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About me and why I created this blog

Sharing the joy of movement and raising awareness for mental health.
My name is Jasmine, 28, engaged, bisexual, cat mom, mental health advocate, and fitness enthusiast.
Mental illness has a stigma and some people feel alone because of it. I know I used to feel alone because of it. I’m using fitness and mindfulness to survive with borderline personality disorder, schizpaffective, and bipolar. I want to educate people on what mental health is like and how they can help the people in their lives who struggle or deal with mental illness. I also want others to know they are not alone in this battle. That they can make it.
Fitness is also another passion of mine and I think more people should embrace it. Fitness and running helped me quit smoking cigarettes. I want people to live the best life they can.

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jazzyfitness_journey/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JazzyFitness1

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JazzyFitness1/

Strava – https://www.strava.com/athletes/18880651

Mental Health, Identity Crisis, and Pregnancy

The start of the new decade. I decided not to make any resolutions but make goals instead. There isn’t a New year and New me. I’m the same as I was before. I just learned and improved and will continue to do so. I don’t think you have to change everything about yourself each year. Just continue working on your physical and mental health and improving yourself.

This pregnancy has been a bit of a roller coaster. I feel guilty for still dealing with my mental health and that doesn’t make sense. Being pregnant doesn’t cure me of the mental illness I was dealing with before. I feel like I have to hide this at times and only mention it occasionally but put some positive in there as well. People expect pregnancy to be a bunch of joy and everything is fine. That is farther from the truth. I have been dealing with anxiety, depression, identity crisis, and Impostor Syndrome. I tell myself I shouldn’t feel this way because a lot of people have it worse and I’m very fortunate to have my partner and support from my community online and family though this. Even with all of this I have to remind myself that mental health doesn’t care about any of that. It’s okay to not be completely happy or okay while pregnant. Your mental health or mental illness doesn’t take a break. Make sure to look after yourself as well.

I talked to my doctor about it during my second trimester and am prescribed Zoloft which is helping some what. I have been focusing on starting to get things done each day. Like reading for at least 30 minutes or practicing mindfulness for at least 10 minutes. Recently I have realized that even though I want to help people with mental health and mental illness that I haven’t been working on the deep issues that I have or my mental illness as much as I thought I was doing. Thankfully I have been able to keep running and my workouts during my pregnancy. I’m currently in my third trimester and I’m 29 weeks pregnant. I have a picture from 28 weeks pregnant but not much size change has happened. I’m working on a lot right now like dealing with the fear of death, my past, working on staying in the present, etc..I think this will be a life long journey so I’m trying not to be to hard on myself.

I feel like a lot of my accomplishments are fake and feel like I need to do more. I feel like someone is going to call me a fake because I don’t know enough information. There have been a lot of days dealing with this as well. Acknowledging the faulty thinking and forgiving myself for it. Forgiving myself for having such high expectations on myself. Identity crisis seems to be a permanent personality trait and it is very frustrating. I second guess my religious choices and I’m not sure why I keep doing this. I think it might be because of my Borderline Personality Disorder. This year I’m looking into Wicca and Christianity and figuring out which would be best for me. I know there are Christian Wiccan but I prefer to keep those two things separate. I will not be forcing myself to choose something out of fear or guilt of disappointing anyone.

One of the accomplishments that I’m really proud of is getting to level 8 on Crisis Text Line. I have helped a little over 1,000 texters and I can’t wait to continue with this journey. Planning to work on posting and interacting on my blog more, reading 12 books this year, mindfulness, self-care, self-love, and keeping my mind and body healthy. I’m really proud of my mom who has started her own health and fitness journey this year.

Being pregnant has changed my views on a lot of things and has changed my priorities. I want to be a good role model, it’s having me look at how I treat myself and others more, I’m amazed with seeing my baby and feeling her move, and I’m so excited to see her but I’m also nervous. The only thing I can do is try to keep improving and being gentle with myself when I have bad days or moments.

Pregnancy and a New Year doesn’t change you or bad behaviors over night. It takes time and patience and learning self-love. It’s okay if you’re not at the place you thought you would be at by this age. It’s okay that you have times where you struggle. Be gentle with yourself and reach out for help when you need it. You deserve to feel supported. You can text HOME to 741741 to get support.

