Tag Archives: support

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

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)

 

Forgiving and Letting Go Of The Past?

You’re sitting in a chair relaxing on your front porch watching the sunset when suddenly a feeling of sadness arises. It causes you to feel guilty, useless, and empty. Why are you so sad when you are looking at something so beautiful? The answer? Your mind. Memories.

Why are thoughts so powerful? They can make us laugh, make us cry, and put us in the most positive mental space or negative mental space we’ve ever been in.

There sadly isn’t an easy answer. 

Numerous studies are done on human psychology all over the world, and we aren’t even halfway to learning about the human brain. There is so much information we have yet to find.

My point is, the past can be difficult sometimes. Traumatic events re-wire your brain in a way it wasn’t wired before. 

A lot of damage is done after so many events which can make it difficult to recover after a mental breakdown. 

Letting go is hard. So is forgiving. 

For you I have five words: One day at a time.

-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

 

 

 

 

Multiple Sclerosis; Coping With Challenges

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic illness that causes your body to attack its own central nervous system. This leads to myelin damage and misfiring of the nerves. Myelin is the layer that covers and protects the nerves. During relapses (or attacks)  Your body attacks the myelin in the brain, optic nerves, and even the spinal cord. These attacks cause numbness, tingling, weakness, fatigue, nerve pain, and even possibly the loss of mobility later in life. (this is for some MS patients not all.) Permanent damage can cause a lot of obstacles for patients who are trying to live as normal as possible.

The list of Multiple Sclerosis symptoms are long, but being able to cope with the everyday changes, challenges, and obstacles is one of the most important things.

 

1. Find A Support System In The MS Community

The MS community is one that is widespread and always readily available. Before the wonderful world of the internet, patients had to read up information from the small number of books locally available and got any other information on the disease directly from their neurologists. There wasn’t as much research done on MS back then, and it was hard to find others who understood the disease. This lead to more patients feeling alone, isolated, and extremely depressed.

Nowadays at the click of a button, you can find friends who also have MS and even endless topics about the disease. The world is at your fingertips (literally) so go out there, make some friends, and educate yourself as much as you possibly can. Being a part of the community will make your hardships and challenges much easier because you can relate to others who understand.  I use M.S. Connect and MS Pals on Facebook. These are great groups for support.

handshake-2009183_960_720.png

2. Know It Isn’t The End

You may be newly diagnosed or may have been dealing with this disease for years. Regardless of the situation, days get tough and yes it can be very frightening. Remind yourself that the medical field is advancing daily. For example; scientists just found out that our blood molecules can possibly define what type of MS we have and what treatments will help us.  This is a huge breakthrough in MS research. We haven’t found a cure yet, but we can’t give up hope.

 

3. Pick Up A Hobby

Hobbies are a great way to pass the time, especially for those who are on disability. If you do happen to work still, a new activity or hobby could help lessen your depression. For me personally, I write, I draw, I even play guitar sometimes. When I don’t have the energy for that, I read or I watch my favorite T.V. show. The distraction helps me get through my harder days, and being productive in writing makes me feel like I am doing something that benefits others since I no longer work. You can find something that will help you too. Check out Creative MS Expressions, a community on Facebook where others with MS share their art and creativity. Mary Pettigrew (The founder of MS Pals) Runs this group and is a huge MS advocate in the community.

watercolor-1020509_960_720

4. Get Involved

If you feel like you want to help make a difference or just need to get out of the house, The Multiple Sclerosis Society has many different events where you can meet others and fundraise for the fight against Multiple Sclerosis. If you want to see when an event is happening near you, be sure to click the link! There are also other opportunities they offer that include advocating and volunteering.

5. Take Care Of Your Body

Having MS means being aware of what you put into your body, and making sure you exercise. This will make you stronger over time and can help combat fatigue. Healthy eating (such as reducing inflammatory foods) and taking vitamins are some simple yet very effective ways that can help you through this MS journey.

food

 

 

I hope that this article helps you overcome your current MS challenges and obstacles. Remember that you are not alone and that there are many people who are here standing/sitting right beside you throughout this battle.

-Rebecca Elizabeth A Punk With MS

 

 

 

Spirituality and Religion? What is it Truly?

Spirituality can mean many different things. To some people, it means meditating, helping the needy, or even worshipping the earth. In my humble opinion, there isn’t a “wrong way” of being spiritual. Hell, collect different types of rocks and gems if that’s your thing. Worship whoever you want, go to church, or stay home and vibe out. The ball is in your court.  Spirituality is a journey, so is religion. It’s not something that comes naturally to many. Be yourself, and do whatever makes you happy. Your beliefs are just that; your own. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

sun in hands

-Rebecca Elizabeth A Punk With MS