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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

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.

Impostor syndrome and being validated

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Impostor Syndrome is when you feel like you can’t accept your accomplishments. You feel that you don’t deserve the congratulations or acknowledgement over what you achieved because you feel like it was luck. You feel like at any moment someone is going to call you a fraud for what you achieved.

It’s not uncommon for people to feel this way. I know that once I learned what Impostor Syndrome was it clicked with how I have been feeling. I feel that no one should congratulate me or appreciate what I accomplished but at the same time I need that validation. These two emotions are very confusing and can cause me internal conflict.

When I achieve something I appreciate it for a while, someone will congratulate me or validate me and it feels nice at first, and after a while I feel like a fraud and that I need to be more or accomplish more because what I have done isn’t enough.

I think for me personally I can be a little self centered because I keep thinking about myself. I think about what others think of me. I worry that any mistake I do will just wipe out anything I accomplished in their eyes.

Some things that might help you with Impostor Syndrome

1 – Try to accept when people give me compliments or congratulate me on my accomplishments. Try not to overthink it. When I find myself doing this you have to remind myself that you’re enough. You don’t need to be amazing or perfect at something.

2 – Try to be more self accepting of my accomplishments. Try to find things you appreciate in your life. It can be as simple as being able to brush your teeth or cleaning the kitchen. Life is a journey and you should appreciate the good and the bad.

3 – Be open about your emotions because talking about it can be freeing. Creating this blog or blog posts is a way for me to express myself.

4 – Try to remind yourself that trying new things and potentially making mistakes is okay. It’s better to try and make mistakes and improve than to never try at all.

5 – I like encouraging and supporting others in their accomplishments and success. It doesn’t matter how big or small it might seem.

6 – You can reward myself with things I enjoy like watching anime, playing games, listening to audible, etc…

Sometimes I get nervous about being open and honest but I think it’s important that more people talk about their struggles or mental health. I just want you to know that you matter and your feelings are valid. Your accomplishments should be celebrated no matter if it’s big or small.

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Learning how to relax when you feel like you’re not good enough.

I have been trying to learn to relax again. I feel that I need to constantly be doing something. I feel that even when I’m successful at something that I should be doing more. That what I accomplished isn’t enough. Sometimes this isn’t a bad thing but when you’re constantly obsessing about not being enough it can wreck havoc on your mental and physical health.

It gets old when I constantly feel inadequate because I don’t have a job because of my mental health. It doesn’t make me any less of a person. I’m doing my best with the time I have. I do still have goals I want to achieve and I do want to keep improving. I also want to be able to relax sometimes. To just be able to play some games, watch anime, read a ton of books, and start working on my writing more.

It’s weird to me that this is what I’m struggling with again. I’m trying to live in the present and not worry about the future. I can’t predict everything that might happen in the future and that’s okay.

The same way I try to help and encourage others when I’m messaging people on crisis text line as a counselor. I’m learning I shouldn’t be so hard on myself either. If I was to talk to a friend or someone I care about and judge them and talk negatively to them. The same way I do to myself they wouldn’t be a part of my life for long. I just have this one life to live and I want to make the most of it.