I have to remind myself to do this at times. Be gentle with yourself and know that you matter.

Are you worried about the end of the year?

I have been procrastinating on writing this blog the majority of today. I’m also sorry for the lack of consistency with my posts. I think about posting and talk myself out of it.

Each year will eventually end and that makes sense. Yet when the months start getting closer to December my mind goes into flight or fight mode. I start obsessively thinking of what I have been doing each month and if I was productive enough, I spent my time wisely, I question my worth, etc..I do this each and every year. It’s driving me nuts, to be honest.

I feel the need to explain myself to people and to somehow justify my existence. Why I deserve to even be alive. Justify why I don’t work or why I never graduated from college. I’m trying my best to stop overly explaining things. If people are going to judge me based on the limited information they are missing out on expanding and learning about other people.

I’m sure I have mentioned this before but I didn’t think I would live past 18 years old and with each passing year I’m amazed that I’m still alive. Not because I go through something traumatic each year or because I have a life-threating illness. Dealing with untreated mental health I felt like I would have ended my life by or before 18 years old.

My goal in life and the reason I think I’m alive is to try to help and support others when I can, accept the good and the bad that happens, spend time with loved ones, make choices that will make me happy even if others don’t agree, and to live in the moment.

Maybe in the past, I felt that attempting to stay positive all the time or at least reject any negative thoughts or emotions was the right thing to do. I believe I even told people that before. My views on it are a bit different now. Now I believe that it’s okay to acknowledge your negative thoughts or emotions. You don’t have to ignore them and pretend like they don’t exist but the important thing is to not dwell on them and let it control you. Doing my best to be consistent with mindfulness can be helpful.

Volunteering with the Crisis Text Line has also helped me feel like I can help others feel less alone and offer them support.

It’s almost the end of November and the beginning of December and I’m starting to panic a little but am doing my best to practice self-care and mindfulness. Dealing with mental illness each day, month, and the year is a struggle but all we can do is our best to make it through life. Embracing the good and the bad and not feeling like a horrible human being when we have our bad days.

Sometimes I wonder if my blogs make sense or if people are reading them. At this point, I do enjoy posting here and it can help relieve stress but I need to work on the negative self-talk I do with myself when I attempt to blog or even work on my creative writing projects.

We are all a work in progress, we will never know everything, and that is okay. You don’t have to wait until a New Year to work on yourself or make goals. You can start anytime you want. That’s what I keep telling myself as well. You don’t have to constantly judge yourself for how you spent your year. It doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or 40 or older because it’s okay to still be learning and improving. It’s okay to not have everything figured out.

There is only so much planning someone can do and even those plans won’t work out the way you want all the time. All we can do it try our best and attempt to live the best lives we can.

I’m pregnant and update

I found out I was pregnant in August. It was a shock to me and my partner. It’s unexpected and not planned. Last month has felt hectic mainly because I had to deal with nausea, constantly tired, I was put on bed rest which sucks, etc..

I’m a very active person and I enjoy running, riding my bike, HIIT, strength training with and without weights, etc..Exercising was a way for me to stay physically healthy and mentally healthy. I was told to stop taking my medications last month. At first, I didn’t experience a lot of symptoms from my mental health so I wasn’t too concerned. Some people had fewer symptoms from their mental health while pregnant. That is not the case with me. When I was put on bed rest I thought I could enjoy binging anime or shows or movies, playing games, and reading books. Possibly coloring in my app or adult coloring books. I have been dealing with anxiety over if the baby is okay and the future. I worry about if I will be a good mom or not. It’s hard for me to stay focused on things.

Last month and the start of this month has honestly been a struggle. My parents and family are excited about the pregnancy but I sometimes have mixed feelings about it. Even though I have had my ultrasound and over 10 positive pregnancy tests it still feels a bit unreal. I’m excited and very scared.

I have been able to binge-watch a few episodes of an anime and started watching Demon Slayer. Looked more into Wicca and read a little more into 26 Marathons by Meb Keflezighi.

I’m doing my best to start practicing self-care and self-love. My goals have changed but it’s okay. Some days it’s better than others and other days I feel sad that some of my plans have to change.  I’m trying to forgive myself and not live in regret. I was able to complete a shift on Crisis Text Line recently and that made me feel amazing. I’m just trying to stay in the present and take it one day at a time. I’m hoping that I can get clear to start working out again and be put on some medications. I have walked slow and short and the good thing is I’m keeping my house cleaned. It’s the little things. I will get through this. I’m not a failure and I’m a work in progress.

