Let’s just say that it did not prepare me for the bitch called life. I am not a bitter person by any means and I actually love life, but nowadays you could say I’m more on guard of what might come for me.

I should mention that depression probably runs in my family, it is hereditary. You don’t just automatically get depression because some folks around you die. But it could be a trigger.

Finally I want to give you some advice if you don’t feel well. Seek out for help! I know it’s kind of an cliche at this point but it’s very important that you know there IS hope! And do not feel ashamed if you are sad, depressed or have anxiety. You do know that depression is an illness and that you need medication to restore your serotonin levels in your brain, right? You can’t think away these problems.

And even if it isn’t depression, maybe you are just feeling sad, tell someone! If you feel like you can’t tell anyone of your families or friends then call your local health center.

If you feel like you want to talk to me, or ask me some questions, just click on the ”Wanna talk?”-link and send me an email! Sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone you don’t know.

Take care everyone, remember that you are all valuable and life is worth living.

And thank you if you have read all through to the end. All my love to you!

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