Tag Archives: blogging

MS and Mental Health: An Unspoken Bridge

There’s a common misconception that Mental Health effects just the brain, not other parts of the body. Did you know that Multiple Sclerosis can be aggravated by mental health issues?

How does this happen? Stress. 

Stress causes an inflammatory response in MS patients and should always be taken seriously. When someone is having a mental health episode their body immediately is heightened with stress whether they have anxiety, depression, PTSD, or any other diagnosis. This can cause flare-ups and even possibly an MS relapse.

What can we do to help ourselves stay on track? When someone with MS is being treated with medication for a mental health diagnosis it’s important to have open communication between their psychiatrist and neurologist. Steroids and MS meds can throw off someone’s emotional state of mind so it’s good to be monitored by both healthcare providers especially if they are on a new MS medication. This will reassure the patient that their body and their mind are both being taken care of properly.

meditation-1000062_960_720.jpg

A lot of healthcare providers are simply unaware that this is such a struggle for many of us. The way I’ve worded it to my psychiatrist is that when my body is in distress it stresses out my mind, and when my mind is in distress it stresses out my body. It’s an endless cycle that can be definitely frustrating. It makes our bodies ache, and can make it difficult for us to go through our day to day routines.

The battle between the body and the mind is a long and tough battle but knowing what to be aware of is always a way to keep yourself safe. Please be sure to reach out to someone if you are ever struggling.

-Becca Elizabeth (A Punk With MS)

Advertisements

Season Changes.

MS and the heat have been quite the unfriendly combo to my body. When the humidity gets high I usually hermit out in the comfort of my air-conditioned living room. Fall being soon is quite the relief to me (as it is probably to some of my fellow msers too)

 

For those who don’t know, people with MS are usually hot/cold sensitive and lack temperature regulation in their bodies. If a room is too hot or too cold be sure to let your MS friend know so they won’t overheat or freeze. For me personally I really can’t tell when a room is too hot/cold or if it’s just me. I even have difficulty when it comes to shower temperature. I have to emphasize: not everyone with MS has this symptom but a lot of us do.

Between Therapy, self care, and doing my best not to go completely insane I’ve had my hands full.

Despite of our hardships with weather; I decided to make a list of the little things that are enjoyable especially during a day when the temperature is too extreme for you to go anywhere.

Netflix/YouTube (I’m huge on Rhett and Link lately. I also have a huge documentary kick going on)

Coffee. Nectar of the gods.

Watching the leaves turn color (I live in beautiful New England so this is highly enjoyable)

Sitting on the couch while listening to an audiobook

Craft. Make jewelry, crochet, or pick up a different hands-on activity.

Take a nap. Who doesn’t love naps?

Have a horror movie marathon with snacks.

Write poetry or draw something you’ve been thinking about a lot.

Start a journal.

Bake homemade bread or pastries.

I hope these ideas help. Please be sure to rest and take care of yourselves especially through the upcoming weather changes. Your body will ache and maybe go haywire for a bit but everything will be okay ❤ When winter strikes be sure to come back and read this list. Staying inside to to avoid hot/cold sensitivity is the absolute worst. It can get really boring.

-Rebecca Elizabeth (A Punk With MS)

 

 

 

 

Hope.

Multiple Sclerosis is terrifying. It’s lack of control. You may wonder how to gain control of your life back. The first step is taking a deep breath and realizing that no matter how rough things get you still have a purpose in life. The depression from this struggle can be at an all-time high sometimes. Don’t let it beat you. Don’t let it win.

Be brave for your children and your significant other. If you have neither than be brave for your pets! In all honesty, the most important person that you need to be brave for is yourself. You can overcome this and you can get through this. Focus on a new project, enjoy the summer breeze, look around you and remind yourself of the beauties of being alive.

Our bodies are attacking itself but that doesn’t mean that we need to stop living. Realize your limits and reach for the stars. Don’t think that you aren’t capable of something great.

96237bbee81b31847cd48546e73fe723

Here’s a task. Every day I want you to find something beautiful around you. Look at it. Indulge in it. Allow it to turn your vision into something less dark. You can do this.

 

With Love,

-Rebecca Elizabeth ( A Punk With MS)

The Void. Update.

It’s been a while since I have posted here.

Lately I’ve been struggling with loud thoughts, feelings of severe emptiness, and feelings of extreme love and attachment. All which are BPD symptoms. I always feel empty on some sort of level.

I’ve been out of a long-term relationship since late December last year. I was thoroughly convinced my partner had pure intentions until I got screamed at daily. I was also shoved. Than? I chose to leave him for good. The abuse was escalating and I didn’t want to be there when it escalated more. I stayed there almost a month until I found housing, I listened to his abusive words, screaming, and evil rants daily.