Finding my way back Home – Wicca

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This post won’t be detailed information about Wicca. That will be in future posts. Just a little information about my journey so far.

I found Wicca when I was in Junior high school and instantly fell in love with it. I loved that there were Gods and Goddesses, that there was inner power within us, respect for nature and the Earth, and the rituals. I wanted to read as much information as possible. As much as it interested me it also scared me. I was told how evil it was and how they worshipped the devil. I knew it wasn’t true but that fear held for a while.

Some of my religious family members told me I was on my way to Hell. I’m bisexual and Wiccan and was told that both were sinful and evil. It took me years before I slowly started to accept myself. I didn’t really know anyone who practiced Wicca.

I sought others though the internet because that was the only place I could think of. There was a time where there was a New Age shop where I lived in Arkansas but it got closed. I have a good memory of going to a book store and purchasing a book of prayers for Wiccans. The cashier was Wiccan and we chatted for a little bit about it.

I also had a fear of people finding out I was Wiccan and making fun of me or seeing me as foolish for believing in it. I don’t care as much anymore. It feels like I’m going back home by fully allowing Wicca back into my life. I plan to set up an altar and celebrate the holidays and connect with more people online. I’m also trying to meet people where I live who are practicing.

I have a tarot deck that I love. Yes, I believe in Tarot cards and I’m not ashamed in admitting that. I plan to post more about my Wiccan journey on here as well. Being Wiccan is helping me find peace. I think it will be of great help for my mental health.

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Hello, my name is Jasmine. I used to cut myself.

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You’re probably thinking that the title is weird. It’s a true statement, however. I posted a blog with more information about self-injury, treatment, risks, etc.. here https://endthestigmaandfitness.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/why-do-people-self-injure/

This post, however, will be about my personal experience with self-injury. TRIGGER WARNING if detailed or personal accounts of self-injury will trigger you I advise you not to read any further. Your safety is important. If you or someone you know needs or wants further support text “HOME” to 741741 and a live counselor will be there for you. 

I don’t remember what age I started harming myself. I just knew I didn’t want to feel the intense emotions or racing thoughts anymore. I’m not even sure what made me think harming myself could help. I just knew I needed to release the emotions inside of me. So I scratched my arm with a key. The marks didn’t stay but were red for a while. Whenever I felt intense emotions, racing thoughts, or no emotion at all. I would turn to my key to harm myself. I went from a key to a plastic cover from a cd case, to a lid of a can of food, and eventually to razor blades.

I was always talked about in school but it got really bad when I moved from Chicago to Arkansas. I don’t know why it happened but it did. Maybe it was because I was quiet or preferred spending my time in the library rather than a lunchroom. The rumors were that I slept my way to good grades, that I was an easy lay, that I was a bitch, etc..

Most of the time when I got home I couldn’t wait to get to my razor blades. I would cut my upper thighs and my arms. I felt relief at the moment but afterward, I had to clean and bandage the wounds. It almost became like a type of ritual for me. I remember one day I decided to cut the word failure on my arm. That’s how I felt and I wanted everyone to know it. I wasn’t worth it. At least that’s what I thought. One of my younger sisters told my parents about it. It wasn’t a great situation to be in. Thankfully the word didn’t scar into my arm. It healed so now you don’t see it anymore.

 

I cut to feel in control of my life when I felt like I had no control or hope or will to live. I was tired of what was going on at school. When I graduated high school the inner pain still remained. I was tired of the situations in my home and I was just tired of being on this Earth. The only way I knew how to cope was to keep cutting my skin. I made excuses for fresh wounds. There was a time where the blood seeped through my pants on my thigh. It wasn’t much but it was noticed. I lied and said it was a ketchup spill. I threw the pants away afterward

 

When I stopped cutting myself I used promiscuity as a form of self-destruction. I knew the partners I was with didn’t care about me.

I struggled and still struggle with self-injury. Some urges are stronger than others. I haven’t cut myself in years. I feel proud of that accomplishment. I use exercise, therapy, medications, and self-care as ways to cope with these urges.

