All posts filed under: Mental Illness

#Fearless Family: Why I Stayed

By CMT #Fearless Family Writer I had a good portion of this written, and then I erased it all. After a period of dwelling and analyzing, I realized that I was writing down every horrible thing he did to me and found myself explaining my actions to possible readers. I was writing out of anger and I wanted to drudge up a “She-woman Man Hater” club. I wanted strangers to hate him. I was writing from a place of anger and re-living every negative detail made it feel like it was happening all over again. I’ve spent two years trying to heal and forgive him and I was slowly undoing my progress. “Why did you stay? I tried to tell you, but you wouldn’t listen. Well, if it was me, I would have left before it started.” Whenever I try to talk about my experience about being in an abusive relationship, those are the words that I hear the most. No one likes to be abused and no one stays for fun. I can’t speak …

#Fearless Family: Navigating Alcoholism’s Aftermath

By Alexa M. #Fearless Family Writer I am 26 years old, and a full blown millennial. I shared my wedding pictures on Facebook the day I got them, my snapchat is approximately 99% my dog and 1% my anxiety attacks, and I wanted Bernie Sanders to win the election. Part of the territory of being my age (and any age after me, really) is having friends discuss their longing to return back to the “good ol’ days”. You know, the days when their biggest worry was finishing their math homework, or whether that birthday invite was coming in the mail. Not working 40 hours a week or trying to pay the bills on time. After all, “adulting” is hard. But I can’t identify with that. Despite my mortgage, car insurance and student loan payments, I would never wish to go back to my childhood. You see, I’m an adult child of alcoholics. Both of my parents are alcoholic/addicts, and even though they are in recovery now, the events of my childhood still affect me to …

#Fearless Family: An Open Letter To My Abuser – I Forgive You

By No Longer A Victim #Fearless Family Writer To My Abuser: When you first came into my life, I had no idea you would be one of my worst nightmares. I looked up to you as a father figure, a friend. Little did I know it was all a disguise to get what you really wanted…me. You not only took my innocence, my happiness, and those 2 years of my life, but you also took away future years of confidence, countless nights of wonderful dreams, trust in others (including the man who is now my husband), and feelings of safety. Over 10 years later, and I still have nights where I relive what you did to me in my dreams. It took me years to learn to not cringe or shy away when my husband gets close to me. I now live in a state of anxiety of people who get too close to my daughter, terrified that the same thing might happen to her. She’s only 5, and yet I’ve already begun teaching her …

#Fearless Family: My Partners Perspective of My Journey

By Amy C. #Fearless Family Writer I don’t know about other emotional abuse survivors, but I often look at my current romantic partner – my husband to be, no less – and think, “How can you put up with me? Why do you stay with me, even when I have my wobbles? Hasn’t it been an awful chore?! Why do you stay and put yourself through that?!” It’s a scar left by living with someone who made it clear they found me tedious, boring, and stupid, and still influences my thought patterns to this day. The difference now is that I don’t let it take me down. I recognise them and do something about them, so you know what I did about these questions? I asked them. I’m not at home to repressing and hiding my questions, imagining the worst, and living with crippling doubt and self-loathing anymore. If I want to know what my love really thinks, I ask him, safe and confident in the knowledge that he will answer honestly and respectfully…and often …

#Fearless Family: You Can Love Again After Emotional Abuse

By Amy C. #Fearless Family Writer Three years ago today, I was in hell. I’d been in a relationship for almost four and a half years, and three and a half of them had been emotionally abusive. I didn’t realise that I had been abused until it was over; sometimes we are too close to ourselves to see what we have become. I had become a grey, drab, genderless thing, constantly unwell and tired and run-down, and trying to weakly shuffle through each day as quietly and unobtrusively as possible. I was a nervous wreck, constantly hyper-vigilant, and hyper-aware that everything I said, everything I did, and sometimes literally every move I made, would be sneered at and ridiculed by the person who would then turn around and say he loved me. I was 29 years old and going to bed at 7:30 p.m. every night through sheer emotional exhaustion, and a desire to avoid my abuser’s notice. He made it clear he was happier when I was not around, anyway, and I was desperately …

