miss_invisible: (hh: sad alot)
Kind of a slim month for the carnival, but here it is!

Over at A Multitude of Musings, Astrid writes A Self Care Plan for Triggers, listing her known triggers and ways to cope.

CBTish writes about the varied and potentially misleading ways of defining depression and finding individual solutions for self-care in The Net.

Finally, here at Miss Invisible, I discussed the role my pets play in my self-care in my post Pets and Depression.
miss_invisible: (garfield: love)
One of the best things I've done for my mental health seems, on the surface, wildly counter-intuitive: taking care of something else. For much of my life there have been pets in my house, but that stopped when I was in high school (except for the fish tank), and I didn't keep any in college either. The summer after I graduated, though, I found myself pining for a pet, and a local guinea pig rescue was having an adoption event in my area. I hemmed and hawed about it– I was in a pretty bad place at the time, still, and I was afraid the responsibility of keeping a pet would be too much for me to handle. I decided to go to the adoption event and see if there were even any guinea pigs I liked before making any final decision.

My mind kind of got made up for me; once I was there, I fell absolutely in love with a little smooth brown piggy with a delicate little face and silky fur. She took to me as soon as I picked her up, snuggling right in against my chest and licking my fingers, and I knew I had to have her. I got her a friend a little later, too, since they're social animals. Well, that was the goal, at any rate– they have a love/hate sort of frenemy relationship, so we'll call them Blair and Serena. Serena is a large albino abyssinian/peruvian cross, so she has fluffy, crazy hair. She sheds everywhere, but she's also the most trusting, cuddly piggy I've ever had, and she falls asleep in my lap on a regular basis.

They were the best decision I've made in a while. On my bad days, knowing I have innocent and essentially helpless creatures depending on me helps drag me out of bed and get me going when I might otherwise be tempted not to move. No matter how low I might feel, they're always happy to see me. Watching them play when I let them run around the floor for their daily exercise always makes me smile. When I'm lonely or depressed, they'll cuddle on my lap and purr. They're always a bright spot in the day, even if nothing else is going right. As I type this, Blair is rooting around for hay, and Serena is watching me from the front of the cage. Caring for them is caring for myself.
miss_invisible: (gws: pals)
I'm very pleased to be hosting the Blog Carnival of Mental Health for the month of April! This month's theme will be self care. I think all of us have a wide range of different opinions, experiences, and strategies surrounding this topic, so let's hear your thoughts!

To submit a post for the carnival, you can either:
1) comment to this post with a link
2) DW message me with a link
3) email me a link at nyx [dot] invisible [at] gmail [dot] com

If at all possible, I'd like to have submissions in by the 27th of the month so I'll have time to get the post together even if I'm low on spoons and/or time. However, I'll accept entries up until the post goes up on the 30th. I'm looking forward to seeing what you have to say!
miss_invisible: (garfield: love)
Astrid just posted the entries in the first Blog Carnival of Mental Health. You can find the full list of submissions here. Definitely worth a read!

•The second round of the carnival will be hosted at CBTish on the theme of 'night.' If you have something to submit this month, you can do so here.

•The Disability Blog Carnival this month will be on the theme of long nights and what we need to get through them and hosted by Rolling Around in My Head.
miss_invisible: (gws: aaaaaaah!)
This month's theme for the blog carnival comes at an apt time for me. For whatever reason, late at night (or technically early in the morning, really) tends to be the most difficult time for me, the time when anxiety or depression or both reach a critical mass. I'm also a terrible insomniac, and lately my schedule has been skewed to the point of my being essentially nocturnal. Night is when I am awake– but no one else is. The isolation doesn't help matters, I'm sure.

I want to talk about a particular long night. Read more... )
miss_invisible: (gws: Erin sadface)
I've been living with my anxiety/depression cocktail for a long time. If I had to estimate, I'd say, to be conservative, it's been at least eight years. The beginning, as I've said before, is hard to pinpoint. I knew something was wrong, of course– how could I not have? Yet I resisted seeking medical help for years. In my freshman year of college I had some sessions with one of the campus health center's counselors, a masters student. She was kind, and I liked her, but she wasn't a professional. We talked a lot about "managing stress." That same year, I talked to my GP about my attendant physical symptoms– she ran my blood and proclaimed me perfectly healthy.

I was relieved. I knew what was wrong with me, I'm sure we all did, but no one said those words aloud. Read more... )
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