Writing and sharing my experiences is scary because it’s out on the internet but I feel that I should do this. That we need to break the stigma around this. It’s also a form of therapy for me to be honest. 

Why do people self-injure?

Self-injury, Self-harm, or self-mutilation is deliberating harming your own body as a way to cope with emotions, lack of emotions, or situations. Self-injury can bring a moment of relief but it’s usually followed by guilt and shame.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of self-injury may include:

  • Scars, often in patterns
  • Fresh cuts, scratches, bruises, bite marks or other wounds
  • Excessive rubbing of an area to create a burn
  • Keeping sharp objects on hand
  • Wearing long sleeves or long pants, even in hot weather
  • Frequent reports of accidental injury
  • Difficulties in interpersonal relationships
  • Behavioral and emotional instability, impulsivity and unpredictability
  • Statements of helplessness, hopelessness or worthlessness

Forms of self-injury

Self-injury usually occurs in private and is done in a controlled or ritualistic manner that often leaves a pattern on the skin. Examples of self-harm include:

  • Cutting (cuts or severe scratches with a sharp object)
  • Scratching
  • Burning (with lit matches, cigarettes or heated, sharp objects such as knives)
  • Carving words or symbols on the skin
  • Self-hitting, punching or head banging
  • Piercing the skin with sharp objects
  • Inserting objects under the skin

 

Most frequently, the arms, legs and front of the torso are the targets of self-injury, but any area of the body may be used for self-injury. People who self-injure may use more than one method to harm themselves.

Becoming upset can trigger an urge to self-injure. Many people self-injure only a few times and then stop. But for others, self-injury can become a long-term, repetitive behavior.

When to see a doctor

If you’re injuring yourself, even in a minor way, or if you have thoughts of harming yourself, reach out for help. Any form of self-injury is a sign of bigger issues that need to be addressed.

Talk to someone you trust — such as a friend, loved one, doctor, spiritual leader, or a school counselor, nurse or teacher — who can help you take the first steps to successful treatment. While you may feel ashamed and embarrassed about your behavior, you can find supportive, caring and nonjudgmental help.

When a friend or loved one self-injures

If you have a friend or loved one who is self-injuring, you may be shocked and scared. Take all talk of self-injury seriously. Although you might feel that you’d be betraying a confidence, self-injury is too big a problem to ignore or to deal with alone. Here are some ways to help.

  • Your child. You can start by consulting your pediatrician or other health care provider who can provide an initial evaluation or a referral to a mental health professional. Express your concern, but don’t yell at your child or make threats or accusations.
  • Preteen or teenage friend. Suggest that your friend talk to parents, a teacher, a school counselor or another trusted adult.
  • Adult. Gently express your concern and encourage the person to seek medical and mental health treatment.

When to get emergency help

If you’ve injured yourself severely or believe your injury may be life-threatening, or if you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

Also, consider these options if you’re having suicidal thoughts:

  • Call your mental health professional if you’re seeing one.
  • Call a suicide hotline. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or use their webchat on suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.
  • Seek help from your school nurse or counselor, teacher, doctor, or other health care provider.
  • Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
  • Contact a spiritual leader or someone else in your faith community.
  • Text “Home” to 741741 to talk to a text or message a live counselor

Causes

There’s no one single or simple cause that leads someone to self-injure. In general, self-injury may result from:

  • Poor coping skills. Nonsuicidal self-injury is usually the result of an inability to cope in healthy ways with psychological pain.
  • Difficulty managing emotions. The person has a hard time regulating, expressing or understanding emotions. The mix of emotions that triggers self-injury is complex. For instance, there may be feelings of worthlessness, loneliness, panic, anger, guilt, rejection, self-hatred or confused sexuality

Through self-injury, the person may be trying to:

  • Manage or reduce severe distress or anxiety and provide a sense of relief
  • Provide a distraction from painful emotions through physical pain
  • Feel a sense of control over his or her body, feelings, or life situations
  • Feel something — anything — even if it’s physical pain when feeling emotionally empty
  • Express internal feelings in an external way
  • Communicate depression or distressful feelings to the outside world
  • Be punished for perceived faults

Risk factors

Most people who self-injure are teenagers and young adults, although those in other age groups also self-injure. Self-injury often starts in the preteen or early teen years, when emotions are more volatile and teens face increasing peer pressure, loneliness, and conflicts with parents or other authority figures.