I could cry to him about my feelings and he would usually blankly stare at me like he didn’t care. He also liked to use my mental illness against me whenever I was upset and even guilted me when I wanted to spend more time with my family. I didn’t know what reality was from all the mental abuse, he gaslighted me often. No matter what I did, or how many things I did for him, I was never able to please him enough. I felt like I was just crazy. I got the help I needed a year into our relationship when my mental health wasn’t up to par and he refused to get professional therapy when I brought it up for him. A psychiatrist is good, but with unhealthy behaviors talking this out with someone is beneficial. I told him this.

I didn’t understand. If I got the help I needed for us, why wouldn’t he do the same? On my way out the door, he THAN said he would go to therapy, but the damage had already been done. It was too late. I will always look fondly on the good parts of him that did exist. I’m not saying he never cared about me ever because he did at times.

Losing him was the beginning of all that I knew of my identity being ripped away from me.

I wanted to believe he was the love of my life. Oh boy, was I wrong. I idolized him for so long that it took forever before I saw him as a negative factor in my life.

This is the first downfall my BPD has had in my recent mental decline.

Second Downfall:

My ex-best friend whom I blocked on social media, messaged me the other day on her craft Instagram page. She was telling me how much of a shitty person I am when I told her straight up when I was going to hang out with one of our ex-lovers. I was honest and didn’t hide my feelings. We both had feelings for him and dated him before we knew each other.  That was the right thing to do. Lying is not me. She thought her claws dug deep into me when she told me that my recent ex hit her up. I mean, I’ve found an amazing guy who was someone I had previously dated in college. He’s good to me. He appreciates me. He is genuine. Our relationship is always being built in a constructive and loving manner.

Plus, if she likes being called crazy and gaslighted constantly, my ex is perfect for her.

What dug deep was her saying that I did things behind her back. I almost screenshotted and sent our old convo to call her bluff, but I let it go.  I did see her as a best friend, to this day she would say this isn’t true. It was. I had hoped that she would understand my feelings but she didn’t.

I mean, she’s back with that ex-lover we argued over who mutually wanted to see me at one point. They’ve been on and off for years anyway. No hard feelings on this end. I’m happy that they are happy. It hurts that she despises me this much, but that’s her issue at this point.

 

If you both are reading this finding humor out of it, I pity you for finding humor in someone else’s pain and wish you both the best in life.

Third Downfall:

My boyfriend died and got resuscitated last month, it was terrifying seeing him on life support. I stood by his side and looked after him the week after this incident. He is lucky to be alive. The doctors thought he wouldn’t survive, but sometimes I think about it and feel like I’m going to almost lose him again. It physically hurts to think about it, I literally get scared. Thank God I have a therapy appointment next month. I haven’t brought the incident up in detail to anyone in a long time. It was too difficult to re-live. It’s not an easy thing for anyone to witness. It’s all I could picture for weeks.

Fourth downfall:

I had a best friend who recently passed away from a heroin overdose. His wife who is also my friend found him in his apartment. They think he OD’d on purpose given the amount that was left there. I never have done the stuff, never want to either.

The day before the funeral:

Untitled

I separated from him when he was too unhealthy for my mental health three years ago. The last time I saw him was last year. We were inseperaable for a long time before our falling out. I have a lot of guilt. I went to his funeral yesterday, it was one of the most difficult days of my life. He was an amazing person who fought his demons until he couldn’t anymore. His mental and physical issues caused a lot of pain for him, so if anything I remind myself that he’s at peace. To be honest, I don’t blame him for how he felt. He had physical health issues on top of mental health issues. It’s bad enough having a body that won’t listen but a mind that torments you on top of that? It’s a dangerous cocktail. I’ve made it this far somehow, I’m doing my best to keep moving forward.

 

I’ve been able to picture his face and voice clear as day the past week. This loss has been traumatic for me to say the least. I can literally just hear his voice randomly. I got to cry with his wife and mom yesterday which helped a lot.

 

Fifth Downfall:

I’m on a new MS medication called Ocrevus. My MS is a huge trigger for me because I witnessed my mom struggle with her MS for years. She also has been on infusions. Steroid infusions are my biggest memory. I watched her get steroid infusions with an at home nurse my whole life off and on. When a trigger is your own body it increases symptoms. You can’t escape yourself. The side effects make me feel like shit. I’m tired all the time too. I finished the second half my first dose last week.

I feel abandonment by my recent past relationship, I feel abandoned that my best friend died and left me (logically I know it wasn’t meant to hurt anyone), I feel abandoned by my ex-best friend, who sees me as a monster. I feel like one half the time anyway. Ha.