Introducing: Dear Fearless…

In an effort to keep this site new and diverse, we here at #Fearless are very excited to announce the newest addition to our weekly content: Dear Fearless… What is Dear Fearless? Simply put, it’s our version of an advice column. You, our readers, will submit questions anonymously to our advice columnist, Fearless, and then Fearless will give the best advice they can based on the information you gave them. Each week (likely Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. ET), we’ll publish a new advice column and hopefully help the world one article at a time. Once we have a couple questions lined up, we will start publishing them. We will post only when we receive requests for advice, but we hope to make this a weekly column very soon! So, if you want to submit to our new column, here’s what you need to know: All questions will be anonymous, and we suggest you use a creative pen name to sign off as so you know your question is being answered! If you can’t think of …

#Fearless Family: When You Think You Know Best For Someone With Mental Illness

By Face to Face With The Sky #Fearless Family Writer I like to think of myself as a compassionate person. The type who puts myself in other people’s shoes. I’m there for my friends, and when needed I’m a shoulder to cry on. But sometimes, I’m not the sweet, compassionate person I think I am. Last year, my close friend was diagnosed with a mental health condition. We’re in touch almost constantly, sharing feelings and swapping ideas. As someone who has also been through my share of mental illness, I find it easy to have compassion for her. Until she makes a choice I don’t agree with. When that happens, I feel my blood boiling. Gone is the compassionate understanding friend. Instead I’m angry. How could she do such a thing? Doesn’t she see she’s only making her recovery harder? Once I lashed out and gave her a lecture about what she “should” do instead. How do you think that went over? You guessed it: she felt alienated and I felt like was talking to …

#Fearless Family: It’s The Little Things In Love

By Cheryl Fazio #Fearless Family Writer I used to attach a great deal of significance to grand gestures.  I was in an abusive relationship and always waiting for my ex to make some unequivocal declaration of love that would dispel all my doubts; I was waiting for something that would somehow make the cheating, manipulation, and lies all magically okay.  Now I’ve been married almost a year and I have a new perspective on grand gestures. My relationship with my spouse, Senia, progressed incredibly naturally.  We met blogging about George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.  Specifically, we met blogging (and writing erotic fanfiction) about probably the most objectively villainous family in the ASOIAF universe, House Bolton.  Most infamous for their practice of flaying their enemies, and occasionally wearing cloaks made from the skin, “Bolton fandom” was understandably a very niche subgroup of the larger ASOIAF fandom.   I found this subset at a fortuitous time. Apparently, I’d just missed a lot of drama involving clashes between Bolton fans and some …

#Fearless Family: What To Expect From US Healthcare

By Lindsey LaForge #Fearless Family Writer Interacting with the healthcare system can be a daunting and anxiety provoking experience, especially if you’ve never done it on your own! Knowing what to expect ahead of time can help lessen some of that anxiety and uncertainty. This article discusses some of the common healthcare settings (in the United States) and answers some general questions to help you prepare! Doctor’s Offices How do I get a doctor? Do a quick internet search for your area or use your insurance company’s website to search for covered providers. Then, call and see if they are: a) accepting new patients, and b) accepting your insurance. If you don’t have insurance, some offices have programs in place to provide free or lower cost care. Don’t be afraid to call and ask! My doctor’s office has a doctor and a nurse practitioner/physician’s assistant. Which one should I see? In a primary care setting, either is fine! Nurse practitioners or physicians assistants can do most of the same things a doctor can do (do …

#Fearless Family: How Substance Abuse Affects Mental Health

By Sonia Tagliareni of DrugRehab.com #Fearless Family Writer Mental illness and substance use disorders go hand in hand. People struggling with drug use disorders are twice as likely as the general population to struggle with mood and anxiety disorders, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 7.9 million Americans suffered from a co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder. People suffering from depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and personality disorders are more likely to experience addiction, according to MentalHealth.gov. Substance use disorders and mental health disorders share similar risk factors, including: Genetic risk factors that make a person vulnerable to substance use and mental health disorders Environmental risk factors, such as stress, trauma and early exposure to drugs They also have similar traits, such as: The ability to change similar parts of the brain The ability to disrupt development, especially during early childhood People who use drugs may experience symptoms of mental illness. For example, people who abuse marijuana are at an increased risk of …