Certain factors may increase the risk of self-injury, including:

  • Having friends who self-injure. People who have friends who intentionally harm themselves are more likely to begin self-injuring.
  • Life issues. Some people who injure themselves were neglected, were sexually, physically or emotionally abused, or experienced other traumatic events. They may have grown up and still remain in an unstable family environment, or they may be young people questioning their personal identity or sexuality. Some people who self-injure are socially isolated.
  • Mental health issues. People who self-injure are more likely to be highly self-critical and be poor problem-solvers. In addition, self-injury is commonly associated with certain mental disorders, such as borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders.
  • Alcohol or drug use. People who harm themselves often do so while under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs.

Complications

Self-injury can cause a variety of complications, including:

  • Worsening feelings of shame, guilt and low self-esteem
  • Infection, either from wounds or from sharing tools
  • Permanent scars or disfigurement
  • Severe, possibly fatal injury
  • Worsening of underlying issues and disorders, if not adequately treated

Suicide risk

Although self-injury is not usually a suicide attempt, it can increase the risk of suicide because of the emotional problems that trigger self-injury. And the pattern of damaging the body in times of distress can make suicide more likely.

Prevention

There is no sure way to prevent your loved one’s self-injuring behavior. But reducing the risk of self-injury includes strategies that involve both individuals and communities. Parents, family members, teachers, school nurses, coaches or friends can help.

  • Identify someone at risk and offer help. Someone at risk can be taught resilience and healthy coping skills that can be used during periods of distress.
  • Encourage the expansion of social networks. Many people who self-injure feel lonely and disconnected. Helping someone form connections to people who don’t self-injure can improve relationship and communication skills.
  • Raise awareness. Learn about the warning signs of self-injury and what to do when you suspect it.
  • Encourage peers to seek help. Peers tend to be loyal to friends. Encourage children, teens, and young adults to avoid secrecy and reach out for help if they have a concern about a friend or loved one.
  • Talk about media influence. News media, music and other highly visible outlets that feature self-injury may nudge vulnerable children and young adults to experiment. Teaching children critical thinking skills about the influences around them might reduce the harmful impact.

Source – https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/self-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20350950 

 

I sometimes wonder why I was born

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This blog won’t be super positive and I’m sorry if that bothers you. You might not want to read this one. I thought I might warn you before you continue.

I sometimes wonder why I was even born. I sometimes wonder if it would have been better if I did die when I attempted suicide. I attempted multiple times. I didn’t think I would make it to the age of 18 years old and now I’m 28 and extremely confused about life.

I had plans that I wanted or at least plans I thought I should do. I messed up so much and trusted too many people. Being sucked in past memories has become a problem as well as being fearful of death and the future. I can’t control every outcome and it’s foolish to try. I compare myself to others a lot and I get upset with myself if I’m not being productive. Sometimes I’m filled with so much anxiety it feels like it’s paralyzing me so I just stay in bed.

A lot of the time I’m not sure if my accomplishments even matter or why I should feel proud of them at all. I wonder how “successful” people spend their time. I just overthink a lot if I didn’t make that obvious. I’m trying to keep my sanity and keep my mental health symptoms somewhat in check but sometimes I just want to just stop existing. The thing is it’s not hard for me to encourage and try to help others but sometimes when it comes to doing the same for me it can be like moving through molasses.

I think about people who are in worse situations than me and than proceed to berate myself for being selfish. I eat my emotions and confide mainly in my partner and therapist. I guess I’m confiding in my blog as well. I sometimes wonder if anyone cares about what I have to say. It’s hard to describe my emotions or the mental turmoil I feel sometimes. It seems that words can’t describe it enough.

I’m doing my best. I haven’t given up. I haven’t self-injured or attempted suicide or smoked a cigarette in a while. I’m hoping to keep this up. Part of the reason I blog is to try to find other people who might understand what this is like as well.

I sometimes wonder if it will ever truly be okay. If there will be a time where I don’t experience symptoms from mental health. I deal with life and function because of my medications. I wonder what it’s like to not be paranoid about death or have panic attacks or deal with borderline personality disorder.