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My name is Julianna, and this is my first time ever using this website. I suppose this domain is used to open up, and tell people about what is going on in your head that made me feel the need to join this website. Believe me – I’m not a sharer. I’m known to be to myself and shove all of these awful thoughts and feelings I have into my head, and try very hard to make sure they are shown. But allow me to be cheesy and insert a line from an amazing book and film known as “The Fault in our Stars”. the famous line reads, “THAT’S THE THING ABOUT PAIN. IT DEMANDS TO BE FELT.” I’ve learned over the past years of suffering from mental illnesses that this quote is very true. No matter how hard I try to seem perfect, I’m an emotional roller-coaster that seems to only go downhill.
Let me start of by saying how my issues started. I believe I started having social anxiety ever since I was little because of my parent’s divorce – but it became very noticeable once I was a freshman in high school. I remember being in a crowded room at a church camp one summer – being extremely overwhelmed. Long story short, and giant room full of loud kids that I didn’t know caused me to have a panic attack and I ran out of the building. How humiliating, I know. After that my social anxiety became much more noticeable in my daily life. I became scared of being in any crowds, I couldn’t be in places where I didn’t know anyone, and I became much more distant when it came to meeting new people. I still struggle with social anxiety – and my best friend is one of the most extroverted people you’ll ever meet. So whenever I do decide to open up and tell him that I’m struggling – he doesn’t understand and thinks I’m just overreacting.
Also – I struggle with anorexia & body dysmorphia. This all started when I began high school. I was best friends with the prettiest girl as our school who also happened to have the most perfect body. I remember specifically being at a football game with her at my school and everyone walking up to her saying how beautiful she was and then them looking at me saying “I like your hair.” I don’t know about you but that seems like quite the slap in the face. I was also having to deal with social media and seeing all of these beautiful people that I idolized and wanted to be. And to me – not eating seemed like the quickest solution. I went from being 120 pounds (which isn’t overweight by any means) to a whopping 78 pounds in one year. As a freshman in high school – being 78 pounds is insanely uncommon. I was judged by everyone – people saying I looked sick or like a walking corpse. People would look at me and just hand me food saying I needed to “fatten up” but in my head I was thinking I needed to lose 10 more pounds because I couldn’t wrap my fingers around my bicep. I’ve gotten better with my eating after medication – but I still struggle with body dysmorphia. I will look in the mirror and believe I weigh 500 pounds when in reality I’m 90. Every now and then I won’t be eating at all in a day – but I’ve been able to get myself to eat at least once a day. Which is major improvement.
I also struggle with “depression” I put that in quotes because I’ve never been diagnosed but I have all symptoms. I suffer from great sadness about my life and who I am as a person. I most days feel worthless, and I feel as if I’m a waste of space. I don’t feel joyful or excited about many things. I spend my days locked in my room – feeling alone and unwanted. I surround myself with awful thoughts and sad music and watch sad movies and read sad quotes. I tell myself constantly how ugly, untalented, pointless, and sad my entire existence is. It’s as blunt and harsh as that.
There’s a little insight of my mind – and what I deal will day to day. If you read all of this – you’re a trooper.
Welcome to TurningPointCT! Thank you so much for sharing this incredible piece with us. There are so many of us who can relate to these feelings that you are feeling. And that’s the most important thing for you to remember- you are not alone.
Please check out some of the stories that users have posted- you may find something you can relate to. I have always found it easier to talk about my mental illness when it’s apparent that someone else has felt the same feelings.
Also, feel free to check out some of our resources if you feel comfortable.
Again, welcome to TurningPointCT- we are happy to have you!
Hi Juliana! I’m Eliza 🙂 I’m so happy you wrote all of that. I can relate to a lot you said. Like basically all of it. So with that, I can understand the difficulty in opening up.
Body dysmorphia is so hard to deal with. I am also in recovery from an eating disorder, and I honestly think ‘disordered thinking’ is the worst- its silent, invisible, and so so embedded into our everyday thoughts and internal dialogue. And its almost scary to realize how deceiving your own perception of yourself can be. I can look at pictures of myself at ‘low-weights’ and be shocked by how sick and small I look, but I’m always more shocked remembering how fat I felt at the time. Our minds are so scary and powerful sometimes. Even though I’m at a ‘healthy weight’, rarely restrict (like you said, about how eating once a day is an accomplishment- I still almost unconsciously use a lot of my eating disorder behaviors- but not to the level I did before, and my thoughts are much quieter and easier to cope with), and never binge or purge anymore, I STILL have disordered thoughts CONSTANTLY. But, in the theme of favorite quotes, one of mine is “I’m not where I need to be, but thank god I’m not where I used to be”. I think about that every day and constantly remind myself how far I’ve come. I think it can be easy to forget what our lives used to feel like once we get used to a certain level of recovery and new normalcy- and of course, as life is never perfect, it can be easy to get caught up in how shitty things are right now, forgetting our strength and perseverance through so much more.
I also have depression, I know you said you don’t have a diagnosis, but would you ever want one? Everyone’s path of recovery is different- and meds certainly are not a panacea, and for some are not even a piece of their recovery. But I know early in my recovery, before I had more ‘tools’ and had gone through different treatments and what-not, that anti-depressants where pretty vital to my stability. I am no longer medicated, by the way, and definitely support people doing whatever works for them- but I know suffering silently is one of the hardest and loneliest things.
Anyways, this is ridiculously long.
I hope you come back to the forum, and can find some love, support, and understanding here.
Thank you so much for opening up and sharing your story with us. I know that isn’t always an easy task to do. I can definitely relate to some if the things you mentioned. I love this site because it helps me connect with others who may be going through similar things that I am without actually having to be with them in person. I also like it because I can reach out for help if I am in need of it too. I hope you come back to the site and find it useful. 🙂
TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help.
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