When I’m alone I feel undescribably empty. I feel such intense sadness lately that I feel like my existence is worthless. I get random spurts of euphoria which is how my mania has been. Either I want to die or feel the best I have in years. I wish I didn’t have such black and white thinking.  I can’t wait to feel emotionally close to everyone around me again. I usually mask that empty feeling with a shit ton of weed or sleep. Sometimes both. I drink also but try not to that much due to it becoming an issue in my past. The pain can feel so intense.

emptiness.jpg

Well, that’s all I’m writing here… for now.

Feel free to comment, I love hearing from you all.

 

Have you struggled with chronic emptiness with your BPD? If so how did you deal with it? How do you deal with your intense emotions?

Feel free to share ways that help. It could help someone who reads this too.

 

Xoxo

-Rebecca Elizabeth ( A Punk With MS)

 

Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free Banana Bread

Here is an easy recipe for Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free Banana bread that I tweaked from Pinterest (I added my own ingredients as a substitute!) I was nervous about doing this at first, but it came out perfect! It does NOT need to rise before being put into the oven (the baking soda in the recipe will help this as it heats up)

Ingredients:

-1 cup Bananas

-2 eggs (room temperature)

-2/3 cup Almond Milk (or any non-dairy milk of your choice)

-1/3 cup Coconut Oil

-2 Cups Gluten-Free Flour (if your Gluten-Free flour doesn’t have Xanthan Gum in it, then add 3/4 tsp of Xanthan Gum to this recipe)

-1/2 cup of Cane Sugar

-1/2 tsp Sea Salt

-1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

-1 tsp Baking Powder

Add 1/2 cup of your preferred nut to make the banana bread nutty!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix together your sugar, baking powder, baking soda, Gluten-Free Flour, Sea Salt, nuts (optional), and Xanthan Gum (add this only if your flour does not include this ingredient) together in one bowl.

Get out a second bowl. Add your eggs, vanilla extract, coconut oil, non-dairy milk, and mashed bananas into this bowl. make sure to mix the ingredients together well.

Now, mix both bowls of ingredients in the same bowl together.

Once your ingredients are all mixed together, pre-grease a bread loaf pan and fill it with the batter.

Put the bread loaf in the oven for 45-55 minutes (this depends on the oven, mine took 45 minutes to bake) Check it with a toothpick to be sure it is fully cooked.

Once your banana bread is cooked, take it out of the oven and place it where it can cool down for 15 minutes.

Cut, eat, and enjoy! Be sure to wrap it tightly once you are done to help keep it fresh for a couple of days. Feel free to freeze whatever you do not use!

20170508_211529

 

-Rebecca Elizabeth A Punk With MS

 

 

 

 

The Old Me, A Memoir

I miss the days where I didn’t have to pay attention to what I ate, or how hard I pushed myself.

I miss the times where I bathed in the sun with not a care in the world. Nowadays when I’m in the heat too long, I overheat and feel ill.

I miss not having so many doctor’s appointments and having a completely open schedule to do as I please during the days I didn’t have to work.

I miss working a lot.

.technology-792180_960_720
I miss the days when my body would not attack itself, the days without dealing with one migraine after another, and the days without having to take so many pills.

Today I say goodbye to the old me, and focus on today the best that I can. I will forever miss the old me, but a part of her will always remain. You can say goodbye to the old you too, it doesn’t mean that you have to completely forget her/him. Take care of yourself and try to accept your current situation  (as tough as it may be.) Dwelling on who you used to be all the time can reopen old wounds and cause you even more unnecessary pain. You can do it, I believe in you.

los-cabos-68861_960_720

– Rebecca Elizabeth (A Punk With MS)

To The Ones Who Never Feel Good Enough

This post is dedicated to the ones who always feel like they have to hold the weight of the world on their shoulders.

You are an incredible human being that puts light into the world wherever you go.

You are a shining soul, that helps others when they feel like they have fallen into an infinite darkness.

You have held others together, even when you didn’t feel put together yourself.

You are the selflessness that a lot of the world lacks.

You are truly more wonderful than you’ll ever see or know.

I can say this because I am also one of these people.

I wonder if one day  I’ll ever feel “good enough” even though I know I’m a good person.

There are days when you’ll want to give up or even feel weak, but you need to keep moving.

You need to remain strong, you’ve made it this far. Rest and recharge if you need to. You are only one person. One person can make a difference, but in order to care for others, you need to care for yourself.

The world needs your kindness, don’t let it make you dark.

tree-738816_960_720

– Rebecca Elizabeth A Punk With MS